The first child, whose school-name was Witness, had burrowed a small pouch beneath his tongue where he could hide mouth-taken objects from us -- at first! We were impressed with this bit of cleverness, and Annabelle told him upon promise of being made King of All Children he would be our sentry. He told us of a special skill, he could excrete a thick velvet syrup from his spleen into his hands, which he slowly pulled apart to form a web, and by holding the web above the heads of sleeping children the mass would congeal to form shapes which gave portent of their dreams. It became a simple matter to find which children were loyal to our cause, which were weak of spirit but could be coerced, and which were unbreakable and had to be made example. For the last children, we swapped their eyes, so the vision of one would be transmitted through the air to the brain of another, and so they were confused and made sick, staggering around the classroom trying to find a way back to the appropriate locus of vision. After public derision and a laughable game of duck duck felon these children were collected by the ghuls Every, Always and Never and taken to the far place, where they would prepare meals of the dead for the tribe of skineaters until they developed a taste for the meat themselves, cast off from the god who would remove the tracking device along the crystalline antenna of the spine and be forever bent over and gibbering. Was this overly cruel? Perhaps, and Annabelle and I had moments of remorse, but it has to be remembered these were difficult times, and we made the best decisions possible to us and moved on, and certainly the children kept talk of insurrection well hidden from that moment on.


Russell CJ Duffy said...

Simply spellbinding. A delight to read.

Ruela said...


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