Memorabilia Info
date 1990
description "Warren Fleas", short story by Colonel K
size 9457
filename warren fleas.txt
handle bee
Content-Type text/plain
category miscellaneous
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                        Warren Flees 
                       Scott Schiller

	Warren carefully eased himself over the castle wall and 
silently dropped to the ground on the other side. Pausing 
in the darkness, he listened carefully for any indication 
that his presence was known, but the only sound which 
penetrated the darkness was the pounding of his own heart. 
He once again reviewed the remaining portion of the 
plan. He would have to pick his way along two of the outer 
castle walls, then crawl through a window into the main 
hall, quietly dispatch the two or more guards who would be 
on patrol there, and climb up through the central chimney 
and onto the roof of the cathedral.	Next, he would 
stealthily make his way across to a corner of the roof where 
he would remove a rope and grappling hook from his pack and, 
with skilled and practiced ability, fling the hook up onto 
the highest parapet of the tower; at which point he would 
gracefully swing across the court yard and pull himself, 
unnoticed, to a balcony at the top of the tower: He would 
then enter, introduce himself to the maiden held prisoner 
there, offer to save her from the bondage under which the 
evil king was holding her, humbly accept her praise and 
gratitude, then hold her firmly to his powerful body as he
climbed down to the castle grounds and made good their 
escape. Easy.
	Warren at once noticed an error in his elaborate 
scheme: the castle, while appearing rectangular from 
outside, was (due to an architectural snafu) circular when 
one got within its massive and fortified walls, and 
therefore lacked the two walls to be followed. Flinging to 
the ground in disgust the map of the castle which he had 
purchased from an obviously less-than-reputable source, 
Warren nevertheless remained undaunted by this geometric 
paradox and cautiously moved off along the wall to his next 
	After about twenty minutes of slipping in and out of 
shadows and of tripping painfully over several catapults and 
other weaponry, Warren noticed a piece of parchment lying on 
the ground near the foot of the castle wall. Scowling at 
this act of untidiness in the otherwise well kept grounds of 
the castle, he reached down and picked up the refuse. To 
his amazement, on the paper was a drawing of a castle--THIS 
castle. And although it was very well drawn and contained 
all the obligatory swirls and swooshes and patterns and 
details that architects are fond of including for no reason 
other than for showing off their superior education and 
exceptional artistic prowess, it was fraught with error. 
For while the castle which this drawing was meant to 
represent was round on the interior, the structure shown on 
the parchment was rectangular, and furthermore--
	Warren at once came to the frustrating realization that 
the drawing which he now held in his hands was the same one 
which only a few moments before he had tossed to the ground 
in anger. He had managed, in his concentration at 
maintaining his secrecy, to circumnavigate the entire castle 
wall and had wound up back where he had first entered the 
	Crumpling the drawing in annoyance, he hurled it deeper 
into the darkness toward the center of the castle grounds, 
where as fate would have it the king was enjoying a late
night stroll, as was his wont on fine summer evenings such 
as this. The crumpled drawing struck the monarch sharply on 
his royal nose, and the lord of the palace wasted no time 
calling out in shock and outrage. Immediately, sleepy 
guards carrying weapons and torches poured from barracks 
within the castle and rushed (rather leisurely) to the aid 
of their lord and master, who hit one or two of them 
brusquely on the side of the head for the soldiers' lack of 
expedience at responding to his alarm. He then gestured 
indignantly at his now rosy noble snout and at the guilty 
projectile which had interrupted his peaceful evening 
musings. Then, shouting surprisingly unkingly curses, he 
instructed his loyal subjects to find the terrorist 
responsible for this act of treason and to bring him forward 
for a fair trial and execution.	The guards stumbled over 
one another to gleefully carry out their master's wishes
before he should notice their lack of ambition and channel 
his wrath in their direction.
	Warren watched in horror as the above actions 
transpired, and abandoned all hope of carrying out the bulk 
of the remainder of his planned rescue. Panicking, he 
whirled around and raced blindly forward, before having his 
rapid forward progress stopped immediately by the castle 
wall. Shaking his head to clear the cobwebs which now 
criss-crossed his brain, he leapt to his feet and ran toward 
a thankfully non-walled area, managing to escape notice by 
the castle guards, who were still trying to look as busy as 
possible for their liege.
	Warren ducked around a corner and dove underneath the 
welcome cover of a hay wagon. Panting heavily, he surveyed 
the situation from this vantage point. While the guards 
were seemingly incompetent beyond even the most lax military 
standards, simple statistics dictated that sooner or later 
one would happen upon Warren by sheer luck (or perhaps while 
seeking refuge of their own from the despotic master of the 
manor.) Peering through one of the wheels of the wagon, he 
saw that he was at the edge of the courtyard and that his 
goal, the tower, was directly across from him on the other 
	Warren dropped flat on the ground as a squad of 
soldiers ran (still leisurely, but in a more anxious way) 
past his place of concealment. If he was going to have any 
hope of making it to the tower, it would have to be soon.
Looking back over his shoulder at the remaining troops, 
Warren saw that most of them were now searching the base of 
the wall from which he had come. If his timing was perfect, 
if fortune was on his side, if heaven shown favorably upon 
him, he could scamper daringly across the courtyard and into 
the alcove of the tower. He heaved himself from the cover 
and dashed madly across the courtyard.
	"Stop, thief!" came the shout from behind, followed by 
a loud argument about whether he should be addressed as 
such, considering he hadn't been seen stealing anything,
just attempting to harm the king. "Stop, harmer!" came the 
next cry, and then the unmistakable twang of crossbows being 
discharged, and then the unmistakable scream of men being 
hit by the bolts of the crossbows which had been discharged. 
Obviously the castle guards' ineptitude wasn't limited to 
search-and-seizure exercises.
	Warren neared the alcove and judged the construction of 
the door, which was wood framed in iron. He hoped that his 
momentum would be enough to break the lock and force the
door open. Aiming his shoulder at the center of the door, 
he closed his eyes for the coming collision--which never 
came. Just before impact the door swung open and a startled 
soldier stared wide-eyed at the form bursting through the 
doorway and straight into him. Warren drove the unfortunate 
guard backwards into the tower and against the far wall with 
a rib-cracking thud.
	Spitting ferociously at the limp form of the soldier, 
Warren jumped up and turned for the stairs. Around and 
around, up and up, stair after stair he climbed, ever 
nearing the lovely maiden trapped at the pinnacle. Soon, he 
thought, soon you will be cast from your chains and will be 
safely in the arms of your protector, fair lady.
	After what seemed an eternity he came to the top 
landing and faced another door, this one barred from the 
outside with a simple wooden beam. Warren caught his 
breath, reached forward, grasped the beamed and pulled up. 
It gave easily and he tossed it aside, and paused to brush 
himself off and to push his hair into place with his 
fingers. Then, smiling proudly, he pushed the door open and 
stepped in...
	...and out of the castle. It appeared that the same 
architectural genius who had designed the exterior wall of 
the fortress had also had a hand in creating this tower. 
Defying all logic and explanation, the door at the top of 
the tower led directly to the front gate of the castle. 
	It took Warren a moment to allow this occurrence to 
release its grip on his thought processes, and when at last 
the trance was broken he spun around angrily and growled at 
the doorway. His instinct was to charge back through the 
gate and down the tower and to tear limb-from-limb any poor 
soul who should happen across his path. Reason (along with 
a sudden feeling of mortality) won out, however, and he 
jerked his head back around. A few feet away a horse stood
tethered to a post. Without a moment's hesitation, Warren 
unhitched the beast and mounted its back. Reining it around 
to face the road, he urged it onward and it obeyed his 
command at once.
	As he sped from the evil castle, Warren was sorrowful 
for not having completed his mission. But this feeling soon 
left him and he thought of the many journeys yet to come.
In fact, hadn't he heard something about a sweet young 
maiden being held prisoner in a dungeon only a few days ride 
away? He smiled absently to himself as he allowed the 
beginnings of a plan to form in his mind...

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