Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Chapter 9: Rage

Achilles and Hector

Rage.  Of rage I sing, and of Achilles and Hector, who purvey its destruction.

The tension expanded to fill the Dwelling.  The combatants stood opposite each other, stances wide for stability, Frog-ready, bellies arched to reveal flaming skin.

The air was aquarium-humid, a stifling combination of heat and Wet.  Achilles and Hector circled each other, each waiting for their opponent to misstep or falter.  

A stillness came upon the scene.  Wet trickled slowly out of the filter.  The plants stood still.  Achilles hesitated.  Hector spied an opportunity.

A Bound sent Hector through the air, ambitious in the moment, Frog-bent on victory.  Big Achilles met Hector, with a staunch hop, grappling him mid-air and sending the heroes tumbling into depths of toil and wet.

They tumbled, a hurly-burly of Rage, fire, and skill.  Belly-to-belly, an even fight, they exchanged pointed and planned blows, each working a strategy to fell the other.

Advantage passed from one to the other, and back.  Heads against Tails, Cold against Heat, Fire against Water,  Diablo versus Satan--these were the only comparisons for the fight--the warriors were evenly matched as any in the dusty books of history.  

Up onto the log the battle went, to the pinnacle of the Dwelling, Glory shining from each stroke of the exchange.

Victory.  That indecisive and fickle word.  That Clever Cricket, that evasive Morsel of Fate and Chance, persisted in its fleetingness as much in this fight as ever before.  With each Snatch, Lunge, and Smack, Victory danced, a drunken fairy, fleet-footed and evasive, favoring first Hector and then Achilles, and finally coming to rest...

A misstep, a minor miscalculation, was the Opening of Pandora's Box.  Hector, master of the spear and the sword, lost his balance for the briefest of briefs, a Frog-foot dangling off the edge of the log.

Achilles, The Runner, Gluttonous for Glory, exploited this providence.  Throwing his weight Full-Frog at Hector, he grasped for Frog and Glory.

Slime.  That other word, that thing which is on every Frog, chaos-inspiring and slippery, had a death-grip on the Wheel of Fate.  Like Achilles' coating of water from the river Styx, Hector's Frog-Slime brought him victory and fame.  As Achilles grasped for Hector, Slime threw the wheel of Fate, spinning it round, so that Hector was at the golden zenith and Achilles suddenly at the Depths of Despair.

And so Mustardseed's hands slipped, and he fell Full-Frog off the log, into Wet and sham`ed defeat.

Mote stood, Imperious and Victorious upon the log, and ribbited a Yawp, resounding through the Dwelling and Beyond. 

Such was one of many games played today, by my Friends.

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