Night cradled the island city of Tar Valon in it's arms, and rocked it gently to sleep like a child. Mounted night-watchmen rode slowly over the bridges, their horses' hooves striking a clear, slow percussion accompaniment to the gentle serenade of the river beneath. Everywhere was silent, tranquil and calm. Until, that is, a high pitched wail shattterd the aura of peace around the tower, sending rats skittering into the dark, starting stray dogs barking, and shaking the gaurdsmen into sudden alertness. The sound of hurredly drawn steel and curses uttered couldn't touch the banshee-like scream, that seemed to eminate straight from the lowest pit of hell, and yet from an open window high in the tower.... Invincible Percy, warrior without peer, warder without fear, was singing as he bathed....
"I''m too thexy for my thword, too thexy for my horth, tho thexy it hurtzth..."
In the ajoining room, Gladys Sedai of the Brown Ajah, who held Percy's bond, sat studying an old leather-bound book that she had been studying for the last few days of travel. Gladys had her hands over her ears, and was trying to turn the page with her elbows...
"And I'm too thexy for my panth, too thexy for my thockth, no way I'm tha'thara danthing..." As Percy sung, he made little waves with his hands to help his cuendillar-wrought toy duck bob along the surface. "I'm a warder, you know what I mean, and I thake my little tuschth on the drill ground..."
Gladys had had enough. With a sigh, she looked up. "Percy!"
"On the drill ground..."
"On the drill ground..."
"Percy, will you please..."
"I thake my lil tuschth on the drill ground..."
"PERCY! IN THE NAME OF THE CREATORS HOLY BLOODY LIGHT WILL YOU SHUT THE F.... Will you please stop singing?" Gladys found herself clutching a large poker, and put it down with a mutter.
"Gladyth? What? I wath jutht thinging a thilly thong!" claimed Percy innocently. "Mr Ducky liked it didn't you Mr Ducky!" continued Percy, talking now to his duck. "Quack, arf, arf, quack.... whath that Mr Duck? I have the motht beautiful voithe you have ever heard? Why thank you Mr Duck!" [giggles; splashes excitedly]
It was more than Gladys could beare. She began to channel a flow of fire into the tub of water. Percy meantime begun to sing another song, albeit more quietly, but still very accutely. "Ith raining men! Halleluhah, ith raining men, amen!..."
Somewhere in the city, a Myrddraal was slipping through the darkness looking to perform foul deeds in the night. It stopped, cocking it's head and listening. After a moment, it went pale, which is by no means easy for a Myrddraal, muttered "bugger this!" and found an edge of shadow that led away from Tar Valon. - far away.
"I'm gonna go out, gonna let mythelf get, abtholutely thoaking wee-eeet!" Percy emptied a double handful of soapy water over his head, and frowned. Suddenly there seemed to be a lot of steam. "Gladyth? Ith it me, or ith it getting much warmer in here?" His Aes Sedai's answering grin was positively vicious.
The next day dawned bright and cheerful, except for the long shadow of dragonmount that blotted the landscape like an afflcition. In the yard, the waders were already up and drilling, pushing their hardened bodies through rigorous exercise. Through the middle of them, un-hindered, un-noticed, slipped a grey-man. Despite the sharp awareness of the warders and the unceasing watch of the gaurds, he walked right through their midst towards the tower, dagger in fist, with orders to kill the Amyrllin. If a grey-man had posessed the ability to laugh, he would have done, for this was almost too easy. What could stop something they couldn't register in their mind, even if their eyes technically saw it? The gaunt figure reached the door, and stretched a bony hand to open it. The door flew open, violently, smacking into the grey man who in turn thumped into the tower wall, then tripped backwards onto a row of pikes, impaling itself. Percy stood in the door frame, resplendent in his skin-tight pink training suit, jogging on the spot and stretching his arms, in preperation of his workout. The grey-man stopped it's thrashing, and a few of the warders not lost in their forms turned to stare in Percy's direction. His skin was a little too pink, as if he had bathed in water too hot, and it made it difficult for watching eyes to distinguish between suit and skin. The contrast with his blonde hair and mustache was almost violent.
"To me, everyone! Lithen to me! Ooo-hooo! Boyth! Percy waved madly, wearing a too-wide grin. When all of the warders ceased their forms, Percy clapped his hands and giggled. "Thplendid! Now, ith time for 'twouble-in-a-pink-leatord' to show you thexy thtud-muffinth how to handle a weapon properly!" He lent forward slightly, and with a naughty twinkle in his eyes, added in a slightly quieter tone "and believe me, I know how to handle your weaponth!"
A raucous laugh or two fluttered through the early morning silence, but many more looked on with faces gone blank, except for smouldering eyes. It was Percy's cue to up the stakes. "And, to make it more interethting, I will give a hundered gold TarValon markth to the man who can betht me!" Under his breath, he muttered "Oooh, for a man who could betht me!" This time there were one or two exchanged glances, mutters, and a few more laughs at the sheer audacity of the stranger in pink.
"You got a deal, twinkle-toes!" shouted a stout warder who leaned idly against a wall in the yard, with a face that could turn milk. Percy looked over to him and smiled.
"A deal? But thurely you want to know what I want when... I mean if I win?" That brought the biggest laugh yet, and a significant crowd of non-warders had started to gather around the scene.
"What's that then?" shouted the ugly warder. "A dolly? hee hee hee. Some embroidery lessons? mwa... ha.. HA HA, HEE HEE!" Percy waited for the wave of mirth to wash over the crowd, and held up one slender, pink hand, which seemed to quieten the crowd as if a bucket of silence had been tipped over them.
"No, not thothe thingth." Percy had a dolly already, and needed no lessons in the art of embroidery, being somewhat adept at it already. "No, if I win, I get a kith! From each of you!"
There were gasps and snickers from the crowd, but stony silence from the warders who looked at each other, and back to Percy. Eventually, ugly-warder strode forward, and said "100 gold against a kiss? That you can best every warder here?" Percy nodded. "All of us?" Nod. "Hah! You, my insane pink pretty, have still got a deal!"
Percy giggled, and clapped excitedly.
To be continued.
~DarkHound, maker of quality ladies under-garments since 1844.