Weird Land

March 11, 2006

You remember the NaNoWriMo challenge? I had proudly declared that I would try to write a novel in a month (Nov 05).
It should be surprising that I had actually started writing one. November proved to be an extremely busy month, but I could write one chapter.
If you want to have a look, go ahead… (Warning: I may not continue with the story)

Title: Weird Land

Chapter 1. City Gates

The guard house was dark. The little man stood beside the lonely candle. Strange noises outside complimented the uneasy silence in the room. An antique electric bulb hung at one end, gathering cobwebs.

A big nose loomed out of the darkness. “Enough.”, said the voice.

“I will put it in plain words: Lay down 100 coins to pass! Or you can spend the night in the forest.”

Several other noses of remarkable sizes and shapes loomed out of the darkness. The Big Nose Clan could be identified just anywhere on the planet, one just needs a casual glance at their face. The Creator must have been thinking really big when he carved out their noses.

It was probably the small size of the man standing infront of them that had added a complacent grin to some of their faces.
“Really? … Just to enter the city?”, the traveller sighed. “You know what, I have had just enough trouble on my way here. I am not going to bribe you to enter this wretched city of yours.”
His name was Silverleaf. He wore a big backpack, though he himself was small.

Many expectant eyes buried behind those huge noses wore a disappointed look.
“Ok, I can give you some discount, since you are a newcomer. How about 75?”.
“Nope.”
“Well, can’t really go below 50..”
“No chance.” The big noses sighed, most of them. It felt like someone turned the fan on for a second.
“So you going to die out there in the forest or what?” Last ditch effort.
“No.. I do not think you can stop me from entering. That is illegal.” The traveller started rummaging through his backpack.

Peculiar laughter filled the room. It always happened when the Nose clan laughed. The echoing effect added enough ambience to the room that, it felt like a traffic jam.

“Holy Noseterdamnus! You are a funny man. Brother Nosecone will have the pleasure of throwing your remains out.”. The leader of the clan, still chuckling, turned to Br. Nosecone. With his excellent conical nose glowing with sadistic expectation, Br. Nosecone removed his sword from its sheath and charged towards the man, ofcourse with the unnecessaryly loud traditional Warcry of the Nose.

Maybe the brother got slightly surprised by the fact that the little man did not turn back and flee. Maybe he slipped. Or maybe he simply did not see the cricket bat coming straight at his brains. The loud cry stopped abruptly and a huge ‘thud’ followed. Silverleaf stood unscathed beside the unconscious body of Br. Nosecone, holding a standard 1.4 Kilo willow in his hand.

Surprised at this, a few from the group drew their swords and charged at him. Unlike other war clans, the Nose clan did not rush at the enemy all at once. There was simply not enough breathing space.

The small man jumped and parried and dodged, using his bat at will. A few seconds later, several Noses lay peacefully on the ground unconscious.

Nosekar the Wild was filled with thought more than surprise. It was exactly because he could think at times like these, he was the leader of the clan. Upon his sign, a bigger cautious group of Noses surrounded the traveller with their blades bared. This time they will not be reckless. They need to end this nice and clean.

“You fight well. We just wanted to throw you out. Now you will die ugly.”, uttered Nosekar with a vicious smile, standing outside the ring and observing. He lit a small pipe.

A smile bloomed on the traveller’s face. It grew bigger, outrageously bigger. The Noses gasped in wonder as his face grew distorted. His face grew hairy. and darker. His body shrunk in size and tightened. The eyes grew blood shot. A long tail emerged behind him dancing like a snake through the air. He stood with his arms stretched. Half man half monkey stood before them. A Weremonkey. It let out a horrible growl which could have meant “See my teeth well enough?”. A weremonkey is already dangerous, but one which knows martial arts is a different issue.

“Guns!” cried out Nosekar, and those left standing scampered to bring out the nose-guns1 out of their holsters. The weremonkey flew through their ranks freely using his fists, teeth, tail and the bat. It was a pity so few in the world could watch him fight. It was a pity those who could watch it were going down without enjoying it. With a swift jump, the weremonkey clung to the rafters above as loud cocking noises of the guns filled the room.

“Fire!” cried out Nosekar. Their faces strained. They took a deep breath. A moment of nerve-wracking silence later, they let out a flurry of ultraviolent Sneezes. It felt like thunder rolling. A barrage of ultra fast bullets hit the ceiling.

The nose-gun needs to you to sneeze. It is extremely difficult to look up and take aim while you sneeze. This was exactly why the weremonkey was dancing around among the roof-rafters dodging their bullets left and right. He appeared to grow smaller in size, more of a monkey than a man. With one swift swing, the bat broke through the roof tiles and the monkey flew out of the guard house towards the City gate. The monkey was swiftly climbing through the iron gate when the roof fell over the Noses.

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1. Nose-gun is a special contraption, which looks like a gas mask attached to a gun. Thick burst of air flows through the nose-gun pipes into the handheld bullet-chamber attached to the barrel. As you can see, you will need an extremely powerful nose and lungs for this to work. Ordinary guns could not match their power when the Noses wore them.

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