VictoryThe armored boots of two warriors were planted feet from the edge of a cliff as they overlooked the land and saw a great black cloud sweep over hill and dale. The Earth was littered with the bodies of the dead as far as the eye could see, and wolves and ravens came to take the souls of the slain to the halls of the gods. The Sun was beginning her descent into the Underworld, and firey light shot up from underneath the Earth and accross the sky as she pierced the horizon.
“How many of ours were killed?”
“At least a few hundred.”
“That’s barely a victory.”
“Our people are safe in their houses and the slain go to the halls of the gods, never having to concern themselves with journeying accross the Abyss, except maybe after their next life or so. I’d call that a victory.”
Just hours ago, the Sun shone brightly and golden rays shimmered accross the edges of swords, the tips of spears, the faces of shields; their weapons flashed and
There Must Be OrderIn the region to the northwest of the empire of Galeym, there was a region of rugged hills and low mountains, transitioning into the high mountains, the White Mountains, that the Empire could not pass into, and these hills were known as the Pailti, or, regionally, as the Pailtz, which means “hills” in the language of Galeym, and in these hills were many villages that were not part of the Empire. It was a beautiful day in Spring, with the Sun peaking over the hills as birds twittered in the trees, and the villagers in Sohmk were at their work in the fields, which, being in the hills, were swiddens scattered here and there in gaps in the woods; generally, the people were of such a disposition that their work, no matter how hard, did not weigh them down, and they could be heard singing while they planted:
The fair Sun shines o’er all our fields
Which will soon a great harvest yield
The Earth’s reward for all our toil
On the Pailtz’s blesséd soil!
Sin and DeathI remember now, at that appointment, something I had not even noticed when I was there: a soft, guttural cackling, seeping out from the bowels of the Earth, and I realize now I may have very well unwittingly sold my soul.
“Have you had any thoughts of killing yourself recently?” asked the psychiatrist.
“Yes.” I hadn’t, but if I said yes, I would have my parents under my thumb; no more fighting, no more being called “bitch” or “dumbass”, no more being backed into corners and grabbed and pushed and hit. They would have to feel sorry for me instead of hurting me, they would have no choice if they wanted me to live so they could go on hurting me, or so they thought – so I thought. I’d have to take meds, but that’s really the worst that could happen.
No, it wasn’t.
I don’t remember how I got here, I don’t remember anything for a while before when I got here. Now they’re coming to make me take my
The End of the Perpetual ItThey had walked and rode for days deep into the heart of the jungle, and their packhorses had become weary as they had become weary, when they came into an unexpected clearing in which a great, old stone pyramid was standing, which the sight of renewed their energy and they decided to go in. At the foot of the pyramid were steps leading not to the top of the pyramid, but into the heart of thd pyramid, about halfway between the top and bottom; they tethered their horses and climbed the steps until they were inside. They were surprised to find it was not dark inside, but dimly lit, and there appeared to be a brighter light emanating from an upwards-leading staircase at the end of the tunnel to the right, while the downward-leading tunnel to the left was dark.
“I say we go up first,” said the expedition leader.
“I think we all agree. I myself would actually rather not go down at all,” said one of the crew.
“I would agree with that,” said another one, an