Tuesday, August 9, 2011

DAY EIGHT : PART ONE: In which Matheson makes himself a girlfriend.

When he awoke, it wasn’t even day yet, though the sun wasn’t far off.

He yawned, almost went outside, and then remembered that he was in some kind of haunted, purgatorial hell, sighed and fried up a quick breakfast.

He’d gotten over yesterdays depressive funk, though, and as he thought about all that he’d found yesterday he started to get really excited.

His first thought was simply to march back downstairs and mine all day…but honestly, that bored him. He knew he’d found a good spot, he was sure he’d find other things. For now, he just wanted to relax and enjoy the day.

I’ll go for a nice little walk, he thought. Today will be easy, simple, safe, and fun. Absolutely nothing bad will happen.

He made himself a little picnic, gathered some torches and some wood, and, after some deliberation, and with a heavy heart, grabbed three of his diamonds.

I’m sorry, he thought. You’re beautiful, all of you. Really you are. But I’m going to need to string you together and bash you into things repeatedly, until you break.

He fashioned the diamond pickaxe without even looking, like he was doing something horrible, perhaps performing exploratory surgery on a pet hamster without a medical license or an animal-appropriate anesthetic.

But when it all came together, when he held it in his hands, felt the weight and ease with which it moved through the air, he was in love. It was the single most beautiful thing he had ever seen. He wept as he cradled it, like it was his newborn baby and he’d just squatted over a bucket and given birth, after being knocked up in the porta-porty outside a hardware store in the dead of night, somewhere in rural America, in a town where the dream of two cars in every garage had somehow mutated into five cars on every lawn, none of which should work.

Bethany, he said. I shall call you Bethany. Bethany Valentine Clement. We shall go everywhere together. You will be my right hand, and I, your arm, with which you will be connected to my body. I will never lose you, and should someone take you from me, I shall attack them mercilessly, and beat them into so bloody a pulp they’ll have to get a blood transfusion with concentrated orange juice.

He kissed her, nicely first, and then with increasing passion, his tongue working its way around the handle.

“Ow!” He said, drawing back sharply. “You cut me! You naughty, naughty girl. Bad Bethany, bad.” He feigned a scowl, but started laughing, even as the blood dripped down his face.

“I can’t stay mad at you!.”

If the walls had eyes, they would be staring at him with horror, but they didn’t, and so he gathered up his things, left behind what he wouldn’t need, and set off.

Monday, August 8, 2011

DAY SEVEN : All that glitters, and so on.

Matheson decided he was going to give this mining thing one last, really good go. Yeah, he’d found iron, but that had taken days, and though it was shiny, it didn’t seem to be that great an improvement over his caveman-style stone tools.

But he wasn’t about to admit defeat. With the full weight of his stubbornness brought to bear, he pushed on, placing stairs as he went to save time and to make sure he was digging things spaced out as much as he ought to.

A few times, he thought he saw a strange glow in the seams between the rocks, but whenever he pursued them, they lead to nothing, so after a while he stopping caring.

Down and down and down he dug, stopping once to gnaw on a raw pork chop (for old times’ sake) and then continuing.

He was just about to call it day, when glitters of green light shot from the rock before him. He rubbed his eyes, thinking it was a trick- but no, this was real.

He fell to his knees. DIAMONDS!

Tons of diamonds! The rock was literally bursting with the diamonds. Cautiously, he pried a few of them off, and held the glittering objects in his hands.

I was right all along, he thought. What luck! He looked back up his impossibly long staircase. He couldn’t even make out the basement of his house from this depth. To think, he’d been on a straight course for diamonds all this time!

He pocketed them carefully, after cradling them for a few minutes and talking to them in an embarrassingly affectionate tone.

He pulled a full six diamonds from the stone, and had hardly put the last one down when he noticed another faint glow below him- this one red, and sinister.

He got down on his hands and inspected it. It was a red…diamond? No. It was just a stone. But it glowed with the oddest kind of energy. He tried to pry it off, but it was wedged fast, and it took several good whacks before he had one in his hands.

He had no idea what it was. It was heavy, and smelt oily and thick, like the smokestack of a train, or a well greased engine. He gathered all of it that he could, with some difficulty, and then set to work clearing the area out, fatigue replaced by excitement and elation.

He found countless things in those depths, further deposits of iron, tons of that curious red stone, and a heavy, unmovable layer of rock that, try as he might, he could simply not get past. It had a certain etched, worn quality to it, though, that made him think lava had perhaps coursed over it a great many years ago, and he wasn't sure if it was just the sleep deprivation, but it definitely felt warm. He’d leave it alone for now.

He turned to go back, but stopped, and decided to give the wall one good hit before he left, just to see if anything turned up.

He struck the wall, and golden light filled the chamber, dazzling his eyes.


Picture merely for illustrative purposes.

Greedily and hungrily he set to work, striking this way and that, uncovering a thick seam of gold that ran for almost ten feet. He didn’t even stop to harvest it, instead sending the chucks flying around him in a brilliant shower.

When at last the floor was littered with the last chunks, he lay on the floor and did a snow angel in the golden flakes, laughing deliriously, visions of mansions and wealth and supermodels making him fruit smoothies in deliciously form-fitting business pantsuits.

Slowly, the dream turned to ashes in his mouth. With no one to sell the gold to, with no one anywhere at all, in fact, the gold meant absolutely nothing. The diamonds too! He could gather all the wealth of the world here, in this cave, but it was all meaningless.

He sighed, gathered up the gold, and started the long trek back to the surface.

It was the garden that drew the bulk of his dejected fury when he returned. The plants just were not growing at all, and he couldn’t tolerate so obvious and constant a reminder of his folly.

 He waded in, pulling plants out left and right, throwing them on the fire, trampling them to little pieces. He didn’t even let the dirt off easy, shoveling it up and out, and replacing it with smooth stone.

When it was done, there was not a sign nor trace that there’d ever even been a garden there, and thus satisfied, he slunk down in the corner, and dozed fitfully, his dreams invaded by skeletal hands snatching him from his boat every time he neared the land.

To the next post, in which Matheson makes himself a girlfriend 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

DAY SIX (Night) : Remove the head, destroy the brain.

His outdoor plants had grown admirably, which was nice. His indoor plants..not so much. I’ll give them a bit longer, he thought. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll wake up and they’ll all be touching the ceiling.

He peered down into his mine, which seemed to stretch down into infinity. I’ve probably gone exactly the worst way, he thought. He had visions of his tunnel just missing everything important and interesting thing on the way down, probably beelining for some nest of spiders that would swarm up and paralyze him before he could get away, feeding on him in a gangbang of horror that would last for weeks until mercifuclly, he would run out of blood.

He debated taking his mine in a new direction, but he was a completitionist, and having started going this way, he figured he’d damn well go until he couldn’t go anymore.

But he’d hardly been mining for ten minutes when he came across the tell-tale silvery shimmer of something special. He execavated it, and pried it from the rock. Iron!

A flurry of digging resumed and by the end he’d gotten himself a nice little haul, six or seven little ores in his hand. He bounced up the stairs, whistling, carefree, and tried to think about what, exactly, he was going to do with this stuff.

I really out to make some armor, he thought. Something to keep a creeper from blowing me to bits, or stop an arrow embedding itself in my stomach. Something that could let him go out and night and make the creatures fear him, and not the other way around.

But he listened to a few seconds to the noises around his house, the moaning and scratching and veiled hisses. he didn’t really want to go out. It wasn’t worth it. Nope, he was perfectly content to stay here and play around in his little stone sandbox.

Instead, he made himself some shiny new tools, had some dinner, and went straight back down and kept digging.

Hours later and he stumbled back up. He hadn’t found shit, just a lump of coal here and there and some flint in the gravel pit he’d carefully stumbled through.

It was near sun up, and figuring it was probably safe, he popped outside and boldly strode around the corner to get a look at his plants. Two were done!

With a whoop he raced forward, and cut them down, greedily picking through them to see what they’d give him. From one he got a bushel of wheat, and from the other…more seeds.


Well, that was disappointing. Even as he stood there, he watched a sheep come bounding down the hill, and as if he wasn’t there, it started jumping up and down on the plants, killing them.

He watched it for a while, in disbelief, then looked over his wheat bushel. Man, how much work do I gotta do to make you grow? He’d have to put in a proper garden somewhere, with high walls…maybe one down by the water. Maybe he could irrigate it somehow? He wasn’t sure, but he’d figure it in the morning. He gave the sheep a hard knock on the face, driving it away, and forcing it’s wool to explode off of it, leaving it tantalizingly naked. He stared at it, mouth agape, and then turned right around and headed inside.

He almost made it, when freakishly strong, clawed hands dug into his shoulder, breaking the skin. He yelped and twisted around, freeing himself and jumping back.

There was a man here, attacking him! Matheson backed away, hands up entreatingly, as the man let out a low, horrible moan that he recognized all too well.

“ Look, I don’t want to fight!’ He said. “I’ve heard you out here, what do you want? What are you doing?”

The man stopped, and raised his hand, pointing at Matheson. A cloud moved, and moonlight illuminated him for the first time. His flesh was green and sunken, covered with wounds and lesions that should have been bleeding, but long since dried out. His clothes were filthy, when they weren't ripped to shreds, and his fingernails had grown long and sharp, caked with much. That wounds probably infected, he thought, glancing at his shoulder.

‘Brrraaaaaaaainsssssss.” Said the creature, and then resumed shuffling toward him, arms forward, grasping.

You've obviously got no depth perception, Matheson thought, I’m like ten feet away.

But it didn’t matter, the creature still advancing and groping at the air like it’d get him any moment.

Matheson drew his new iron sword, feeling a surge of pride as the blade glinted in the moonlight, and then lunged and drove it straight into the creatures chest.

If the zombie felt it, it didn’t make a noise or stop, or do anything, just kept reaching for him and stumbling forward. He tried to draw the sword out, but it was stuck fast in the zombie’s rotted guts, and he had to abandon it for a few seconds lest he let the thing get a hold of him again.

The zombie stopped, and without taking his eyes off of Matheson’s, reached down, grabbed the sword, and yanked it out. Think green fluids and chunks of organs leaked out of the hole, forming a pile on the ground at the zombies feet.

The zombie raised the sword up, like it was going to advance on Matheson and try and cut him down. Great, he thought, I’m going to get killed by my own sword. But the zombie, after pausing for a second, simply threw the sword to the side and resumed slowly walking forward, arms outstretched.

You’re not so bad at all. This is like keeping a candy bar from a sleepwalking binge-eater. He let the zombie come to him for a bit, then dodged sideways, retrieved his sword, and readied it calmly.

First he sliced off it’s hands, which didn’t phase the zombie one bit. Then he got the left leg, which flew to the side, leaking entrails and filling the air the a sickly, egg-salad like stench. Yet, it continued to hop after him.

H figured this had gone on long enough, and with a roll of his eyes sliced off it’s head, which rolled to the ground and glared at him, jaw working overtime as it tried to move along the ground by opening it’s mouth really fast.

Matheson took a few steps back. The zombie was still coming for him, in pieces, really ineffectually, and the motions were kind of funny (in a pitiful way) but it was also kind of unsettling. What, do I have to burn you, too?

But as he watched, one by one the pieces stopped moving, and turned a dark grey colour, even unhealthier looking then they’d looked before. Then, they poofed out of existence. The head was the last to go, not giving up it’s absurd quest until the last, attempt to growl at Matheson, though it’s lack of vocal chords could only manage a pitiful, painful hiss.

When it vanished, he looked around to make sure nothing else was coming for him, and went inside, in high spirits, but a little shaken.

Continue to the next post.

Friday, August 5, 2011

DAY SIX : In which Matheson leaves behind a bloody trail of bloody pig guts all over the bloody place

Matheson peered down at the beach. He actually really didn’t feel like going anywhere, come to think of it.

Part of him wanted to go mine, part of him wanted to sit and admire the sunrise, and part of wanted to him wanted to crawl into a tiny hole and sob for hours, cradling himself until he drowned in his own salty, bitter tears.

But there were pigs down there. In fact, everywhere Matheson looked, there was a pig; Eating grass, defecating, jumping up and down like a lottery winner with Parkinson’s getting tazered in a bouncy house.

He almost just went back inside and let them live. He didn’t want to even think about eating pork chops anymore, much less taste or smell one.

But then he realized that yeah, this was a really good opportunity, and he should take advantage of it, and blah blah blah, so he gripped his axe and walked from pig to pig, crushing and splitting their skulls with grim efficiency and pocketing whatever parts of them survived the mysterious whisking away that happened after death.

He’d never really thought of it before, as he watched corpse after corpse poof away, but could whatever brought him back to life, and placed him on the beach, be doing the same for these pigs? And everything that he killed, actually. They all vanished in the same way, the skeletons, the spiders, those few creepers he managed to kill before they exploded, these pigs, and probably he himself, too. Did they all just come back to life on the beach, same as before? Was he killing the same things over and over and over again?

He peered up at the sky. The sun was high above him, sending rays of light down through the clouds. What animated this place? What spirit had brought him here, watched over him, and why?

He went back to killing. Perhaps I should make a temple, he thought, as blood sprayed into the air, staining the soil, and nearby trees, and his clothes. I should make a giant monument. I could make a great altar out of bone, and perform blood sacrifices. Like the Aztecs! They knew what was up. Those guys were crazy, but they had their shit together.

He’d killed countless pigs so far, but every time he looked off in the distance, he saw more, and just kept following the trail. His cabin was far behind, but he didn’t care, lost in the mindless letting of blood and spiritual contemplation.

The ocean went on forever this way. There were a great many islands far off, and at some point the beach seemed to bizzarely and illogically gives way to a desert that stretched on into infinity.

There didn’t seem to be much out there, so he figured it was probably as good a time as any to go back. His pockets were bulging with pounds and pounds of pig meat, the juices staining his pants and dripping down to the ground with every step he took. He was momentarily disoriented, but had only to follow the bloodstained footsteps on the ground, and he was able to find his way home.

There was a heaviness in him, as he climbed the hill back up to his cabin, just as the sun climbed down out of the sky. He wasn’t sure what the weight was, but he figured maybe, just maybe, it was his soul.

Porkchops all the way down.

Continue to the next post.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

DAY FIVE : Mining Alllll Night Loonnnnng

Lives left : One.

He stumbled home just before dark, fried himself up a pork chop, and woofed it down before he even realized what he was doing.

I really need to get some other kind of food going here, he thought. He couldn’t see himself, but he bet a week of nothing but sand, blood, and pork hadn’t exactly been great for his complexion.

He snuck a peek at his garden, was again disappointed by the lack of change. They were growing, for sure, but definitely not at the rate which he’d hoped. He figured he should probably water them, and spent a little while trying to fashion some kind of bucket, but it just didn’t work.

He threw his tools down dejectedly and looked around. He’d walked and run and stabbed things all day, but he was still feeling restless. He couldn’t go outside…but maybe he could do something productive in here?

He started sizing up the walls of his basement, thinking about possible projects. I ought to start mining, he thought. I’ve seen strange stones in some of those caves, I’ve found coal just digging around in here…I bet if I start going at it, something good will happen.

He whipped together some pickaxes, chose a wall, and started digging down.

I'll just dig until I can't dig anymore.

Down and down he went, stone flying this way and that. He must have gone down twenty feet, in a jagged line, but encountered nothing.

Aw shit, he thought, as he started hitting dirt. This was going nowhere...but once started, he couldn't stop.

He was so frustrated he stopped putting torches down, digging in the dark and going purely by sound. This seemed like a good idea, until he struck the stone above him, and started to hear a rumbling sound. He dove back, as a mass of gravel covered the space he’d been standing in not seconds before.

He coughed as the dust filled his lungs. That was close! No more of that. He bet not even the mysterious beach-entity could save him from that.

He cleared away the rubble, and kept going for a few minutes, but he was so paranoid of cave-ins now, he’d really lost the fire for it.

That’s enough of that for today, he thought, and he gathered his tools and scrambled back up with some difficulty. I’ll have to put in some proper stairs, especially if I go much farther. I’ll get hungry at the bottom here, and die of starvation before I reach the top.

At last he stumbled back into his house, and collapsed on the floor. He was shocked to see it was still night, and for a second wondered if he had dug all through the day; but then tell-tale rays of purple and blue began to show through, and he knew the sun was just rising.

Some good timing, he thought. He still had some time before it was safe to go out…why not put the stairs in now? He should be worn out, he knew, but actually, with a few minutes to catch his breath, he didn’t feel tired at all. Must be some strange effect of this world…he didn’t even feel the need to sleep!

Or maybe it was just the insanity, setting in.

His strangely limitless pockets were bursting with heaping mountains of stone from all his digging, and he fashioned them into crude slabs for a stairway, and then headed over to the mine to make the whole thing a little more user friendly.

But, blast it! He’d made it too small, and the stairs wouldn’t fit unless he hunched over. Not exactly the most comforting prospect. He gritted his teeth and grabbed his pickaxe. At least the hard work was over, now all he had to do was knock out a bit of the ceiling, place the stairs, and he'd be ready to go.

Away he went, knocking out this part here, and smoothing out this part there, making it all symmetrical and even like a coke head with OCD. He’d gone through like a wild man before, but now he was picking and choosing his targets, and he had to admit, it was kind of meditative and peaceful. He felt downright zen, at one with the world.

He knocked out a stone above him and got ready to place the stairs down, when he heard that familiar rumble.

He didn’t even have time to move, he barely even had time to raise his hands to protect him when BAM, a huge weight crushed him to the floor. Gravel filled his lungs, he couldn’t breathe, and he squirmed and wriggled and then somehow, someway he was free. He fell facefirst, hitting his head on the stone and giving himself an instant headache.

He slowly sat up and looked around – HE WAS TRAPPED. Panic gripped him for a few seconds, but then passed when he remembered how easy it was to dig things out in the world. Seriously, was this stone made of cardboard, or what? He shoveled the gravel away, and in a few minutes everything was back to normal, except of course, for the gaping dark hole above him. He peered up into for a while. He didn’t think anything else was up there, but he wasn’t sure, so he walled it in.

No use leaving anything to chance.

He finished the stairs, extremely cautiously, and then headed back to the surface, chiding himself for almost getting buried alive twice in the space of ten minutes.

He looked at his garden as he mounted the top step. The plants had hardly changed. In fact, they seem to have almost gotten worse.

As Matheson looked at them, and the army of torches surrounding them, he flared up with rage. He knocked the torches down, burning himself a few times in the process and accidently flinging one on the garden, which lit up a few of the plants in seconds.

It’s too dry down here, he thought. Ugh. He really had been hoping that would work. All he had left was one pork chop, which he fried up and ate mechanically, the several day old, gamey taste, bringing him only the very basic satisfaction.

Slowly, he became aware of a very strange noise outside. A kind of constant, unending, random tapping. His brow furrowed and he strode up into the main floor.

“What now?”

But as he looked out the door, he realized it was just rain. Rain! He threw open the door and ran outside, staring straight up to the heavens. It was raining all over, a thick, heavy, beautiful rain. He hadn’t even realized that he’d missed it so much, but he had.

He let it wash over for a while and looked around. There were some scuff marks and overturned rocks, here and there a little puddle of something or other, but the monsters were behaving themselves. Perhaps they’d given up?

He thought back to his garden inside. Should he bring those plants up, make a garden up here? Not a bad idea, he thought, but then his mind flashed angrily. No, let them starve, if they won’t grow for me, they don’t grow at all. I’ve got enough seeds, I’ll just plant a new one.

And so he did, hoeing out a nice section right behind his house and planting out ten of fifteen feet of dirt.

“Maybe you’ll perform a little better,” he said, and patted the dirt reassuringly.

The rain stopped almost immediately, as if to spite him. He stared straight up for several seconds, uncomprehending. Maybe he was tired? Or going crazy? Once second it had been there, and then it was gone?

Ah well. Seemed as good a time as any to go exploring.

Continue to the next post.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

DAY FIVE : The birth of a nemesis.

Start from the beginning.

Matheson awoke at the crack of dawn, on what he figured was his fifth day, or possibly sixth. He wasn’t really sure, things had gotten crazy for a while there, but now he felt confident and in control. Things were going to be different from here on out.

He gave a quick look at his plants as he prepared to head outside. They had grown in the night, but only a little. The ones closest to the torches had definitely sprouted up, but all in all they had hardly improved at all.

Well that sucks, he thought. He was almost out of food, and had really hoped these things would just take off.

“If its torches you want, it’s torches you get!” He shouted, temper flaring, pausing for a minute at how strange it was to hear his voice.

A little carbon dioxide never hurt anyone.
He covered the basement with torches, the smoke so think by the time he was done that he was worried he might pass out from the fumes. He’d see what had happened by the time he got back, but he was feeling impatient, he wanted these little bastards to grow grow grow as fast he could make them.

The house had weathered the night well, he was glad to find. There were a few rather creepy and ominous scratch marks here and there, and an arrow lodged in the door out of protest, but all in all things were fine. He started whistling a happy tune and set out.

Initially, he intended to stay well within range of his little hovel, should trouble arise, but his curiosity continually got the better of him, and he strayed this way and that.

His house was on the side of a massive hill, one of about three or four such cliff-dotted, geologically impossible mini-mountians that ringed the little valley.

He made his way down to the center, and immediately regretted it. Several times he almost stumbled into massive pits that came from nowhere. It felt like this whole area was built haphazardly over the remains of some great hole in the earth.

He came across several caves, some massive and seemingly endless, some narrow, twisted, and claustrophobic.

Bones littering the entrance is a good sign, right?
He wanted to explore them, but they had certain cold, ominous air that kept him cautious. Not to mention, he thought it was quite likely the monsters took shelter under the earth at night, and the last thing he wanted to do was wander into a nest of giant spiders without a better sword and a few hundred torches...and maybe a portable nuclear device.

Here and there he mined some coal that had been thrust up out of the earth. He gathered some seeds, killed a few chickens and took their useless feathers with sullen resentment, but mostly just marveled at the scenery. Far off in the distance he saw snow-capped mountains, rolling deserts, and mysterious islands, covered in massive redwoods.

But mostly this.
He’d taken it for granted that he was on an island, and though it seemed the ocean was everywhere he looked, he wasn’t so sure. Was this an island chain? Some sort of archipelago? Some kind of inhumane, godless mess of giant lakes, like Michigan?

He couldn't tell, and going out at night was such a terrifying prospect that he wasn’t sure if he’d ever really figure it out. Maybe one day, he could make a string of forts dotting the land, letting him range around at will, and retire to safety at night? He briefly envisioned himself as a roman legionary, building a great highway, fighting off Gallic barbarians, coming home to the love of beautiful Italian women who would bathe him and feed him grapes and stuffed SPIDER!

The spider lunged at him from its ambush spot a little above, but misjudged the distance and sailed over head.
“Oh, come on! It’s not even night yet!” He yelled, shaken from his daydream, but the possibility of being trussed up and served as leftovers drove him to quick action, and he had his sword out before the spider had even managed to properly turn around.

He wasn’t feeling particularly generous, and with a slice here and a slice there, he went ahead and severed several of the spider’s limbs.

“This’ll make you think twice before you run around when you’re not supposed to,” he said. He moved to cut off a few more, but the spider lunged at him, mouth gaping, fangs snapping, and it almost managed to sink it's fangs into his hand. This one was feisty! Matheson shrieked and drew back, slicing off one of the creatures fangs as he did so. Black blood shot out like a fountain.

It screamed a hideous scream, rearing up on what blood-soaked legs it had left, and Matheson heard other spiders take up the call in the distance. The spider and Matheson circled each other for a few seconds, like boxers, waiting for the right opening...but he began to hear the screams and yells of other spiders gathering around him, and saw their dark black shapes in the distance, coming closer.

“You win this round,” he said, and sprinted off. The spider tried to give chase, but with only four legs it couldn’t do much more then hobble.

We’ll meet again, flesh bag, it thought. We’ll meet again.

Matheson ran for ages, trying to put as much distance between himself and the spiders as he could. They kept calling to each other for some time, but the sounds were far off, and after a while, they stopped.

He stopped to catch his breath, and somewhat sheepishly realized he had no idea where he was. He’d been out for quite a while, and well the sun was still up in the sky, he knew it wouldn’t be for long, and when it wanted to go down, it would do so very fast.

There were so many god dam tree’s it was impossible to get a good view. He hated them.

“I’m going to make a chainsaw one day, and cut down the whole lot of you.”

He gave the tree’s a mean look, but felt stupid and so just left.

Movement up ahead- he threw himself against a tree for cover and peaked around.


A cow! He watched it for a few seconds. There were a few, actually, milling around.

Some beef would be nice. And Milk! And Cheese! And Cake! And Ice cream! Man, he thought, moving out of cover and walking up to them, if I can get me a few cows, there’ll be no end to the food I can make.

When he’d gotten kind of close to the cows, however, they all turned to face him at exactly the same time, and and just stood there, unblinking.

Matheson stopped too. He looked from one cow, to the next, all their eyes burning into his. He felt uncomfortably exposed, held within their gaze, but everywhere he looked there was a cow, peering into his soul, stripping him naked, and not liking what it saw.

He backed away a few steps, and then stopped.


And with that, he charged them with his sword, hacking and stabbing in a rage-fueled orgy of blood that Matheson Squareface Quiverbottom, Esq, so often found himself in when confronting defenseless woodland creatures. Perhaps it’s a symptom of living in a cruel, hostile environment, and only having power over these kinds of helpless animals. Perhaps he’s just a bloodthirsty monster. Perhaps something far worse, and far more sinister, is at work.

Either way, when the dust had cleared and the blood stopped spurting, the cow’s corpses poofed out of existence, and all that was left was their bloodstained skins.

“Oh, come on.” He said, to no one in particular, but gathered them up all the same.

“I could, uh, make some boots out of these, I guess.”

He wiped the blood of his face and looked around. Now it was getting dark for real, but through a clearing in the trees he saw the outcropping he’d dubbed ‘Capo Hill’, for its (not all that actual) resemble to a guitar capo. He cautiously picked his way home, muttering to himself that he really needed to make some sort of giant marker he could see from miles away, to stop these kind of things from happening.

Totally a capo.
Continue on to the next post.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

DAY FOUR : In which Matheson develops a green thumb.

He woke with a start.

He’d slept for ages, he was certain, and though he initially hated missing the first light, as he got up he was glad he’d given his body the chance to heal. Last nights weariness was gone.

He popped upstairs, and the low position of the sun confirmed his suspicion.

Well, shit. He was down to his last porkchop, and had run plum out of coal. He’d do a little wandering, see what he could find, and come back before dark and put the night to good use.

He started up the hill, to get a good vantage point on what was going on, but thick masses of grass had grown up all over the placel. He started cutting it back, lest it get too big, and out popped seed after seed.

He picked them up, looked them over. He knew nothing about plants….or did he? As he stared, he got the distinct and sudden impression they were wheat seeds. A memory came to him, from far away, a young kid running his hand through fields of golden stalks, the smell of stew and rabbit, gruff voices, the rumble of heavy engines.

I ought to try and plant a garden, he thought. Man can’t live on pork chop alone. Well, maybe he could. If he couldn’t find an alternative source of food, he’d have to put that hypothesis to the test.

The sun was already beginning to disappear. Jesus, he thought. I was really laid out last night. He pocketed the seeds, and turned to head home, but stopped.

Screw it, he said. I’ve probably got a little bit of time. Let’s do this.

He dashed off, madly, honing in on every plant he could see and cutting it to pieces. He hardly even stopped to gather the seeds- instead he sent them flying into the air and trusted that at least some would make it into his pocket.

He was so focused he hardly even noticed the sun was abandoning him, but seeing a creeper glaring at him from atop another hill brought him back to reality.

Time to go home. That didn’t stop him from slashing down all the grass he saw on his way home, though at that point it was almost a reflex. He just did it with an eye open.

The first thing Matheson did when he got home was run into the basement, grab a hunk of pig from his underground ‘meat locker’ and start gnawwing away at it. But what he saw down there stopped him cold.

Those seeds were sprouting!

Just a little, but from where he’d thrown them, just a few hours before, they’d taken root in the earth and started to grow!

Maybe I could get a garden going down here, he thought? That’d be pretty nice. I’d never even have to leave!

That thought made him both happy, and depressed, at the same time.

He grabbed his pickaxe and set to work clearing a space for a garden, happily stumbling across some coal in the process. He mined out as much of the stone as he could, brought in some dirt from here and there, and after raking it a little and tilling with it a hoe, he was pretty proud of himself.

He delicately planted the seeds in rows, placed a few torches for light, and stood back to admire his handiwork.

The seeds were growing before his eyes!

He took a few steps back, actually, at first. It was kinda creepy. Why should they grow so fast?
He had visions of terrifying plant monsters springing up from the ground and devouring him in his sleep. But the seeds stopped pretty quick, and he relaxed, wondering how long it’d be before he could harvest.

Now it was time to eat! He wiped the sweat off his brow, picked up his wiggling raw porkchop, and prepared to bite down, then stopped.

I’m tired of this raw meat bullshit. I bet I could make a stove of some sort, he thought. I’ve got enough coal to get a pretty good fire going.

Sure enough, he made up a quick stone frame, put some wood scraps inside, lit it on fire, and in a few minutes his house was full of the smell and sound of crackling meat.

As he took his first heavenly bite, he thought, it almost drowned out the sounds of skeletal hands scratching at the walls and door, hungry for his flesh.

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