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Cantina Catrina

by on February 4, 2013

Last time, in the Catrina Chronicles, our heroine was looking for Thrud, the daughter of Thor, in hopes that she would possess the mighty Mlrning, the shovel of the aforementioned god of thunder…

Catrina did not have a good feeling about this. Roberta, the friendly coffee shop barista, had directed her towards Thrud’s apartment, but she hadn’t found it, so she had broadened her horizons. Thrud was rumored to be a valkyrie who served beer to the Viking warriors in Valhalla. So Catrina had asked herself: where in a 21st-century city would she find a woman serving beer to overly aggressive men? The answer had led her to a raucous cantina in a part of Edison City that wasn’t entirely civilized.  She hesitated before going in, but then she felt the comfortable weight of her Sporksaber in her pocket. Besides, she thought, surely these people couldn’t be all that bad.

She was wrong. They were worse. Hardly had she stepped inside and inquired of the bartender whether a woman named Thrud was employed there when one of the bar’s thoroughly intoxicated patrons turned towards her, looked her over, and made a very impolite remark about her figure.  Now, it wasn’t that Catrina wasn’t happy with her appearance; what with running around on quests and constantly saving the meta-verse from destruction, she kept herself very nicely in shape. But Catrina was from the 12th century, where gentlemen usually declared their interest in a lady by standing under their balconies and delivering soliloquies at them. This wasn’t anything like an eloquent soliloquy. It didn’t even rhyme, not that she wanted to hear what a rhyming version of the comment would have been.  Catrina took a deep breath, counted to ten, and then slugged the man right into a conveniently placed jukebox.

Unfortunately the man had friends, quite a few of them, and they weren’t very happy about seeing their comrade slugged into a jukebox. Catrina realized she was in for a good old-fashioned bar brawl. She smiled. This was about to get fun. True, she was outnumbered, and she didn’t have a convenient spaceship that could fly up outside the bar and threaten to blow every man there off their little moon; she wasn’t even on a moon. Even so, Catrina hoped she could get a few good strikes in before her inevitable defenestration.

They approached her, growling inarticulately, and Catrina drew her Sporksaber, its crimson energy sparking around its titanium-woobinite-alloy blade. She felt it was a good time to deliver a pithy remark. Perhaps a quote from a stirring action movie. Her helpful shoulder-angel materialized with a flashcard just then, and Catrina read the words right off the card without really thinking about them. “You know, boys…” she began, ” as Batman once said, some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb.”

She blinked. “No. Wait, I don’t actually have a bomb. Why am I quoting a man dressed like a rodent? Wait-”

But her would-be attackers were already scrambling backwards in fear, some jumping out of windows themselves. Catrina shrugged. If it worked…

She turned towards the aghast bartender and began to repeat her question, but suddenly she felt something very sharp poke at the small of her back. “Ow!” Catrina exclaimed. “What on earth?”

“Not quite,” came the cold reply. “I am from Asgard, far above your little realm of Midgard. I have a very sharp spear aimed at your back, and I shall run it right through you if you do not disable your bomb.”

“I don’t even have a bomb!” Catrina protested. “I was quoting a man dressed up as a rodent!”

“Bats are not rodents. Perhaps you can learn that from Hel when you go to her.”

“Wait…are you Thrud? I was just asking about- OW!”

The spear had poked tighter, very nearly piercing the back of Catrina’s dress. “Whether I am Thrud matters not. What matters is that this bar is under my protection. You harm it at your peril.”

“I’m not trying to harm it, you Asgardian twerp!” Catrina snapped.

“What did you call me?” Thrud replied. Her question was genuine; in her limited time on Earth she had never encountered that particular insult before.

Catrina suddenly got a very sneaky idea. “Twerp. Noun. An insignificant or despicable person. A slang term originating in the 1920s.”

Thrud trembled in sudden fury, and her spear shook in her head. “You dare refer to me, the daughter of Thor, with so disparaging a w-”

In that one instant, as she was distracted by her rage, Catrina moved, darting aside and spinning round in a flying snap-kick that sent Thrud skidding backward. Catrina leveled her Sporksaber in a battle-ready stance. “You Asgardians and your ego problems. You always fall for that!”

Thrud regained herself and aimed her spear. “You will regret that dearly.”

“Somehow, I doubt it.”

Dramatic music swelled as the two hurled themselves at each other.

To be continued.

This has been another exciting episode of the Catrina Chronicles. For previous episodes of the current story arc, Catrina and the Quest for Mlrning (the Shovel of Thor!), go here.  To buy a copy in print or e-book form of Catrina’s first novel adventure, Catrina in Space, go here. Thanks for reading!



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