Merlin 3:47 “Of Dungeons and Dragons”
A listless echo of insanity, the repetitive flashings of light and great summoning fear, a single ineffable memory and calming dream the dances of fingertips in golden sea of grains and touching faces whose whispers worthy gold and pictures never hold, the incisions dragging thru the heart. Pointed talon making gravel disturb in lines beneath hooked knuckles, and wretches claw, the captive and master, the dragon and disaster that are tall at the tunnel of vision, light in the darkness foraging thru darker confines of the heart.
Sino carves and Nick dies, desperate patience flashes fevers of war, callous gasping and curt awakenings, preterit divestiture each death bloodier and tempests of anger each rebirth stealing essence of magic and the moon, the more Nick dies immortal the more so has Sino a thirst. The candles flicker and shadows jar Nick’s memories of the moments between dead and daylight, a surly lot watch and drink spirited wines and sharpen knives, water for the wretched despoiler whose confusion matches anxiety and nervous jitters have caused him wipe blood against his own face. Sino concerned by blood and toil considers cleansing water to realize his own thirst, Nick buries himself in dark anger and meditation. Sino madly takes his heart and still the wanderer wakes, and again manna and magic drawn to him.
Sino: This is good, very good, can you die, and, how old are you?
Nick: I prefer not to say.
The vampires laugh.
Augustus: He can cut down four men or two blood drinkers at a time.
Sino: Can he now?
Augustus: Yeah, so don’t let him up none.
Sino: It is good to have a contentious fighter, more so to have someone vital to the battle. This thirst (drinks), you are the drought, I have seen, (drinks) seen from this mountain.
Ablution, a pitcher of water over his head, doth Sino pour onto himself, with bloody narrowest eye Nick spies, to coyly make fist and flex his wrist. Sino forfeits the foray to forage elsewhere, Nick is cleanly his skin color by fervency as his bonds are tightened and himself abandoned. In ten moments Nick’s amassed strength by the power induced to him breaks the wrist strapped and rolls silently from the table, one moment later he vanishes into the darkness of the catacombs. He passes cells the size of broom closets and windows to prisoners’ eyes, each blindfolded and sleeping or exhausted utmost. / Wiping the blood from his neck, he hears the screams of tortured prisoners.
- Merlin and Ana ride in a canoe, downstream at slow speed, no forest at the shores, a mountain behind them.
- Merlin: What do you think he’s doing?
- Ana: He’s probably drinking in a tavern with someone he’s about to loot. What do you think he’s doing?
- Merlin: He could be gambling in attempt to earn funds to buy you a cottage.
- Ana: That would be nice, also, he had better bring them to the next house we cross.
- Merlin: Because that’s where we’ll be?
- Ana: Absolutely, unless this baby births itself or jetties out a giant egg to carry.
- (subtle laughter)
Nick enters quick and unsure-footed into a room of prisoners, each tied to leaning crucifixes, beleaguered by agony they rest with tears of blood below each blindfold, Nick slowly lifts the rag to see one’s eyes. Heretofore Nick has woken his suspect, the anguished sound startles him.
Renoir: Not yet, do not lose me, there is still a fog of light that I can see.
Nick: Can you run?
Renoir: Who are you, …who, …who?
Nick: I am leaving.
Renoir: No, untie me, I will flee my own way.
Nick: Nothing finer than a blind distraction.
Nick cuts him free of bondage and lets him fall, to grab a second knife he turns, but behind his back Renoir stands upright and reapplies his own blindfold only to toss Nick over a table at the fireplace.
Renoir: You are not chimera nor criminal, tell me your name.
Guillaume (prisoner): He must be made to go beyond the flesh.
Nick sees that the blindfold is over eyes again.
Nick: I’m going to take a hot iron and thrash you.
Nick kicks the fire pokers over, but walks quietly toward the door. Renoir watches, turning his head that his face follows him, smiling he reaches for a knife to flip in the air and catch by handle only to throw at Nick. Missing he charges the eyeful intruder and they roll, that very knife becomes the cause of Renoir’s demise by manual migraine. As the two others scream, Nick runs by front of them and severs their vocals. Sino stands in the doorway to the chamber watching Nick catch his breath, giving to applause sardonically.
Sino: It is a hideous time in the nine worlds, in the hearts of many our belief and success have interchanged – weak minds punish themselves until they stray into the prisons of their neighbors only to complain, while slavers steal slaves from each other, they serve without purpose. We will replace that lack of determination, we will lead the way, taken from sensationalism and denials, with the awakening of duty. The strongest will survive, without each other, the weakest will not survive our ready purge, none below the new order will help them, …and we will hunt them. Is weakness something still sentimental morally in your distancing mortality?
Nick: The weakest fruit falls soonest, the weakest seed takes advantage of the opportunity making a weaker tree, and I see and agree with you, I have never known such a great source for doing so, nor do I know why you torture them, instead of killing them.
Sino: They are seeds of a new realm, of a new dawn, made to see where they must root, before the purge of the darkness.
Nick: I can leave having seen nothing, not that you could take my eyes, I’m already forgetting if such you’ve tried.
Sino: These prisoners suffer for… a more… different purpose. I often wonder their worth without the cause.
Nick: Which cause would, that, be?
Sino: How did you escape?
Sino drags his knife along the arm of the dead captives, approaching Nick as the vampires fill the doorway, staring and drinking from veins severely, urging the attending vampires to drink the blood.
Sino: I have a need for pets, you would not be pet. They, are pets, you would be a welcome ally against the nightfall. Stay for the oblivion, the wine and women aren’t far.
Nick: I leave, or you leave, that’s my final offer.
Sino: Yours is not the only form of immortality, memories are immortal, like the one in your keepsake locket from your vest. Take it to the dragon, it shall track and kill her, it is his humanity that binds him. Later, immortal son, we will visit where it ate her, it refuses to eat bones, ever the sight.
Nick grabs an iron pole and coats it with booze, using the fire for ignition he charges with flaming sword, they are seven and Sino not fighting, laughing and watching, they are six and Sino not fighting and smiling, they are five as Sino watches and angers, they are four and Sino attacks. They are wounded, burned, impaled, decapitated and thrown, Sino lives as Nick escapes.
Feet that leap between steps a gallop, blades that slice to slow foes in his wake that fall short behind him, and fireside room holds Sino using magic to heal as many as can mystic ability to heal in rage and pain, in echoes of wind, in the blood of vampires and the blind.
Sino: After him! Drink him dry! (kicks corpse that does not resurrect, forcefully)
Guillaume: Will that not make them too powerful?
Sino: …and draw their monarch.
Sino treads with heavy boots quickish from the room, leaving the prisoner bonded. The tributes are running to each cell, prepared for battle at each door. With murderers searching the martyrs, cursing, checking and guessing as Nick happens on the dragon nest. The fallen shackled imminent sacrifice waits to resume, the pain of mortality pains Nickolas with exasperations and currency, the dragon heavily steps thru dirt and dry bloodied rags then flips its tail and destroys a chair, the shattered pieces going everywhere the leg of the man with the locket. The dragon moves aside, tilting its head to have a second thought, toward the screaming the chain rattles the floor before stretching tight to the man’s neck, the dragon is loose and toying with prey, hammering its sharp claw into the fool. To thought it seems to Nick that the dragon may have just laughed. The door opens again, this time the man with the necklace laughs. He holds his hand and hangs the locket from his fingers as a parlor trick for children. It focuses the monster as would a child, as Nick takes the largest wooden splinter near him, the brushing sound of the ground interests the beast
The trainer puts the locket into the dragon’s mouth, it opens its arms and stands three times taller, winged breadth and breathing lungs enlarge, its ribs as silo rungs Nick charges, almost catching the tail when stopped. Three swings to kill the harbinger and fall and three steps to flee the brawl after the dragon, massive talons thunder and hammered-tail dragging under.
Sino: Then keep looking! Fools, he cannot fly, search the mountain!
Dragon crawls from darkness, affection between it and its master, a blindfolded minion stops Nick.
Renoir: She is better dead, I will find her in the darkness, you are better, in the darkness!
Nick: Damaged fiend!
Nick breaks Renoir’s neck and runs after the dragon again, faster beyond sound and breaths of oblivion, fast over ground thru the tyrants-vermillion, dashing toward the reptile corticiform. Nick runs thru the main entrance and sprints, to battle a dragon, to honor his oath and commitment, a true testament. Nick runs from the shadow tunnels to it, swinging knife-tip at near comers, a leaping step from an exsanguinated dead man’s chest to stab the dragon in the tail as it exits the cavern’s mouth.