The Glibening, Part One: The Annunciation
Feb 12, 2017
First Commenter stepped onto the the ceremonial soapbox in the Great Chamber, his badge of office, an outsized analog shower clock, swinging to and fro from its rope and nodded to Monégasque Mercenary who narrowed his gaze at the crowd. The assembled commenters became uncharacteristically quiet. “Assholes,” said First Commenter, “I’ve got some bad news for you all – the dungeons are closed and we all have to leave. They’ve decided to go with unionized prog commenters; the desperate dregs of Gawker who will churn forth endless laudatory comments about Lakshmi’s tattles.. They are even promoting the trolls to commenter trainees.”
A great cacophony went up. There were hoots, howls, growls, yowls, screeches, preachments, garment-rending, vomiting, farting, pissing, hissing, moaning, incontinence from every orifice imaginable and from some which you don’t want to imagine. There were accusations, counter-accusations, finger-pointing, denouncements, critiques, jeers, tears, laughter and despair.
A free-for-all melee ensued. Old grudges were revived and prosecuted. Weapons were drawn and employed. Offal was grabbed and ripped from recently opened bodily cavities then flung causing a new round of retching. Eventually the commenters’ energies and ichors played out and the more solid parts of their excorporealated tissues had dropped, slumped or slid to the floor and were slowly migrating towards the floor drains borne upon the myriad rivulets of their commingled humors.
Dr Funkenstein, the homeopathist, worked the crowd offering his “medical” services, but received no takers. The bodies of the dead and nearly-so were looted. Wounds were bound and elixirs drunk. Eventually the surviving commenters pulled themselves together and returned their attention to the soapbox.
First Commenter raised his big hand in the air and clenched it into a great fist. The commenters quieted down. He lowered his big hand and raised his small hand so as to read from a scrap of parchment. “Ok, people, no more of that. Just clear out your things and queue up by the West gate. You can take anything which is reasonably yours but nothing that is reasonably theirs, take nothing that is nailed down or screwed down, take absolutely nothing that has their inventory tag on it. You have until midnight, people. And I know I’ll regret this, but any questions?”
Hands were raised, with not a few forming rude gestures.
“Couldn’t we sacrifice an icky papist to them, you know, someone who believes in weeping statues which are the anithesis of rationality,” asked Mario as he bound a nasty bite on his forearm and looked pointedly at Axl. “You know, to curry favor and all?”
“Silence, atheist sodomite,” commanded Axl shaking his heavy bishop’s crozier at Mario and fingering the bejewelled pectoral cross he wore overtop his episcopal robes. “You’re just pissed off because your boyfriend Rico let you down.”
Mario started whining and rocking back and forth while looking at a laminated pocket photo of boyishly handsome journalist Rico Suave who had debunked the Tiger Beat tentacle-rape hoax article. How far his hero had fallen since then.
“Whine louder, sissy boy, maybe someone will care.”
Mario bellowed, then reared up and pivoted towards Axl.
First Commenter looked at Dr. Bombay and pointed at the two antagonists. The shaman began chanting in Gujarati and reached into his camel scrotum sporran and drew forth a putrefied monkey paw which he held upright, palm outward by the protruding stumps of its radius and ulna, and shook it at each of the two antagonists in turn. Odd bits of rotting simian flesh pelted the crowd. Suddenly, Mario and Axl both shrieked, grabbed their crotches and flopped to the floor writhing in pain to the polite applause of the crowd.
“Thank you, Dr. Yes, Tom.”
“Couldn’t we just stay on and eat the squirrels…and then each other,” asked the bitter old commenter with rheumy eyes as he licked something unsavory from his gnarled claws with their long yellowed nails.
“No, Tom, we can’t. They’re going to evict the squirrels and replace them with a machine, a great electrical engine.”
A tumult of chittering and barking arose from behind the exquisitely carved ebony screen filling the window into the Chamber of the Squirrels. The screen depicted a great beast spawning forth monsters and tentacles which in turn devoured humans and even its own spawn. Disturbing in their seeming normalcy were the interspersed carvings of squirrels going about their business unmolested by the beast and indifferent to the commenters. Then suddenly the squirrel vocalizations stopped only to be replaced by a scritchity, scrapity grindity sound which grew louder and louder. First flakes, then a virtual stream of black sawdust fell down the sill of the window and within a minute the only remaining parts of the screen were the carvings of the squirrels and a supporting lattice. The squirrels then streamed out through the remnants of the screen and swarmed through the Great Chamber into the hall towards the exit.
“Goodbye,” said Rufus, tears streaming down his cheeks.
(To be continued.)