I. Once there was a blithering fool
(A pawn, a cat’s-paw, a Wizard’s tool)
Who spent too long breathing Wizard fumes
And knew too many Wizard Dooms.
The Doom of Demons, breathing through,
The Doom of Dragons, taking you,
The Doom of everlasting night,
The Doom of the ravenous, hungry Blight.
From massive volcanoes to deadly Microbia,
Everything triggered his thanatophobia.
Everything he thought or saw
Looked like the entrance to the Grave’s ugly maw.
Now, the Wizard that he happened to work for
Was cracked by Magic, and at Death’s door
And on the coming Equinox Vernal,
She was planning the spell of Life Eternal.
This the fool could not abide
He’d die? While she, from Death, could hide?
His own plot, then, he began to hatch
His overreach; his overmatch…
Those of you who study plot
Know already what he does not:
If there’s a story told herein,
This poor schnook just cannot win.
Take her power? May it not be!
He’d surely find Eternity
Is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Try and fail? That’s even worse
He’d please for death; he’d wish for a hearse
And that would make for depressing verse.
I hate to destroy dramatic tension,
(Broken fourth walls cause poetic declension)
But though it makes less exciting narration,
He eventually decided on conversation.
“Master,” he said, “I find it unpleasant,”
That you’re a free spirit, and I’m a stuffed pheasant.
Why must I soon meet cessation
Whilst you’re on the cusp of the Great Liberation?”
The Wizard laughed; the Wizard smiled,
“Oh, you’re a most amusing child!”
(“I’m twenty-eight,” the apprentice whined;
but the Wizard paid him absolutely no mind.)
“You silly thing,” she did continue,
“To harbor such resentment in you!
You speak to me—in a manner short!
When you’ve completely mistook this spell’s import.”
The Apprentice replied, with trembling tongue,
“Forgive me, Master! I’m terribly young!”
(“You’re twenty-eight,” she did remind,
But it did no good, and on he whined):
“Life Eternal! What a boon!
To have life go on from Noon to Noon!
I see it now. You are bestowing
The Stream of Life, ever-flowing.
“You Queen of Kindness! Magician clever!
Because of you, we’ll live forever!
We’ll all toast you, with flagons lifted,
She whom to us Life Eternal’s gifted.”
The Wizard’s face held a smile’s ghost,
“Oh, no, dear,” she said, “It’s YOU they’ll toast.”
The Apprentice’s eyes did quick expand.
“I’m sorry. I don’t understand.”
A crack of thunder. A second crack.
In blew a wind of ominous tack.
The room did coldly then endarken.
The Wizard gestured to him: “Harken!”
“Oh yes. You’ll all forever exist.
But I’ll be away, carried on mist,
To places where humans cannot follow,
To atom’s core, and dark woods’ hollow.
I will be on another plane,
Spinning spells like a weathervane,
Making a world more to my suiting,
With cogitation and blasphemous computing.
And you, dear boy, will the Hero be!
And won’t it just be loverly?
They’ll chant your name ’til they’re out of breath,
The sorcerer who conquered Death!
I’ve cast a spell from Stonehenge’s peak,
And thence I’ll all revenges wreak:
For Life Eternal is no blessing.
(It’s a dirty trick that I’m confessing.)
A life forever? Check the Law
Dictated by The Monkey’s Paw.
Limitations aren’t always joys,
But ‘limitless’ is just a ploy.
“Never dying” is a limit
Which contains many problems within it.
Why could possibly be sweeter
Than stuffing with infinite sweets,
’til the sweets own the eater?
How hard to appreciate the Sun,
When a million days, swallowed one by one
Each see that same Sun rise and set?
Endless time begets regret
For motivation’s difficult,
Productivity suffers, in a world wherein
‘Waiting ’til tomorrow’s never a sin;
If a thousand thousand nextdays await,
Why bother, today, to concentrate?”
The Wizard smiled. “Now, you’ve been taught
To understand both ‘some’ and ‘naught’,
And you should see (at least, I hope)
That I’m giving humanity all the rope
They’ll ever need for self-hanging.”
And with the windows shaking, the rafters banging,
She disappeared into the stormy eve,
And what a troubled apprentice she did leave…
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.