The Fantasialand City Enquirer

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“Our paper has a wonderful history, let me tell you,” Yancey the Reporter began, “there’s been some really great stuff that’s come off of these typewriters.” Little Rodney followed quietly with a slight hunch, holding his father Yancey’s hand as the pair weaved between the busy newspaper workers at Fantasialand City Enquirer headquarters. “The newspaper was formed as part of a royal decree from Queen Anne XXVIII, demanding a tabloid for her to buy at the supermarket for her own entertainment, mostly because she enjoyed hearing about herself and all the naughty things she did. It wasn’t until Queen Anne XXIX’s decree several years later the Enquirer was allowed to report on celebrities not holding the title of Queen. She made the decree mainly because she did not enjoy reading about naughty things she did. After Queen Anne XXXI…” Rodney stopped listening at this point to watch a friendly sword duel going on in one side office. His father uttered a quick empty threat and yanked Rodney’s hand along.

“This office on our right was officially retired and permanently locked because it reported on an anonymous tip saying the then current King was gay. He set forth a royal decree immediately afterwards that he "so totally wasn't" and so it became treasonous to say he was. He still abdicated three days later, though, a real success for the paper.” The two were now outside the editor-in-chief’s door, and after a few minutes’ wait the secrefairy allowed them in.

The boss’s office was small due to the space restrictions everywhere in the HQ, but the walls were covered with a “hall of fame” for all of the great headlines the paper had ever produced. Just a glance at one section revealed to Rodney the classic stories “Frog Prince: ‘I’m Just Not Ready for Kids’”, “Cinderella Slippers Fit Again After Liposuction”, and of course the famous headline “Prince Derek and Swan Photos You Won’t Believe!” that caused an entire royal family in Swan Lake district to fall into disgrace. Yancey was here today to receive a promotion from “The Reporter” up to “The Defamer”, and had brought his son along to the office for both a tour and to show legitimate financial need to his boss.

The boss, Timothy the Public Life Destroyer, was brief: “Yeah yeah yeah, ya got the promotion, now get outta here and on your next story. We got the knight police about to bust into that dragon’s keep, ya know, where he’s got the damsel locked up?” a quick nod from Yancey the Defamer confirmed he was aware of the story. “Yeah, the knight police are gonna make a mass charge on the keep or somethin’, so be sure to catch everything that goes on over there.” Yancey rushed out so quickly that Rodney flew up into the air a bit as he was being pulled.

Yancey brushed aside the people admiring his exotic flying rug outside and whisked it away to the dragon’s keep. He found the situation was already flaming up by the time he got there. Fire was intermittently pouring out of the castle during the knight police’s last attempts at negotiations. “Just give us the damsel! There’s absolutely no need for us to clash swords with claws over this!”

The dragon flamed once again through a small slot in the castle door, and calmly replied in a deep roaring English accent “She’s happy here! Why won’t you listen to me? We’re in wonderful love!”

“We’re going to storm the place if you don’t ‘and ‘er over immediately!” The dragon only flamed as though slightly annoyed, just a short puff in silence. After an imperceptibly short pause, the knight police charged all at once straight at the castle.

“WHY DO YOU HATE OUR LOVE?!” the dragon boomed, knocking most of the knight police back a couple of feet. Yancey the Defamer furiously scribbled notes while his son stared with world-record large, gaping eyes. The knight police screamed and charged in their clanking armor during the almost awkwardly quiet moment after the dragon’s boom. The charge looked rather impressive, but all of them failed to notice the obvious trap they were running into, the classic flaming moat with fireproof piranhas. Yancey recorded seventeen deaths by heat/drowning/piranha in his notebook, and a widespread rout of the remaining knight police. The Enquirer would be all too happy to report another police disaster, and this one would actually be factual.

Back at the Enquirer headquarters, the story became the headline for that day. “Police Go Down In Flames; Dragohuman Baby Photos That Will Shock You!” It would go down in Fantasialand City Enquirer history as the best most read factual headline they ever ran. Of course it was only factual for the police story, not the fabricated Dragohuman hybrid photos, so the record is often disputed. But Yancey's proud little son Rodney got into the Enquirer business that day, by posing for the dragohuman photos that really made the story.





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