The Aviator's Cup by Pete Warner

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SUMMARY: Entry for March Flash Fiction contest (theme: The Tournament)

Welcome to our wednesday-night programme, Wingnuts! I'm Burnett Chesley...

...And I'm Sully Berger and we're going to be bringing you the culmination of AC77 and let me tell you, it's shaping up to be one of the most thrilling contests we've ever seen, right Burny?

Sully, this year's Aviator's Cup might be the 77th, but it's the first time since AC49 when it changed from the old knockout format to the melée one we know today, that no Angels have made it to the last eight. I'm so excited, I've done a little bit of wee!

Speaking of wee, Burny, who'd have thought the defending champion Metatron, winner of the last twenty-four consecutive tournaments, wouldn't be here to defend the title? But I guess this just proves the organisers were right to insist on madatory sample testing before each round. Nobody likes a drugs cheat.

That's right Sully. And to all you kids out there listening, remember to say no to drugs. We'll be back after a word from our sponsors.

Kids won't go to sleep? Carpet worn away on the naughty step? Put down that pillow and pick up Quiescentox 12. Guaranteed to give you 12 hours unbroken peace, anytime of day. When you can't mother 'em and daren't smother 'em, you need Quiescentox 12.

Welcome back follks. And Burny, here come the contestants. First out is the veteran magician Abra Cadabra on his flying carpet. Anybody underestimating that old man is in for a nasty surprise.

Too true, Sully. Oh, here's the bookmaker's favourite, the titanic Sir Galavant on that vicious Dactyl of his, Mercy. Snapping at its tail is the dragon Serpentina. Can't WAIT to see those two going at it!

Ha ha careful there Burny. Don't want you wetting yourself again. Speaking of bedwetters, here comes this years wild card entry, a blind girl called Nefario riding... what is that... an Sky-Whale? Yes folks, she's riding a blubber balloon. Expect her to leave the contest early in this company... wait, the crowd are going nuts, it must be that diabolically handsome Nick Demo! There's a banner being unfurled... can you make it out Burny?

It says "Old Nick gives us the horn", Sully. Nick Demo, of course, being not only horned but one of the only three contestants capable of unassisted flight. Uh oh Burny, looks like the action is underway already! The Mechanista comes hurtling from the entry tunnel on that ludicrous flying iron moth, with the legs of Claudia Hyde wrapped tight around his neck. She's beating on his skull as frantically as her wings beat the air. She's tearing out big lumps of scalp, folks! Can you imagine what it feels like to be beaten on by a sexed up harpie?

Of course I can, Burny. I'm married.

Not for much longer, Sully. By the way folks, last into the arena is Drizl the Storm Witch. She's riding a cloud and hurling lightning bolts at Cadabra, who nimbly avoids them on that carpet of his and sends flocks of white doves back at her. Sir Galavant has taken to the heights with Serpentina and they're circling each other.

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