So I am trying out something new. A little bit more fantasy. I got inspired…what should I say? Tell me if you liked it, it will tell me if I should keep going. They are obviously meant to be shorter and weekly dairy entries. I want to try fantasy without the bullshit descriptions. I got 2 more chapters in the making. They are supposed to be shorter, and I hope the plan of me giving you a chapter whenever I am in the mood isn’t going to fail on my mood, after all, I am not getting paid (though shameless as I am, you can support me on the About/Home page) 🙂
However, this is not me bitching about my status (haha). Expect the next one soon.
We didn’t notice anything. His voice got drowned in the music. Some dwarfs sang in a corner and filled the room with a gregarious mood, you could have experienced pretty much all the time here, so he screamed louder to interrupt the playful activities. Nobody listened, nobody wanted to here. We were free…never ran out of beer and somewhere to adventure to, when the mercenaries and the merchants talked about their last job. And then the door opened and the bells rang and we all couldn’t believe it after the shady men standing at the door told the city guard to “fuck off” with their city business. By his third scream, drowned out by the sheer volume of everything coming together, the music, the bells, the dwarfs, the guard ran out of the tavern back on the streets. A giant purple arm, a tentacle grabbed him and dragged him, bashed his head against the door frame and then pulled his lifeless body out of our sight. All eyes on him. This was when the first, most journey hardened, began to scream and run. The band of dwarfs was already gone when I turned. The usual so coquette women hid under the wooden tables, shaking like eels put on the land.
I always believed my first instinct would have been to run as well, but instead, my preferred method of self-preservation seemed to be to freeze in place. I can tell you, if someone dared to push me, which was not implausible in the stream of runners clumped together around me, storming to the exits of the inn; if someone would have pushed my frozen body I would have dropped on the floor into a million shards.
When I started breathing again and the bells seemed to get softer. I looked around…panicked. And what I saw was, what anyone would expect – scarred folks. And no way of escape. And I ran up to the second floor, straight for a room. Following the first idea in my mind without hesitation. There was a window that could give me a possibility to jump out from, without breaking a leg. On a pile of sacks of red sand, I would land. The stack of material that was used by the glassblower for the vessels old to hold the counsel’s wine, in his shop next to the inn. When I was drunk and about to blackout and puked my heart out, I always sat down there for a while to recover. I hoped the gaffer, didn’t work again late.
I came upstairs. The door was locked. I was trying, again and again, to push and pull, I just wanted to get out of the tavern and see, what is out there. Some people had the same idea as me. They queued behind me, I saw five pale faces as I turned around and proclaimed, in the rest of the voice that I could scrape together, that there is no going further from here. A big guy had an ax in his hand and rejected my idea. He commanded me to step aside and I followed orders instantaneously. With one precise swing on the handle, he broke the locking mechanism and the iron burst into the brittle wood. I opened the door to find the other half of the second floor was ripped off. Only the wall there stood and I opened the door basically to a newly created open space, a balcony if you so will, and it turns out, that it didn’t really matter which door we were going to take.
We ran out onto the new roof of the building and what I saw I will never forget. Did you ever see the squids the fisherman catch down at the harbor bay? It was enormous and it looked kinda like them, there was something off about the whole experience. Amazement and fear took me over. I was nothing for that creature. A single piece of a snack. I was to this creature, what a crumb of bread is to me. And I never knew squids had beaks. I never looked closely enough and I don’t eat them, but I lived in this city my whole life and it feels like I should have known. And it’s peak. I just jumped off and ran. Just ran. I didn’t even look back. I climbed the wall and ran into the forest. I hid there for several hours until I heard no noise and when I came back half of the city was in ruins. I searched for my remains and the first thing I heard was that two of the five members of the council were dead and one of the ones, who had the luck to survive, had lost his son to this monstrosity.
As an act of retaliation, with the first Sun, after the sea had claimed our city, they marched. Horses in front. Banners held high. Music played under stomping iron boats and the screams of a cheering crowd followed them down the paved road. They marched over the stones of the city, promised revenge for the Fallen and the broken monuments, whose ornaments were looted by the first opportunists on sight.
The whole show for a march on a creature that was long gone. And out of pure sadness, what was once the most noblest man in the city, was the one, who commanded his soldiers to step forward on the beach, tip their feet into the water and stab the surface of the ocean, stab the waves, stab the water, just stab and the high man, he cried tears, while the blades pushed back the liquid and the iron got swallowed by it. His men at first thinking, that this high man might really know of a way to summon the creature, that they would get their revenge or die being one with the spirit of the fallen of the city; that he knew what he was talking about when he ordered confidently: “Stab the water”. Maybe, yeah maybe they just did it out of pity for this broken man, they respected, they loved, they followed and who now sheds a tear over a tragedy they all lived as well. His men stabbed the water. And the high man cried single tears with a stoic impression on his face looking over his brave soldier’s effort.
An hour passed. Sliding swords into the waters. The salt immediately starting to eat into iron. I lived long enough in this city to see its effects over time. The waves kept crashing on the sand and prints of marching soldiers were long swallowed. Just the high general’s horses towering views over relentless men and watching stamina making room for exhaustion. Their teeth unclenched. You could hear the unforgettable sound of mouth bones being rubbed off on another. Their arms became slow and even the most honorable men felt betrayed that the squid never showed.
I never found out if it was true. I left the city before all of this started but down the river, the rumors caught up in songs of men gifting away their stories for meals. You see if had been there, I could vouch and I would have certainly have been there all my life if it wasn’t for that titanic squid. I didn’t come back, no matter that I was never far from home, but losing your life to the whispers about a curse? I left the woods, was on my boat before the city even completely fell. I watched it burn going down the river when I driving the water. How my own laziness to drive out to the market that morning, saved my life. I would have laughed right there, but the bells were gone. The creature destroyed the towers one by one and I heard the screams being carried by the wind over what must have been miles. I couldn’t look at the sea, frightened by what was underneath, but I couldn’t look away from what was presented to me. A city-sized monster. How often does one see that and lived to tell the tale?
For miles, I couldn’t look away until the water speed up downstream, I was standing there, doing nothing, just looking, a fly could have flown into my mouth. The small boat swapped down the river. I didn’t do my part. Only when the water started going downhill into the Lowlands, I started to realize that had to live with what I had seen.
I am glad I wasn’t there. I didn’t play my chances and had no life worth scrambling up after getting face to face with an act of a god. Revenge doesn’t matter for a man like me.
The soldiers eventually broke down on the beach. The deserting soldiers got hanged. The general who gave the order soon after. The son never revenged. The government broke apart. One of the two remaining nobles got rid of his last contender. “Never to forget the night “when the 8 hands reached for civilization”, the new Lord Meril proclaimed. There was a statue raised after they rebuild Fortuna. Of a man, who buried his head in the sand. I got told. I never came back. My ship couldn’t stop, the river held it on course.
The body of wood floating in a swarm of Octopi. The big red Twin, Patra, went up and when it stood, I was further away than I ever was from home, I was hungry. The fireball was standing high in the sky. The small, fast one. The White Daughter danced around it the whole day. A man once told me that he looked through the largest telescope known to our world, admission by the scholars and build on a suitable hillside on top of a mountain. In the tavern, we sat. He with his unkempt beard and long robes, that had seen better times, and face that I can’t remember but I know that I had thought of, that it seemed competent. Before we got to talk, he was already joking around. Weird if you think of his situation, but we didn’t speak of his looks and lost prospects- He told me, that he saw that our daughter was circled by powder. “A dress”, the scholars called it and he made clear that he never had liked it, that the scholars had a penchant for poetry while they were paid to see into the future.
I threw out the net and caught what had swept down the arm of the river. For a minute, I thought about turning back home. The Octopi got less overnight and was first too scared to throw out my fishing net, fearing that the Octopi were too many, that they pull the net, engulf my ship and drown me, wherein the water their tentacles would grab me.