Fic fragment – Kotodama part 4

Halloween is chaos. Halloween is calamity. Halloween is a thousand thousand tidbits of myth, imagination, and wish-fulfillment flung into a blender by Ethan Rayne, with Janus gleefully hitting frappe.

But in some places, chaos gets organized. Whether it likes it or not.

In many cases it’s mortal accident. A themed costume party, a Friday night roleplaying group, a family who went as a matched set of characters. In others it’s simple magical contagion, a snarl of enchantment bundling up hapless bystanders who might not have even been in costume… they thought.

In some places, it’s more.

Magic has been twisted. Magic has been broken, the sheer scope of the spell crashing the mystic rules of uncounted universes together in one unholy mess.

Magic, like the proverbial black cat thrown into a cold bath – and then punted out a window – is not happy.

And while it managed to render Ethan down far past component molecules, that is far from enough to soothe a thoroughly outraged mystical force that would really, really like to inflict serious pain on those responsible for this indignity. Such as Janus.

And cats tend to land on their feet.

The old rules are broken? Make new ones.

Snapping back like psychedelic rubber, magic does just that. Even so, in most places, it can’t thwart Janus’ will. It has to sprinkle a bit of youki here, a dash of alchemy there; a fine-grained matrix of different rules and hiccups that will all eventually settle down into one coherent whole. After, of course, decades of chaos.

But some places… are a bit different. Some places manage to give magic a nice, warm, comfy spot to land, tasty as tuna with rules that could work together if, and wreathed with a catnip of interesting possibilities.

Future magical researchers of Hallow Earth may never figure out quite what happened. The conditions in each case are specific, and unique… and any observers were a bit busy to be taking notes.


14 thoughts on “Fic fragment – Kotodama part 4

  1. Yeah, they were. Monsters trying to eat you does tend to keep one busy.

    Hmmm . . . interesting . . .

    This is why you should always be careful about breaking the rules. Always know whose rules you are breaking and just how far or how badly you can break them. Or they might break you. Especially when it is magic’s rules.

    On the other hand, in this ‘verse, certain people’s long-terms plans have gotten thoroughly thrown out the window. *grins*


  2. > “[A]nd any observers were a bit busy to be taking notes.”

    The Librarian: “Wait! Wait wait wait wait, wait! That’s [some obscure historical item no one’s ever heard of]!”
    “Innocent” Bistandard: “That’s nice. Keep running!”
    The Librarian: “But…!”
    Monster: *roars*
    The Librarian: *pouts* “Oh, alright…”

    Because you know if things were that insane //someone// would try to do it, if only to hold onto some resemblance of sanity!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. *G* Yukiatsu is one of the characters I can think of that you could drop into an Alien Hive and expect him to come out in one piece. Probably singed at the edges and horrified, but in one piece. Heck, if you go by manga canon, he even knows a way to deal with chestbursters….


  3. Or, to paraphrase Terry Pratchett, “Humanity was divided into two categories, those standing around saying things like, “what a magnificent beast!” and those hightailing it out of there.” Discworld, one of the most fulfilling series of my life.

    I picked the wrong story to try and start with Halloween World. It was very grim, and I wasn’t in the mood to slog through it to the hope and good things. It’s an interesting concept, and I might go back one day. Just, a bit scarred by it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Probably exactly how he handles everything that happens in his life. Run away. Somehow solve every minor problem by turning it into a major disaster. Let The Luggage handle all the monsters.


    1. I bounced off the Halloween World stories I took a look at back in the day. Might’ve been grim darkness, might not. I can be really weak to poor pacing, or hooks that don’t hook. This was some computers back, so I haven’t the links or an idea of where to find them.

      Is grimdark inherent in the conceit, or is it the execution?

      Anyone have links and advice as to which stories are best, most significant, and exhibit the setting well?


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