(Six printed pages. If you’re new to these tales, here are the preface and introduction. Enjoy.)
THE BROKEN TIRE SOFTENED AND then hardened again under Prosatio Silban’s kneading fingers, but he soon realized that his repairs were little stronger than the god which powered them.
O Tersten, Dispenser of Temporary Redemptions, many thanks for Your assistance, the beefy cook prayed, trying not to wish for a different supplicatee. May a Cold Wall rubber-wright be happy to improve my repair for a pot of something delicious.
He was midway up the Long Path: ten miles of straight pitted road slashed like an old dueling scar up the face of a mile-high sandstone cliff. Mountains pierced the clouds to the northeast and south. On the western horizon, the green hills of the Uulian Commonwell undulated toward him; below him the Hidden River flowed its marshy way to the Rimless Sea. Between the two, the green faded into a tumbled black – wounds of a war which had finished when Prosatio Silban was too young to understand it.
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AS DETAILED IN A PREVIOUS post (c. 2010), every March my sister asks what I would like for my birthday (it’s on the 22d, BTW) and my answer is always the same: “I already have everything I need.” That said, and for the sake of obliging my sibling for my 58th year, I do still have a semi-whimsical list, with some items apropos an autodidactic home cook. Go wild, Susan!
– Working tricorder or lightsaber
– Warp-capable spacecamper (preferably Danube-class)
– Several plain black short-sleeved T-shirts, size L
– Hawaiian shirt (or two), size L
– Pea coat, size L
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(If you’re new to these tales, here are the preface and introduction. Enjoy.)
TO THOSE WITH LITERALIST SENSIBILITIES, the phrase “ridiculously beautiful” may suggest mere hyperbole and labored contrivance. But take dawn by the western bank of an iridescent river – black sands washed by rippling indigo sparked with silver and rose – with a golden mist muting the eerie calls of magah-birds and other early risers, and add the clean smell of a cooking fire, and words will fail utterly.
Prosatio Silban was, at least for the moment, content. His previous client had paid him well enough to obviate immediate further employment, and the beefy cook had taken the unusual opportunity (and the lesser-traveled of two roads) to bumble along with no plan other than to see if one would occur to him. So far, one hadn’t.
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“GOD” (quotation marks deliberate) is a more concise statement of Intent than “that-which-some-call-God” or even “that-which-passes-for-God.” (Or even The Metaphorager’s own working definition.) The shorter, the sweeter.
Once upon a time, in 2011 in fact, The Metaphorager aspired each day to feature a different name for that-which-passes-for-God. Some were creative, others traditional, each unique; so we’re going to attempt that project again (though not every day) until we run out of the names we’ve collected so far. If you want to see your favorite here, but haven’t, send it along with the subject line “365 Names” and let us know whether or not you want to be credited.
– Definition: adj.; geological Of or pertaining to lakes.
– Used in a sentence: I prefer deep-water sailing to the lacustrine variety.
– Why: For one thing, it feels good in the mouth. However, I must admit to some self-service with this WtBB, as I am writing a series of stories some of which occur in an island-city surrounded by a lake, and I’m always on the lookout for ways to concisify. And “lacustrine Pormaris” sounds much better than “Pormaris, an island-city surrounded by a lake.” (To me, anyway.)
SOMETHING ELSE THAT HASN’T SURVIVED into adulthood is the kid-concept of “blood brotherhood.”
It works like this: Two boys (did girls ever do this?) make an incision or a pinprick on their thumbs, then rub the wounds together. “Now we are blood brothers,” they will intone (if they intone anything at all, which they also may not). It’s an expression of intimate friendship; a ritual of bonding with what’s-today-called one’s BFF. And not to be entered into lightly.
I don’t know how old is this gesture is, or even if, in this hazardous fluids-aware world of ours, it is still practiced.
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There is no such thing as ‘too much garlic.'”
— Your author, in a culinarily inspired moment