Monday, October 1, 2012

Day Two-Ninety-Six: The Gates of Hell, or Something Ominously Similar



We've been travelling, diary. You know we've been travelling. It's a well-known fact of life that my merry band of lazy-ass nobles, rhyming bards, vulgar goblins and once-preggers-but-now-motherly mothers has been TRAVELLING. And today… according to June… we arrived at our destination.


We reached the familiar-but-not-familiar-enough log palisade surrounding a village by noon. June, who's acted as a compass this entire time, yelled for a general halt. 

"There's kind of a town here already, June!" I shouted back from my wagon. Libby belted me from behind for waking up Grayson, though he smiled and cooed. What a well-behaved tyke.

"We're here for manpower, not setting up shop!" June hollered. "Go knock on the door!"

I snorted a few curses at June's lack of judgement, but nevertheless hopped off my wagon and strode up to the front gate of the town, a pair of wooden double doors three times my height. I knew that SOMEBODY must be on watch on the walls near the top, and sure enough a long, crooked nose wriggled into view.

"Whatcha whatcha whatcha waaaaaaant?" inquired a cracked voice.

I hesitated. Something tugged at my memory. I ignored it. "Um, hi! We're, uh, travellers, and we were wondering if we could… um… come in? The last village we saw wasn't well supplied. I guess."

A tongue slapped off the roof of an unseen mouth, tutting indecisively. "Hmmm. Hmmm hmmm hmmm. What's the password, then, eh? Only them's with the password c'n come 'n go."

Another memory. A password I'd been taught as a boy. Shoved it aside. "Uh… you can't go without the password? Can you really stop people from leavin' without the password?"

The nose wiggled. "Hmph! Hmph hmph. Don't ya tell me no logic, son, most people don't be leavin' here! Perfectly safe, they say! So do I. I wouldn't leave; why would anyone else? Even those 'n who leave come back some day! Why, one showed up just a few weeks ago, 'n I barter he's never gonna leave! I've been enjoyin' good cooking every day since!"

Cooking. Come back. Password. Long nose. Words repeated multiple times at the beginning of sentences. I took an involuntary step back, my body recoiling as I recognized the walls, the landscape, the shadow of a tower slinking across the grass, a tower ringed with cannons and controlled by a fool of a land owner.

Somewhere in there, I knew, was a man with one arm and a woman who thought my wife was a whore.

"Oh, FUCK ME!" I screamed, swirling to glare at June's wagon. "JUNE, WHAT DID YOU DO?!"

"Fuck me, fuck me, fuck me!" Derby the Lookout chortled. "That's the password! In ya come, Dragomir. Recognized ya from the start, e'en with that new hairdo."

The palisade doors lurched open, and before I could run, or at least avert my eyes, I was staring at my hometown. Villeinville.

June and Libby appeared beside me, Grayson nestled against one of Libby's biceps. I tried to protest, to flee, but Libby planted her free hand on my back and pushed me through the gates. June followed -

- but was stopped when old man Derby, hopping down from his perch, brandished a spear in her face.

"No no no!" he shouted. "Outsiders t'ain't welcome 'til you get permission from his lordship! You back off, crazy-hair." 

Derby's hair doesn't look any less messy than June's, and he's got a pair of glistening white mutton chops to boot. Not much of one to talk. (Though admittedly he doesn't have tiny clocks and rulers and severed hands stuck in his tresses.) 

I figured Derby was done for, and though I never enjoyed his madness growing up, I didn't wanna see him turned into a newt or launched into the stratosphere or nuthin'. June surprised me by merely shrugging and stepping out of the village.

I stared after her, not bothering to question why Libby wasn't getting the boot. Guess Derby could tell we're married. "WHY ARE WE HERE?"

She pointed towards the cluster of cottages ringing the small, central tower. "Like I said, manpower. We need some folks who're good at getting' their hands dirty. T'ain't gonna find more appropriate peons… and besides, you already know a bunch of 'em. Handy, that, eh?"

I complained. Libby ignored my whines - she's been warming to June in the last few weeks, and usually does what the witch asks - and continued to shove me into the village. The doors slapped shut behind us.

Ugh. So… yeah… I'm home. The caravan's idling outside, and despite my petition to Lord Cannonbottom, nobody's allowed to come in. He told me in his maddeningly bombastic way that the town's got enough extras as it is, what with the arrival of a horde of migrants a few months ago. Only reason THEY got in is 'cause their leader used to live in Villeinville.

Yep. Robert. My brother came home, just like he said. He's got a restaurant set up and everything… though he's experiencing rather limited degrees of success. More on that tomorrow.

And about my parents.

Yeah. They still live here.

Ugh. Tomorrow… I'll… discuss this stuff tomorrow.

It's so awful being home.


Dragomir the Mayor


  1. Will Libby become the new Driscol? She and Grayson could be the perfect balance to The Baron and Eve once she gains new powers from June. I can see it now, June's been telling her about how Grayson is supposed to stop Eve and then she'd be all, "no way, not gonna let my son do that", then June is all, "bitch please, I can has give you leet powers to help your son be victorious like I did with that one dude, except way more successful!1!!"

    1. Oh S**T the battle of the Dragomir universe is gonna destroy everything!!! Eve AND Libby with godlike abilities? UPUPDOWNDOWNLEFTRIGHTLEFTRIGHTBASELECTSTART!!!! I NEED 30 MORE LIVES!!!

      On another less panicky note...the town has a really...really...REALLY...ominous name...especially when the leader's name is Lord Cannonbottom...that's TOTALLY some ominous and foreboding stuff right there!...unless it's all just for the sake of ironic happenstance and such, and I'm just reading WAY to far inbetween the lines.

    2. I'll pop the balloon:

      - I get the feeling you're reading the name as 'Villainville'. Note the 'e'. Villein is just another name for a peasant, though in this case one tied to a landed lord. I figured 'Peasantville' was too obvious. Ahh, if only these super-obscure words from my history classes could come back into common use... I'd totally call anybody who lives in an apartment building a villein... closest approximation I can conjure, anyway...

      - Lord Cannonbottom's name is Lord Cannonbottom because I thought it up and had a mild case of the giggles. Is like a fart joke, you see? ahahahaaaaa, bottom.

    3. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH...that makes SOOOO much more sense XD. I thought it was just a *winkwink* *nudgenudge* kinda joke about them having the name SLIGHTLY spelled different from Villain in a attempt to hide the fact that their town is populated by Villains and Dragomir was like from the one non-evil family XD