Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Eyes in the Dark

Two eyes staring emberlike through the dark. Two eyes, staring hatred at my soul.

This was the awakened face of malice, the face of all dark dreams made manifest in the world - given power by whichever twisted mind forged this wretched plane of existence in the eons past when gods forged worlds from the very essence of their imaginations. All the dark emotions that people detest in themselves granted power; power to reduce the object of our emnity to ash, power to twist the land into a barren hellscape. The very air here had been changed into a black miasmic cloud that burned metal, clothes and exposed flesh with equal vigor.

Magic in this place fed off these things, encouraged them, shaped itself around them. And of all the hopeless, desolate worlds left as a relic to the whimsy of some long dead god, this was by far the most despairing. One more world and people simply waiting to die.

Two eyes staring spite into the world. I watch as my companion, my friend of many years, is blasted to ash which swirls about the cavern chamber by the torchlight - extinguishing it. The world hates me now, it takes joy in those two eyes and in bending itself to satisfying that which lurks behind them. And looking into those eyes, I know there is no such painless death of ash awaiting me. These eyes want me to suffer, they want to see it.

In such a world as this, life is brutal and short. The people here bathe in the power the land offers them and die on the twin edged sword of their own magic. Yet even in a place that rewarded the worst thoughts and feelings with fantastic power - this creature stood alone; the very embodiment of the spirit of the god forsaken world. Consequently the people here worshipped it as a god.

Consequently when they found I possessed magic beyond the taint of this place, they asked me to kill it. I'd been confident, and yet here I stood, all the years striding the worlds and stars counted for nothing in the face of such raw unbridled fury given form.

Two eyes staring in the dark. A low moan pierces the dark, rising steadily through a shriek and wail into a howling rage like thunder. The eyes grow brighter, and in the light of their gaze I can see the very cave being blasted away by the very sound. So much dust in the howling wind, carried off into the night, biting at my skin.

All my charms and wards are as nothing. Spells fail, I open my mouth and caustic dust pours in, choking and burning away all words. I choke on hubris, and a lifetime of wanderings pass before my eyes.

Two eyes in the dark, blazing like the infernal flames of hell itself. They rise into the air, growing larger, growing closer, growing fiercer. Everything around me is wind and dust in the firelight.

There are two eyes in the dark and I am alone in the world.

The end, I think, is very near.

Monday, June 29, 2009

July Quote

A haiku of mad science that made me laugh to no end:

My Moon-based Death Ray

Panics the people of Earth.

Mock my theories now!

--Andrew G. McCann

Friday, June 12, 2009

A diner by the mountain

The clock showed a quarter to two as Archie pulled a massive pan of roasting lamb out of the oven. The sky was lit with a thousand stars, the moon hidden behind the sleeping mountain. Lazily, the bright neon lights of his diner flickered on. His father long since passed on, his sisters and brothers have all moved far afield, Archie felt a pang of loneliness in his heart.

With the quiet smoothness that spoke of a ritual performed countless times, Archie began preparing for his guests. A massive wooden table slid out of a narrow closet in the wall, the legs held tightly to the bottom, easily unclasped and folded out. He remembered installing the system with his father when he was twelve, reducing the hour long struggle to get the table placed to mere minutes.

The table set, Archie surrounded it with seven chairs. Unlike the ancient oak, the chairs were new. Made of light steel and thickly cushioned. Archie still got nauseous thinking about how one of the ancient solid oak chairs was smashed to splinters during an argument. When the anger had subsided, all he had was a newer stool to offer to the now seatless guest. The next morning he received a letter requesting similar seating for the other six.

The seats set, Archie placed seven deep bowls and seven large plates. The plates were nothing more than smooth stone. The bowls were yellowed and crack. Archie suspected they were skulls, but tried not to dwell on whose. The bowls he filed with dark, rich mead. The plates he piled high with roast lamb and seasoned potatoes. The spices were running low. He didn’t know what to do when they ran out.

The clock struck two and the doors opened without a sound. Seven large men entered, their faces black with ash and dressed in thick raw leathers. Some had great beards as thick as a hedge while others had not a hair on their heads, but all had sharp grey eyes and aged faces. Archie recognized all the men from the Sunday before, all but one.

Without a glance in Archie’s direction the seven sat themselves and began to eat. They ate more than any man should be capable, and while they ate they talked. As Archie moved to keep the plates and bowls full, he would listen. He’d listen as the men complained and gossiped about the fires of the mountain they tend. Of the arms and armour they forged. Of the gods and demons that requested their work. Of the woman that stole their heart.

For the full of the night the twelve men feasted and gossiped, until an hour before dawn. Slowly, the conversation ceased, until utter silence filled the diner. Then, the one Archie did not recognize stood. He raised his bowl and said something in a harsh language Archie didn’t understand, but knew by heart. Always when one was replaced, the new one would say the prayer, the words echoing in Archie down to his core.

Then, as the abruptly as they arrived, they would leave. As Archie held the door for the last man, he looked Archie in the eye. “You do your family proud Archie White, and we are grateful. May you find a woman to take your heart, as your ancestor took ours.”

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Planet Reapers

We are winning.

Why else would global warming be such a success? While there are those who would halt our progress, still we ride forth, on steeds of smog, scouring the countryside. We have killed forests by directing the acidic rain, poisoned countless animals, and even managed to poke holes in the hated solar shield; our allies from the sun have joined us, spreading disease and death in their wake.

And just when we thought that our victory was assured, little things started to happen, things that could potentially change the war's outcome. More people started trying to conserve energy, conserve trees. These things are not enough to halt our advance, but they have slowed us down, made us work harder. This matters not to us. The planet is still full of energy wasters, and so we are still winning. As long as things remain as they are, we will eventually triumph despite these petty annoyances. The Earth will burn beneath our combined onslaught, until nothing good and green will ever grow here again.