So, I've explained some of the hard details of my trip. The expository stuff. The whole map quest review.
All that stuff is kind of important for context here. More or less, at least. I didn't want it interrupting my explanation of the trip itself. There was a lot of exposition after all. Sometimes its best to just rip off the band-aid and be done with the hard part. That way you have more time for the fun stuff.
That way there's nothing there to interrupt the flow events that didn't have to be there.
Like this opener. Its entirely unnecessary. Its the kind of thing a high school brat might add to the beginning or end of an essay to make it longer if he hadn't reached a mandatory word count. The kind of thing a crazy old proxy might apply to his blog post because he felt the post was too short and preferred that the post look long so he could feel good about himself. Like he had accomplished something more than just pointlessly rambling about the more interesting parts of his life to a cold unfeeling computer in an effort to distract himself from his inescapable fate of killing or destroying every kid hes ever saved.
... Just... trying to feeling like I'm making a difference for once...
I mentioned in the last post, that this door is hard to find if you've never seen it before, if you've never been. Well this is far from my first run in with that fucking door. My first trip very nearly killed me... but in hindsight that isn't surprising. This is no world for children, after all. You get what you get when you follow tall faceless strangers into even stranger places.
Being the expert I am now, I know the trick. At least the trick for us lowly mere mortals.
There is a spot you can stand in the real world that correlates perfectly with the door. If you should path in from this spot, you will find yourself within a few steps of the door. If you do it exactly right, within one step. You can't get any closer. I've tried. Once in, you always have to take that last step. (Look at all that exposition I still had in me? Isn't that fucking great? Doesn't it do wonderful fucking things to my story?)
Now I've got this down pretty good. I know exactly where to stand in relation to the rock so I'll just about always land a step way away.
A step is no where near close enough.
The fuckers guarding it are fast. Its like they know you're coming. They probably do.
So I appeared where I always do when I do this, one step away. My surroundings are immediately engulfed in an ear shattering screech coming from the denizens guarding the fucking thing. As I mentioned in the last post, the one with with spider legs almost ran me threw with its fucking horn. I appeared just behind it and it near instantly threw itself on its back trying to get at me. Stupid thing. I side stepped it and the tendril another one had swung at me. I saw the two forces collide with each other before they realized their mistake. Then I ran through the door before any of the other denizens watching the spot could get involved.
Once on the other side I couldn't dally.
"One, two, three, four, five," I counted, immediately running ahead from the spot I had landed at. I knew I was safe five paces away from the tree. I can't be asked to risk less than that. Not when I know five is safe.
I turned a moment to make sure I had the spot memorized. Looked up and tried to count the number of floors up you had to be to get to the first windows that were higher than the tree. Ten stories, I figured. Seemed right....
The rest of the trip was easy. The patch work vultures outside usually don't bother you... no she'd much rather you made it inside so she could play with you in the same place where she keeps all her other toys. More toys equals more fun after all. Always... so she tells me.
I looked up at the endless spire a moment before stepping in.
I marveled at the solid cylinder of living, likely screaming, flesh that stood before me. I've been told I'm wrong about that before. That its made of stone, not flesh. Simply coated in flesh from her victims.
Not what I see. I see an impossibly tall tower of living, possibly breathing, moving tissue... the strings and vultures bring her broken toys screaming up high to where I can't see them... to where I eventually can't hear them. At first I thought they were dying up there but now I'm pretty sure they're just being dragged so high that the sound isn't carrying to me at the bottom.
It sickens me to think that what I'm seeing isn't an obscene work of art... but a work in progress...
"Higher than Olympus," she once told me.
"Higher than the sky," I retorted.
She giggled, paused a moment, and then turned to me. "That's not the important part."
Priorities... I suppose.
But I'm sure that bit of dialog will read funny and only serve to confuse you, the reader. Ignore it. Its just me reminiscing about past visits and old conversations.
As far as we are concerned with this story, I'm still just looking up at the impossibly tall tower of living flesh.
So lets stop that.
I heaved a heavy sigh. I hate this part... the actual visit... her.
I threw the door open. She was waiting for me. She pretends she wasn't. She was. She always is.
Like I'm supposed to believe she was just standing on the other side of the door on the first floor of her massive tower with her back to the entrance and looking at the ceiling on a whim. Because somehow that was just the place to be and that tile on the ceiling there was just the coolest thing ever for that moment right before I entered.
She suddenly turned. Her face went from a plain expression to one of joy in an instant, causing a gross amount of noise as her wooden face cracked, reformed, and then cracked over and over again, maybe 100 times in that moment, to distort and shift her carved features until they resembled a bright happy smile.
"Oh Baby!" she declared. If I didn't already know it was an act, I just might have thought she was genuinely surprised I had dropped in. But she wasn't. Nothing more than theatrics...
"Hello Mother," I replied with a grown. I knew what was coming next.
"If I had know you were coming, I would have done something with my hair!"
"I'm not gonna say it."
Her frown... no, not frown. Her death glare came fast. The cracks in her face to shift her expression happened even quicker than before, adding a violent and more agressive undertone to change.
"Say it, or else."
I sighed and rolled my eyes. "Must we do this every time?"
I could practically feel the strings brushing my shoulders as they dropped down from the ceiling above and swayed back and forth behind me. My last warning... a final threat.
"... What hair."
Her expression snapped and cracked until it resembled someone being shy. She held her limb up and put her hand to her hair and gave the smooth unmoving surface that was her hair a stroke.
"Why, this hair silly," she remarked with a giggle. I could hear yelling and begging starting to get louder behind her. I watched as two strings dragged a masked proxy into the room kicking and screaming. I often wonder if its actually a proxy or if she just puts masks on them when I visit to fuck with me.
She just stood there, her face slowly cracking from surprised to a bright shit eating grin as the yells and pleading got louder and louder. Once the poor proxy was right behind her, the strings pulled up, first lifting him forcibly to his feet, and then up in the air where they would keep him dangling leaving him to struggle and scream in place as the thin strings dug into his wrists.
"Just give me a minute, I'll fix it right now," she said joyfully as the two strings that were at my back went around us and wrapped to the poor proxies ankles before slowly lifting him up, starting a whole new wave of screaming from him as he was slowly positioned over Mother's head.
The last set of strings came in from god knows where, and each one attached themselves to the poor proxy's belly button coming in from either side. His screams reached a while new decibel, turning into screeches of pure agony, as the strings on his belly button started pulling all at once... ripping his gut open... pour his insides out on the floor behind her.
Then slowly, the body of that poor fuck was lowered down til it sat on the back of her head like a crown... the giggling started again as the strings started violently rotating the corpse back and forth on top of her head until the hole in his gut was forcibly made big enough against the back of her scalp to engulf her hair. Once she was satisfied, the corpse was raised off of her once more and then dropped on top of the pile of guts...
She ran her hand back down her newly dyed crimson red hair.
"That's better," she said tilting her head, cracking her grin wider, and quietly staring, waiting for a response from her captive audience.
Because that's what she wants. Its the whole reason behind everything she does. Its in her very nature. She is an object of entertainment. And the whole purpose behind all forms of entertainment... is to get a response. Any response.
She just... can't help it.
But I know better than to deny her of her prize.
So I did what I always do. I laughed. It was funny. Had to be. I needed it to be... can't let her hear you scream, least you find she likes your sound.
"You hardly need to dress up for me. You always look good, Mother."
"Aww, aren't you just an absolute DOLL, baby," she responded with a chuckle, unable to stop herself from laughing at her own joke. "What can mommy to do sweet'ems today?"
I cringed, which was a mistake. Its only gonna encourage her to spew out more pet names.
"I have an interesting project in mind. Something I would need you for. Something I thought you might actually find to be really fun. Its right up your alley. The perfect part. A role you were born to play!"
"Ooooohhh~?" she asked, sounding excited.
"That's right," I said pulling out a thick folder full of papers. "Here's the detailed proposal."
Her face dropped in a sudden violent motion with a noisy cluster of cracking noises. "That looks boooorrrring... can you explain it in say... an interview?!" she asked immediately perking up in excitement over her own suggestion.
"Yeah... sure," I said putting the folder of blank pages away. I already knew what her response was gonna be anyways so I didn't bother actually writing anything. "Lets get to it. I want to be on TV!" I responded sounding, hopefully, exited.
And off we marched, up the tower to the set she had already made for the show she wished to interview me on.
"Hey, Franky," she said watching me as we made our way up her tower, "What's with the fishing pole? Gonna put on a show with me?" she giggled, amused by the very notion.
"Nope. Its for something else entirely. You should watch when I use it though. I think you'll get a real kick out it."
"Ohhhh~, sounds fun," she remarked before resuming her task of creepily staring at me in silence with her unmoving face as we made our way to the set.
More to come.
The Lord Guardian Fracture out.