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Hunt, Philadelphia
Holiday Blue Chapter 13: For the Hunger of Geryon Baal
© 2022 James LaFond
MAY/6/23
Part Four
Bill felt cold and already dead inside. He had hunted Blue before with his master Atlas Khron. He did not really believe that his stock was sprung from previous hunts of Blue as his master said. Indeed, he suspected that The House Khron routinely lied to them, their loyal hounds, about everything, especially their origin. With the exception of larger size, the ability to cast thought and long lived lives, the Ageless titans, who were not ageless but simply lived as long as an age, like twenty miserable temporary lives, Bill saw little difference in his kind and his master’s kind.
But The Deathless, this fiendish, pallid beast known as Geryon, who brooded wide of dark eye over this land of the dead, like some grim bird of prey in human form, where almost all of the temporaries had been smitten by sound into dust or raised by light into Eternity, these creatures were purely monstrous. Bill had no desire to serve The Deathless, could not summon the will from his deepest, darkest depths. The Purge of the House Temporal, the death of his sons and mates, had ripped his guts out.
As the skiff streaked across the continent, below raged fires as if of vast spilled lanterns, lighting their shadowy way. Most of the temporary light had fallen dark. An hour before dawn a low mountain range was passed as the first glimmer of light could be seen on the far horizon. Then the skiff slowed, Atlas Khron announcing, “Skiff shields are down. Breathe the air of the hunt, My Grace! Enjoy the temporary taste!”
Geryon stood next to Atlas, fully armored, his great helmet crested like a rooster of night, his brazen shield slung across his back too heavy for Bill to lift, his spear like a beam. Bill, armed with his throwing stick of return, a V shaped wing of brass that came back to the gauntlet of the hand that cast it, and his staff of light brass, that was as whip-like as a rod in his hand, was also clothed in a light armor. On his either side stood the two hoplite half-titans who attended their Deathless master.
Geryon called in a voice of steely iron, “Release the falcons,” pointing down to a vast fire-lit town below. “Bring bait stock.”
So tolled that iron bell of doom that was the voice of Geryon. At his command, Atlas pulled down his own visor, signaling for all the rest to do likewise, which the hoplites did, and pressed the brazen falcon symbol before the skiff wheel.
Bill almost vomited when two automatons, of human size and falcon form, made of glimmering brass against which the fire light below and the distant rays of creeping dawn showed luridly, emerged with a steely “scree” and took flight, without flapping their terrible metallic wings.
The skiff raced on, the half-titans glancing down at Bill who shrugged his shoulders. “Visor down, Temporary,” commanded the one to Bill’s right.
Bill looked straight ahead and ignored these brutes, having no stomach for this hunt. His Master, Atlas Khron was worthy of obedience, despite his killing of Bill’s mates and spawn. Service was imprinted deeply in him. But these things were unworthy of his service, so tolled some chord of houndish pride deep within him.
“Bill, spoke Atlas, “your adore for the hunt has diminished?”
Bill spoke back frankly, “Yes, Master. The will to kill and to live are gone.”
Atlas turned and looked to him sadly, nodded to Bill, thought, ‘I am sorry about your mates, your young, you are, alas, temporary,’ and in the same moment spoke to the hoplites, “Keep him armored except for the helmet. He must look like them.”
Geryon howled low and long like a great iron wolf as the half-hoplites disarmed Bill and removed his helmet, casting these things down into the bowels of the skiff. They then fitted Bill with a neck choker, that had a crystal at his throat.
Geryon demanded, “Speak, Temporary,” and Bill lost his bladder and peed down his leg even as his eyes gushed tears, “I am temporary Bill. My lovers are dead. Our children are dead. I am lost, betrayed by my master and alone.”
Atlas looked down into Bill’s eyes with some of the aged sadness of his kind, casting not a comforting thought, but agreeing with a gaze of admitted guilt. And, astonishingly, as Bill said these heartfelt things, the choker at his throat spoke, spoke once in one language with Bill’s sad quavering, pained voice, thence in another language and in another and another as the titans listened. Finally, their came a repetition, that based on its length, was of the very feelings and facts that Bill had put into word, but in some other temporary language, a language that pleased his cruel masters.
The skiff flew on. One falcon returned with a ruined woman in its talons, whimpering in her last extremity, and Geryon dismissed this falcon with a curt hand and it tore the woman’s throat out and devoured her with mechanical methodology from its perch on the runner of the skiff.
Geryon then grinned at Bill, and said, with a voice like an iron hammer and heartless tong working the same anvil, “Bill, you are free. Make friends in Philadelphia—a place they call after brothers and love. You are forgiven, Bill.”
Bill stood like a stone as the other falcon returned, clutching an intact man in its talons, a man that had the same complexion and strange cadence of diction as Blackie, a man who spoke to Bill in gibberish, which Bill’s choker re-spoke in temporary speech, “What the impregnating intercourse! What is this, you accursed absence of color!”
Bill began to return speech, to make friends as Geryon had directed him, but the choker silenced his words in his throat and repeated, in two languages, those of temporary kind and those of black temporaries of Blue:
“I am temporary Bill. My lovers are dead. Our children are dead. I am lost, betrayed by my master and alone.”
The black temporary in the automatonous talons then exclaimed:
“What the impregnating intercourse, you penis-licking she-wolf?!”
And Geryon Baal roared with metallic laughter and nodded towards Bill. On the command of that tilted titan head, the mechanical falcon who had devoured the ruins of the woman, bounded over to Bill, grabbed him gently by his shoulders, and Bill and the black temporary in the talons of the other falcon, sped towards a smoldering ruin cluttering the mouth of a filthy, lifeless river, on the shores of a broad sea, over which a small star winked piteously, as if it could really warm this world…
Bill came to light upon his numb feet, on a surface of Blue he had not been familiar with from his previous trips here. For Atlas Khron abhorred the sprawling warren-like brood-houses of domestic Blue, and had taken Bill out into unspoiled country to hunt hunters and wayfarers rather than into the corrupted bowels of such polluted houses. Wheeled skiffs, dead temporaries, scampering rodents, emaciated and ill-bred wolves feasted upon these bodies. These creatures avoided Bill as he began staggering dumbfounded along.
After some time, as the sun beamed light down into the crevice-like path between the corpse-choked tower houses, Bill saw a pack of black temporaries, some with knives, some with dark metallic devices menacing three pale temporaries that looked something like what Bill recalled of his mates and young.
There were two submissive males, who were kneeling. Against their heads were pressed the metallic devices and the ringing of an explosion, like one of Atlas’s arrows, cracked, and the kneeling men fell dead.
The black temporaries then began pulling out their penises and stroking them in preparation for some kind of mating, as the female, reclining on the black oil stone skiff path, moaned.
Bill was seen by her first, then by them. They grinned with white teeth flashing from hateful dark faces and began to point their weapons and release them, the sound of cracking punching thunder causing many invisible bullets to pass by him and some to impact his armor and fall dead, like tiny sling bullets at his feet.
The creatures jabbered about mating with female wolves and capered about, menacing Bill now with knives. Bill spoke—but he could not. He was choked and his initial statement about being betrayed was repeated by the automaton collar. The female seemed sad. The blacks became angry and closed in and—the cavernous song of Geryon Baal could be heard above as the skiff lowered, falcons took wing, and the spears of titans were cast, to transfix the jabbering temporary things of Blue.
Two of these things were decapitated by falcons and one was left standing in horror, as Geryon jumped down from the skiff, cracking the pavement with his great armor-clad weight, stalked forward and struck the startled head from its thin neck with the butt of his spear.
The temporary female then reposed in pathetic submission as Geryon Baal regarded her gently with a giving hand and cooed, “Sweet slut of Blue, your rancid womb shall receive the ichor seed of Deathless need upon the pyre of your kind.”
She seemed entranced and in love. This made Bill sick with shame as he recalled Deathless blood did temporary flesh lethally scald. The woman’s agony would be indescribable.
Bill leaped in this armor, that enhanced his stride to the extant that he might be, now, as nimble as savage Jack, his booted foot coming down on her soft throat, the back of Geryon Baal’s hand smiting his armored chest, and sending him hurdling many ells, to bash his head and snap his neck against the stone of some building, temporary Bill finally knowing an end to suffering, on far, once fair and befouled, and now fallow, Blue.
This marks the last open posting of Holiday Blue. The remaining installments will be posted on Lynn Lockhart’s substack. These are:
Hunt, Chicago
Holiday Blue Chapter 14. For the Passion of Circe Baal
Hunt, Uinta
Holiday Blue Chapter 15. For the Obsession of Amycus Baal
Eve Machine
Holiday Blue Chapter 16: Temporary Lucy
Procession
Holiday Blue Epilogue: Feast of Orion
‘Grandpa’
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