After a long and disappointing voyage, Ollie finally made it to Duelist Kingdom, Maximillion Pegasus’ private island decked out with Kaiba Corp. 's newest high-tech dueling systems. The invite he received in the mail said it was all expenses paid, but he quickly realized that only meant the fare to get to and from the island. He was starving after a dinner of nothing but the remnants of a few crusty french fries and an instant ramen seasoning packet he fished out of the caverns of his baggy Adidas track pants. He couldn’t remember leaving those in there, but he was thankful his mom hadn’t gotten to his laundry yet. Poor hygiene aside, he felt more than prepared despite being an amateur duelist; he scouted through the aisles of Wal-Mart buying all the packs of Duel Monsters cards he could afford from his measly allowance of $5 a week. Maybe once he won the championship, Ma would be proud of him and upgrade him to $10. Just think of all the cards he could buy then!
Ollie stepped off the boat eager to start his first duel and get his hands on some star chips. The first potential opponent he saw was a tall blonde woman wearing clothing he’d only seen in magazines he hid in the shoebox under his bed; her cleavage cascaded from the confines of her corset and she leaned over to buckle a garterbelt to her leg that pocketed her playing cards snug against her thigh. To say he was intimidated would be an understatement, but he would never admit that to himself. No, surely this was just the anxious butterflies of love at first sight. He decided he wouldn’t duel her, but would instead offer to be her escort. Dueling was dangerous afterall! And it didn’t look like she was with anyone. He walked over to her expecting she would accept his offer; pretty people are always nice, afterall.
“Hey, lady! Ya’ godda boyfriend? Maybe I could—”
“Beat it, twerp. I’ve got bigger fish to fry.”
The woman flipped her wavy blonde hair and the scent of a hundred different Victoria’s Secret perfumes wafted in Ollie's direction as she walked away. Wow he thought. She sure smells fancy. He followed behind her for a while, thinking to himself that even if she shut down his offer, he could at least watch over her from afar. Ollie lurked behind her, creeping through bushes and shrubs until eventually he found himself lost in the woods and with no beautiful bombshell in sight.
“Aw, dang it. Now who ‘da heck am I gonna’ duel out here?”
Ollie tried pinpointing his location to no avail and realized he’d been wandering in circles for at least an hour. He was lost, alone, and most of all hungry. He reached around his pockets and fished out his deck. “Well, these cards won’t do me any good if I’ve got no one to play against. Guess I’ll have to make do with eating some of these ‘til I find something better.” He sorted through his cards, looking for one that looked the most tasty.
“Sorry, Hungry Burger . Guess I’m hungrier ‘dan you today.”
Ollie was halfway through snacking on his card when he smelled the aroma of tobacco floating in the breeze. He perked up and readied himself for his very first opponent. He moved between the brush following the smell until he located the source: a slender, latex-clad, middle-aged man who disappointedly blew smoke in his direction once he spotted him.
“Mon Dieu …” the man muttered as he finished his cigarette, throwing it to the ground and stomping it out with the heel of his boot. “Just my luck one of these brats showed up during my smoke break…” The man was hired by Pegasus himself as a player-killer—that is, a duelist who will go through any lengths necessary to make sure only Pegasus’ preferred opponents make it to the finals. He was allured by the prospects of actual killing, but when he realized he would just be a glorified chaperone crushing the dreams of nerds in an international children’s card game championship, he agonized over how far he’d fallen from his former glory as a world-renowned super spy. But he had medical bills to pay, and at least he got to stay in a swanky castle for a week. He had to respect Pegasus’ aesthetic.
The man pulled a gun from his thigh holster and directed it at Ollie, who gawked at him just as much as the woman before. Golly , Ollie thought, does everyone here dress like sinners? This sure isn’t like church camp.
“Hey, you, idiot,” Ollie’s opponent shouted in a thick French accent. “I do not have time for you to just stand there. Get on that duel platform now. I’m taking all of your starchips whether you hand them over willingly or not.”
“Oh, yeah?!” Ollie bellowed, his voice cracking, which broke any facade of toughness he thought he gave off. “We’ll just see who beats who! I'm gonna be all over you like stink on an elephant!” He stepped onto the duel platform and faced opposite from the increasingly depressed-looking player-killer. “I don’t even know your name! Who ‘da heck are ‘ya? Catwoman?”
The other man soured his face as he slowly rose on the platform. “Nom de dieu de merde ...they do not pay me enough for this,” he sighed. “I guess you can call me Mr. Scylla. A worthless brat like you does not deserve to be on a first name basis with me. Now, are you happy to know what name to shout when I crush your dreams today?”
“Mistah...Sc— I’m just gonna’ call ya’ Mistah S!” Ollie was excited. It was his very first tournament duel! “I’m Ollie!”
Scylla ignored the over-enthusiastic introduction of his competitor and began shuffling his deck and drawing his cards. “Let's get this over with…”
Ollie set his deck on the playing field and drew his first hand. Just as he pulled his final card, a set of metal shackles fastened tight around his ankles.
“What ‘da heck?!”
“It is so incompetent duelists like you do not run away. Like I said, I will be taking your star chips today so I can get paid and go home.”
“Nu-uh!” Ollie retorted expertly. “I’ll gonna be ‘da winnah’ today! Time to knock you on your tushy!” He laid his first card down on the field. “I ‘pway ‘dis card face down and end my turn.”
Scylla snorted at Ollie’s pathetic attempt at trash talk and dramatically lifted his cards in front of his chest to make his first play.
“For a duelist who acts tough, you are more cautious than I thought you would be. Let’s not stretch this out longer than it needs to be.” He nimbly lifted two cards from his hand, balancing them delicately between his latex gloved fingers. “I play one card face down and play Queen’s Knight . En garde !” The fierce warrior card struck a fencing pose in time with Scylla and the two awaited Ollie’s move.
Wow, Ollie thought, he’s tough! He drew his next card. “I pway Swamp Battleguard ! On guard!”
“It’s en garde ...anyway, now is not the time for a French lesson. You’ve fallen into my trap. Activate, Skull Dice .” Scylla pulled a six-sided die out and rolled it tauntingly in his hand.
“You got pockets in that thing?!”
“Let’s not think about where I pulled this from and let me explain to you what this card does,” Scylla sighed. “I roll this dice, and your stupid ogre loses attack points.” He threw the die down on his playing field. “Quel magnifique! A six! Say goodbye to your weak monster, boy!”
The battleguard charged against the knight, getting impaled by her sword and exploding into hundreds of tiny pixels.
“And it is now my turn. How kind of you to give me two attacks back to back. I play Jack’s Knight and another card face down.” He chuckled. “But it will be no fun to destroy you like this. It would be very unsportsmanlike of me to take out such a weak duelist like you in one turn. I’ll have Queen’s Knight attack you again and let Jack’s Knight take a rest.” As his monster attacked, Scylla unzipped the back of his latex mask and peeled it from his face. Keeping his identity hidden from someone who clearly posed no threat wasn’t worth the theatrics and discomfort of his disguise. He swept his salt and pepper curled hair back, his sweat from under the mask catching like dewdrops on each coil. He pulled out another cigarette.
“I don’t need to listen to you! My mommy says I’m really strong!” Ollie forced back tears as he watched his life points drop and turned his attention back to his hand. “I pway ‘dis chicken card, in defense mode!” On the field emerged an exhausted looking chicken with a green mohawk of feathers running down its back. Ollie proudly cheered at his prized Niwatori and resumed his dueling trash talk. “Ya ever been in a cockfight, Mistah S?”
Scylla snickered at the kid’s pathetic attempt at a comeback, though he had to admit the kid was at least passionate. But he needed to finish this duel once and for all to put Ollie out of his misery. Time to bring out the big guns.
“It’s my turn, and unfortunately for you, your last.” Scylla took a drag of his cigarette and played his next card. “ C’est beau, my final musketeer is ready to join his comrades. I play King’s Knight and will sacrifice all three to bring out my ace for a royal flush. Gandora! ”
From the field, a monster of a dragon rose from the pixelated floor—its body a slick black that resembled the spy who played it. The dragon swept its tail behind itself gracefully and readied for its attack.
“Not so fast! You fell ‘stwaight into my twap! I flip over Doom Donuts and use its effect, sending your card and your life points straight to ‘da graveyard! Bye-bye, dwagon!” Ollie exclaimed.
“Merde …” Scylla bit down on his cigarette, pulling it from his lips and angrily snubbed it out on the side of the duel platform. He saw what would have been a decent down payment on his debt fade away like embers in the ash.
“And now it’s my turn again. Go get ‘em, Niwatori!”
“Non!” The Frenchman shouted in disbelief.
“That’s right, poopyhead! You’re about to get a big boo-boo!” Ollie cheered as he watched the middle-aged man sneer as he watched his life points deplete. Scylla threw down his cards in exasperation and hopped down from the dueling platform, landing hard on his heels, no doubt sending aches up his aging knees. He leaned against the platform, punching it with a balled fist.
Ollie lowered himself down from the platform and walked over to the man. Even though he was riding the high from his victory, he felt a little bad for the other man.
“Hey, Mistah S?” Ollie said. There was a moment silence without Scylla verbally acknowledging Ollie’s advance, and Ollie became bashful in reaction to Scylla staring daggers at him. Ollie put his hands in his hoodie pocket and gently kicked the dirt. “Ya ‘wanna hug? ‘Dat always makes me feel better when I lose.” He reached his arms out invitingly; there were hints of ramen dust still on the front of his clothes.
“Quel imbécile…” Scylla trailed off, rejecting Ollie’s offer. He straightened himself out, his full height towering over Ollie, as he pulled his latex mask back out to hide his face again.
Ollie watched as Scylla stomped away—the heels of his boots clacked on the gravel and his body glistened under the setting sun. Ollie felt a familiar warm yet confusing feeling rise in his stomach and he smiled. But Ollie's brief bask in victory was quickly interrupted by a loud Brooklyn accent coming from the distance and the tantalizing smell of chocolate floating through the breeze.
“Joey, I don’t think we should cook the candybars,” a soft voice urged ahead of him.
Ollie peeked through the bushes ready to make friends with whoever was responsible for making what would hopefully be his first meal of the day.