At a very posh spa somewhere in Mexico, being attended by a bevy of voluptuous call girls in the hot tub. One of them, Bianca, begs me to help her escape. That night we flee back over the border into Texas. Parched and exhausted from days in the desert, we stumble onto a farmstead occupied by a quaint seeming family, and they take us in, bathe and clothe us, and hear our story over dinner. When we are finished, the father tells a story of his own, about visiting that same spa twenty years earlier to celebrate graduating from high school. The story somehow ends with the revelation that he and Bianca are my parents, a fact that does not seem to distress anyone at the table. They all insist that we are part of the family and should take our place there working the farm. When we decline, they make it clear they won’t take no for an answer, and we have to fend them off with a broken tree branch and a crowbar, maiming several of them in order to escape. As night falls, we wander back into the desert and an uncertain fate, burdened with the possibility that the farmer might have been telling the truth.
So, y’know, maybe check that out if that sounds like something you’d be into.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here's an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 340 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.
This morning I woke up in a house that was mine, though unfamiliar, in a room with four large windows facing the world. I rolled out of bed and started to check my email, but then a sound made me turn toward the open windows to find that the world had been replaced by an arctic ocean in the night, the wavelets lapping at the sill. The house was not moving, so it was not afloat. Icebergs dotted the waves, the sun beaming down on them. Abruptly a great blue whale launched itself from the water and crashed down, sending a huge wake pouring into my room, carrying with it a bedraggled, barely conscious man, shaggy hair and beard strewn with seaweed and rimed with frost. As I dragged him onto the bed, I heard guttural shouts, and looked up to see several rafts full of bestial, manlike creatures passing in front of the windows. I wavered between hiding the man so they wouldn’t come seeking him, and defenestrating him in hopes they’d take their prize and leave me be. For some reason, they didn’t seem to notice either of us, however, and passed beyond my view.
Some days later, my room had accumulated a crowd of refugees, and I decided we had sufficient numbers to attempt the trek toward the city in hopes of finding an enclave of some kind, or at least provisions.
In the city, I encountered a strange masked girl who seemed sometimes helpful and sometimes antagonistic.
“If you told two different people to draw someone who’s half man and half goat, you might get a picture of each of us,” Rorick said. “And really, that’s about what it is. Individually, we’re the product of mortal arousal and imagination. If you go back much more than a thousand years, the ‘goat’ part wasn’t even standard. The satyrs of those days were ‘beast-men’, ‘bestial’, ‘animal-like’. Sometimes that meant goats, sometimes it meant bears or boars, sometimes it just meant generic indeterminate mammalian beast-thing”
“Really? How did that change?”
“Well, I wasn’t around… but I guess people started talking to each other more,” Rorick said. “They started making more detailed artwork and circulating it around. They wrote stuff down and copied it. The goat version caught on, I guess.” He shrugged. “And then about four, five hundred years ago artists who’d never seen a satyr started painting versions that looked like two-legged goat-taurs,” he said, gesturing down at his furry legs and hooved feet, “with prettier faces and chests and arms, a more clean division between man and beast.”
“So… you look like that because the people who made you pictured that?” Lucinda asked.
“Yep,” Rorick said.
“If we pictured nymphs as being animal-like, would they be?”
“Probably,” he said. “Possibly. I don’t know. They tend to have some small plant-like or geological features. I don’t know how much of that is malleable. My hair might have come out a bit furry no matter what went into me.”
“So wouldn’t it also be possible that you would always be a little… beast-like?” Lucinda asked. “Because it would be odd to me that we… the mortal races… would put that kind of stamp on you but not on your female counterparts.”
“Well, I suppose it’s possible, but it would be odd to me that we’d have this kind of distinct ‘stamp’ by nature and nymphs wouldn’t,” Rorick said. “I’m more inclined to think it says something about other races’ sexuality than it says about us.”
“I don’t know,” Rorick said. “That male sexuality is seen as wild and animal-like? Or maybe that female sexuality is supposed to be tamed? Or that women don’t need to resemble farm animals to be seen as exploitable? It’s probably a whole ball of fuckedness, to be honest.”
-Tales of MU
We call it an Embrace,
But it’s not anything so…
What it is, what it is, is like
Being a deer, being
Pulled down by a pack of wolves.
Only the wolves all share the same skin
All snare with the same eyes
All tear with the same teeth.
We call it a Gift,
But it’s not anything so…
It’s very little Give,
And a whole lotta Take,
Not so much a kiss, as, well…
What you have left, when
The wolves have rent and run
Is a pool of blood that’s not yours.
We call it a Requiem,
But it’s not anything so…
Do not sing for us, you who
Still have souls to lose, for
Our fate is undecided, but decidedly
Neither rest, nor eternal, having
Neither repose, nor purpose;
A celebration of neither life well lived,
Nor death well earned.
I am an ancient but Quickened oak, putting down my roots to drink the blood of our goblin foes from the soil as the others bind their wounds after days of endless battle. I am weary, but this nourishment will sustain me for yet another fortnight or so. “Sap seeps slowly, blood flows quickly”, goes the saying among my kind.
The others assume I am dormant while I sup, and it’s true I become very like my Rooted kin while linked to the soil, but I can still hear, my leaves catching the tiniest vibrations on the wind. Even the Sylvani woman who called me from my home wood to follow her does not know this. Tonight she plies her healing arts on the mighty warrior from the southern reaches. She spends more time on him than is necessary. Her long, slender fingers linger against his bronzed skin, so dark compared to her alabaster flesh. Her whispers linger in his ear, eliciting a laugh and a flicker of firelight in his dark eyes.
I do not begrudge her this dalliance, but I worry for her. This is not the first time she has grown close to a mortal, and I do not look forward to the decade of brooding I know will come following the human’s inevitable death, whether it comes in 5 years or in 50.
I am on Monster Island searching for the Fountain of Youth. I run into Morgan Freeman, who caresses the fabric of my shirt in a rather unsettling way, comparing it to that of his own suit. I escape his attentions to catch up with my partner, who has found us a guide, a kappa by the name of Kupo. The turtleish creature leads us to a small pool, and dives in, saying it’s the mouth of a long underwater tunnel that will get us to the central valley of the island where the Fountain is guarded by antediluvian terrors of every description. Peering down into that pond, I can see it is lined with every kind of slick and slimy aquatic ickiness I can imagine. Anemones and sea cucumbers and mossy corals, and no way in hell am I going in there, sorry, sorry, nope! Dinosaurs and Yetis and Jersey Devils I can handle, but slimy things in the water is where I draw the line.
My partner tries to convince me but I am having none of it. Finally she dives in and leaves me on the beach to wait for her return. Unfortunately it seems word of our expedition has leaked out, for I can see a task force on the horizon, aircraft carriers and battleships and attack boats full of special forces. But Monster Island does not suffer fools or invasions gladly, and a thousand titanic horrors arise from the waters to smash and sink and crush, tentacles and jaws and armored scales. The forest disgorges velociraptors and mammoths and pterosaurs and a pitched battle ensues, it’s not clear at all who will have the upper hand. I just have to hope my partner gets back with the goods so we can make our escape before either side wins and turns its attention toward us.
I watch as the Adventurer travels far and braves much peril to find the Temple of All Fear atop the highest mountain in the Utter East, where the Four Beasts wail at the Font of the East Wind so it carries their message of terror throughout the Bowl of the World. At great cost the Adventurer convinces the Four to wail a specific warning to the people of all kingdoms, praying it will reach them in time to prepare for what is to come.
When I hear the warning, my vision clouds over with frost and my heart stutters in my chest- it is not a warning for the world of the Bowl, but for our world- the one we wake to when dreams are done. It renders some common household phrase, or a child’s schoolyard rhyme, into a premonition of deepest dread- the specific words I can not recall, and I do not know if that is a blessing or a curse.