The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

Idiosyncratica Challenge, 01/08/08

Posted by That Other Mike on 01/08/2008

This is my drabble for the 1st August. I’d like to talk about what inspired it afterwards, although I’m going to put that after the fold so it doesn’t spoil it. Anyone reading this in the WP tag surfer should be careful…

Run On
We cut down the sons of long-tongue liars, the murders, gamblers and backbiters. They ran away for a long time, but sooner or later we cut them down.

They did things in the dark which we brought into the light and we cut them down for their sins. I went among them with a sword and took justice to them, and it was good, and it was right.

And then it was finished, and the first-born were dead, my sword and wings bloody with horror and vengeance.

And I knew not what I had done or what I would do.

This is all stream of consciousness stuff, so it’s not going to be a well-plotted thing. Just whatever comes to mind.

The inspiration for this drabble came from a song in American V, the posthumously released album by Johnny Cash. He sounds old in it like he never did before, even in IV. The songs focus heavily on redemption and the journey towards death; while these were always thematically important to Cash, in this group of songs they sound personal. He sounds like he’s on the road to dying, and it’s almost heartbreaking to listen to, because it was some of the best stuff he ever did.

The song in particular which inspired this drabble is below. I hope you enjoy it.

Another source of inspiration was the idea of angels. I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of angels, and its related field, angelology. I couldn’t tell you why, although perhaps the idea of winged beings swooping down to administer justice and the law appeals to the storyteller in me. Balance and just deserts are, after all, major themes in a lot of literature. Plus, of course, there’s my name 🙂

The idea of a novel of angels without gods has been floating around my mind as a concept for a while now, but it’s nothing more than an idea so far.

I’m also rather interested in the idea of personification – the idea that a concrete being can represent a principle of nature, as do the angels and their words (a concept elaborated on in the RPG In Nomine to interesting effect), which ties into my general interest in mythology.

14 Responses to “Idiosyncratica Challenge, 01/08/08”

  1. The idea of a novel of angels without gods has been floating around my mind as a concept for a while now, but it’s nothing more than an idea so far.

    Based on the quality and intensity of your drabble, this is something I’d really want to read. I think you have the potential to write something extremely insightful and unique — a step up from your latest short story, which I consider an excellent piece of work, but rather derivative. You need to stretch yourself, mate, is what I’m really saying. Run On really shows what you are capable of.

  2. Gessy said

    This piece transported me to an alien and terrifying place and I loved that about it. The wings bit was a twist for me. I wasn’t expecting it. The post-apocalyptic feel works very well in serial form. I would certainly appreciate future installments of this.

  3. Mike said

    Gary: Thanks! I do worry about being derivative, and my worry about it with angels/gods is that I’ll come across as a knock off version of The Prophecy or Neil Gaiman… I have some ideas, but I’d want to brew them a while longer.

    Gessy: A series, huh? I wasn’t thinking of that, but that could be interesting. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Will Rhodes said

    Mike – that is, to me, a very dark piece. I certainly like it though!

  5. Mike said

    Thanks, Will. It came out of that dark place in my brain that assimiliated all the war god stories of the Old Testament and the stories of all the ancient and elder gods doing battle.

  6. kallioppe said

    Mike, I liked your drabble. It was the right mixture of dark and terrible – especially the bloody sword, wings and vengeance. I was reminded a little of the Prophesy but also by that Andrew bloke who wrote that angel book. You set the scene just right and I felt you did it with the right amount of words, although I too would love to read more.

  7. Mike said

    Thanks! 😀 Much appreciated!

    Which Andrew bloke?

    I may start doing some more… I have a full-sized short story in the offing, too.

  8. Lottie said

    I haven’t commented because we’ve talked so much about our drabbles. But I love this one and wanted to at least say that here.

    I’m your biggest fan. 😀

  9. Mike said

    Aaagh! You’re Annie Wilkes!

  10. Lottie said

    Aksherly, I’m Lauren Cooper. And I ain’t bovvered!

  11. Mike said

    Oh, gods, not this again! :b

  12. Lottie said


  13. kallioppe said

    The Ashes of Angels – Andrew Collins. Sorry mind went blank there. I blame the drabble. 🙂

  14. I love the concept of angels as simple forces of nature. A reversal of the natural progression from primitive magic to organised sky fairy worship. Does the Flying Spaghetti Monster have calories as its angels? Must cogitate 🙂

    Well, including my effort, that is three drabbles I have read and each involves death. Perhaps it is the very brevity of the form which calls for a sudden ending.

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