Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Writing Wednesdays: The Absurdly Epic Tragedy of Oscambria 1.11

Canto XII for Oscambria’s adventure, wherein a vow is made, a question is asked, a blade is given, and a Hero presses westward.  The previous Cantos are all available here.
Oscambria felt ridiculous,
Wearing the unfamiliar outfit,
a spectacle for a god and a galleyrat.
Neither of them knew how to tie the silly black thing around his neck correctly,
But they did their best,
Resulting in some knotty, dangly thing,
Which threatened to suffocate the Hero with every breath.

“It looks different than I expected,” chimed in Lahk,
an unreadable expression across his face.
“But it definitely seems to be working,
so that’s a good thing.”
Indeed, readers, it was working.
Immediately after the Hero donned on the clothes
A metamorphosis Kafka would be proud of happened.

The greyed skin of the accursed shimmered suddenly,
Not like Old Cullen’s did when he’d stepped into sunlight,
But kind of like a wet rock does beneath the daylight glow.
The color of his flesh lightened,
From the dull grey to a really pale peachy-white-brown,
And he would appear passable in society,
As if the sun rarely bathed his skin.

Also the foul odor ceased,
Or the emission of it did, anyway.
I suspect he still smelled,
Beneath the tuxedo suit,
But its enchanted properties prohibited the smell from filtering through.
This could be related to the grey skin,
But that is only speculation.

“There we are then,” said Lahk,
patting the Hero on the shoulder like a proud father.
“As long as you wear this garment,
you should be allowed within city walls,
mixing with society and whatnot.
Take care not to lose your attire, child,
And be quick about the task I’ve given you.”

“Quick?” scoffed Oscambria,
pulling at his sleeves.
“Feoga is all the way on the other side of the continent.
It’ll take months to get there and back again,
That is assuming I’m to find you here.”
Lahk shook his head,
The blond hair reflecting off the campfire light.

“Quick for a god is different than for your kind,
even if you are semi-mortal.
And no, I will not be here in the middle of nowhere,
‘twixt two cities and all of the excitement of this world.
Just use your god-cell to summon me.”
He rummaged around in his satchel,
Looking for something.

Oscambria was still getting over his good fortune,
—Even if he was cursed—
At receiving the tuxedo suit.
“Why can’t you retrieve this stolen item?”
he asked, mildly curious.
Lahk didn’t answer immediately,
Still intent on his search through the satchel.

Finally he turned, holding some small gold lined buttons in his hand.
“These will fit perfectly in those open slits on your sleeves, I believe.
I don’t really remember where I got them,
Or what they’re even called,
But I do think they’ll look nice with that outfit.”
He dropped the buttons into the Hero’s hand
And went and sat by the fire.

Oscambria was about to ask his question again
When the god started speaking.
“I guess I could go and get the item,
but we gods have only so much free time to spend.
Besides, you looked like you could use a hand,
Especially after what Rone did to you.”
The god spat in the fire.

“That curse stinks terribly of sulfur and brimstone,
signatures of the God of Fire and Passion.
Rone’s always been a hothead,
Never one to take a joke,
And your disrespect of him spread ‘round the pantheon like wildfire.”
Oscambria was about to interrupt when Lahk silenced him.
“Not that I believe you did as he says you did.

“Anyway, to answer your question,
I could go and get the item,
But I don’t have the time or energy to do so right now.
God duties, a lusty maiden, and what have you.”
Oscambria fit the metallic buttons in his sleeve cuffs,
Finishing off the final look for the magical outfit.
Ladies, he looked handsome, I say, albeit strange.

“Hmm,” huffed the Hero,
“even if I look completely foolish,
the curse seems to be contained by the fabric.
For that I will travel to Feoga and retrieve your stolen object.
I don’t trust you, Lahk,
But I don’t desire to stay an outcast all my days, either.”
The god’s smile lit up the darkening sky.

“Good.  Good.  Very good.”
Lahk was on his feet again, looking eager.
“You best be going if you aim to keep an eye on that wagon.
We’ve wasted enough of the day,
if you consider companying with a god waste.
Regardless, you’ve agreed,
And now our pact is nearly sealed.  A blood-oath, eh?”

The Hero nodded,
anxious at making the sacred vow with the god.
Lahk pulled out an old dagger,
One made of stone instead of tampered metal,
Its handle from bone or petrified wood,
And drew the blade across his left hand.
Bright red blood appeared.

The knife passed to Oscambria,
Who likewise cut his hand.
With a firm grip and grim eyes he embraced the god,
Pulling him close and staring in his eyes.
“I, Oscambria, child of Athins, son of Oscar,
do bond myself to the service we discussed, Lahk,
by blood and by cut.”

“I accept your service,”
responded Lahk,
releasing his grip and wiping his hand on his garments.
“Now I have one more boon for you,
‘ere you leave.  Keep the blade.
It’s not much,
But it may prove useful if you get in a scuffle.

“There are great things in your future, Oscambria,
or so I’ve been led to believe.
You’ll become the Hero of the Three Worlds,
But you’ve a lot o’ growing to do.
I hope my blessings help on your journeys.”
Oscambria felt truth behind the god’s words
And he nodded his gratitude.

He hid the dagger in one of the pockets of the outfit,
(there were plenty),
and whistled for Mossossopia.
They bid each other farewell
And the Hero took off down the path,
Westward toward Sparka, toward the forsaken caravan,
Toward Koesan, toward his fate.

Thus ends Book One of Oscambria’s tale.  Next week’s Writing Wednesdays will be a special one, an intermediate one, a short one, with another bonus.  As always, thanks for reading.


Crystal said...

Great ending to Book One! I'm really enjoying your writing!!

logankstewart said...

Thank you very much, Crystal. I hope you continue to like the rest of the story.

Krista said...

This was really good though I've missed a few pieces of the story! Great Job, Logan! :)

By the way, I have Joe Purdy's wash away stuck in my head! Such a good song, and kinda hits home for me right now :)

logankstewart said...

Thanks, Krista. And now I'll have Joe Purdy stuck in my head the rest of the day, but that's okay by me.