Tag Archives: lion

Degryphontology, Part II

Continued from Part I.

After many months of reading and breeding, Archibald at last found an answer, and returned to the bridge with a new pet in tow.

“No dragons!” shouted the old man.

“It’s not a dragon,” replied Archibald.

“Well what is it then? Bearing in mind there are similar rules against a variety of exotic pets.”

“Take a look,” said Archibald. “Her name’s Henrietta.”

The old man took a few nervous steps towards the beast on the end of Archibald’s leash.

“No eagles!” shouted the old man.

“How can it be an eagle?” asked Archibald reasonably. “Look at those hind paws! Look at her golden, rope-like tail.”

“True,” admitted the bridgekeeper. He hemmed and hawwed a little while longer, then retreated to his hut, to emerge a few minutes later with a clipboard, on which he scribbled notes.

“Head… of… eagle, apparently body… of… lion. Unclassifiable. Very well,” said the old bridgekeeper, somewhat begrudgingly. “You may pass.”

Archibald gave Henrietta a celebratory leaf of lettuce and they started across the bridge. Half-way across he started chuckling.

“I think you could call that ‘the bypassing of laws based on strict categorisation using an object that sits equally across several categories and thus belongs to none’,” he said to nobody in particular. “Or to coin a word… degryphontology!” and he laughed loudly at his own joke, since there was nobody else to.

“Grawk!” agreed Henrietta, and chewed on her lettuce leaf.

They lost the Exotic Pet competition.


The End


Cursed Roll (Part III)

Continued from Part II.

The lion scooped all into its mouth. Its tongue rasped over their burning skin, rolling them and the wooden cubes between decaying teeth and gangrenous gums. Then the lion spat the contents of its mouth onto the floor.

They bounced and rolled, bumping into the dice and each other, then came to rest. She looked over to where he lay, his body contorted into the shape of a cube. The dents in his skin were a pattern that matched those on the dice, and those on her own twisted form.

The lion stood over them, thunder in its throat. It observed, draw back lips and hissed.

“Five fours,” it said. “A winning throw.”

The lion coughed, and its victims felt their forms crack and unfold, expanding. Skin stretched, bones sprung outward, cries of pain flew as nerves blazed once again. Then two more human shapes stood unsteadily before their torturer.

“What are you?” she asked of the lion, shaking with horror.

The lion’s maw twisted with some unfathomable humour.

“I have played the great game,” it said. “Now I have won. For millennia my pieces were trees, their fate set in stone when I placed them upon the game board, and they took root.” The lion’s chest began to shake with laughter. “You interrupted my move, you gave me power over humankind. Now you are my pieces, and I have won.”

Outside, the ground shook and split, the air boiled away, and the world was returned to the box.

The End

Cursed Roll (Part II)

Continued from Part I.

“Trouble?” he said. “What do you mean, trouble? I just foraged some wood, there’s nothing wrong with that. You’re tricking me.”

She shook her head, both to disagree and disrupt the fearful quivering that was beginning to surge upwards into her neck. “Please,” she pleaded. “We have to do something. Perhaps take the dice back to woods?”

“It’s nine o’clock, it’s dark outside,” he said. “We’re not going to traipse around…”

He broke off. Over on the workbench, the cup of tea she had brought him was fizzling, popping, boiling and bubbling. Then a low growl emanated from the doorway, and they stood, rooted in fear, as a large lion with sickly green fur plodded heavily into the workshop.

Big, round brown eyes searched their faces, before settling on the dice that lay where they had fallen. The lion bared its teeth, letting saliva drip onto the floor, then roared.

They felt their skin constrict, tighten around their bones and then pull inwards. They cried out as searing pain shot through compressing muscles, joints scraped and twisted, nerves sizzled and scorched. Their bodies were pulled inwards and they shrank, down and down, folding and collapsing and grinding in upon themselves. Dents appeared on all sides of their misshapen, shrunken bodies.

The lion came forward, knocked the dice off the workbench onto the floor where the victims lay. Together they saw their broken, contorted bodies were no larger than the dice.

To be continued…