With the birds singing at the beginning of it i just imagine an empty field sided by men stringing their bows, and a bunch of dumb sparrows blissfully unaware of the carnage about to unfold.
Archive for August, 2012
Editor’s note: I’m currently co-writing the script for a musical about campaign financing. Ran what we’ve got by some friends and Steve suggested the following musical number.
Senator Strombach’s chest explodes as an interdimensional rift opens and allows a giant claw to erupt from his sternum.
From my chest has burst a clapping snapping claw!
It rips and tears and makes of meat a fleshy slaw!
Bring to me my gun
Not the small but the larger one
Make sure it’s full of ammuniti-on
I must defend this plane – the only human one
What’s that you say? Perhaps you’re right!
My focus on this item has blinded larger sight
Humans only exist in this single universe
To think anything else would simply be perverse!
And if we are truly utterly alone
Then it’s OK to do the thing I thought should never be done
So fire it up! Release the beast!
I’ll get the Medal of Honor or a Nobel Prize at least
The time has come!
The Vorticolion Deviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice!
I am so fucking good at this! Really, this is so easy I don’t see why you need any help. But if need be I’m here.
He wrapped the bandages tightly around the fingertips of his left hand. Burnt blood flaked away and and the thumbnail had come clean off. Pus was building up under scorched nailbed. His entire forearm throbbed with each heartbeat.
He’d never had much luck with incendiary work. Yes, he had spoken the words of invocation correctly. Yes, sheets of flame had leapt from his outstretched hand. And yes, enough of the band of Gorlians had been incinerated so that the others could mop up the rest with hatchet and sword. But he’d lost his second-favorite thumbnail in the process and would have to put on his robe one-handed for a week.
This is what he got for not sticking to his sphere of specialization. Wind and water, clouds and rain – he was a weatherworker at heart. But calling down lightning is a tricky proposition at best, more so when half of your comrades are armored from tip to toe. Underground it was out of the question. The thought of it reminded him of the booth at the harvest fair where men tried to drop a penny into a thimble at the bottom of a bucket of water. There was no way of knowing how lightning would fork through the earth, no matter how much effort you put into it.
So it was pyrotechnics. Fireballs, walls of fire, disembodied fists of flame, etc., etc. Each one with its nasty aftereffects. He’d barely grown back his eyelashes after he’d cast Searing Gaze of Forlank the Lesser. But that’s what you get when you pledge your staff to a bunch of graverobbers.
Long lay we under silt and sediment
Waiting out the tides’
Scraping of the shoreline cliffs
Which split and revealed
Our monumental bones,
Sitting up under the new sun,
Shaking off eons of dust
Rising to greet a world
Ripe again for conquest.
The hour hand of the clock was a scarred battle-axe, the cutting blade chipped and pitted, the butt cracked through to the haft. It was topped with a bent spike that scraped the clockface as it made its tortured way around the wheel of the day. The minute hand was the remains of a sword, rust and long-dead barnacles all but completely obscuring what it had once been, pommel and guard nothing more than a gesture of girth at one end. It gave the impression of something that had been recovered from a shipwreck only to be promptly forgotten, buried for a few decades, and then pulled from the earth and put to makeshift use in the timepiece. It marked the minutes, nothing more. The second hand, however, was a masterwork: a keen-edged scythe honed to a shine along the blade, the haft made from peeled oak that looked to have been grown for its purpose. Through some hidden reservoir or more arcane method, the blade was slick with black fluid, scattering droplets as it whirled its way through the minutes. The death-blade was the quickest and smoothest in its relentless motion.
The alchemist reached down and grabbed the second-hand just below its dripping blade. The mechanism of the clock groaned and creaked, water spilling from buckets held too long in one place. “This must stop,” he said. And began his great work.