Tuesday, March 18, 2014


From "The Courts of Chaos" by Roger Zelazny

As I slogged along, I was hailed from somewhere to my left:

"Stranger! Halt and regard me!"

Wary, I halted. Couldn't see a damned thing through that fog, though.

"Hello," I said. "Where are you?"

Just then, the fogs broke for a moment and I beheld a huge head, eyes on a level with my own. They belonged to what seemed a giant body, sunk up to the shoulders in a quag. The head was bald, the skin pale as milk, with a stony texture to it. The dark eyes probably seemed even darker than they really were by way of contrast.

"I see," I said then. "You are in a bit of a fix. Can you free your arms?"

"If I strain mightily," came the reply.

"Well, let me check about for something stable you can grab onto. You ought to have a pretty good reach there."

"No. That is not necessary."

"Don't you want to get out? I thought that was why you hollered."

"Oh, no. I simply wanted you to regard me."

I moved nearer and stared, for the fog was beginning to shift again.

"All right," I said. "I have seen you."

"Do you feel my plight?"

"Not particularly, if you will not help yourself or accept help."

"What good would it do me to free myself?"

"It is your question. You answer it."

I turned to go.

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