Callumx (pronounced Cal Lumps, he always had to explain) walked down the cold, rainy cobblestone street. He was somewhere in the main town circling the castle walls (which wasn’t much of a surprise, really, as this was where he lived and worked). He guessed it was either Bently Lane or Mortog Road. He turned a corner, and with the limited moonlight he was able to make out the name “Mortog Street”. Bah. He had his location right this time, but it was always the names that were the tricky part.
He turned onto Bently (right by Mortog Street! He knew he was right around this area!), and kept an even pace going down it. When you had a job in the City Guard, nothing ever really happened. As the City Guard was underhanded and underprepared, that was a good thing, due to the fact that if something happened they’d be completely unready. What they called an exciting moment was when a Shoyru stole a Baked Rye Loaf and some Beef Jerky. Boy, he and Ben had had a heart pounding race down Cheeseroller Hill, and afterward Ben said that he’d take the rest of the day off now.
The clock tower at the top of the Castle rang, meaning some poor bloke woke the other poor bloke up and said it was probably about time to ring the bell again, which ended up being rung about a quarter past 2:00.
The green Blumaroo sighed, looking up at the tower. He’d have to rush back to the wishing well now to report back to Ben. Make sure there weren’t any normal p—civilians, out of bed. He and Ben usually covered the Night Shift, while Clayton and Green took the Day Shift. When it was getting near three, Kreludor usually hid behind the Citadel for an hour. They’d take their break (which was most likely not allowed, but neither of them had bothered to check), and head off to some dingy diner that they never remembered the name of afterwards, and get something to eat. Ben would usually have some sort of Grog, while Callumx would take a bowl of Extra Creamy Soup.
At around 2:30, Callumx strolled up to the wishing well in the middle of a small cluster of houses. Ben was already there, helping himself to a loaf of bread. The Skeith nodded to him shortly, taking his time with his loaf. About maybe five minutes later, after he finished it, Callumx approached him with the brilliantly new idea of going down to that one place to get something to eat (more to eat, in Ben’s case). The Skeith agreed.
They trotted down to what ended up being called “Mary Sue’s”. They quickly stepped in, savoring the warmth of the fire. The owner, named Mary (and it was safe to say that her last name was most likely Sue), nodded to them. Callumx nodded back, while Ben ignored social skills entirely and stepped straight towards a small table, not too far from the fire.
The room was empty, revealing that the two City Guards were the first customers in about maybe an hour. Mary followed the two to their table.
“You two know what you want, right?” she asked. They always knew.
“Yeah,” the Blumaroo answered. “I’ll have that one soup, you know the one, and he’ll have that Grog... Bomberry? Yeah, Bomberry.”
Ms. Sue nodded, and walked into the kitchen. She came back out with their orders about half a minute later, the Grog being easy to fix up, and the soup sitting on the fire, waiting for him, as it did every night. She put them on the table, nodded, and walked back to the counter, which took about three seconds.
They sat there a while, not doing much. Callumx would have about maybe five spoonfuls of soup a minute, with Ben sipping at his Grog. And then the arrow shot through the glass of the window, and it crashed into one of Ms. Sue’s soup making pots. The two Guards froze for a moment, and then looked uncertainly at the window. Then a Moehog slammed the door open, waving his crossbow wildly around.
Ben, being the braver of the two, stood up and smacked the Moehog on the head with his club. The blue Skeith picked up the Moehog, and propped him against the corner.
“Uh, sir?” Ben asked.
“How d’ya go ‘bout ‘rresting people when dey can’t talk back at ya?”
It was nearing 4:00 when they finally arrived at the palace gate with the Moehog. While technically, their job was to stop crimes as they happened and bring them to the Castle dungeon; this almost never happened except for last week. But last week might as well have never happened, because the Castle Guard was still suspicious.
“Halt! Who goes there?” one of the green Draik asked, slamming the butt of his spear onto the ground.
“City Guard. We’ve got an attempted robbery down,” Callumx said.
“Oh, yeah?” the other Draik asked. They always had a sort of unfriendly rivalry with the City Guard.
“Oh, yeah. We do.”
“Now, ifs yous don’t move outta da way, dere might be some trouble,” the Skeith told them, patting the inside of his chainmail, where he kept his club hidden.
“Right, then. Go ahead.” The second Draik quickly backed off, opening the gates.
The two City Guards marched inside, the Moehog over Ben’s shoulder.
They arrived at the door to the Castle, and, taking a hint from the way the other two Draiks hastily let them in, the Draiks at the door quickly let them in without a word.
They went down the stairwell, flight after flight of stairs, until they finally reached the bottom, where there was a trapdoor guarded by another Draik. Ben dropped the unconscious Moehog on the floor, while Callumx explained the attempted crime. The Draik nodded, took the body, and opened the trapdoor. A second Draik came up the door, grabbed the Moehog, and climbed back down. The first Draik ushered them away, and they left.
Callumx woke up, yawning. It was 5:30, according to the Clock Tower. The sky was getting to be a light pink, as the sun was starting to set. Callumx dressed into his chainmail, strapping his sword to his belt and his shield onto his back, which he hardly used. He dropped by the small Guard Station, where Clayton the blue Techo and Green the green Eyrie were making a breakfast for the two Night Guards. Ben hadn’t arrived yet, so Callumx calmly ate his toast and Blackened Gruel. Moments after Callumx had finished, Ben stepped inside. He quietly sat at the table, pulled up his gruel, and began to eat.
As Ben was eating, someone rang the bell hanging outside the door of the Guard house. Callumx answered it, and it revealed to be a yellow Xweetok holding an official looking scroll. He recognized the insignia on it to be that of Skarl’s.
“Err... Yes?” he asked, hoping against hope that this wasn’t another cutback on the budget. It was small enough as it is without being cut again.
The Xweetok shifted uneasily. “My name is Lillian Winters, and I’d like to join the Guard.”
“...I’m sorry? You mean the Castle Guard, right?”
“No, the City one.”
Callumx froze, shocked. No one ever joined the City Guard. The latest member had been Callumx himself, just a few months ago. “Umm... You do know what we do here, right?”
“You catch criminals and stuff. You caught that Shoyru a week ago, and then that Moehog last night, right? Heard about it in the paper,” she answered. She was beginning to get a bit uneasy due to the Blumaroo’s uneasiness. “If you don’t mind, I’d prefer the Night shift. It seems to be more exciting, honestly.”
Callumx was baffled. Why would anyone want to join the Guard? Sure, she’d just explained why, but why? She must have some idea of all of the other things that came with it, right?
“Alright, then. We’ll consider you when we decide to hire a new officer—aw, Kass, you know we don’t have that many. Sure.” He paused. “But what’s that scroll for?”
She brightened at his reply, although was a bit dismayed at their apparently not having many officers.
“Hm? Oh, yes. This is from Skarl. I went to the Castle to see about enrolling for here, explained myself, and he gave me this scroll to deliver to the officer-on-duty. I came here in the evening to try and talk to the Night Shift first, see if I could be with them. I do hope I’m talking to the Night Shift, right? I’d hate to say all of this to someone from the Day Shift, because it would seem terribly rude."
Callumx darkened his expression. “Actually, the Night Guards are running late at the moment, so we stayed here to wait for them...”
She gasped. “Oh, no, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean...” she trailed off when Callumx started to grin.
“I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Now, let’s have a look at this scroll...” it read,
Alright, I see crimes picking up around there, so I’m letting the Xweetok join you. Keep costs to a minimum, and make sure to train her up. And make sure to keep stopping crime and all; we can’t have a missing loaf of Rye Bread, can we?
It was a personal note from King Skarl. This meant business.
He cocked his head to the side, and lowered the scroll, looking her up and down. “Alright, come on in. Patrol’s starting in a few minutes.”
(I hope you enjoyed reading this! I have more planned for the Guard, so stay tuned! :)