Tenacity’s Final Dignity
By Alan Mittag
The clouds overhead were high and dark, casting a shade over the area that tried to snuff out any warmth. Ten thousand High Elves bundled together against the chill, pulling tighter into jackets and scarves, whispering to each other so as to not break the silence that held over them all.
Horthien “Tenacity” was lying on a pedestal table of ceramic and stone, the exact site where the REBBA will build a statue to honor his years of service to Dignity, and Blood Bowl. A soft glow of blue light shone around him in a gentle bubble. Teloran and Kelowan stood to his sides. It was their magic that created the ripple in time that allowed Tenactiy’s body to hold off decay until he made it home. And now that he was here, the two High Mages let the bubble go, and it dissipated, blue streaks torn apart by the wind.
Dignity had already said their goodbyes to their fallen hero once, but they were gathered again, ready to give him another, final, honoring before laying him to rest.
Royalty was the first to step up. The High Mage brothers used their magic to broadcast his words to the gathered masses. “Ahem,” he started, drawing a deeper sense of silence from the crowd. “First I want to read the words that Coach Sestonn sent along with us.”
He unfolded a piece of paper and began to read it aloud. “Dignity. No one will ever uphold that name more than Tenacity did. In more than one respect, he was Dignity. And we will always remember him as such.” Royalty folded the paper and returned to the inner pocket of his white and red jacket.
“Ahem,” he said, looking down at Teancity. “It’s been months since you have been missing from our lives, and I can say with honesty, that things will never be the same. Without you watching over us, we aren’t even the same. But change doesn’t have to be bad. You taught us to stand tall and proud. And Tenacity, that’s what we have been doing. I think you would be proud if you saw us now. Without your leadership, we’ve been forced to come together as a family, and we have never been stronger. Even in your absence, you are still strengthening us.”
Royalty turned around and motioned with his hand. A young elven boy ran up to him, holding a wooden box. Royalty reached into the box as he said, “I wanted to make sure you had something to bring with you to the next world.” Royalty pulled a fruit basket from the box, and the boy fell back behind him. The basket was wrapped in dark blues and purples, matching the funeral flowers. The white and red lion of Dignity shown proud from both sides. “I didn’t know what to give you,” Royalty said. His voice cracked half way through. “I know it isn’t so special to give you a basket of the fruits from our homeland. Not when we are in our homeland… but… but I wanted to make sure that you had something to remind you who you were. …and where you were from.” Royalty sat the basket on the stone table that held Tenacity, turned around quickly, and stepped away.
Physique stepped up to take his place, and the High Mage Twins made sure that his voice carried on the wind. “You always called me brother. I guess I was the little brother. You certainly acted the elder brother. You were the stronger. You were the wiser. You were always there to make sure I wasn’t too… well, too me. I can be rough with people. I know that. I just want you to know that you don’t have to worry about us. I may not be the protector that you were, but I had a great teacher. So move on Brother. Have no regret. The family you left behind is safe and strong.”
Lithe, Dignity’s ex-catcher and new Apothecary, stepped up to take Physique’s place. “I’m sorry.” He said. Then he just stood there for a long moment. He stroked back Tenacity’s hair. “You were depending on me and I let you down. You never let me down, not even once. When Coach Sestonn left me in the farm, you hugged me and said it was the best thing for me. I could develop further. You even whispered to me that my next team would be full of people that didn’t know me, and didn’t know to keep their belongs locked up tight.” Lithe wiped a tear from his eye as he laughed at the memory. “You were right. I found a lot of neat stuff. I even took this fancy trophy from Coach Rez’s office and replaced it with a cheap knockoff I bought in town.” Lithe placed the 1st Challenge League Champion’s trophy on Tenacity’s table, just next to the gift basket. “I want you to have it. You’ll always be the real champion.”
Eccentric was next. “Oh, hey Tenacity. I wasn’t going to say anything, but Royalty is making me. I was trying to hide and get out of it.” He gave a little laugh. “You know me.” He glanced back to Royalty, then back down at Tenacity. “But now that I’m here, I’m glad he made me say goodbye to you again. There’s something I wanted to tell you. You understood me more than anyone ever has. You just let me be me. But I have to say…” His next words were broken with the strain of tears. “I never liked you, you bastard. You didn’t laugh at any of my jokes. You were always so serious.” He wiped his eyes, and spoke again. “Bu,t I respected you. I love you like a brother, the way you love me. I know you think you never taught me anything, but that’s not true. You taught me that there are times when it’s good to be serious.” He sniffed. “I just hope…” Sniff. “I hope you learned from me… sometimes it’s ok…” He paused for a second. “Sometimes it’s ok to have fun.”
Eccentric turned and left. Royalty met him after a few paces, and Eccentric broke down, sobbing into Royalty’s shoulder and the thrower rubbed his back.
The rest of Dignity said their thanks to their lost brother, and then one by one, the attending crowd was allowed to look on their hero and say a few words.
It was late in the night when I looked out the window and saw the last visitors finishing their words to Tenacity. I made my way down and took my spot at the end of the line.
I was alone with him, in the dark and the quiet. “I’ve never been more proud to be the team’s archivist. Your fans, your family, and your team will never forget you. I promise. Rest in peace, my friend.”