Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Writing Wednesdays: The Absurdly Epic Tragedy of Oscambria 2.9

The sprawling city of Tor El burned before them,
Like a glorious phoenix rising from the ashes of its own dead carcass.
All six watchtowers were lit in preparation for the festival to begin,
The “World Famous” Maal’tian Fiery Festival of the Flame™,
And several smaller structures simmered silently in their shadow.
“It’s beautiful,” said Oscambria,
small flames dancing in his eyes.

“It is quite a sight to behold,” offered Koesan.
“The first time I saw it I was a little girl.
Columbus brought us to the city for business
And the next thing I know the whole town is on fire.
At the time, I was scared to death,
But Columbus told me it was all for show
And that there was no reason to be afraid.”

She pressed her horse on,
Down into the rich river valley.
And Oscambria followed.
He’d lost all sense of time since his exile,
But the browning grass reminded him winter was coming,
Even if the heat from the burning city said otherwise,
And it most certainly tried.

“We shouldn’t be long,” said Koesan.
“Remember, we’re just here to restock our stores enough to make it to Feoga.”
The Hero nodded, though he was taking in the sights and not entirely listening.
“It’ll be crowded for sure.
People from all over Eura come to the festival in hopes to see Rone.”
The god’s name snapped him back to focus.
“Rone?”  A look of shocked confusion and sudden revelation crossed his face.

“I didn’t even connect the god to the festival,” he said,
slapping his forehead.
“Rone is the maker of my curse.
If he’s there then we can put an end to this whole thing.”
Koesan stopped and turned in her saddle,
Her head shaking.  “Rone won’t show up, Oscambria.
He never does.  It’s just a ritual to get the god’s blessing for the upcoming winter.

“Besides, what about your vision?”
“Maybe it won’t come to pass,” he replied,
his voice hopeful and optimistic.
“Maybe,” she quipped, “but unlikely.
Don’t set yourself up for failure.”
The Hero smiled.
“I guess we’ll just have to see then, eh?”

He took off with his horse,
As fast as it could run,
Which really wasn’t very fast at all.
The city gates were opened wide
And a constant stream of visitors was entering.
All around the orange glow of fire and embers flashed.
The heat was nearly suffocating.

A few city guard and Oracles directed the throng into two lines,
One splitting left,
Towards the festival amphitheater,
And the other forking right for the business district.
Most of the visitors were bearing left,
But Oscambria and Koesan turned opposite,
The latter keen on getting out of the city as soon as possible.

The mud-brick buildings were crammed together side by side,
As tight and compact as a perfect row of teeth.
Most of the establishments were closed,
Their doors drawn and the lights black within.
A few ladies of ill repute lingered outside one store,
Laughing and giggling as they rode past,
But Koesan growled at them and they backed away.

Finally they came to a small building,
antiquated and well-weathered,
but lit up and open.
They tethered their horses to the nearby post
(paying the local fee of eight Knicks!),
grabbed a few items from their packs,
and went inside.

The room smelled like curry and saffron.
An aged man was sitting behind at a bar,
Bent over a bowl of steaming food.
“Hmm,” he huffed,
raising his ancient white eyebrows
and slurping up a noodle.
“Come to trade?”

Oscambria, holding Mossy in his arms,
Walked up to the man with Koesan.
“Aye, friend, we’re here to trade,” answered Koesan.
The man nodded,
But made no move to rise.
In fact, he kept on eating.
The Hero’s gut moaned loudly.

“Why aren’t you two at the festival,” the man asked.
His voice was nasally,
His breath a soft wheeze of age.
“We could ask the same from you, old-timer,” answered Koesan.
The man looked up and stared hard at them,
As if he’d just seen them for the first time.
A gummy smile spread across his dingy face.

“Hee he.  Oh yes, I suppose you could.
But we’re not here for questions, are we little pretty?  No ma’am.” 
He coughed, thick and slimy,
Like a man who’d taken smoke-weed for many years.
“I can see that you’re all business,
so let’s get down to it.  What are ya’ after?”
He slid his bowl out of the way.

“I need to restock my supplies.
My brother and I are on our way to Feoga.
Our late father’s dad is ailing
And we were sent a letter to come as quick as we could.
We’ve been on the road since Sparka,
But had a bit of a run in with nature when we crossed the river
And lost much of our stores.

“We need outfits to keep warm,
our water refilled, and some rations.”
She spoke with sincerity,
And the Hero marveled at her creativity,
Even if he wasn’t sure why she was lying.
The old man studied them,
Weighing the truth in Koesan’s words.

“Feoga’s a long way from here, little one.
You’ll have to stop again before you get there.”
“Aye, and I don’t think we could carry enough to stock our trip anyway.”
The man smiled again,
Once again revealing the hideous grin,
populated with only a few yellowed teeth.
Oscambria tried not to stare.  (He tried not to gag.)

“Well, young one, what do you have to offer for trade?”
She motioned for Oscambria to come forward.
He placed a bag on the bar.
“Hmm,” he said,
fingering the string that held the bag tight.
“There should be plenty enough in there for what we need,”
said Koesan, nodding for him to open.  “And I’ve got a few Knacks, too.”

He dumped the contents onto the bar,
Laughing as he did so.
The sapphires and emeralds twinkled.
The painted metal balls gonged as they hit.
The smell of the Koffeean beans was strong.
“Oh yes, I think we can work with this,”
he stated, still smiling like an idiot.


Crystal said...

Sorry for the late post, it's been crazy at work the last few days.

As always, this is a great addition to your ever growing story.

logankstewart said...

I completely understand the craziness. Good luck, and thanks for liking!