Field of Poppies

[Some more weirdness from ‘Absinthe Heroes’. What would an Evil Chocolatier do?

Let’s find out.]

CHASTITY: So what is it you intend, Antikythera?

ANTIKYTHERA: I shall take over the world!

ADASTRA: “The World”? No! That little theatre down on Grove stret where the ladies regularly dance in nothing but silky overgarments and under-attire of a Persian style? Egads! No!

ANTIKYTHERA: He’s not really this stupid, is he?

ADASTRA: Sadly, no.

CHASTITY: Can we continue to navigate boldly forward, somewhere in the direction of the point of this conversation?


CHASTITY: So, how will you do it?


Does it matter
What the tools are?
I have figures, I have charts
I’m a master of machines
But I will win through the human heart

I’ve said before
I’ll say again
At heart I am a chocolatier
You gain a world, not with a gun,
For desire conquers fear

I’ve got of field of poppies
Skillfully cross-bred
And a dozen tiny pistons
In each flower-head

Don’t stifle hope
For if you do
You can be sure one day
Some upstart brat
With shining eyes
Will wipe your works away

Don’t be a tyrant
Don’t be a parent
Those rulers last not long
But let humans
Be human beings
And you might not go far wrong

I’ve got a field of poppies
They’ve mild telepathic powers
They sometimes use them to seduce
Other sorts of flowers

Don’t assume
They won’t be stupid
For humans often will
Don’t assume
They won’t be brilliant
They’ll be both–
It’s a skill

But give them something
They can love
Something they’ll covet
Not chemically addictive but
Hard to forget

Oh, in my field of poppies
Clockwork men stand guard
To nurture them and care for them
(And sometimes to play cards)

I grow my own
Better than wine
Better than any drug
Harder to decline

Nothing’s so sweet–
And yet the tongue
Is carefully seduced
It’s done with science–
Or magic; I
Forget which I produced

I’ll take your antigravity
For my microgametophytes
The pollen of my poppies will
Achieve transatlantic flight

They’ll seed the Earth –
For just one Spring
And after that will die
Only one man
Can bring them back
As you might assume – I

Could it go wrong?
Of course it could.
We don’t control all fate.
But experiments
Will keep me young
I can afford to wait.

It won’t be easy; it won’t be safe
There’ll be some death and such
But relatively speaking
It probably won’t be too much

Does it matter
What the tools are?
I have figures, I have charts
I’m a master of machines
But I will win through the human heart.

(There is a pause.)

CHASTITY: So in lust for your candy, the human race will follow you?

ANTIKYTHERA: If I supply the candy, I think humanity will supply the lust.

ADASTRA: You’ll never get away with this!


ADASTRA: Free men would never trade their freedom for comfort and delicious snacks!

ANTIKYTHERA: You think so?

ADASTRA: No, not really. Frankly, they’ll be beating down your door for the opportunity.

[End Scene Abruptly.]

~Jeff Mach


Ah, Steampunk. My home and native land. I don’t like what they’ve done to the place, but now I live in a circus, and it’s better.

My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities, put on events, and make stories come into being. I also tweet a lot over @darklordjournal.

I write books. You should read them!

I put on a convention for Villains every February.

I created a Figmental Circus. It’s happening this June. You should go!

Jeff Mach Written by:

Jeff Mach is an author, playwright, event creator, and certified Villain. You can always pick up his bestselling first novel, "There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN"—or, indeed, his increasingly large selection of other peculiar books. If you'd like to talk more to Jeff, or if you're simply a Monstrous Creature yourself, stop by @darklordjournal on Twitter, or The Dark Lord Journal on Facebook.