Pages from the Diary of William Softshoes
The scent of easter is rather distinct. It's pastel colored & diabetic. Any scent of lenten diligence — specifically the coarse smell of hair shirt after forty days of spiritual toil — can be beaten out of our olfactory rug by the sweet stick of the resurrection. Chocolate eggs, saccharine chicks, fluffernutter bunnies scattered to the winds: an air born cycle of fornication.
When the viziers had finalized the golden calculations for the emperor at whitsby I was stationed with a cadre of inter-dimensional bears in Upper Qwghlm. This in itself was not so bad but there was a swarm of astronauts inhabiting the tree which abutted our encampment they were starting to nest; we all know how surly spacemen become upon inebriation (worse yet, rumor preached that they were hard up for spacewomen, too.). These moonwalkers overrun our camp nightly bartering their fantastical tales of andromeda sirens & black holes for cheap brandy & schnapps, pedaling their yarns to ensure a proper hangover the next morn. They made an art of the empty bottle. In the cold evenings their stale breath escaped in unison making the tree appear a dandelion, all fuzzed & white.
Needless to say, our camp smelled like a bar. & because of this, the redemptive spirit of candy scented jesus did not my find my nostrils that easter. Apparently, the good lord did not prefer an astronaut. All of this meant trouble & it was anno domini 667.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that (our) society's ever-growing leniency towards the "infected" (i.e., the Others) has made life inside the barricades harder and, well, weirder for those of us who just want to live some semblance of a normal life. I, myself, had been raised a strict purist — my parents had despised sugar & small lap dogs — so I was unaffected when the news came down us, the protectors of Upper Qwghlm. Easter candy was to be outlawed & Roving crowds of vagaries (i.e., astronauts, pirates, samurai, squid mongers) were to be sober. The emperor had embarked on the quest of atkins. Now he was only to eat meat.
Three months following the royal pronouncement the camp had become a skeleton, dry & picked clean. No longer welcome the astronauts departed, resuming their lives as coelestial cowboys. The only proof of their habitation was a strange snapshot, a large aviary saddled by a small girl. I missed their tales.
Around the twenty-third week a emissary delivered a note. Upon it, a holy incantation in a paralyzing insular script, to be recited, by imperial law, before meals:
Astroburger. MMMM. So yummy. Does anything compare?
The men of the camp thought this to be ridiculous. They refused to recite such words saying they missed the wonders of starch & sucrose. Swords were drawn at dinnertime. We exchanged the word six for scabbard on the clock. Several of us had nightmares & tremors, screaming ourselves awake pleading, "Can you please help me?" The withdrawal alone incited jorge the red to dream a horrific somnambulist scape (following, an excerpt of his tale which I wrote down on a piece of alder bark): "The holy ghost was playing left back during his soccer game when he heard his jamaican goalie yelling at the top of his lungs flog 'de sonovabitch, drag 'im like 'e's a dead bohdy." We no longer shivered because of the cold, our fright kept us like those lap dogs my father used to hunt.
---pages damaged by fire & wanton astronauts---
And yet, bearing in mind everything we have covered heretofore — the physical pain of sweet cessation — I am still unable to give myself over to the errant and non-bitter emotion of the game, the addiction. I am in denial of the pure ecstacy provided by the resurrected sugar christ, bright & covered in nonpareilles.
William Softshoes, centurion of the sixty-fourth century in Upper Qwghlm.
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