[something with Zippy. setting?
(medieval/fantasy) (modern/urban fantasy) (futuristic/cyberpunk)
maybe a series of short stories of his different incarnations. that could be cool. but where to start? at the beginning, surely. so, fantasy it is.
start en medias res. that's more fun than not.
but still, what's he doing? ooh! got one. fighting a dracolich and its zombie minions. and he takes it out with [edit for suspense]. heh.
probably wanna start with him in midair. having been whacked? dodging?
how long has he been fighting? i'm seeing it underground. that could work. ooh! a tomb with a big central chamber. perfect.
Okay. No sword. No magic carpet. A few knives, a few dried herring, ten flasks of lamp oil, and the Gloves of Fish Ignition. And no one knows I'm here.
He lowered his shoulder, ramming past the shambling corpse blocking the narrow walk. A cloud of dust and dried skin puffed from the zombie as it spun about and tumbled stiffly over the edge. Zombies everywhere... Zippy shuddered and checked over his right shoulder, the path before him clear for ten paces. He squeaked and dived onto his stomach. The colossal, rotting claws swept over his head, scraping deep grooves in the stone wall behind him.
And that thing.
The dracolich roared in frustration, lurching forward to attack again. "Die, you accursed clown!"
"No!" Zippy shouted back. The undead dragon's half-decayed talons swept down from overhead, and he had half an instant to consider. And as he contemplated the thirty foot drop to the solid rock below, his instincts rolled him over and off the edge of the catwalk. The dracolich knocked a five-foot section of the wooden walkway into splinters, and Zippy spun sharply about in midair, raising an arm as the dragon's arm slammed into him. Zippy's head jerked hard, glancing of the monster's exposed bone. His vision sparking and his arm numb from the impact, he smashed against the dracolich's thigh and dropped the remaining ten feet to the ground, feet down. Expertly, the tucked and rolled, snapping back up to his feet and looking up at his enemy. His eyes blurred and the room swirled.
Naw, it's not worth the risk, he decided three seconds too late.
The dracolich swung its gray-black head about, looking for its quarry. Dizzily, Zippy realized he had landed in a crowd of undead. No fewer than eight zombies stumbled toward him, dead arms outstretched. He shook his head, and only got dizzier.
The dracolich caught sight of him, and the two locked eyes.
Probably should have planned a little better, he thought for the thousandth time.
Even as he thought it, a zombie latched on to his backpack from behind. Zippy tugged, and its grip held firm.
"Perhaps you should have thought ahead, fool," the dracolich rumbled, smiling a jagged, malevolent smile.
"I was just thinking the - oh, no," Zippy said as he saw the dragon's mouth open wide, its head driving down for the fatal chomp. For the merest fraction of a moment, Zippy froze. Then, he swung his arms back and lunged forward, leaping out of his backpack's straps. The dracolich snapped shut its jaws, catching only the zombie and the backpack.
Zippy rolled over his right shoulder, springing back to a low, ready stance. The remaining zombies slowly turned toward him, and the dracolich whipped its reptile head about to face him, a broken shin bone protruding from its mouth. It ground its carnivore teeth together once, and, staring straight at Zippy, swallowed its mouthful.
To the dracolich's amazement, the clown's jaw dropped - not in fear, but in delight. "Wow," Zippy said, lifting one leather-gloved hand. "Thanks." And he snapped his fingers.
The Razorclown grinned and grabbed another biscuit, stuffing the entire pastry in his mouth. The barmaids waited as he chewed, eager to hear the rest of the story. After half a minute of chewing, he took a swig of coffee from his tankard and gulped down the lot. He turned back to his audience, smiling.
"...what?" he asked.
"Well?" the farmer in the corner said. "How'd you beat the dragon?"
"I told you! I snapped my fingers!" Zippy said, holding up his hand. He wore leather gloves with the middle finger and the thumb cut off, along with an open patch on the palm. Emblazoned on the back was a curious design of a flaming fish with Xs for eyes.
The barkeep snapped his fingers. "There! I done the same! Sure ain't killed me no zombie dragon!"
Zippy shook his head. "Oh, simple townsfolk. Don't you remember? It ate my backpack!"
"...which was full of fish..."
A gasp from the dark-haired barmaid, who nearly spilled the mug she was carrying. "And lamp oil!"
Zippy clapped his hands and pointed to her. "Someone buy her a cookie!"
The farmer in the back got it, and burst into racous laughter.
The barkeep lifted an eyebrow at Zippy, and finally, the Razorclown caved. He reached into his new backpack and pulled out a small salted fish with one hand. The other he held up for all to see.
"Behold, the Gloves of Fish Ignition, my second..." he thought for a moment, "...yeah, second most prized possession. One snap of the fingers, and any fish... bursts into flame!" And he snapped. The herring in his opposite hand was instantly engulfed in blue fire, sizzling and popping with heat. Zippy calmly dropped the fish into a nearby mug of beer, which emitted a short burst of steam and a very unpleasant odor.
"Now," Zippy continued, dusting off his hands, "What happens when ten flasks of lamp oil are suddenly ignited by ten pickled herring in a dracolich's throat?"
The laughter had already begun. The light-haired barmaid lifted a fair eyebrow, smirking. "You don't mean..."
"Yup." Zippy smirked back.
The dracolich barely had time to register its surprise before its head was propelled forcefully from its neck. Zippy yelped and leapt to the side as the smoking skull hurtled past him, crashing into the wall with an echoing crack! He looked back to see the dracolich's dead left eye staring at him. A glutteral sound escaped, somehow, from its mouth, and the head crumbled to dust. The dracolich's decapitated body fell to the stone floor, disintegrating on impact. A collective moan filled the cavern as the entire throng of zombies collapsed, the unclean magic animating them dispelled by the death of the caster.
Zippy stood still for a moment, surrounded by dust and corpses. The echoes faded, and the catacomb was silent.
Maybe, he thought, this story will get me some free goodies at the tavern.
He sneezed at the dust.