Sep. 8th, 2015

klward: (Raven)
In honour of my return to the realm of freeform, I am posting this short essay, written for a publication which eventually passed on it but gave me a kill fee. So that's all right.


So there I am, crouching behind a fallen tree in my full Raven Warrior get-up, beside a little-used path in the Berowra Valley bush reserve. I hear voices, but they're not the right voices. I crane my neck and, to my horror, see two middle-aged women manoeuvring bicycles along the path, towards the point where I have set a trap for the gallant group of adventurers who are due absolutely any moment now. I have no choice. Ditching my weapon, I spring up, smiling.

“Good afternoon, Ma'am! I'm sorry to intrude, but you're in the area of our live game.”

“What do you mean?” By her expression, she's expecting me to threaten her with a needle.

“It's a – a kind of orienteering thing, except we all dress up,” I say, thinking, didn't they see the players? They must be right behind them! “We have Council permission to be here, but that's the explanation for anything odd you might see.” Or the Rock Face. Five minutes walk behind them, there's a massive foam rubber puppet sitting on a cliff! “And we've set up one of our props just here on the path. Might I ask if it would be possible for you to, ah, just duck around this spot?”

“I don't think so!”

“Then if you'll please wait for just a few seconds...” Somehow, I manage to whisk away the snap-traps without setting any off. I bow and assure them that the path is now clear. They wheel their bikes through, glaring at me all the while. No sooner have they vanished, than I hear the right voices.

I drop back down and ram the snap-traps back into place.

They go off in my face.

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