So it was just me and the zlurp, standing face to face, well, face to belly I guess because he was kinda large. I hoped Wyny was okay, that had been a pretty big throw. Anyway, the dragon had stopped the zlurp in his track, standing between us. She was breathing in. I thought that was the end of me, never thought I’d be killed by a dragon’s fire breath, but *the biggest, most reverberating burb ever*
[Music in background]
This is Nadec, my adventure. Written down in a better way than I can tell it.
[Music louder and solo]
Nadec, episode 9, clichés
‘Shonk swallop and gorwak guts!’ Nadec blurted out, getting a disapproving look from Wyny while he took a step closer to her. As if he never curses, she thought. Those swear words were among her favourites, although she had no idea what they meant. She knew they were regarded as very foul here, and that was enough. While still appreciating The Other Realm’s multitude of curses, her attention went back to the raging zlurp. He was ready to pounce on them. A cascade of pink blood flowed freely from his nose cavity.
‘The search wa’ant said to bring you in live, princess’—there it was again, the word and the deep scorn while saying it—‘but it said naught bout how live. A bit live will do.’
A strange sound emitted from his mouth, the face-wide open hole showing a much larger amount of pink blood on the purple gums than before. Was he choking? Or perhaps trying to bring up a hairball? She’d seen Kitty act like that. Both Nadec and Pagewyn stared at him. Then she realised.
‘Oh!’ She passed, making sure. ‘You’re laughing! That’s the worst laugh I’ve ever heard.’ She made an exaggerated shiver sound, her body acting it out as well. The motion blackened the corners of her sight and she wobbled, as if being pushed and tugged by gentle ocean waves. A quick glance at Wyny assured her he hadn’t seen, fixed as he was on the zlurp.
The zlurp closed his mouth and scowled.
‘I trained a long time for that, my teach said me to be the best of her studs.’
Nadec couldn’t stop herself from snorting and regretting the snort. They train to laugh? The amusement was dialed back by the pain the snort caused. She cursed at herself, annoyed for being stupid enough to forget about current pain-causing habits. Her voice sounded thin and forced in her own ears.
‘Perhaps it would serve you better to practice making clothes, because that,’ she pointed vaguely in the direction of his bare sex, ‘is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.’ She heard Wyny make a noise, but couldn’t be certain if it was a stifled laugh or an incredulous gasp.
A growl rose in the zlurp’s throat. Nadec rolled her eyes at all of the cliché things surrounding this creature. It almost felt as if he’d taken his whole attitude and manner from human tv-shows and movies. The awareness of an idea formed in her head in a fraction of a second. The zlurp harumphed again.
‘I need not hide my pride, why would I not show I top most?’
The creature’s face managed to convey sincere confusion at that. Nadec’s mind spun, and not only from her concussion. She wasn’t sure what to think of this zlurp. Zlurps hadn’t been among the creatures she’d been been taught about, although xlurps had. They seemed to have similarities but differences too, like a difference in intelligence. And if what this one just said was right, they had a natural hierarchy, based on… what? Their sex? The number of balls? Or something else? Nadec’s curiosity rose; she wanted to find out more.
The zlurp hadn’t stopped talking, saying all kinds of stereotypical things—something about not having to spare Wyny’s life, the consequences of her death being worth the pleasure of killing her—but she hadn’t been paying attention anymore. Wyny took a few steps away from the zlurp, but he still stood closer to him than she was. She looked toward him. He was about to hit the creature with… eh, whatever he was about to do. Squares, Triangles, Circles, Trapezium, Parallelograms, who knew?
‘Don’t kill him,’ she almost yelled. She paused. ‘I mean, not that you’ve managed it before when you actually wanted to…’ she trailed off, grinning at him. ‘Just unconscious please, I have questions. We’ll just make sure to tie him up now.’
She was willing to let him handle this, as she felt herself grow weaker by the moment. If she didn’t know better, she’d think that someone was poking her brain with their finger. Seeing no reason to show that, she grabbed her halberd from her back anyway, lengthening the shaft to lean on it. Hardly a worthy battle stance, but she couldn’t care about that now. Even though the halberd’s weight was nothing like what it should be—she’d long ago stopped wondering about the abnormalities surrounding he weapon— trying to hold it up now would only result in embarrassment.
The zlurp kept on talking. She vaguely heard him say: ‘If you want me, come here and get me!’ Her attention was fixed on her travel compagnon though, the man who’d gotten her in all this trouble.
Wyny merely stared at her, confused. Uncertain. She didn’t understand why he wasn’t doing anything. He stood there, looking like an idiot. A gorgeous, naked idiot. He somewhat looked like a young Gerard Butler, yet with the attractiveness of the actor’s older years. She wondered why she hadn’t noticed that before. She couldn’t help but grin wider at him, and at the zlurp’s number one villain mistake—talking while they should be attacking.
Wyny shook his head slightly, and then a smile blossomed on his nearly perfect face, lopsided, in perfect imitation of Gerard. Those stubbles surely looked nice on him. The zlurp picked him up and tossed him several metres further. Rotting blurbs! Nadec cursed herself for falling into the classic romantic-scene-while-fighting mistake. What was going on here with all the tropes?
The purple creature let out that sound again—the one that was supposed to be laughter—and ran towards her, going faster than she’d give him credit for. He almost got close enough to tower over her when the dragon came to a stop between them. Her long neck forced the zlurp to a halt.
‘Step side Blackie, I can do this. I will like to hear the princess’ screams of pain. I’ll keep her live nough to give her to them, as the wa’ant said. But there wasn’t any word how long she should still be able to stay live after drop off.’
The black beast, head only a bit higher than the zlurp’s—large, but not quite as enormous as she expected a dragon to be—looked from Nadec to the zlurp to Kitty. Utter black head swiveling in an almost hypnotic way, the fierce eyes taking everything in. She repeated that three times before breathing in, her chest puffing up.
Fire! I’m going to be scorched by fire! Nadec had never thought that was the way her life would end. She thought about running away, but all she could do was stumble backwards, tripping over her own panicking feet.
Blackie’s chest stopped expanding. She aimed her head at Nadec, winked, turned toward the zlurp, and let out the most massive burb Nadec had ever heard.
The zlurp fell unconscious.
Thank you for listening to Nadec, episode 9, clichés. Narrated by myself, Nadec. Adventure by and lived through by Nadec. Written in a better way than I can tell it, by Astrid Jef.
Don’t go just yet, we’ve got bloopers coming up. Before we get to those, [music on background] we just want to say that if you head over to astridjef.com, you can find transcripts and full chapters of this podcast. Even more, you can find the unedited draft of Nadec at least up to 15 chapters further than the podcast goes. So if you’re keen to know how the story continues, you have the option to go and read. Find us on Twitter @astridjef and @nadecandkitty
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