Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Hope In Hell

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to another thrill – packed evening of funfunfun here at the Hellfire Club! I am your host, Choronzon, High Duke of the Eighth Circle, captain of the horde of Lord Beelzebub. Tonight, for your entertainment and, delectation, a formal challenge. As the challenged, I set the meter and take first move. And the challenger is Dream, once the Master of the Realm of Sleep, so, lets have a big hand for – Mister Sandman!!’

Dream (Morpheus)
It has been long since I was forced to play such games with Demons. I rise slowly, approach the stage. Around me a soft susurrus of sound, and a large languorous, ironic applause. “The Hellfire Club”. It feels like a bad joke. And like everything else in Hell, it is deadly serious.

‘So, you know the rules, Dreamlord? If you win, I will return your helm. If you lose, you will serve as a plaything of Hell, for eternity. Our slave.’

“I understand.”

‘Very well, I have the first move.’

The Oldest game

Choronzon: I am a dire wolf, prey – stalking, lethal prowler.

Dream: “I’m a hunter, horse – mounted, wolf – stabbing.”

I smell spilt alcohol, stale smoke and cheap sex, perfume and mold. And I feel grass beneath my hooves, the flanks between my legs. All is real. Nothing is real. Choronzon’s move.

Choronzon: ‘I am a horsefly, horse – stinging, hunter – throwing.’

There are many ways to lose the oldest game. Failure of nerve, hesitation. Being unable to shift into a defensive shape. Lack of imagination.

Dream: “I am a spider, fly – consuming, eight legged.”

Choronzon: ‘I am a snake, spider – devouring, poison – toothed.’

Dream: “I am an ox, snake – crushing, heavy footed.”

I feel the snake writhe beneath my hoof, its spine crushed.

Choronzon: ‘I am an anthrax, butcher bacterium, warm – life destroying.’

A change in direction, but still an old gambit. I think I understand how Choronzon plays. How I can turn it against him. I think I will abandon the offensive.

Dream: “I am a world, space – floating, life nurturing.”

Choronzon: ‘I am a nova, all – exploding, planet – cremating.’

Dream: “I am the universe, all things encompassing, all life embracing.”

Choronzon: ‘I am anti – life, the beast of judgement. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, gods, worlds. Of everything.’ And what will you be then, Dreamlord?

Dream: I am Hope.

Excerpt from The Sandman Volume 1 ‘Preludes and Nocturnes’ by Neil Gaiman


Hargobind Khalsa said...

this is not my original work, as i have stated at the end of the post. all credit is for neil gaiman, who made this possible. i wrote this entire excerpt simply because of the effect the Dreamlord's last sentence had on me. like i was hit by a tonne of bricks in all the wrong places. may it hit you too.

Tripert said...

" I AM GOD "

A little window to my world said...

whoa... i gotta read sand man... tht was... whoa...
good one sky man.. ps... ur original works is something like this... jus a little more crude...:)