[LNHY/ACRA] The Daily Super Short-Short Story #24

Saxon Brenton 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 
blunt honesty.
     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 
The Eyrie Archives of Russ Allbery which collect the online superhero 
fiction of the rec.arts.comics.creative newsgroup can be found at:

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