By April O’Neil
It was a beautiful day at Jurassic Park as the Granite City Grimbeards prepared to kick off to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Lizards. My love looked at me from the field and waved. Yes, during the past couple of weeks, as I held him in my arms, nursed him back to health, and watched him rise from his lowest point to the best version of himself, I realized that the magnetic attraction that we had long held for each other, the deep connection that kept driving us back into each other’s arms, was much more than just lust…much more than friendship…much more than respect. I loved him. And, although neither of us had said it to the other yet, I knew in my heart that he felt the same way.
Grimkrin, the dwarf speedster, kicked the ball into the air, and it landed in front of Ornithop0wna, who promptly scooped it up while his teammates built a massive wall of brawny scales in front of him, knocking a few of the Grimbeards to the ground. The dwarves rebounded, flooring some of the lizardmen, and following up with a lightning bolt from their wizard which left Ornithop0wna a black mess on the ground, incoherent and unable to even speak. Both sides immediately flooded the area surrounding the ball, creating a junkyard of bodies. For a split turn, Gruntosaurus and Maimonychus were able to create a small opening. Spermadactyl jumped right in, fearlessly grabbed the ball, and ducked behind the cover of his sauri. He was so fast. The dwarves were helpless as he burst up the right sideline, waited for some more key blocks then shot to the edge of the goal line splitting the sidelines, out of reach from all opponents. The dwarves desperately rushed toward him, but TMNL was spectacular. The lizardmen were flooring Grimbeards left and right. Their game plan was working to perfection, forcing their opponents to take risky chances, culminating in Grimkrin tripping while trying to dodge away from Hannibal Lickter and injuring his knee, an injury that would stay with him for the rest of his playing days. And then, in Turn 8, with prone dwarves laying all over the field and no one to stop him, Spermadactyl turned to me, smiled, and leaned backward into the end zone for a triumphant touch…
Have you ever woken up from a dream that was so perfect that you wished you had never woken up? I am lying in Spermadactyl’s nest in the middle of the night. My makeup is streaked down my face like a clown’s. As my mind desperately tries to hold on to the reality of the dream world I was just in, the realization of my current surroundings callously jerks it back to my real-life nightmare. It appears that I fell asleep clutching the letter that I found hidden away in the nest after I left the apothecary’s office and came back here to cry myself to sleep.
I feel a little stupid writing this letter, but I’ve been having these weird dreams lately, and I’ve got this weird feeling about this upcoming match against the Grimbeards. I can’t quite put my claw on it. It’s more than just pregame butterflies. It’s…
Look, just in case I never get the chance to tell you this…I love you. I think you know that. From the first day I met you, when you stormed right into the Blue Oyster, you had my respect. You were scared; I could see that—we could all see that—but you were determined…and you knew your stuff. You are the most tenacious, honest, and dedicated journalist I have ever met. I know you’ve been through a lot with some of the coaches and players in the league trying to tear you down…saying misogynistic things about you to try to discredit you; loud-mouthed owners making up stories about you. I just want to tell you…never let them keep you down. You’re good at what you do, and you tell hard truths…and sometimes that gets in the way of the narrative that those people want told. So they resort to desperate accusations and try to fuel hate toward you based on terrible, primitive stereotypes. Forget those people. You are my inspiration. You helped me to stand when I couldn’t even crawl, and I am actually stronger after this injury than I’ve ever been before. I want you to know that.
If I should fall, I want you to know that I went out in the best possible way that I could have gone. I know you well enough to know that you’ll blame yourself. You’ll think, “What if I had discouraged him from trying to come back to Blood Bowl?” April, the lizardman that you saw immediately after his injury was no longer a lizardman. He was nothing. And he was standing over a precipice of self-pity, self-loathing, and ultimately self-destruction. You pulled him away from that precipice. You gave him life, if even for 2 weeks. And I would much rather go out in my prime as a strong star Blood Bowler, head-over-heels in love with his soulmate, than waste away over the years as a pitiful, loathsome shadow of what once was, unable to feel love or joy because of his self hatred. Thank you, April. Thank you for the gift that you gave me. I can never repay you, but I will always love you. In this life and the afterlife.
P.S. I hope to feel even dumber after the match and come back here and tear this letter up so you’ll never find it. ”
Some quantum physicists believe that alternate universes exist. If that’s true, maybe my dream was a reflection of one of those universes. In that universe, Spermadactyl scored the Turn 8 touchdown and led TMNL to its 2nd S4 win in his triumphant return. In that world, TMNL came back for S5, went undefeated, and won the MML Championship. In that reality, Spermadactyl proposed to me in the offseason, we got married, and we had little Spermies swimming around, all of whom turned out to be amazing Blood Bowlers…even better than their dad.