Posts Tagged ‘ Fictions ’

Prosatio Silban and the Starving Survivor

2011.09.12
By

A BUOPOTH IS A STRANGE beast: some say it is half-composed of men’s dreams, others prefer not to speculate. But of the little that is known, one thing is certain: no matter what shape it takes, its eyes are the most soulful of any creature in all the Exilic Lands.

One of these eyes was fixed on Prosatio Silban as the cook approached with a bag of fatberry cakes. “Buopoths can run all day on a fatberry cake and a kind word” ran the proverb, and today had certainly proved it: a brisk sixteen-hour galleywagon pull along the Reaching Road through the light-forested countryside north of Soharis. Prosatio Silban dug into the bag and surveyed his environs. A fine evening, and a good place to camp. He patted the beast, told it what a good buopoth it was, and made plans for dinner. Read more »

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Prosatio Silban and the Visitor From The Sands

2011.08.31
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Prosatio Silban in his galleywagon / Illo (c) 2008 Alana Dill, http://youbecomeart.com

PROSATIO SILBAN WAS NOT KNOWN for nothing as “The Cook For Any Price.” He had long ago foresworn the Sacreanthood and serving people’s souls for serving their bellies and letting the souls look after themselves. Yet every now and again, he wondered if his gods were still playing tricks on him.

He was cleaning up his galleywagon late one night at the edge of one of Soharis’ more workaday fish markets, making ready to fold down the canopy-bulkhead, when the Siddis appeared.

Now, to understand this story, you must know that cosmopolitan Soharis, perched on the edge of the Rimless Sea and the Lands of Exile beyond the sunset, is the sort of place where one may expect to meet almost anyone at almost any time. But at that, it is rare to meet a Siddis — more properly the Siddis, since only has one ever been seen anywhere, and of that rose-red robe-wrapped one little is known save that they or he inhabited a city somewhere in the Great Eastern Desert and their or his presence portended unsettling things.

Prosatio Silban was intrigued. He was also tired from a reasonably profitable day selling fish skewers and goat pasties to Soharis’ shop-clerks and porters and was looking forward to putting his feet up. But he could not deny a hungry customer. “Good evening, sir.” Read more »

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Future Informal

2011.08.31
By

“MY NAME IS 010180,” SAID the friendly robot. “But you can call me 0.”

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The Poet

2011.08.11
By

HE COULDN’T TELL WHETHER HE
loved beauty or women more
until the day he called his mom and said
“Guess what? I’m marrying a sunset.”

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Another Great Line In Search Of Context

2011.08.06
By

“I SEE YOUR LOGIC, MADAM, and raise you a contradiction.”

(Line derived from conversation with Ann, whose blog is also very cool. — The Mgt.)

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Who Is This Prosatio Silban, And What Does He Want?

2011.08.01
By

Prosatio Silban in his galleywagon / Illo (c) 2008 Alana Dill, http://youbecomeart.com

IT ALL STARTED IN 2005, when I decided to write fantasy tales. Or maybe 1995, when I was bored with the between-task tedium of printer’s work. (Of course, it really started in 1977, because that was the year I discovered D&D.)

To our game group, a couple of dozen people in Northern California’s Diablo Valley playing hundreds of five-or-six-player sessions between 1978 and 1983, “Dungeons and Dragons” was not yet an accepted rite of geek passage, a million-dollar industry, or a major cultural influence. In those days it was barely known outside SFnal convention circles or college campii; I learned of it through a fan friend who was heavily involved with legendary game-guru David Hargrave‘s Arduin campaign — “campaign” being the term for an ongoing adventure milieu, a created world like (and often modeled on) Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Lewis’ Narnia, or Leiber’s Lankhmar.
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Fable, With Apocalypse

2011.07.30
By

IN THE MIDDLE OF A flat grey wasteland, under a grey streaky sky, a handful of figures warmed themselves at a snapping fire.

“Hey! What are you doing?”

One of the figures had turned to stare across the waste — a vast landscape of broken dryers and tumbledown swingsets, with here and there half a gas station or bowling alley.

“Don’t do that.”

He takes the gaping figure and turns him tenderly toward the flames to warm his hands again.

“Thanks.”

“It’s why I’m here. And that” — a sweeping arm — “is why that’s there. The wasteland is only for wasting you.”

“Thanks again.”

“Don’t mention it. Just keep your hands warm. Even when you’re the last one here.”

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Aside

2011.07.30
By

“GOOD GOD, MAN — WHAT HAPPENED?”

“Well, I was on the freeway, and my car stalled right in front of a hurtling semi. Fortunately, the orchestra changed tunes at exactly that moment and distracted everyone.”

“What orchestra?”

“See?”

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Prosatio Silban and the Best Dish In The World

2011.04.15
By

IN THE EMERALD INCESSANCE, THAT great sprawling swamp east of epicurean Pormaris, Prosatio Silban was searching for his world’s tastiest meal.

The Emerald Incessance was hundreds of square miles of hummock, tussock and overtowering reeds, inhabited by societal castoffs and furtive oal-herders — not a likely group among whom to find something described with bliss as every man’s favorite dish all in one fried bundle.

“Like my mother’s potato-and-pea stew, only more so,” sighed one wizened indigine.

“The Soup Demons take you!” objected his friend. “Fresh roasted oal, it was, like I hadn’t tasted since my first hunt.”

“Ye’re both wrong,” chimed in a third. “It’s apple crumble. Hot.”

Prosatio Silban hoped to discern the recipe and perhaps add it to his own great store. So he had hitched up his galleywagon and driven into the green. He gave more-or-less free rein to his buopoth, Onward, due to the quaint and lumbering beast’s uncanny footing and impeccable nose, and thus came two days later to a tumbledown shack under a large cypress tree. An old woman in long tattered grey shift was stirring a pot set on a long brick hearth. Nearby was a rough wooden table lined by half-sawn log benches. The air was redolent of a seductive melange blending savory, sweet, and something he couldn’t name.

Prosatio Silban climbed down from his galleywagon, told Onward what a good buopoth it was, and approached.

“I know what you’ve come for,” she said before he could speak. She didn’t smile, but her eyes were kind as she pointed to one of the benches. “Please.”

The cook sat. The woman oiled an iron frying pan, placed in it a thin white disk of dough. After some time, she stuck a ladle in the pot she’d been stirring and poured its bubbling contents over the dough, which she closed with a quick flick of a spatula. She poured a clay mug of blue duliac, plated her creation, and placed both before Prosatio Silban. “You’ll want to eat this hot,” she said.

Prosatio Silban was fascinated. The World’s Greatest Dish seemed to be little more than a fried wrap filled with some sort of cheese concoction. But what was that indefinable smell? He lifted the wrap to his lips, took a bite, chewed.

It tasted of little more than its ingredients: flour, water, a bit of egg, soft cheese, and something he still could not identify — a texture which changed from creamy to crunchy as he chewed, its flavor still eluding his curious tongue. Malt? Fish sauce? Sourbean paste? Whatever it was, it was another chef’s secret. He sighed, and raised his eyes to the woman. She smiled a conspirator’s smile.

“All my other customers wanted their favorite dish,” she said. “Only you wanted to know what it was in it.”

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More Words Which Usually Precede A Good Story, At Least In Retrospect

2011.01.19
By

“HEY KID! C’MERE A SECOND…”

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Literal Legend

2011.01.13
By

HE SAID HE WOULD FIGHT Wall Street, but it wasn’t long before he was brought down by a perplexed SWAT team.

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Five Words In Search Of A Context

2010.12.31
By

“FUN’S FUN, GENERAL. BUT THIS …”

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Recent Tales

Not Like It Used To Was

Mom in the drug store Called out to her son: “Brooklyn!” Am I getting old?

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Prosatio Silban and the Starving Survivor

A BUOPOTH IS A STRANGE beast: some say it is half-composed of men’s dreams, others prefer not to speculate. But of the little that...

Read more »

Prosatio Silban and the Visitor From The Sands

PROSATIO SILBAN WAS NOT KNOWN for nothing as “The Cook For Any Price.” He had long ago foresworn the Sacreanthood and serving people’s souls...

Read more »

The Poet

HE COULDN’T TELL WHETHER HE loved beauty or women more until the day he called his mom and said “Guess what? I’m marrying a...

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Storyteller’s Knot

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF any story is the point at which it’s attached to the reader.

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