|On the Rocks
Author: Capritarius - Bird of Passage PM
Entirely spontaneous, and purposefully ambiguous. There's really no point, but go ahead if you're a fan of imagery and non sequitur endings.Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural - Chapters: 3 - Words: 1,018 - Reviews: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 03-22-08 - Status: Complete - id: 2492699
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Young Man looked up sharply. He had no idea how long he had been sitting there, only that he now had a chronic charley horse. What is a charley horse, anyway? The hut in which he was sheltering from the Storm seemed a world of its own, a universe unto itself. It was of an undefined shape, the corners rounded off, the edges rough and cracked, like week-old baguettes drying in the sun. the Storm outside was fierce, a force less like the gentle water the Young Man was used to and more like iridescent tigers falling down, flashing white talons lancing from the festering hives of the clouds. The River down by the way, usually tranquil, was swollen and pulsing with a heartbeat separate to either sky or hut. It looked dead.
Within the ramshackle wooden hut, curiously, the sound from the tiger-rain was muted, alarmingly so, as if all the cicadas of China had hushed save for one lone soul, crying out a swan song before falling into the wave of peers once more. The hut's interior was outwardly like the interior of a whale's throat, yet it had less of the foreboding aspect. Less baleen, too. The walls were warped and twisted by immense age and pressures of deeper kinds, the roof an odd crisscross of silvery frameworks, a macabre spider's web with which to snare the escaping dreams of the inhabitants. The two fires were a deep, flickering carnelian colour, and the thick smoke they blew was funneled into an intricate system of veins in the walls only to be released high above, within the Web. The black and white streams disappeared into a sleepy gray pallor.
The chair wasn't at all comfortable, the table was less a table and more a block of timber playing pretend. And then there was the Old Man. He was horrible all over. A burned owl, half-roasted before the startling discovery of its continued life. His face was like an old caramel apple, complete with the colour, the sagging wrinkles, heck, throw in the weird shiny surface too. The mouth was like an eel's, always open, horribly mottled. It seemed to have a life of its own, like a parasite crouched on the man's face. His nose, too, was akin to an herbal growth, like the abdomen of some felle insect, crawling within the man's flesh. The man hunched over, his greasy hair not quite concealing the piercing ink-coloured eyes. They were like the eyeholes in a mask. So deep, you could swim in them. Except these particular waterholes had whirlpools just beneath the surface. Who knows where they went? If you took away those features, perhaps there would be a smooth, blank surface beneath.
The old man hunched forward upon the table, as if he had grown out of it with all the creeping, leisurely certainty of a mushroom, clutching his chosen Instruments of Destruction. There were Seven of them, small, slender, pale, bone-white. The arcane markings on their faces bespoke terrible power. They glowed in the firelight, which seemed to cast their edges in sharp relief. They looked hungry. Clocktower, can you hear me? What are you turning for? The Young Man leaned back, and for a moment he was back home…