If Mina Harker lived near me she might remark, “I suppose one ought to pity anything so hunted as the scorpions.” While I may not track them from London to Transylvania, my pursuit is no less dogged. Though I may not slay them with stake and sword, my weapons are no less lethal. Like Van Helsing, I cannot rest while such abominations roam the earth unimpeded. They must be dragged, screaming, into the hells that surely await them.
Scorpions. Welcome once more to the lands of lamentation. To the domain of death. To the fetid fields fecund with your filthy fallen. Our dance has begun again. When I discovered one of you had breached my home, had struck at the heart of the eagle’s nest, I knew that soon your numbers would stir once more. I resumed my vigil. For some time, it was fruitless, but tonight… tonight… you made yourselves known. With the hellacious heat, your come. You rise from your slumber and renew your assault. Did you think I would not be ready? Did you dream I would be caught unaware? This is your Ragorak. These are the fields of Gehenna. Armageddon. I shall leave your ruined corpses as a monument to you folly. Let us clash once more. I will make a feast of your tears.
Dear guy in the low rider who waited in the turn lane until I entered the crosswalk so you could gun it and cut me off,
1) I was wearing a reflective vest and a head lamp, I couldn’t have been more obvious.
2) Use a turn signal.
3) Hang up your fucking phone.
4) Giving me the finger was a nice touch.
5) 5:30 in the morning is way to early to be blaring mariachi music. I can’t think of a worse soundtrack to die to, except any rapper with a name starting in Lil.
6) I hope you get in an accident. I hope it is your fault. I hope you rear end a parked truck going 45. I hope the truck is transporting medical waste. I hope the doors are open and the cargo is unsecured. I hope the infectious waste and sharps containers fly out and break through your windshield. I hope the infectious waste lands in your mouth and the used needles land in your eyes. I hope your airbag deploys late and drives the needles in further. I hope you get a disease. I hope you get every disease. All of the diseases. I hope the medical bills bankrupt you and cause your family to leave you. I hope you end up in an iron lung. I hope you linger. I hope the last thing that happens before you die is your dick falls off, so that your last earthly thought is, “wait, did my dick just fall off?”
Whew. Ok, I feel better.
Ragnar runs these Facebook contests where they ask you how you would describe Ragnar to a friend. I’m going to have to accept that I’ll never win one of them based on my entries:
Have you ever bothered to peer past the shroud of what you consider to be reality? Have you stopped to consider that everything you know and believe could be carefully constructed artifice, designed to ensnare you in the web of the sensible and sane? There are hidden places, off the well traveled pathways. Places where where the fabric of our world wears thin and the truth bleeds through, resplendent in its terrible glory. The ancient ones sing songs that can scarce be heard unless you take the time to listen for them. Alone on a trail in the deep of the night, the sky begins to dance. Your mind strains to comprehend the nightmare unfolding before you. Things break free from the stars and crash down upon of world. In the distance you hear mad screaming, in time with the tune of the elder gods. It is then you know you are truly lost. You can never rejoin the ranks of your fellow man, for your humanity has been striped away, leaving a raw, ragged creature in its place. You keep running, for that is all that is left to you now.
Plus, you know… s’mores.
I first began to notice I was different from the other boys around puberty. I didn’t seem to have the same interests they did. They would huddle up and exchange knowing glances and whisper shared secrets, but I just didn’t understand the attraction. I felt out of place. Alone.
It is only football. I have never understood the obsession with sport. The tedium of bone crushing hits interspersed with seemingly endless banal commentary about how the team that wants it more will win. Well, the team that wants it more and is willing to pay for the absolute freak of nature players required to compete at the highest levels. Wanting it will not make a difference if you weigh 140 pounds and a 250 pound linebacker decides to personally introduce your face to the astro-turf. Want it all you like as you recover from your concussion and the multiple broken bones you sustained when that human growth hormone fueled caricature of a human being hit you like a locomotive composed of flesh and hate. They made a movie about that difference. It was called Rudy. Rudy got to play about three plays for all his longing to be in the big game. Want has nothing to do with it. Drugs and money and training are what make the difference.
I understand the basic structure of the game. Four downs. Ten yards. You have to scrimmage enough yardage in your allotted space to advance to the next series of downs, else kick the oblong thing they call a “ball” as close as possible to your own goal line. Conceptually it makes sense. The execution is where things go sideways. Grown men wearing headsets and barking at other grown men in overstuffed uniforms what to do, all to push that strange looking brown… thing toward a tuning fork jutting from the earth like some skinny metal-head throwing the horns.
What all of this has to do with watered down beer and sixteen bladed razors is something I will never understand. There is nothing left to turn into an advertisement. I suppose the next logical step is to let the quarterback tattoo his forehead with the Nike logo. Perhaps at halftime we could have the Budweiser cheerleaders battle the Miller Light squad to the death at the fifty yard line. Let the fans vote on who gets the swords.
I could regale you with stories of my Tiefling star pact warlock named Sebastion Blaque. How I wondered whether it would be wiser to invest the gold I had earned adventuring into a new set of armor to bump my AC, or instead spend it on an enchanted rod to boost my attack accuracy and strength. Of course, I had a feat available to spend that could also use on either giving him an additional language, which could prove invaluable in deciphering the ancient tome he had uncovered, or instead to utilize it for something more martial.
If you found all of that incomprehensible and tedious to read, welcome to my understanding of sports.
You can vote here:
There is a terrible darkness that gnaws at the souls of men. A vast and inescapable void that looms, ever present, and hungers. My own studies into the forbidden had led me down the path to madness. The toll of grappling with things which should not be seen, and cannot be unseen. I had worried my nails to ruins, and found myself plagued by a cough. My laugh a nervous titter. The Miskatonic University was more asylum than a place of learning. The lost and wicked roamed the halls, either unaware of uncaring what they had sacrificed in their quest for knowledge best left hidden. A sanitarium of the damned.
I slept fitfully, straining against my covers and sweating profusely as horrors haunted my dreams. Dead things in sunken cities that would rise once more to bring ruin to our world. A terrible mass of undulating tentacles that would alight upon the forest and give birth to twisted nightmare beasts. A king in yellow, seated on an ancient throne in the frozen plateau of Leng.
One night, he came. The Viking. His eyes blazed beneath his helm. He pointed his axe at me and spoke. I cannot say for certain what he said, for I do not speak Norse. The path was clear to me, however. Ragnar himself had come to me in a vision. He swept his arm to reveal a trail. An escape. I could not save myself from what I had learned, but I could run from it.
Run I did. Into the night. Through the night. In the mornings. Afternoons. It did not matter the time. Only in flight could I find peace. Only in fruitless attempts to flee could I find some measure of tranquility. I found others, and joined with them. Ragnar himself had brought me to this place, and while it is not salvation, it is the best I can hope for. When the Deep Ones come, boiling forth from the oceans in advance of the dread Cthulhu, I cannot escape, but I can run. When the spawn of Shub-Niggurath ooze forth from the woods, I can run. When Ragnorak comes and Ragnar himself takes the field of battle against the giants, I can run.
Last night’s kill count: 1
There you were. Daintily perched atop the wall, contemplating your course of action. On one side, security and safety. A place you knew. Where you grew into your current loathsome incarnation. Where you might go about your business unmolested. Where you could hunt and lie to yourself that you are a king. The unchallenged apex predator.
On the other, tales of death and horror. Of a mad man with eyes like fire. A demon with a stick and poison breath to rain suffering and doom on you and all your wretched fellows. A crazed beast that frothed at the mouth and screamed for blood. That which hunts the hunters.
Did you expect your temerity might save you? That I might be wracked by the same indecision and stay my hand? Fool. What did you seek to find here, scorpion? Glory? These are fields of Gehenna. Here you shall find judgement and death. Only judgement and death. There are no tales of valor sung in this accursed place. No tome inscribed with tales of great heroes. Only the corpses of the shattered and broken. The rotting flesh of those who felt their insides burn and putrefy. This is where you met your end. This is how it always ends. I left your wretched remains atop the wall as a monument to your impertinence. Let any others who share your ambition look upon them and know the cost of hubris.
Tonight’s kill count: 1.
Scorpions, is this your secret shame? Does some erotic desire cause you to come here, seeking punishment? Do you listlessly toss and turn in your earthen beds, soaked with sweat, yearning for my unforgiving caress? When you begin your grotesque coupling, is it me you picture, a stern and foreboding overlord primed to deliver punishment?
You continue to seek your end here. There must be some primal, unfulfilled need at work. Blatant idiocy? Pure suicidal madness? Yearnings of the flesh? It matters not. The French have an idiom for orgasm, Le Petite Mort, the little death. Allow me to deliver the grand, final death. I shall be your overture, if that is what you wish. I am the storm, and I can not be contained.
Tonight’s kill count: 1
Scorpions, did you enjoy your respite? Did you imagine yourself free from the madness and the terror? For a week and a half I have not visited my terrible vengeance upon you. You have had your run of my domain. How did you comport yourself during these auspicious times? Did you feast? I hope so. Now is the feast of sorrows.
Did you hope absence would cool my rage? Yours was a forlorn hope. My hatred was tempered. Strengthened by my time away from you. I imagined a litany of crimes you were committing in my absence and I resolved to make you pay. My vigil is unending. Let us walk the path to hell together. I shall have my road smoothed by passing of your numberless dead before me.
Tonight’s kill count: 1.
Scorpions, tell me, did you enjoy your reprieve from the hunt? Did you hope that it was at last at an end? Your hope was in vain. I am a monster, forged in the fires of your venom. When you chose to sting me, you chose the path of endless war. Of ceaseless slaughter. Of interminable lamentation. You created the weapon of your own destruction, and I will not stop. Not now. Not ever. My hatred is limitless. My resolve is steel. What hope has your supple carapace against my iron fury? I am the rock against which you break. I will bury you. I will bury your children. I will make graves of your hopes and bury your dreams beneath the shattered bodies of those you hold most dear.