Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day Three-Forty-Seven: Udders of Fury

An udder of cows rushed our front lines today. Gods I wish I could start with something else, but I can't. We have front lines, and we were attacked by an udder.

They came at daybreak, when most people were preparing to harvest crops and not paying enough attention to the forest. I was standing with Morris on the opposite side of Pubton, discussing ways to get water out of the frozen river that runs by us, when we heard a cry from the forest. We dashed off to have a look -

- and found my father headbutting one of the cows as it came dangerously close to my mother. She'd been tending to their personal field of crops when six of the beasts tromped out of the haze and the snow, leaping at her. For once I thank the gods for my dad's hard head, as he managed to not only knock it off course, but knock it out entirely. 

We, ah, may be eating beef tonight. Yum? Small victories?

Morris rushed ahead of me, trying to get the cows to stop stampeding, but they ignored him and trampled over my parents' crops, ruining a lot of the winterweed stalks they'd not yet harvested. Pale yellow leaves flew everywhere, and with them a great deal of rooted-up vegetable matter. It took the brandished spears of our hunters to drive the cows away.

I and five other fellows lugged my unconscious dad into my parents' house while Libby consoled my mom. Granted, mom wasn't that freaked out - she's been through worse - but the two of them have lately been trundling through the awkward motions of the mother-and-daughter relationship they'd once ignored. This is more or less what I saw before I manhandled my dad into the house:

Libby: "You okay?"

Mom: "Uh… yeah. I'm fine."

Libby: "Okay then."

Mom: "…"

Libby: "Wanna… hold the baby?"

Mom: "YES."

And there was baby holding. Strange segue from a cow attack to coddling little Grayson, but it's better than the two of 'em calling the other a whore.

I called a town meeting near the golden tree, so the watchers could keep an eye out for more attacks while still participating. Their opinion of what we have to do is unanimous: we kill all the animals. How we do that is still very much in the air, though 'Burn down the forest!' remains a popular request from many of the nobles. Apparently they don't understand that it's difficult to start a fire when the trees are covered in snow.

The meeting came to a head when Morris stepped forward to talk. He had no opinions to offer, no course of action we should take, but he offered a piece of intelligence that did not surprise me:

"When I looked at those cows," he said, twisting his hat in both hands nervously, "there was somethin' in they's eyes. Somethin' unnatural like. They looked… a little… orange."

Most people there didn't understand what that meant, and it precipitated an argument over whether or not the eyes might be a sign of viral madness. Soon people were demanding I talk to June about it, because she was both a witch and a healer, and, as they knew from some of my stories in the past, she had provided a cure for the foulfungus plague in the old castle. Didn't get to USE that cure properly, of course, but it'd been functionally identical to the original cure.

I knew better. More than that, Libby knew better. We exchanged glances a few times, and I could tell she'd seen June's orange eyes. When I asked her about it later, she told me June's eyes had gone orange when she was bringing me back to life.

… but I still don't think she's responsible.

… yet even if she isn't…

… could she perhaps, maybe and nevertheless have an answer to all this nonsense…? Could she help me track down the ACTUAL guilty party?

I need to talk to that old woman. But… she lives in the forest. And we can't burn it down. We need those trees to keep building. Sooo… how the hell do I get in there, since the rebellion I want her to help solve is keeping me FROM her…?


Dragomir the Mayor


  1. Fists are the weapon of a weak man. The truly powerful use their heads to solve problems.


    Headbutting cows is pretty manly is what I'm getting at.

    Tyrant Reeve Oswald, you are, in but a few weeks, drowning over a year of Dragomir's girlish screaming in testosterone.

  2. Idea! Trap holes! That'll get 'em. Except Barrel... Dangit.