Sunday, 1 September 2013

PART 2: Sad Sam and Sly Strange - A Serial by Grant Harbison and Manuela Cardiga

When they arrived at the gates of the hideous town, Sly and Severina cheered, while Sam only frowned. His stomach curdled from the sickening stench, and he stared in disgust at the revolting young wench, who opened the gate with zest and with fervour; cackled and screeched,

“What be yer pleasure?”

“We come to this town at this finer hour,” said Sly with a sneer that made her cower, “To satiate our lust, our hungers and desires. To sample burnt flesh from the town’s many pyres. To revel in decadence in Devil’s Mudd, to savour this night and drink buckets of blood.”

“That be fine well, sire. The nubiles are ripe, but what about yer young buck, he doesn’t look the type…”

“Hush, ugly wench, you will say nothing more. The young buck is Sam, and I’m his mentor. He just needs a room with a comfortable bed, a tankard of water and some Gypsy bread.”

So they proceeded to stroll through the despicable town, where waters were black and the flora was brown. The raucous and bedlam were too much for Sam; whimpering and quaking he took Strange’s hand.
Strange looked with pity at his small acolyte, whose face had turned ashen from disquiet and fright.

He said, “Don’t be afeart, my young buckaroo. I will make sure that no harm comes to you.”

On the side of the road, small banshees wailed; beside severed limbs and bodies impaled. Severina ran ahead nimbly and sprightly, when she saw a huge ogre, so horrid, unsightly.

“Come hither, Sly. Come here my sweet. This here be someone I’d like you to meet.”

Sly ambled over with Sam at his side, to his new paramour and the most appalling sight. Sam looked at Sly and wished it would rain, as they approached the large creature with red eyes and mange.

“Who might you be?” said the creature to Sly, as green pus ran down from one of his eyes.

“My name is Sly, but some call me Strange, for what I become when sometimes it rains.”

“What brings you here to my town of slaughter, and what are your plans for my lovely daughter?”

“Sir, I travel the road with my young protégé. I’d like to take her with me. Well, sir, if I may?”

“Your intentions seem noble. From my eye, I can tell. Tonight you may stay in our fine Hotel Hell.”

And then rang a bell with an utterance most fell: a bell of despair and no one was there in that cursed town, who did not wince - or cringe down - hoping to pass unnoticed under the glare of the Troll’s dread eye. No sooner had that last foul cry echoed its last; then running past came twelve huge men with flaming hair. Each carried in his hand a massive club with which to bludgeon the unwary to death. In the foul lair of the dreaded beast, it was the townsmen provided the feast; their flesh was grist; their blood quenched thirst; and some - as Sam could see - thrown down trembling to surcease the sickly lust of the monstrous Troll and his ravenous host.

Well the screaming was done; the chosen skinned, and drawn and quartered, some neatly trussed for baking, and some for stuffing - and two, Sam heard the butcher chortled - particularly fine for bacon and shortening. The fat and meat removed, the bones were sorted and carefully ported to a vile mill with dead black sails; from whence the flour for the Gypsy Bread hails.

Oh poor Sam shivered as he followed Sly and the Vile Troll with his fetid eye. Followed and swallowed down the bile, as he watched pretty Severina with a sweet smile hand Sly a severed finger on which to mumble.

Must we confess poor Sam’s distress as his friend showed no duress, but accepted the grisly digit with a “God bless!” - stuck it in his mouth and started to nibble at the knuckle bone. And so it was that with a joyful cry Severina flung open a massive door and cried to all passing by:

“I’m HOME!!! Severina’s home!”

By Grant Harbison and Manuela Cardiga

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