Mark Them Both, Please

“I am my height. You should not be.” The short man bent down to the floor and jerked the stool out from under Cyril Rockandhammer.

At first the brawl was fueled with Cyril’s surprise and anger, but as the short man absorbed a few punches he hadn’t needed to take and passed over some great openings in Cyril’s defense the two turned to a measured fight between brothers. And just as the crowd grew bored of the unescalated action the short man stood. He offered his hand to Cyril.

“My name is Bogdan Grigoriu. Stand tall, friend.”

Cyril shook Bogdan’s hand from the floor then stood and straightened to his full seven feet on his own. He crashed into a sign which read, “Caution: Low Ceiling.” [lame gag I know]. “Dude, Cyril Rockandhammer. Can I get that beer now?


In the back of the beer-door an older priest turned to a younger one. The younger priest shrugged opened his hands.

“I think so too,” said the older one. “Mark them both, please.”

The younger priest manuevered to have a direct line of sight on Bogdan then pinched the air in front of him like he was grasping a thread. He drew back that imaginary thread and a wrinkle of vision—like catching a mote in your eye—drifted out of Bogdan’s back and across the room to the younger priest. Some might have said the effect was like reversing the throw of a dart and slowing it down and with a wrinkle of reality instead of the dart, but still. He manuevered again and did the same for Cyril.

xxx words on day 768

Very Very Tall

A thing I haven’t thought. This is what I’ve been itching for in my writing in the past month or more. Not having it is likely the reason I’ve recycled my meta on Charming and Partly. But I’m thinking this thing I haven’t thought is a red herring. I think it’s a brought flower off the main trail of my half-promise to plot several things this year. I think it’s an excuse to shield me from digging in to anything. I need to find a way to tell it to go fuck itself. What better way to do that then to write the things I promised to write?


I just re-read the plotting I did for Partly to remind myself. Overall I like it better than I thought I would—possibly because I didn’t recognize some of it. I need to make Bogdan an enforcer for the Priests.

Is hard to know the end of your stories. Real stories have no cataclysm, no satisfying denouement. Just…just more life. But usually beginning easy enough to find.


Hulked on a barstool in one of the more backwater of backwater beer-doors in Terminus sits a man who named himself Cyril Rockandhammer. He wears a gray canvas jacket because this beer-door—like all beer-doors on Acetylene Avenue is unheated. And it’s cold tonight. He’s about to be on his ass.

“Would like to buy to beer as apology, friend,” said a short man who had forced himself and his belly into the narrow gap between Cyril’s stool and a third man’s.

“Dude, what?” Cyril thought he’d heard the man offer to buy him a beer, but something about the invitation unsettled him.

“I am sensitive about my height, and you are very, very tall,” said the short man.

This was true. Cyril was tall maybe even very, very tall by some standards, but that didn’t seem like something he had much control over. The promise of free beer seemed to be fading. He said, “OK.”

“Is not OK. You slouch at bar trying to be small.”

This was also true. Cyril did have some control over his height after all. He usually exercised it in the form of shrinking himself to fit in with others. At a diner he might slump in a booth. At a bar he might—was—slouching on the stool. Standing around talking in a group he often leaned on something or outright squatted.

“I am my height. You should not be.” The short man bent down to the floor and jerked the stool out from under Cyril Rockandhammer.

427 words on day 767

In Which I Make No Real Progress

I promised to come up with other ways Terminus might end up existing as I’ve seen it painted in the pictures which inspired it.

Part of the original restriction was that I felt I needed to make this a post-something Earth world. The pictures reminded me or picked over airplane graveyards. Newer painting’s no longer do that with as much strength. I never did like my contrived Large Hadron Collider/Spell Gone Awry thing as much as I wanted to like it.

However, I do like the idea of these folks being interlopers in the land of others. I like the conflict and the out of placeness feeling that gives me. I’ll try to stick with that for at least a couple scenario changes.

I suppose one thing that might keep nearly everything intact that I’ve supposed so far would be if these natives were attempting to summon metal because their world was lacking in that resource. When they connected with Earth they were able to collect anything metallic which wasn’t grounded, so planes and helicopters are good candidates. I’m not sure I’m employing the proper meaning of grounded there, but I’ll check that later. They could have picked up Partly because she was falling and had money in her pocket or something less totally lame.

I’d need to come up with a reason they’d think that a summoning spell was the best way to obtain metal and how they were so successful in retrieving hundreds of thousands of tons of it. That’s a tough magnitude to get to accidentally.

We could go with the common post-apocalyptic Earth. Initially that feels like a cheat, but I also feel I’m working pretty hard to explain something like this in the first place. It would be nice to circumvent some of the work.

Maybe I’m thinking this the wrong way. Maybe I’m going the long way around to explain a light switch.

Hundreds of ships in the air need to have a reason to be there. A substantial military needs to have a reason to have become so large.

xxx words on day 767