The Juggler II
"You've been exceptionally supple and agile since childhood. However, turning somersaults and falling on your head has left its mark."
I have a feeling I overdid the supple part but didn't it say 'exceptionally' XD But if you don't like those weird clenched waists, check out the Easy Mode version! :3
Anyway, it's a little something I put together after playing Kingdom Come Deliverance. Alas after all these years I still feel like an unskilled teenager when it comes to drawing backgrounds, so I just took a screenshot from the game. *doges a rotten tomato*
I also wrote a little story as a bonus just cuz it helps to see the character better :P
The April's Fool
Early April was bright and sunny, all the good Christians were already having the foretaste of the Easter's feast in their mouths as their bellies rumbled every now and then, as if to say "Jesus Christ be praised" from the very bottom of their souls.
Indeed, it was the last day of the forty-day fast called the Great Lent and everyone was exceptionally hungry and couldn't wait for the Easter to finally stuff them with a proper meal.
"Good Lord, this year's fast sure made me light like a feather!" A cute young juggler pranced around his minstrel girlfriend and after doing a couple of circles, performed a beautiful cartwheel, winning a jealous hmpf from a nearby horse.
"Stop that, Sam, you fool!" the girl giggled. "Doesn't it hurt you at all to do such things with such a tight belt on?"
"You have a beautiful waist," the boy parodied her serious voice. "Don't want anything happen to it!"
"Come on!" she shouted. "It's not a joke! If you like tight belts, I can live with that but at least be careful while wearing them! It hurts looking at you bending and stretching and doing all this jumping around with your poor belly clenched so much."
"Hurt!? What are you talking about, Marta, it feels great and tight! I've been doing all these things for years, it's not like I started last night after a mug of mead, you know? I've been belting since I was half my current size! And I wouldn't mind talking you into it, too, it's never too late to start, you know," Sam hugged her and squeezed the girl's soft waist with his strong hands of a skilled athlete. His thumbs buried into her tummy, which produced a gurgling sound.
"Not here, people are watching," Marta blushed, forcing his hands off her waist.
"So what? People are watching! We're street performers! I'd be more concerned if people started ignoring us! Now that'd be a disaster!"
Marta put fists on her hips. "Well, I don't mind if they watch us actually perform, not peeping at us making out!"
Emil looked around. "Oh! Sorry, I got so carried away I had no idea we had so many eyes on us... But! Better not miss the opportunity!" He suddenly unfastened his belt and handed it to Marta. "Think I will show them a few tricks on a tightrope. Are you with me?"
"Sure thing," Marta shrugged and put Emil's belt around her neck as it would hardly fit on her waist, then she shoved her hand in her bag searching for her flute.
"Pff! Now you look like a dog with that collar!" Emil laughed hard. "I thought you'd at least try putting it on your waist!"
"You serious?" Marta raised a brow. "Even if I could do that, I don't think I could breathe with that thing on me! I still need air if you don't! You want to hear a flute or a dying cat?"
"Do as you please! But don't forget to squeeze!!" Emil bent in half laughing his skinny ass off.
"Ha ha! Well, squeeze yourself all you want if you love it so much!" Marta took out a piece of rope from her bag and handed it to Emil. "But here's your punishment for making me worried: we're out of oil since yesterday! I was going to buy some today but spent all the coin on dried meat and that stupid trader was refusing to do anything with the price..."
"No matter! I'll have to try it dry!" Emil winked and tested the rope a bit against his sunken belly. "Mmm, think I can handle it alright!"
"Just don't tug too much," Marta worried again. "You don't want to get bruises!"
"Hmm? But I thought girls love scars on men?"
"Where did you hear that nonsense, from your fellow bandits again? Emil you should seriously stop hanging around with thieves!"
"But they pay a good coin for a nice belted dancing by their campfire and they come up with all the good challenges for me too! Guess what, last time they put my waist on a rope between a tree and a horse, it was so tense! That horse almost lifted me in the air, I swear!" Emil suddenly covered his mouth with his hand. "Oh dear, I shouldn't have mentioned that..."
"W- what the actual fuck, Emil! Stop being such a mindless fool! One day they'll whip that horse real hard just for the laugh and I'll have to bury you under that tree in two pieces!! If you want to keep me around, you seriously have to stop, stop, stop going to these bandit camps, you hear me?"
"But... but they promised me a serious job! It's gonna be fun and they said I'm supple enough for this job... Oh, and stop staring at me like that, I tell you, it's all really safe too! All I'll have to do is squeeze inside a wine barrel and just sit in there over night..."
"And then come out at night and steal all the silver in the house?"
"No no, just keep my ears wide open for some secret talks, then my fellas will replace the barrels in the morning and get me out of there."
"Holy blood of Christ! Secrets!? As in enemy secrets? Are they going to put you in the enemy camp to spy!? That sounds dangerous as hell! Is it going to be some bandits, some enemy camp, or worse... the Cumans!? And what if you sneeze? I bet they wouldn't think twice to pierce that barrel with something sharp and fill their glasses with your blood instead of wine!"
"Ouch! I didn't even think things could go that way..." Emil shuddered. "It's good I talked this over with you first!"
"Figures!" Marta crossed her arms. "Well, how about I, the girl who actually loves you, give you a challenge for once! How about you have to go and earn a good coin from some good Christians this time! I believe you have enough talent to stay as a good person, Emil."
"Alright, alright! It's not like I'm trying to be a bad guy," Emil shrugged, "just trying to find ways to earn us more coin is all. But hey... wait, I think I just got an idea any good Christian would love!"
"Oh yeah! And what is it?"
"You'll see!" Sam pranced like a little kid to the middle of the town square and stood there waving his arms in the air. "Good people!! All of us good Christians been fasting for forty days now! We all fastened our belts real tight for Lord Jesus! But who was Christ's most faithful servant these days!? How about we put together a nice pile of coins and the one who fastens his belt the tightest gets the whole fortune!!"
As Sam kept shouting like that, the townsfolk gathered in a tight circle around him.
"Is this kid serious?"
"Well my pants always fall off these days, bet I could easily win this little contest!"
"Nothing I wouldn't try for a coin!"
"Oh, my son is pretty skinny, I better hurry to find him! Sounds like it's his chance!"
"This young man has a brilliant idea! This is one good way to praise those who were actually fasting and not just pretending to fast and then stuffing themselves at night!"
"I'm always wearing a tight rope under my priest's robe to tame the flesh, but never thought it would pay off one day!"
In a short time the entire town gathered in the town square for the belting contest. Even the noble boys came just to prove they're better than peasants in any possible competition. People already started taking their shirts and robes off, exposing the results of the strictest forty-day dieting, some of them looked really skinny and more than ready for the tight belting challenge.
Such a competition was indeed a great conclusion for the long-term fast and the pile of coins kept growing steadily, especially once the nobility joined. All to the joy of Sam who smirked as he just couldn't wait to show off what kind of sponge he himself was made of!
The following belting and waist measurements took some hours as many people complained they were measured too soon and came back after some more tugging to be re-measured. But Sam only kept grinning as the skinniest of these people was still not a match for him.
Sam himself wasn't exactly skinny, his body was pretty healthy and toned all over, except the waistline that was soft like a sponge and could be squeezed in any manner he liked. After all, he enjoyed tight belts since he could remember, as a child he'd often have fun laying over a wooden fence or a tight rope to enjoy how deep it could bury into his tummy, but at the age of eight he decided to start training for real.
In his early teen years it became apparent it was his life's passion, so he ran off with the wandering minstrels because they had a tightrope and allowed him to hang on it whenever he wanted, which was great to train his waist and belly. And he could hang on it any time since he didn't mind other jesters stepping on him as they walked on the tightrope, squishing his waist against it even more.
After a few years of practice he could easily make it look like body was made of two separate halves and all his friends already called him Sam the honeybee, and not just because he was really sweet. So after figuring out that beating this human bee seemed like an impossible task, the crowd and the other contestants started getting a little annoyed.
"You win this year, bee boy! But on the next year's Easter's eve you'll have to face some real wasps!"
"Yeah, you might have that special talent but we'll see you in a year! It's going to be a real fight!"
"For this much money I'm never going to take my belt off again! Next year's coins will be mine!"
"Forty days, hah! I'm gonna starve myself for a whole year if that means beating your wasped ass!"
Sam did the dance of a happy bee and was just about to bend down and grab the coin, when suddenly someone's hand grabbed his shoulder and he heard Marta's voice whispering in his ear. "What are you doing, you fool? Can't you see they all feel cheated?"
"But it was a fair fight!"
"No, because you're a natural born honeybee and they're just the starved folk. They didn't grow up with a dog's collar on their waists. Even if they starve for a year or two, they'll never make it to your level anyway. So I swear to God it just looked like you robbed them! If you wanted to be fair, you should have shared your talent with them, not use it against them."
"I guess you're actually right, I sort of used my skills against these people, now to think of it... That wasn't very Christian of me."
"See? So go apologize and give them a good show to make them forgive you. And then maybe they will give you the proper coin you deserve."
"Well, alright," Sam hugged his girlfriend. "I guess I have a couple of stunts up my sleeve that they're gonna enjoy enough to forgive me!"
"Yeah, just don't let them drag you to the tavern, you know what happens when you drink."