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Monday, July 11, 2016

Journey of the Soul-Linker, Part 7: In Which You Use Your Flame-Thrower

Last week's adventure here
Part 1 here

You've explicitly asked me not to violate the great Bechdel test record you had going by including your conversation with Melly about the sandal'd Master of the Caves. It would slow down the story anyway, so I'll acquiesce, this once.

I can summarize it in one sentence, though: you don't like him.

Melly shrugs as you reach the end of the desert and, consequently, the end of your conversation.

"Oh my gosh," you interrupt yourself. "Is this a town made of candy?"

Melly glares at you.

"What? Have I offended some local custom?" Is this like when you thought Melly was a fairy or a space dwarf just because she was short? "Do they think candy is a diminutive term for their valuable architectural achievements? I don't mean it that way!"

Melly glares more.

"Or are their customs an offense to you? Are bright colors and simple shapes some kind of obscenity where you come from?" You're trying to wrap your head around Melly's glare, and it's only intensifying as she tightens her vest around herself and marches down a street that to you seems to be laid with swirled red and white mints instead of cobblestones.

"Wait, is it me? Are you upset that I'm so naive about your world as to think you people would make stuff with sugar?"

Melly almost groans aloud. You can't help but pick a marshmallow off a lady's windowsill, and you find it's sweet and squishy just as you thought.

"Wait, it's totally sugar! Why are you judging me?" you ask.

Melly moans, finally stopping now to catch you mid-reaching-for-another-bite. "Oh heck no, you did not just eat a windowsill," she says.

"It's your fault!" you cry. "You're glaring at me! I get nervous when people glare at me, and when I get nervous I get sugar cravings!"

"You're jus' the kinda person I don't ever wanna be," Melly mutters.

You don't respond to that. You're taken aback by the sudden disgust from someone who's supposed to be your wise guide. It's like a betrayal. It hurts.

She goes on, as if just in case you thought it was an accident: "In any way." And she turns to keep walking.

When suddenly her step lands in a shadow.

The shadow squelches.

"Oh, snap," Melly says.

The shimmering goo's spread all over the street--you see it now, thin, almost transparent, but it's the same black goo that possessed the tree, the maiasaura-killer, now suckling on the sweet graham cracker rooftops and gum-drop bushes with a rhythmic, undulating pulsation and sttttthhhhh sound--

And it's growing up Melly's ankle!

You scream and the flame-thrower comes to life. You're attacking the goo on the street, rounding Melly, trying to cut the portion on her off from the greater body of slime. It shimmers off the roofs, slurps off the bushes, no longer spreading itself thin as it gathers into one mass--one mass bigger than you, bigger than this whole little town, towering over your tiny spurt of flame.

You're pulling the trigger with one hand and holding the weight of the hot barrel with the other hand as the whole contraption shudders in your arms, shaking your whole small form. You feel yourself jiggling, jiggling like the slime rising above you like jello, like the jello you saw in the cave, wait is the cave-master the creator of the slime, is--oh gosh it's hot around you, the thing is bubbling, the goo is melting, it's--but it's still on her leg!

Melly's behind you now, and kicking her ankle against the mint-stones. "Whatchoo lookin' at?" she yells. "Don't look at me, look at that!"

You whirl. The wave of slime crashes down towards you.

I'll see you here next week.

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