Friday, July 3, 2015


Bobby Derie

"The S'Mores people trace their lineage to the Early Graham Cracker culture, after the invasion of the Hershey Horde. The invaders settled and mingled with the conquered peoples, giving rise to a new mixed class. However, when the Graham Crackers overthrew their chocolate overlords, this new mixed race was forced out as well, and wandered south to the Marshes of Mallow, where dwelt its own aboriginal race since time immemorial. This, then, was the early beginning of the First S'More Empire, as chronicled in the Book of Night Fires."

Jill carefully stacked the chocolate bricks on the golden crackers. Bill looked on expectantly, holding the bag of marshmallows.

He dreamed of crusty-skinned warriors that smelled gently of honey and oats, battling fearsome giant children, or baking slowly under the harsh sun on long treks beside the banks of a river they dared not swim in, for the dangers that lurked unseen beneath the water, the vast-mouthed horrors of the water-horse and the crocodile. There was conflict on that march, aye, and treachery, sedition, and civil war! Bronze blades gleamed in golden brown fists, rising and falling, molten brown ichor falling into the dust, the whole battlefield a sweet-smelling morass with the slaughter. In the end of course there were soft-bodied Mallow maidens and comely youths, pale as ghosts, warm and gooey on the inside, yielding to their hybrid conquerors...

Bill was brought away from his daze by the striking of a match. Jill looked at him strangely. The flame licked the wood from the dry fungus used as kindling, spreading langorously up the logs. The two set about constructing the treats in silent concentration. Bill was given the task of spearing the marshmallows. When they had four, Jill brought forth the old, long-handled iron poker.

"They were cruel," she spoke low, almost to herself, and Bill had to focus to hear her words above the crackle of the fire. "They had to be. It was an inhospitable place. A wilderness, surrounded by enemies. They reared cities where once there had been only scattered villages; drew down trees and cleared fields, drained swamps and leveled hills to lay roads between them. None of that came easy. Every House wanted power for themselves, every hearth a shrine for its own ancestral god. The old religion of the fire, a cult for every family. Carried down from when it was hard to make fire, when it was kept alive, stoked and fed every day, carried with you in glowing embers in horns or pots...they believed their spirits went into the fire, when they died. It was their link to the divine. But the Mallows, they had their own ways, too. Heresies."

Putting on the oven mitts, she held the laden poker over the fire. "And for that, they burned."


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