As dawn curdles, I arise once again from my cold slab to face the day. I wonder where Fang, my combination companion and writing utensil, has got off to, until I realize that the morgue has a pet daycare, and he’s probably there. But then that must mean…
I curse the sky, or rather the ceiling, and then hope that my deity can’t hear me through it. I don’t like being dead, but being alive is… well, it’s confusing. And stinky. I decide to pray for a bit, throwing in a request for a nice hot bubble bath. I’ve heard of such things in storybooks and songs, thought they sounded nice.
Once I’ve bribed the morgue attendant with the remainder of things still on my person (I neglected to mention some of the shinies had been tucked away in Fang’s Stomach of Ultimate Holding) for something to wear underneath my armor, which always (unlike my clothing) seems to appear in a heap next to me every time I come back from one of these being dead adventures, I don said armor and Fang and I head out toward… Wait, where was I?
Searching for the right path via three left turns, I wonder how much Luculuqueraxa can discern. Does he know how directionless I am? I sit down beneath a tree to get my bearings, and absentmindedly scribble in my diary. At least the Most Shiniest One can’t possibly be able to read my diary.
9:39 Heroes and heroines, sitting under trees, R-E-S-T-I-N-G. No time for love, just devotion, receiving wounds not healable by potions.
Not this last time, anyway. What was it that killed me again? My memory is fuzzy. “Again” is the operative word. I’ve been killed at least 12 times by now, each time in a new and exciting way. All the same, dying gets old.
I seem to remember leaving the psychiatrist’s office in a huff, as he’d told me I was in a state of cognitive dissonance. I said I would agree to disagree. I tried to leave without paying, but he used reverse psychology on me: my greatest weakness. He told me I didn’t want to pay him, that I wanted to denounce capitalism in practice, not theory, and I would pay the true price: my life. I decided to do what I didn’t want. Guess the result is the same.
I needed someone to blame for everything that was wrong with my… everything. Oh yes, and then a Gunboat Diplomat helpfully obliged by randomly attacking me in the midst of my misery. I tried shouting compliments but I guess reverse psychology is not a Gunboat Diplomat’s greatest weakness. Or maybe I just don’t know how it works. Anyway I think he beat me to death with his Gunboat.
Sighing, I quit it with the reminiscing and continue on my journey, but only after rearranging the stones under the tree to spell out “E—B—body dies” with a little picture of a bee instead of a B. It’s a strange compulsion I have yet to be rid of.
As the day winds on, the hot sky proceeds to grow a long hot stinky wet beard to bear down on my choice of body armor, a full spacesuit. Oh, it’s nice for protecting you against a vacuum and all, but the humidity makes it stick to my buttcheeks unpleasantly. Plus, I think this spacesuit was made for an alien whose buttcheeks are shaped decidedly differently than a humans’… or perhaps not buttcheeks at all. I shake the thought, not wanting to speculate about the shapes of alien nether-regions, at least not at the moment. I always get caught up in really deep ponderings about poop— that is, the various theoretical ways people from other planets might “go to the bathroom,” to put it euphemistically (just what IS a bathroom, anyway? Do people really poop in the bath? Shudder). Luculuqueraxa knows?
I decide to distract myself by being attacked from all sides by a swarm of vicious mosquitos. I decide to distract myself from this distraction by attempting to imitate their collective whine. This keeps me occupied until the sun drifts into the West, and I realise I should probably be thinking about where I’m going.
I need to get my bearings. Climbing to the top of a hill as Fang hops along behind me, doing an impressive little falsetto whine after my example, I look over the cloudy landscape and recognize the skyline of Tradeburg in the distance. I head toward it. It’s as good a destination as any.
The sun sinks orangely behind the hill as I clamber down the slope in the direction of the sleepy, snoring town.
In the middle of a deep reverie, thinking about the futility of trying to be a cheesecake when one is not actually a cheesecake, I look up and see a winged silhouette projected against the clouds over Tradeburg. Guess a moth must have gotten into the lighthouse again.
My thoughts were horribly interrupted by an unpleasant electrocution. An Electric Monk is whipping me with that little ropey thing that monks sometimes use to tie their robey things, only this one is electric, thus the nomer “Electric Monk.” I impress the clever monster with my horrible sense of direction. It works, and now neither of us have got the faintest idea where I’ve run to.
Wondering how life can possibly get any worse in a dank cave smelling hugely of a large predatory cat, an enormous Were-Panther taps me on the shoulder.
I quickly try to reaffirm my devotion to the great Luculuqeraxa, hoping he will save me from this peril. He does, often. Eh, it’s about 56% of the time. Luculuqueraxa knows what the heck he does in his holy spare time.
7:31 Tried to do a full roundhouse kick, but ended up twisting myself knee-deep into the ground. I’m so dexterous!
Panicking a little now, stuck in the mud, I brace myself for divine intervention. Sometimes it hurts more than the actual…
7:31 Successfully got away from the Were-Panther. Wait, what is my body doing over there?
Luckily Luculuqueraxa decided to show his face a few seconds after right at the last second, though of course I forgot what he looked like right after he resurrected me.
7:32 These constant resurrections are wreaking havoc on my social afterlife.
At least I didn’t have to wake up in the morgue again. I hate that place. It smells of fish crackers. And dead people.
Getting gamely (and nakedly) to my feet, I rub my lucky chicken-leg-on-a-string as I hang it once again around my neck, thinking it might be time to get a new talisman, while we’re on the subject of smelly things. I pull on my kevlar trousers and bat-cowl, checking my duct tape bracers for cracks as I secure them to my alien spacesuit. Picking up my dragon eggshell and wooden stick, which I have affectionately termed the “Heartbeat Inhibitor,” I am once again ready to be killed once again.
A few moments pass without a monster attack. I start getting this feeling like there’s something I’m supposed to be doing. Something extremely specific… and ideally equally pointless. Something that heroes do. The feeling intensifies as the time between monster attacks stretches longer. It nags at me as I pass a drinking well, or at least I think it’s a drinking well. Well, I guess we’ll find out. I go to get a drink and maybe a bit of a wash over my spacesuit, when a dog I hadn’t noticed before starts barking at me. I’m rusty on my doglish, but I think he wants me to become an expert in nothing. Yeah, that’s it.
As soon as the feeling subsides, having decided on exactly what I ought to be doing, a LANlord begins swaggering toward me from somewhere out of the darkening evening, demanding that I pay for the water and while I’m at it, each square foot I’ve touched with each of my feet as soon as I walked onto “his” land. I roll my eyes so hard into my head that they don’t have far to go when the LANlord whacks me with his solid gold insurance policy. Geez! Find something better to do with your time than exploiting a crooked capitalist system to demand revenue for basic necessities, I shout, only it comes out like a squeaky roar, like a thousand tiny mosquitoes shouting at the top of their tiny wings. The LANlord staggers backwards. I do the squeaky roar again, and then add a throaty “Chaaaaarge!” startling myself, and Fang, who also staggers backwards, almost falling into the well.
9:02 Oh Fang, I’m so glad you didn’t drown… my resurrection policy doesn’t cover water damage.
The LANlord hits me again and I make a note to myself to make a note in my diary about not trying to think of witty things to put in my diary in the middle of battle.
Feeling a little woozy, I’m trying to reach for the Heartbeat Inhibitor with the added complication of trying to beat an interesting pattern into the LANlord’s insurance policy with my skull, when a giant blue fireball falls from the sky, enveloping me in cold blue flames. When it dies out, I feel much better. I dodge the LANlord’s blows easily, finally knocking him to the ground.
9:10 Squashed the LANlord like a bug. I must remember to clean my shoes next time I’m in town.
More like my everything. Fang is no bed of roses either, but I give him a hug anyway, thanking my Luculuqueraxa for sparing my spazzy little stinky cuddle-bird. He’s the only consistent friend I have…
9:13 The sky split open and I glimpsed a formidable, bearded face. It said, “Your tiny dapper-dressed bird is so cute! And ergonomic too!” That was creepy!
Deciding to mostly ignore what just happened, but take the compliment secretly anyway, I turn to ask a smiling cat for directions.
The night is hot and dank, and now that the sky has darkened, I have no clue how to get to Tradeburg. The cat suggests following the pungent smell emanating from the town, a pleasant mixture of roasting barley and sewage. If you say so, I tell the cat. But wait, I think. Maybe he’s right. After all, roasting barley means… marmite! No, wait, the other thing. Vegemite!
Closing my eyes, I attempt to “see” the smell trail as I imagine what’s on the other end… My favorite drink, and the only thing that’s actually safe to drink, as any well that happens to have drinkable pee is inevitably guarded by some awful greedy capitalist… BEER!!!
“Help me out here, Fang,” I plead, but he’s dead asleep in my bag again, dreaming, no doubt, of communism and marshmallows. His two favorite things.
Eventually I do find my way to Tradeburg, selling the solid gold insurance policy I looted off the LANlord at the first shop I find for a pretty penny. I then go to the next shop I find and sell the pretty penny for some gold to buy some beer. I am so thirsty. The trader is trying to sell me a shiny new piece of equipment at 50% off, but I turn it down. What would I do with only half of it?
11:11 I just heard someone in the tavern shout, “I can’t ensure you won’t get a hangover.” Pretty funny — someone’s more drunk than I am!
Which is not at all. I open a tab and quickly begin rectifying the situation in earnest.
11:11 A voice from the skies thundered, “Hi how ya doin’?!.” Nice.
11:11 The voices in my head are telling me to do things. Is that you, Almighty, or did I forget to take my medicine?
Well, that’s not entirely accurate, I ponder, letting Fang wander as I start on my second beer. He was asking “how” I do rather than what I should do… HOW am I supposed to answer that? “Do you have a pen?” I ask the bartender. She scowls at me but I explain that Fang is busy at the moment and I’d just like to write something in my diary very quickly. As soon as I’ve called attention to Fang (who is determinedly involved in chasing his own tail) she obliges, smiling goopily in Fang’s direction as she hands over her extremely fetching flower-tipped fuchsia fountain pen. Politeness will get you everywhere… or perhaps the cuteness of a ballpoint penguin.
11:11 Spent a few minutes wondering what epic diary entry to write. Oh well, I’ll just write one later.
Wondering if the clock in the tavern is correct, or if the beer soaking its face is other than aesthetic.
Oh well. Time for bed anyway.