Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Magician's Last Trick

Calm now. Rested. That... thing is gone now.

I'm ready to explain.

When I arrived in the Empty City, I could see birds flying in the sky. So the Convocation was there. How lovely. I wasted no time in heading for where the Hallowed had captured Sleight. Partly because I needed to be there before the Convo noticed, and partly because I had no idea when the City would shift itself next.

It seemed to be a bakery-- though there was no food in it of course. Three Hallowed held Sleight against the wall. A fourth was lying on the ground a few feet away, a knife sticking out of his throat. Sleight seemed to have given up, but when he saw me he started struggling and screaming.

"You! You sent it didn't you! It's followed me since that night! What is it!?"

Well, needless to say, I was perplexed by his words, and I wasted no time in informing him that I had sent nothing after him. I'd spent most of my time trying to find him myself.

"It had to be you. The Eye watches me. It watches... My name is John Kramer. My favorite color is blue. My favorite food is roast beef. I'm not a bad man. My name is John Kramer. My favorite color is blue..."

It was at this point that I realized he was too far gone to provide me with any useful information.

I sighed, and turned to look out the window. The street was brightly lit, and very well kept-- not even crack-- and there was a shadow...

That set off alarm bells. Shadows in the Empty City are rare, and tend to come from one particular kind of source.

Panic gripped me, and I ran for the backdoor, shouting at the Hallowed to "throw him out the window and run like hell."

I heard a crash, but I have no idea if they were able to follow through on the second part of the order, since by then I was running down an alley and the ground was shaking.

The Cardinal Rule of traversing the Empty City: never interfere with its food.

I imagine that Sleight or John or whatever was tossed onto the street just as the poor lost wanderer was passing by the shop. That poor lost wanderer, a victim of the Empty City, doomed to wander its streets until death's liberation, would be the food. And the City was angry about its food being disturbed, and its wrath was terrible to behold.

The world shifted all around me. I saw glimpses of trees and rivers and cottages and suburbs and warehouses and ancient buildings... the Empty City transformed and shuffled all within it around. Still I ran. I ran until I was out of breath, so intent was I on putting as much distance between myself and the food as possible.

It was nearly entire day before the City had calmed down enough that it allowed me to leave. Sleight won't be leaving any time soon, though. He broke the rule. He's trapped forever.

I understand that the Convocation is trying to convince the City to hand him over to them. I wish them luck. I don't think the Empty City is even capable of telling the difference between two individual humans. Nor do I think it particularly cares.

And of course, there's the matter of Sleight's ranting. The Eye. I saw it. It was just outside the window. Looked like it was growing out of a fucking tree. And it was watching me.

It was watching me very closely.



  1. If I ever find you, I'll tear out your goddamn throat. You proxies make me sick. All who join with the monster must die.

  2. Yes, yes. You're oh so very full of self-righteous fury. I get it. Go bother someone else now.


  3. Don't worry, Stewart. As long as you're guilty of absolutely nothing, the Eye shouldn't be that much of a problem. It's not like you've done anything worthy of its Judgement, right?