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The End Is Near

Whereupon reality meets fantasy

I am completely mad, at least there is a strong possibility that I am; for reality could in no way be as warped as I see it. Perhaps I had best explain though, for mad men are rarely lucid enough to realize their sanity has slipped, and I have just stated that I theorize that mine, too, has slipped.

I only hope my moment of lucidity lasts long enough for me to write you this account; now let me see... it started over a year ago. Indeed it may have actually been longer, for it was with small things I first noticed it.

As you cannot read my mind, (I hope), I will offer you an instance. Every so often, whilst out walking, I'd see a glimmer, as if, just for an instant, I was looking out at the world from the wrong side of a looking glass. What I would see would be disturbing, even to the most courageous knight, just for a moment I would see an ugly, malformed head staring back at me, To what monstrous being it could possibly belong... I cannot say.

Soon after the first time I noticed it, I mentioned it to a friend of mine—and I should have known better than to talk of such things with a cleric. He looked me in the eye, and with a straight face told me that I had had a vision of what lies behind the matrices that bind our world. I mean really—that sounds like the mumbo jumbo the recite when resurrecting some unfortunate adventurer.

Another instance would be the time, about eight months ago now, when a group of my friends, and myself, set out to slay a horrific dragon that was terrorizing the countryside, and kidnapping young maidens. We trailed the creature to its lair without much difficulty, (we only had to slay a few kobalds, and a couple of skeleton warriors). It was a completely normal adventure, at least until we reached the dragons den.

Once we reached the cave, wherein the dragon had built its lair, strange things began to occur. First we were attacked by a dozen ferocious skeleton captains, (and who ever heard of dragons and skeletons cooperating?), and once they had joined the bony debris littering the ground, a humongous, (it stood as high as a dwarf), poison spitting spider attacked. After a short battle we dispatched the creature, but as it died it dropped a ring of invisibility, which was strange, for as we all know spiders don't wear rings.

Having killed all the lesser creatures, and drunk our antidote potions, the cleric called upon some obscure, (and no doubt minor), deity—he called “the progrimmer” to heal our battle wounds; and strangely enough they were healed. Whereupon we crept into the heart of the dragon's lair, and after a long and arduous fight, that left two of our numbers near death, the beast was slain. The cleric stated he could cure our friends if he had a vial of dragon's blood, but it had completely dissolved by the time I turned. As there were only pools of blood remaining I had no difficulty filling the vial. When I pointed out that the beasts corpse was missing, the Paladin looked at me, and after asking if I was all right, he then told me it was perfectly normal. But creatures of chaos cooperating, and corpses dissolving into thin air is not normal— not to me.

A couple of weeks ago I went to sleep, and after I awoke the next morning, I went for a walk, and promptly got lost. Somehow during the night the town had changed. Buildings were rearranged, the sun was on the wrong side of the sky, everything was different from how I remember it.

When I was young I can recall laughing at the old men that went about prophesying doom. I recall, particularly, thinking that the ones with the signs proclaiming “the end is near” were completely mad. Today some young fool walked up to me, and smacked me with a rubber chicken, when I stood up, (for I had been sitting) the ruffian was skipping merrily down the street, bashing every other person with his weapon of choice. As I looked down the street I knew my reality was badly warped, for there were gangs of men lighting fires in the street; and grown men arguing over the finer points of needlework; and everybody acting as if this was quite normal.

Next time you pass through the town I will be easy to spot, for if the the world is going crazy, then a sane man must be mad... or is it the other way around...

Now where did I put that paint bucket... mustn't waste that, I might need it again. I'm sure you'll like my new sign, it reads “ the end is near.”

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The End Is Near
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