Llewellyn had been a soldier himself once, of a lowly rank. Never could he have achieved the status of those he was now so eager to watch: fifteen warriors, known as Dragons, the finest men of the realm, selected to fight for their country. On the outcome of this battle depended the future of his homeland.
He was far away. Sent on a distant mission, he had no grandstand view of the battlefield, which was bordered on all sides by a moat where crocodiles lived. But he’d made his way to a vantage point and had the next best thing – a pair of magic glasses, procured after much haggling from a peddler of wondrous devices. As the signal was given, and the first attack was launched, he squinted through them and marvelled to see each thrust and parry, each clash of sword and mace.
It wasn’t a senseless battle: there were rules. Points were awarded for each opponent thrown into the moat, and at the end, the whole country of the losing side must swear fealty to the victors. Llewellyn’s heart was in his mouth – the Dragons would either emerge victorious or bow down to their dreaded enemy, the Roses.
For 70 minutes, the combat swung back and forth, each soldier straining to push his opponent back, but not a single man yielded. Then, with ten minutes remaining, the Roses found a new resolve, slowly driving the Dragons towards the moat.
Unable to bear the tension, Llewellyn looked away. He uttered a prayer. The next few seconds would decide the future of his country. Eventually, his mouth dry with apprehension, he turned his head – and saw nothing.
‘What?’ He fiddled with the controls, shook the glasses furiously, desperate to see even the haziest blur that would tell him if his country had won or lost.
A couple of passers-by, who stood, perplexed and alarmed, observing him, later spoke of a madman hysterically jumping up and down on the remains of an inanimate object.
This is a true story. It’s happened before and I fear in my bones it’s going to happen again. Tonight. The Six Nations. Wales v. England. That’s Rugby Union, if you’re wondering. The rules are slightly different from what I’ve described, but basically that’s what it comes down to. Getting no official coverage in Mayotte, I have to go through some shady internet streaming site that chooses to freeze at the most vital, heart-stopping moment. So please don’t worry if you hear no more from this blog henceforth. It’ll simply mean I’ve smashed my computer.