Monday, February 4, 2013

Day Three-Eighty-Six: Armed and ready

Never has such a mismatched bunch of idiots set forth from a town as Pagan, my dad, and myself. Oh gods, Barrel, I should have asked you along after all.

I was greeted this morning at the pub by a most unusual sight: Oswald the farmer with arms. That's right, ARMS. Not one, but two. Plural. Two arms, two spindly, wooden, stupid-looking arms. I've only seen their like a few times before, and even constant exposure still would've made them look weird protruding from my dad's torso.

"What the hell are those?" I asked, pointing at the mess of wooden limbs. No point in a proper hello when something like that happens.

Pagan, his armour apparently more than enough to keep him warm in the winter, knocked at one of the dangling arms. "I won these from a snake person years ago. They were sitting in my manor's basement, untouched. I figured the cripple could make good use of them."

Dad seemed to be having some trouble manipulating the arms. One appeared useless; the other flailed in the air, squeaking as its joints flexed and flew. "Thing's a piece 'o crap. Dunno how those snake bastards do it."

"You'll figure it out somehow."

"How? I don't even know how I'm doing this much! You strapped it on and this stupid arm went ta work on its own!"

Pagan shrugged. "How should I know? I was wise enough to keep both of my arms into old age."

My dad stomped the snow, cursing the useless arm. "Weren't enough ta finish me, though, were ya? Earned yourself quite a bloody little nose, old man."

"Much to my shame, yes."

After some more bickering we set off, each hoisting a pack of supplies. (My dad's was strung around his neck. He says his neck muscles keep the strings from getting uncomfortable. Madness, I say, madness.) We stopped a few minutes to admire the much-expanded framework of wall building around Pubton, then entered the woods and began the long journey to the mountain range.

And… that's… pretty much all we did today. We walked, we talked, we helped dad figure out his arms. Through no help of ours he now has partial control over one, though the other continues to flail without stop. He keeps sidling up beside me so it'll whack me in the head. What a bastard.

I must say, though, I'm pleasantly surprised by this weird familiarity between dad and Pagan. They talk as though they've known each other for years, telling stories and ribald jokes that outstretch social boundaries. Pagan may be a noble, but I can tell he's spent a long time in the dark trenches of the world, and dad respects him for it. You'd think dad might hold a grudge 'cause Pagan lopped off his remaining arm, but, nope. Best of friends.

Why am I pleasantly surprised? 'cause it gives dad someone to talk to other than me. Imagine the two of us taking this trip alone. I'd probably stab myself in the face after ten minutes. Assuming I could find a self-supported sword sticking out of a random tree trunk. Trust me, I would look.

We expect to be at the mountain range by tomorrow evening, perhaps Wednesday at the latest. I hope to gods they don't run out of things to discuss before then.

Get this stupid arm out of my face,

Dragomir the Mayor