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A Walk Among The Tombstones

 
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Kruger
THE ANVIL
Ancient Wyrm
Ancient Wyrm


Joined: 02 Jun 2007
Posts: 844
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Jobs: Blacksmith, City Guard
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:08 am    Post subject: A Walk Among The Tombstones Reply with quote

A Walk Among The Tombstones

Silence and darkness reigned over the Iron Fist Gardens when he finally made his way out of the infirmary. Kruger had stayed, long after the fans had filtered out and the celebrants had left for where ever they chose to enjoy their victory. He’d stayed beyond the concerned teammate’s limits and the last of the EMT’s had stopped fussing over him. He walked the aisles alone, or crutched his way along them at the least. The empty seats stared at him, their curved backs and neat rows reminding him of headstones in the cemetery outside Rhy’Din. They were just as silent, just as judgmental of him too. At the center of the Garden was the ring standing like the oldest of mausoleums despite the dissimilarity of its form. A few lights still illuminated it, the one point of light within the vast emptiness of the stadium.

It was his destination, slow though the cast that rose to just below his knee made his progress. Kruger slid backwards beneath the bottom rope, the crutch trailing him inside. The rubber end was planted solidly so that he could pull himself once more to his feet and make his way to the center of the ring. Banners hung around the outer walls of the place, one for each of the teams from this year and seasons past. For the first time he noticed that the banner above each exit was one for a team from this season. Had they done that on purpose? He turned slowly, imagining the captain for each team standing in the doorway and looking down on him. He wondered idly what they saw. Was that approval or disdain on the confident face of Harris? Silent appraisal seemed to be the mask of Sylus. Was Matt somewhere between amusement and annoyance at him? Kimone seemed to be questioning this thing she looked upon. Bob seemed full of wary mischief as he looked at Kruger. Jewell had a smile for him, there always seemed to be a smile from The Empress. Then there was Claire, and all he could see was that dark look she’d given him beneath the shock of pink hair. His insides lurched as he imagined it.

When he found his own team’s banner he stopped, there he didn’t see himself but the rest of his team. He was proud of them all, the rag tag bunch he’d managed to pull together for the season. They’d pulled too, together as a team to go further than he could have imagined. Minam peaked out from behind the others, always so afraid to be noticed. Had he managed to realize that he was safe among them? Jules stood defiantly crossing her arms, daring him to try and impress her by being himself. Did he manage to win her over? Blondie leaning nonchalantly against the wall, giving a slow nod that was somehow a soliloquy of greeting and threat. Did a bond form for him for this bunch of crazies? Grace, he could see her mouth working, and was certain she was telling him to punch someone in the throat. That was one who surely managed to fit in, despite the naïveté and innocence. Rachael, she kept her emotions in check and her eyes hidden from the world. She was only here because of him, he was sure of that. Finally there stood Dust, solid and stoic, yet he’d managed to open up some. Maybe he saw something in his captain that was worth the journey. If only Kruger could be sure.

Over head the banners for The Rock Hards, and Top Flight were raised in acknowledgement of the two teams that had survived the season to face each other. Echoes of the crowd played through Kruger’s head as he stood centered beneath them. The chant of The An Vil from ninety thousand voices had been deafening. Kruger closed his eyes counted to three and opened them. He could see them all again, seats full of people, or the ghost of people who, for a little while, he’d managed to help forget their troubles and struggles in life. That was what he wanted to do anyway, to bring them along and let them be a part of something that transcended the slow crush of life outside these walls. Kruger let the crutch fall away, and raised his arms in bold triumph. He hadn’t won the fight tonight against Harris. In that respect he’d let the team down, let his fans and supporters down. He’d beaten the hell out of life though, he’d been as outrageous as a man could be and managed to move beyond simple fool to something endearing and enduring. He’d changed minds and opinions from, that’s a goofball to, that’s our goofball and that is just the way we like him.

He was the captain of The Rock Hards, The Voice of the IFL. He was action and energy running about the ring singing out songs and power slamming opponents to the shout of Krugey Krater. He was soft and dangerous at the same time. A man scoffed at, and yet you couldn’t take your eyes away from him for fear of missing whatever he did next. Kruger completed his circle, posed once and lowered himself to sit on a red stain that hadn’t quite come all the way clean. He was The Anvil, and he was alone…
… or at least he thought he was.
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