So sorry it's insanely late after I was talking so much about how I'd already written it. It was written but I didn't like it. I felt as though my last story ended in a rushed way and after watching Neon Genesis Evangelion and the (in my opinion!) unsatisfactory end that came to-
That being said its been opened many times only for me to look at it for a few minutes and close it. Took 150cl of wine and the early hours of the morning for me to say "hey how about I actually finish something huh?". That being said it is in all likelihood a poor ending anyway.
But it's an ending!
When last we left off Sgt. Jones had escaped the man who wanted to keep him as a pet and his mechanical servants. He took refuge behind the first door he found when-
He noticed smell of foreign perfumes first; so heavy that it was almost difficult to breathe. He turned sharply to find that this room was draped entirely in satin, hung in flowing sheets from the ceiling, one after another, alongside Moroccan lanterns. The candles cast flickering coloured light across the rows of suspended fabric from behind their stained glass, the rest pooling on the floor forming spotlights in the dark.
This room was the least recognisable as a room for practical use. Where the others maintained an impression of utility this was simply an artistic and entirely superfluous space. Strains of some kind of oriental string music could be heard from no distinct place in the room. Then- movement.
Tumbling down from one of the drapes, wrapped in the silk, was a beautiful woman. Her dark hair fell across her face as she defied gravity with impressive grace. The pink glow the silks created made her poreless skin shimmer.
His voice wavered.
"Stay right where you are, lady, I'm leaving soon enough."
She halted her descent with a sudden and eerie precision, then with a few movements disappeared entirely into a cocoon of sheer fabric.
"But I'm already here…" came her voice, directly behind him.
Jones span round to see her emerging from a drape just by the door.
Her long glossy hair covered her eyes and-
Jones swallowed. She was naked.
"Get back where you were or you'll regret it."
You could hear the pout in her voice.
"You wouldn't hurt me now, would you?"
She raised her cool slender fingers to his face and he reacted without hesitation, seizing her arm and forcing her shoulder down to the ground. She immediately twisted free of his grip, rolling and vanishing behind one of the hangings.
Jones turned and made for the door. But there was only a wall behind the fabric. How could this be?
He frantically searched along the confines but there was only more stone to be found.
"Is it hard to find your way out once you're in?"
Her voice came from behind him yet again.
He span to face her but only caught a glimpse of her returning into the silk.
Jones was a fly in a silky web, and she was the spider.
He frantically returned to search for the door and found the walls brushed against his fingers, even though he stood still. It clicked. The room was rotating, so gradually and smoothly that it had escaped his notice.
Well no longer.
He reversed his search and began running, his hand tracing the wall, shoving the silks out of his way until he connected with something, hard.
She was beneath him, her lips curled into a smile.
"And I thought you wanted me to stay back…" she took hold of his arms and he shook free.
"Get off me. I'm married."
He was rising to his feet but she rose alongside him.
"Has that stopped you before?"
He wasn't playing, roughly thrusting her shoulders back to the ground and raising his fist– only for it to be caught by…
She was behind him, and in front.
"They're really quite something here you know," her double said, her hand tightening around his wrist. "They asked me what I wanted and I said I'd always wanted a twin, truly."
A bone clicked under the pressure.
She led him to the centre of the room, compelling him to follow with her overwhelming strength.
"And I was given a twin," the original continued as he sweated, his wrist feeling as though it were caught in a metal vice "they can do amazing things with the brain here."
She relinquished her grip and left him on his knees, holding his wrist.
"But then I thought, why not triplets?" another voice came.
"Or quadruplets, for that matter?"
He at last looked up to realise a ring had begun to form around him, made up of the same woman.
"Though I must say-" one said to the other.
"-that I've never wanted a brother."
And the rope of a lamp was released, shattering over his head.
He awoke under the gaze of a colossal creature, sat on a throne the size of a small house, its head just barely clear from scraping the cavernous ceiling. Set deep within its blank face was a small eye that watched him. It blinked.
Jones tried to jump to his feet only to find himself strapped to a chair.
The dust of years sifted from its shoulders as it lurched suddenly before him, coming to an abrupt halt.
The mass of cobwebs that had united its long arms to the floor now sailed slowly to the ground.
A door opened, Jones couldn't see. The newcomer's footsteps were uneven as they approached.
He knew it was pointless but-
"Where the hell am I? Let me go!"
There was a clatter as a metal trolley rolled across the uneven flagstones into his view. Laid out upon it were saws, scalpels – surgical equipment.
He looked up at the giant. Its tiny eye watched him tiredly. He saw how its limbs were broken, its machinery rusting. Even the vast swathe of velvet it wore across its body was crumbling to age.
Jones might not call himself particularly imaginative, but at this exact moment, on the topic of his immediate future? He was very much so.
Immediately he began to struggle against his restraints, the leather tight against his wrists and his elbows jarring against the thick wood of the chair.
It was hard, in the dim light of the room, lit only by the new day breaking through the tall narrow windows at either side of the giant.
But then he stopped struggling so violently.
One hand had almost come free.
Escape was not impossible.
He must bide his time.
The invisible person behind was busy with all manner of clattering tools. Jones began to work more carefully, rhythmically easing himself out of the straps. The ones by his feet were a problem that would need to wait till he was left alone.
If, he was left alone.
Till then they rested on the single strip of carpet that rolled from behind him all the way to the creature's seat; the only decoration in this spare and huge space.
A steel basin fell onto the table and he jolted to attention.
Perhaps he ought to take his chances now. His brain buzzed with adrenaline. Any moment now.
But he stopped again.
The person had begun their slow shuffling walk away from him.
As soon as the door was closed he sprang into action, hands now free, shaking as he fumbled ineptly with those around his ankles.
The creature saw. It began attempting to move again; the almighty sound of clicking and whirring echoing around him.
But he was already free.
After a moment of discordant screeching the creature bellowed like an animal. The door rattled as it hit the stone walls.
But Jones did not see, he was looking up at the giant which in its rage had unbalanced itself, now falling like a terrible tree.
He sprinted from under it, the awful din of cracked metal and shattering china chasing after him.
He was backed against the wall, by the long windows.
The giant's head landed just by him, the wreckage of its body blocking his escape.
Its single eye was blue. Around it faint traces of gold were painted on its white bearings. He may have been mad to think as much but he thought it looked sad.
"Stay," it seemed to say.
But Joes had no intention of staying. Not another thought ran through his mind as he flung himself out of the window. It shattered before him and he met the fresh air for the first time since he had arrived.
The water was multi-coloured, like oil mixed with water, beneath the rising sun. The wreckage of his ship knocked against the sandy cliff-face. It was very beautiful indeed.
Too bad he was plummeting to his death.
He fell, and as he did so, a little life-boat strayed, quite at random, beneath him.
It lurched and nearly capsized when his heavy body made its impact, breaking bones and smacking his head against the prow.
And that was it.
He left the Edge, just as he arrived; unconscious and at the unpredictable whim of fate, drifting far, far away on the deep and unexplored ocean. If any thought swam through his tired mind, perhaps it was a dream of his dear family, stood waiting on the shores of his distant, familiar homeland.
All the thanks in the world to BradytheJust and Zukafu Chirimoarimoto, you two make me smile & bring cheer to my deadline-avoiding heart every time I reflect on the thought that you took time out of your lives to read this kinda thing, which is more often than you might think. All the best to you.
I may return to this place but in a modern day setting with more horror elements: some time after the energy has ran out and the residents are sitting listlessly in the dark till a new hero is forced to navigate the place. There's a lot of potential lore [*violently shaking* WHEN DO I GET TO SAY THE SERVANTS ARE DOGS? WHEN DO I GET TO SAY THAT? IS IT CLEAR? I WANT TO SAY IT.] that I didn't wanna shoehorn in for fear that it would detract from the allegory or whatever. I do have a few other things in the works before then, though I often find myself thinking about how a sequel to Arthur (+ Adventure) would go too.
Take care, treat yourselves. Over and out.