The chronicles of former times lie concealed –
housed below, hidden in earth-halls.
The king ordered it. He knew what words were worth.
He showed the people the extent of their power,
demonstrated how eternal life is book-bestowed.
The people were advanced enough to understand that stuff.
But other things they had no clue about – like what to do
after the books were written. So they guessed,
and hid them underground. These were still
not normal times. There were instances of
people being smart, but it was sort of only by
chance. The maze of book-hiding tunnels sure was elaborate,
though. It drove deep into the planet’s dirt-flesh.
Like the flesh of men, it had to protect itself,
with lava. Steam scalded those who held the spades.
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,” they said.
Up above the king rode around on a…
mare. (Rise up against capitalism.)
Anyway, the books buried contained many things:
mostly, chronological lists of years and
how many pigs the rich people owned,
but also: tales of Dangerous Dangerdogs –
those men and vagina-men who yearn for adventure,
roving the face of the earth to seek it,
giving themselves to the glory-quest
and honorable killiness. They raid secret places
to win precious treasure, objects of
mysterious strength. They skirt the
howling jaws of death yet experience
no horror-terror. They heed the sudden urge
to throw someone off some very high stairs.
Glìwman and Bridd were two such men.
They had done and seen much.
They had ransacked Strang, nest-hall
of the massive ant. She had yearned
to stick them through with her claw,
to probe their innards and find the death-spot.
But their bodies were not for being killed by
an ant, but the reverse. They returned home,
carts brimming with larvae, the finest
that men had ever looked upon.
Mildthryth, womansister-kin to the king,
brought them straightaway to the nursery.
She tended them day and night with a mother’s love,
letting them latch on to her breasts and gain
the honeydew she held within. That should have
been the tip-off that she was part ant, I guess.
But men are apt to overlook the faults of a
queen, especially when she has sharp pincers
and controls everyone with her pheromones.
So Mildrthryth used the ants to destroy the kingdom.
Glìwman and Bridd were far away by then.
Glìwman was five hundred years old; Bridd
only three hundred. The truth is remarkably
clear: the God of the Christians made all
that men behold. But their most important
feat came later, when they snuck inside
the giants’ den. They stowed away in
casks of ale for nine days. The pantry-guards
peered inside, but Glìwman and Bridd had
cloaked themselves in malt, which, to the pantry-guards,
looked as it always did: incredibly blurry.
If you had terrible vision back then,
like the guards, what could you do?
The closest thing to glasses was probably
looking through a diamond, or something.
When Glìwman and Bridd were delivered to the mead hall,
The giants were astounded, their visitors no less:
never before or since have men laid eyes
on such a room. It was the greatest on Earth, or
so I have heard tell, sitting in this abbey I have never left,
from the other monks here sitting likewise.
Glìwman unsheathed his blade, which was called
Swordy. No everyday edge did Swordy possess:
she was also a chainsaw. So the giants
paid the death-price. But this death-price
they paid not for the death of another man,
some fellow whom they or their kin had cut
down. Instead, it was paid for themselves.
And they paid it not with gold
pieces, but with deaths – their own. Such
was their punishment for living apart from
men, making them journey long distances to kill them.
It was gruesome to see that giant-gore bubbling.
But even more so to taste it, flinging back oil-fold by the
fistful, choking down the ill-sheened ribbons.
“Wait, why are we eating this?” Bridd asked
suddenly. And it was true: surely there was
little reason to do so. They felt the sadness rise
inside, then, like when a man sees a horse in the
distance, a dainty creature, whose dallying trots and
graceful ways fill his heart with pleasure, bringing
ready sminglingness into shape upon his mouth-mine.
Yet he creeps closer, only to find that a
neighbor has duped him. This is no tiny horse,
but a dog dressed horsishly. Then he curses his lot,
wishing he were never born. But Glìwman could not
be kept down long. He was a prince, he knew
the customs. Thus he spoke a simple spell
to conjure a man from the bones before them.
One hopped up forthwith and spoke: “Hello.
These are spectacles. They will give you access
to a new realm: the Third Dimension. There you
will see things beyond belief: blue lines, red lines.
Rooms that go back. Here, try them on.”
The adventurers donned the lenses excitedly.
But the objects on their heads were not
spectacles at all: they were a killmachine.
Their brains instantly exploded out of
their eyes. It was too awesome.
Far above, a star shone – Jupiter.
Diamonds rained down from
the bromine clouds. Two outsiders from
across the void grabbed at them. Rivers
of gas exerted unbelievable force. These
men had come from the future. Reversecenturies
ago, they had been sent by
their people to the moon. So when they
looked out of the portholes and saw the
moon fly by, their souls quailed.
Back on Earth, their holograms
were being celebrated by
ticker-tape parades. The men rushed
past each other in the whorls of opaque
under-waves. Gravity had made them
weigh ten thousand pounds. They
had so many diamonds. Once every
million years, they would fly past
slowly enough to see one another.
They held out their diamonds, grinning.
They just kept going totally insane.