The blank eyes, staring at me. The blank faces, unsure what to say. The large banner hanging over the prepared holiday feast, with a large “INTERVENTION” banner sprawled on it. It looked hastily done, probably the work of Jakx, the absentminded scribe…
“Steve? Are you even listening to us?” my wife said crossly.
I snapped out of whatever had taken control of me. Of course, whatever was taking me over had become much more unforgiving these days.
“What?” I replied. “Yes, dear, of course. Why wouldn’t I be listening to you?”
“We,” she said, grabbed the hands of the two people sitting on either side of her, which happened to be Kraal Ghaquee and Victoria Osiris, the wench, respectively, “We just think that you may spend too much time writing.”
“Since when? Karen, you know writing is my life! How can someone spend so much time trying to force me out of something that I love so much?”
“The problem, Steven,” Kraal said, his remaining purple eye glowing, “is that you fantasize about your writing. You mix the world of your writing and the world you live in together too often.”
“How can you, of all people, say that, Kraal? I guided you through the Caves of the Dark Elves without any major harm, and not only did you fight the Dragon Queen, but your killed her in mortal combat! Her entire kingdom is rightfully yours! I mean, yes, losing your vision in your left eye was a minor setback, but I’m not a God.”
Everyone was silent. After a moment, Kraal spoke again.
“What did you call me?” he asked, seemingly confused.
I was confused, too. “Your name, Kraal Ghaquee?”
He just stared at me like the others.
“Maybe that journey through the Frozen Forest didn’t run as smoothly as I thought, your memory seems clouded.” I said. I turned to Iator, the wizard. I walked towards him. “Iator, do you have anything to help Kraal? He’s the best warrior we have to battle Trytan the Destroyer. You must have something to counter the potion Drad gave him.”
Iator looked slowly to where my wife sat.
“Uh, Karen? What do I do?” he asked quietly, looking back to me slowly after, when my wife said nothing. “Steve? It’s Jim from work. Listen buddy, I know Crawl is busy fighting the Dragon Queen or whatever, but we need you to…”
I stood and grabbed him, this time in anger.
“Foolish wizard! The Soothsayer spoke of this in her prophecy: ‘One you love shall become no more’. I should have seen it sooner, but I was blinded by your lies, Iator! The greatest warrior this land has ever seen will soon be dead, and it is your fault!” I yelled at him. I drew my blade from its sheath and prepared to attack.
Someone yelled something about a kitchen knife, and trolls tried to tackle me, but it was no use. The land of Valdonia had called me, and I had answered.