The crack of dawn, the first rays of sun are barely visible as the giant ball of flame and gases gradually creeps over the horizon, and in those few seconds before wakefulness takes over my conscious vacillates between dreamy oblivion and the cold floor of reality. I wish to return to the land of nod, its path nestled among the warm blankets and pillows but the piercing shriek of the alarm rouses me. I trudge onto the restroom, callously throwing an arm in the general direction of the switch; the yellow light catches the mirror and casts a forth a rainbow hue of colours and just for a second I’m back…. Back among the visions… Back in the land of dreams….
The wind billows past their scarlet and white cloaks and the red trousers as dust rolls forth in swirling eddies. Two figures stroll into the open field at the stead of the great coliseum that is the Grove. Their heads are bowed against the winds, deep in conversation as their followers keep pace at a respectful distance.
The first man is of a modest height but his cloak conceals a powerfully built frame, a product of fierce punishment, inhuman training and a fiery will. His was a position of power, an enforcer, a title earned rather than merely inherited. His was a story that could have ended so differently, yet here he stood: unbroken and unyielding.
The second is taller, a consummate athlete and lauded as such, born in the lap of luxury and loved by one all. Behind the brows lies a harsh tale of struggles and rectitude but one that pales to insignificance in the face of the other man.
Their voices are heard over the roar of the wind…
“All the God-King Brendan requires is this: A simple offering of trophies and glory…a token of Arsenal’s submission to the will of Brendan.” declares the Scouse messenger.
With effort the other conceals his incredulity.
“Now, that’s a bit of a problem. See, rumour has it…. the Mancunians have already turned you down and send you home after a hiding. And if those Strategists and boy-lovers have found that kind of nerve, then… of course, Gunners, have their reputation to consider.”
The messenger is visibly agitated, baring his teeth, he intones “Choose your next words carefully, Francis!! They may be your last as a gunner!”
“Trophies and glory eh? You’ll find plenty of both down there.” snarls the furious midfielder, drawing his sword and pointing to the bottom of the table.
“No man, Scouser or Gunnder, n-n-no man threatens a messenger.” stutters the Scouser. All the blood has drained from his face. His ashen visage is a mask of terror; In his bones he knows that the end is near.
“You bring the caps and scalps of conquered managers to my city steps. You insult my boss! You threaten my people with ignominy and defeat. Oh, I’ve chosen my words carefully, Scouse-bucket. Perhaps you should have done the same!!”
“This is blasphemy. This is madness!” squeals the terrified Scouse midfielder.
“Madness?” screams the gunner, eyes bulging in fury as specks of saliva flew from his open maw “This is the Grove!” as he plants his cleats squarely on the scouser’s reputation sending him plummeting down the table as ensuring any chance of Champions league dreams are shattered into a millions of shards of nothingness.
He watches the Scouser fall down the bottomless chasm toward the Europa league, his arms flailing, a wordless scream echoing through the empty N5. He turns, and strides into the Colosseum. He can smell it in the air. The war will not be an easy one especially with his team weary from the pointless bouts of the international mock-battles set by the powers that be….
The FIFA, priests to the old gods of football. Inbred swine. More creature than man. Creatures whom even Francis can do little about…. for no Gunning midfielder has gone to war without the FIFA’s blessing but yet he must. A terrible battle against the hordes of the Sousers that would soon arrive was all but given. Much hinges on the battle to come.
Catch the gunners doing battle against Liverpool on 4 April 2015 • 17:15 IST at the Ashburton Grove, London
The story and much of the dialogue is based on the movie "300" produced by Legendary Pictures and directed by Zack Snyder, and is based on the graphic novel of the same name by the god that is Frank Miller. This post is a humble tribute to his work of art