A Day At The Races, Part II. WoW Fan-Fiction

 

An hour later, I was awake, but not happy. With nothing to look forward to at Daisy’s until Trackmaster Zherin returned, I figured I’d get started on the rounds and headed to the jailhouse.

            It’s built sturdier than most buildings in the Mirage Raceway. Iron stanchions, cured plank walls, even a locking door. Course, there’s only enough room for two cells (empty) and my desk (cramped). I took up my regulation truncheon, my definitely non-regulation francisca, noted the time on my Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain pocket-chron for the duty roster, and headed out.

            The day was well underway. Race fans were out in abundance, buying souvenirs, getting a head start on the evening’s drinking, placing bets, talking about last year’s catastrophic upset and whether or not Team Goblin would ever recover the lead.

            Quentin had set up his protest signs outside his shack. SAVE THE SALTSTONE BASILISISISK! And SAY NO TO SHIMERING FLATSS DRILLING!! assailed the eyes of every fun-seeker to stagger by, bound for a good seat trackside before they were all taken.

            The normalcy of it unnerved me. It begged for something to break the peace. And since my job is to keep the peace, I took it somewhere it was less likely to be broken.

            Tirth lives next to Kravel’s warehouse, as far from the racetrack as it’s possible to be without being arse-deep in scorpids and saltstones. Noise-sensitive things, chickens.

            They weren’t bothered now. All hundred-odd of the little cluckers staggered around their pen, falling over one another. Anything more relaxed wouldn’t have had a pulse.

            Tirth darted from his hut the instant I stopped to chuckle at the sight.

            “I fed them, just like you told me,” he said eagerly.

            “I can tell,” I said. The reek of alcohol cut through the tart aroma of untended coops.

            “What now?” he asked.

            “Kick ‘em.”

            He froze. “What?”

            “Kick. Them” I said, taking care to enunciate.

            “But, but why?”

            “Ancestors below! Do I have to do everything myself?” I said, making for the gate.

            One rosy red cock was wobbling in circles just inside, slurring clucks to itself.

            “Buk, bukukuk. Bwaurk. Burp.”

            “Just hold still, friend,” I said, moving slow.

            It saw me coming, took two steps, then stopped because it seemed to think it had run out of legs.

            “Buk. Buk-uk. Bwuakaaaaaaaaarrrrr—!”

            Its startled squawk cut off suddenly as its little chicken mind realized it was flying. For about fifty feet anyway. It landed in a heap of ruffled feathers, righted itself, and, green from a surge of alcoholic vertigo, decided to stay put.

            “Right,” I said, readying my boot for another kick. “Who’s next?”

            And so it went; me punting chickens left and right, strangled squawks and drifting feathers all around; Magus Tirth looking on in horror, until the last of his flock had been firmly booted.

            I wiped the sweat from my brow as I closed the gate behind me and paused for breath.

            “What on Azeroth was that?” Tirth asked, aghast.

            “Listen,” I said.

            “To what?”

            “Your flock,” I replied with a satisfied grin. “What normal chicken swears in Common when it’s drunk and angry?”

            Tirth looked on, mouth open, while a golden rooster stumbled up, waving an angry wing, turning the sky blue with profanity that would’ve impressed dear old Mother.

            I flipped him a key from the hook on my belt and said, “Take him to the cells and change him back before he sobers up and tries to run away ag—”

            Rogues do it in the darkness! Rogues do it where the sun don’t shine! Rogues! And with a little drop of poison. Rogues do it from behiiiind!

            “Oh, damn,” I said after consulting my singing pocket-chron, and started for the track.

            “What’s wrong?” Tirth called after me.

            “I’m late for the race!”

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