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.

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