Page 5

2016 Artwork Acolyte! Illustration eyes and bars

Lowering your voice to a furtive whisper, you say the password. The beady eyes stare at you through the grate and you hear quiet muttering. Feeling that you haven’t made yourself heard, you repeat the password slowly and slightly more loudly.

I heard you, I heard you!‘ The croaking voice says as you hear movement behind the door and something that sounds awfully similar to whispering. Looking over your shoulder, you can see the seventh curse moon of Garlach Koch staring down at you. Once again, a sinking feeling fills the pit of your stomach.

You hear a quiet click! Finally, they must have unlocked the door! Obviously, the doorkeeper must have forgotten this week’s password and had to double-check. If it took them six weeks to process your membership form, then it probably takes them a couple of days to get the passwords straight. You chuckle under your breath and grin smugly at the curse moon. It stares back at you balefully.

Smiling, you turn the door handle and push gently. It doesn’t budge! Well, these old doors sometimes have a habit of getting stuck sometimes. So, you decide to put your shoulder to it. But, just as you step back slightly and brace yourself, you see movement behind the grate. A dark metal tube pokes out from between the bars.

Gruel indeed! We’re very gruel to haddocks who play us for fools!‘ You hear a low cackling sound from behind the door. You look at the tube again, it looks awfully similar to a gun barrel. Without even thinking, you turn to run – when you catch a glimpse of the curse moon again. It must just be the clouds, but it almost looks like it’s winking at you mischievously.

Before you can even so much as ponder the supreme irony of the situation, the air is filled with the loud rattle of automatic gunfire.

You jump with surprise, but don’t feel any pain. The doorkeeper must have been using blanks! You’re about to tell him exactly what you think about his hospitality, when you happen to glance at your robes. They’re ruined! The chest and sleeves are covered in unsightly dark stains.

Baffled, you wonder what this must be. Then it hits you, it’s blood. ‘Great! How am I going to explain THIS to the dry cleaner?‘ You mutter to yourself, as you start to feel lightheaded. Your membership form, it seems, has been rejected. Still, if at first you don’t succeed, you can always….


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