[LNHY/ACRA] The Daily Super Short-Short Story #24
saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au
Fri Oct 1 02:20:03 PDT 2004
The Daily Super Short-Short Story #24
A Devil Came Down to Georgia 6
Last Time: Some seminary students discussed dreams
Martin was watching a war going on.
From his vantage point he could see two armies doing battle in
close physical combat. They were disparate, both between and within
their groups. Even from this distance the sheer eclecticism of the
participants gave the proceedings a surreal aspect. Martin watched two
men, one dressed in lion skin and the other in kevlar armour, slashing
into each other with swords. A burning skeleton with a lightsaber was
warding off the submachine gun fire of a lizardman in a robe of snow-soft
white. And a little old lady in a cardigan was using an eggbeater to
inflict terrible wounds on a large serpent that was trying to wrap itself
around her torso and bite her with its hideously envenomed fangs.
The fighting fascinated Martin, and for what seemed an endless time
he stared at it. The threat of violence filled him with agitation, with
nervous anticipation, and he felt he should prepare himself if it should
spill towards him.
Martin was open mouthed and breathing heavily in preparation for
fight-or-flight, but it wasn't until he licked his lips that he realised
that at least part of him was enjoying the thought of battle. He flushed
with embarrassment and automatically stepped back a few paces.
He stared upwards to look at something other than the conflict. It
was then that he realised that although the sky was dark, all the figures
in the area were lit as if with full sunlight. That was interesting, but
not particularly urgent or worrying.
Nor did he find it particularly strange when someone came and stood
nearby. Martin glanced over at the person. It was huge; an armoured
figure some nine feet tall standing in ornate and well-polished plate
mail. Martin smiled when he noticed a St. Christopher's medallion
embossed into the metal of the chest plate.
The figure stood at ease in companionable silence. More curious
than alarmed, Martin asked, "Did you come from that fight?"
"I have been in that battle, and other skirmishes in the same war,
yes," replied a masculine voice. He spoke with an accent that Martin
couldn't identify. Then, despite the weight of armour like that, the
figure cocked his head to one side. "What did you think of it?"
Martin blinked in bemusement and he tried to gather his thoughts.
His pause stretched out for several seconds, but even so he could
find no way to articulate the way that he had been both repulsed and
enthralled by it. "I don't know what to think," he finally replied in
The other nodded. "That battle and its kin are necessary, and those
who are involved are often very enthusiastic to participate. But in the
end it's nothing more than a tool to an ends. And one should never let
the base emotions of enthusiasm for something as simple as a tool
overwhelm you soul."
That was a comment more relevant to Martin's feelings than mere
untutored random conversation should have been. For the first time
Martin felt a prickle of suspicion and irritation at this newcomer. "What
was going on back there? What was that all about?" he asked pointedly.
A shrug. "A battle between good and evil. Between the forces of
darkness and light." Then the figure asked, "And which side do you
think you will be on?"
"The forces of good, I should hope," Martin said with some heat.
"And which one was that?"
"I... couldn't tell just from looking at them."
The figure nodded, with what Martin somehow sensed was with some
sadness. "Yes. And that may cause us both some problems."
Tomorrow: More cryptic comments, I think.
The Daily Super Short-Short Story series created by Arthur Spitzer, and
used with belated permission.
Saxon Brenton University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au
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