Colyne Stewart, April AS XXXVI (2003)
For the April Fool’s TankArd
Yes, the news was true. Too many people on the Cliffs found their lives empty and meaningless without complete strangers thinking they were pretty, so it was agreed to hold the first Ardchreag Beauty Pageant.
The entire populace of the canton gathered along the cliffs one fine spring morning, waiting to see their fellow Chreaggers strut their stuff. They were hoping for a good show, and they weren’t disappointed.
First was Thorfinna, dressed in the hide of a walrus she had ripped off herself. She juggled some throwing axes and wanted to split an apple while it sat on her husband’s head, but Colyne could not be found.
Next was Mahault, clad in Elizabethan garb so extravagant people had to strain their eyes to see her within it. For her performance, she correctly pointed out what period garb everyone in the audience was wearing. You could see by the twinkle in her eye she had noticed many flaws, but she was too kind to point them out.
Iolanda, or should I say Qadachin, was next, draped in her plaid Mongolian tunic. Everyone’s stomach churned as she downed quart after quart of fermented milk, followed by chasers of Green Bison vodka.
Many more followed: The belly dancer Michaela with her hips jingling; Eanor, riding on horseback while reciting corpora; Elisabetta who cooked up a storm; Jean-Margaret; Ivanna; and many more.
Then a mystery contestant walked out on stage. She was a strange looking figure, tall and almost skeletal, with long lanky arms and bony knees. Her hair was red-brown and tied back in a ponytail; her face obscured by a feathered mask. She wore a plain green dress and bug black boots. Slowly, she began to dance and she held everyone’s eyes prisoner. She moved with a grace like no other and completely captivated the audience. When she was done their was thunderous applause. The MC, Duke Sir Finvarr, ridden in especially for the occasion, proclaimed the mystery woman the winner and bade her reveal herself.
With a demur smile she pulled off her face. The audience gasped as they all saw that she was not a she. She was a he. She was Crispinus Spellar, former Ardchreag Chatelaine and now Chronicler of Septentria.
Somewhere in the back Colyne screamed (having flash backs of Ealdormere War Practice and a certain lap dance he had received), thus giving away his hiding place to Thorfinna, who was still carrying an axe and an apple.
As Finvarr crooned, “There he is, Miss High Cliffs,” Crispinus bowed to the crowd, jumped off the stage and got himself a bottle of mead.
“Life is good,” he said, unaware that the female members of the canton were creeping up behind him, fury burning in their eyes for he had profaned the deep and resounding spirituality of a beauty pageant.
After the commotion was over, Crispinus was hung from a crow’s cage at the crossroads in northeast Ardchreag. Small children would throw rocks at him while ghosts and trolls had a good laugh at his expense.
The moral of the story? Beauty pageants are damn stupid.