The Balrog Goes to State

D. Paul Angel
1,063 Words

“And here come the Bumsqueak Chickenhawks!  They’re led by their Captain, Quarterback Jeremy Alders who has already signed a letter of intent to A & M.  He’s followed closely by- What in the Hell is that, Jimmy?”

“Hell is right, Charlie, because unless I am very much mistaken that would be a Balrog coming onto the field with the rest of the Chickennhawk’s defense.”

“A Balrog?  Like, from the Hobbit?”

“Lord of the Rings, actually, but yes.  One of the dark things unearthed when the dwarves mined too deep in Moria.  And now, apparently, starting Inside Linebacker.”

“Coach Carlson looks rather pleased with himself-”

“As do the Chickenhawk fans.”

“Well I can’t say I’m surprised by that at this point, but on the other sideline Coach Tucker is beside himself yelling at the refs.  In fact they are done talking with Coach Tucker and heading over to Coach Carlson.”

“Looks like they’re done explaining now.”

“Now I’ve seen everything!  The refs just backed away from the Chickenhawk sideline when the Balrog walked over.

“Did I mention the refs are volunteers?”

“Even if they were getting paid, I doubt there’s enough coin in Texas to tell a 17 foot tall Balrog he’s ineligible.

“Looks like this is happening.”

“Sure enough, they’re lining up for the kickoff.  Miller kicks it away for the Chickenhawks to Johnson at the five.  Johnson runs up the middle past the twenty to the twenty five and there’s the Balrog!  Johnson is now fleeing the Balrog in terror towards his own endzone.”

“I don’t know if that’ll be a fumble or illegal forward pass.  Hard to tell with that much panic on the throw.”

“Luckily for the Cougars they ruled it a fumble and they’ll keep possession after it went out of bounds.”

“Would you look at that!  A third of the starting offense is refusing to take the field!”

“Coach Tucker with the timeout as he meets with his team.”

“Wouldn’t surprise me if they concede at this point, Charlie.  Gandalf was at least in his early thousands when he faced the Balrog with Glamdrig.  For these kids the sharpest thing they’ve ever touched was a razor, and for half of ’em that was probably last week.”

“How do you know that Jimmy?”

“It’s called reading Charlie.  You should try it sometime.  Looks like some kids have come out of the stands and are convincing Coach Tucker to keep playing.”

“Nerds Jimmy.  Call ’em as you see ’em.”

“Well, geeks maybe, but they definitely have the look nailed if nothing else.”

“And they’re lining up behind their goal post as time is returned and play is resuming.  Not sure what the nerds are going to do behind the goalpost but it’s emboldened the Cougar’s enough to come out and least snap the ball.”

“They’ve got dice and books, Charlie, I think we all know what that means.”

“And there’s the snap and ‘Moose’ drops back to pass.  He looks left, well away from the charging Balrog and throws in the flat to Heim…
“Only to have it batted down by the Balrog’s wing.  Is that legal?”

“Dollars to donuts there’s no rule against it.”

“Clock stops, and the Cougar’s look back to the geeks who have spread out and are rolling dice, one by one.  Except one who’s behind a little cardboard screen.”

“That’d be the Dungeonmaster, Charlie, and I think things are about to get real interesting.”

“I don’t believe it Jimmy!  There are now five, huge, robot lions at the back of the endzone!”

“Those are the Voltron Lions, Charlie!  The kids did it!”

“Is that, that allowed in Dungeon of Dragons?”

“Dungeons and Dragons, and it looks like the DM is going to allow it!  The kids are in the Lions!”

“And just like that the Balrog responds with a fiery whip around Blue Lion’s throat and throws him well clear of the stadium!”

“Ouch!  I just hope these kids don’t get too cocky.  Best just to form Voltron and be done with it.”

I don’t know if they can hear you or not Jimmy, but it looks like that is exactly what they are doing, even as the Balrog is trying to engage them one at a time.”

“That whip is pretty devastating.”

“The Black Lion just jumped and the other three in the stadium are following.  There’s Yellow, Green, and Red are right next to the Black Lion, but no sign of Blue Lion yet.”

“He’s a baller.  He’ll come.”

“And there he is!  Adding Blue to the rainbow streak high above the stadium.”

“Would you look at that sky!”

“Can’t say as I’ve ever seen it flash primary colors quite like that Jimmy.”

“Wait till he draws his energy sword.  It’s like that but ten.”

“You’re right Jimmy!  What a sight!  That sword alone is easily as long as the Balrog, but he doesn’t look the least bit concerned.”

“Such is the nature of ancient, antidiluvian evil, Charlie.”

“And Voltron is putting on quite a show with that energy sword of his.”

“You know, you hate to see that, Charlie.  I know it’s a big deal for the kids to have summoned Voltron, they’re vanquishing a Balrog; but really, you gotta look like you’ve been there before.”

“Looks like they were doing too much dancing in the end zone as the Balrog’s whip snare’s Voltron’s Yellow leg, pulling him down!

“Voltron’s back up… he dodges… he parries… and he cuts the Balrog’s whip in two with the energy sword!

“And in two slashes I’m not even sure I saw Voltron cut a ragged ‘X’ across the Balrog’s chest!

“The Balrog just exploded in light and is just gone.  I mean totally gone!”

“Nothing left but a smoldering spot of bare Earth.  Guarantee nothing will ever, and I mean ever! grow there again.”

“No doubt about it.  And Coach Carlson is furious at the loss of his ‘Star’ linebacker.”

“The refs aren’t looking to sympathetic, either.”

“They sure aren’t an- Oh my! Just when you thought it was over, a giant scaly claw has erupted from the very Earth itself and grabbed Coach Carlson!”

“I haven’t seen a fan that unhappy since my days in Cleveland.

“Though, truth be told Charlie, Hell might be easier than explaining to the Boosters that you lost the game and your Balrog to a twelfth seed’s D&D Geeks.”


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