Passing Time

Featured image: Golden Hour, by Andy Mayer

I’m sitting in lecture and, man, is this guy going on and on here. It’d be interesting if I was in the right state of mind but I really can’t care too much today, so here I am doodling away and lookin’ around for anybody I seen before. You know, trying to make friends and all that, I guess it works by osmosis. The clock’s holding great form, I mean it doesn’t drop those hands an inch. I guess I’ll tune back in:

“ —and so it’s important to remember that this is a society completely reliant on itself, they had no way of hoarding resources from halfway across the world. Surplus production was not a conce—”

Enough of that. The professor has a way of speaking that’s somehow the opposite of captivating, each phoneme he forms melds his mouth into a yawn, his eyes steer straight ahead and he’s going nowhere. The clock’s starting to fidget but we’ve got a long time left. On my pad of paper, I’ve scribbled out Gawain and Gringolet and they’re riding off on these big cliffs looking for trouble. Let’s go there.

“Hark, hello,” Gawain hails me, Gringolet slows to a stop before me and sniffs and eyes his hooves.

“Greetings, fair knight,” I reply, “How fares thee?” He bristles a little bit. “Not well?” He shifts some in his armor, and his chalky face shows some outward worry. I realize that I don’t know how these sorts of people talk, so I let him talk like normal.

“Well—” he stammers, “we are in a bit of trouble.”

“You and the horse?” I ask. Gringolet snorts.

“Yes. You see, we’ve found ourselves lost here in these tempter- tempterous-“ is that a word? “tempestuous wilds. It’s quite queer actually—” his eyes are flicking around, scared. Gringolet looks bored. “ —we’ve just head back to Camelot and the way is not the same as before. Where we’d before wandered old forests, we’ve now found barren crags, and oh, the most hideous trolls and beasts roam these rocks.”

Something exciting it seems like.

“Aye,” I call, “those goblins can be mighty fearsome. Me, though, I’ve gained some notoriety ‘round these parts as the monster slayer, if I may brag.” Gringolet’s ears perk up.

“Quite—well, uh, so you are trained in the ways of battle?”

I’m not wearing any armor.

“Naturally.” I stare him down a little bit before continuing.

“Oh—uh,” he yaps.

“Really, I know my fine friend it may not seem it, but really I am a slayer and a knight to boot.” At my waist now are my buckler and sword. “I’ll prove it. Mark me now.”

At my word, a rabble of goblins trickles out of a cliff face, red and rowdy. Gringolet spooks and Gawain yells.

“Worry not fair friend!” I yell, “I’ve got this one!”

I unsheathe my sword and twirl it like how the cowboys do with the revolver. The swarm rushes towards us, jeering loud with their yellow teeth and brandishing big nasty cleavers. A massive wave of red bent on crashing down on us. The first among them draws close and slashes his black ax down. His mouth is foaming and some bloodlust has taken hold, I grab my buckler and block his down swing, deftly disarming him. His face contorts with rage and I slice him in twain, green guts spill out and black blood stains my blade. Gawain’s reining in his horse and turns about face now, just in time to see the face off with the rest of the monsters. They swarm on me, two, three at a time. I dodge between them and twist and pull my sword through all their backs. Dead. The rest of the goblins are frightened now, and they retreat in a rush, clambering over one another and leaping into their hiding holes.

People are packing up around me.

“Excuse me,” a girl is looking down at me, my bag’s blocking the aisle.

“Oh, sorry,” I scooch it out of the way and start to get up. Time to go to lab.

Max Marquez is a junior in the MU Opus College of Engineering, where he is studying Biomedical Engineering.

Andy Mayer is a junior English major from Chicago, Illinois. When not writing, Andy enjoys drawing, painting, and sculpting. Andy is a part of the On your Marq program for students on the autism spectrum, much like him. He wants to help the world be more inclusive, or at least get them to join him in his pacing.