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Library: sandcastle-the play

Books

Author: Heidel
Date:Jan 16 2003

Old guard mutters: 'You are early, that's new."
Young guard replies: 'I thought you would prefer getting in the shade a bit
earlier, it's rather hot out here...'
Old guard smirks and asks: 'Let me guess, it's the kobolds in the cellars
again?'
Young guard sighs deeply.
Young guard replies, with no regrets: 'Should have known I can't fool you. No,
it's not the kobolds but the slime-things...'
Old guard interrupts: '...and you thought you'd hide up here until they have
all the volunteers for the cleanup-group.'
Young guard nods slightly and says: 'That's about it, yes.'
Old guard turns around and stares at the endless desert.
Young guard twitches nervously.
Young guard asks: 'My plan spoiled, do you mind me staying, nevertheless? You
know how the cellars are nowadays.'
Without turning, the Old guard mutters: 'Would you leave even if I did?'
The wind blows some hot sand around. The tower is high enough to keep most of
the sand out, but not all.
For a brief moment, the wind stills.
With a little hiss, the wind starts again, only this time from a bit different
direction.
Young guard wonders aloud: 'You know, I've never quite understood why they
wanted us to keep this guardpost manned.'
Old guard replies, after a moment of thought: 'What do you mean?'
Young guard tries to clarify: 'Well, we have the kobolds and slime-things and
the others down there, and what have we here? Sand, sand and a bit more sand.'
Old guard replies, a bit annoyed: 'Have you ever been to the desert?'
Young guard takes his helmet off and scratches his head.
Young guard answers, a bit confused: 'Well, no, but...'
Old guard interrupts: 'Then you shouldn't doubt their wisdom, for they
travlled the desert as they wanted.'
Old guard glances at younger guard and snaps: 'And keep your helmet on.'
Young guard sets his helmet on the wall, and runs his hands through his hair
couple of times. 
The amount of sand in the wind seems to have lessened quite a bit.
Young guard seems rather thoughtful.
The wind stills, and silence fills the air.
Young guard breaks the silence with newfound confidence: 'I don't think you
have been to the desert, either.'
Old guard sounds rather uninterested as he replies: 'So?'
Young guard answers: 'Then you don't have any idea why we guard that big pile
of sand.'
Old guard replies, sounding a bit bored already 'It's not what I get paid for.
I _do_ get paid for keeping an eye on the desert, and so do you.'
Old guard concentrates on the desert, again.
Old guard half-shouts into the wind: 'Besides, it's nice and peaceful up
here.'
Young guard mutters: 'Nice and beautiful, eh? If you call getting hot sand in
your eyes nice, maybe.'
The wind blows the sand around, the sun shines.
Just a second after the silence gets uncomfortable, a gust of wind whistles
past.
Young guard states: 'I think the elders had something else on their minds than
watching the sand go by when they assigned this guard.'
Old guard says with no emotion: 'Didn't I already tell you to let it go?'
Young guard tries to make a point: 'No, seriously. The desert will kill anyone
in a day, and we can see that there's nothing but sand for at least two days'
walk. Nothing can pass the desert.
Young guard continues: 'Nothing that you could stop, that is, so relax a bit,
will you?'
An interesting dune appears.
The dune loses a bit of its shape as wind whips some speed in it.
The uninteresting dune shrinks into nothingness.
Young guard scratches his head.
Young guard breaks the long silence: 'You should take of that helmet of yours
and let the wind caress your hair.'
Old guard says without enthusiasm: 'They said you should always wear a helmet
on this guardpost, and you know that as well as I.'
Young guard shrugs: 'Whatever. Your loss. You'll boil your brains with that
pot of yours.'
Young guard mutters into the wind: 'That's probably what the elders wanted...'
Old guard either didn't hear, or decided to stay silent.
Young guard peers high up into the skies.
Young guard looks a bit nervous.
A biggish dustcloud flies past.
Young guard asks anxiously: 'Did you hear something?'
Old guard replies, without bothering to face the younger one: 'No, I didn't.'
Young guard walks next to the older one and says: 'No wonder.'
Old guard turns to look at the younger one and says: 'What do you me..'
Young guard interrupts, cupping a hand behind his left ear: 'Shhh! There it
was again!'
Old guard seems a bit annoyed and asks: 'What?'
Young guard advices: 'Take that helmet off, and you might hear something.'
Old guard grumbles something incoherent.
Old guard takes his helmet off, and places it under his left arm.
The wind blows, pushing around drops of sweat on guard's bald head.
Old guard grunts: 'I still don't hear anything.'
Young guard takes a step back and asks: 'Are you sure? I'm pretty sure I hear
that whistling sound again.'
Old guard listens for a moment.
Old guard nods and says: 'Now that you mention, I think I hear it too.'
Young guard wonders aloud, innocently: 'I wonder what is it...'
It's not the wind, because the shifting sands have stopped for the moment.
Old guard tilts his head and says: 'I think it's coming from north... or maybe
west.'
Old guard reaches for his helmet as he says: 'Strange, as if it was actually
coming from abov...'
*SPLAT*
A fist-sized rock hits old guard straight on his head, with a juicy cracking
sound.
Old guard falls down, looking rather, umm, dead.
Young guard grins evilly and says 'Finally!'
Young guard disappears with a *poof* and at its place sits a pigeon with a
cranium the size of a tennis ball.
Flock of ordinary-looking pigeons flutter down from the skies, carrying an
empty harness and another harness with a fist-sized rock.


(see also the short story: Castle of Aval)


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