Nozh enters a forest. He’s here to hunt men.
As he comes upon a deep hole, he throws a coin in. It seems without end as the coin PLONKS along the way down.
I shall call you Menteth.
A mist rolls in.
Nozh steps towards the hole MENTETH’s edge. The mist is blinding. Nozh trips, falls in.
A cavern of living crystals sway and bend like jello. Nozh, violet skinned in the crystal light, picks up his forked tail, wraps it around his waist, checks his horns – no chips – SIGHS with relief.
Lucky, Menteth. I just grew these back.
Are you listening…?
A HOWLING WIND bellows through.
Nozh raises his arms to shield against its gusts. The wind cuts his toes.
Fine. I’ll come.
Nozh continues on and his steps ECHO as he follows the glistening crystal lights bubble in and out of pattern. He mumbles about his bleeding toes, turns a corner and finds a glowing cactus with two upright arms.
Ho, Guardian! Know you stand before the Iron Devil, Nozh of the Mountains of Macedonia. Oppose me and your soul will be rendered asunder.
The cactus is silent.
The cactus drops a needle from its brow.
Nozh picks it up, examines it, smiles and uses it as a toothpick.
The crystals’ light begins to turn red, blue, yellow then psychedelic in hue. The ground beneath Nozh breaks and he floats through into a grey cloud of flying white spots.
A broken paradox charts a star’s fall.
Nozh lands on large red lips with several edges, sitting upon the face of every woman turn one.
Humanity’s Mother has no place on Ea–
Nozh opens his eyes to a wooden room, he’s fallen back on a table chair. His brothers, Mesechinata the Moon Devil and Zemjata the Soil Devil, laugh at him.
That hole tricked me again.