“Hey, chill, bro. He’s just an ordinary…”
“HUMAN! It is I, the great Papyrus, future captain of the Royal Guard!”
Words could not describe what was going through the mind at that point.
“Sans,” asked Papyrus, “I applaud you because, for the first time in a long time, you finally did something INCREDIBLE!”
The lankyskeleton was full of excitement. “Does the human have a name? Have you two been getting to know each other?”
“Heck yeah!” exclaimed Sans. “Kid, do not be afraid. Just speak up. My bro is an…interesting individual.”
I nodded. “S-sure. Why not?”
“I am Biron,” I said. “I am currently stranded here in the Underground. I do not know where I am right now, but your brother has been kind enough to lend me these clothes. It’s nice to meet you, but I really need to leave…”
Papyrus interrupted. “Leave? But we have not started to have fun!”
Sans whispered to me, “Bro likes to play games. They are simple enough…”
I interrupted Sans. “I do not care for that! I just want to get home.”
Papyrus retorted. “You are not going anywhere, young one! Your duty is to join the great Papyrus in a set of challenging, mind-boggling…puzzles!”
I sighed out of frustration. “Fine. What is the catch?”
“If you win, you will get to proceed to the next round!”
I grinned a little. “Okay…what is the next round?”
By that time, things looked like it was going from bad to worse.
“What if I lose?”
“If you lose?”
The lanky but well-mannered, sometimes noticeably eccentric skeleton was silent for awhile. “If you lose, you will be sent to the Royal Guards! Then, they will send you to the King of the Underground…who is a jolly good fellow. Do not worry about him.”
Confident words, but no matter the challenge, and the consequences of the actions, I was determined to walk out the victor.
“Well, then,” I said. “Challenge accepted!”
Papyrus looked a creature short of breath. The fact that he was a skeleton denied the notion that he was exhausted, or possibly hyperventilating.
“BRILLIANT! SPECTACULAR! WONDERFUL!” were the phrases that came out of his mouth, joy etched on his tall but brittle face. “I shall summon thee…”
“I prefer you speak in plain English,” I protested.
“Oh, fine,” he sighed. “I shall begin the game of…JUNIOR JUMBLE!”
A piece of paper containing words and letters and the face of a cartoon bear was put on the table. We both took our positions; Sans, too, even though he was not involved in the game.
The game of Junior Jumble was not unheard of. There was a bit of rustiness because I have not touched it for a year or so, but occasionally my sister and I would trade blows trying to solve the atrocities for good, till we both end up with smiles on our faces.
Anyhow, the game with Papyrus was as enjoyable as it could be; I was able to beat him with no problem at all.
“Bah! This was too easy! Time to move on to a new challenge. CROSSWORD PUZZLE!”
He had to be kidding.
Papyrus was not amused. The fact that I defeated and demolished him in two straight challenges did not sit well, it seemed. Sans, on the other hand, occasionally butt in, saying silly ‘catchphrases’ that would make the glorious Rowan Atkinson cough up a fur-ball.
“Paps, your performance in this game is, well…PUZZLING to say the least.”
“Hey, look, my fingers CROSS-ED the paper.”
“You guys should have followed the TuTORIEL for crying out loud.”
Meanwhile, a smile crept out on my face.
Man, I am enjoying all this.
The Skeleton Bros proved sociable, accepting, tolerant and occasionally irritating , but all in a good fun.
As long as they do not hurt me, we are all good.