Dying Wish

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From: Curly++
Subject: Dying Wish (Was Re: YASD: adding insult to injury)
Date: Thursday, June 17, 1999 12:50 AM

   Sascha wrote in message
  •    Frank T. Sronce :
    • My wife suffered this one recently- her character was stuck in a dead end, being chewed up by a nasty monster. In desperation, she zapped an unidentified wand at it.

    • What do you wish for? amulet of life-saving

    • Died before she could put it on...

  • Hmm, that leads to a philosophic question: What to wish for if you don't think you survive the next move?

Dying Wish  
  Copyright 1999 by Oisin Curtin.
You may copy and distribute freely, as long as attribution is kept and no money is involved.


  Twocells [1] wandered through the caves. His guide had promised "Aw then tic pastor all see nury" [2] but so far all he had seen were caves. Spectacular caves, certainly, and a few dull ones, but surely there would be an exit somewhere. And then, why wouldn't the guide come down?

  The outing wasn't a total loss. After all, he had met Amsterdamberlincairodublinzurik who had kindly offered to sell him moment oh!s and keep sakes [3] for his trip. Of course, the merchandise had been just a little expensive, and Twocells was not entirely sure that the pair of matched diamonds were not zirconium^3, but still, it was only money. There was more money back at the lodging.

  Of course, now he could not eat until he returned to the boarding house. He patted his pockets in case he had missed an odd coin somewhere. No, he was flat broke and he seemed to be stuck in a maze of tiny, twisty passages each one like the last. His flowered shirt and long, wide shorts failed to protect him from even the damp drafts that twisted around his legs.

  Up ahead, there was a small tunnel leading left and upward. This must be the way out! He turned and began climbing.

  Something was shining on the floor, a very slight octareen glow of magic. As he grew closer and his eyes adjusted to the deeper gloom of the side passage, he recognized the shape of a wand. He picked it up and stuck it in his belt. You never know.

  Soon it was obvious that this was not an exit. When Twocells bruised his nose on the blank wall at the end, even he had to admit it was a dead end tunnel. Dead is such a prophetic word.

  He turned and was surprised to see two bright eyes peering at him.

  "Top o' the marnin' to you, sir," the dark shape sang out loudly, "and would you be having a spare coin or two about your fine person?"

  "Uhm, I'm, uh, sorry, n-no!" Twocells stammered, "I've s-spent all my money today." He tried to see through the gloom. All he could make out was a pointed beard and a pointed ear. Well, this trip was looking up indeed! A colorful local person! What more could you ask?

  "Ah, surely a fine lad such as yourself, guv'ner, must have a bit o' gold for old paddy?"

  "No, I have none." Twocells was more sure of himself now that he was faced with a definite tourist attraction. "Would you come down below so I might see your colorful native garb?"

  "No gold, eh?" The bright friendliness was gone from the voice, now it was low and threatening. "Aw, bugrit."

  Suddenly, the colorful native leapt at Twocells! Pulling a heavy stick from somewhere, he began to beat the hapless tourist about the head and shoulders.

  Twocells was taken unawares [4] and soon fell to his knees. "No! Stop! You must not impede the inward flow of foreign currency which will support and revitalize your ailing economy!" It was no use, the blows continued.

  A blow landed on his shoulder, knocking down his arm. His hand brushed something protruding from his belt. The wand! With any luck, it would be a /oFire or a /oDeath. Desperately, Twocells grabbed it and shook it at his assailant.


  Twocells, dazed, couldn't think straight. He found himself voicing his current regret. "Uh, I wish I had money!"

  ZZZzzzaaaAAAP! A single zorkmid appeared in his hand.

  "Gold!" The colorful local shouted, dropping his club and grabbing the coin. "A tip o' me hat, guv'ner, you come through in the pinch!" So saying, he disappeared with a loud POP.

  Twocells groaned. He was broke again.

  The wand had stopped glowing. He shook it anyway, just in case.

  Nothing happened.

  Twocells stood up. That sounded easy, didn't it? Twocells stood up? No, it took nearly a hundred heartbeats for the bruised and bloody traveler to get from his knees to his feet. Along the way were many groans and shudders and even a rest leaning against the dead end wall.

  He looked at the wand, still in his hand. It seemed dark. He tried to lift it, but the strain on his dislocated shoulder made his hand shake. It shook, and shook, and shook. Suddenly there was a loud voice.


  Twocells' jaw dropped. His hand was still shaking, but the wand was definitely dark now. He thought about the cooling draught of a healing potion. Then he thought about wandering these horrible caves after drinking it.

  "I want an exit," he said, "right here, and leading right up to my lodgings."

  This time the ZZZzzzaaaAAAP was accompanied by much RRumumbling, a few screeches and the plop of some stray wet cement that fell from somewhere. It instantly hardened by Twocells' feet. After everything else had quieted down, there was a tiny POP as the lump of cement disappeared.

  As he crawled up the cold staircase, Twocells patted his pocket and mumbled "They're diamonds. After all this, they've got to be!"


[1] Named for the number of batteries providing light behind his eyes.
[2] I don't know what a nury is either. It's probably a long, hot giraffe.
[3] A keep sake is a kind of hot drink container.
[4] He was rarely taken any other way.


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