The Epic of Slash
By J. Sabo
The Kingdom was in dire trouble. Citizens of the Kingdom boarded their doors and windows at night and did not speak a word. The dead of the night belonged to a frightening beast that poached the streets, looking for its next meal. They called the beast Serpentina for it was female, and had the torso of a woman and the bottom half of a snake.
The fear Serpentina spread reached the King. He desperately needed a solution for this problem and that no longer would his citizens live in fear any longer. He sent for the most powerful sorcerer in all the lands, Sorcerer Obas.
Pacing frantically in his throne room, the King worried, her daughter, the Princess Saber, watching. "Father," Saber said. "Don't worry. Sorcerer Obas will be here."
The doors of the throne room opened up and mist flowed in. A silhouette of a man in a robe and pointed hat appeared. He emerged from the mist and Sorcerer Obas showed himself, long gold robe and long shaggy beard and all. He had the expression of seriousness and old age. He then said, "Sorry, those burritos will go right through my system."
Saber held her nose. "That will explain the rancid smell."
The King hustled to Obas. "Thank goodness you've come!" he said while groveling at his feet. "Do you have the solution to my current problem?"
Obas nodded. "I do… but do you have the question to my solution?" he said. Both the King and Saber tilted their heads. "Huh?" Saber loudly said. Obas shook his head with a frown. "Apologies, I'm trying to sound all wise like my classmates Merlin and the others… It doesn't work out well for me. But I digress from my ranting; I do know how to rid of Serpentina from your kingdom." The King continued to bow. "Thank you, oh wise, powerful Obas."
"May I ask what this solution is? The anticipation is killing me." Saber said. "Of course," Obas said. Before explaining the plan, Obas bent his back forward. A loud crack occurred. "Uh… I'm getting old…" he said to himself. Then he began, "The plan is as simple as catching a pig that's oiled up." To Saber, it sounded complicated. "We send someone into the Swamps of Terror where Serpentina resides and have him vanquish her.
"Vanquish her with this magic sword!" Obas pulled from his sleeve a white bladed sword that glistened in the light. "This sword will never crack, break, or age. A perfect weapon to defeat evil!"
"But who is worthy… or rather foolish… to venture into the belly of the beast and face this monster?" asked the King.
The loony sorcerer laughed, "Shoot if I know." Both the King and Saber stared at him seriously. Obas noticed their looks and quickly said, "Oh… I meant I know… He is the greatest hero, the bravest, the most courageous man… animal… person, to ever be born!"
Atop the tallest tower, the King and Obas looked down at the citizens of the town below. "Is that him?" asked the King pointing at a random person on the street. Obas looked at the person with a pair of glasses fancy women would use at the opera. "Nope," he replied. The King kept pointing at random citizens. "What about him?" he asked again. Obas shook his head, "Negative."
Saber unfortunately was right beside the King. She grew tired of hearing her father keep picking people out of the blue. It was like finding a needle in a haystack. "Well," Saber clapped her hands together. "I'll let you two keep looking for our brave hero and I'll… just go." Saber went away from the King and Obas and back down to the throne room.
Saber took a seat on her luxurious chair and called for one of the servants. "Can I get my jester in here, please?" Her servant bowed and fetched for Saber's jester. From the throne room doors jumped out Slash the Ferret dressed in a jesters outfit. "Hello, Princess!" he said. "I am here for your entertaining purposes." He courteously bowed before her.
Saber raised her brow. "Uh… what happened to the old jester?" she asked. Slash answered, "He quit." Slash began to juggle a trio of balls. "He thrust this job on me. So would you like some jokes?"
This ferret is really cute, Saber's girly instinct on boys took her mind. "I would like to hear some jokes." Saber watched Slash juggle the balls. "So why did the chicken cross the road?" Saber, star struck with love, shook her head. "I don't know." She replied.
"I don't know either." Slash said. He and Saber laughed; it was a stupid joke, but Slash's cuteness, in Saber's eyes, made up for it.
More and more jokes came flowing out of Slash; all of them just awful. All those present in the throne room could've barfed out of the pure lameness of the jokes. Their wishes for this absolutely cruel punishment came true when the King and Obas reentered the throne room. Obas, upon seeing Slash, stopped and his mouth hung open. "That's him!" he shouted. Everyone in the throne room was confused.
Without hesitation, Obas hustled to Slash and picked him up, inspecting him. "Uh…" Slash was getting tensed out. Then Obas started sniffing him. This is incredibly uncomfortable. Slash thought.
Obas held up Slash. "This is our hero!" he yelled. Everyone cheered. Amongst the cheering, Obas continued, "Our hero will venture to the Swamp of Terror and face Serpentina… to the DEATH!" Slash's pupils decreased in size. "What did he say?"
"I can't do this!" Slash was present in front of the King, Saber, and Obas in the throne room, just themselves. "I'm just a jester!"
"No worries, my ferret friend." Obas pulled out the sword he spoke of. "With this sword, you shall vanquish Serpentina and you'll be loved by all the Kingdom's citizens."
Slash shook his hands frantically. "That's OK; I'm fine with where I am now."
The King jumped from his throne and groveled at Slash's feet. "Please!" he begged. "Please, please, please, please! I'll give you anything you desire!" Slash backed away from the King. "I appreciate it, but I rather just tell my terrible jokes."
Saber walked up to the King and whispered in his ear. He then told Slash what Saber told him. "If you do this, I promise you," he showcased Saber. "The hand of my daughter Saber." Saber presented her hand to Slash. Then, Saber attacked Slash with a barrage of kisses. After his pleasant ordeal, Slash's face was covered in lipstick kisses. "I'll…" Slash smiled widely. "I'll do it!" he went over to Sorcerer Obas and took the sword away from him. "Give me that!"
Gifted with a magical sword and a new set of clothes, Slash was ready to descend into Serpentina's underbelly. Before departing, the King and Obas gave Slash another gift. The King's gift, as he said, "Slash, I will give you help; A knight to guard you and protect you from any further danger." Dux Dog in armor came walking out and saluted the King.
"Your majesty!" he honored. "At ease," the King said. "Protect Slash at all costs." Dux nodded, tongue out and joined Slash at his side. Then Obas offered his gift. "Here's another ally for you." he stepped aside to reveal Oreo the Cat dressed in a robe. "Oreo the Cat, a witch of magical proportions." He said. Oreo joined Slash.
"Defeat Serpentina and save our kingdom." The King said. Slash drew the sword. "We won't let you down!" Slash looked to Saber and gave her a wink. This made Saber faint. Slash, Dux and Oreo departed from the Kingdom and towards the Swamps.
"So, I have a question," Oreo asked Slash as they walked down a winding trial, dense forest on both sides of them. Slash looked down at Oreo. "Do you know how to even fight?"
Slash was speechless. But as quick as he is hilarious, Slash commented, "Of course I do. I have gotten into many fights." His voice depending for theatrical effect. "All of which I have been victorious!"
Dux was intrigued. "Wow, you won all those fights?" he asked.
Slash nodded. Oreo wasn't convinced. "This journey already reeks of failure." She said under her breath.
The trio of heroes continued on the path that leads further away from the Kingdom. The sounds of crows and other animals echoed in the forests beside them. Dux could see a crow atop a rotting tree. "Don't go that way, dude." The crow said. Dux's fur shivered with fright. He ran away and joined Slash and Oreo.
At the end of path, there is a fork in the road. And a sign was planted in the middle of the fork and pointed to both trails. On the left, the sign said, "That Other Kingdom." The path was blossoming with flowers and grass. The other path was labeled with the sign, "The Swamps of Terror." It was rotting with dead trees, browning grass, and dark skies.
"Oookay," Slash said. "I vote we go back." Slash turned and ran. Oreo grabbed Slash's tail and pulled him back. "C'mon, hero," Oreo said. "We're almost there."
"No worries," Dux said. "We got your back."
With a guardian knight and a witch by his side, Slash gained a confidence boost. And he has a magic sword. What more could one ask for? "Alright, into the Swamps we go. I mean, it's not like the entire fate of the Kingdom is in our hands." Slash said.
"Actually, it's in your hands," Oreo said. "But we'll fight with you."
They took a deep breath before walking down the path to the Swamps of Terror. To ease the terrifying atmosphere, Slash made small talk, "Hey, wouldn't it be funny if someone was writing down our adventure?"
The Swamps stay true to its name; it's a swamp. Murky waters, amphibious creatures, and the sounds of crickets in the air. And the Terror of its name comes from Serpentina. This is her home; her domain. Stories have it that Serpentina devours anyone who enters the Swamps.
Then, there are these three colorful heroes amongst this grey environment. "Oreo," Dux shivered. "I'm scared." Oreo just sighed.
Slash, Dux and Oreo began walking on what dry land they could find. But puddles are as plenty as bats in caves. And puddles are the one thing that bothers Oreo. "Aw, come on!" Oreo slipped and her foot went into a puddle of muddy water. "I just washed my fur…"
Further and further into the Swamps the trio found no trace of Serpentina. They even wondered if she was still here. "Did she move?" Dux asked. A splash was heard in the water. All of them jumped and drew out there weapons. "Be ready for a fight for our lives, my comrades." Slash stood his ground. They were back-to-back and ready.
Dux saw a ripple in the waters in front of him. "Guys!" he shouted. "I think that's her!" he pointed to the ripples. Slash and Oreo faced the ripples, dreading it was Serpentina. The time the ripples finally reached the dry patch of land felt like forever. Then, a frog hopped out of the water, making Oreo scream at the top of her lungs.
"A frog?" Slash laughed. "It was just frog. Oh by all the random stuff that could go on." Slash found himself laughing uncontrollably. But Dux and Oreo weren't laughing. They were shaking with fear. "Slash…" Dux said. Slash noticed that they were shaking. "What's wrong?" Slash asked. Oreo pointed behind Slash. "Serpentina's behind me… isn't she?" Dux and Oreo nodded.
Slash gulped and turned slowly. A long snake body rose above Slash. In the dim light above was the silhouette of Serpentina's human half. Serpentina brought her face down to eye level with Slash. Frozen with fear and anxiety, Slash was speechless. Then, he began to cry. "I want my mommy!"
Serpentina slashed her claws at Slash. Slash dodged and ran. Serpentina roared and chased after Slash. Oreo took her staff and shot a ray of magic that missed Serpentina. "Dang it!" she cried.
Dux chased after Serpentina. "No one messes with my friends!" he yelled. Dux swung his shield from side to side. He came upon Serpentina; Serpentina hissed at Dux and attacked. Dux guarded himself with his shield as Serpentina clawed at the shield. A blast of magic brought Serpentina to the ground.
Serpentina rose and saw who hit her; Oreo with her staff. "Come and get me!" Oreo shouted. Serpentina slithered quickly and attacked with swipes of her claws. Oreo dodged left and right while giving out swipes of her own. Dux charged after the evil hybrid and came to Oreo's aid.
Amongst the fray, Slash hid behind a tree with the sword in his hand. "OK, OK, it's all OK." Slash said to himself. "I just gotta go out… defeat Serpentina… go back to the Kingdom… win the hand of the fair princess… live happily ever after…" the idea sounds so much better in his head.
With a deep breath, Slash gave a cry of bravery… or stupid confidence in some senses… and ran out from his hiding place and toward he went to the battle. Serpentina, though a monster, she's not stupid, heard Slash scream. With a swipe of her deadly tail, she pushed away Dux and Oreo. Her tail then swung around and wrapped around Slash before he could attack.
Serpentina's grip tightened around Slash's body. Slash felt the very air escape his lungs. "Can't… breathe!" he gasped. "Dux… Oreo… help!" But Dux and Oreo were knocked out cold by Serpentina's powerful tail swipe. Slash was alone with this problem.
He needed to escape Serpentina's grip; but how? He tried to use his hands to ease the grip; no use. And the sword was no use to Slash either; when Serpentina grabbed him the sword dropped out of his hand. How can this get any more worse? Slash thought.
Then an idea hit him. The sword was only inches away from him; and his tail was free to move. Using his tail, Slash grabbed the sword and flailed it around till he struck Serpentina. Luckily, he severed Serpentina's pincer at the end of her tail. The pain was unbearable and Serpentina released Slash to tend to her wound.
Slash dropped to the ground and breathed in deeply. "Fresh air!" he yelled. Slash jumped to his feet and hurried to Dux and Oreo. "C'mon guys! We're not beaten yet!" he shook them. "Uh… five more minutes… I don't wanna go to school…" Dux mumbled.
Serpentina slithered back from her temporary haven back into the fight. She had witness an anger she has never experienced before. She increased her height to seem more threatening. But Slash, Dux and Oreo formed a line against her. She hissed angrily.
Slash, Dux and Oreo charged after the monster. Serpentina flung her tail and claws every time the heroes came close to her. But they kept getting up. She soon found herself to be overwhelmed by a group of ragtag heroes. And their fight was coming to a close.
Her tail pushed Dux to the ground and then Oreo in the same place. It tangled around them and constricted them to a halt. Serpentina grabbed Slash and roared. "I've had just about enough of this!" Slash was surprised. "Uh… you can talk?" Serpentina threw Slash into the trees. He slammed against a base of tree; his sword however cut right through a tree next to Slash.
The tree swayed from side to side, as if it was trying to decide which way to fall. Finally, it made the choice to fall where Serpentina was strangling his friends. Serpentina noticed the shadow of the tree befalling her and stared at the tree. Her expression went to of that of an angry monster to a helpless child. The tree fell on top of her.
Dux and Oreo were safe from the tree. They were released from Serpentina.
Slash walked over and stared at the tree that squashed Serpentina. Jaw wide open. "Did I— did I just…"
"Did he just…" Oreo repeated.
"I think he just slayed the monster." Dux finished both of their sentences.
There was a slight silence; then all three broke out in cheer and dance. "We did it! We did it! Oh yeah, yeah, yeah!" Slash sung. They danced and danced and frolicked. Dux then stopped. "So… what do we now?" Slash and Oreo stopped. They looked at each other and smiled.
Trumpets were blowing, crowds of people screamed with joy, confetti dropped from the sky, and a float was riding the road. Aboard that float was Slash and to his sides were Dux and Oreo. They were being celebrated as the Kingdom's Greatest Heroes. "It's good to be a hero." Slash said to Dux and Oreo. Both of them agreed.
Just as Slash was waving to his new admirers, Princess Saber attacked Slash with another kissing frenzy. Slash fully enjoyed this attack. "Well hello princess." Slash said with a face wide smile. Saber sat on Slash's lap and joined him.
From the castle gates the King and Obas watched Slash bask in his glory. "See your majesty, I told you so." Obas said.