Thursday, September 24, 2015

troubling strands

Cyclopean chains, gossamer threads, rough mooring ropes, broad leather straps, still-bloody strips of sinew: filaments, cables, and strands of all kinds, shapes, sizes crisscrossed at all but right angles. Each line receded into the irregular darkness, without touching another. Falling balls of guttering sanguine flame formed the only illumination possible, in yet another infinite void without reason.

“Oh, what fresh and annoying hell is this?” the wizard asked aloud.

He’d been in the middle of scrubbing out an infestation of hollow laughter from his bedroom. Liquid ennui was filling the basement, staining everything. His burnished copper pot busily bubbled away, heating up his endless stew; an angry stomach rumbled its complaint at the thought. Besides, there was that hole in reality which needed mending. The wizard really didn’t have time for this…

And the metaphysical set dressing for the place, ughhh, if he ever met a godling or greater spirit with any sense of style, the wizard swore he would eat his own beard. The vague sense of foreboding, the shadows flitting always in the corner of his eye, the scent of citrus and roses…

Actually that was interesting. The wizard ran one hand across his bald pate before vigorously scratching his scruffy chin. Not interesting enough if he didn’t have time for a bath before his midnight ascension.

He sighed, impatiently awaiting the middling offer of whatever ridiculous godhead had crafted this space.

When he realized he was breathing, concern exploded across his unhappy guts. On shaking painful feet, the old man stood with forgotten effort. Tearing off his adamantine mitten revealed no skeletal fist, but rather new pink skin atop flesh and fingers. Even the froglike goiter had fled from his throat.

All the marks of his wizardry were removed. He tried to punch through the Veil and found no familiar pressure at his temples, no surging power rolling down his spine.

The wizard coughed bloodily into his fist…

[to be continued]

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