Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Day Seven-Forty-Two: Rough riding

“I’s no like drool.”

The diary attempted to communicate this to the sand worm. The sand worm, neither educated nor capable of reading anything riding in its mouth, didn’t seem to care.

Sighing a sigh that smelled of must and libraries, the diary lay back on the worm’s tongue and stared at the roof. It was, as with everything in the worm’s mouth, very, very dark. Dark as a cat of black, the diary thought. Dark as an ugly person’s ugly beard. Dark as Edders and his her its skin. Dark as… 

As… um…


New, current Drags.

That thought gave the diary pause. It had known, longer than most, that Drags was not ‘normal’. The diary could always see the smattering of green lines sliding through Drags’ skull and into his left eye. But ‘normal’ is relative, and the diary had seen enough strange things to more or less disregard ‘normal’. ‘Normal’ didn’t matter. Or, rather, ‘normal’ only mattered if ‘normal’ was a positive. Otherwise, you ignored ‘normal’. 

Or somethings. The diary scratched its cover with its tail. Too difficult thoughts for I, diary. Need simples. Simples! Stops hurting diary brain!

Yet simple, too, was elusive these days. Simple was a precious commodity hoarded by the past, prisoner to a jealous, happy age. Simple had died on Drags’ journey to invade the kingdom of the goblins, far too early in the diary’s life. Since then… oh, everything had been so complex…

The sand worm shifted abruptly, nearly spilling the diary down into its guts. The diary attempted to wail, but, again, the worm could not see its written cry. Precariously perched on the worm’s tongue, the diary sent a mental command for the worm to go a little more slowly. The worm obeyed, at least in part, by stopping dead.

“Where’s we?” wrote the diary. It punched the sand worm in the brain. Metaphorically. “Demands! Answer them! Speak to I, diary!”

The sand worm said nothing. Instead, after a thoughtful pause, it rose up and out of the sand. A thin shred of light cut across the diary’s cover as the worm’s mouth opened, and the diary peeked through the curtain of drool at the desert beyond.

The Dauphine, or what remained of the Dauphine, lay half-buried in an enormous bank of sand. The apparent victim of wind, grit, and some powerful hands, the Dauphine’s tunnel-like innards oozed great drifts of sifting yellow. A sizeable furrow in the ground hinted that the sand worm must have smacked its rounded nose against one of the remaining wheels, though neither the wheel nor its kin would be travelling any further. The diary could tell at once that the Dauphine must be abandoned, as Libbers would never allow her vehicle to get so dirty.

Jolting the sand worm into lowering its head, the diary hopped out and scuttled up the Dauphine’s boarding ramp for a quick look around. There was little to see inside save leftover supplies, most swallowed by the desert, and the occasional half-filled footprint. Even the kickster’s tree had gone to waste, its bark split and its branches bare and dead. Not a soul lived inside, and the diary gave up after half an hour and returned to the sand worm.

“I likesed that there places,” the diary wrote, climbing back onto the worm’s tongue. “Did you know, wormy? I, diary, by which I means I, likesed it much. Even if the beard kepts me all locked whilesomes I live there. Drags carried me thrus it enough to likesed it. Nice ven-ti-mi-la-tion. Ya?”

The sand worm didn’t reply as it dove back into the ground, arcing around the wreck of the Dauphine. It carried on to the east, wiping away a dozen of the deep footprints surrounding the transport’s corpse.

“Is no brokes,” the diary wrote. “Is no Libbers fault. This? This, says I, diary? This is work of ratties.”

The sand worm’s eyes flashed a deep, fearsome white.

“I’s must deal with ratties. I, diary.”

1 comment:

  1. I'm almost afraid to find out what becomes of diary. :)