Title: Pricks & Thumbs-05
Fandom: Fear Mythos
Characters: Rich Providence
Rating: T (L0 N0 S0 V2 D1)
Warnings: Disturbing, but non-explicit discussion of hunting razorhounds. Talk about going to the cheesehouse to drink kumis.
Notes: Fish has … FRIENDS? And they aren’t all LIBRARIANS? *gasp!* Yes, he made it to the library. No, this isn’t going up officially until Monday.
So, I went to the library. I guess it’s a good thing I wrote down that dream, because that’s what they took. I can understand it, when I read it, but I can’t see it. It’s like it happened to someone else. They were nice about it, like they always are. Brought me a cup of chicory and spike with honey, chatted with me about work, when I gave them some new films.
I guess it’s funny to say ‘chatted’, with Librarians, because they don’t really talk. They just sort of… I don’t know. You sit with one, and you know what he means to say. You know what he wants you to tell him. I mean, sure, anything they want to know, they can just reach in and take, but they’re not rude about it. They’ll ‘talk’ to you, first, and then make an offer.
The films got me a couple more non-fiction books about geography and civilizations. Just overview stuff, really, but I’m starting to think ‘everyone is missing’ isn’t such a crazy idea. I don’t know the names of any landmarks near here, from before, so I’m not sure where we are on the map, but I can see that the population of pretty much everywhere used to be pretty dense. Well, compared to how things are, now.
New Stanton is only a few thousand people. I remember, when I was younger, watching people move in. Twenty here, fifty there. Whoever made it through the razorhounds, all the way to the town. A lot of them didn’t make it, I think. I remember people crying, and the doctors were always busy, after a group arrived. Locals with airguns and spears would walk the forest path, to make sure the razorhounds hadn’t followed anyone in. I think the razorhounds don’t like the Dryads, because it was only maybe once or twice a year, they’d actually kill one. The sound was horrible, like the wind had learned to scream, and even though there weren’t any words in it, our heads were filled with the most horrifying images. It was like being a razorhound and making its last kill. I think those were supposed to be threats, and they worked. I was scared. I’m still scared.
But, I look around and I really have to try to imagine cities with millions of people. Seven billion people in the world, the book told me. There’s not another town within five days’ ride, and that’s as far as anyone will go, because that’s all the supplies you can carry, if you expect your neohippus to outrun the razorhounds all night, so you can rest during the day. So, if there’s … I’ll have to ask Miss Nancy, but I don’t think there’s more than ten thousand people here, and that’s if you count the Dryads and the parts of The River that don’t come out of the water. Maybe that’s it. I wonder how far that river goes, and if The River can reach another town on it… I don’t think razorhounds swim. I bet somebody asked, already, and I bet I know what the price was. At least they only want fruit, bread, and cheese in trade for eels and crayfish. I think we’d all starve without The River and the Dryads.
Well, that’s not quite true. I mean, there would still be cheesehouses, but they wouldn’t have bread and ale. Reminds me, I should see if Jimmy and Lola want to go to Slurry’s for a couple pints of kumis. I haven’t seen them in a week, and they get so bent when I don’t visit. I get so guilty when Jimmy stares and Lola flutters her wings at me. … Of course, he’s a Cynic, so I’m supposed to feel guilty when he stares…