Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Day Six-Sixty-Eight: The Wild Blue Thinger

SO. Nudity. Nude men are gross. Right? Right. Agreed.

I am not so proud that I cannot admit when I've gotten lost, and that very thing happened last night. Above The Sky isn't quite as expansive as, say, the world, but it's still pretty big, and when Evan sent us out to covertly watch sky dwarf movements (he's fearful they'll muck up the Contest) he did not come with us. Thus, we got lost in this small-but-not-that-small world above the world.

Logan had last spotted the sky dwarves over a big patch of thorny redcaps, like I mentioned yesterday, so we started there. The field's constant coughing kinda disoriented us, because coughing mushrooms are just weird, and once we got ourselves away from the things neither Fynn nor Jeffrey nor I recognized our surroundings. We probably should've brought someone along with actual tracking skills, but Grylock was feeling lazy, and Antonio / Logan were watching dragons play aerial kickball...

Plus... I may have been a bit cocky about my own tracking skills...

Fynn was the first to speak up, his eyes wide as he passed a hardened mound of cloud that looked a lot like a giant hound's head. "Are we lost, dad?"

"No." I scanned the horizon, which, to my dismay, betrayed very faint specks of green. Edge-of-the-cloud-and-the-world-below specks of green. "No, I'm... I'm just a little turned around."

"Oh." Fynn smiled. "So we're lost."

"You're raising a smart boy, Dragomir." Jeffrey pulled a granola bar from his backpack and bit at it. "Maybe he should be in charge."

"Quiet, you." I pulled a map from my back pocket, a rough copy of Evan's fuller, more accurate map back at his cabin. "Err... here's the mushroom field we marked... and I think we went... south..."

Rolling his eyes, Jeffrey climbed up onto the hound-rock and scanned from a higher viewpoint. "Well, I don't see any sky dwarves, that's for certain. I'll count it a blessing for us."

Annoyed, I watched Fynn plop down onto the ground and practice his magic. Sparks of shining brown passed from one hand to the other. I find it remarkable how normal it seems to watch someone muck about with spells in the open. I've seen way too much in my life. 

"Maybe Logan was just seein' things," I eventually replied. "Bet those stupid dwarves never leave their trees. They seemed pretty stuck on 'em."

"It was a pretty shade of green," Fynn murmured. One of the sparks fizzed and vanished; he cursed a childish curse.

"I... I'm not so sure about that." Jeffrey dropped down beside me. "Don't forget, Antonio's caravan has been attacked by ky dwarves before. 'Pigeonz'. And..."

"And...?" I prompted as Jeffrey trailed off. 

A queer look flitted across Jeffrey's face. I've seen it before, whenever he has to sort through the things he's learned over the years for a tidbit of information. If he'd forsaken the path of the king, I've no doubt Jeff would be a leading scholar in some other monarch's coourt - and I've even less doubt that he'd do a pretty decent job of it. Leader, no; advisor, yes.

Eventually, Jeffrey shook his head. "Nothing. Just... connecting things that probably don't connect."

"Like what?" Fynn said. He cursed again as another of his sparks fizzled. "Drat! I wish I could do two things at once."

"You'll learn, m'lad." I patted Fynn's head. Better relish that now - he's already an inch taller than me. Lord knows how big he'll get. "C'mon, Jeff, speak up. We're gonna need something to talk about on the way home anyway."

Jeffrey frowned, stroking his goatee. "Weeeeeell... once, when I was younger, I read this old tome on the last great war -"


" - and there was a passage in it about the 'servants of the enemy' - "


" - and, you know, I didn't think much about it at the time, I was too busy studying for my exams, but put in context - "


" - Dragomir, could you please stop making that noise? I'm trying to explain something - "


"I'm not making a noise."

"Ain't me, dad, but I hear it too!"


"What in the hells - "


My first thought was 'SKY DWARVES', and that was enough to put me on my belly - but, no, they make more of a buzzing noise. My second thought was 'INCOMING CANNON FIRE', and that didn't make any sense at all, because I haven't seen a single cannon in Above The Sky. My third thought was 'LIBBY IS PISSED', which, I must confess, was rather an upbeat assumption, 'cause hey, why couldn't she find us? It's just as possible as the other way around. I may have also had a few other thoughts, all of them drowned out by that damnable, repeating E.

None of those thoughts involved a naked man. Let me lay that out right now.

The hound-cloud exploded. Clusters of hard white flew in all directions. I rolled onto my back, hands up, one eye open, dimly aware of Jeffrey hitting the deck beside me. The E assaulted my ears, loud and bombastic and unrelenting, and a large, pink, hairy object flew by overhead, perhaps three feet away from my face. 

Time stopped, because in moments of dire peril, time always stops. Just for a moment. And in that moment, that hideous, terrible moment, I saw a thinger. And a butt. And I knew what I was looking at. Oh, lords, the vomit that threatened to enter my throat... the vomit...

The body passed. The wild man vanished, and he took his E with him. It took a full  minute for the gleeful sound of a passing idiot to fade entirely. I am grateful it did - I feared I might hear that E in my dreams.

Just as I fear that thinger will pop up there's no right way to phrase this so I won't even bother.

It took us three hours to stumble back to Evan's cabin. Fynn seems fine with the encounter, 'cause he'd completely missed it. I'd shoved his face into the clouds as I went down. Jeffrey looks haunted, though, and I think he saw the same thing(er) I did. Gods pray for him if this is true.

A naked man running amok atop the clouds.

A missing wife, hopefully also atop the clouds.


I hope the best for you, Libby. And, in some small way, for the wild man. That will be an unpleasant situation should they ever meet.



We keep finding evidence of the wild man... yet there's virtually no evidence of Libby, side from those boot prints the other day. Maybe...?


Why do I suddenly suspect I'm gonna be seeing it again...


Dragomir the Wanderer


  1. [s]Just as I fear that thinger will pop up[/s] tags aren't working

  2. Well, i suppose if i've never done this yet i may as well. Hi there, i've been reading this for a while now, and while you probably don't care due to this being over, i've noticed another typo. Not a big one, you just missed a letter. "Antonio's caravan has been attacked by ky dwarves before."