A Tale of Two Pizza's Ongoing Contest (WEEK 18)
Links to the original post and the story so far (in order) can be found in the Tale of Two Pizza's Archive Post
Henry rode in silence. Ever since Wes had remembered who he was and revealed the Preda's involvement he had been filled with doubts. Wes knew the way and had guided the sullen Henry away from the angry injured guards on the road. Henry had not even objected when Wes had mounted Amber and pulled him up behind. Delilah was right! Oh Lilah, what a fool I have been! Now I am on the wrong side of this. Everyone knows the Preda's are far worse than Danny Rupert has ever been! He kept going over things as he rode, wishing he had listened to her, wishing he had been brave enough to follow her, remembering their passionate goodbye. He sighed and tried to shake himself out of it. Nothing to be done about it now, maybe I can help her by gathering more information for the Pizza Baron... Stay safe Lilah! He thought as Wes guided Amber out of the underbrush and up onto the roadway once more, her hooves ringing on the asphalt as Wes urged her to a canter that would quickly eat up the miles to the Preda's estate.
"NO NO NO! Ballon- bounce! Float with ease! It isn't about height, it is about the quality of your jumps! Try again girls!" The Ballet Mistress clapped her hands and turned in time to see Mrs Preda enter the ballroom. It had been given over to training the various dancers, athletes, and entertainers the Preda's had gathered up as part of their plan to revive some of the culture from before the fall. Many of them were sub standard in Mrs Preda's view. She still held out a small hope that her Ballet Mistress would manage to find some exceptional natural talent that would make the Ballet the star attraction and win over the hearts and minds of all the other Barons. Something to finally trump the Pizza Baron's culinary resurgence! She stood and watched for a few moments before shaking her head in disappointment and continuing on to her husbands study.
None of those girls would be ready in time. She hated the thought of it. Zed had great success in finding somewhat competent wrestlers, fencers, and other athletes. She didn't like to think of his ideas besting her own. That was only a minor irritation though with everything else that had been happening. The escape of that spy for one thing, the lack of communication from Otto and Wes, the rumors about what had really happened to the Pizza Bandits. She entered the study without knocking, as much as they often competed with each other, the Preda's had no secrets.
Zed was sat behind his ornate desk, surrounded by piles of paperwork and backlit by the sun streaming in through the large window behind him. He looked up briefly as she entered but then returned to the document he had been scowling at.
"Not more bad news?" Mrs Preda said as she crossed the room and sat in the overstuffed armchair beside the fireplace.
"Not exactly bad news, more unfortunate silence. Apparently Frederick did not return home after his meeting last night. Our spy says that his lieutenants have sent people to find out what happened... Oh and his daughter and her stablehand have apparently been missing for a couple of days as well." He shrugged and looked up at her, then offered the paper for her to read. "Tell me if you can make anything useful of it. I'm not sure what to make of it anymore- so many confusing reports in the last few days!"
Mrs Preda took the paper and skimmed it quickly. "No dear there's nothing useful here. If the Fruit Baron is missing we have to assume the worst. With no word from Otto, Wes, or the contingent of Pizza Bandits, with Barry's escape, and now this... We have to proceed as if we are on our own. Perhaps all those athlete's and fighters you've gathered can be added to the guards. Danny Rupert must know that we are moving against him by now." She tapped the paper thoughtfully. We need information, just one concrete report would clear all of this up! "I wonder what has become of Frederick's daughter, Delilah isn't it? There was some scandal involving her mother and Danny Rupert before she was born if I remember right?"
"Yes, the rumor was that she and the Pizza Baron had an affair, back before he became Baron and he was too common to court a woman like Tolcetta. She disappeared shortly after Delilah was born and no one ever found out what happened to her. After that the Fruit Baron slowly lost power, he stopped making wine and things and started selling the fruits instead! But you ought to know all of that, it was you that started the rumors!" He smiled slyly at her and laughed at the look of injured innocence that she summoned instantly. She let it become a wicked grin as she held his gaze.
"We just need one solid report to plan our next move. For now we must be ready for anything. Danny Rupert could be on his way with an army for all we know. Change the training program for your athletes and fighters. I will send for the remaining Pizza Bandits and our other allies. We must gather what support we can until we know more!" She knew he relied on her input on these matters. They were both capable and ruthless but their strength had always been in their reliance on each other, in presenting a unified front to any and all that opposed them. She rose and kissed her husband, wrapping her arms around him momentarily. "We haven't lost yet Zed, we will still come out on top. We always do."
He returned her kiss and embrace, whispering "We always do." Then he released her.
She turned to go to her own study and begin writing messages and letters requesting support when there was a sharp knock on the study door. She turned back and reclaimed her seat by the fireplace. It had to be important for a servant to disturb them in the Baron's study!
"Come in!" the Baron called. The door opened revealing a quaking servant and then, pushing her aside and striding into the study, dragging a younger man behind him, was Wes!
The rules for this week remain the same as previous weeks!
I'd like to continue building on the story of the Pizza Baron and his post apocalyptic world. Each week I'll pick a winner that becomes the next piece of the story and wins 20 $PIZZA and a 5 SBI sponsorship from me. I may award additional prizes if I feel multiple entries expand the story well.
Each week I'll write a post announcing the winner and then I will write another chunk of the story and open it up again for the next weeks competition. I'll compile the winning entry for each week. If we reach a conclusion of the epic tale of the Pizza Baron I'll divide another TBD amount of PIZZA among all the winning entries throughout the whole story and publish the finished story here on Hive with all the contributors as beneficiaries. If this goes well we might have the first open source blockchain novella on our hands! 😂
The first weeks contest established a secondary storyline that may be tied back into the main plot if you so wish!
Bear in mind this is an experiment as well as a competition so we will see how many entries I get and how well it goes!
Entries must be more than 200 words but less than 1000.
Entries must use the hivepizza tag
Entries must comment on this post with the link to their entry
Entries must fit in the world/scenario that has developed from the previous weeks contest(s). You are free to develop characters, introduce new ones, invite aliens to the feast, I don't care as long it makes some kind of sense in the context! The Pizza Baron should remain relevant to the plot!
(I've named it a Tale of TWO Pizza's for a reason HINT HINT)