Waywards Wandering – Chapter 4: Knowing Everything, A Screen Shot For Every Post

AD&D Pools of Radiance screen shot
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Pools of Radiance (PC version) – Unlike the NES version of this game, the Commadore 64, Atari St, and PC versions allowed you to customize the character portraits and map icons. They also supported trans gendered characters. :) This dwarf is hot!

I’m changing the post format so I will be giving you a screen shot of something wonderful every post (likely a video game scene). I was dedicating whole posts to many at a time, but why not hoard them and let them trickle out so you may appreciate each one like the work of art it is?

Now continues the story of a large walking lizard and his pet monk. Click here to see all of the story so far.

– – – – –

That morning Kanji and Deathwish stood outside the temple packed for the road. They were now well rested and well fed. Father Salane was also generous enough to donate supplies and a small sum of money from the temple stores. Father Salane in turn charged that they help rid the world of its ills and watch over Lashea.

Where is she? At this rate we’ll loose the whole morning, Deathwish had begun the morning in high spirits but was fast growing irritated as his shadow grew shorter.

Kanji started to open his mouth in Lashea’s defense, but quickly stopped. Kanji could imagine that leaving home for the first time was difficult, as he remembered doing it himself many years ago. He could understand why Lashea was late, trying to say goodbye to everyone and everything she knew perhaps forever.

On the other hand, Deathwish wouldn’t understand such a comment if Kanji had made it, since he never got a chance to say goodbye to his home before being torn from it and plunged into this world. Kanji stood as Deathwish paced, silently praying to Brihaad. He opened his eyes when he finally heard the temple doors open and slam shut.

“Sorry I’m late,” huffed Lashea jogging to Kanji’s side, “I underestimated how long it would take me to pack,” On Lashea’s back was a huge, bulging backpack that looked as if it were about to rip under the strain of its contents. Packed aside it was her large sword, on top were rolled blankets, and pots and pans attached jangling at her side. From her belt she sported three large belt pouches which jangled and bounced off her thighs as she jogged up to her new companions.

“What’s that horrible smell?” she asked coming to stand by Kanji and Deathwish.

Kanji sighed and glanced at Deathwish, not even having to hear his unhappy thoughts. He then smiled at Lashea as kindly as he could manage and pointed at her back, “Um, what’s all of this?”

“They are my things, of course,” replied Lashea, confused.

“Lashea,” Kanji put on a gentle tone, “we’re going to be traveling a long way on foot. You’re not going to want to carry all of that. I’m sure there are things in there that you don’t need.”

Lashea bristled at what she interpreted as a condescending tone. She strode up to Kanji, and purposely looked down at him at an exaggerated angle being a full head taller than the monk, “I think I’m more than capable at determining what I do and don’t need. All I have are my clothes, books, bedding, money, food, eating utensils, dishes, pots, soap, hairbrush-”

Two rules: you carry it. If you can’t, you leave it behind without complaint, Deathwish turned away and started walking down the steps of the temple, his claws clicking on the stone, pulling his cowl into place.

Kanji looked up at Lashea, “Just consider how you would fight a monster so encumbered.”

Lashea merely stared at that point, brows furrowed, arms crossed, “Well, I’d put the pack down of c-”

While the monster waited for you to be ready! Speaking of monsters waiting for people to be ready, let’s get a move on, shall we?

“I’ll be back in a minute,” Lashea muttered, her face bright red with anger or embarrassment, Kanji was not sure. She turned around and rushed back into the temple. Kanji heard a chuckle coming from up above and looked up to see Clavus laughing and shaking his bald head.

“Be patient with her, you two. Remember, none of us started out knowing everything. That took some time.”

Kanji digested the irony of his words and realized they were likely aimed at the annoyed Deathwish who walked, talons clicking, back up the temple stairs. Kanji smiled and nodded at the plump priest and waited for Lashea, Deathwish remaining silent and managing to stand still.

Bodies – Chapter 2: Relating & Unrelated

This is the second installment of a novel I’m writing called Bodies. You can read chapter one here. Feel free to comment. This is a work in progress and any insights could be helpful.

– – – – –

Silvie had begun to read and stopped twice now. The first time her voice faded off as she stared at the girl and wondered. The second time she just lost interest and desire to recite the written words she was not sure the girl could hear.

“You love torturing yourself, don’t you?” Silvie jumped and spun around. Phil was leaning in the doorway, arms crossed around a clipboard.

“No,” Silvie snapped, “I’m just curious.”

Phil put the clipboard down on an end table and sat in the chair next to Silvie’s as if her anger was an invitation, “Do you expect her to wake up and give you answers? She’ll likely never come out of it, and even if she did, she’s likely moderately to severely brain damaged. Who knows if she’ll be able communicate or remember anything.”

“Still,” Silvie held her ground, “I’m allowed to visit her and wonder.”

“Yeah, of course, I never said you weren’t!”

“Really?” sarcasm crept into Silvie’s voice, “I talked to Bonnie.”

“I was just trying to protect you, Silvie,” Phil’s smile was as soft as his voice, “I’ve come to care about you quite a bit.”

“Well, next time you care about me so much that you want to control me, save yourself the effort,” Silvie blurted bitterly. She grabbed her book and shoved it into messenger bag, getting up to leave.

“Hey!” Phil grabbed her arm, and Silvie pulled her arm away forcefully, “What the hell’s gotten into you?”

Silvie rolled her eyes, and any guilt she felt about snapping was rushed away by righteous anger, “Feminism,” she explained as she stormed out the door.

Silvie supposed Phil would get over his ‘caring’ and stop speaking to her, which made her anger drop down into sadness as the elevator made its way to the ground floor.

“Good job, Silvie. You managed to loose a friend to defend your relationship with a girl in a coma.”

“He’s an asshole,” she explained to no one in particular as the elevator jerked and came to a halt, “Macho. Definatly not my type.”

Her actions properly rationalized, she made her way into the crisp late afternoon and down the steps wondering if Andorra’s was open.

* * *

“Man, I just don’t get women,” Phil was off work and sitting in a local pub called Bernies with his friend Matt. Phil knew the man would have nothing more sage than that to say, but it felt good telling someone his frustrations regardless.

“How can you say that?” Phil cracked open a peanut, “You’re married.”

“I thought that was the first clue that I don’t have any good advice,” Matt chuckled and leaned back in his barstool, precariously balancing with his foot on the bar.

“Don’t worry, my man, you’re off the hook. I don’t need advice, just to blow off some steam.”

“We could always go to the strip joint,” grinned Matt devilishly. Phil snorted, “Yeah, well, I wasn’t being serious anyways. Jenny would divorce me for less.”

“How would she even know?” Phil’s mouth was full of peanuts. He washed them down with his beer.

“That is one of the mysteries of the universe, Phil. She just would.”

“Huh,” Phil’s eyes wandered to the flat screen TV across the room.

“Look,” said Matt rubbing his eyes, “If you like her, just keep at it. Women are moody. Maybe she’s on the rag.”

“How philosophical of you,” Phil’s eyes never left the screen. It was a commercial for something that made people dance and he was trying to guess what it was before the commercial was over.

“Har-dee-har. No, we leave the tough thinking to you, Phil. That’s why your mom named you that. Phil the philosophical,” Matt laughed at his own joke.

“Yeah? Well, you know what your mom calls me?”

“Phht. I gotta take a leak,” Matt pulled himself out of his leaning bar-stool position by grabbing the bar and slammed down the rest of his beer before heading to the men’s room.

Phil in truth felt a bit better, but he also didn’t want to think about it anymore. Everything he did or said to Silvie was always wrong. He tried to be sensitive and caring and it somehow came off as manipulative.

Maybe I’m trying to hard with the touchy-feely approach. Maybe I should just try the classics: flowers, chocolate, dinner… If Silvie wants to make herself miserable, let her do it and get over it herself.

It’s not my problem.