All Hail King Sestonn
by Alan Mittag
It was hot and I was alone in the desert. My carriage driver refused to go any closer to Sestonn’s House, the stadium where Coach Sestonn’s new team was based. “Bad magic,” the driver said. “You should stay away.”
But that wasn’t who I was. I have been the team archivist for The Cold Hard Truth, chronicling their win of the second season MML Championship. I was the archivist for Dignity, from Physique’s punching bag to a recognized member of the team’s staff. I wrote for the Seven Deadly Sins, watching Coach Sestonn rage over the loss of his Tenacity. I chronicled What Chainsaw? when they entered the Champion League, and even met me wife during a period of my life that I would rather forget. And I even followed Sanguineous Dignity, keeping the fans up to date on the vampire lord that called himself The Master, the newly risen vampiric form of Tenacity, and the return of Dignity after they returned their fallen hero’s honor. I was Coach Sestonn’s man. And when I received a letter about his new team, and their entrance into the MML Challenge league, I had my bags packed within the hour.
“But what do I do now?” I said, one bag on my shoulder and the other in hand. It was distant, but I could make out the silhouette of the stadium, shaped to look like a pyramid, and gleaming in the sun. Miles away, but I could make it.
My first step bit deep in the sand, and the heat of it threatened to burn me right through my shoes.
There was a sudden click behind me. Click click tap click tap tap. Something about the noise shook me to my bones. Shivering in the heat. I slowly turned my head.
There was a chariot. It was adorned in gold, with a symbol painted white over red. A snake, curved in the shape of an S. Two skeletal horses reared up on their hind legs, kicking at the air in silence. In the chariot was another skeleton, wrapped in bits of white cloth and whitened leather. There was a patch over his left eye. And a complete lack of skin and tissue. The right eye was empty. Dark and empty.
It didn’t speak a word, but twisted around to point a bony finger to the back of the chariot. “You want me to get in?” I said. The skeleton’s head, its white-brown sun bleached skull, nodded to me. “I’ve come this far,” I said, dragging my bag onto the back of the chariot with shaky knees and elbows. I’ve seen worse from Coach Sestonn, I kept telling myself. Over and over. Deep in my bones, I wasn’t sure if that was true.
The skeleton’s jaw bone moved up and down in rapid succession, like it tried to tell me something. But there was no sound. Just the wind kicking up dust. I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t understand.”
It turned to face front and whipped the reins. The two skeletal horses started towards the distant stadium. Only the horses hooves and the wheels made any sound, and even that was cushioned by sand. “There is no going back now.”