Chapter 23: The Land Without Footprints: Shadows Amongst Shadows

Posted: October 26, 2013 in Novel: The Land Without Footprints
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Bann – 23

Bann kissed each of his sons on the cheek. “My sons are magicians without magic. You owe them a thousand wishes for this. Twice, they have saved your life.”

“Nobody saves my life.” Arkin frogged off the throne. “I have the power to save myself and the knowledge to never need to. I am God with a human face.”

Bann touched his sword handle. He’d kill the Mystic and his priest now. But then what would come of his children? “I’m sorry, Arkin. I’ve overstepped myself.”

“No, you’ve stepped over us.” Father Tillicum tightened his cassock, shifted the yarmulke on his head. “Your words will not always be forgiven. God doesn’t always have to forgive.”

What would happen in the future, though, Bann hoped God would forgive.

The priest circled them, stared at the woman that had been brought from the brothels. Lipstick sat around her eyes. “What is your name, woman?”

The harlot held out her hand. “Coin.”

Father Tillicum fished into his pocket, placed a gold coin in the woman’s palm. “What is your name?”

An ugly smile bloomed on the harlot’s face. She closed her hand around the money. “You can pick my name,” she said.

The Mystic tugged on his beard, then came down the steps to smell the nameless woman. “She is no virgin,” he said, as if he could tell that by just a sniff. “And she is repulsive. I’d more readily fuck a cow.”

“Ugliness produces beauty just as often as beauty does,” Bann said, and he took his hand from the hilt of his sword, tucked them under his armpits. “And a cow cannot reproduce human offspring.”

The people to the south had only recently found that out. Last week a few wives had slaughtered and burned fifty cows because they thought the animals were stealing their husbands’ semen. Bestiality had become much more accepted in recent years. It was good that animals hadn’t yet evolved to bear human children.

Again Arkin sniffed the woman. “How many times will I have to fuck this disgusting creature for her to grow?”

The sun waned in the sky. Bann wondered how much more time his daughter needed to complete her task. Time didn’t enjoy being slowed by the hands of men. Only in men’s minds did time change tempo.

“If you keep turning back the hands of a clock,” Damyn said, “it’ll be like you only swam inside of her once.”

Hard, Bann hit his son over the head. The bastard had spoken out of turn.

Nevertheless, the Mystic cackled. “Your son has his testicles in his throat, Bann. I love men who make thoughts move.”

Then Bann hoped the Mystic would love the next move.

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