Friday, 21 November 2014

A Colloquy of Crabs

Come youth!
The tide is turning, and we shall taste rare flesh.
Pick we will at pipes and gristle.
The sea has salted them, and soften'd on the bone.
Come youth, and you shall eat your shellful.

To which the youth enquired:
What is this limb-strewn seabed Lost-Claw?
This thoroughfare of hewn thews?

To which Lost-Claw replied:
Battle blazed here youth, Beast and Darkling strove
Upon the silent sands, all to skein a knavesong.
Look here. 'Tis Cervalas, stags' prince of silver'd tines.
Monarch of the gloaming glen, now good for feasting.
O how the hinds are mourning! He is fallen.
What would you have? Which eye?

To which the youth replied:
The left, always, if there's choice.
What thing is this? Ill-favoured I charge!

To which Lost-Claw replied:
A spriggan. Child-stealers, bloom-blighters. Sour types.
With struck-oak club adept at cracking skulls.
Lovers of lightning. A crackling lash their chieftain wields.
Try a morsel, a meaty mouthful.... More yet?

To which the youth replied:
More Lost-Claw, more! Meat so supple!

To which Lost-Claw declared:
Fain indulgence now would spare you later pleasures.
Scuttle hither. See this duel-scarred blade?
'Tis Finvarra's only. One of a kind.

To which the youth enquired:
Who is this Finvarra? He bore a honed terror.

To which Lost-Claw replied:
Now? A spread laid for scavengers. Slimy hagfish
twisting through his innards. And headless to boot.
Then? Captain of the Troop Unseelie. A terrible aelf.
A kinsman of his king. Cruel o'erweening.
Look for his head.

To which the youth declared:
'Tis here! A hefty haul away.
No eyes. A broken ball. Fish-bitten lips.
How untopped then? What tale could his carcass tell?

To which Lost-Claw replied:
Read with me this ragging stump and we'll reason his demise.
See those scratches deep at 'neath the sunder'd neck.
I know the storied claws that rent them, so too the violet scent.
Dobhar-Chรบ, the otter king. A mirthy killing dealt he.
Always laughing, laying to the fray, long striking.
Pelt whiter than the White Queen's flank. War's lord
Of the Waterdogs. Unbested. Awful. Savage.

To which the youth enquired:
Aquainted well you were then, with this paragon?

To which Lost-Claw replied:
Aye, I've nipped his toe a time or two. Saucy youth!
Ah here's a hero's work.
Limbs bereft of bodies, bodies lacking limbs.

To which the youth exclaimed:
They move!
Why do they twitch? Could the tide be tugging them?

To which Lost-Claw replied:
Knowless youth thou! Twice dead they are, threshed and scatter'd.
Now try this paled shred.
Taste, do you, that necromantic nectar? O
Succulent sludge!
Veins a-clog with vivifying victuals, forsooth
'Pon a dish of darkness dine we.

To which the youth enquired:
Who served it to us Lost-Claw?
Who carved these jitter'd joints? A tang of Jack do I detect?

To which Lost-Claw replied:
Clever tasted! The tricksy lord of foxes trouble caused,
Brought brutish war upon the Beastly Court.
Our dragon queen descended, deigned to bid
Her troop march out and take the dead to task.
Unliving raised were they, and a rage of ruin faced.
So here we find them; flopping fillets larder'd.

The tide turns back, we'll tarry not, but first
I'll cut this clouded bauble from its cave...

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