Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Writing Wednesdays: The Absurdly Epic Tragedy of Oscambria 2.10

In which the Festival is happened upon and something odd happens.  As always, if you’ve missed anything or wish to refresh, you can check out here or here.

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XXIII.
They looked like two different people riding through the city.
Oscambria was still dressed in his tuxedo suit
(for if he took it off the curse would be made known,
if you remember),
but overtop of it he wore a thick, fur parka.
It was brown, ugly, and completely unnecessary,
But Koesan insisted that he wear it until they left Tor El.

Koesan also was swallowed up beneath a parka,
Hers in better condition than Oscambria’s.
“Still she’s pleasing to gaze upon,” thought the Hero.
Their packs bulged from the food rations
And their canteens were refilled with
fresh and purified Great River water.
All in all, the old trader had made the bargaining simple.

The streets were deserted as they made their way towards the gates.
All around them the mud houses and structures burned,
Fires reaching heavenward,
Little orange and yellow tongues flickering in the wind.
The air was dead,
Filled only with the crackle and hiss of flame
And a faint humming sound.

Near the city square the source of the humming was revealed.
Thronged around a massive, burning altar
Stood thousands of people,
All praying and singing a hymn to the fire god.
A Transcended Oracle was walking around atop the altar,
Smoke pouring from his ashen robes.
His voice was commanding as he prayed.

“Take this city and protect it with your unending flame.
You see our devotion year after year;
You know we all serve you and desire you.
Has Akton not burned brightly for you?
He willingly lowered himself into your pit,
Enduring more pain than many will ever know,
All for you to notice his zeal—Tor El’s zeal—and to receive your blessing.

“Come to us, we pray.
Let your fire fall on us and consume us.
Fill our veins with your burning.
Cover us with your embers,
That we’ll be shielded from the harshness of winter,
That Paes will stay away and stay shy.
Let us feel your passion!”

The Oracle raised his hands toward Gastron
And the congregation followed.
A pillar of flame shot from the altar,
Engulfing the stage and the speaker.
Oscambria stalled on his horse,
Curious, but also disturbed.
The burning man writhed and danced on the platform behind a wall of fire.

After a span of time the Oracle emerged,
The conflagration still blazing behind him.
His robes had bits of the flame stuck to them,
Bouncing around wildly.
“The god has spoken to me,”
the man began,
this time his voice calmer and softer.

Oscambria strained to hear the words.
“He has seen the truth in our hearts.
From his perch in heaven he sees the bright flame of Tor El,
But he cannot come to us at the current time.”
His voice cracked.
“He told me to brace ourselves for winter,
but that he will see us through with a boon.”

A collective gasp went through the people.
Some began moaning.
Others fell to their knees.
The Oracle held up his hand,
Flames trailed behind on his singed sleeve.
“Do not faint, for Rone has not abandoned us.
The god is occupied with other matters at the present.

“I begged him to reconsider,
and I know his heart moved,
but he assured me that he cannot leave Gastron currently.
But a boon he did give,
For our prevailing through the dead season.
Though winter is coming,
We will survive!”

He again raised his hands,
This time both of them above his head,
And brought them down quickly to his sides.
Bright arcs of blue fire trailed behind.
The lamentation halted;
The Hero jumped in his saddle.
“Did I just see what I thought I saw?”

Koesan nodded somberly,
A concerned look in her eye.
“Aye, if you’re talking about that Oracle up there
Somehow causing flames to come out his arms.”
Oscambria snorted.
“Indeed, that’s what I’m referring to. 
You act like you’ve seen this before, though.”

“Once,” Koesan said.
“The first time I was in this very city,
And the situation was quite similar,
But—” her voice cut short,
Interrupted by a burst of fire from behind.
The horses startled and took off running,
One going one way, the other towards the throng.

‘Ere he knew it,
The Hero was in the thick of the crowd,
Fighting desperately to control his steed
And also to not trample any townfolk.
“Calm it, Honeydew!” he said,
Yanking on the reins. 
“You’re going to hurt someone!”

The people were reacting slowly,
Like they were in a trance.
Many were tossed to the ground.
A few guards were shouting.
A loud bell was tolling,
Its reverberations jarring the Hero to his bones.
Oscambria pulled hard.

The horse stopped suddenly,
Confused and terrified.
All around the flaming city burned.
“What’s happening?” one cried.
“My baby!” shrieked another.
The Hero saw the Transcended Oracle staring at him,
A wrinkled brow of familiarity on his face.

The man standing at the altar,
Leading a congregation of devout followers of Rone in prayer,
Was none other than his hated rival,
Zzizgarg of Athins, (or Cornball, if you remember)
Blood-son of the Fire God himself.
“Hiyah!” Oscambria said,
Turning Honeydew away and looking for a means of escape.

The crowd was in full panic-mode,
Pressing against one another, screaming madly.
The way was difficult,
But no one wanted to stand down a Taiyoda horse,
And soon he was reunited with Koesan.
“Quickly!” he said, slapping the horse’s side.
“Let’s be gone from this place.”

“What’s wrong, Oscambria?” she asked,
Taking the lead.
“I’ll tell you on the road,”
he belted, fighting to keep his heart from beating out of his chest.
Filled with doubt and troubling thoughts,
They made their way through the city gates,
Leaving the smoking, burning city behind them.

2 comments:

Bilski said...

What an absurd epic!

Tell me though, did you pull any new ideas from last night's rerun of Ab Aeterno?

logankstewart said...

Grumble Grumble. I didn't watch "Ab Aeterno" again. I was playing guitar last night. Plus, my tv is now broken for some reason, so I need to get that replaced before next week's episode. Fortunately, I didn't miss a new episode!

No new ideas from this department, I don't reckon. Wah wah wa.