The Challenge (Part 1)


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The challenge (Part 1)

'Welcome everyone to the final day of this magnificent showdown between two incredibly talented rivals.'

I peered over to my left as the church ladies Auxilary group all waved back and smiled.

‘Put your hands together one more time for ‘The Lord’s Sweethearts’.

The audience showed their appreciation and support with a thunderous applause which seemed to go on forever.

I tapped the microphone to get everyone’s attention again.

‘Thank you every body and over to my right let’s give a warm welcome to er, The Barbarians.’


Never had I heard such silence. The leather-clad gang stood there, arms folded in an intimidating manner.


Suddenly there was a murmur in the crowd.

‘What was that you said Father!’ growled Brutus the leader.

‘Oh nothing my son,’ trembled the priest. ‘M-m-may the Lord bless your soul.’

He then made a rather shaky cross pattern with his hand.


As I was about to continue my announcements, a hairy hand yanked the microphone from my grasp.

Somehow, there was a stench of stale breath in the air.


‘Let’s get on with this pissy challenge!’ yelled the leader of the Barbarians.


This character was the biggest man that I had ever seen with the thickest beard I had ever had the pleasure of trying to stay away from. As a matter of fact, I was quite fascinated to hear someone talk without knowing whether they were actually moving their lips of not. The sound just emanated from his bushy beard.


‘We are the Barbarians!’ he continued to yell into the microphone stunning the crowd.


Oh no here came their motto I thought to myself.


‘Brothers!’ he shouted.

‘No fear, no retreat, no…er?

‘Brothers!’ he repeated once again.

‘No fear, no retreat, no……..ahh shit!’

‘Surrender ,’ whispered one of his men.

‘Surrender,’ he repeated and threw down the microphone to rejoin his gang.


I picked it up and held it a distance away from me.

‘Today’s final challenge has been decided by secret ballot and I am pleased to announce that both teams will engage in the battle of …..Bingo.’

The Lord’s Sweethearts screamed and hugged each other in excitement, knowing that they ruled the turf, or in this case the rectangular trestle table, when it came to bingo.


The Barbarians on the other hand were shouting with fists in the air, displaying their anger and utter disgust at the decision.

Brutus stomped his way towards me, there was fury in his eyes.

‘What is this bingo crap?’ he demanded.

I stood there, momentarily mesmerised by his disembodied voice from behind the beard. It was amazing how his facial expressions never seemed to change or move.


‘I’m talkin to you!’ he growled, tapping me with his hairy finger so hard that I could feel a bruise coming.


‘Oh yes Mr. Brutus, you may recall that the rules stated that if the teams have won 2 challenges each, the final task will be decided by popular vote.’

‘Remember, whoever wins this final challenge will stay while the losers have to vacate this town once and for all.’


‘But bingo, that’s rubbish,’ he argued.


‘As I recall Mr. Brutus that your choice of the previous 2 challenges weren’t exactly – ‘lady-friendly.’

‘Or let me put it this way, tug-o-war and mud wrestling were more than slightly in your favour wouldn’t you say?’


Brutus huffed and turned around to go back to his team.

They shouted their Barbarian motto once again as a couple of them revved up their motorcycles.

I walked off the stage, lost in thought that we may finally see the end of this troublesome motor bike gang.

Then I heard his voice again.


Brutus was standing on his little wooden stool.

As if he wasn't tall enough already.

‘Brothers all,' he announced.

The gang gathered tightly around their leader.

‘Stand back you stinkin varments, I can’t breathe,’ scolded Brutus spreading his tattooed arms out for space.

‘Brothers all,’ he began once again.


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