Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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Posted by on Apr 25, 2013 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 4, Stomping the World Round: Chapter 5 | 0 comments

Chapter 5: The Land of Pleasure and Happiness

Posted by on Apr 26, 2013 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 5 | 0 comments

Maria Souvante, by Anthony Damiani

(after the style of Monet’s classic work,
“Woman with Three Shadows (Fan Hoeng Homeworld)”)

– 1 –

Posted by on Apr 27, 2013 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 5 | 0 comments

Saul is halfway to the Land of Pleasure and Happiness when he stops.

It has taken him a while.

. . .

Posted by on Apr 27, 2013 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 5 | 0 comments

The Land of Pleasure and Happiness is a very long way from Earth. It is lucky for Saul that sugar fairies generate a pleasing atmosphere and are extremely edible or the past millennia would not have been pleasant or happy for him at all.

. . .

Posted by on Apr 27, 2013 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 5 | 0 comments

He stops in space — somewhere out there, you know, in space —  and pulls the sugar fairies to a halt.

It’s impressive that he can do this without anything to push off against, but he’s never been the kind of kid to worry about the laws of physics very much.

He stands there in space, in a little bubble of merry atmosphere, and he sniffs the air. He smells the welkin.

“I have to go back,” he says.

The sugar fairies circle around to stare at him. One of them raises an eyebrow.

“My puppy needs me,” says Saul.

. . .

Posted by on Apr 27, 2013 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 5 | 0 comments

“You’re a long way from Earth,” says the chief of the sugar fairies. (You can tell this one is the chief because she’s wearing the tallest hat.) “You shouldn’t be thinking about long-dead Earth puppies.”

“It was turned to gold,” says Saul. “And then split —”

He flails his hands in the air. “It needs me.”

. . .

Posted by on Apr 27, 2013 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 5 | 0 comments

The sugar fairies spiral about one another. If you were looking at them from very far away you might think they were a galaxy. You would be wrong because they are actually not a galaxy at all. Please take a moment to refresh yourself on your astronomy!

They are whispering and muttering to themselves.

Finally, the sugar fairies say, “You may return, but only if you can beat each of us in single combat.”

. . .

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 5 | 0 comments

Earth is too far away for Saul to return by sugar fairy. It is even too far away for Saul to return by boat. If he were to try to travel back to Earth the normal way the Earth would probably have been eaten or broken or polished clean by the time he made it back. Magical jaguars can only do so much, and Hans is dead.

Instead Saul suffocates there, halfway between Earth and the Land of Pleasure and Happiness.

His eyes bulge. He rotates, far from worlds and suns. He gasps but he does not breathe.

Bit by bit the stern life of a svart-elf in him drains away. It flutters out sparkling from him like powdered sugar or the sparkling of stars. It spreads itself gallantly and homeopathically throughout the cosmos, and for the rest of the universe’s lifespan there will be places and people touched for a moment by the sparkling of Saul’s life. Where it comes to rest on bits of rock and starstuff it gives forth sugar fairies, and if you should be so lucky as to get the dust of svart-elf in your eye you shall see clearly for all your life; but as for Saul, he is gone. He is lifeless. The soul of him has departed.

It rockets around the wheel of Samsara, ballistically.

It is flung at superluminal speeds to Earth.

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 5 | 0 comments

Rock

– 2 –

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 5 | 0 comments

And that’s why I’m telling this story, in the end. Because of Saul. Because of what he gave up, and what he’s done.

It’s not what this story is about, of course, but it’s the reason why.

His destiny gets robbed from him — probably. Whatever he’s thinking of doing, when he dies out there, it doesn’t happen. I think. It’s . . . cut . . . from him, probably, by the shadow of the kether-hat.

Or it’s one of the things that the cleaning man steals.

. . . right?

. . .

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 5 | 0 comments

Or maybe it wasn’t?

Maybe all he’d ever planned to do here, all he’d ever thought to do here, is what he will do. Maybe he chokes and expires, in space, just to force a certain miracle, at the end of things, down Edmund Gulley’s throat. Maybe he gave up his sugared paradise just for that, and I don’t even know what good it’s done; or if it’s done, or why, then, really;

But if he hadn’t, this story would be too bleak to tell, so, then — well.

For now, a big thank you to Saul.

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 5 | 0 comments

Rock

– 3 –

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 5 | 0 comments

Lucy Souvante is a child prodigy. She is the first space princess assassin in centuries to achieve the coveted “630 before 13” assassination count.

She laughs it off.

“I’m just a natural at killing people,” she dismisses. “It’s not like winning at rock-paper-scissors! That’s hard!”

. . .

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 5 | 0 comments

She goes to the evil academy of space. She studies with Fan Hoeng princes and princesses, awful space-beasts, and all manner of wicked things.

She climbs the ladder of rock-paper-scissors contenders.

She becomes a budding legend of the game.

Perfection eludes her, though. She loses one time in three. No matter how many people she kills, no matter how great her mastery of every subject, she cannot defeat the highest echelon of rock-paper-scissors contenders.

There is something in her that is incomplete.

That is her weakness. That is her flaw. The game that she loves best becomes her enemy. She pounds herself will, mind, and body against a barrier that she cannot seem to break.

. . .

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Stomping the World Round: Chapter 5 | 0 comments

Effortlessly the Luck Witch still defeats her.