<<Hi. I’m Joe, Jester’s handler. And while he’s gone, I’ll be uploading some stories to the site to let him have a bit of a break over the Christmas period.>>
<<This story is called Sodam, and it’s about an author who meets a villain from a series of his books, and has to deal with the wizard’s demands. It’s a lighthearted attempt at making a story dialogue-focused, and something which is less weighed-down than some of my other stories. Enjoy!>>
Sodam Finch appeared on the veranda in a puff of shadows. He stood at about five and a half feet tall, with large, celebratory robes giving him the appearance of someone much taller. His thick, black belt seemed to be made of a strange, shiny material which along with his tailored boots seemed to fit in perfectly with the dark expression on his face. To finish the illusion a hat, not unlike one would see upon the head of a certain Mexican Vigilante, sat upon his clean-shaven bald head. He didn’t make a sound, so it took quite a while for the Author to notice him. He was busy finishing a short story for him to read to his son, and was quite caught up in trying to fabricate an ending when he turned around and saw the sorcerer standing in the middle of his veranda. The author almost leaped up in the air, but as he was lying on a couch with his work on his lap, all he could do was flail around for a bit. Sodam still hadn’t said anything, and hadn’t changed his expression. The Author gave up trying to flail about and started yelling.
“Please do stop that yelling. You’re going to give me a headache,” Sodam’s smooth, deep voice rang out. The Author stopped yelling. “Now put down whatever you’re doing. This is important,” Sodam told the Author. The Author whimpered. “Do I have your attention?” the sorcerer asked. The author finally managed to pick up the courage to speak.
“Y-y-you’re Sodam Finch,” the Author mumbled.
“That’s right,” said Sodam. “I am.”
“B-b-but you’re not even real! H-h-how are you here? A-a-and anyway, you died! I’m pretty s-s-sure I wrote you fell into a m-m-magma chamber of a volcano! W-w-what’s happened?”
“Oh yes, well I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t be putting so much thought into your dreams, you small little man,” Sodam said, deliberately avoiding the Author’s question. “Or at least make sure that they aren’t all-powerful. Written word is a dangerous thing, and you need to be careful with it. I mean, look what happened to Caltae. He almost made himself a Zombie plague!”
“T-t-they were more like d-d-diseased in the s-s-second edition. The editor d-d-didn’t like the r-r-resemblance to Evil Dead. And y-y-you can’t t-t-talk! You’re f-f-five feet…”, the Author trailed off, noticing the expression on the Dark Mage’s face.
“Zombies are zombies little man, I think I should know that. How does a man with a stutter get to write a book anyway? Am I the only one who gets the irony in that? Now I have to tell you something very important. T-t-t-today little man. So can I?” Sodam posed the question with a smile playing on his lips. The Author knew he was up to something. But he didn’t know what. So he asked.
“What is it?”
“Oh nothing, it’s just I might have gotten bored of the world which I live in, the one of that horrid book. Oh well, I have to give it some credit, it did have me in it after all. But there were too many of those ratted heroes. First Princeton, then Caltae, then that funny little boy with the hat…”
“Pauter,” the Author said. “His name was Pauter.”
“Oh yes, that’s him. Pauter. Odd name for a boy with a hat. I suppose he wore it well though. But my point stands. Too many of those blasted heroes. They get annoying you know, destroying all my evil plans. And so many evil lairs… it’s not cheap to make those, you know. All of my Orcs were working for months on the Volcano one. And that pompous little ratbag went and blew it all up to smithereens. Entire volcano. Boom! Just like that!” Sodam clicked his fingers for emphasis. The Author flinched.
“B-b-but you got a n-n-new one. In a K-k-kraken’s stomach. Very s-s-secretive.”
“It was a dead kraken. And it smelt. And I only needed it to harvest the fluids the monster excreted after death.”
“B-b-but there has to be s-s-something you liked?”
“Not a single person who came along was ever nice to me. Why would I be? You didn’t think about that did you? About what a person might do if he was constantly tricked, outsmarted, stabbed in the back. You didn’t even think.” Sodam’s face shifted to an expression that almost resembled sadness. The Author quickly started apologising.
“O-o-oh my. I-I-I’m so sorry…”
The sorcerer laughed. “As if! I like being the bad guy. There’s no-one better. I mean, even ponytail feared me!”
“Yeah, or whatever you call him in your stupid, pointless books. He was the Grand Master of all the land! And he trembled at my name. My influence was powerful then. Before the fall.” Sodam sighed. “Really, little man? All those forces against them, and all they had to do was hit me with a single arrow to my finger. Still hurts. And he was the worst bowman in the whole kingdom’s army. I was humiliated. It should hurt to be you right now.” The sorcerer waggled a finger at the Author. It was ash-coloured and wizened. A complete contrast to the almost muscular figure in front of him. The author winced and drew back. He knew that Sodam could probably incinerate him accidentally, and not even care about it.
“Now back to the business at hand, little man. No pun intended. I need you to write me a world to live. A detailed one, to my liking. I see you’ve already started,” the Sorcerer gestured to the Authors work. “You need a supervillain. An evil one. I will be that villain. For your son’s enjoyment. And you shall let me win, and stay in that world to rule. Quite a twist, wouldn’t you think?” The Author thought about it. Normally he leaves characters to their own worlds, but normally characters don’t make house calls to complain. And he didn’t doubt the Sorcerers abilities to “persuade” him it if he refused.
“F-f-fine. I’ll make y-y-your story. B-b-but you better p-p-play it right, I d-d-don’t want any m-m-mistakes or the story w-w-won’t work. Now, h-h-how do you w-w-want to be p-p-portrayed?”
The next half hour was spent in an awkward half-silence, with Sodam carefully going through the process of writing the story with the Author, adding details occasionally and watching his story finish. They both knew it was going to be well-loved by readers, right up to the climactic scene with a fight between the Sorcerer himself and the adventurous main character. Sodam reworked the scene to his contempt, making it appear to the reader that he had a change of heart. Then he stabs the main character in the back, making him fall to his doom. And all the while, the Author was there, writing down one of the best stories he had in a long time. He finished the last sentence, and stopped.
“S-s-so,” he said to Sodam. “What d-d-do you think?”
Sodam examined the writing. He looked good in it. As in, evilly good. And he liked it. The sorcerer smiled.
“A happy ending for an Evil Villain? I like you, little man. You’ve done well.”
“Thank y-y-you. I’m g-g-glad to be praised by a-a-a psychopathic, magic-wielding s-s-supervillain.”
“No, thank you,” said the sorcerer. And he vanished like a puff of shadows.