Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Transmutation; Part 2



He landed on the pavement with a sense of relief greater than any he’d ever felt before, falling to his knees and weeping. He spent a long time there, in quiet reflection. Then he realized he’d have to move. If humans were harmful to others, then they were positively murderous towards themselves. He’d have to hide before they got him. Fortunately, he appeared to be in a forest, and humans had removed themselves from their natural environment, so he would have time.
Abruptly, he heard screaming. Another human had come upon him, and was releasing a loud battle cry to the tune of “OHMYG-DHE’SNAKED” repeatedly. Deciding that it must be preliminary battle chants, Sam picked up a nearby tree branch and, apologizing to the termites he knew lived inside, and smashed it over the man’s head. He fell like the log in Sam’s hand. He was a little confused though; why had the guy been so shocked by his presence?
Then he looked down, and remembered that for some strange reason, humans preferred to cover themselves (maybe they were embarrassed about who they were?). He made up his mind in a few moments. He stripped the man and put on his clothing (though not the shoes; he would become no more an instrument of death than he already was). It was a perfect fit; how serendipitous! It was almost as if there was an author in the sky who wanted to avoid unnecessary drama by having decent clothes.
He left the man on the path and began moving deeper into the woods (staying on the path, where no life lived). He tired swiftly, however, until after a little while he was lying gasping on the path. Then it occurred to him; he was now hundreds of times the size of a roach, yet had only had a roach’s energy when he grew. He would need to find sustenance.
He tried to think; what did humans eat? Well, their great machines were constantly turning up earth and trees, so maybe he could try that? He stopped by the edge of the path and scooped some of the looser, less insectified soil from the ground. After that, it very quickly became apparent that humans did not eat dirt. So, he returned to step one; what did humans eat?
Despite the fact that they consumed hope, life, and nature, he was fairly sure they didn’t draw sustenance from them. It occurred to him he’d never tried plants, yet. He went over to a nearby mint bush and ate some of the leaves from that. Then, feeling guilty, he ate all the leaves from the bush. Then he ate all the leaves off the next bush. Satisfied, he rested on the sidewalk for a few moments. He glanced about.
Having only walked a few meters over the course of his whole life, he now found himself with a quandary; he had no clue where he was and lacked the knowledge of how to bed down for the night, which was fast approaching. He could feel its first breaths upon him, and it looked as if dark clouds were approaching on the horizon. He needed to find shelter.
And so he set off deeper into the forest, abandoning the main path. He still took the deer paths, however, to avoid superfluous crushage. He walked for a long time, till he saw the orb of night rise and the land get plunged into darkness. Then it began to rain. It was a heavy, pelting rain, and it seemed as if there were flecks of ice in it. Pulling the thin coat he’d stolen over his head, he vaguely recalled the man he’d met earlier and wondered if he was okay. His thoughts were torn away from him, however, as he saw a great sea of lights in the distance.
He gulped in terror. He’d travelled so far, he’d left the forest and discovered the hives of the humans. He could no longer take this path, and so ducked off onto a new one at the first possible opportunity. Here the trees got denser, which afforded him some cover from the rain. It came at a cost, however. Here the path resembled that of his dream, as the trees towered over him. Their composition appeared almost to change, being of a far more fleshy nature. Their stalks appeared rubbery, their leaves thin and indistinct.
Far off in the distance, Sam saw a light. Not knowing what else to do, and increasingly numb, he moved towards it. He was vaguely aware of a few screams emanating from under his feet as he left the path, but they were few and far between in the driving rain, and he needed to reach the small shelter he saw ahead.
It was what some mortals who passed over him had called a hovel. In fact, he thought he’d heard reference to this hovel in particular, referred to as “that strange house where the trees get all funny”. Arriving at its entrance, he found himself reaching forwards to knock on the door, then stopped the motion. Where had that thought found its way into his head? He burst through the door, then, stumbling his way through its small entrance. It was one room, with a small table filled with papers and one chair. This chair was occupied. The woman inhabiting it looked up, a small smile playing about her lips. “Why, hello,” she commented, putting down her book. “Nice weather we’re having.”

Sunday, 24 April 2016

From Poppycock to Poppycock

WARNING: This is a sequel to The Lizard and the Poppycock (August, 2014). Please read that first.

Said the Lizard to the Poppycock,
"Hey, aren't we dead?
killed in the previous epoch
when we got bopped on the head?"

Said the Poppycock to his friend,
"Why, I think you're right!
But how'd we escape that awful end,
or are we ghouls and wights?"

Then the two got in such a tizzy,
o'er the nature of being and will,
that it made them positively dizzy,
and it seemed as though time stood still.

At last they came upon a youth,
a wee waif of a lad,
Who looked beneath and saw the truth,
and laughed more than a tad.

'What does it matter,
how you came to be here?
No need to make such a clatter;
you're here and that's all there's to fear!"

Said the Lizard one more time,
"He's right! No need to waste the day,
when it can be spent in glorious rhyme!"
And so they sauntered away.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

The Exercise

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Hello. This is one of those drafts I uncovered from last year. It's not that good, but it has some familiar characters. The Transmutation pt. 2 is in the works, and I hope to get that out to you soon. I finally have a name for my pink-haired friend (you'll see that one very soon, I hope). Anyways, sorry for bothering your reading. Stride forth, and as always any thoughts about the story are welcome.

It was a dark and stormy knight who caused all the problems, I am sure of it. It was late in the depths of October, and the frost was just beginning to show on the ground. I was raking the leaves off my lawn when he jogged past me, armour clanking. He gave me a little wave, and I waved back, thinking he was part of some nearby convention I hadn’t heard about. Then I returned to my leafery. I whistled contentedly to the tune of Tubular Bells for around five minutes, I think it was, when I heard a scream. Recognizing it as the scream of my neighbour, Dean Burrito, I quickly put down my shovel (I’d lost my rake several days previous in a freak football accident) and raced around my fence. But when I arrived at Dean’s house, all was fine. The knight was just nodding his farewells, and Mr. Burrito was in the process of coming back from a dog-walk. “Hello, Lev. I was just saying good bye to this pleasant fellow, I’m sure you met him. Well, anyways, I have to go jogging, see ya.” And with that he left me before I’d even had time to say “but you were just out…”. The knight had already turned the corner. I returned to my house, feeling very bemused, and finished my raking. I was heading back inside for a quick cup of tea when one my other neighbours, Oliver Neverun, jogged past me. “Oh! Hey Levi. Why aren’t you out enjoying the sunshine! Why don’t you come for a jog with the rest of us?” I shook my head and hurried inside, then slammed the door. At the time I didn’t know what was going on, and I still wished I didn’t. I hurriedly called up my uncle, Dayım, who lived down the road from me. He answered, and I asked him if he’d heard anything odd going on. “Sorry Levi. I can’t talk right now.” he panted into my receiver. “I’m jogging just at this moment, but I’ll call you back later.” then he hung up. I was horrified for a minute, and wondered what kind of apocalyptic event was upon us. Then, suddenly, it occurred to me: Why was I upset over people getting exercise? Didn’t we need it? In fact, I reflected sadly, I could stand to lose a few pounds myself. Upon this realization, I stopped worrying about the sudden health habits of others, and went back to what I doubtlessly thought a busy day. I thought no more on my neighbours or uncle till after supper, when I, in the middle of a delicious mocha, heard the flapping of feet outside. I opened my door and was incredulous to see seven of the people on my street, including Dean Burrito, jogging. “What the bloomin’ hell are you doing!” I cried, perhaps a tad rudely. “It’s eleven thirty at night!” Dean answered me: “It’s never too late for exercise, Levi. You should join us!” The others took up the cry; “Join us! Join us!” Terrified, I slammed the door, only to hear ramming against it. I looked outside, and saw several people ramming my door, while the rest had stopped to do leg stretches. I grabbed my coat and raced out the back door. I would have made the newly-turned exercise fanatics proud. I ran down the road, the sound of counting going on behind me “78… 79… 80! Now onto sit-ups!” I had a very specific destination in mind: My friend, Philippe. He hated exercise and anything to do with it. But when I arrived at Philippes’ place I found, to my horror, that he was breaking out the skipping rope. He eyed me, then said “three minutes of skipping is equal to ten minutes of running, dontcha know? Don’t worry, I have a second rope. Trust me on this: just ask this helpful man.” The dark and stormy knight was standing beside him. Realization dawned. “You!” I cried, overcome at the sudden changes. “This is all your fault!” He seemed bemused (Or as bemused as one can seem when in full warplate; how he jogged in that I’ll never know). “Me? I did nothing wrong. I’m  just informing people about the benefits of exercise.” At this point my neighbours caught up to me and began urging me to join them in doing squats. I must confess, I panicked.
I was not used to all this activity from my neighbours, or even my own part in this strange tale. I reacted poorly. “Benefits! Benefits! And what about too much exercise?! EH?! What’re you going to do when everyone exercises to death, you cretin?” And then I hit him. I expected pain, of course, as he was coated in metal and my hands were not. Rather, I felt nothing. His armour crumpled like paper mache under the force of my blow. His now skeletal face grill leered up at me.
“Say, you considered exercising lately? You look like you could use it.” I was going to retort angrily, when I observed a strange, silky black smoke emanating from his hands. It had ensconced me shortly. I was going to backpedal, when all of a sudden I realized; Why backpedal when one could go forward? It was a brilliant night, after all. Perfect for jogging, wouldn’t one say?

Some time later, the dark and stormy night sat down. He removed his crumpled helm, revealing the youthful face and pink hair within. He surveyed his handiwork happily. The corpses lay on the ground, where they had fallen from exhaustion. The boy with the pink hair stepped carefully out of the armour, then stretched his aching muscles. Artimaeus Jy joined him after a few moments. He regarded the scene before him with an expression of extreme distaste.
“Don’t you think there are easier ways to get their attention? I think this was a bit much.”
The boy laughed. “You worry too much: to catch a big fish, one must use a big bait. Besides, I enjoyed that nearly as much as tossing cards.” He leaned back, awaiting his visitors.