Attack on an Evil God
by Ásgrímur Hartmannsson
Chapter 13: Heroes of Might and Magic
Mjöll, a pale and thin girl with a bizarre haircut, Fönn, a healthy-looking if overweight girl with green hair but a more conventional haircut, Snær, a varmint-looking teenager, and Fannar, who looked to be at least 20, wiry-looking and tall, were all sitting around the mara-box.
“Okay, that didn’t work,” said Mjöll.
“I wasn’t expecting him to punch out the dreamer,” said Snær.
“We could try that again,” said Fannar.
“The cops will probably have showed up when the next one got to him,” said Fönn. “Let’s try again tomorrow.”
They stood up.
“Maybe we should try a more direct approach?” Mjöll asked.
“Punch him ourselves?” asked Snær.
“No, I mean, follow one of them — Hansi, I think he’s the leader — to their home and spy on them.”
“And then what?” asked Snær.
“Punch them, of course,” said Fannar. “We break in and punch them.”
“We’d probably just need to knock on his door,” said Fönn.
“I like the idea,” said Fannar. “Let’s chase one of them home tomorrow. Fönn, you bring the car.”
And they did. They patiently waited for Hansi to leave his class, early in the morning and go to his car, which was of a highly unusual type and thus easy to follow. And they followed him as he picked up Anna and Freya. Then he went and they pulled Maggi out and forced him into the car.
“That’s one of them, isn’t he?” said Mjöll. “He doesn’t seem very happy to be going with them.”
“Maybe they are going to sacrifice him to some god,” said Fannar.
“Get real,” said Mjöll.
“That’s what they can do,” said Snær. “You have read the literature, haven’t you?”
“You think they have another robot?”
“I hope not.”
They followed Hansi as he drove home. They knew it was the end of the line, for Hansi and the rest of them all exited the car and went inside. They parked the car as far away as they could without being out of view, and waited.
They saw them carry something into the trunk of the car. Then the girls and Maggi entered the car and drove away.
“Should we follow them?” Fönn asked.
“We came all this way to see what Hansi was up to, not them. Let’s go in closer and see what he’s up to,” said Fannar, and they all got out of the car and walked to the house.
* * *
Maggi was rudely wakened, first by the doorbell, but when he had ignored it for some minutes, by the phone. It was Freyja.
“We’re at the door, come and see us,” she told him.
“Grml,” he replied.
The doorbell began again, so he stumbled out of bed, put on his pants and went to check on them. Sure enough, it was Freyja. And Anna and Hansi.
“Oh, it’s the heroes of might and magic again,” he said, the sarcasm visibly leaking from him.
“Come with us. You have to drop off Goat Boy!” said Hansi.
“You do realize I’ve only had two hours of sleep now?”
“I know people with children who get less than that,” said Hansi. “You’ll be fine.”
“I just broke my arm.”
“Didn’t they give you drugs?”
“Then you are fine,” said Hansi, and dragged him out. Freyja went in and collected his coat and sneakers, and he put them on in the car, the bloody-enormous car that Hansi had bought just to smuggle in some weapons. Maggi passed out on the way and slept until Anna woke him up. They had arrived.
Maggi felt very hazy as they went into the house. He saw Goat Boy in the living room, watching TV. Goat Boy saw him and waved. All was in a soft mist in Maggi’s head; he wondered if all this was just a dream.
Anna made some coffee and toasted bread for Maggi while Hansi and Freyja did something out of sight.
“Here, this will make you feel better,” she said, handing him the coffee.
“I’d feel better if you’d left me alone. I was sleeping. Trying to sleep.”
“You have to help us. You know we are trying to save the world.”
“You actually believe in all of this magic stuff? I personally think this is all just some front for a drug-running gang, somehow.”
“Don’t be like this.”
“Speaking of drugs, you have any?”
* * *
Hansi explained the finer points of American car maintenance before he sent Maggi on his way in the car with Freyja and Anna. Anna had fed him some Methylin, and that got his attention going.
“What’s this?” Maggi asked when she handed him the pill.
“I don’t know, I stole it from my sister, she feeds these to her kid. She tells me it works wonders on his disorder.”
“He has a disorder?”
“Well, he has now.”
Maggi shook his head but swallowed the pill.
They went slowly, not attracting too much attention as they went toward the airport, turning off the road toward the Pearl. It was a walking path, not intended for motorized traffic at all, but nobody was looking. Maggi drove as close to the trees as he could and stopped.
“Okay, what now?”
They went out and opened the trunk after some preliminary spells from Anna and Freyja, complete with hand-waving and signalling. Goat Boy peered out. Maggi was past being surprised at this point and just watched Goat Boy, who was dressed in a dark blue raincoat and corduroy pants. He had a T-shirt with the logo for some outdoor festival on it, and was wearing rubber boots. He was basically dressed like a 1980’s kid. Not quite, but close.
Goat Boy picked up his rifle and his ammo and jumped out of the trunk. Magazines went into the pockets of his raincoat. He racked a round into the rifle, waved them all goodbye and ran away into the trees.
Now the trunk was empty save for a pump-action shotgun and a box with 250 rounds of ammo for it.
“What’s that for?” asked Maggi. “We supposed to go duck hunting now?”
“It’s in case Hansi fails,” said Freyja. “Do you know how to work that?”
Maggi stared at her and said, “Let’s get the hell out of here.” He closed the trunk.
They sat in the car, and Maggi turned the key. It went “click,” then nothing.
“Now you have to do the thing,” said Anna.
“Yeah, we did our thing, now you have to do your thing.”
“Didn’t Hansi tell you how to fix the car?” asked Freyja.
“He told me some mumbo-jumbo about Holy Water. I can’t fix the car with that!”
Maggi shook his head, but decided to humor them. He reached into the glove compartment for the bottle of Holy Water and stepped out of the car. He mumbled some curses as he opened the hood and peered in. There was the engine, about a half a mile from the front bumper.
The massive 7-liter V8 looked relatively clean for something that old. Maggi stared at it, trying to figure it out, then decided he could do that afterwards, once he had dispelled the myth that magic was somehow real.
He splashed some Holy Water here and there, in the form of a cross, and said in the most dismissive way: “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, you irritating gremlins leave me the hell alone.”
He was annoyed at the world when he closed the engine compartment. He sat in the car, handed Anna the bottle, and tried the ignition again.
The engine started up as if it was new. Maggi was stunned. Then he groaned, “I don’t [expletitive deleted] believe this!”
“You don’t have to believe it. It’s magic; it always works,” said Freyja.
Maggi backed the car into the grass, turned around and off they went, distancing themselves from the Pearl.
Proceed to Chapter 14...
Copyright © 2017 by Ásgrímur Hartmannsson