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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Lord of the Two Lands, Part 5

I will admit, I've been watching The Thing lately.  (The 80s version and the one from 2011.)

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

The old tycoon snarled and stomped and pointed his finger up at the count and his spokesman.  "How dare you play such tricks.  You honestly think we'll fall for something this far fetched?  Sorcery doesn't do things like this.  Street magicians do this.  We've wasted our time coming here.  Send my fire back to her flat when you're done with her."  He turned his back to the count, making his way off of the circular sidewalk.  He snarled again, adjusted his neck, and loosened his collar.

Yet then, he heard the shuffling of many feet behind him, and all of his colleagues once more spoke in unison with one voice: "Fashioned, was he, to be the sole ruler, the Lord of the Two Lands."

He turned and saw his associates and friends gathered around the obelisk, staring at him.  Behind the crowd towered the count.  He must have been over seven feet in height.  His delegate remained at his side, and in the back shadows stood his private security detail.  A moment passed.  The crowd flinched and woke from their spell.  Blinking their eyes and rubbing their hands, they looked at one another in confusion.

The count who stood as a statue for so long lifted his arms into the air, his palms facing upward.  He rolled his eyes back, closed them, and re-opened them.  Now they were white and almost glowing.  He opened his mouth, baring his teeth---his top two incisors sharp and pointy.  He looked upward into the sky, as did everyone.  Two lights, high in the air, descended to the place where they all were.  One light on each side of the obelisk hovered above the ground.  The count's head contorted itself, so that the nose came far out, and his ears rose up.  In the end, his head resembled that of an ancient Egyptian jackal.

The spy in the bushes cowered and lie prostrate on the ground, trembling and covered in sweat.  Surely all of the light will reveal my hiding spot, he thought.

The wealthy crowd stared with open jaws as they marveled at the count and the lights on each side of the obelisk.  The old tycoon stepped back to take in the scene before him.  All at once, everyone flinched and held onto their heads.  Then some fell to the ground on their hands and knees.  Others kept standing.  Their forms were changing.  One man turned a dark slimy green, his transformation ending once he resembled a man-frog.  Another fell down and metamorphed into a bull.  Other men and women moaned and cried out as they changed into other animals.

Smoke rose into the air amidst all the tumult, and the air reeked of burning cauterized flesh.  Some of the wealthy couples had their own security personnel waiting for them at the carriages, but when the noises, lights, and smoke began, all of the guards rushed up the stairs and beheld a cacophany of human beings caught up in a painful orgy of screeching, swelling, pulsing flesh, some being absorbed into one another, others fusing together.  Struck dumb with confusion, the guards of the aristocrats paused in fright at the roars, the bleating, and the screaming.  They couldn't make sense of the fangs, jowls, claws, batwings, and slithering, half-absorbed people, or the strange sight of half-man half-fish creature.  When they reached for their guns, they were gone.  As were the tazers and batons.  In short order they, too, fell to the ground and writhed in agony, themselves transforming until they became pigs.

Apart from the security men, three men, writhing on the ground, were dragged by an invisible force into each other.  Their clothes ripped from their bodies as though something was violently stripping them naked.  Their groans became muffled as their mouths disappeared, and in a gruesome display, the flesh of the trio formed together in one great mass with six legs sticking out, and the change continued until a single head of a lion emerged, and the six legs became that of six goat legs going around the main body of the creature like a wheel.  Another person, who it was the still-normal tycoon couldn't tell, was doubled up on the ground, their upper torso turned into the bust of a hawk.  Still another person was changed into a goat-man who fell over himself when he tried standing on his hooved feet.

When it all appeared finished, the frog-man and the cat-woman were dragged by an invisible force into one another, and when they fused, they became a two-headed creature---one head cat, the other head a frog---atop a base of spider legs.  While most of the other elites were transformed into animals or half-animals, this fusion of the tycoon's wife and the frog-man was the most unnatural of them all, and it caused the sweaty, flush old man to step back a little further.  This horrendous display was all for him.

"The express resemblance of the gods is changed into some brutish form!" laughed the count's spokesman.  "And they, so perfect is their misery, not once perceived their foul disfigurement, but boast themselves more comely than before.  And all their friends and native home forget, and they roule with pleasure in a sensual sty."

"Supreme Therion!" the wealthy man uttered, bowing.  "I have vast wealth.  Connections.  Infrastructure.  We can set up great things if we work together.  Tonight alone, you've liquidated over a third of my competitors.  Work with me!  Teach me your magick!  Let me be your corporate representative.  I have so much I can offer you!

A sharp pain suddenly brought the tycoon to his knees. His hair falling out, including that of his moustache and his eyebrows, he brought his hands to his face.  Something was happening to him, though he was not transforming as of yet.  Then, an invisible hand grabbed at his feet, dragging him screaming, until he was brought into the melded cat and frog creature.  After becoming absorbed into the monster, two more spider legs grew out of the creature's base, yet the original head of the man remained.  Thus, the creature was such, that it contained the head of a cat, a frog, and an old man atop a base of spider legs.

The count's smirking spokesman stepped towards the spider creature and crowned the old man's head with a wreath of leaves---a prop from the earlier play.  "My lord was more interested in a merger, I do believe."

The tumultuous herd of animals and creatures moaned and squealed, bleated and grunted.  The lights hovering on each side of the obelisk grew ever-brighter, until finally everything became white.  When the light disappeared, everyone was gone.  The man in the bushes breathed a sigh of relief.  He looked all around, but found there was no one there but him.  The count, his men, the rich aristocrats, and even the line of carriages were gone.  In fact, there were even a few people strolling the sidewalks.

Slowly, he made his way up to the obelisk, which now was only lit by the streetlamps that encircled it.  On the ground lay the cup and the necromancer wand from the earlier play.  He picked them up and found them to be harmless.  He quickly looked all around himself, swiftly returning his eyes to the two props in his hands.

"So there you are," said a voice.  He looked up.  It was the count's spokesman standing in front of him.  Behind towered the dark count, staring straight into his eyes.  "Did you enjoy your vacation?"
The fearful man fell back onto the ground, scooting away.  "No one who knows Lord Nobilious' name in this world escapes us.  You ought to know that."  He stood, turned, and bolted off toward the Great Lawn.  "It's time to come home," yelled the voice.

He thought he was well away and out of danger from the count.  But then, he found himself falling over, and rolling on the ground.  When he looked at his own body, he found he was no longer a man, but a dog.  He barked into the night and ran for his life out of Central Park.   

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