Konan and the Librarian
Konan stood before King Heckubah. Multiple lengths of chain preventing him from reaching anything he might accidentally slaughter, break, or swallow.

“Konan,” the King said in his most officious voice. “You are the greatest swordsman to ever trod the earth.” The King cleared his throat. “I paid you a sack of gold to lead the assault against Irunnya. In one day you breeched their defenses and sacked the city. But... “ the King paused to scratch himself. “YOU KILLED EVERYONE! What good is conquering a city if it’s reduced to rubble and contains no living people? You destroyed everything, ate all the cows, the chickens, and I’m told, were starting on the horses. You are a menace and I hereby sentence you to the library where Merloins the Magician will train you to think.

Chains clanked as Konan raised one giant, hairy arm to scratch his head. “You said, ‘conquer Irunnya’.” Konan said. “Them was your exact words. You gave me the sack of gold, I went drinking and the next day I conquered the place you wanted conquered. I don’t see the problem...”

Konan was huge. A massive slab of muscle and scar tissue, mounted on two pillars for legs. His long black hair was braided with strips of beef jerky so he could snack while immersed in a fray. He tested the chains. “I don’t like magicians, sorcerers and wizards. They’re always throwing thunderbolts and weird stinging lights at me. What’s a library?”

“Guards, take him away. See to his education, Merloins,” the King ordered. “You are charged with the task of pouring some strategy into his bony skull.”

“Yes, my King,” Merloins said, eying the giant brute and cursing inwardly. “I will make every effort to educate the ox. Bring the cretin along.” Merloins, a lush, and comely lady, turned and swayed away. Konan’s neck chains rattled as his head bobbed from side-to-side in an effort to keep her posterior squarely centered in his vision.

“Here,” Merloins spat.” Start with this book.”

Careful to stay out of the mongrel’s reach, she tossed a copy of ‘’Sacking and Pillaging For Dummies’ on the table and it slid down its length to stop against his massive thigh.

“Heh! Heh! I caught you looking at my loins, Merloins,” Konan rumbled and shook with impending laughter.

Merloins sent a bolt of blue light into Konan’s nether region.

“Arrghh! You’re a fiery wench! You’ll have to do better than that, though; I’ve been hit in the turnips by Thor’s war hammer and me babies still dongle. Ain’t that right, my precious?” Konan grabbed his prodigious center and pulled upward.

“Of course, I should have known you can’t be injured there,” Merloins said. “All your available blood pools in those muscles, there’s none left for your head, either of them. Get to reading, mongrel!”

Merloins returned later that afternoon to find Konan relaxed on a chair with his feet up on the table. He held a large book, one she’d ordered him to read, open before his face—completely obscuring him. She walked away, satisfied he was reading. Konan smiled as he read a comic book retelling one of his adventures in the land of the Amazon women.

The next day.


Merloins returned to the library to check on Konan’s educational progress. He was eating a whole greasy chicken, two massive fingers jammed into its anus. She watched, disgusted, as he tore a section of meat from the breast with his teeth and chewed like a wild animal. He was reading an issue of Slayboy, staring appreciatively at the centerfold of Red Onya.

‘She’s even better looking than last months layout of Noxeena, Warrior Princess, and ‘much meatier than Queen Honeythighs’ I wonder how Red Onya would look with Konan Onya, he thought to himself. He was too absorbed in the magazine to acknowledge Merloins presence.

“You filthy heathen! Where did you get that smut?”

“Your librarian is quite an accommodating lady,” Konan said. “Don’t let those magnifying glasses and that tightly rolled hair fool you—she’s a wild one. These books you gave me are stupid. Sacking and Pillaging For Dummies—written by dummies. One-Handed Sword fighting, Who do you think tore off the author’s other hand?”

“Did you at least read ‘The Art of War’?” Merloins inquired.

“It was boring, another flabby, pasty-faced general whose never stared down a one-eyed, ten-foot-tall goblin. These writers are all court jesters, I did have an idea though.” Konan said.

“Oh, this should be enlightening, please let me in on it.”

“I’m writing my own book, I’m calling it ‘Blood Soup For the Barbarian’s Soul’. As a group, I’ve come to realize, barbarians are woefully misunderstood. I believe I can bring a unique first-person insight on the many trials we brutish thugs are faced with.”

Merloins was laughing.

“We’ll see who laughs when my book becomes required reading for everyone aspiring to become a wandering mercenary who lives by his wit and his sword.”

“You’ll be lucky to get past the title,” Merloins said.

“The librarian, Melphinia, is going to help.”

Merloins was still laughing, even harder.

Konan pulled the chains from the wall, bringing down a great swath of stone along with the chains, and smiled at the sorceress. “I’m thinking chapter one will be, Decapitating Your Average Sorceress.”

Merloins ran off, no longer laughing.

“My King,” Merloins pleaded, breathlessly after her run through the castle’s corridors. “Konan has escaped, broken his chains and the wall with them.”

“I wondered when he would tire of the library,” The king mused.

“You mean he could have escaped whenever he wished?”

“Of course, Merloins,” the King said. “I’m disappointed you have not figured this out yourself. Makes me consider scouting around for a backup wizard.”

“I could have been killed.” Merloins shreiked. “Or ravished.”

“No, he’s good about that,” King Heckubah said. “He might have killed you, but he never ravishes.”

“Never?” Merloins asked, looking slightly disappointed.

The King noted her look and laughed.

“No, he’s not a back-door swordsman. He only dallies with women of a... professional bent. Says it keeps everything on the up-and-up. No entanglements. He’s a King you know.”

“Konan! A King? That’s not possible, he’s barely human.”

“King Konan of Koney Island,” the King said. “You’ve heard of it?”


“Konan’s line has ruled Koney Island since time has been recorded, then the Mad Wizard Limpludvig caused the sea’s to rise around it, as if someone had encircled the island with a glass tube.”

“I’ve seen that while having an out-of-body flight, there’s an island beneath there?” Merloins asked.

“Indeed. Konan’s people escaped and scattered across the earth.” The King said, staring out the window of his castle keep.

“And he allows this? Why does he not fight to restore his rightful kingdom?” Merloins asked.

“He said he’s in no hurry,” the King answered. “He didn’t like his people much anyway. Called them a shiftless lot, who preferred lying around on the beaches and eating bananas. Konan is somewhat restless and enjoys the occasional fray. That’s why I start these silly wars, keeps him limber and nonviolent. I’m glad he’s here.”

“I can’t see why, the man is a menace,” Merloins said, shuddering with equal parts revulsion and stimulation.

“Since Konan arrived, dragon attacks are down to almost nothing. Giant serpents steer well clear of the entire kingdom. Marauders sail far around our coast lines, and wizards spend long hours staring into their crystal balls before attempting any foolishness here. Ever since the El Romero incident with the living dead.”

“El Romero,” Merloins whispered. “He’s the third greatest wizard to ever wave a wand.”

“Was. Travelers tell me Romero is impaled on the flagpole of his evil fortress, with the wand jammed into his, uh, his posterior.”

“That’s impossible!” Merloins said.

“Yes, we've been led to believe so. It would appear, stories of his invincibility were somewhat inaccurate. He made a tactical error when he raised an army of the dead, and sent them here to overthrow my rule and take over the kingdom.”

“An army of the dead,” Merloins sat down on the edge of the kings bench, normally an unforgivable faux pas, but the King let it slide. “How did anyone defeat an army of the dead?”

"Konan killed them all,” the King said. “And did an extremely permanent job of it. There wasn’t much left to reanimate when he got finished. A stray femur or bit of unbroken skull here and there.”

The king’s musings were interrupted by the sudden, skidding arrival of a knights’ page.

“Sire, please excuse me,” the young page said, breathless and kneeling.

“Go on,” the King said. “What emergency awaits a firm and decisive decree by your King?”

“A giant hog, as big as ten sea vessels has attacked the outer fields of the kingdom,” the page said. “It’s tusks are as big as trees and it has killed several of the castle’s bravest knights.”

“Have the village smiths construct a large pig roasting spit,” the King ordered. “I’ll summon Konan.”


Konan entered the Kings strategy chambers with Melphinia, the comely librarian.

“Konan, we’ve just been informed there is a monstrous pig invading the outer fields of the kingdom. I order you to slay the beast, and we’ll have a great celebratory barbeque. See the paymaster for your customary sack of gold.”

Konan cleared his throat. “King Heckubah,” Konan said. “This is Melphinia, my new representative. Your wizard, Merloins, has taught me many things; one of which is: 'stick to what you’re good at'. It would appear I am not a great negotiator, at least,according to some of these books I’ve been reading. So, I’ve hired an agent to handle all financial negotiations from here on. Melphinia says my overhead for gluttony, grog and wenching has far outstripped my earnings. She’s advised me on the mistakes many people make not planning for their golden years when their earnings drop. She also says my reputation has drastically decreased the potential market share of monsters and armies I might be paid to slaughter. Also, she says, due to that reputation, the monsters, etc. etc. I do face, will consist of only the most fearsome and dangerous, thus increasing the likelihood of serious injury and/or diminished capacity for mayhem. So, we’ve created a chart with standard fees for various tasks.” Konan looked to Melphinia. “What say our chart about giant pigs?”

“It doesn’t, we’ll have to do some research,” Melphinea said, adjusting her glasses up closer to her eyes. “How big is this pig, how long are its tusks, how many brave knights has it killed, what particular strengths does it have? We can’t quote a rate until we get a few answers. We’d also like to insure there is an overbudget clause that kicks in whenever Konan has to stop and change his strategy. I’ll draw up a contract, and we’ll go from there.”

The two left the room and the King looked angrily at Merloins. “Now would be a good time for you to perform something wizardly. I left his education in your hands. You led away a slavoring, violent brute and brought back a slavoring, violent brute—with an agent!” 

RaymondSpringer   RaymondSpringer wrote
on 7/14/2008 7:31:10 PM
If this is you palying around, then I must read your other stuff. I loved it!

Short Story
writing sphincteria
There is an almost unbearable pain needling my fingers as a result of these overabundant scribblings. I must lay down my pencil, my engine of truth, and bathe my crippled hands in some warm water. Ignatious Riley; Confederacy of Dunces: John Kennedy Toole
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I got bored, so I played around. May expand on this a bit later. View table of contents... with apologies to Robert E. Howard
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