The King

The King

A Chapter by North Dakota

On an eery October morning, Taylor finds himself all alone...


Taylor drowsily rolled over in his bed, the brilliant rays of the morning sun peeking through the windows and dancing perfectly into his eyes, irritating him incredibly. The lieutenant covered his eyes with one hand and gave the middle finger to the window with the other.

“F**k you...sun?” The groggy man muttered, not really sure who to direct his anger towards as he stood from his bed. The platoon leader crossed the room towards his bathroom. He noticed that, as he passed the mirror on his way to the toilet, he was clad in nothing more than a pair of black and white checkered flannel pajama bottoms with no shirt on.

As Taylor...relieved himself, he pondered all he had been through with Mordecai. Some would say this was an odd time to do that, but nonetheless. The two had came so far, from a fist fight at junior basic training all the way to being bonded like brothers in their squad; the duo had each other’s backs at all times, in the good, the bad, and certainly the ugly. Another huge perk of this relationship was finding out your best friend is a gift from God, which, in turn, provided Mordecai with more power than he knew what to do with; however, Taylor had plenty of ideas of how to have fun with it. The first was to order for their own private rooms, which were significantly better than sharing bunks in the barracks. The two had more than enough power, frankly abusing it at some points, but at the end of the day, they were still those same two soldiers who swore an oath for the Holy Sword organization, and over the years, Taylor had come to truly respect the hunter. Even with his antics and his drinking and his stupid jokes and his unprofessional attitude in general and...Taylor decided to stop his thought process there. No matter what, in the end, the two watched out for and loved one another .

After his brief moment of recollection, Taylor slipped a plain, white, crew cut T-shirt on because not all would appreciate him showing off the goods. The lieutenant slid from his room and down the hall towards the stairwell. As he sauntered through the large, carpeted hallway, Taylor couldn’t help but wonder where everybody was. He knew that he had woken up a bit earlier than usual, but hell, not this early. Around him was nothing but absolute silence, not a single footstep besides his own. This eery feeling put him off slightly, but he ignored it and continued on. The man popped open the door to the stairwell and descended to the first floor. Just as it was on the second floor, he could not find a single soul. Taylor began to get a nagging feeling of danger as he proceeded down the hall once more. He quickly directed himself towards the cafeteria, praying to find somebody to sort this out. Along the way, he opened the doors to several offices, hoping to find somebody, but it was to no avail.

The slightly panicked lieutenant braced himself against the double doors of the mess hall. With a deep breath, and a rush of optimism, he bursted through the cafeteria, only to find an incredibly large, but desolate room.
“What the hell is going on…?” Taylor questioned to himself as he wandered further into the mess hall. His bare feet made a light slapping noise as they resonated against the cold concrete floor of the cafeteria. He ran a hand through his messy black hair as he surveyed the entire room for a sign of life. The lieutenant leaned over the counter where Rose usually stationed herself, searching behind it and beyond for the servers. Abruptly, the lights in the room shut off, leaving Taylor in complete darkness due to the lack of windows in the room. A quick whoosh of air passed by the military man, forcing him on his guard; he raised both fists in a blind defense. A dark chuckling seemed to echo all around him, and even worse, it sounded like it was closing in. He quickly swiveled his head back and forth, trying to see any sign of movement in the pitch black that would indicate his attacker’s position. Unexpectedly, his legs were swept out from under him, forcing him to crash to the ground with a clumsy thud. He struggled to stand, but a heavy boot pinned him to the ground. The lieutenant exerted himself in the lean rest push up position, trying to force the assailant off of him, but the attacker’s strength was too much for him to overpower; he was trapped. A light flashed through the darkness, revealing a hand holding something more terrifying than any weapon Taylor could have ever seen.

“Boo.” A familiar voice exclaimed plainly as the rodent in his palm was brought to the light. With a shriek that could shake the very foundation of the building, Taylor summoned enough strength to roll from underneath the boot that trapped him and flee from the creature just as its owner allowed it to roam free on the ground. Taylor flipped the light switch to show Mordecai petting the small rat--or large mouse depending on your outlook--and laughing his a*s off. Those thoughts about respecting Mordecai Taylor had earlier? Yeah, he pretty much discarded those at this exact moment.

“I literally hate you with all of my being.” Taylor exasperatedly told his friend who was too out of breath to respond.

“H-Holy s**t! I think I’m gonna die.” Mordecai choked out between laugh induced heavy breathing fits.
“I seriously hope you do.” Taylor bitterly retorted while making his way out of the cafeteria. Mordecai, remembering his mission, chased after him, all the while, still laughing.

“Hold-hold on!” Mordecai grabbed his friend’s shoulder, taking a moment to inhale, then spoke. “Alright, there was a good reason for that.” Mordecai began to explain.

“Unless that rat was the reincarnated form of Jesus Christ and you were trying to absolve me, you can go f**k yourself.” Mordecai had to stand in front of his friend to block his path.

“Hang on, hang on! What day is it?”

“Tuesday.” Taylor dryly responded while trying to circle his way around the hunter.

“No, the date.”
“Uh...the 25th?” Taylor shook his head dismissively at the seemingly arbitrary question.

“And what is that six days away from?” Mordecai cocked an expectant eyebrow, much to his friend’s irritation.
“Oh my god.” Taylor sighed and continued past the younger man.

“No! Come on! It’s Halloween! That’s why I scared you!”

“Mordecai, you ever do that again, I will straight up punch you in the throat.”
“That’s a very specific threat.” Mordecai commented, then continued. “Listen, everybody’s in the barracks decorating, because, unlike you, they have some holiday spirit. And it’s our job to help out in any way we can. After a destructive incident with a nail gun, Rose has banned me from helping her, so, I’m on supply duty.” Taylor had finally stopped walking to listen to the hunter’s plan.

“Fine, what do you want?”

“I need your help carrying and buying stuff.”

“So I’m a bellhop.”

“No, bellhops don’t buy stuff. You get to buy stuff. Yaaay…” Mordecai gestured with jazz hands in an attempt to pump Taylor up.

“Mordecai, it is…” Taylor searched for a clock. “Nine in the morning. I have been freaked out, scared, and annoyed all in the first twenty minutes of being awake. If you piss me off while we are doing this, I will straight up kick you in the dick.” Taylor emphasized his threat by clapping his hands together, then pointing them both at Mordecai.

“Seriously, what is up with you today?”

The duo cruised down the highway with Mordecai idly listing off items they would need so he wouldn’t forget them.

“Alright, so we’ll need a bunch of paper, some orange light bulbs, rope, a literal s**t ton of green food coloring, and pretty much anything that we can find that I like.” Mordecai spoke while Taylor began nodding off in the passenger seat. The hunter looked over to the lieutenant, then veered the wheel to the left then the right, slamming his friend into the window.

“Gah! F**k you!” Taylor instantly responded with anger.

“How’s karma feel?” Mordecai smugly retorted. Taylor sighed and composed himself.

“Why are we even doing this? It’s a stupid holiday for kids.” Taylor pessimistically muttered under his breath.

“Why are we-what!?” The hunter questioned in a flustered tone. “What is wrong with you!?”

“Nothing, it’s just that this is a holiday for little kids to get candy, so why are we celebrating it?” Taylor stared out the window disinterestedly while he spoke.

“You gotta have some holiday spirit, man! What? Do you hate Christmas too?” Mordecai mocked/interrogated his friend.

“No, it’s just that…” Taylor trailed off.
“Just what?”

“I’ve...never really wanted to celebrate...ever since I lost my parents.” Taylor sheepishly scratched the back of his head while keeping himself turned away from his partner.

“Damn...I’m sorry man.”

“I-It’s fine, it’s just that that it isn’t the same, ya know? I can’t get that same feeling as when I was a little kid around the holidays. Why do you think I always took off on vacation just before Christmas?”

“I...I don’t know. I guess I never thought about it.” Mordecai uncomfortably spoke. “I never really knew my parents, they were busy more than half the time, so I was a pretty lonely kid.” The hunter attempted to explain himself.

“Don’t worry about it, man. It’s not a big deal. Besides, I’ve got a new family, anyway.” With a smile, the lieutenant turned to the hunter.

“Brothers since the beginning.” Mordecai warmly said.

“And till the end.” The two bumped fists, each with a bright grin stretching from ear to ear. “Mordecai?” Taylor interrupted the bonding moment.


“You’re on the wrong side of the road.” Mordecai turned to see an oncoming truck barreling towards him.

“Oh...well, damn.” Mordecai muttered.

Rose stood in the cafeteria, clipboard in hand and eyes on the decorators. The crew had finally made full circle and finished adorning all but the cafeteria. It had taken them until sundown, but the festivities filled every soul in the compound with a sense of wonder and joy that had been recently drained from the base. All day, the red haired girl had heard talk of what costumes were going to be worn, what foods were to be served, and especially of what spectacular feat Mordecai would pull off this year. It had become somewhat of a tradition, ever since Mordecai had came to power as a hunter, to perform some grand spectacle for the holidays. For Easter, he had painted a kangaroo white and let it loose in the compound; he considered it a success, but the 27 injuries while trying to capture it spoke otherwise. For last Valentine’s day, the hunter had painted the base red, quite literally. He took the time to make sure the color of love was all around; he had put enough red food coloring in the water supply to cause more than enough problems with the plumbers, he had painted random rooms and hallways around the base scarlet, and, most importantly of all to her, he had placed a lovely, vibrant rose on her bed with a note. Thinking about that last one had gave Rose a blush that turned her cheeks the same shade of red as her hair. Everybody was excited for his amazing performance this year, none could wait!

“Rose, what are you doing?” The scratchy but benevolent voice of Newman came from behind her.

“Holding a clipboard to look busy.” She candidly responded.

“And that works?” He cocked an eyebrow towards her.

“You tell me.” She showed him several pages of doodles that had been preoccupying her time over the day. “Nobody questions a girl with a clipboard.” Rose commented.

“Indeed. Clever girl.” He patted the shorter girl on the shoulder, then gave an interested gaze towards the decoration. “It seems to be coming together nicely.” He gestured towards the more classic decorations of paper pumpkins and cobwebs, then towards the more...creative displays of an impaled mannequin filled with fake blood and gore.

“Yeah, we kind of had to let the men have some fun with it.” She pointed towards one soldier who was currently tying several nooses from the ceiling of the mess hall. “They may be having a little too much fun. I saw one guy put a snake in the toilet. I really hope it was fake.” Newman sighed in the fatherly way that only he could.

“Let me guess, Mordecai directed this?” The older man inquired.

“Like a conductor and an orchestra. If I’m not mistaken, his exact words were: ‘Alright, I wanna make Halloween town look like Sesame Street when we’re done with this.’ So yeah, he’s pretty much the king of the pumpkin patch right now.” Rose coolly stated.

“Let’s just hope nobody gets injured this time. Taylor nearly got his jaw broken by that marsupial.” Rose giggled.

“I’m sorry, but we both know that was funny.” She apologized with a chuckle. Newman straightened his tie, then scouted the room.

“Where is the said hunter?”
“Mordy and Taylor are out gettin’ stuff we need.”

“You let him go into town unsupervised?” Newman slowly turned towards her, eyes wide and a shocked expression on his face.

“No, he’s with Taylor.”
“Oh god, you let them both out!?” Newman replied in a panic.

“I’m sure it’s fine, Newman. They’re big boys, they can be responsible when they want to.”

“I’ll kill you!” The hunter screamed while Taylor struggled to hold him back.

“It’s just a beer, man, calm down!” The lieutenant attempted to console his angry friend. Taylor’s soles were dragging across the bar floor as he attempted to keep the hunter away from the patron who had purposefully knocked over Mordecai’s drink. Mordecai stopped attempting to break free, then grabbed and bashed the beer bottle over the counter.
“C’mere, ya little b*****d!” Mordecai attempted to stab the patron who now donned an expression of terror. “I’ll teach you how to show some respect!” He jabbed towards the customer with the jagged weapon.

“Dude, run! I can not hold him much longer!” Taylor shouted through strained breaths. The horrified patron bolted from the bar, leaving Mordecai to mutter rage filled threats and obscenities under his breath.

“I’m sure they’re fine.” Rose assured the older man.

“I’ll have to take your word for it, but please, watch him next time, he can get quite...destructive.” Newman nervously warned.

“I know, boss, I know him better than anybody.” Rose thoughtful patted her boss on the back. “Now, just sit back and relax while we, they work. I’m gonna keep standing here. With my clipboard.” She shook the small clipboard around for emphasis. Newman reclined on one of the cafeteria table benches, attempting to calm his beating heart.

Six days later, it had all came down to this moment. The mess hall had been cleared of tables, just as Mordecai requested for his performance, but the biggest change that was made to the room, besides moving everything out of the way, was the fact that in the center of the room now sat a large fountain with a green liquid spraying from it. While it was odd, most ignored it, focusing more on either those around them, or searching for Mordecai. Everybody in the compound had shown up for the show, even Taylor, who was more than curious to see what his best friend had planned. The lieutenant stood beside Rose, who had dressed herself up as a classic black cat while he himself had dressed as a Spartan warrior. All were gathered, all were costumed, all were anxious to see the was time.

It started out as a faint tune, then grew increasingly louder and louder until all who resided in the room could clearly hear and acknowledge the song.
“No. Frickin’. Way.” Taylor spoke in shock as the booming tune of “This is Halloween” came echoing from down the hall. Suddenly, several performers clad in realistic monster costumes burst through the double doors of the mess hall, each singing either back up, or their specific solos.

“Way to go, Mordy.” Rose whispered in nostalgic excitement.

After a brief performance, the big finale was on the horizon.

“Tender lumplings everywhere, life’s no fun without a good scare!” Two particularly short and pudgy monsters dueted their short solo, and then were smoothly followed by another couple.

“That’s our job!”

“But we’re not mean! In our town of Halloween!” A tall, wiry man and a short chubby monster followed the duet in perfect harmony. The attention was directed towards a man dressed as the two-faced mayor who began his solo.

“In this town, don’t we love it now? Everybody’s waiting for the next surprise!” Rose waited with baited breath, as she had not seen Mordecai yet, which could only mean one thing. The mayor, with a courteous bow, directed the attention towards the double doors. “Skeleton Jack might get you in the back, and scream like a banshee! Make you jump out of your skin!” A scarecrow with a pumpkin for a head was carried in on a horse made of straw. A random monster held a torch towards the scarecrow, who suddenly came to life and grabbed it.

“This is Halloween, everybody scream! Won’t ya please make way for a very special guy!?” The scarecrow blew the torch’s fire around the room, frightening and awing spectators at the same time. The straw horse was slowly being lumbered towards the center fountain.

“Our man, Jack, is king of the pumpkin patch!” A chorus of monsters now sung as the scarecrow suddenly lifted the torch above himself, drawing the gazes of every man and women in that room.

“Everyone hail to the pumpkin king now!” The scarecrow lowered the torch, instantly igniting himself, causing an emotional shock wave to ripple throughout the crowd, especially within Rose, who was half tempted to stop the show, but she didn’t, knowing it would break Mordecai’s heart to be shut down.

“This is Halloween! This is Halloween! Halloween! Halloween Halloween! Halloween!” With an incredible display of fluent and flexible motions, the flaming scarecrow dived from the horse’s back and into the green pool. For a moment, the room was dead silent; not a single noise was made, then, the tune began resonating once more. As a dark figure rose from the pool, three high-pitched voices began to sing.

“In this town we call home, everyone hail to the pumpkin song!” The figure finally began it’s rise, revealing a grinning Mordecai clad in the suit of Jack Skellington with his brown hair slicked back, a painted smile stitched from ear to ear, and ghoulish paint covering his face. Rose could not contain a blush; she had to admit, Mordecai looked quite dashing, not to mention that Nightmare Before Christmas was always one of her favorite movies.

“La la la la-la la!” With a dramatic outstretching of his arms, Mordecai flung rivulets of the green water around the room, signaling for the chorus to die down, and for the final outro piano notes to be played. As the performance ended, the lights dimmed and faded, leaving the entire crowd in darkness. An incredibly roaring round of applause resonated from the crowd, obviously conveying that they had loved the show.

Once the lights had came back on, the monsters had disappeared, leaving a large, vacant space with only a smug Mordecai sitting cross legged in a chair with a glass of wine to fill it.

“So, how was it?” He directed the question towards Rose, who groaned and attempted to hide her blush she had gotten from the fact that he had just given the biggest display of flirting she had ever seen. This stimulated a victorious laugh from the skeleton, who raised his glass to the air, then downed it.

“ Halloween.” Taylor, stricken by the awesome performance, spoke underneath his breath. Mordecai’s display may have brought a little bit more cheer into Taylor’s life then he had thought it would. “Everybody scream…” The lieutenant sung with a smile. “In our town of Halloween!”

© 2016 North Dakota

Author's Note

North Dakota
I know, there's a lot of dry humor in this, but I feel that it fits pretty well. It's nowhere near Halloween in our world, but it's October in the Holy Sword, and did you really think Mordecai was one to miss a chance for some fun? As always, thank you for reading, and feel free to comment!

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Added on May 1, 2016
Last Updated on June 28, 2016


North Dakota
North Dakota


I'm an amateur author who enjoys writing more than anything. I hope to improve my writing style and etiquette through the criticism of others. So, any review or criticism would be greatly appreciated,.. more..