Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Werewolf Transforms

Tigran's transformation begins with a foaming mouth.

Then faster than the eye can perceive, he begins to transform.

In this form, his name is RedWolf.

The Predator gets Preyed Upon

The next morning we heard the sound of deep snoring coming from the pen. Tigran, now in a dog form, was sleeping with his jaws clamped on the limp form of a weasel—yes, it was a long, muscular, snake-like brown creature. Its mouth hung open, revealing long, white teeth. When he heard us approaching, Tigran shook the dead creature once again, I suppose in an attempt to show us his kill.
“How could such a small creature be so deadly?” my host asked.
“My dear foolish Forrest,” I began. “Why not?”
“It seems so wrong,” Forrest said. “I always thought that animals killed because they had to eat. This thing killed for sport. It never ate much of anything. It just enjoyed murdering things. People do that, not animals. Besides, weasels are supposed to kill rats. We have so many of them. Why not murder all of them?”
I had to laugh. “Fool! Humans are animals! As animals are savage, so are we. The only thing that changes this is human culture. It teaches us that killing for sport is wrong—not that this stops wanton killing, but at least it keeps the bulk of people in check. Do you not observe how human children are so savage? If they could, they would inflict great harm on their peers. They do quite often. When I was a skinny scrap of a boy I was bullied mercilessly. Day in and day out, children from my village beat me, inflicted upon me cruel verbal abuse, and caused me to live in perpetual fear. Animals are made of the same stuff as we are. Some animals, like some humans, are not vicious. Some, like the worst of our kind, are monstrous.”
Tigran began to crunch on the creature’s head. I pet his soft fur, and he dropped the headless corpse at my feet, perhaps inviting me to eat of the kill. I found it to be rather pungent. It was no doubt a male.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Was it a Spirit, a Monster, or a Sorcerer?

Ah, yes. Sometimes these rural simpletons bore me. Concerning the slaughter of birds and bunnies, these are my findings: The following day we accompanied Forrest to the fortified steel cages were he had cleverly placed the stricken rabbits. They were strong cages, but the sight that presented itself was one of horror. My werewolf companion began to slather with a mix of anger, and I suppose hunger.
One of the rabbits was flayed and headless near the outer cage door. Another was headless within the cage, while another was high up on a shelf where the unfortunate late pigeons used to perch. Its liver lay next to the mangled body. None of the animals had been consumed properly, proving that it was a killing for malicious reasons alone.
“What sort of magic is this?” Forrest screamed in frustration before vomiting. “How is it that the cage door is securely locked, yet the rabbits are dead?”
I looked and saw that indeed, the cage was soundly locked, but I smelled no sorcery. Then I saw it. “Observe,” I said. “The creature crawled through the feeder and into the cage. It had to be long and quite skinny.”
“How did it get the large rabbits out of the cage?” he asked.
“Hmm…” I mused to myself. “Perhaps it broke their bones.”
Tigran roared and began to roll in the carrion. I was not in the mood to think about the subtleties of animal husbandry. “I will ask my minion to guard the animals,” I offered, pointing to Tigran.
Forrest shook his head. “That monster will eat the rest of them—I’m sure of that.”
“That is my offer. He will refrain from eating the rabbits, ducks, and chickens. I will allow him to eat one large Wal-Mart shopper before the night comes. Although it is certain to contain much of the dreaded cholesterol, he can digest it well,” I assured him.
“Well, okay, then. Just make sure it is an evil person,” he grumbled. I smiled and patted the werewolf’s red fur. It made a series of purring roars.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Case of the Heinous Slaughter

I have explained to you before that I am living at the residence of a self-styled farmer by the name of KB Forrest. He owns well over 100 acres of land infested with every manner of varmint. He admits this, yet refuses to find a more habitable location. This morning he went to feed animals, which he keeps for some sort of sadistic pleasure. He has furry rabbits, pigeons with tails like peacocks, and some with feathers sprouting in topknots from their heads. There are strange quail, ducks, chickens, peacocks, pheasants, and all manner of rare creatures that seem to have been bred by a madman.
In any case, when he returned to the house, I was foraging for a morning meal with my fledgling Tigran, who was tearing up a bag he found. I do not know what it contained. I noticed that the man, Forrest, looked dejected and unhappy. Being a good guest, I asked why? He said that although he had fortified the large cages thoroughly, something had magically entered one of them and had killed all of his beloved pigeons. The apparition, as he called it, had done other unspeakable damage. He asked for my help.
I followed him with Tigran loping alongside me. I saw a profusion of colorful feathers strewn about. It made Tigran hungry, but I cautioned him to refrain. A flayed skull of a bird was the first flesh I saw. Next, what was once a graceful white bird lay with its belly torn open and the ribs cleaned of flesh. A mound of bird legs and heads were in a corner, but mostly they had been simply killed and thrown to the side.
The most grotesque sight was the rabbits. They had been white with dark ears and a profusion of fur around the necks. He called them “lion heads.” Three of them had been attacked, but not killed. Two had missing eyes. All had been mauled about the face and were bloodied. I even saw one struggling to breathe.
“Why do you not put them to death so as to stop their suffering?” I asked. But I should have known that squeamish man would refuse, saying that he would try to save them. “Would you like me to kill them, then?” I offered, knowing that he was simply delicate.
“How could the creature have gotten in? There are no holes in the wire,” he asked, avoiding my question. “I have sealed off any means of entry!” he cried.
“I will investigate,” I said, thinking that if any evil were perpetrated in my area, I would not allow it unless it was my own. Sorcerers are quite territorial. I will investigate and tell you my findings.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Back From Xwaresmia--The Sorcerer Gaumata

I have spent time in Xwaresmia trying to sort out my priorities. I really think I have to put together a book of spells and curses. The other thing that has vexed me is that my associate, Tigran, who is a demon, is proving difficult to train. I did not realize that he was as young as he was when I took him on as an acolyte. He is powerful, but in need of a strong hand. 
I have included these proofs: see the picture labeled “werewolf,” above.  In it you see him transforming. Note his moon-like eyes. Yet he forgets to finish the transformation and it appears ridiculous. The next photo shows him sprouting an eye from the side of his face. He had four eyes, some of which roved aimlessly. It was quite gruesome, but he was asleep. When he awoke, his face returned to normal. 
I think he has potential, however, so I will not give up. I feel that I may become attached to him, and this is not at all desirable. I must focus on the task of finding a suitable post to occupy. There is no longer an emperor of any stature in this unfortunate world, and I do not wish to occupy the throne of a weakling. The world has changed for the worse. I may retire to the forest, but I still covet power.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Psamtik's Mother--The Sorcerer Gaumata

The work done for the day, Matwa went to Psamtik, the pharaoh-to-be’s quarters. The wretch’s mother had called him. Psamtik was asleep in his mother’s arms. He slept naked and his mother looked fondly at his skinny, angular body. His shiny shaved head showed off many bumps and irregularities. He had had an erection in his sleep and she stroked it down gently. Matwa stood a while and finally cleared his throat, causing Psamtik to stir and grit his teeth, making an awful grinding sound. The woman looked up and smiled proudly as she slipped out of the bed.

“Matwa, how are the arrangements for his ascension progressing? I feel that the priesthood is not very enthusiastic about my son’s coronation, and I want to know that the army will be loyal.” She paced silently. “At least we have you, Matwa. I’m sure you can control the other priests.”
Matwa nodded, “Yes Your Grace, I will do my best. Every thing is going as planned.”

{WARNING} Contains scenes of extreme violence that may be offensive to some readers. Fire—dreams of Fire—visions of Fire. Where do they come from? Aryazate doesn’t know why, but he fears the power secretly growing in him. Am I a demon, or a sorcerer? Kavada, the blacksmith, seems to be the only one he can trust, but even he doesn’t know the extent of Aryazate’s secrets. What would he say if he found out that the beautiful maiden Aryazate, is really a young man forced by circumstances to conceal this truth, which day by day becomes more evident? Just when he thinks Kavada is ready to hear the truth, Aryazate’s worst nightmares become reality. The Head-Mage Monushir accuses him of sorcery and has him imprisoned. What will this trial reveal? Is the truth so horrible that Aryazate will welcome torture and death by fire—by the same fire that haunts his dreams?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Pharaoh's Useless Brains--The Sorcerer Gaumata

The priests moved the body of the Pharaoh to the royal embalmers. They had been prepared for this momentous event for a long time. Richly decorated canopic jars stood ready to receive the royal internal organs. The heart, being the seat of intelligence, would remain in the body. A large stone sarcophagus was set up in the room. This was not to be the final resting place, but the container that would hold the body while it cured and dried before mummification. It was full of natron over one layer of pure salt.

The priests were in attendance as the embalmers prepared the royal body and they began chanting the spells that were necessary for this stage. Taking a needle-thin, sharp knife, the senior embalmer made a deft jab at the navel of the body. He cut upwards, carefully avoiding the membrane separating the internal organs and the muscle. He made three more cuts until he could expose the cavity. Then taking another knife, he carefully pierced the membrane, and without ever injuring an organ, he began to cut away each one, then handed the organ over to an assistant who stood close by, holding an almost flat reed basket. Two men were holding the basket now as he skillfully cut the intestines out and began to scoop them into a large reed cone and then transferred the shimmering mass into their waiting basket. 

When this was done, the priests could see the Pharaoh’s backbone through his collapsed abdomen. One assistant held the mouth of the Pharaoh open as the master made several expert cuts that freed the esophagus and lungs. The lungs were removed by carefully cutting through the upper part of the abdomen and pulling them through the small incision. The cavity was washed now with palm wine and pounded spices. The assistant wiped the blood often from both the body and from the master’s hands and arms. The brain was removed through the nose using a long, hooked instrument. The master embalmer removed it expertly, although it was usually a messy procedure. It was placed in the reed basket with the rags, because it was not considered to be of any value to the Pharaoh in the afterworld.

Finally, the body was lifted carefully and placed in the sarcophagus. The abdominal cavity was filled with pure bruised myrrh, cassia, and other aromatic substances and then sewed up. The mouth was also filled with the mixture of materials, but it was skillfully pushed into place so that it bore a calm expression. Natron was poured over the body now, so that it could dry out in preparation for mummification. It was late in the night when they finally finished and the exhausted men set out for their quarters.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Psamtik the Scarecrow--The Sorcerer Gaumata

Psamtik sat on the minor throne he had occupied before the death of his father, the Pharaoh. His scrawny shoulders shook with indignation as the priests explained to him for the tenth time that he had to wait for the ceremony before he could ascend the pharaoh’s throne. His face was thin and his nose hawkish. His eyes bulged from their sockets and his lips were so thin that his steward had to paint them to make them more visible.

Matwa watched Ankhare as he looked at the young man in disgust. Matwa could see that Psamtik’s claw-like hand was clutching the arm of his throne and he watched as a blue vein pulsed in the skinny neck under a gold neckband. One time Ankhare had told Matwa that he would never have such a poor specimen even clean pots for his troops, but this scarecrow who seemed to be certain that he was already a god, would be the Pharaoh. Matwa felt a sharp twinge of doubt and he looked away. He was going to have to accept it, but his mind continued to doubt. Could they, the priests, transform this weakling into a god? Didn’t they need better material to work with?

“It is now time, Prince Psamtik,” Matwa began, “for you to come to the room where your father, god of the underworld now...”

“No, no, no!” Psamtik interrupted, “I want to lie down now for my nap! I always do! Just because the old Pharaoh died does not mean that I have to change my schedule.” Psamtik’s eyes were red and his thin lips set in determination.

Matwa looked helplessly at Ankhare, as if for help, but the general was studying the ground and blushing furiously in shame. Kawaba, Psamtik’s mother, stood up and took the young man’s hand without further arguments and began to lead him from the room. He stood quite tall, as almost all of the Pharaoh’s children did, but as he left, they saw his backbone clearly. His shoulder blades protruded like the tucked in wings of a pelican.

Matwa knew what Kawaba was doing. He’d actually seen the disgusting thing before, since Psamtik was unashamed. Kawaba would lie down on the bed after settling her son in. She would lift her sash and when he opened his mouth wide to take in most of her sagging breast, she always winced. He would suck vigorously, although she was as dry as a mummy’s tit in late summer. He always did this when he felt insecure. Matwa groaned as he imagined the young pharaoh-to-be with his eyes shut—those eyes that looked like balls with a thin membrane stretched over them— while he made loud sucking noises. He looked away in disgust and began to study the cracks in the stone floor.