featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (baby delirium)
[personal profile] featherynscale
Leaving Denver, I looked to the north and saw a radiant city on the horizon, built of spires and towers, lit by fires in giant cauldrons lifted two stories above the streets. I rationalized it into a factory complex, or perhaps an amusement park, but the lockdown came too late -- in the three seconds between observation and explanation, I'd already started to write its story. It doesn't matter what it is in the mundane world, it's already populated with clockwork pixies, genius inventors, industrious gnomes and their pet constructs. In its universities, vampires hold tenure positions. In its streets, women and men of ill-repute weave illusion to lure custom, or flaunt organic/electrical 'enhancements'. And so on.

I dreamed, later, of serving in its police force, hunting a renegade golem-maker. It seemed that I had been on his case for years uncounted, trailing him through the sewers and back-alleys, into abandoned warehouses and secret labs, where he built constructs to aid him in his various crimes. I knew him better than anyone else on the force, and he, in turn, knew me better than anyone else possibly could. One day, I caught up to him. We surrounded his workshop, but I knew that he was too clever by half to end the chase here. And indeed, we shot him, but he slipped out of our grasp. The next day, a gift arrived for me at the station - an opulent necklace made of amber, teeth, tiny bone skulls, brass and copper gears and wire. He knew he was dying. This was his last move, a tiny golem meant to either protect its wearer, or to choke the life from her. I knew it, I could feel that power in it when I picked it up. And still, I hung it around my neck. Why not? He was dying, and he knew me better than anybody. There seemed no sense in living without him - in my eyes, such a dedicated adversary is practically a partner.

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November 2013

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