It seems no one really expected a game to be played on these grounds any time soon. The ground is torn to bits at both ends and kegs leftover from some celebration or consolation binge are littered along the sidelines. No one even bothered to move the busted vending cart that acts as a barrier sitting stranded in front of the goal the Masons are set to defend.
Still, Roast lines up in front of goal with the ball at his feet, the rest of the cooks steadfast beside him in full kitchen attire, pristine and mostly bright white. Most people are surprised the big man can even see the ball to kick it with his giant belly protruding outward from his center mass. Roast is a hulk of a being, large and wearing a only a white tank top that should have been replaced about three belly sizes ago. His crooked toque blanche standing tall and off to the side above his blubbery, grumpy face is a perfect compliment to the meat cleavers he's fashioned into lethal knuckledusters. The Masons await the kickoff adorned in steel plate and purple cloth.
Roast lurches forward in a jog, planting his greasy brown boots deep in the grass and lobs the ball barely into the Mason's half of the pitch. Chisel is the first to react to the open ball, calling on Mallet to assist her while she jogs forward. Chisel's short black hair flies back and steel plates grate across Chisel's torso and shoulders as she takes possession and retreats back towards her own goal to let loose towards Mallet. The ball flies through the air as Chisel's years of experience pay off in a perfectly placed pass, soaring from the steel of her greaves straight into Mallet's possession in the backfield.
Mallet stands tall with the ball at his feet, crew cut dark hair outlining his face along with his chin strap beard. He leans on the shaft of his enormous hammer. The purple team colors of his shirt reflect off the polished metal handle as the weight of the business end causes the weapon to sink into the soft ground beneath him. Chisel stands guard with her own sizable hammer resting on her in her left hand with the shaft resting along the back of her shoulders, taking up cover next to the decrepit vending cart just ahead of Mallet.
The Cooks slowly advance up the field in unison, clean white uniforms starkly contrasting the filth surrounding them, for now at least. Even Roast had the sense to allow his team to catch up to him before advancing towards the tough Masons that advanced opposite his guild. A mysterious calm took hold for a brief moment before the Mason's mascot, Marbles the monkey, lobbed the most glorious throw of dung right into the face of Roast before lumbering away in his makeshift armor. Marbles made his way to the wall Corbelli and Chisel had formed in front of Mallet as the crowd added insult to injury. They continued jeering the fat man as he wiped feces from his face and belly where it had dropped and smeared until his rage couldn't stand it and he raced forward; however, with as slow as Roast is, Shank made contact with the Masons first.
Shank is a slender man - wearing his own clean chefs outfit - and it's no wonder he has speed to accompany those long limbs. His teammate, Sugar the baker, had offered up some "encouragement" in the form of her baked goods that left him foaming at the mouth and eager to be the first to charge in. The crowd roared with claims of steroid abuse when the hefty black haired baker passed along the biscuit that Shank had gobbled down, roars accompanied by both cheers and shouts of condemnation.
With blades piercing between steel plates and blood draining down chainmail leggings, Shank ruthlessly tears into Corbelli before anyone even realizes what's going on. Splatters of crimson overwhelm the violet dyes of Corbelli's once pristine uniform. Corbelli stands on his last leg as Mallet swoops in for the rescue calling Chisel over to scrum up on Shank in return. The ball is sent flying with the first swing of his hammer with perfect accuracy to Champ who had advanced down the wing to his left and Shanks legs were sent flying with the second swing. Lying on the ground, Shank could only let out a short grunt of anger before Mallet's hammer slammed into his chest, stamping the cold, muddy stone brick down with unimaginable torque.
Harmony, in her own light attire with no real armor, had taken this time to advance up the opposite side of the pitch and could only watch in horror through the sweaty red hairs strewn across her face as Roast and Wellington closed in on Chisel. Marbles attempted to intervene but was only shoved aside by Roast as Wellington exhibited why he's called the deadliest chef in the kitchen.
Wellington stood tall in his white double-breasted jacket with a chef's knife in one hand and a cleaver in the other. His arms and hands moved with the same precision as if he were in his own kitchen preparing the finest cut of beef and slicing Chisel up with swift, accurate strikes until there was nothing left of her despite her armor. Roast glanced over in awe as he struggled to wrestle his way through the scrum to put his own blades into that damned monkey.
The officials ruled a takeout for the Cooks, but Champ was quick to answer by sprinting up the sides. She started dashing around the muddy terrain to escape Sugar, who had chased after the ball - not realizing the state of the terrain - and smothered her pure white baker's outfit with the mud she became stuck in. Champ pushed through as she placed one armored boot in front of the other in her race to the goal. Shank had managed to rise to his feet after having been scolded by Wellington for "slacking off in *my* kitchen" and lashed out at Champ with his blade slicing open the side of her head as she raced by. A true warrior on the pitch and off, Champ pressed through the pain and sensation of blood dripping through her short, tight hair curls. She grunted and put her armored boots to the ball as she dribbled in to tap in range and hoofed the ball at the goal post. The speeding ball slammed home and ricocheted off into the crowd as fans roared to life once more.
Cheers and jeers dulled the senses of everyone in attendance until well after the ball finally soared back in thanks to the rowdy folk seated in the crowd behind the goal. The ball bounced in front of Pepper, the vicious otter the cooks let run around drawing blood from their opposition. Shank dug more blades into Corbelli before Corbelli collected himself enough to burst through the middle of the scrum to follow up the effort of his peer. Blood, blades, and bits of Corbelli's afro flew through the air as the Mason's captain wrestled to be free of the scrum.
Corbelli stood taller than anyone else on the pitch, but in this moment he kept his body very low to the ground, lifted his chiseled jaw and pointed it forward. His hand smeared crimson across his forehead as he wiped the blood from his eyes. Corbelli plants his left foot in the ground ahead of him, leading Shank to lean in for the kill only to find himself swinging at air as Corbelli lifts his body the other direction with an incredible feat of acrobatics, almost as if floating to the right, and broke free towards the helpless otter who had just moved to fetch the ball.
One swift kick to take the ball and another precise and powerful blow to send it soaring towards the goal post once more. The crowd erupts! Violence breaks out in the stands as patrons fall into the pitch while Cooks fans feel the pressure of a 2 goal lead and want to vent their frustrations. Soon enough the ball is returned to the pitch as Cinnamon scoops up possession and takes it forward, her black and red plaid mini skirt flutters in the wind and her clean white tank top presses against her torso. She turns in to swing her peel at Corbelli with her slender, tattooed limbs. A direct hit on Corbelli thumps him in the middle of his breast plate, nearly knocking him unconcious.
Mallet must have seen Cinnamon coming because he was there offering his wounded captain support once more in an instant. Mallet thrust out his hammer to sweep the ball from Cinnamon's feet with his long reach, knocking her down in the process and shuffling the ball back to his captain for a quick snapshot at the winning goal. Momentum spread from the hammer to the ball, through the ball to Corbelli's swinging boot, and back through the ball to the goal in one smooth motion.
The Cooks fans who incited violence at the last goal hadn't even been fully restrained before more joined in at this devastation of total defeat. Three goals in the blink of an eye is enough to see a battered Masons team snatch a quick victory from a ruthless Cooks guild. Corbelli is the hero his team relies on and Champ the rookie is dutifully earning her place in the team.
Momentous Victory: Masons vs Cooks
Anthony Moore (2020-03-25)
The views and opinions expressed in Tales from the Pitch are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Longshanks.