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25 short pieces about death - Words in the Heroes' Tongue
I have a variable-sword. I urge calm.
25 short pieces about death
Thanks to everyone who posted good wishes in response to my last post about my ill health. I’m sorry but I haven’t felt up to replying to the flood of comments individually. The doctor has ruled out a clostridium infection and now believes that I have diverticulitis. I don’t understand all the medical terminology – see curiouswombat’s LJ for that – but the results of my blood tests worried him. So not what I wanted to hear. There is something that has a normal range of 0.2 – 0.6 and mine is 20. I have to go back to the hospital in a week to have further tests done. It doesn’t sound as if I’m going to be back to good health any time soon.

I haven’t felt like working on any of my WIPs recently. I’m going to try to get some work done tonight. What I have done is a morbid little piece about death. It contains spoilers for a couple of the stories within the ‘Tales of the Slayers’ collections, for my own stories ‘The Cloak of Mist’ and ‘Lonely on the Mountain’, and also for quinara’s superb watchersdiaries ‘Tales of the Slayer’ story Propugnatrix Pollia.

Twenty-five deaths of the Slayer

The false undead, blasphemous in the sight of Anubis, didst set upon Nebet and strive to drink her blood. She slew many, but then one smote her upon the head with a copper axe, and she died.

Inaras battled the mighty demon Illuyankas outside the city of Hattusas. She slew the creature but lost her arm in the battle and would have bled to death had Hupasiya her Watcher not bound the wound. Her handicap led to her death not long afterwards, slain by a single vampire, but her great victory was remembered by the Hittites and she passed into their mythology as a goddess.

Artazostre of Persepolis used a bow and arrows to slay vampires. A leader arose among them who was of great cunning and he ordered his clan to wear armor of bronze scales. She cut off his head with an akinakes, a short sword of Scythian pattern, but one of his fellows fastened his teeth in her throat and drained her blood.

Thessily Thessilonikki ran three hundred miles in four days and then died from the wound of a poisoned arrow. She was twenty-nine years old and the tally of her victories was beyond reckoning.

Pollia neglected her duties. She occupied herself with drink and lustful practices and ignored the vampires. The personal guard of the Emperor Claudius hanged her between two trees.

Leubovera of Poitiers took a spear through the lung. She fell, picked herself up, cut the head from her killer, and crossed herself as he dusted; and then she died.

The hunters of the village could not prevail against the Chimiset but Jengalat tracked it down and fought it. Its claws laid her shoulder open to the bone but her spear found its heart. As she staggered back to the village a pack of hyenas attacked her and they pulled her down.

Bahey Dhone died in the city of Kaifeng, five thousand miles from her home, four years after she was Called. She fought a dozen jiāngshī and had the upper hand until a human traitor to the Emperor stabbed her from behind and pierced her kidney. She spun around, slashed his head from his shoulders, and then fought on until she fell. Only one wounded jiāngshī remained when she went down at last and the locals fell upon it with rice flails and destroyed it. They heard her cry out ‘Egil!’ as the breath left her, and they wondered at the joy on her face, but none were there who understood.

Taet-Khema of the Tangut perished on the cold tundra. Her bow was broken and her quiver was empty. A trail of dead demons stretched back for four miles along her path.

Jeanne d’Arc of Domrémy interpreted her powers according to her upbringing and abjured the Watchers. She used her powers against the English, slew many, and survived the strike of a cannon ball at the storm of Jargeau. Later she was captured, tried for the crime of wearing male clothing, found guilty and burned at the stake. Her body was burned twice thereafter to reduce it to powder ash.

Kusirimay Jarawi was declared as the Chosen One who must be sacrificed to save her people. The priests took her to the high Andes and mummified her alive. One year later Prince Viracocha was slain by Phuku, the Demon who drinks the blood of Men, and there was war between the Canaris and the Inca. Three years after that the Spanish landed and allied with the Canaris. The Inca Empire fell. Centuries later Kusirimay rose once more, took the name of Ampata, lived for a short while and then was reduced to dust by Buffy Summers.

Zofia sallied forth from the besieged city of Vienna to battle against efreeti summoned by a wizard in the service of Ibrahim Pasha. She destroyed the creatures and slew the wizard but was shot down by janissaries as she tried to escape back into the city.

Avinashi slew many rakshasa until a manushya-rakshasa in human form caught her by surprise and stabbed her through the liver.

Ildikó died, drugged and helpless, in the Iron Maiden of Countess Elizabeth Báthory-Nadasdy.

Huenteao burned in the fiery embrace of the Cherufe demon. She threw herself from a precipice and took the demon with her to its doom.

Jurate fought werewolves in the depths of the forest. She slew many but one fastened its teeth in her arm. On the morning following the night before the next full moon she woke naked and bloodstained far from home. She killed herself.

Mosadiwamosasa tracked the tokoloshe across the Kalahari. They ambushed her from holes in the ground and, though she slew them, her leg was broken. She died of thirst.

A drunken sergeant of the Seventh Cavalry shot Stronger Than Bears twice in the chest. She was still alive when her Watcher emptied his Webley Royal Irish Constabulary revolver into the sergeant’s head and then knelt beside her. He held her hand as she died; and he wept.

Chen Pei Lao fought a gweilo vampire one on one. He was confident and skilful but could not match her. She slashed a gouge across his eyebrow and then went in for the kill. An explosion nearby shook the building. Both combatants were distracted but he recovered his balance the faster and was on her. She spoke to him as his fangs neared her throat but his Chinese was limited to a few phrases suitable for asking directions and ordering food and drink. Her last words were incomprehensible to him and there was no-one else present to hear.

Britta was swamped by weight of numbers. Her death was recorded on film.

Nikki was evenly matched with the vampire who had slain Chen Pei Lao. Their first encounter ended inconclusively. They fought again on a subway train. Nikki gained the upper hand but lost the initiative as she reached for her stake and the vampire broke her neck.

Isilla came close to eradicating the vampires that preyed on the street children of São Paulo. She was shot to death by gang members who mistakenly believed her to be an undercover policewoman.

Kendra looked into Drusilla’s eyes and was lost. A razor sharp fingernail slashed open her carotid artery and her life blood spurted forth.

Grace tracked the kumwana to his lair on the mountain and fought him there. She damaged his leg so that he could not flee, broke his arm so that he could not parry, and then pulled out her stake. She had sent him staggering backwards just a little too far and he had space enough to fumble his rifle free of its shoulder-sling with his one good arm and to swing up the muzzle and point it at her. She hesitated. “Look into my eyes,” he ordered, and she obeyed. Her body was found the next morning and the killing was attributed either to a leopard or a rogue baboon.

Rona died of old age.

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Current Mood: morbid

54 comments or speak 2 me
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frenchani From: frenchani Date: September 20th, 2006 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry to hear that you're ill. I dindt' know it! Looks like I missed a lot of things. I miss syderia 's birthday as well.

Best wishes.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 22nd, 2006 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
frimfram From: frimfram Date: September 20th, 2006 08:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's wonderful. I loved Chen Pei Lao's. No one else was present to hear - except us lot.

I hope very much that you feel better soon.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 22nd, 2006 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 22nd, 2006 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
paratti From: paratti Date: September 20th, 2006 09:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Get well soon, pet.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 22nd, 2006 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
sammywol From: sammywol Date: September 20th, 2006 09:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bitter and beautiful! (I especially enjoyed poor Joan - daft girl! Although tellign the Watchers to stuff it is not the stupidest ploy in the world.)

Feel better soon. Constant pain is horirble. Hope the medicos have it right this time.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 22nd, 2006 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
quinara From: quinara Date: September 20th, 2006 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh - like it!

And will you ever stop pimping me? I blush every single time. ;) (That was a rather awkward THANK YOU! by the way. And it's extremely cool to see Pollia rubbing shoulders with her sisters - makes her seem even more of a spoilt little madam.)

And about you - *worries* Feel better soon.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 22nd, 2006 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
bogwitch From: bogwitch Date: September 20th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just wiki'd the diverticultis and the Leukocytosis. I shall complain abotu my achy tummy no more!

The fic was really interesting and gloomy. Just the way I like them!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 22nd, 2006 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
timeofchange From: timeofchange Date: September 20th, 2006 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry things are not as you would wish, healthwise. The story is flawless, though. I swear that your writing keeps getting better and better. You constantly surprise me with your work.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 22nd, 2006 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
spikereader From: spikereader Date: September 20th, 2006 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry to hear you're still not feeling well. Hope the docs can figure out a more definite diagnosis and get you on the road to recovery.

Sent some virtual hugs via CW - as the real ones are a bit painful at the moment.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 22nd, 2006 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
ffutures From: ffutures Date: September 20th, 2006 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent, especially the last line. Too many stories lately seem to be saying that activating the Potentials was a mistake. I prefer to think of it as Buffy's greatest victory.
ffutures From: ffutures Date: September 20th, 2006 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Forgot to say sorry that I didn't comment on your previous post - I think I simply missed it after a fairly horrid day at work. Hope you feel better soon.
gillo From: gillo Date: September 20th, 2006 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm selfishly glad you're feeling well enough to write, though concerned about your health. These are wonderful - I especially love Joan of Arc as a Slayer (makes all sorts of sense) and some of the ancient mythical Slayers. And the canon Jossverse Slayers too, of course. Beautiful work as always. I love the way you adapt your style to the idiom of the slayer of the moment.

Look after yourself, eat wisely and follow doctors' orders. I devoutly hope you won't be sentenced to bland food, but do anything to get your health and strength back. ::hugs you totally Platonically::
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 22nd, 2006 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
desdemonaspace From: desdemonaspace Date: September 20th, 2006 10:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
**is gobsmacked**

That's some telescoping of time, and mixing fanon, canon, and history, you talented man, you! I'm glad you let Rona reach a ripe old age.

I'm glad you're feeling well enough to gift us with this. I've missed reading you. Get well, hear?
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 22nd, 2006 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
woman_of_ From: woman_of_ Date: September 20th, 2006 11:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hope you get well soon! Tummy problems are so painful, that is my weakness.

Oh the slayer stories were outstanding, even better than "Tales of the Slayers"! Great work. Loved the take on original characters as well.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 22nd, 2006 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
cbtreks From: cbtreks Date: September 21st, 2006 12:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't even have words to tell you how good this is. I have tears in my eyes - this is one of the most moving things I've ever read.

Hope you begin feeling better soon.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 22nd, 2006 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
myfeetshowit From: myfeetshowit Date: September 21st, 2006 01:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I haven't been online for a while and missed the posts about your health. I'm so sorry to hear you've been unwell, and hope you'll be feeling better soon.

*crosses fingers*

myfeetshowit From: myfeetshowit Date: September 21st, 2006 01:32 am (UTC) (Link)
...and hit enter without meaning to. Don't ask me how that's done, because I couldn't do it if I wanted too.

*crosses fingers* in hopes that all will be well.
54 comments or speak 2 me
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