Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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Posted by on Nov 9, 2012 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 2 | 0 comments

Chapter 2: The Orbit of Jaguars

Posted by on Nov 11, 2012 in Stomping the World Round, Stomping the World Round: Chapter 2 | 0 comments

Jaguar Bahlum, by Anthony Damiani

– 1 –

Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 2 | 0 comments

A doll-maker makes a little wooden boy. It has two left feet so it cannot dance.

This proves to be a trouble.

“I cannot accept this incapacity,” says the wooden boy angrily. He stomps off. He slams the door of the doll-maker’s shop and he kicks it with his left foot.

I mean, you know. With his left left foot.

Then he turns and he runs away!

“I’ll go to Hans,” says he.

Hans, who first made sense of things. Hans, who built the world from chaos. Hans the smith; Hans the farmer; Hans the dwarf.

But first, he travels the world.

. . .

Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 2 | 0 comments

“Dwarves like treasures,” says the little wooden boy, “don’t they?”

He collects treasures to trade to Hans. He rescues a sword that can cut anything from the bottom of a bog. He steals a scroll of evil prophecy. He finds a stone just sitting on the road that he is certain must be magic.

“I’ll bet,” says the little wooden boy, “that you can place this stone on your forehead and impersonate any farm animal, no matter how fiery or how sharp!”

What a magical stone!

. . .

Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 2 | 0 comments

The little wooden boy sneaks into the treasure vault of an ancient ogre. He steals a box of holding things and a shield to weather any storm. The ogre, unwisely, assails him with lightning. The shield protects him! The wooden boy walks whistling away.

He even finds a pair of seven-league boots — how awesome is that?

Not very!

He can’t wear them! 🙁

After a while he gets angry and he throws them to bob up and down until they sink in some dismal goblin’s well.

 

. . .

Posted by on Nov 13, 2012 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 2 | 0 comments

The little wooden boy finds the jewel of all desiring. It’s the jewel that makes the world real, instead of fiction. Real, instead of just a tale.

He holds it in his hand for a moment. He smiles at it.

Then he shrugs and he packs it away.

“That’s enough stuff!” says the wooden boy. “Time for dancing!”

He goes down under the world to make a bargain with the smith-dwarf Hans.

. . .

Posted by on Nov 13, 2012 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 2 | 0 comments

The little wooden boy passes a great chained gorgon. It stares at him. It recognizes him as unreal. He burns away to nothing, in the light of those eyes; there’s just a single jewel that falls and tumbles across the floor — but then it looks at the way that he isn’t there and he burns right back into being alive!

“You poor thing,” he says.

He cuts the bonds that hold it. (He has a sword that can cut anything.) Then he hurries away before it looks at him or at not-him any more.

Do you ever wonder if a great chained gorgon isn’t looking at you? I mean, if it’s looking at the not-you that isn’t not there?

Sometimes I worry about that myself.

But he doesn’t worry. He just scurries! He scurries under the centipede’s domain.

. . .

Posted by on Nov 13, 2012 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 2 | 0 comments

The centipede does not like little wooden boys. It writhes. It lashes about angrily. It chases him. It steps on a great Weave-wid thorn. This makes it even more angry, until the wooden boy has an idea. It’s like a wooden light bulb goes off above his head!

He spins the sword around and he cuts the thorned foot off the centipede.

This fills the heart of the centipede with joy.

It swirls around, above the Weave-wid, and it makes mushrooms. It travels left and right. It returns to its own caverns, a forgotten Aesop, in the darkness below the world.

. . .

Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 2 | 0 comments

The little wooden boy encounters the Great Gate. He stares for a moment at his reflection.

Then, with a wretched gasp, he turns his face aside.

It is not actually very hard to get through that gate, even when you are not looking. He manages it, given time.

. . .

Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 2 | 0 comments

The soldiers surround the little wooden boy as he walks the bridge.

A captain holds a pike under the little wooden boy’s chin.

“You’re a little tin soldier,” the captain judges.

“I’m wood,” says the wooden boy. “And worse, it’s catching! Run away or you’ll be just like me!”

The soldiers run, but they don’t run fast enough. Several of them turn to wood. This discommodes the wooden boy, who had believed that he was bluffing. He is solemn and thoughtful as he travels on.

. . .

Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 2 | 0 comments

 

 

 

 

(The little wooden boy’s solemn and thoughtful face.)

(It is not very different from his usual face.)

(. . . he is made of wood.)

. . .

Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 2 | 0 comments

The little wooden boy stops for a moment by the subterranean lake of Pepsi. It’s on the path from the surface to Hans’ farm.

He bends down. He drinks deeply.

For a moment he sees, beneath the liquid, down to the eyes of the lake’s chthonic god.

. . .

Posted by on Nov 15, 2012 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 2 | 0 comments

In Hans’ house the little wooden boy takes off his pack.

He offers Hans a selection of great treasures.

“This is a sword that can cut anything,” he says. “This is an evil prophecy. Place this stone on your forehead and you can impersonate any farm animal, no matter how ungainly.  Take up this shield and you can weather any storm. This jewel is the jewel of all—”

Hans sweeps them from his table.

(It’s made of turtles.)

“Such trinkets,” Hans says, “are not for me.”

. . .

Posted by on Nov 15, 2012 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 2 | 0 comments

The wooden boy sighs.

“I’ll keep looking,” he says.

He gathers up his treasures. He straightens. He starts to turn away.

“What do you want?” Hans asks.

“Oh,” says the little wooden boy. “I can’t dance. I have two left feet. Well, three now, but one of them has got a thorn.”

Hans makes a gruff face.

“Can you help me?” the wooden boy asks. “Can you teach me dancing?”

But Hans just shows him a mirror.

“You’re a wooden doll!”

. . .

Posted by on Nov 15, 2012 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 2 | 0 comments

After that, the boy stops moving. He’s just a wooden boy, after all. They don’t actually, you know, move, or do stuff. Hans picks him up. He plays with his hands and feet.

“You shouldn’t do that,” Brygmir says.

Oh, right! She was coming over.

Hans startles. He’d entirely forgot.

“I was just making sense of things!” Hans protests, embarrassed.

She sells him tape.

(She makes tape, for his emus.)

He throws the boy in his pantry, with the food and gold.