The Sweet Bounty Pt. 1

The Sweet Bounty Pt. 1

How about that Fable Adventurers? The poor Baker, falling prey to mischief this time of year? A bit chilly wouldn’t you say? Now we travel to a strange land, a land ruled by an exorbitant king with the heart of a child, a mind enthralled with sugary confection. The outskirts of his kingdom, however, was plagued with a bitter problem. With a menace that could not be placated with coin from the King’s purse nor a sweet treat, the King is forced to look elsewhere for solutions. Believing he has found his answer in the legend of an incredible hunter, able to hunt the most elusive and otherworldly bounties, the Candy King sends off for the Marksman…


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Some people called him insane, others simply called him obsessed. Some called him a man, changed by the wealth and power of his position, now living in a dreamland of pure imagination. The Marksman didn’t have an opinion one way or the other. For the amount of money being offered to him to complete this bounty, he wouldn’t care if the guy was a sugar plum fairy. Some people may have called the guy that too.


“Straighten up,” breathes the Marksman to himself scoldingly, “He is still a king after all and he’ll demand respect.”


The Marksman continues walking down the corridor admiring the craftsmanship. It was hard to tell what was candy and what was typical building material. The floor with alabaster marble with reddish inclusion was most definitely marble but the similar material used to make the molding around turns out to be peppermint. The stained-glass windows are instead intricately designed hard-candy. One might think the door handles were made out of solid gold, but if you held on for too long, you might find gilded chocolate melting off into your hand. 


The Marksman strolls up to a pair of ornately decorated doubled doors, guarded by two burly and chiseled men. Their bravado, however, is thwarted by their flamboyant garb, decorated with various hard candies and jellies. The pair, armed with mammoth, sharpened candy canes stand stoically at attention despite their comical appearance.


Acknowledging the approaching Marksman, the guards dip their heads in a nod and open the doors. The Marksman steps into the throne room and is stunned by what he sees. The entire throne room is made of candy. The sculptures, the stairs, the throne, everything is made of candy. The only part of the room not made of candy is the carpets spread across the floor allowing movement in the room without walking on the immaculate confection masterpiece. On the throne sits a jolly-looking fellow, covered from head to toe in candy. His kingly robes are made out of fruit leather, accented with cherry cordial, starlight mints, and various other candies. His pants are woven from cotton candy and he walks with gummy boots on his feet. On his head rests a pulled sugar crown. A warm and hearty laugh echoes from the king’s chest, setting the Marksman at ease, warming his spirit.


“So you’re the Marksman, the hunter of legend?” asks the Candy King, his jolly tenor echoing off the sugary walls.

“Hunter, bounty hunter, assassin, I’m not very picky. I just get the job done… your Highness,” adds the Marksman quickly, to show the King his rightful respect, even if he seems a bit more… unorthodox.


“A serious… whatever you are. I like you, Marksman,” chuckles the Candy King, “Have you enjoyed your time in my kingdom, Marksman?”


The sweet metropolis was a stark comparison to the wooded areas that the Marksman preferred, but he considers his words carefully.


“It is not home, but it is magnificent,” offers the Marksman.


“Ah yes, I see, but this IS my home and I enjoy the people, the buildings,” the King pauses to pluck a cherry cordial from his robe and plops it in his mouth, “and the candy, of course,” finishes the Candy King through a mouth full of Candy.


“But I have a problem. Something sinister lurks in the woods beyond my cookie castle walls,” continues the Candy King.


The Marksman stares seriously at the King, waiting for him to continue, but the King sits back, throwing up his hands. 


“Cookie walls… it’s a joke,” chuckles the Candy King, “What good would cookie walls be, Marksman? I mean seriously, that’s just impractical. Now hard candy walls, that would be nigh impregnable!”


The Marksman looks at the guards, searching for an inkling of an expression that would confirm that this was true insanity. The Marksman’s searching gaze is met by the stonewall gazes of the guards. 


“Forgive me, your Highness, I was focusing my attention on this sinister target you were mentioning,” replies the Marksman.


The King rolls his eyes and huffs. “Focusing on the target, I guess that’s what’s desired. For someone that accomplished such great feats in legend, I figured you wouldn’t be so… so… so uptight,” chuckles the King.


The Marksman half chuckles along, unsure how to take the comment.


“So, back to your target that you are so enamored with,” begins the King, “He’s a gray-skinned beast with horns like a ram and a pair of tines in-between. A long gray beard flows down from his face. Witnesses say that the monster has a red and black cloak slung over his shoulders. Quite frankly, Marksman, I have no idea what this can be. It’s terrifying villagers and normally I would chalk it up to the overactive or inebriated imaginations of my subjects, but now some of the townspeople’s children have gone missing. I need a solution to this issue, Marksman.”


The Marksman strokes his beard in thought, then straightens, “Well, your Highness, you have yourself the services of a hunter, I will hunt this beast and I will bring it back dead or alive.”


“Very good, I am very happy to hear it,” cheers the Candy King, clapping his hands together. “You know, out of all the bounty hunters I’ve talked to, I’ve got the best feeling about you.”


“Other bounty hunters?” asks the Marksman.

  

Narrated by Brandon Warner

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