Revis and Matticus Save the Kingdom, Chapter 21

Matticus and Revis’ vision cleared and they found themselves on a green expanse between another soft looking dwelling and a densely populated forest.

“How many more times are we going to jump?”  Matticus’ question to his Knight went unanswered though, because there was a commotion coming from the house.  Knight and Jester watched two people fight there way free from the house and then flee into the words nearby.  There was a brief exchange that they couldn’t quite hear, and then the two people, a child and a woman, vanished into the darkness.  And then the whole world vanished again as they were swept through another portal.

There was no light change to get used to, though, as one darkness was changed for another, deeper.  From the feel of the air and the smell of the place, Revis could tell they had found themselves in a cave.

“Don’t move,” he whispered to Matticus.  His words echoed in the empty spaces of the cavern despite how quietly he had spoken them.  “There could be a drop off anywhere.”

When his words came back to them, however, they had changed to the voice of a very young boy, “Go then, there are other worlds than these.”  The voice was haunting and then it disappeared as the Knight and Jester were transported again.

They next found themselves in a castle. Revis and Matticus were off to the side of the large dining room. Revis saw a man in green tights, a white shirt, a brown vest, and a feathered hat sitting on a table, facing a man with a crown on his head. This person of royalty had a mole on his face and was looking at the man intensely. “And why should the people listen to you,” the crowned man asked.

The Man In Tights answered, “Because, unlike some other Robin Hoods, I can speak with an English accent.”

The entire room erupted with a giant gasp. A second later, they were in a new place.

They were in a building much like Twindaddy’s home. There were three people in a heated discussion: an older man, a younger man, and a woman about the same age as the younger man.

The older man was accusing the younger one of some grave misdeed. The younger man was protesting his innocence. The woman was pleading with them to stop arguing. Suddenly, the younger man turned into a giant green monster and creating a gaping hole in the wall with its fist.

Then, they jumped again and found themeselves in a store the likes of which neither man had seen before.  An attractive blonde, wearing far too little clothing to be seen in public was talking with a man who seemed to be purchasing what Matticus and Revis immediately recognized as the tools for dark deeds.

Then the man left the store and entered a very loud contraption that defied gravity.  Knowing that some sort of magic had to be at play, Revis tried to activate his ring, but before he could, the Jester and Knight were pulled from the world and dropped in a new one.

They were immediately assaulted by lights and thunderous music, and a pervaling smell of alcohol.  They felt saturated by it.  People swirled by them in various gawdy outfits, obviously engaged in some form of dance, but it wasn’t one that either man recognized.  The live band, playing on an elevated stage, seemed to become more and more frenzied with each passing second.  The gathered throng responded by increasing their own frenetic movement.

Matticus covered his mouth, the sound, the motion, it was more than he could handle.  He turned to disgorge the contents of his stomach, but was jostled by a well appointed gentleman before he could.

“Oh, excuse me, you wouldn’t happen to know where I could find Gatsby?”

When next they opened their eyes, they were standing outside a house. Looking through the window, they saw a little girl sleeping on the bed. With a loud crash, the door to the room came crashing down as two grappling men burst through it.

They watched as the two men fought. One was fully enraged. The other one seemed content to let the mad man vent his anger and stayed on the defensive. A woman ran in, trying to break up the fight. She fell to the ground in the ensuing melee.

By this time, the little girl was awake and crying. None of it seemed to matter to the enraged man. He continued until both men went through one of the room’s walls. The wall fell on top of the little girl. Revis and Matticus were about to break in through the window to help her when, suddenly, a man appeared out of nowhere.

“There’s someone else who can do this,” Matticus exclaimed.

“Let’s go ask him how we control this,” Revis added.

Before they could question him, the calmer man jumped on top of him and they both disappeared. Then, they saw another light flash and found themselves in the shadowy recesses of the oddest looking outhouse.  A giant mirror lined one wall, along with a group of basins, and there was a woman standing at them who appeared to be talking to herself.

“No, Al, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do this time around.”

“I know.  But, I …”  Looking up, the woman saw Matticus and Revis and asked “Are you supposed to be here?”

Stepping out of the corner, Matticus replied, “No, Dr. Becket, but you aren’t supposed to be here either.  The three of us are lost at the moment, aren’t we?”

“Who is that?  How do you know her?”  Revis stepped forward too, but kept his right hand ready to draw a dagger if needed.

“Him, actually.  Dr. Sam Becket.  He’s just trapped in a woman’s body right now.”

Revis was obviously confused, “What?”

“How do you know that?”  The quantum physicist backed away from the knight and jester.

“Not important,” Matticus responded calmly.  “But, I do know why you are here.  You are supposed to help us get home.  That is the wrong you are supposed to right this time.”

“What?”  Revis asked again.

Right as Matticus was about to explain, they were gone again. The next place they found themselves was in a kitchen. Sitting at the table were a white dog, sipping something out of a glass that Matticus remembered seeing at a bar, and an infant with an oddly shaped head. Both men weren’t sure what to make of the scene in front of them.

“What the deuce are you staring at,” the infant demanded.

Thinking he was hallucinating, Matticus turned to Revis and asked, “Why don’t we get out of here?”

“Why don’t you burn in hell!”

“Don’t mind him,” the dog said, once again making Matticus question whether or not he was hallucinating. “He’s just upset because I won’t let him play with his newest toy.”

“Why won’t you let him play with his toys?”

“The dog is afraid we’ll be trapped once we step through the portal,” the infant answered.

“You have a portal?”

Revis jumped across the table and grabbed the dog by his collar. “Take us to this portal,” he ordered.

Without a word, but after gulping down the rest of its drink, the dog led them all up a flight of steps, into a room with a baby bed. He opened the closet door, revealing the portal. “You ready,” Revis asked.

With a nod, both men stepped through the portal.

simple truths

“I’m telling you it wouldn’t.”

“And I’m telling you that can’t be right.  Why would the movies lie?

“For cinematic effect, of course.  People like to hear and see explosions.  That’s why they hand over their hard earned money week after week.  But, there is no air, and therefore no sounds in space.”

Jared, the younger of the two arguing brothers, bit his lip and furrowed his brow as he worked through the new information.  “But, what if something does blow up and the shrapnel hits your space ship, wouldn’t that make a sound.”

“Nope, because there is still no air for the sound waves to travel through,” Mike responded with a shake of his head.

Jared dug his foot into the ground and turned his head away.  Explosions had to make noise.  That was a truth of the world.  To hear otherwise, to learn, to believe, changed everything.  He trusted his older brother, though.

Then the answer came to him and he excitedly whipped his head back up, “But, there is air in the space ship right?”

Jared nodded affirmatively and raised an eyebrow, trying to catch up to his sibling’s train of thought.

“So, the people inside the ship could hear the objects hitting the outside with the vibrations carrying through to the inside!”

Mike considered Jared’s hypothesis for a moment and then agreed,” Outside, no sound.  Inside, sound, yes.”

Jared enthusiastically skipped away from the movie theater and Mike had to race to catch up to him.  Eventually Mike would have to tell Jared that if there was no air in space there was no way there could be fire, and without fire there could be no explosions.  But, he knew his little brother wasn’t quite ready for that truth.

“Wait up!  You know mom will kill me if I let you out of my sight!”

The brothers laughed and ran the whole way home, both of them a little wiser about the ways of the world.

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Word Count: 330

This bit of silliness and knowledge brought to you in response to this week’s Inspiration Monday writing challenge:

inmonsterbadge1

The Rules

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.

OR

No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:

CHOOSE TO FORGET
SOUNDS IN SPACE
PALINDROME
THE FIST
TREADING WATER

Where were you the first time you realized the movie you were watching was unrealistic?  What movie was it?  What happened?

A letter to my cable company

Dear Time Warner Cable,

When you sent me that happy little email at the beginning of the year saying you were going to give me Showtime for free for three months, you weren’t fooling anyone.  I knew the rate hike was coming.  It was inevitable.  But, I held on to a bit of hope that you were offering the premium channel (of which the kingdom has only watched two movies in these six weeks) as a peace offering for all the rate increases you imposed last year.

So, perhaps I am a fool after all.  I should have known you would never do anything “nice” like that.

Then, it happened.  You lost service during the game.  The big game.  The big show.  The one event all year that pretty much every American household has on for one reason or another.  One minute I was enjoying the commercials (and the game, even though it wasn’t a great game, because, hey, I like sport), and the next minute I had a black screen.  No more game.  No more commercials.  No halftime show.  No nothing.

I tried to call you, but you were being bombarded by so many irate customers that you all I could get was a busy line.  I tried to look up your email so I could send you a note asking when service might be expected to return, but so many people were doing the same thing that your website crashed.  It was a customer service fail of monumental proportions.

I finally did get an email off to you, the next day, asking how you were going to make this right.  I paid for a service, and you did not provide that service.  You needed to do something to balance the situation.

And you did.  You offered everyone who lost parts of the game a free movie from your decent selection of On Demand titles.  Not bad.  Not great, but there are some who might argue you didn’t have to do anything at all.  Obviously, I’m not one of those, but I can temper my expectations of restitution.  (Apparently, I can also use some big words.)

Anyway, I’ll take it.  I like movies.  I like free movies even better.  And since the arrival of the Little Prince I don’t have the opportunity to watch new movies as frequently as I used to.  So, having them available from the convenience and comfort of my home, well, that’s just fine with me.  And, it was another peace offering.  Another effort on your part to show your existing customers that you do care about them.

I won’t lie.  My level of hope raised a bit then.  I thought, perhaps, given the circumstances, you wouldn’t raise rates again.  You would eat all those additional costs that you are constantly complaining about…  At least for awhile.

But then the new bill came.  In the same month where you lost coverage of that one football game.  It came with a lovely letter explaining how much you value my loyalty and apologizing for having to transfer the new costs you are incurring onto me.  It was well worded.  It showed me how much you truly care… about your new customers.

I understand business.  I get it.  You have to have the attractive, shiny, products to get new customers.  That makes sense.  But, it doesn’t make sense to continually charge your existing customers more and more, especially when there are so many other service providers at our disposal now.  Because you will start to lose your existing customers, and then you will have to lower prices further for your new clients to replace those numbers, and raise prices more for your existing clients to offset the costs, and you will create a vicious cycle you will not recover from.

You may not miss me when I’m gone.  And I will be gone soon, right after I watch my free movie.  But, if there are other people out there like me, and they are as fed up with you as I am, the mass exodus could eventually destroy you.

I hope it does.

Enjoy my money for one more month.  I’m going to get as much value out of it as I can.  Showtime here I come.  On Demand freebies here I come.  Preview weekends here I come.

But then I’m cancelling.

I won’t miss you.

Matticus

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What about you, faithful kingdomites?  Have you cancelled any of your services because of poor customer service or rising prices before?  Should I pay for Hulu?  Should I rejoin Netflix?  Are you a dish household?

the final straw

After centuries of keeping their existence a secret, the Grand Council convened and decided it was time for them to show themselves to the world.

They had suffered silently through witch hunts, vicious rumors and exaggerated tales of destruction, via oral tradition, literature, and, more recently, theatrical depictions.  The tales varied in their accuracy from ill-conceived to fairly close to the true nature of their being.  But, the key aspect of all the tales was the theme that vampires should be feared.  That suited their purpose.  Fear does not lend itself to discovery.

However, due to a recent series of books, and the aftermath of movies, the power of the word “vampire” had lost its luster, its spark, its trepidation.  They were a joke.  They were pretty boys and girls who sparkled in sunlight.  The council could not abide such a giant shift in public opinion, and a unanimous vote decided the future of all vampires.  Rather than waiting around to be discovered they would go forth and remind humans that vampires should be feared.

Later that week, during a United Nations session, the non-sparkling vampires walked into the room.  At first there was only mild interest in the disruption to the proceedings.  Guards were called to escort the trespassers quickly and peacefully from the building.  When those guards were ripped limb from limb, panic set in, pandemonium set in, fear set in.

Argyle, head of the Grand Council projected his voice, sending it booming around the hall, and forcing the members to cower in silent terror, “Vampires are real, and we shall not be mocked!”

The news channels covering the proceedings of the member nations, quickly scrambled to switch graphics and replace the scene with talking heads.  But, it was too late, they had already captured a portion of the carnage that followed.  The videos spread across the internet and knowledge of the vampires’ existence reached every corner of the globe by sundown.

After laying waste to all those in attendance, and taking in a weeks worth of blood, the vampires disappeared to walk hidden among the humans again.

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Word Count: 349

This bit of silliness brought to you in response to: Papi Prompt! #12:

What: 500 word maximum flash fiction story
Use the following: The non-sparkling vampires walked into the room… 
When: Due before next Monday (2/10) to be included in the results.

Want to join in the fun?  Write your own bit of flash fiction and then link it back to the original prompt or leave a link in the comments over there.  Come on!  We need to get this turned around and remember the awesomeness of non-sparkling vampires.

The Return of the Official Matticus Kingdom Tug-of-War

Disclaimer – this is going to be a week of nonsense here in the kingdom.  It seemed like the blogosphere could used some silliness, and since that is what we are all about here, that is what we are going to provide.  Everything this week will be designed to uplift, make you laugh, etc…  If you aren’t okay with that, too bad, that’s what you are going to get anyway.  Now, on with the show…

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The rules (because all games must have rules, except Calvinball, of course):
1) Read the prompt.  (I know what you are thinking, “Reading, bleh, who wants to do that.  But if you don’t read the prompt then you won’t be able to fully play along.”
2) Choose a side.  (You have to pick a side in tug-of-war, that’s kind of important.)
3) Write a post that supports your decision. (We don’t need an essay, and we don’t give bonus points for brevity either.  However, we will be your friend if you do something creative.)  (Kim also says you can just leave your answer as a comment and since she is awesome we are going to allow that.)
4) Link back to this post so the moderator can count your support correctly. (Unless you leave your answer in the comments, then you don’t need to link back, because, well that might create an infinite loop that could explode the internet.)
5) There is no fifth rule – just seemed like there needed to be another one – oh, wait, I know:  The fifth rule of Matticus Kingdom Tug-of-War is “You do talk about it.”  To anyone and everyone.  That’d be great.

The winning side will be the one that gets the most support, and their reward will be the knowledge that they chose wisely and eternal fame across the kingdom.

Doesn’t this sound like fun?

Many thanks to Kim and Rara for helping come up with and formulate this idea.  They are amazing.  Go forth and check out their pages.  That’s not an order, per se, but it is an official edict.  (Yes, there is a difference.)

……

For the return of the world famous* game, we have chosen the prompt:  Which universe of superheroes (and villains) is superior: Marvel or DC?

*”World famous” may or may not be an accurate description.  We aren’t going to discount it as a possibility though.

The Matticus Kingdom is throwing our support behind Marvel.  Mostly that is because we are partial to The Punisher and Spiderman.  But, we can’t discount the overall popularity of the Marvel movies: X-Men, Spiderman, Iron-Man, Thor, Captain America, The Avengers, etc…  They have dominated the box office and those billions of dollars cannot be ignored.  Plus, if we didn’t pick Marvel, we are pretty sure that The Punisher would hunt us down and we really want to avoid that.

You want to play, right?

  • Choose a side
  • Make a post and link it back to this one
  • Or leave a convincing argument in the comments

(Rara, in her infinite wisdom has decreed there should be an offical timeframe related to when the winner will be announced…. yeah, she’s a smarty like that.)

The ruling powers here in the Kingdom have decided that participants have until Friday (1/24/2014) one week (five-ish days) to throw their support behind one of the two answers.

Our official counter (yeah, we have a guy for that) will add them up and then one of our minions will post the results at some point next weekend, or the following Monday: bestowing glory upon the winners.

And, we’ll all live in a better world for finally having solved once and for all which is the better comic universe.