For Kater (and others to have a laugh at.)
by, August 29th, 2009 at 03:51 AM (430 Views)
The larvae stirred in their slick cases, tails flicking as nature’s command forced them to emerge. Squirming, intertwining they forced their way up to the surface.
The earth grew colder as the worm’s offspring neared the surface, some still only partly formed baulked, reluctant to press further. These sort shelter in the moist lower levels of the ground curling up, their life force failing, bodies becoming food for the others.
A gill-feathered head broke through the thick covering of snow, drawing in large gasps of winter-tainted night air. The creature’s scales rasped as it dragged itself over the lip of the fast forming crater, as others of its ilk struggled to join it.
The worm spawn turned lidless cinnamon eyes upon the world and hissed the hunger generated by its birth. One of its nest mates slithered by, a young female intent on the fleeing form of a bellowing cow.
Blind survival surged through the newly emerged male and he lunged, taking the tail of the female in his jaws crushing scale and bone. The female screamed, her head snaking round, forked tongue lashing the night as she strove to strike her attacker.
He bunched his coils, seeking to ensnare her, wet half formed wings beating forwards in a vain attempt to protect the delicate area of his gills. But she had bitten deep, teeth ripping into the heart shaped feathered lungs, draining the rich life giving blood from his veins.
He released his hold on her tail driven by blinding anger, seeking in his death throes to tear her in two. Sensing his coming attack she looped her front coils, using still weak wings to lift his target clear of the ground.
His bloodied muzzle closed on empty air as she severed his spine with the sharp crunch of closing jaws. The female roared her victory, as she lowered her head to feed, swiftly stripping the flesh from the male’s body.
Theirs had not been the only battle enacted on the frost hard snow. Some two hundred worm spawn now gorged themselves on their brethren. Within days they would mate, by the time spring touched the land it would writhe under a carpet of the creatures.
Once and Future King written long before their was such a thing a "urban fantasy"
I came round in the back of an ambulance. The paramedic was pushing an oxygen mask on my face. I tried to push him away, but my hands didn’t work. It was the backlash you see. In this world of science and technology, magic had a hard time working. You had to force it into being. So I suffered, my hands had taken the brunt of the punishment. They were curled claws, unable to open yet. I had burns on my legs, and as for my arms. I saw the shake of the paramedic’s head as he glanced at another figure in the back of the vehicle.
Yes I know; they looked like needle marks, a criss cross of lines which followed the veins. One burned out female junkie, who had nearly went up with the rest of the occupants of the derelict building.
But I was not.
My veins I had cut with the two inch gold sickle on a chain round my neck. I needed the life giving liquid in me to make magic work in a city. Oh, if I was in the park, or close to someone’s small yard full of potted plants, then I would have had no need to cut myself. I would have had enough natural life to channel the magic. Even a weed in the cracks of the sidewalk could aid me. But for the most part, in the dark corners of this concrete hell there was just me.
Trying to survive.
Survive long enough to find and pass on the gift and the knowledge to my successor.
You see my name is Myrddin Griffiths. I am this age’s Merlin. I carry in me the knowledge of where the sword is; his sword, Arthur’s Excalibur.
Find the sword and pull it free and you wake the King.
Morgana thought she had broken the line. Stopped the knowledge being passed on, when she imprisoned the first of us in the centre of an Oak tree. His body was imprisoned but not his spirit. That sought out his successor, passing on the gift and the knowledge. So it had been ever since.
I had carried the burden for 50 years, though to the eyes of the paramedic and the other in the ambulance I look barely 25, it was the magic you see. But time was running out for me. I needed to find my successor and begin training them. A few had shown promise, the last one a lot. But they, the enemy had gotten there first, the girl died; slowly, all I could do was hold her as she left.
You see Morgana’s still walks the world. Her malice and hate for Arthur fuels her. She hovers between life and death reaching out to find the sword and plunge it into the heart of he that sleeps. Arthur, once and future King and saviour of this world.
Steel and concrete are Morgana’s dreams, her tools as much as those I burned back there. Her magic is life twisted of true.
“Can she talk?” The other figure in the vehicle asked the paramedic.
“Can’t it wait?” He replied.
“No… I need answers.” The other moved forward and flipped a badge at me, looking me in the eye.
“My name is Detective Patrick Conner I need some answers”