I awoke with a start, the troubadour’s haunting dirge still caressing my ear. I inhaled through my nose to calm my racing heart and found my nostrils filled with the stale stink of dirty bodies and work animals. Rolling over, I retched over the side of my bed. Fortunately, the urge to vomit was replaced by rough coughs before I ruined my carpet. After my coughs subsided, I lay back in bed and wiped the sheen of sweat from my brow. The dream came back to me; I was on the same pilgrimage as the grotesque figures in the painting.
Sunday, March 18, 2018
“Do you see the size of that one?” Erik shouted.
He thrust his finger towards one of the twisted trees that were scattered through the marsh. A giant mosquito perched on the rough bark, buzzing loudly. It was the largest he’d seen so far.
“Shit, don’t point at it. What if it notices us?”
The two men froze, ignoring the conventionally-sized insects that crawled over their exposed skin. The gigantic mosquito took flight and vanished deeper into the stinking marsh.
The men resumed their slog through the thigh-high water, trying to ignore the unseen things rubbing against their tired legs.
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Gazi put her craggy hand on the rough tunnel floor. She could feel the cave spider’s web blocking the path, but not her acolyte. The spider chittered, hoping Gazi’s curiosity bring her to be ensnared in its trap.
Instead, Gazi placed her hands on the stone and whispered a prayer. A moment later she pushed, and felt her hands sink into the stone as though it were wet clay. She continued pushing until she had passed entirely into the rock wall. She swam through the rock until the spider’s web was behind her. After emerging, she continued down the tunnel.
Friday, March 16, 2018
“If one more motherfucker cuts me off…” I growled.
Then some asshole in a Chevy Equinox jerked into my lane and slammed on his breaks. I laid on the horn.
The driver stopped and put it in park. Then they got out of their car. It was a middle-aged man who looked like he used to be athletic, but was still a bully. He stormed towards me.
I was salivating like a dog when a bell rings. I was going to give this fuckface such a beating his own mother wouldn’t be able to tell his face from his ass.
Thursday, March 15, 2018
“Before we arrive at the village, my lord, you should know that the inhabitants are all possessed of a bizarre look and manner. Perhaps due to inbreeding, as is so common in places of extreme isolation, they universally speak with a lisp.”
“Yes, my lord, and they practice a particularly backwards religion deifying snakes. They’ve gone so far as to forbid the killing of the things in their territory. Oddly though, despite the dense population of snakes in the surrounding area, they never seem to enter the village grounds.”
“We shall need caution when we bed down tonight then.”
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Rururox lifted her snout and inhaled the scent of the humans they were tracking. There were several of them, with horses, probably a caravan. She licked up the drool accumulating on her mouth. Humans rarely traveled the underside of the continent and the gnolls considered their meat a delicacy, flavored as it was by the variety of fragrant plants they consumed that were unavailable on the underside.
Rururox turned back to her hunting party. Their snouts were pointed in the direction the scent on the air suggested the humans had traveled, though eventually they’d have to adjust for the wind.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Cecil crawled from the wreckage of the airship, covered in scrapes and cuts. Once sufficiently recovered, he pushed himself to his feet and looked over the debris. He saw no movement. Slowly, he dug through the shattered timber, searching for other survivors.
Cecil abandoned the search after finding the smashed bodies of a few of the other passengers. He instead started to search for supplies and his armor. Anything breakable had been destroyed. He did manage to find the heavy chest holding his armor. It was intact. He wasn’t sure how useful it would be however, stranded in the wilderness.