Saturday, September 19, 2015

Large Goals and Small Victories

Spoiler: Thoreau gained a carrot.
I've been remiss in journaling. Let me express no little regret for this, for the past few days have shewn great works of wonder, but of these two are most paramount and they are too important to "save until the end"... Ugh, that puts me in mind of those entertainment-hunds who slaver endlessly for the next chapbook or penny dreadful, and their drive to endlessly inform you of how many they've read consumes the whole of their being. But God save you, should you hint at the events at the end of each publication! Oh, heaven forfend! Woe betide them who are not suitably precious about the endings of these tawdry melodramas...

I apologize for carrying on. It is an emotionally laden topic. I care not for the preservation of these petty distractions, but I have suffered the hammers and the tongs of those for whom little else matters.

So let me ruin the grand surprise of this entry and announce my two greatest revelations: I now have a second island and a carrot. The carrot did not come with the island. I was flanked...

The green, exploding creeping horror,
yet unnamed.
Actually, no, permit me a moment of dramatic license. Evening was falling on the home of your little Squire Make-a-stir, commander of cows and lord of pigs, tilling my fields and cultivating my trees as I do. One of those diabolical beings, green of hue and silent of step—I still have no name for these creeping horrors—crept up behind me while I was otherwise engaged with the pruning of branches. I was just congratulating myself on having caught a large, shiny apple as it fell from the boughs, when I heard the fuse go off. Experience has instilled in me not the delay to gasp and look around; rather, I threw myself aside and sprinted toward the lagoon, but even this took too long and I was engulfed in the horror's fireball. I was tossed roughly aside and jarred badly by the trunk of another great oak, but the tree took the brunt of it. It was blown asunder, and of the ground in which it was based there is only a tremendous crater.

I picked myself up, flexed my back and checked my limbs for open wounds; I seemed to be in rough but serviceable shape. However, when I took stock of my surroundings, I espied three A.C.M.s stumbling toward me, groaning in a revolting chorus. They came from the same direction, so it would be no feat to haul myself up and walk away, but behind me were two animate skeletons, armed with bows, one of which was astride a giant spider. Promptly I took two arrows to the chest; hastily I drew my sword and hacked the pedestrian into components, then charged past the rider to make for my palisade. But of course, there was yet another of those green creeping horrors between me and my sturdy oaken door.

Ambulatory Corpses of Men enjoy a numerical superiority.
Having encountered several of these, I can report to you there are three ways of managing these nightmares. Firstly, and most optimally, one may perch from a balcony or rocky ledge and pick them off at great distance with arrows; secondly, a novice warrior using any bladed or pointed object may rush in, strike, then retreat promptly, executing this sequence several times until the beast falls. This demon's only attack is to explode when it is near a person, but if one gets away in time, it calms down and resumes walking without an explosion. This is how the second technique is possible.

The third method should be reserved only for the strongest fighters with superior weapons. As I have been at this for some time and managed to forge all my weapons and armor in steel, it is possible for me to charge at the horror and execute it rapidly with no more than three strikes. This calls for vigor and determination: even a moment's hesitation will result in failure, but I have performed this method several dozen times and rely upon it with confidence.

Yet no sooner had I defeated this demonic foe than all my other assailants were upon me. I heard agonized groaning just over my shoulder; I wheeled around in a flash and began striking. The A.C.M.s take several hits, tough and stupid as they are, so three of them are an arduous chore to work through—you knock one back and another steps to the fore, reaching for your face. All the while, the riding skeleton hung back and peppered me with missiles, one of which sank deep into my shoulder. But even with the promise of prompt reincarnation, yet did the survivalist spirit burn so hotly within my chest and I determined not to fall here. What followed was a complicated waltz of charging forth, springing back, and whirling my vorpal blade all about, all the while. At the end, I was on my last legs, but A.C.M.s, skeleton and its arachnid steed lay dormant and dissembled all about. My sword nearly slipped from my wearied hand, but I stood, breathing heavily and trickling with my life's blood. I looked at them, the remains of creatures that never should be, and I stood over them, fully in command of my faculties and alive, despite their best efforts. I drew deep and sweet lungfuls of air, and I even exulted in my wounds. I yanked out the arrows from my mortal clay and tossed them contemptuously upon my foes' remains, and I had just tucked into a life-giving chop of mutton when a small flash of color caught my attention.

Lying there on the ground, as the tissues and tatters of an A.C.M. dissolved into the turf, was a single carrot.

I tell you, no greater reward could my mind have conceived at that moment. A carrot! This bright, healthy root lay there and appeared to me for all the world like King Solomon's gazophylacium! I snatched it up and cradled it like a precious babe; I took up the hoe and found fertile soil in which to embed it. And now, O my faceless reader, whoso should find this hand-scribbed tome, I present to you the fruits of my labors: this carrot has grown into three, and my crop has expanded, to the delight of my poor pigs and rabbits (oh yes, I lured them into my pen before burying my treasure in the ground).

Also, after days at sea and with only three mutton chops left at my disposal, I have finally found a second island. I unpacked my building materials and wrought a bunker in polished granite, with a broad platform atop from which to take down intruding beasts and horrors with a hail of arrows, at great and safe distance. I'm currently excavating a bay in which to dock my ship. I've had too many boats drift away in the middle of the night, to not construct some form of containment for them now.

Gaze upon Thoreau's works, ye mighty, and despair.

1 comment:

  1. I love this blog! More people need to know about it! #waldencraft