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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
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Sam

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Braxton was mad. Real mad. Really mad, actually because real mad sounds very hillbilly and though he may have been from the country, it was flat, even depressed and most certainly not a hill. Also, he had all his teeth. They were straight. We’re getting off the subject. Braxton was mad, and he was doing something about it.

 

Pushups.

 

More or less. He was trying to do them, and that is what counts. Trying, you know? Parents lie to their children with that rubbish all the time but we know better, don’t we: it doesn’t matter how much you try, you’re a loser until you’re a winner and at no time before or between can you clap yourself on the back and say, ‘good job.’ Braxton could not reach his back. And this was part of the problem.

 

For Braxton was fat, you see, after a nasty little prank involving Aran, and a little thing called male pregnancy. It wasn’t Braxton’s fault he didn’t know anything about that sort of thing, his early life was sheltered and the only female he saw on a regular basis then had been his mother. No, he didn’t get curious. Not even once.

 

For some reason, a principal failure on the switchboard of his cerebral cortex, I think, he again had trusted Aran. This coupled with the feminine like hormone set his ‘weight-issues’ had given him was enough to put anyone in a foul mood. Add on top that he was itchy in all sorts of places he couldn’t reach, and was unable to do more than five pushups without having to take a lunch-break and you have a cocktail guaranteed to bleach your teeth on its way down.

 

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There was something about the new assignment that she had been presented that Mia found herself questioning.  Braxton had been the butt of one of the single most cruelest, yet outrageous pranks she had ever heard of during her time at the Yards.  In a place where many things happened, convincing a man that he was pregnant and managing to do so for months until he was ready to 'give birth' made her lips twitch everytime at the thought.  It was hard to even think of it without being amused, but she would have to control herself and restrain the quips that came to mind.

 

It was a simple enough task.  Evaluate Braxton, see whether he was salvagable as a future Tower Guard, and determine whether he was even worth salvaging.  Not only was his physical state an issue, the boy had become fat and weak through a complete and utter avoidance of the training, it was also his mental state.  Braxton was gullible beyond all measure, indulged constantly in acts of complete stupidity with his pregnancy being his crowning achievement.  Only so much patience could be extended, but the truth was that the Tower Guard would never accept someone who would be a liability.  If it wasn't fixable, then Braxton would have to be put out and left to lead another life that he would be better suited for.

 

It didn't take long to find him, under the shade of a tree attempting to lift himself with a simple push up.  Observing out of sight, Mia watched as he tried to heave himself up, straining with everything he had.  His body shaking, his arms looked like they were going to pop they swayed with such violence.  He even managed to clear an inch of the ground, to his credit, before he fell back down.  The sound that emerged from his throat was one of frustrated humiliation before he tried again, once more throwing himself at the impossible task.

 

It was a couple of minutes before Mia decided to speak.  "Braxton, desist."

 

It took the lad a moment to roll over onto his back, but he did so.  Mia crooked a finger at him.  "Up you get, you'll achieve nothing with that.  Walk with me, we have some things to discuss."

 

 

Mia Stavros

Tower Guard

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If you were to compile a list of the top ten—in no particular order—things not to do, then interrupting a person who was doing a push-up would be somewhere around the middle, which says it all, really. The first thing you would notice about that person is how their brow furrows with concentration as they try to ignore you. If you are particularly persistent and this fails they will no doubt express their displeasure by glaring, yelling and generally having a whinge.

 

Not that Braxton particularly felt like glaring, yelling, or generally having a whinge, a thing that used to have its own special slot in his busy schedule. He was too tired, now. Were he not so tired he’d definitely have given her what for . . . or at least thought about it. Right now he was unable to defend himself from any real menace. Unless it were made of bacon. If Braxton’s grandfather saw his physical condition right now he would make him work the threshing machine along with the horses. That’s just the kind of man he was.

 

Braxton was getting strong though, he knew it. He could feel it. His arms were hardening just that wee bit that no one picked up on without using the tone of voice that states clearly they’re agreed with him only to get away, because they feared for whatever comestibles happened to be on their plate at the time, or simply to humour the jolly, fat lad who ought to go about wearing red and saying derogatory things about women.

 

Everyone thought he was stupid, but he wasn’t, and he knew what their little ‘talk’ was going to be about. He’d heard rumours. If I may dispel a commonly held lie, talking behind your hand does not, in fact, mean that no one can hear you. Braxton had read about this in books. The hero, on the very brink of being tossed out of his heroic order would do something, well, heroic and earn himself . . . pretty ladies, mostly. The books didn’t really say what happened after.

 

This foreknowledge may have been one of the major contributing reasons to his unwillingness to be agreeable, but it wasn’t as though he had a choice. He sighed and spent a moment pulling his impressive girth (or terrific, in the other sense) into an upright position. Sighed and followed along.

 

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