No stars sparkled above. The black shroud of night lay impenetrable and heavy on the land. In the breath of a feeble wind wafted the stench of rotting algae from the dead river beyond. On all sides loomed the dark ruins of the Lost City.
Around a defiant fire huddled the last Remnants loyal to the Imperium, survivors of the Barbarian invasion, gritty farmers and artisans with pain in their hearts and tin in their eyes.
They had fled, yes, when the Barbarian hordes had swept down from the icy hills and frigid fjords and ransacked the villagers and pillaged their muffins.
But they had fled with courage: these were Remnants with guts. They had taken to the very hills recently vacated (luckily) by the Barbarians, vowing vengeance and swearing allegiance to the Imperior forevermore and a day.
They turned their shiny, sweaty little faces toward the Gnarly One — a personage of indeterminate gender and wizened frame — a nut-brown guru if you will, zer frail loin-cloth wafting stealthily on an inner breeze.
“Gather round me, gutsy Remnants,” spake the Nut-brown, “and I will tell you of the end, of the burning of the sky and the rising of the waters.”
***And in that hooting blackness of the night doddered a tottering Seeker. Lost in the dark, honking wilderness, he didn’t know what he was doing there, couldn’t remember how he had got there, but one thing was for sure, it was cold.
He amble-shambled wearily over the frigid ground, his bare feet numb, frostbite blackening his toes. Wanting to die, needing to die, desperate to escape the hamster-wheel of cyclic existence, but still he kept going, driven by the urgent, elemental urge to Seek. Seek what? He didn’t know. Doesn’t matter. Shaddup.
***Clustered around a not-too-distant campfire, fiercely the Remnants listened to the high-pitched hoarse and mournful wheeze of the marbled Mastress, as ze sought to lift their remnant spirits with the tale — the Old Tale — that had been told by zer brown and marbled parent, who intern had heard it of zer gnarled and russet progenitor, who likewise had heard it of zer creased, ancestral she-daddy in turn 2…
“My poor benighted Remnants, ye have fled the Barbarian Hausmarten and his hordes like fleas from a drowning dog, as did ye Forefathers and Fourmothers before youse. But of the fleeing of ye Forefathers, yea, and ye Fourmothers, and their eightmothers before them, ye reckest not, ye heedeth not, remembereth naught…
“My woeful band of sorrows, my pusillanimous peons, of the Great Beginning I will speak. Pay heed my sorry leavings, know this and know it well: This is not the Home we had, once so long before ago previously, amongst the stars, glistening like an emerald in the vast and pregnant promissory note of space, sparkling like a sparkly sparkle strung upon the superstrings of Indra’s net.”
The Nut-brown paused to take a deep breath --- the resultant phlegmy rattle a warning bark to any enemies lurking in the sea of night encircling the campfire.
“Of what do thou, or thee, speak, o Mastress?” confusions flapped in the little shining faces of the Remnants with Guts. They knew not of whonce ze spake, this gnarled and holy has-been that harangued the very tinea of their souls.
“Of the freakin’ end of the world you fools, you sad and sorry Remnants of a long forgotten glory. Of the time when our species came to this pissy planet from another, far far away…”
“Forgive us o Great One, creased with wisdom that surpasseth understanding, but we still don’t get it…” one pouting warrior-Remnant ventured timorously, “you mean the end of this world, or the end of some other world? Sorry for aksing...”
The very wolves howled at the temerity of the question. The very air seemed to take on the scent of disobedience and ingratitude — a yellow bored smell, redolent of anchovies and cat-puke.
“I quoth of the Great Ending!” wheezed the Nut-brown quaveringly, zer aged lungs complaining of the unaccustomed labour, zer dug-like pecteats flapping crossly against zer mal-ribbed chest.
Ze hawked zer creased and crusty throat, then spat zer phlegm toward the campfire, but the gob fell short of its intended target, alighting instead in several sub-gobs upon the Gnarled One’s duggy chest and loincloth. The gobs and sub-gobs wobbled and glistened in the firelight while the gain kept being amped up of the song of the wolves. But like invisible piss-soaked pants, no Remnant blooms of fear were evident upon that potty night.
***Some small but yet untrod distance away, still the Seeker couldn’t remember how he had arrived in this place, or what his purpose was, or where the fuck were his shoes. He lumber-stumbled wearily over the snow-covered plain, his bare feet numb, frostbite blackening his toes. Like a shuffling clot he coagulated through the tenebrous night, seeking... seeking... seeking…
***Suddenly the Mastress stopped zer terrible tale in mid-sentence, dismay etched across zer crumpled cheeks. ...
CONTINUES in NIGHTMERRIES: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF DARKNESS out now at Amazon This so-called "book" will chew you up and spit you out on the carpet, frothing and twitching and giggling like a deranged banshee! More than 60 darkly feculent fictions. Copiously illustrated with over 20 grotesque images you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. Includes all the twisted tails in Mastress, Hags to Haggis, and Fiends & Freaks, and THEN SOME (more). WARNING: Immature content! Adults maybe!
NIGHTMERRIES: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF DARKNESS This so-called "book" will chew you up, spit you out, and leave you twitching and frothing on the carpet. More than 60 dark and feculent fictions (read ‘em and weep) copiously illustrated by over 20 grotesque images you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley.
AWAREWOLF & OTHER CRHYMES AGAINST HUMANITY (Vot could be Verse?) We all hate poetry, right? But we might make an exception for this sick and twisted stuff. This devil's banquet of adults-only offal features more than 50 satanic sonnets, vitriolic verses and odious odes.
MANIC MEMES & OTHER MINDSPACE INVADERS A disturbing repository of quotably quirky quotes, sayings, proverbs, maxims, ponderances, adages and aphorisms. This menagerie holds no fewer than 184 memes from eight meme-species perfectly adapted to their respective environments.
FIENDS & FREAKS Adults-only Tales of Serpents, Dragons, Devils, Lobsters, Anguished Spirits, Gods, Anti-gods and Other Horse-thieves You Wouldn't Want to Meet in a Dark Kosmos: 4th EditionHAGS TO HAGGIS Whiskey-soaked Tails of War-nags, Witches, Manticores and Escapegoats, Debottlenecking and Desilofication, Illustrated