Monday, January 16, 2012

In the dark places of the world.

The hall reeked of rotting timber. If you tried to breathe through your mouth you would taste the tiny flecks of mold drifting through the still air, flavoured by the mildew on the sawdust beneath the carpet of writhing adders, that most of the silent, gray-clad attendants stepped across without even looking.

It was feast-night, like every night, and the grim attendants doled out the sludge-like porridge to the “guests”. Their pale, identical faces betrayed no emotion or strain as they filled each bowl to the brim.

As for their charges, there was little to unify them. Man, woman, elf, dwarf, human as well as a multitude of races and creatures, they were all sickly, thin and white, hair falling out, lips cracked and cheeks moist from tears or mold. They ate, only the occasional expression of disgust betraying their true feelings about the fare. Occasionally they would have mumble to each other, careful to not let the sound carry too far, as if this was a prison, and their words were secrets of escape.

Alone at the high-table, seated alone, sat the Queen. Dressed in the rotting memory of a debutante’s ballgown, with her blackened fingertips closed around a silver goblet, she surveyed the gathered mass below her. Her cataracted eyes blinked and her thin lips curled in a toothless smile. She reached down for her mirror, striking poses, smirking, winking, stretching the loose skin over her shrunken face.

She lifted up a bell of tarnished pewter, it’s discordant clanging pierced through the sighing grey noise of the eating and mumbling noise.

Bring me my two nephews!

Her voice was the insistent rustle of a widow’s veil

Two of the grayclad attendants rushed, each carrying a box carved from warm, brown wood. She opened the first one, and took out a ring, with a glowing Sapphire. As she slipped it on, one could see her thin skeletal arms firm and regain the strength that they once must have had. She flexed her left arm before she took out a necklace from the second box, this one inset with a pattern of carved onyx. As her attendant fastened the clasp at the nape of the Queen’s neck, colour and beauty returned to her face.

She giggled, it was the sound of a seagull crying for more.


  1. What? I echo your sentiment, Kirk.
    Another Queen - or the same one from earlier?
    Two nephews? But they are magical objects not "people"?
    Moreover, what is the significance of any of it?

  2. I'm loving our talking heads.

  3. Crap. I've just realised. The Fey Queen on the beach is going to ask us to retrieve her two 'sons' from the 'Dark place' isn't she?

  4. Well, that would sound like a reasonable "repayment" of the damages we caused her. And it smells like I will end up doing "pro bono" work again.