Travails of a Monster Hero

7 min read ~ Mar 8, 2013 ~ short story4k jam

Travails of a Monster Hero

“Then I crushed the creature’s skull within the palm of my hand!” The giant man cheered, and all his fellow inebriated has-beens grunted their approval.

The Drunken Sailor was a popular pub, down by the sea in Stair City. The city was bright and cheery, named after all the many stairs needed to accommodate the hills it was founded on. While the city was bright, this pub was dingy. It attracted the worst sort, and those who used to be the worst sort.

“Well said, Korg. Well said. Truly your courage and strength know no bounds. However that tale pales in comparison my adventures on the Quar–” The drunk was interrupted by the door bursting open. A bizarre creature walked through, it was large and equine. Pale white fur, with a single straight horn protruding from its forehead.

The creature spoke. “Help! My name is Equestra, and I am in need of a hero!” She said.

The bar folk immediately lost interest.

“You sire, you were boasting of your ability to crush skulls with your fists, were you not? My people are in dire need of such a skilled person!”

“I, uh… Well, I can’t do that anymore. Arthritis.” Korg muttered, and sunk low in his chair.

“Oh please! My tribe is under attack by a horrible fiend. We need someone as scary as he to defend us. What about your comrades in arms? Are their bones withered as well?” Equestra asked.

“No!” One of the drunks replied, insulted. “I gots great teef! See?!” He spread his lips, and pointed at his four teeth.

“Oh yes, quite excellent.” She replied. “So you are available to help? We can pay!”

“Oh. Help, huh? Well, uh. I have to wash my hair…” He said, dropping his nose back into his drink.

Equestra walked to the bar, the distress clear in her voice. “Please barkeep, who may I find up to the task? We are desperate for a warrior!”

The bartender looked at her sadly. “My dear, this is a bar full of hot air. They tell stories of dubious truth to impress. If that doesn’t work, then they just try to expel bodily gasses louder than anyone else. Other than him,” He gestured to a dark booth in the corner, “the only thing scary in here is their tab size.”

Equestra squinted, trying to see who was in the booth. It was difficult to tell, it was so dark. She only got the impression of fur. Dark, maybe blue?

“Oh, he does seem scary.” She said.

“Don’t bother. He’s scary alright, but washed up.” The bartender said, turning back to his dirty dishes.

As she cantered to the booth, she could see his mottled blue fur. The air surrounding him acrid. He was gazing into his drink. She couldn’t tell what it was, but it was sour.

“What are you drinking, sire? May I order you another?” She asked.

He didn’t look up. “Bitter Defeat.”

“What?!” She said, startled. Was he talking about her task? Did he think her tribe was doomed?

“That’s the name of the drink. Bitter Defeat. I drink it every day to remind myself.” He growled.

“Oh.” She said. “A hard liquor, I presume?”

“No. It’s lemonade. No sugar.”

“What’s your name, warrior?”

“Warrior? I’m no warrior…” He said.

“Grover.” He said a moment later, like he had forgotten her question.

“Good sir Grover, my whole tribe is under attack by a horrible fiend. Being unicorns, our defenses are weak. We need a guardian, a warrior, one who will stop this googly-eyed monster that attacks us.”

“Keep looking. I ain’t him.”

She looked at him, her brows furrowing. She didn’t have time for this. Grover, self pity aside, looked like the right candidate.

“Enough of this! I am going to take you to my tribe, and you are going to help us fight! One blue monster to fight another!” She said. Then reached down and swallowed Grover’s drink in one gulp. Her face only changing through a few shades of pink then green.

Grover was surprised. He looked at her for moment.

Then smiled.

When they arrived at her camp, it was in shambles.

“What’s going on?” Grover asked, unicorns running around like crazy.

“We’re in danger, I can sense it!” Equestra said.

“No kidding, I’m worried about my tootsies!” Grover said, pulling one leg up, grasping his foot as a large unicorn stomped by.

“Equestra!” A grey unicorn with a long white mane and a white goatee came up to them. “Were you successful?” He glanced at Grover with a slight frown.

“Hoofhearted!” Equestra said.

“It wasn’t me!” Grover said.

The grey unicorn scowled at him. “That’s my name. Who is this furball?” Hoofhearted asked.

“This is the monster that will save us!” Equestra said.

“Really?” Hoofhearted wasn’t convinced. “The blue demon’s forces have us surrounded! Apparently colt-napping us one at a time wasn’t enough, he’s trying to capture us all.”

The confusion around them intensified to chaos. Unicorns were dashing around, yelling commands to each other, some of them had blood dripping down their horns. Colts and foals running in circles around each other.

A horn sounded in the distance. Everyone stopped.

“Give up horsies!” A voice sounded out. “Me no want to hurt you! But me will!”

The silence weighed on them.

“OK THEN! CHAAAARGE!!!” The voice screamed.

Then everything erupted all around Grover. Spears with nets attached to them rained down, along with arrows, rocks, and various detritus.

“Grover!” Equestra neighed. “Now is the time of our greatest need! Please help us!”

Grover sighed. He promised himself he would never use it again. He loses control when he wears it. Too much power.

Then a net dropped around Equestra and dragged her off into the fog of war.

“No! Equestra!” Grover yelled.

He reached behind his back and pulled out his source of shame, and power. The Überhelme.

“This ends now!” Grover said, slamming the helmet on his head.

The air shimmered, then he seemed to go supernova. Everyone around him stopped, jaws dropped in surprise.

Where Grover once stood, the grass was burned. Hovering there, a few feet above the scorched ground, was a bright, clean, blue monster in a red cape.

“I am Super Grover!” He yelled.

Super Grover made quick work of the invaders. He flew in circles, confusing them. Yelling bizarre things like “Have no fear, Super Grover is here!” and “I’ll save the day!”

Most of the horde ran off when they saw him coming. With his forces gone, the attacking blue monster gave up and fled.

After Super Grover saved all the colt-napped unicorns, he found and untied Equestra.

“Oh, Grover! You were wonderful!” She said.

“I am not Grover. I am Super Grover!” He said.

“Oh, uh. Of course.”

“Since Grover used my power for good, I shall return his body to him.” With a flourish he removed his helmet and Grover dropped to the ground, the helmet rolling away.

“Oh my aching head.” Grover said.

“You did it!” Equestra gushed.

“No, he did it.” Grover said. He looked off to the horizon, smoke wafting from the trees. “I’m surprised he gave me back my body. Last time he used it for months before I was able to get it back.”

“He said it was because you used his power for good.” Equestra said.

Grover looked at her. A glint in his eye.

“Oh. Is that the secret? Hmm… Super hero for hire does have a nice ring to it.”

In the dark corner of The Drunken Sailor a blue furry monster broods. The shadows can’t veil the anger in his googly-eyes. He slowly dunks his crispy dessert into a cup of milk.

“Me will have me revenge. Soon!” He chomped into his confectionary with a crunch.

“Mmm… This good cookie.”