Penalty Kill – Chapter 1: Kobold

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“Dad!  What the hell did you bring to my house?!”
Just two minutes ago, my dad, Fred Skelton (aka Fenrir, the Great Wolf of Asgard) showed up looking worse for wear saying he was just attacked by Freyja.
To get you caught up, Freyja is a psychopathic lunatic from the realm of Asgard who, along with her twin brother Freyr, tried to start Ragnarok.  Fortunately for all the realms, we were able to stop them and kill their leader, Azmodeous, but I guess she was out for blood now.
Now as my dad was relaying the fact he was just assaulted to Rumil (my incredibly sexy and deadly dark elf fiancé) and I, a horrible creature came out of nowhere.  As I stood on the porch to my house, whatever the hell it was started tearing apart my yard.  The best way to describe this thing was if a wolverine had a demonic love child.  Its black fur, deadly claws, and a mouth filled with teeth that would make a great white shark jealous rounds out this picture.
The thing jumped at dad with its mouth open.  Since you really can’t transform into a giant wolf in the middle of a neighborhood, dad did his best to fend off such an attack.  The thing landed on him, snapping at his face.  “Don’t just stand there!  Get this damn kobold off of me!”
Rumil was running back down the stairs with her bow and arrows, and let an arrow loose at the beastly creature.  It bounced harmlessly off its apparently very tough hide.
“Jack, here, put these on!”  She tossed me my gauntlets, a souvenir from my time in the other realms.
I strapped them on quickly and ran at the creature attacking my dad.  It looked up and I punched it as hard as I could in the face.  I guess its nose was a weak spot as it started to howl and relented enough for dad to kick it off of him.
“This is out of hand!  First Freyja, and now a kobold?”
“We can talk later dad!  Let’s get rid of your little friend here before the whole damn neighborhood sees this!”
Thank God it was dark outside, but the noise would soon attract unwanted attention.  Rumil was on the porch with us and she fired off three more arrows at the kobold.  Two bounced off its skin again, but the third was a direct hit to its eye.  I knew that had to hurt, but it did was piss it off more.  How wonderful.
It charged us again and jumped.  It decided I would be the target and I hoped Algrim’s gauntlets were up for the challenge.  I stuck my arm out and it clamped down hard.  I felt the force, but the metal was holding for now.  “Shoot it again!”
Rumil happily obliged my request.  At close range, she put a second arrow into its other eye.  It let go of my arm and fell to the ground.  No longer able to see, maybe it would slow down and give us time to do something.
“Master Fenrir, catch!”  I don’t know where Rumil pulled it out from because she was still dressed up for our double date with Stansky and Valkyrie, but in her hand was a long, silver dagger.  She tossed it to my dad.  “Remove its head and the kobold will perish!”  Dad nodded at her and pounced on the angry animal.
Even though it was blind, it still had a ton of fight left in it.  I looked over at Rumil, “Should we do something?”
“I am afraid neither of us possesses the strength to complete this task.  Be prepared just in case it gets free and attacks.”
I turned back and looked at dad struggling with it.  He needed help and before Rumil could argue, I ran over to them and grabbed the kobold by the head.  It was so strong that I needed to get a good grip on this.  Dad was still trying to bring the blade down on its neck, but had no room or leverage.  Digging deep, I strained myself and started pulling the head back.  It was hissing and trying to swipe me with its claws, but I managed to get its head back just enough for dad to bring the fatal blow down.
The head came free while I was still pulling and I went flying back, landing hard on my back.  The kobold’s head started to disintegrate into dust in my hands.  I stood up and tried my best to brush it off of me.
Dad and Rumil were walking over.  “Thanks Jack, that saved me a lot of trouble.  I had no idea you were so strong.”
I started to laugh, “I didn’t know I had it in me either, dad.  We’ll chalk that up to adrenaline I think.”
After checking me over and making sure I was alright, Rumil told us we should get inside so we could talk.  Agreeing, dad and I followed her in and took a seat on the couch.
“Jack, what are we going to do?  Stan and Val will be here any minute!”
I had given this a lot of thought.  Stan (surprise, a normal human!) was dating Val Kyrie (a terrible undercover name, she was really Valkyrie, captain of the Einjerhar) and maybe it was time we told him the truth with what was going on.  “I think we tell them the truth.  Valkyrie will need to know anyway, but Stan could be in danger.  He needs to know why.”
I expected some sort of backlash, someone to say ‘no that is a terrible idea!’ but it never came.  Both of them looked resigned to the fact that the truth was needed in this situation.  I also figured they were going to leave it up to me to explain the whole thing too.  With friends and family like this, who needed enemies?
The doorbell rang and I went over and looked out.  There was a smiling Stan Stansky and the ever beautiful Valkyrie, ready for a nice night out on the town.  I really hated to be the one to break the bad news to them.  I opened the door, ready to get this over with.
“Hey guys, looking good!”  I said that with a little too much enthusiasm.  “Why don’t you come in for a minute?”
I let them pass, but Stan stopped short.  “Jack, you kind of look like hell.  Oh, and hey Mr. Skelton.  Are you joining us tonight too?”
“Stan, why don’t you have a seat?  I think there is a lot we need to tell you.”
Valkyrie’s ears perked up.  “Is everything okay here?”
“No, not at all.  Val, I think and these two agree, that it is time we tell Stan about you know what.”
Stan looked around at all of us.  “Guys, what is going on here?  Everyone looks like they’ve seen a ghost.  Is someone dying?”
Valkyrie took Stan’s hand, “Jack, allow me to be the one to explain everything.  It has been eating away at my conscious for awhile now.”
Fine by me, maybe she could explain it all better than I could.  I took a seat beside Rumil and we listened in as Valkyrie told the story.  She started off slow, telling him about Asgard, but speaking about it like it was another country. 
I don’t think it was until she started talking about dwarves and elves that it started to sink in with Stan that something was off.  The breaking point came as she got to the point where it involved all of us and our adventures, total disbelief took over his face.  As she finished, I think he was waiting for all of us to start laughing.  That never happened.
“C’mon guys, you’re pulling me over on me, right?”
“I’m sorry Stan.  When Oleg and I were attacked in the bar, it sent us to another realm called Asgard.  Imagine my surprise; I was the one who lived through it all.”  Oleg Thorston was the human name for the Thunderer, Thor.  I hope you are writing all these down; there will be a test later.
“Jack, let me try something.”  Dad walked over to Stan and put his hand on his shoulder.  “How long have you known us Stan?”
“For forever Mr. Skelton.  What does that have to do with any of this?”
“Do you think either of us would lie to you or intentionally mislead you?”
Stan put his head down, “Of course not, you guys are like my second family.”  He looked from me to dad and back.  I tried to put on a friendly smile, but I’m sure I looked like creeper.
“Stan,” Rumil was now standing too, “what if I could show you?  Would that help you believe?”
“Show me?”
Rumil nodded and closed her eyes.  Where there had once been standing your girl next door, was now the dark elf I had first met in Asgard.  Her hair was back to its original snow white, ears pointed at the ends, and skin to its original smoky blue color.
“This is my true form Stan.  I am a dark elf from the realm of Svartalfheim.  To fit in better, I use a rune that gives me a more human complexion.”
Stan didn’t say anything for a bit.  It was just awkward silence, even after Rumil went back to her human state.  The only good sign was he hadn’t gone running out of the house.
“So I guess you guys aren’t screwing with me, huh?”
We all nodded at him.  He then turned to Valkyrie, “So you are some badass warrior chic huh?”
The tension in the air broke and we all started laughing.  I was about to ask if we were all still on for dinner, when there was another knock on the door.  I got up and walked over, pretty confused.  Who would be here now?
I opened the door and Chief Mark Thompson was standing there.  “Evening Jack, is your father here?  I need to talk to him as soon as possible.”
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About Jeremy Croston

I'm a comic loving, soccer playing, devoted husband who has a writing addiction. I can be found at Orlando Solar Bear hockey games, at the local sports bar cheering on my teams from Philly (go Flyers!), and being led astray by my schnauzer, JJ. Check out my Amazon page at www.amazon.com/author/jeremycroston to see my collections. Feel free to friend me on Facebook too at www.facebook.com/jcroston2 (there is another one of me out there apparently). Outside of writing, I work in business development and am considered an expert in all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Thanks for stopping by and looking forward to talking to you soon!
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