Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day One-Sixty-Nine: Deus Ex Dreamina

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I was snoozing away last night, just after my watch, when my vision of two hippos dancing in a field of daisies was BLOWN APART by something new: a vivid mental picture of the hole. The hole in the ground. The one in the east wing of the castle. The one where you feel the sudden compulsion to dig.

Do you get it, diary? Do you see? All we have to do is lead the werewolves into that massive room, wait for them to get hit by digging fever, and then force them to bite Antonia while they're working! It's perfect!

Okay, not perfect. She's still faced with the probably-going-to-die-from-bites problem. But this is the best solution I've got, and by the gods I'm gonna stick with it.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the end of the dream. Nor is it the end of this diary entry by a long shot.

See, after I got the vision of the hole, I also got one of me talking to Queen Daena. I couldn't hear what I was saying, but there was snow on the ground and I was still dressed in commoner clothes so I figured that it was some kinda mental warning - 'cause shortly after I'd been talking to her, the scene shifted…

… and she was dead. Still pinned to the tree, but hanging limp. Had a sword through her stomach.

(Legs were still kickin' up a storm, though. How's that work?)

I got the impression that this might happen if I told Queen Daena about the hole, and by the gods, I wouldn't allow that. I LIKE Queen Daena. She's the second best woman I've ever met, and I only SAY that because I'm forced to admit Libby is number one. We're married. If I say otherwise, I'll probably be arrested. I bet there are wedding police in the Imperium. Buncha weirdos over there.

Dead. The queen. Couldn't let that happen.

So, after a few more hours of mulling over what to do with Antonia and Daena (I stayed quiet while they talked, pretending that I was out of ideas but ACTUALLY thinking up an alternate plan I could use to trick 'em), I came up with something else. A biiiiiiig faaaaaaat liiiiiiieeeee.

"Barrel!" I said, motioning to the tree above. "C'mon down here."

An owl swooped down onto my shoulder. Antonia and Daena were surprised, to say the least.

I motioned for them to stay calm. "Okay. You two? This is Barrel. You've both met Barrel before, I think. Go ahead and change back to normal, Barrel. SMALL normal." I added that last bit so he wouldn't crush me horribly and render all the scheming moot.

Barrel shimmered. The feathers receded into his body, replaced by scales, and his tiny beak flipped upward and lengthened into a snout. A big puff of hair exploded out the back of his head as a final touch, which I thought was great 'cause I love Barrel's mullet.

Daena gaped. "Dragomir, is that… Apocalyptor?! But he's so small!"

"Yeah. Magic. I'll explain later." I took a deep breath. "Can you keep a secret, your majesty? So your husband won't go nuts?"

The queen nodded. Not a hint of hesitation. She was too busy goggling Barrel, I think, to much register what I was saying.

"'kay. See, Barrel's been my buddy for a while, now. Follows me around a lot. And… and in that time, I've learned that he can perform some magic. Ain't that right, Barrel?"

He looked at me, about to shake his head. I pinched his toe. He yelped, gave me the stink eye, and nodded.

"Right. And, well, I was… talking… to Barrel… because I can kinda understand what he's saying, see -"

"Ven ver you doing zis?" Antonia asked. She scratched under Barrel's chin, and he purred. "Awww, zo cute. I've alvays vanted to see a dragon."

"Um. Earlier. While you two were talking. He can turn into stuff. He was a fly. Anyway -"

"How can you talk to him, Dragomir? How did you learn to understand him? Can you teach me? Oh, I'd love to have a dragon as a conversation partner! All those boring days - "

"I learned in school!" A complete lie, 'cause I hadn't ever set foot in a school. "Look, can we -"

"They teach dragon language in commoner schools?

"Erm… no, just… just mine."

"My gods, I must visit this school!"

"It burned down!"

"Well then we must track down the scholars who worked there - "

"Your majesty!" I slumped. "Please, this is important! Barrel can help us, I think!"

She went silent, waving at me in apology. I think she'd forgotten that her castle was full of werewolves in all the excitement of seeing a micro dragon close up.

I cleared my throat. "So. Anyway. Barrel can use magic, right? And I've seen him, um, catch animals to eat. With a spell. This sort of net thing. Anything stuck under it falls asleep, then he… sneaks under… 'cause dragons are immune, I think… and eats. And it's all good from there. Yeah?"

They both blinked at me. I doubt queen or boxer knew much about magic, so who were they to judge what I was saying? I've been trustworthy in the past!

"So, like, if Barrel can cast that spell… a bunch of times… we can trap everyone in the castle. Maybe lure 'em somewhere large where we can block off the exit, then heal a bunch, then let more in, then keep going. And if you start to go a bit crazy from the lycanthropy stuff, Antonia, Barrel can use it on you, too! How's that sound?"

They looked at each other. I looked at Barrel. He looked back at me, eyes wide with alarm. He clearly couldn't cast any such spell. I bit my lip and hoped he wouldn't turn into a giant dragon and eat me for lying, wondering at the same time when he'd gotten such a good grasp of English.

After some quiet debate, Antonia turned to me. "Zis iz best you got?"

"Y… yeah?"

They exchanged sceptical glances again, then Antonia nodded. "Zen it vill have to do. Ve must work quickly for zis. We discuzz more, ya?"

Ya. The three of us sat down and smoothed out a plan that, overall, sounds like it would have worked fantastically, had I not completely lied about what Barrel could do. I used a quick pee break to explain the situation to him, and he calmed down a bit, though right afterward he flew off. Hadn't a clue where he'd gone.

Just prior to this entry, diary, he came back, ushering me out into a small wooded area. I used another bathroom break as an excuse to leave, grabbed a candle, and followed him out into a cluster of trees.

Where a rat was waiting for me. Barrel must've brought it out.

It pointed at you, diary, and I opened you up. This message slowly wrote itself on one of your loose sheets:


We have been informed of your plan. We do not approve. We can say nothing of that hole, other than to warn you of the danger it represents. We urge you to find another way to rid the castle of werewolves!"

So I wrote: "If you want me to listen, try explaining for a change. Why's it dangerous?"

The rat scratched its head. Then it underlined 'We do not approve' and 'We urge you to find another way to make this work'.

I gave it the finger and stalked away.

Danger-shmanger. It's a bloody hole that makes people dig. How is that POSSIBLY more dangerous than a castle full of werewolves? I'm so done with rats, diary.

Anyway. The plan goes off tomorrow. On the way to the castle, once Queen Daena's out of sight, I'll tell Antonia about the real plan. Hopefully she won't freak out on me or nuthin'.

This better work,

Dragomir the Guard


  1. I have a bad feeling about this...

    Maybe the giant hole is filled with feral spiders...or ogres, imps, demons...or maybe even the worst of all...UWE BOLL! OH THE HUMANITY!

    (Look up Uwe Boll on wikipedia if ya don't get the joke...)

    1. Ew. No Uwe Boll in Dragomir. We just got done with the boxing stuff; I don't need him appearing and challenging the characters to matches because they don't like his movies.

    2. It's okay. Boll doesn't ACTUALLY box with anyone who knows how. Or looks like they know how. Or if they're just taller than the average schmuck.