Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Interlude III

Posted: September 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

SQUIRREL.

This may seem like a simple word, but it’s not. Whatever language you speak, you understood it, without even realising it wasn’t in your native tongue. What’s more, you knew what it meant, even if you’ve never seen a squirrel. Armed with that word, you could tell without a shadow of the doubt what was a squirrel and what wasn’t.

SHREW.

I speak the language of Creation. The words in which our world had first been described by the demiurges. Each word is the idea itself. They are what gives a thing its identity. When first spoken, they had created their subjects. Now, we speak them to preserve. I move through the courtyard, doing my daily chores as I perform my actual task.

SKUNK.

It’s all but impossible to lie in the First Tongue. The ones who can are called wizards. Our magic is much more simple. By repeating these words daily, we remind the world of everything it has. It is a strange thing to do, I admit. Sometimes I doubt we accomplish much. But we have to try. In the face of all the loss, we have to try. Here comes the part I dread.

GERBIL.

The litany of extinctions. The words that come out not as strong, not as confident. Just like everything is described by the First Tongue, so does the First Tongue require things to describe. There are no words for those that are gone and not coming back. The world forgets them even if we don’t. Every day, we witness the world grow poorer, a word at a time.

HEDGEHOG.

This is the founding belief of our monastery: that we can strengthen the subjects of a word by repeating it. Reinforcing it. A prayer to the world itself. We have split the animals and plants between us, spent years studying their subjects to perfect our pronunciations, all to stave off their oblivion.

Ferrit.

Wait. That didn’t come out right. Furrit. Feerat. I stumble, steadying myself on the nearest wall. Pherret. I struggle to draw breath, to push air out again. The hoarse whisper that comes out doesn’t sound like anything at all. I stand there, my chest heaving, tears welling up in my eyes. The yard freezes. All the eyes are on me. I concentrate, maybe it was just a mistake I made. Maybe it’ll turn out alright.

Furrat.

I sink to my knees. Across the yard, my sister moves her lips in time with mine. She doesn’t notice a bucket full of milk come clattering down from her hands. Stillness spills over the monastery. My brothers and sisters are afraid to move, all saying the same word in unison, begging the world not to forget it. Begging the tiny furry creatures to live.

Ferryt. Fereet. Ferreed. Ferret. Ferret. FERRET. FERRET! FERRET!

Tears flow freely now, tears and laughter. Somewhere far away, a critter had found the will to open its eyes. I stand up, dust the dirt off of my knees. With a grin on my face, I go looking for a broom to do something about the milk. The grin fades, though. Our job is not over. In the world at the brink of petering out, it cannot be over.

WOMBAT.

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Interlude II

Posted: March 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

Brother-in-light,

The investigation into the activities of the so-called Outskirts Beast has taken on a new urgency. The Beast grows bolder. Two days ago, as you are undoubtedly aware, it has fatally attacked Peter Malych near the butcher’s shop he ran. This was the first occasion of an attack within the illuminated zone. It also came too soon after the previous attack. Despite these deviations form the established pattern, I am certain the Beast is the perpetrator. Characteristic non-fatal lacerations likely left by claws are present, the victim’s death purposefully prolonged, even though this time his torment wasn’t as long, likely due to a greater risk of exposure in the light.

The Beast relishes victims’ fear. It displays sadism not normally present in the natural world. This, coupled with the unconfirmed reports of the Beast calling on its victims in the voices of their friends, offers further credibility to the theory that the Beast is not, in fact, a beast, but a malicious individual. Thankfully, there are no signs that would indicate the Great Shadow’s or its slaves’ involvement.

Taking these facts into consideration, it is my belief that the Beast’s uncharacteristic attack was not random like the rest. Mr. Malych must have somehow gotten close to the Beast’s secret identity, most likely unwittingly. Therefore it is my recommendation that his daughter Jennifer is to be observed and approached by someone more fitting to the task, in case she knows something without realising it or is to become the next target.

This concludes my report on the assigned task. However, I must once again question the wisdom of the decision to not move on the known distributors of slime. I realise we do not have full information on the suppliers yet, beyond their aquatic disposition, but the immediate effects of this poison flooding the streets are truly sickening. Any respite, however temporary, would be welcome.

Yours,

Sister-in-darkness

Interlude

Posted: May 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

The old man aches. He hasn’t slept in so long, he doesn’t remember what it feels like to lie down. He doesn’t remember many things. A few more steps. There were friends, once. Brothers in arms, willing to share his burden. They came and went, fading from memory. In his weakest moments, he envies them. In his proudest, he admires them. They shared his burden, without sharing his guilt. He can make it a bit farther.

There still are others, who follow him to this day. These, too, are transient. He has outlived so many. He had no right to, but he did. He wishes he could hold on to their names, could remember their faces, could find tears for them. These noble fools willing to pay for the old man’s mistake. The ridge is near, he’ll just make it to there.

The old man’s mind wanders as he travels. Could he have done something differently? Not then, anything would have been better then. But later, could he have prevented this? Could he have fought harder, argued fiercer? He had failed to right his wrong. He can see the water from there, he should at least get to the water. No matter. The past happened. All he can do is live with it, step by step, day to day. Now there’s a joke.

The old man still has hope. It’s the one thing that keeps him moving. Every step brings new heartbreak, yet his hope never waivers. Every step reveals new suffering, yet he keeps moving. Every step condemns his crime, yet he takes it without flinching. One more step. One more.

He has lost his war, that much he knows. All that’s left to him is holding on. Holding on until someone can absolve him. His enemy is vast and ancient, even compared to the old man. The old man knows: what is a personal, life-long struggle for him is a momentary inconvenience for his foe. His foe, his crime. He sees a city, perhaps he can get to it.

The old man has forgotten many things. Sometimes, he forgets he has a body. Sometimes, he forgets he doesn’t need to. He would have forgotten his own name, if thousands of people didn’t greet him on his way. For them, he can keep moving just a bit longer.

Marcus continues his journey.

The sun rises.