Tag Archives: fiction

A Very Short Story By China Mieville

It is no secret to longer readers that i am a big China Mieville fan.

When i stumbled across Perdido Street Station back in 2001 i had given up reading fantasy, as i had simply grown unbearably bored with it. I was also living in Prague that year. Penniless as usual and a big reader, they had classic literature in this one store for what amounted to 50 cents a book and almost my entire reading that year was classics. (after that year of course i wouldn’t go near them for years). With a few exceptions, if i read a classic of literature, it was during that year.

The one day i found an English language book store. It was small but adorable and it was there i ran across Perdido Street Station. I didn’t intend to buy it, but i couldn’t resist it, and i spent what was at that time a fortune on it, rationalizing that it was a big book.

I loved it and have following Mr. Mieville’s work ever since.

So he’s written this teeny tiny little 500 word story and posted it online. We are going to read it together today. I have waited to read it until posting this evening so that we could read together. (and that 2nd Act doesn’t write itself).

Come fanboy with me.

China Mieville:

3 moments of an explosion


  1. The demolition is sponsored by Burger King. Everyone is used, now, to rotvertising, the spelling of company names & reproduction of hip product logos in the mottle & decay of subtly gene-tweaked decomposition – Apple paying for the breakdown of apples, the bitten-fruit sigil becoming visible on mouldy cores. Explosion marketing is new. Stuff the right nanos into squibs & missiles so the blasts of war machines inscribe BAE & Raytheon’s names in fire on the sky above the cities those companies ignite. Today we’re talking about nothing so bleak. It’s an old warehouse, too unsafe to let stand. The usual crowd gathers at the prescribed distance. The mayor hands the plunger to the kid who, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, will at least get to do this. She beams at the cameras & presses, & up goes the bang, & down slides the old ruin to the crowd’s cheer, & above them all the dust clouds billow out Have It Your Way in soft scudding font.
  2. It’s a fuck of a fine art, getting that pill into you so the ridiculous tachyon-buggered MDMA kicks at just the right instant & takes you out of time. This is extreme squatting. The boisterous, love-filled crew jog through their overlapping stillness together & bundle towards the building. Three make it inside before they slip back into chronology. Theirs are big doses & they have hours – subjectively – to explore the innards of the edifice as it hangs, slumping, its floors now pitched & interrupted mid-eradication, its corridors clogged with the dust of the hesitating explosion. The three explorers have bought climbing gear, & they haul themselves up the new random slopes inside the soon-to-be-rubble, racing to outrace their own metabolisms, to reach the top floor of the shrugging building before they come down & back into time. They make it. Two of them even make it down again & out again. They console themselves over the loss of their companion by insisting to each other that it was deliberate, her last stumble, that she had been slowing on purpose, so the ecstasy would come out through her pores allowing the explosion to rise up like applause & swallow her. It would hardly be an unprecedented choice for urban melancholics such as these.
  3. You can’t say, you can’t tell yourself that it’s the intruder’s spirit doing any of this, that there’s a lesson here. It’s not her nor any of the other people who’ve died in its rooms, in any of the 126 years of the big hall’s existence. It’s not even the memories, wistful or otherwise, of the building. The city’s pretty used to those by now. The gusts, the thick choking wafts that fill the streets of the estate that’s built in the space the warehouse once occupied, are the ghost of the explosion itself. It is clearly wanting something. It’s clearly sad – you can tell in its angles & the slow coiling & unfolding of its self, that manifests & evanesces faster even than its material predecessor smoke did. A vicar is called: book, candle, bell. The explosion, at last, lies down. As if, though, the two drug enthusiasts who got in & out of its last moment insist, out of pity, rather than because it must.


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Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Collected Stories From New Albion

New Albion a steampunk city

Over the course of writing this blog i’ve occasionally written tales set in the New Albion universe. I’ve been meaning to collect them and have them in one easy to find page and now i’ve finally gotten around to it.

If you look at the top of the blog, where it lists pages such as Home, About, Buy The Full Album, etc, you will see a new tab, Stories From New Albion. In this are all the stories taking place in New Albion or about its residents.

While i do sometimes try to go back and fix the really horrible grammatical and spelling errors which plague my writing  and posts due to the limited time constraints i have in my day to actually bang out blogs, many survive i am sure. Apologies.

If there are any facets of New Albion you would like written about in the future let me know. Otherwise this new page will sit here for all y’all’s casual perusal.

Stories From New Albion

Here is the list and links as they appear on the page above:

Simon The Albatross:

The Origin of Talking Animals In New Albion (The Albatross, Pt. 1)

A Study in Faeries (The Albatross, Pt. 2)

Alchemists and Secret Handshakes (The Albatross, Pt. 3)

We Finally Return To Talking Animals (The Albatross, Pt. 4)

Agatha And The Library (The Albatross, Pt. 5)

Black Magic Banking (The Albatross, Pt. 6)

The Great Heist (The Albatross, Pt.7)

The Death Of Simon The Albatross (The Albatross, Pt 8 Conclusion)

The Red Haired Dwarf:

The Red Haired Dwarf Pt. 1

The Red Haired Dwarf Pt. 2

The Red Haired Dwarf Pt. 3

The Red Haired Dwarf Pt. 4

The Red Haired Dwarf Pt. 5

The Fae Under New Albion (post dieselpunk, pre atompunk):

The Fae Beneath New Albion Pt. 1

The Fae Beneath New Albion Pt. 2

The Fae Beneath New Albion Pt. 3

The Fae Beneath New Albion Pt. 4

The Fae Beneath New Albion Pt. 5

The Fae Beneath New Albion Pt. 6 (Final)

.The Fairy Tales of New Albion:

The Fairytales Of New Albion Pt. 1

The Fairytales Of New Albion Pt. 2

The Fairytales Of New Albion Pt. 3

The Fairytales Of New Albion Pt. 4

The Fairytales Of New Albion Pt. 5 (Conclusion)

The Little Dead Girl:

The Little Dead Girl.

The Little Dead Girl 2

The Little Dead Girl 3 (Conclusion)


The Albino Tribe Underneath New Albion

The Red Haired Lad

The Two Thieves

Snapshots From New Albion (steampunk era)

Snapshots From New Albion (dieselpunk era)


Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized


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The Fairytales Of New Albion Pt. 5 (Conclusion)

The Story Of Burlap Molly:

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Holly who lived in darkness. Her mother was one of the Mole People, people who for various reasons had turned their backs on the world and chosen to live in the abandoned aqueducts and tunnels beneath the city.

While there were numerous people with various mental conditions who could be occasionally entertaining, there were no other children and Holly was deeply lonely.

One day while wandering the tunnels she found a burlap sack. She spent days decorating it the best she could. She name it Burlap Molly and it became her constant companion.

She came to regard the doll as her sister. One day she decided to make it official and she pricked her finger and rubbed it into the burlap doll’s chest, telling it they were performing the blood sister ceremony and now and forever would be blood sisters.

It was after this that the doll began to wake up.

Right after the little girl would fall asleep the doll would wake up and look around at the dark, subterranean tunnel about her. After a few days the doll began to move about, although never wandering far from the sleeping girl.

They began to leave each other notes.

Burlap Molly could only be awake while the little girl Holly was asleep. She would wander farther and farther until one day she found a passage leading to the outside. She wrote the little girl of her discovery and over the enxt few days they hatched a plan.

The little girl wanted two things more than anything else in the whole world: she wanted her long lost Daddy and she wanted to leave the underground. However she was at the same time mortally terrified of the upper world and psychologically paralyzed from leaving the underground.

Thus it was decided that Burlap Molly would venture forth into the world to find the little girl’s father and bring him back to take his daughter into the sunlight.

The little girl would try her best to keep as exact a sleeping schedule as possible since Burlap Molly could only function while she was unconscious and would simply drop to the floor when the little girl woke up. For the most part the girl keeps as tight a schedule as she can, although unexpected awakenings figure into many of Molly’s adventures.

So Burlap Molly wanders the world searching for a man whose name she doesn’t even know to come back with her and take his long forgotten daughter out of the darkness.



As the fairytales stood just inside the White Queen’s castle Jack went through the rules once more, as was his habit.

If the Shadow touches you, you will be lost. The way back is in the White Queen’s throne room. If the White Queen speaks to you, you will be lost. This was their story now and the sacred Happy Ending was in reach. Just one small walk to go.

It was dark and quiet. Corridors led off in all directions like a maze. Jack, Molly and The Baptist wandered as best they could until they came to a set of great doors that clearly led into the throne room.

It was an impossible situation and without any idea of what better to do, the fairytales quietly opened the doors and hoped for a stroke of luck; that the Queen would be asleep and not on the other side.

But no story worth its salt would allow such a thing to happen, and so it was that the doors swung open, revealing the White Queen and several members of her court standing there, all in white. Also in the room were Piston Pete, Dear Departed Deidre, and Ironitsa.

Jack tried to shout at his companions to run but his voice was caught in his throat. Indeed all three of them were transfixed. Two guards came out to usher them in.

The White Queen walked slowly towards them.

She spoke.

“Thank God you’re all all right. You can’t imagine how worried you had us.”

Jack and Molly glanced at each other.

“John? Oh John, what are you doing here? Oh dear. I had truly hoped to never see you again.” The White Queen sighed.

John looked at her defiantly.

“Oh well. At least you’re all in one piece. Please, come in and rest. It must have been quite an ordeal.”

They found themselves walking towards her. Jack suddenly threw his hands to his ears and shouted for them not to listen.

“Oh, Jack. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was all your idea.” The White Queen shook her head. “Holly. Holly, listen to me, please.”

Burlap Molly started to correct her but still couldn’t get words out.

“Holly, you’re the most capable of breaking through. You’re submerged, but you could see clearly if you just relax and get rid of all the stimulation. Come, take my hand. Close your eyes and just breath for one minute, then i’ll leave you alone. I don’t know what story you’re in, but i’ll leave you to it if you’ll just take my hand for one minute.”

Burlap Molly glanced around at each of her companions. Ironitsa, Piston Pete and Deirde were all captured and docile. Jack was glaring with his hands over his ears and The Baptist was softly praying.

“Okay,” she replied. “But we all get to go. Ironitsa, Pete and Deidre too.”

“Yes, of course.” The White Queen reached out her hand.

Molly took it and closed her eyes. They stood there in silence. Finally the White Queen leaned over and quietly said to Molly “Holly, the trauma that befell you and your sister, that left her in a coma, it wasn’t your fault. You need to go visit her. She needs you. Think of your sister.”

And just like that the Shadow Molly had been running from enveloped her. She saw images of two girls, sisters, playing with each other in a dark basement. There was a woman, a mother…. very angry. Always angry. She saw the girls always locked in the cellar, she saw the mother beating them and screaming, so very many times…. until one day Holly stopped her. But it all went wrong. The mother was dead and her sister, her only friend in the world wouldn’t wake up. She started moaning.

“Holly. Holly, open your eyes.”

Holly opened her eyes. The White Queen was no longer wearing a gown but simply a white doctor’s coat. In fact everyone was except her companions. There was no castle, just the ward.

She blinked repeatedly.

“You’re back.”

“Dr. Elizabeth?”

“Oh Holly, you have no idea how worried you had us.”

“But this…. isn’t….”

“This is indeed real. Holly, you understand, you’ve each chosen a specific character from a fairytale because their story represents some fundamental issue or trauma you’re trying to escape from or work out.”

“No… this is… you’re changing the story to your story. In your story this becomes a… it’s the worst of the stories. It’s grey and depressing. It’s devoid of magic and meaning.”

“Holly, you can’t just retreat from reality. You’ll never be whole. You’ll never be at peace. You’ll never be able to help your sister who needs you.”

Jack was listening now despite himself. “You hate us because we are fairytales and our stories are beautiful and meaningful and yours are ugly, confused and mundane.”

The White Queen turned to him. “Oh for heaven’s sake Jack, you were living on rooftops, seducing and endangering teenage girls all because you believe yourself a fairytale character. You a danger not only to yourself but those poor girls you coerce to jump over roofs.”

Jack shook his head. “No. I’ve seen your world. I’ve been out there. You call me a danger? It’s a madhouse out there. It’s insanity. There is no peace and wholeness. We, we live in Arcadia. We know a peaceful place. We are happy there and our stories are true. Our issues may be the same here as they are there, but here in this reality they become…. uglier. Everything is uglier.

He pointed at the Baptist. “The Baptist is a mouthpiece of God and you would make him… mundane. Profane. You tell him that when he sees the world as holy, as meaningful, as full of symbolic significance it is a delusion.”

The White Queen turned to The Baptist. “John. John, we worked so hard…”

“I feel the hand of God guiding me and all about me. I feel the Sacred connecting everything. I feel meaning with meaning it’s miraculous. I tried it your way and it was a horrible, horrible world. Utterly empty and infinitely sad,” The Baptist said.

“But John…”

“My experience is real. Even if you cannot experience it yourself. Even if you cannot make sense of it. My experience is real. Even a dream… the dream effects the dreamer. The experience of it is real. I feel a bliss higher than this base body and this material world.”

“John i just don’t want to see you damage yourself again.”

Jack resumed. “I reject your story.”

The White Queen turned back to him. “Jack, please, for heaven’s sake can we stop with the…”

“Your world is a story. Your place in it is a story. Your history is a story. Your family history, your city’s history, your country’s history,… the meaning of events, the sense you make of everything… all stories. Even if you choose meaninglessness, it is simply the story you have chosen.”

The White Queen spoke sternly. “Jack. As i have said time after time, i am not going to stand here and argue with you. Here is something that is a truth, not a story. A testable fact. A patient in the grip of a carefully constructed self delusion will defend that delusion with every ounce of wit, intelligence and passion they possess. There can be no communication by arguing this way because they will not consider any point of view which contradicts their world. Actually, if you want to know the awful truth, most people considered sane will not consider any point of view which contradicts their world view either, so you may even put a point in your corner”

She turned to Holly.

“Holly, your sister is very real and she needs you. You are not happy in this delusion. This Shadow that is always chasing you, that is always frightening you, it is your awareness of reality. It is the truth you are running from and the trauma you will not face.”

Jack reached out to Molly. “Come on, Molly let’s go. If you believe her story you live in her world. You’ve seen her world. It’s insane and terrible. This reality of hers is nothing but piles of stories. She believes them and so she lives here. This place is not for us.”

The Baptist began chanting.

Doctor Elizabeth also reached out to Holly. “Your sister is no story. She is flesh and blood and she needs you. You choose a world of retreat and denial selfishly and at her expense. She needs you here. Present and functional. You don’t need to turn your back on her and you don’t need to run from the dark.”

The Baptist’s chanting reached a dramatic level. Jack reached out to Ironitsa who took his hand. The Baptist reached out to Pete and Deidre and they all joined together

“Molly, the portal’s opening.”

Holly began crying. “Jack…. I’m so sorry.”


“Take care of them.” Holly took the Doctor’s hand.

The Baptist began pulling them towards the opening in the worlds.

“Molly,” shouted Jack. “we’ll come back for you. Just like The Baptist, we’ll be back for you!”

Ironitsa tugged him and pulled him towards the portal. Together the fairytales leapt through, past the opening, into Arcadia and into the Happy Ending.

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Posted by on January 7, 2012 in Uncategorized


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The Fairytales Of New Albion Pt. 2 (Steampunk Fairy Tales)

The next day the group of haggard fairytales resumed their trek across the chaotic and violent city of New Albion.

New Albion was in the throes of a revolution. Led by a former police soldier known only as Soldier 7285, an uprising had gradually taken over and skirmishes would break out suddenly in the streets. At various points in the day shouting or gunfire could be heard echoing across the city.

The fairytales tried their best to avoid all trouble. Jack of Ash would prowl the rooftops, trying to work out a route for them to follow as they attempted to navigate their way through the urban maze.

Every so often they would all freeze and listen. They were listening for the Whispers and when they heard it, they simply ran.

Burlap Molly had managed to nick some pies and so they all sat and ate. Jack of Ash reminded them all of scenes from Arcadia, the glens and waterfalls, the native Fae inhabitants, the soft warm glow in the evenings when the tree homes were lit. Stories thrived and were happy there. Characters resolved and belonged.

Amongst the colorful characters and stories populating Arcadia was The Baptist. He blessed all and bestowed a sense of place in the world. Some considered him the soul of Arcadia. No one knew how the Darkness came, with it’s whispering swarm of gnashing, insectant flickerings of engulfing blackness, but it did. It took The Baptist away to another, darker place.

A sadness had lingered over Arcadia until it was finally decided a small group of volunteers should go forth into this strange, chaotic world, find The Baptist and bring him back home.

Arcadia’s oracle, the Crow, prepared the party. He issued three warnings: 1. The Shadow that took The Baptist was strong in this other Land and would always be in pursuit. Anyone it touches will be lost. 2. The door back is in the throne room of The White Queen’s castle. 3. Avoid the White Queen and do not let her speak to you. If she speaks you will be lost.

Jack finished his pie and reminded them this was their story now. It was a dark story, but it could have a Happy Ending. Nothing was better than a Happy Ending and the darker the story the more sacred the Happy Ending.

Their pies all finished, they embraced and continued on.

The Story of Jack Of Ash

Once upon a time a teenage girl from a strict and morally rigid family secretly bore a baby out of wedlock. She gave birth in her own bedroom by herself and while she was cleaning up the mess, hid the baby by wrapping it tight and placing it in the flue of her bedroom’s fireplace.

However, while scrubbing her bedsheets she collapsed and her family, with no idea of what was wrong, rushed her to the hospital where she did not wake for days.

A kindly and childless old chimney sweep heard the cries of the helpless infant and rescued it. He named it Jack.

Jack thus grew up as a chimney sweep on the rooftops of the city. Free and wild, he would dance for hours in the moonlight, swirling and leaping over the rooftops.

By the time he reached his teenage years he was a sight to behold, already a half glimpsed legend called Jack of Ash. One 16 year old girl though saw him every night, for his favorite dancing grounds were across from her window.

The girl was a sad, sheltered teenager, kept inside much too often by her stern and overprotective father. As a result she was very lonely, awkward socially, and yearned deeply for adventure and romance.

One night, in the wintertime when Jack did not dance, she whispered “Jack of Ash” up into her chimney five times, calling him to come.

The winter passed.

At the first bud of spring he came.

He beckoned her out onto the rooftops. She went and they danced together, slowly and carefully for she was only a beginner.

Each night he would come and each night they would dance on the rooftops of the city. By summer she too could leap across the skyline and they would stop their dance only to kiss and watch the moon in each others’ arms.

By Autumn she had also become a force of nature on the rooftops, leaping and swirling above the city and by this season they were making love.

When the last leaf in the city turned brown she became ill. The doctors couldn’t quite diagnose it, but they theorized some type of consumption. Stated simply, she had lost her youth.

She had aged a decade. Jack of course disappeared for the winter and she never saw him again.

This is how it was to be with Jack. A lonely teenage girl may call him in the winter, whispering his name 5 times into the chimney. At the first bud of spring he may come. From the first bud to the last colored leaf she will know the most exalted romance of her life but it will age her 10 years.

Jack of Ash never ages.

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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in Uncategorized


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The Fairytales Of New Albion Pt. 1 (Steampunk Fairy Tales)

(NOTE: Some of you may note that a few of the original fairy tales mentioned herein are familiar, and can be found on the album Fairy Tales of the Lost and Wandering. This story was written first and after writing it, i decided that i liked the idea of writing original fairy tales and putting them to music, so i used a few of these. This is where they originally come from.)

Four terrified, bruised and beleaguered fairytales huddled miserably together in the alley of an industrial urban city in which they did not belong.

Jack of Ash cradled Burlap Molly who as usual had picked an inopportune time to suddenly drop asleep. Dear Departed Diedre fussed over her and tried to conceal them behind a pile of trash.

Ironitsa, the slum girl made of iron as every school child knows, naturally stood guard. They were all weary and needed sleep. Even Ironitsa need to shut down for a few hours every day.

The great industrial city of New Albion clanged, hissed and hummed around them while the cries, shouts and gunfire of its troubled residents and their ongoing revolution echoed through the streets. The tired, scared fairytales did not hear the Whispering that signified that their tireless pursuer was near, and so they huddled together and told stories until they fell asleep.

The Story Of Dear Departed Diedre

Once upon a time there was a precocious girl named Diedre.

She collected salamander tails, eyes of newt, toad skins, bat teeth and moon water. It was her aspiration to become a witch. However, she had no idea whatsoever how exactly to go about such a thing or access to any sort of materials which might explain it.

Thus she simply invented her own spells and potiony concoctions. While she had great fun experimenting with them, they rarely ever worked.

Her parents put up with this hobby with as relaxed and permissive an attitude as they could manage if not with the occasional raised eyebrow or spot of worry.

However, when one of her potions caused the test subject, the family dog, to leave a trail of purplish vomit throughout the house she found herself sternly reprimanded.

In retaliation to said reprimand she told her parents she hoped they never saw her again and ran to her soom to cast a spell of invisibility over herself.

The spell was long and complex and while never having worked before, perhaps just needed a few tries. She was still going through the long incantation (for the 3rd time) an hour later as she sat in the family carriage, the three of them on their way to Tuesday bisquits at Aunt Vivian’s.

The accident happened fast. She never did know what exactly occured, but it ended with the horse losing control and the coach thrown down a hillside into a grove of trees. No one survived.

Diedre found herself a ghost, wandering the city trying to find someone who could see her and talk to her.

Every few decades her parents are reincarnated. They grow up and always, always they find one another. They spend their short lives together before they are inevitably killed again. They never have children.

Diedre waits patiently through the years for this to occur, for her parents to meet once again and begin living together. Once they do she is there with them, sitting silently beside them at every meal, on the floor beneath them as they sit in the parlour room. She sits with them every day, day after day until once again an accident inevitably claims them and they are gone again.

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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in Uncategorized


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The Little Dead Girl 3 (Conclusion)

Embryomen, who it should be noted are not actually all male, are generally not highly amorous. They do on occasion copulate, usually with each other since their interaction with the outside world can be sporadic. There are however, never, ever unplanned pregnancies.

The little dead girl sat in the Hall of Half Forgotten memory waiting for a gate to the world of the living to open. She did not actually know anything more about her situation than that.

The fog did. The fog was waiting for her brother to copulate. The act would create an open pathway to a womb, and if the exchange resulted in a baby, the fog would become the fetus and finally get to experience life as a human being. If there was no conception, the fog would simply wait patiently in whatever womb it had gained access to for the day when it became fertilized.

Because the girl’s brother was not very erotically active they waited a long time. The fog never made its presence known to the little dead girl. During this time the brother would visit the Halls of Half Forgotten Memory in his dreams. The girl would always be there and the long lost twins began to talk and get to know one another.

Finally, one day the brother had intercourse. The resulting psychosexual energy opened the gate and the little dead girl prepared herself to enter.

“Ssssssssss. Foolish child.” the fog whispered to her as it appeared at last. “You know not what you do. What lies beyond this gate? You do not know. You will become lost.”

The dead girl was shocked to see the fog again, shifting around her, flowing towards the gateway. “But…” she stammered, and froze with confusion.

“Good luck, lossssst little girl. You will wander thesssse halls a very long, long time.” With that, the fog stole into the little dead girl’s gate, closed it behind it, and left her where she was to wander alone forever.

She cried and cried for many hours.

The brother was homosexual, so the fog did not end up in a womb. The sexual act produced energy transfer regardless and thus it wound up deep in the naval chakra of the brother’s one time partner, who was not actually an Embryoman.

From there it bounced around desperately from partner to partner, waiting for the day one of the men he was in would finally copulate with a female.

More and more frequently the brother would visit his lost sister in his dreams and even began keeping a meticulous dream journal until he was able to remember his nightly excursions with the same clarity as his waking days.

For the first time in his life, a loneliness he could never quite place was lifted and an emptiness filled. His fellow Embryomen continued their work with their same neurotic compulsion, with some becoming more agitated by the anxiety of the coming psychic apocalypse, but he found himself becoming calmer and more content.

And so it was that one day he was asked to perform a routine genomicide. The Embryomen had grown a number of children who had ended up with damaged souls. This was a common occurrence. Every so often it was necessary to cleanse specimens from a particular line of inquiry and experimentation.

The brother led the children into a sub basement of the facility. He gave them picks and shovels and instructed them to excavate rocks and mud. The children dug until exhausted.

He then instructed them to build a small but comprehensive collective memory palace.

When they had finished they all sat inside. A knock came from an object that represented loneliness, something they all shared and knew well. The little dead girl was on the other side, and after opening the door, they all filed out one by one through the opening, out of the facility and into the great and endless Halls of Half Forgotten Memory.

What became of the world they never knew. Somewhere, in a great Museum built by the discarded recollections of mankind, a beautiful little dead girl, her grown up twin brother, and all of their friends run about, explore and live together in the never ending hallways and chambers.


Posted by on December 1, 2011 in Uncategorized


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The Little Dead Girl 2

The Embryomen performed very select services for a very discreet clientele. They grew bodies of all sizes and shapes for a myriad of purposes including organ harvesting, DNA, chakra and orgone manipulation, personality transfer, cloning and creating expertly designed, tailor made companions. They took great pains to be as unknown as possible outside their small circle of immensely wealthy patrons, but conspiracy theories regarding them proliferated none the less.

Decades ago their organization was kept staffed through rigorous and stringent recruitment methods. By present day however, this was no longer needed. Embryomen were no longer hired, they were simply grown.

Particularly talented staff were occasionally cloned. Often, poorer clientele whose DNA was deemed promising could receive services by birthing an extra baby who would be taken and raised to be an Embryoman. Such was the case with the dead girl’s brother.

Guesses as to the organization’s ultimate aims fell into two camps. Wealthy clients assumed over-obsessive if not simply unscrupulous interest in gene science coupled with monetary ambition fueled their existence. Most conspiracy theories involving the organization usually centered around much darker and more nefarious agendas. Only one theorist correctly guessed their real ultimate purpose. They were trying fanatically to breed a strain of human being without a soul.

What everyone got wrong however, is that their purpose was ulitarian. They were trying to save mankind from the coming storm.

On a dimensional plane very close to ours, bordering on the Astral, where occasional humans, especially mystics and artists could often tune to, a terrible, cataclysmic storm had been building for decades and was every year nearing impact. While the initial assumption was that it would only cause a small percentage of Mankind to go mad, it was gradually discovered that it would in fact effect most of the population. Indeed mankind as a whole would go first hyperactive then mad. The likely outcome would be species suicide.

If the soul could be shielded or even removed completely, the human race would cease to be linked to the Plane  which the Storm would ravage.

Thus the Embryomen worked diligently across decades. Their research and knowledge allowed them to offer particular services which brought in sizable wealth to fund their ongoing work and experimentation. Embyromen were bred and raised to best execute their scientific tasks, although each and every one had a deep, profound well of loneliness within them. A type of lonliness that none of them could ever quite identify or even name.


The dead girl followed the fog’s instructions and built a memory palace, mostly out of stones and slabs she gathered from the graves and mausoleums around her. It was a small shack big enough for her to crawl through. The rooms were the size of a child’s tent, but the fog assured her it would serve the purpose.

The most important room was something it referred to as a Dream room. In it she was to place things both she and her long lost brother either remember or dream of.

“Chiiiiiiild. If you are in thiiiiisssss room when he dreams of one of the thingssssss you have placed here, you will be able to step out of the room and into Hall Of Half Forgotten memory. Thiiiiiissssss Hall exists in the shhhhhhhared dream space of all people. You can ussssseee it travel from your memory palace to hiiiiissssss.”

The fog assured her it wouldn’t take long, for everyone dreams of the womb on occasion. And indeed, it was only a few weeks later that one night a doorway appeared and the child stepped through into the Hall of Half Forgotten Memory.

It was much like an enormous museum at night.

Cavernous hallways wound and forked passing a myriad of rooms. There were rooms of three dimensional portraits; all portraits of imaginary friends, with few features and little detail, only broad, ghost strokes of presence.

A room of scent from lost loves, never recalled willfully, but when sniffed for a fraction of second from a passing stranger will envelope one utterly in ancient emotion.

A home longed for but never seen.

A Scroll detailing step by step how to fly in a dream.

A painting of the perspective you had of the world at 15 years old.

A dictionary of the language in which a 2 year old talks to God.

The face of the twin you shared the womb with but never saw after birth.

There. That was it. She had found it. This was the object the fog assured her would serve as doorway, although to where it had never been specific.

Silently behind her, the fog that had followed her carefully and unseen, smiled and prepared itself to cross in her place, leaving her to wander the dark Halls as a long forgotten ghost forever.


Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


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The Little Dead Girl

Once upon a time, an old man and his dead child lived in an aging necropolis on the outskirts of New Albion of the world.

Years ago, the dead, yet animate child had had both a twin and a mother, but an embryoman and a breeze had taken them, one by one, from her.

The old man and his wife had desired children more than anything else, but had found themselves unable to conceive. They sought help from witch, sage, and doctor, but to no avail, until one day they were approached by an embryoman in thin, wire-rimmed glasses.

“Our clinick believes we can help you,” he said to the couple. “If you take this potion as directed, you will bear multiple children. In return, however, we wish to place tiny eyeballs along the inside of your womb, and upon birth we lay claim to one of your infants.”

With no other options, the couple agreed. The woman gave birth to twins, one of whom was taken at birth by the embryoman and never seen by the couple again.

Time passed, and their remaining child, whom they adored, grew into a little girl.

One day, a light wind passed through the couple’s house. The wind was almost at the end of a long, arduous journey to the Northeastern corner of the world, near where the couple lived. It was a dying wind by this time, with not enough strength to finish its trek. So it stole the child’s breath that it might continue.

But the girl’s mother saw the breeze’s deed, and she shut the doors and windows of the house, trapping the wind inside.

“Give my child back her breath,” she said.

“But then I will die before completing my journey to the corner of the world,” replied the wind.

“We are not so very far,” said the mother. “If you return her breath, I will walk you there myself, fanning you with my sensu when you get tired.”

And so woman and wind set off together for the corner of the world. But when they arrived, as she waved the breeze off the edge with her small, hand held fan, the howling winds that had gathered there lifted the woman up and away, over the end of the world, carrying her into another story for another time.

As for the child, the small wind had put back her breath as best it could, but lacked the skill to truly undo what it had done. Thus was the young girl internally animated, but not truly alive.

So the dead child and her aging father lived for many years together in their lonely necropolis, sometimes visited by restless spirits, wandering ghosts, silent lethargic ghouls, and the occasional living mourner. Eventually, however, age and decay caught up with the old man, and while strolling past one of the ancient, ivory mausoleums, he fell over, dying, and the night cloaked Ferryman came for him.

“Where are you taking him?” asked the dead child.

“I have come to sail him to the other side of the Shores Of Eternity,” replied the Ferryman.

“Please then, won’t you take me, too?” asked the girl.

“I’m sorry,” said the Ferryman, “but my fee for carrying the living into Eternity is the last heartbeat of your life. Dead child, the wind that animates your limbs does not pump your heart. You have no payment to offer me. I cannot take you.”

So the girl was left to wander the necropolis. And the days came and went, and slowly in the grey stillness, months passed, and the child grew unbearably lonely.

Sometimes she would lay at the feet of one of the chipped, marble, angel statues, talking to it for company, and wishing to be either truly alive or truly dead. One night as she lay chatting with her silent friend, a fog crept across the necropolis. Grey tendrils of mist slid curiously across the little girl, and she felt a tentative presence.

“Ssssssssss. Child of half life. You are hungry, too I feel.”

“Hello?” said the girl.

“You wish for life or death.”

“I’m lonely here. My papa left with the Ferryman, but he wouldn’t take me because of my heart.”

“Mmmmm. You need a secret entrance into the world of the living, perhaps. Yes?”

“Do you know one?” the little girl asked.

The fog wrapped long, translucent fingers around the dead child. “They say that when you love someone you give them a piece of your soul. When that person dies, that piece you gave them goes with them into the realm of the dead. But as long as someone living loves the dead, there is a piece of the dead soul among the living. Has anyone loved you?”

“My father and mother. But they’re dead. And the Ferryman won’t take me to them.”

“Do you know no one else?”

“Well,” she said tentatively, “I had a twin brother once.”

“Aaaaaaaaah,” said the fog. “There we are.”

“But we were seperated at birth. He probably doesn’t even remember me.”

“Mmmmmm. There are memories of the womb. They are deep and hidden, but they are there. Perhaps they will be just enough to cross.”

“Cross? Where can I cross?”

“At the intersection of dream and memory. Listen, and I will tell you…”

1 Comment

Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Uncategorized


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The Fae Under New Albion Pt. 6 (Final)

The caves became more convoluted, cluttered with all sizes and manners of pipes, while the ground beneath them was growing muddier and stickier. Trickles of thick, congealed, psychedelic liquid ran across the floor, and Deacon warned her emphatically not to touch it. As they proceeded, more and more technicolor streams of liquid ran through the corridor, until finally, after hours of trekking through heat, clanging clatter, and cartoonish singing by the endlessly cheery chorus of cockroaches, they came to a narrow passageway where the ground finally ended entirely. Swirling, hypnotic, rainbows of liquid filled the the rest of the wide hallway, with a series of scattered steppingstones offering the only solid footing in which to continue.

At the end of the stepping stones, a large object appeared to be bobbing on the liquid, but she was unable to make out what it was.

“It’s a boat, miss. We’re at the river now. It’ll sail you right to the threshold.”

She stared warily at the perilous corridor ahead of her. No stone was actually large enough to fully stand upon. Once entered, she would have to traverse the corridor in one unpausing effort and hope to keep her balance and footing until the end. She took deep breaths and prepared herself.

The cockroaches launched into the Powerpuff Girls theme song.

She no longer giggled but simply laughed a loose free laugh that made her feel wild, a creature who could climb with her claws, rip flesh with her teeth, and jump and prance with hooves.

Yet one small corner of her mind wondered how it was these bugs knew all of these pop culture trivialities. Perhaps from hanging out behind the walls of countless apartments. Perhaps they were picking it out of her head. But perhaps they were coming from her. Perhaps she had woken up, seen her baby lying dead of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, cracked up, and was wandering the streets and subways of Manhattan growing more and more psychotic.

Sanity be damned. She shrieked and leapt and jumped and bounced with wild abandon from stone to stone down the corridor, hair matted and tussled, with an exultant freedom she only now remembered from childhood. Rock to rock in a river of chaos, dirty and disheveled, no longer a product of 20th century civilization, but a great and shiny creature in a wild, winding land. She could almost close her eyes and still traverse the stepping stones with exquisite precision.

Upon the gurgling, swampy river of Chaos at the corridor’s end was a ride-able, smiley, white duck boat. The boat was plastic, the mast a bright, garish, grinning duck face, with an expression creepily exaggerated. A recycled relic from an old-time merry-go-round. A clown dressed as a duck, dressed as a boat, and she cackled as she leapt aboard.

Deacon burrowed into her bra during the leaping and prancing, and now poked his head out to take a stock of the situation. The boat was stationary, with no paddles or engine. At the stern was an old victrola with a vinyl record loaded, large gold bell facing backwards.

The cockroaches, unable to make the leap onto the boat were assembled on the walls, bellowing out a hearty farewell chorus of the ‘Hey Hey Goodbye’ song.

She took the needle of the ancient record player and placed it on the vinyl disk. A scratchy old crooner from what sounded to be the 1930s sang a forgotten Irish ballad, and as his faded voice rang out through the underground tunnel, the ship from a lost child’s discarded memory set off, slowly gliding down the River of Chaos towards the Lands Of Perpetual Twilight.

As the boat sailed into darkness, the only light was from the swirling spectrum of hallucinatory liquid splashing up from the river beneath. She felt a tug deep within her belly, her eyes could no longer focus, and soon there was no more woman, no more boat, and no more cavern.


A beautiful, silky white Swan flew across the world, long and far, searching for her youngling. She appealed to the Lady of the Waters, the Green of the Puck, the Old Man of the Rock and Wild Woman of the Wind, but none could help her. Defeated, she sat and cried until a Fox peaked his head out of nearby lair.

The Fox told her the child was not hers, was never hers, and indeed nothing in the world including her very identity was truly hers. Her nest was once a place where another’s home stood and would one day again, her child merely passed through both her womb and care and her very self was a series of roles assigned to her by the world.

The Swan agreed with the Fox, and was about to return home, her quest over, but discovered he had taken the young one to be his dinner, and so flew him far up in the air. He begged for his life but the Swan reminded him his body was merely a temporary vessel, not truly his and released him.

From high up she saw the young one still alive in the Fox’s lair.  She dove towards him and the air spun about her, and when she landed she was no Swan, but a slightly shocked and confused woman whose boat had landed at the shore of the river, at the mouth of a Cave, at the end of her Journey.



“Yes miss. I’m here. I had a really strange dream that I was a man meditating under a tree.”

“I think we’re here.”

The ship had run aground upon a tiny little subterranean beach. Directly ahead of them was the cavern opening, beyond which they could see stars, hills, trees, and a beautiful, warm glow across the fading horizon.

She climbed out of the boat, mouse on shoulder, and said goodbye to what she now realized was no duck, but a horribly rendered swan. As they approached the cave’s opening, a dark figure hunched to the side became apparent. It gawkingly stood a bit and shuffled to the middle of the opening, between them and the outside. She guessed that the figure would be about 10 feet tall if it would bother to stand up straight.

Arms dangling, back hunched, it bobbed its ugly, massive head.

“Rol de dol rol,” it said as if it could barely be bothered. “I am a troll.”

“Right.” She said. “You want to let us through?”

“No can do,” the troll replied. It cleared its throat. “No one passes this way by me, unless they…. uhm…. oh bother. Something three. There’s three of something… ah, let’s see…” and began muttering incoherently to himself.

‘Oh for fuck’s sake,’ she muttered, and ran through scenarios of what this figure would be in real life, assuming she was indeed wandering new york, hallucinating all she was witnessing. She was considering a heroin or possibly crack den when he perked up.

“Questions three!” the troll exclaimed. “That’s it. Unless you answer my questions three.”

“Look,” she said, narrowing her eyes. “I have just been through the bowels of the world and back, my sanity is at best a piece of fond nostalgia, and I am really in no mood to be…”

The troll raised himself to his full height, puffed out his chest, and slowly cracked his long, bony neck. He was very big, extremely ugly, and without a doubt scary enough to warrant shutting up. She also couldn’t help noticing that he had a rather large, spiked club in his right hand.

They stood for a moment in silence.

“So,” she said. “Questions…”

“Right then. This is my second favorite part of the job.”

“What, the questions?” asked Deacon.

“Yup. Matchin’ the ol’ wits as they say. Relieves the tedium you know.”

“Well, if this is your next to favorite part…” began Deacon.

“Oh Christ, I see this coming a mile away,” she murmured.

“…what’s your favorite part?”

She put her hand to her temples. “Eating us,” she said

The troll broke into a large, foul smile, and they both had to recoil from his breath. “Why, eat…. Oh. Yeah. What she said. ” He humphed, then began to slouch again, growing restless and bored.

“Well?” she asked.

“Oh, right,” he suddenly remembered what he was doing. “Alright then…” he cleared his throat.


“My life can be measured by hours

I serve be being devoured

Thin I am quick, fat I am slow

Wind is my foe

What am I?”


She and Deacon huddled.

“Wind is my foe. What doesn’t like wind?”

“A tiny flame?”

“I serve by… thin I am quick… a candle!” she cried.

The troll stood and stared. “Oh yeah. A candle it is. Bloody hell. Alright, this next one’ll get yer.


From the beginning of eternity

To the end of time and space

To the beginning of every end

And the end of every place.

What am I?”


They confided once again, although this proved puzzling.

Back and forth they went, but they couldn’t make any headway. Time passed. The troll shuffled about restlessly, a bored look growing upon his face.

“Deacon, wait. I have an idea.”

She stood and looked at the troll silently for a minute. Then she spoke.


“Huh?” he suddenly looked back up. “Well what?”

“What’s the last question?”

“The last question: What do… wait hold on. You didn’t get the other one.”

“What other one?”

“The one… the candle one…”

“We got the candle one.”

“The letter E one, then.”

“We got the letter E one.”

“No you didn’t.”

“Yes we did.”

“You didn’t.”

“If you don’t believe me, ask me for the answer.”

“Alright. What’s the answer then?”

“The letter E.”

“Oh. Alright then.”

“So the third one.”

“Right. Here it is:


What does man love more then life

Fear more then death and mortal strife?

What do the poor have, the rich desire

And what contented men desire?

What does the miser spend

And the spendthrift save

And all men carry to their graves?

What am I?”


She and Deacon paused for a moment. Then she told him “I love puzzles,” turned to the troll and said “Nothing.”

The last thing he said to them as they passed amicably by was “And don’t forget, a god ignored is a demon born,” and then they were outside in the cool, fresh midsummer’s eve. It was ripe with the lost smells of endless evenings, when the school year was no more and the night had nothing but mischievous potential. Of first, fumbling sexual encounters, and the wonder of the first steps into a foreign city never before visited.

Meadows gave way into trees, into picturesque forests with spiraling paths leading to ornate doorways cut into tree trunks, or cottages built into the sides of hilly mounds. Giant mushrooms grew and exotic flowers peered curiously at them.

And flying, riding, dancing, and lolling about were the Faeries.

As she walked through the twilight land, they noticed her more and more, and began to converge about her, flying around and stopping to peer curiously, then giggling and flying off in sparkling, spiraling luminescent trails.

They were the size of her hands and they beckoned her forward over a hill to a moonlit meadow.

In the center of the meadow was her baby boy.

He was upright, floating in the center of a circle of faeries who danced around him. From his belly extended thin wispy silver strings of ether, each strand held by a faery twirling him about as they danced around him. A living, infant maypole.

Around and around they went, and as he twirled he giggled and squealed.

The faeries flying about landed before her in a semi circle. Through their center, their Faery King came up to greet her.

“I remember now,” she said.


She had been 21. It was her first summer in New York, and she and three friends had taken several tabs of acid and gone to Central Park to trip their brains out.

She had been dancing in a field, hallucinating madly, and had fancied there were a dozen fairies dancing with her as she had sung the song “Take My Baby,” by the band Mocha Lab.

They had rubbed dandelions on her chin, and she had given them petals as presents signifying their pact.


“But I was just tripping,” she said to the Faery King.

“The Pact was made fairly,” he said. “We’ve waited for you. You are the Mother come to nurse in our time of famine. The rules were followed. You’ve passed the tests and we’ve kept up our end of the bargain.”

“What was your end of the bargain?”

“Your place here made as Mother of our young, who are starving and dying. They cannot grow, and we cannot survive. We welcome you, and through our pact we live on together through the rest of this Age unto our next time of Ascendance.”

A dozen faery lads flew down and a great chair rose up from the ground, made of roots and grass. They sat her gently down.

A dozen Faery maidens flew down and took her ragged, grimy garments from her body. Naked, they bathed her in dew, and she rested in the glow of the magical dusk surrounding her, her size now not so big, but slowly shrinking to just somewhat over faery size.

Little Faery infants were brought to her and placed at her nipples, where they began suckling her warm, nurturing milk.

She spread her arms, and in pairs the Faery younglings attached themselves to her breasts and drank her milk as bonfires were lit amongst the glen, and music played, and dancers danced, and mother and young nursed in the amethyst glow of Perpetual Twilight.


Posted by on August 28, 2011 in Uncategorized


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The Fae Under New Albion Pt. 5

They were now in a new cavern of dark, almost black, crinkled rock, the floor a thick, soft dirt. Small, glowing snowflakes of light drifted down around them, illuminating the cavern.

A series of metallic clanging sounds echoed throughout the walkway like that of hammers hitting anvils. Small drafts of heat passed by her cheek, and she noticed the floor beneath them had a subtle downward slant.

With each passing minute, new, far off noises could be heard: cracks, thuds, hisses, scrapes, the sound of machinelike activity. The ground was becoming stickier, almost muddy, and down side passages faint red light would flicker on and off.

“What’s going on?” she asked.

“Dwarves,” Deacon replied.

Before she could inquire, a flash of yellow brightened the wall beside her, and in the quick light she saw hundreds of cockroaches covering it.

She screamed.

“Miss, please!” Deacon whispered fiercely in her ear.

She put a hand over her mouth.

She stood still and stared at the wall, waiting for another flash or a wisp of light to float leisurely down. When it did, she saw no movement on the wall.

She took two steps and could just make out the wall moving with her.

She stopped abruptly. It stopped.

As another glowing flake passed by, she took 2 more careful steps. This time she could hear the faint sound of tiny little bug feet moving with her.

She stopped. They stopped.

This time, upon halting, there was a faint, high-pitched noise coming from the wall of roaches, almost out of her range of hearing. It sounded like a hundred cockroaches… whistling.

She walked, the whistling stopped and they crept silently along with her. Whenever she froze, they would freeze and whistle nonchalantly.

“It sounds like they’re whistling,” she whispered quietly to Deacon.

“They probably are,” he whispered back.

“Are they fucking with my head?”

“Are they?”

Now, no longer attempting to hide the fact of their whistling, they began some “dum de dum” humming.

“What the hell?”

“Well miss, they are very musical.”

“Musical. Cockroaches. What do they want me to do, sing to them?”

From the walls on both sides of her, suddenly came an outburst of high, thin, reedy little voices shouting “Oh yes! Yes!” “Oh do!” “Please, yes, please oh do!” “Oh lovely please let’s do!”

She started to stammer, then collected herself. “Stop!”


“Uhm, hello?”

In a chorus of voices that sounded like a reel-to-reel tape player being forwarded at high speed, they cried out in unison “Hello!”

She stared paranoid around her. “Okay, you guys are freaking me out.”

There was a banter of apologetic “Oh no”s, and other sad and ashamed murmuring. A collective sigh sounded out.

Deacon nudged her ear. “I think you hurt their feelings.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

There was some light shuffling, a moment’s pause, and then a single tiny voice spoke, although it was too thin and small for her to hear.

“What’d it say?”

“He said they’re very sorry, but maybe you could please sing them a song. They’d like it very much.”

“I’m in a cave with dwarves and cockroaches and they want me to sing to them?”

The lone high voice said something.

“He says the dwarves only sing fun songs when they’re drunk, and most of the time their songs are about working and drinking and are a little boring.”

She stood staring dumbly around her, fidgeting and shaking her head. She couldn’t tell whether she was going to giggle or choke.


“Yay!” They all cheered in their twisted ‘Chipmunks on crack’ voices.

She sang Walking In Memphis.

The cavern made her voice, shaky at first, sound rather pleasant, and as she made her way through the 1st verse she started to enjoy it. When she reached the chorus, the cockroaches all joined in and almost bowled her over. At the beginning of the 2nd verse they all lightly chanted the chord changes behind her, singing “ooooo,ooooo…..” By the last verse they were singing the backup vocals behind her:

“And I was walking in…”

“Waaaaaaalking in Memphis”

It was the single funniest thing she had ever heard in her life, and at the end of the song as they all cheered uproariously, she began to laugh and laugh, and her laughter grew hysterical, and 5 minutes later she couldn’t breath but couldn’t stop, and she was down on her knees, elbows in the mud begging for mercy, but none came and she could feel something deep inside of her head twist and little splinters begin to crack.

The gusts of heat and noises of activity increased as woman, mouse, and hundreds of cockroaches continued their twisting descent down into the red and yellow lit caverns. Pipes jutted out of cragged stone and wrapped around walls, radiating heat and occasionally hissing and clanging.

The roaches kept up a merry chorus of whatever song had last been sung, and whenever she would tire of the particular tune, all she had to do was clear her throat and the chorus would hush and wait for her to begin another song.

Letting them pipe away happily, she eyed the mouse still riding atop her shoulder.

“There’s an awful lot of commotion down here, Deacon.”

“Yes, miss. The dwarves are always hard at work.”

“What do they do?”

“Mine, mostly. They also forage tunnels and expand the pipe network that carries the ore, but mining for the ore is their main task.”

“Ore? What kind of ore?”

“Chaos, miss.”


The singing stopped.

She turned about to see what potential problem was causing the soundtrack to her mental deterioration to halt. Down a yellow-lit corridor to her right stood a short, stocky figure, dark for being backlit. He was carrying a pick and obviously examining her intently.

“Oh, hello,” she said. “I don’t mean to disturb you.”

“Hmph,” the figure answered. “Haven’t seen one o’ yer kind in a long while.”

“Uh, are you really a… a… what do you do down here?”

The burly dwarf shuffled towards her. He was insanely hairy, with thick leather skin, much coarser then a human’s, and red eyes with jet-black pupils. He peered at her curiously.

“Just what yer friend there told ya. We mine the Chaos, refine it into an ore, and feed it to the Engine.”

“What engine? What do you mean by Chaos? Molten lava?”

“If I’da meant melted rock, I’d have said melted rock. Chaos, I said. The primal, potential of essence. Tricky stuff to work with. Real messy. Dangerous, too.”

“Where do you find it?”

“The world’s a womb, lassie. Every womb has a portal of Chaos in it. Just like yers.” He pointed at her stomach. “’Course yers is smaller than the head of a pin, and ya probably keep it closed most of the time,” he gestured around him, “but in a womb this big, there’s several hundred miles of it, and more pouring through all the time.”

The pipes around them banged and shook. The dwarf carried on, obviously delighted to boast of his work. “We liquidize it and send it through the pipes, into the great Engine. We mine, we run, and we maintenance of the Great Engine, all big jobs. Beyond the capacity o’ any o’ the other Races, ya can be sure. Only a dwarf could do each and all and still out drink ya at the end o’ the day.”

“Wow,” she said, patting his ego. “What kind of engine?”

“The Great Three-Wheeled Engine o’ History. Want to see it?”

After promising her that it wasn’t the least bit out of her way, he led her down the corridor he had come, through the shadows in the walls some of which turned out to be corridors, until they came to the end of a tunnel.

The tunnel stopped abruptly, high up in a chamber the size of a football field wide, and two legnthwise. In the center were 3 gargantuan wheels, each the size of a 6-story tenement building, intersecting each other at different angles. Beneath them were gears, boilers and pipes, all manner of outlandish, archaic machinery interconnected in an indecipherable jumble.

She stood transfixed.

“Count yerself lucky, lass. Yer only the 42nd o’ your race to see it this entire Aeon. I used to deal with yer kind a lot more back in the last Age. Always had a soft spot for ya.”

He glanced back at the Engine. “’Course with the next wheel in ascendance, I bet yer species is going a bit spastic up there, eh?”

“What does this thing do?”

“It drives history.”

“What, you mean like the the seasons? That’s caused by the Earth revolving around the Sun.”

“Nay, that’s not what I meant. Nature takes care o’ herself sure enough. This isn’t about the seasons or the day’s journey into night. This is what drives events, eras, ages, epochs.”

He pointed down at the Engine.

“Three wheels, see? The Material, the Transcendent, and the Magical. The wheel of the Material’s just finishing its dominant arch. Treated Man well. Man was well adapted for it.”

Each wheel was made up of a series of smaller wheels inside of it, much like what she had seen of the Mayan calendar. Straining her eyes, she could actually see some of the circles near the center moving.

“This Engine is what powers the rise and fall of Civilizations, what determines them congruency o’ forces there that bring favorable conditions to the evolution of species and the progression of Races. Or unfavorable for that matter.

“Yer seeking the Sidhe, I hear. Now there’s a Race that’s had a tough time of it. Lots of famine, been driven back to wait out this Epoch in the few remaining Lands habitable to them. They’re almost through the worst of it, though. It they can hold out a little longer, they’ll start ascending soon.

‘As for your kind…. well… things’re gonna get a lot more crazy up ahead.”

“They took my baby,” she told him.

“Hmph. I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout that. But I do know them crazy little buggers are always fair. They never break the rules. ‘Course them rules are’t your rules, but still.”

A loud clamor of falling metal echoed from a corridor behind them.

“Pus and ass hair!” the dwarf swore. “Alright, off I’m goin’. Nice to see your kind again. Good luck.”

“Wait. Do people make it through this next wheel or whatever?”

“Hmm. Not sure. It’s possible you don’t. Then again it’s possible you just become unrecognizable.”

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Posted by on August 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


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