|Round 2||2002 MIT Mystery Hunt|
Attached to the deed is a copy of your favorite bedtime story!It was a dark and stormy night in London. Cumulonimbus clouds drifted across the sky. A flying creature ricocheted off the decaying walls. Miranda stepped out of the tavern, sipping at her earthen mug. Gulls circled in the air, all shrieking above the noise of the storm. A solitary raven clawed at the sign hanging above the pub. Suddenly, Miranda dropped her mug and shrieked. In front of her, an olive and ermine portal opened and a hideous creature emerged. She stumbled back blindly and ran headlong.
"Bottoms up!" James toasted his friend Sirius's recent successes at work. James cocked up his ears. "Did you hear that?" he asked his friend Sirius. Sirius nodded - "I heard a 'owl! 'Urry!" They dashed out of the pub and skidded around the corner to see Miranda and the beast.
James struck a pose as a dashing ranger. "Fear not, fair maid! I study kung fu, you know."
Hooting with nervous laughter, Miranda pointed at the monster, while Sirius taunted the beast: "Run back to your nanny-anny! May justice prevail here!"
The odd creature finally spoke. "Treat your adversaries with honor - Bertrand Russell, logician, would reject your uncouth taunts as unworthy of a proper opponent."
Sirius rejected such calls to the rational powers. "Vile pachyderm! Strangle yourself on your own stinkin' words!" Just then an unearthly music drifted from the portal. Miranda gasped, "A chilling riff! In door!" James said, "What other unclean creatures are you summoning, fiend? We shall riddle your corpses with our harsh blows!"
The beast drew himself up to his full height of three meters and sighed. "I should have known better than to expect an Englishman to play fair. Never ask a bandit for a favor, the philosophers say." He gestured at the ground, mumbled, and it shook with tremors.
"More damnation from you, brute? We are agog with the desire to defeat you!" James cried.
Miranda, now fully recovered, said, "Why aren't you answerin' his challenge like gentlemen?" "Ah, you're envisioning some dignified duel, on a tree lawn? 'E's not worth the respect," replied Sirius. Miranda was not convinced. "You're looking forward to the goblin's end? 'E owns you right now! While you crouch with your little taunts, 'e's provin' his manly superiority!"
James sneered at Miranda, "Get a grip, eh?" He turned towards the beast, finally ready to pounce, when suddenly the monster conjured a hex spell - "Eeeeeee-yah!" -- or musters a curse, and he and Sirius flew backwards, smacking the walls.
Miranda, without a look backwards, offered her arm to the monster. "You're actually a charmin' gargoyle, on further acquaintance." They waltzed back through the portal as Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet Overture" drifts through the background. And they lived happily ever after.