Thursday, February 9, 2012

CODA


When the gods speak to you in the quiet moments, alone with Gutspiller, your sword, it's in the voice of roaring flame, crying babe and creaking bones. The name they use for you is not familiar—though if it be applied by the gods it must be yours.

YOU ARE WASTED HERE, they burn, screech and crack. YOU WILL JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF ALL THINGS AND DO WHAT YOU MUST.

You pause mid-whetstone-stroke. Always, you think, with the obtuse. The last time the gods tasked you to do what you must a kingdom burned, and that had angered them. How were you to know the Virgin Concubine was reserved for Athnas' crippled avatar alone? One sock to the Old King's grey head and the avatar broke open upon the flagstones; then the 43 murders—kingsmen all, and in furious combat, but that's not how you prefer to think of it—and a harrowing scene of a Death-amusing swing from one Impossible Tower to its twin on a rope spun from the Concubine's song as she clung to your back in a parody of the moment five minutes hence when she relinquished her title upon your surging member.

The Pillars of Creation shook that day. But then they did on most days when you were sober enough to tumesce and hold a sword.

"Gods," you grumble, "What use have I for gods? Does the foe leap upon my sword, the maid upon my member, the wine and meat upon my palate by whimsy alone?" Still, you rise.

As is usual, the gods are not content to simply open a hole for you to walk through... it is a myriad of black mouths that dial open in reality, all swirling, sucking, tearing at the scenery and tugging you, screaming with rage, in all directions at once.

DO THIS THING AND IT'S GNORTHLAX THOUSANDLEGS' STORIED HAREM FOR YOU; FAIL US AND... IT'S GNORTHLAX THOUSANDLEGS' STORIED HAREM FOR YOU.

And so your boots are set upon The Path.

There is a swamp with a lowly hut, really no more than a mound of offal and detritus wherein dwells hideous conjoined twins, one impossibly old, the other a pouting toddler; this did you smite.

There is the four-space labyrinth of the Dread Pfeffnorg, where hallways branch back into themselves and the blindfold does nothing for it is behind your eyes the Pfeffnorg lurks; this did you smite.

There is a village of Golden People who worship the idol of a squat frog-god and keep a library of life-effacing technology as well as the Chronicle of All Peoples and Times; this did you smite, burn and partner for a time with the Golden King's daughter, whose smirk and sword were as wicked-cool as her heavy breasts.

There are others, and crowns looted from severed heads, wheelbarrows of swag and burning castles. This is The Path, and though you share it now and again with sidekick and warrior princess it is in the end yours to stride alone and so you do, more often than not... as is your fashion.

When The Path terminates, it is at the Center of All Things. The World Beast rages, beset on all sides by ranks of heroes; sword and spell flash against hide and will as the thing bellows and swats cohorts of them dead with each lumbering step. An ensorcelled catapult fires a volley of sainted skulls into the thing's 37th eye—it roars soundlessly and shifts to the left—

There is a Seal at the end of Creation—a Great Key that locks Everything in its Place; the wretched to their swamps, pfeffnorgs to their mazes, golden kings to their thrones—and Gutspiller in your fist.

And the World Beast has just lifted its hindmost foot off of it.

While the gods could have been more explicit, they could not have lined up a better shot. There's a break in the legions of heroes, a surging zig-zag course that opens between you and the Seal. It is The Path. Sheathing Gutspiller, you run. Through carnage and din, past exploding wizards and eyeless clerics, de-limbed warriors and bandy-legged thieves—you run. The beast rages and rears, a mountain walking or stumbling all over the world's finest. Its shadow is everywhere.

The Seal is a stride-wide plug, a keystone set with a massive ring of eldritch metal, impossibly cold to the touch. You set yourself over it, take one last look at the chaos that roils at the Center of All Things, spit on your hands and seize the ring. The cold is stunning and you almost cry out; instead you bear down and pull with everything the gods gave you. Sinew and bone compress as muscles bulge. You can feel the strain in your teeth as they begin to crack. Veins stand out on your glistening tan, making you look for all the world like an angry, man-sized penis—

Once upon a time, a philosopher-king said that flesh is but the shadow of will. Wary of tricks, you disemboweled him.

In this moment you're almost sorry as the plug comes loose with a final shout and The World drains ou—























































































2 comments:

Joe Gola said...

Sweet for the reading.

Jessica Hayes said...

What if I told you you never had to buy another fantasy book again? What if I told you you never had to borrow a fantasy book from a friend or even check it out from a library ever again? Or even download it onto your ipad or Kindle? How much would you pay for that? $300? $400. Paperback books sell from $7 to $15, and are difficult to store, they fall apart when wet and are generally a mess. With CODA you will never have to store another paperbook again! A hardcover book can be upwards of $20 apiece! And we all know how much a download can be. Now you can NOT read over 100,000 pages! How much would you pay to astonish your friends by knowing the ending to every fantasy novel, current or even not yet written? $500? $600? How does it work, you ask? Read only the first page of any fantasy novel of your choosing, then download CODA, type in the title of your book and CODA will automatically change the character names to make it specific for your book then you only have to read this one last page to know the ending! No fuss! No muss! No trying to remember a character from three books ago! No trying to figure out where the hero is or what he's doing! Is there any book this doesn't work with, you ask? NO! As long as it is a fantasy genre novel CODA is guaranteed to have the ending! Just read the first page of any fantasy epic. You can do this from the comfort of your own home by searching Amazon.com. You can even carry CODA on your smart phone! Go to any bookstore and read the first page of every book in the fantasy aisle and with CODA at your fingertips you will have the ending within seconds! How much would you pay to save yourself time, money and whole lot of unrelenting boredom as the hero endlessly slogs on through tired, lame adventure after tired, lame adventure? $700? $1000? Order now and CODA is going for the unbelievably low price of four payments of $49.98. If you order in the next fifteen minutes, DOOMTHINK will subtract one entire payment! That's right! Only three payments of $49.98! And that's not all! Order now and get CODA for any murder-mystery as an added bonus! Get to the gritty climax right away, no fuss, no muss, no more grueling nights of trying to stay awake! Call NOW! The ending is waiting for you.