Time for a bit of lunch myself then, it being Peak. I
usually go out for a bit to one of the soup kitchens, to
see if I can help, but today I decided to eat on the
Green, a part of the Gardens where the barmies (by
barmies, I mean the more incompetent Bleakers, as opposed
to the inmates) congregate for lunch and for games and
such. There weren't all that many today out on the lawn,
Bleakers that is, but there were enough to depress a
cutter. They could be out helping people. Sure enough
too, there sat young Milton, the same boy who sent me to
bring Mr. Pickling his food.
"Well, young Milton, fancy finding
you here. Didn't I send you to the Cold Bowl just a few
He turned and gave me a look, his
eyes glazed over from thought, and what looked like
depression. "What's wrong?" I asked. He was a
skinny human, probably only twenty years of age. He had
the fire of youth in his eyes, with the trace of the
despair of someone who's met a world far from their own,
knowing they don't know how to survive there.
"D'you ever look at the flowers,
Mr. Shu?" He returned to staring at the flower bed.
The bed was of Stygian Prisms, dark green flowers with
transparent black flowers that grow near the Styx -
obviously enough - on Baator's sixth. Rare things, and
"Er. I'm the gardener Milton.
Anyway, I need you to..."
"No no, look at the
"You're a bit young to be looking
at flowers like that Milton. Come on then, let's go
"No, I'm fine. I've got plenty of
sane years ahead of me, if that's what you mean Mr. Shu.
It's just that I pity these flowers. They sit there all
day looking at the same thing day in and out, and the
occasional wasp flies by and ravages them. Pitiful,
"Not really. They probably dream
nicely, take the Behemoth. Imagine the stuff that runs
through its head? It doesn't go anywhere at all, and
sits in the same spot looking at the insides of its
eyelids day in and out, while Hivers make their kips
up against it's sides, and even in its mouth."
"Symbiotic relationship you see.
The bees ravage the flowers, but the flowers don't seem
to care, do they? And, you might notice, if you take
away the bees there'd be less flowers. I'm not saying if
you'd take away the Hivers there'd be less Behemoth, but
you know what I mean. I thought the same thing once
looking at the Prisms."
"Mr. Shu, you're a good
cutter." He stood up an enlightened man, and walked
inside for a bowl of porridge.
Milton'd make a good Bleaker if
only he didn't try so hard. It's like he wants to be
barmy. Definitely a prime, anything to fit in. Ahh well,
at least he's trying. And, he did pick my nicest flowers
to ponder, so that's a mark in his favour.
after Peak. After getting
Milton busy mopping in the Cafeteria, I decided to go to
the Bowl myself and have a look around at things. They'd
be in need of help most likely... the main lunch hour
past, and no one sent to clean up. Cleaning up for other
people is another of my duties as the House's esteemed
It's a little red brick shack, the
Bowl, a one story affair with a low ceiling and a
perpetually leaking roof. It could only hold about twenty
people on the inside, but its front is happily situated
on the commons of Ragpicker's Square, outside of the
Mortuary, where there's space for any sod to eat his
food. A rather grim little place manned by a bariaur
couple, the Bowl's customers usually end up across the
Square in a matter of weeks or months.
I stepped inside, and was
assaulted by the odours normally associated with soup
kitchens anywhere... namely, the stench of people, and
sweat. There was a small helping of vomit and alcohol in
the air as well, evidenced by the drunken, unconscious
heap of rags and dirt in the corner. Behind the counter
stood Nari, the female bariaur. Given her job, her and
her husband remained quite full of vigour. They didn't
get very depressed, as they preferred to think of what
they did instead of what they didn't.
"Mr. Shu! It's a pleasure, as
always!" Always smiling, even in the worst of
"Hello, Nari. What've you got for
"Well, there's that sod in the
corner. You might bring him back to the Gatehouse for a
bit of treatment, but mopping up isn't necessary. We've
got a couple of sods from the Cafeteria coming up in a
few minutes for that. As well, my husband got this for
you." She handed me a flower bulb, rapped carefully
in an old newspaper full of dirt.
"An Astral Violet? How lovely,
thank you, Nari. That's very good of you and your husband
to do this for me," Astral Violets are the huge,
purple flowers that grow on the husks of Dead Gods...
very, very rarely it's possible to transplant them to
somewhere as equally inhospitable to plant life - namely,
Sigil. "Are you sure there's nothing else I can do for
you other than deal with that bugger?"
"Well..." she pulled back her cloak
and showed me a baby. "You can find this one a
home." It's always the kids who get me. This one was
quite dirty and thin, it looked as though it had been
living in the streets for some weeks.
"I'll take him to the Gatehouse.
Have you named him yet?"
"No, not yet. We didn't think it'd
"Right, another Baby Lhar then.
You're good people Nari, you and your husband." Baby Lhar
is a term like Johnny Sigilian - it's used to refer to a
baby we pick up without a name.
"Thank you Pekan. Good luck,"
a customary good-bye with Bleakers is 'Good Luck'. Based
on the fact that we don't last too long with our jobs, as
taxing as they are on the mind, good luck is
I put the baby under my own cape,
and kept him in place with a sling I keep in my pocket
for such occasions, and grabbed the drunk from the
corner. With one over my shoulder and one over my heart,
I walked back to the Gatehouse.
Two and a
Quarter Hours after Peak. I
took the Violet and planted it. They don't keep very long
outside of the ground... like people without care, a bulb
gets dirty, then thin, then it dies. I brought the baby
inside, where he immediately got a bowl full of something
to keep his stomach at ease and a good scrubbing. The
drunk, on the other hand, came back to his senses
somewhere on the way back down to the Gatehouse. It was
an interesting state of affairs.
hey! Whereyertakinmebuggritputmedown!" he began
kicking and flailing about, but like most drunks in his
situation, couldn't do much for himself.
"Keep your mouth shut. You were in
the Cold Bowl, you fell unconscious, and now you're going
to the Gatehouse to get cleaned up." Actually, what
my idea was was to Put Him In The System...
"I baien't goin'! Put me
down!" he was a lot smaller than me. Thin from hunger and
rather short, and sodding drunk. He was what some of the
bubbers in the Gatehouse call a lightweight, a really
thin sod who can't take his liquor.
"No I baien't! My kids's
"Yeah! They's gettin dey'r
dear pop a good bit of rum, they is!"
"You're coming with me."
Ask a Bleaker for help and you'll
be sure to get it. Make sure you deserve it though, or
they'll Put You In The System. That sod got put in. For
the rest of his miserable life, he'll be sweeping
kitchens, cleaning cells, pulling weeds, and doing other
menial tasks for a very small pay. Enough only to get a
bowl of porridge. He could always not do his duties,
but that'd be grounds for us to pull the Hardheads in on
him. It's his duty to pay us back for the good we've done
Technically, we can do this to
anyone. It's a little known (and ninety-nine percent of
the time overlooked) law that whenever we do
something for someone, we can force them to help us out
back. In extreme cases, if they don't, they end up in the
Prison. Usually, they just get a severe beating from
a bunch of overzealous Hardheads and told to obey. It
suits the law boys all fine, as justice gets extracted on
people who definitely deserve it.
This sod, making his kids get him
alcohol and the powers know what else, will be delivering
Mr. Pickling's breakfast for the next few
After Peak. Then there's
the barmies. I pull weeds, I work at soup kitchens,
but the barmies... they're the strangest part of my job.
You might say I have to keep them in order. I'm not
allowed to let them rip each other to pieces, I have to
keep them happy with their present situations. Pampering
you might call it, I think it's more like baby-sitting.
You just have to keep an eye on them, as they usually
behave when they think they're being watched. This
applies to, of coarse, safe barmies... the ones we let
out into the Gardens who aren't dangerous.
There are two in particular, Smoat
and Merj. Smoat is a little gnome, his mind
constantly curling back in on itself in barmy turns of
loopy genius. Once a powerful psionicist, he supposedly
outthought himself when asked whether the powers or the
multiverse came first. His thought is occupied like a
moigno's, in it's eternal search for pi, for the solution
to which was actually there to begin with. Merj is a
rilmani, completely mute. He sits and stares, and
projects his thoughts into Smoat's mind. Smoat projects
back sometimes, usually by shouting. Today, they decided
to play chess... an even the Gardens usually like
watching. Last time, Smoat was convinced Merj wanted to
juggle turnips with him. The site of the rilmani staring,
unblinking, as the gnome pelted him with turnips shouting
"Why don't yez through them back?!" was something to
Smoat sat down at one side of the
giant marble chessboard that sits in the Garden's centre.
Some Bleakers, who fancy themselves 'loths, sometimes
play with it and its giant pieces. Smoat nudged Merj into
his seat, and they stared at each other.
It is said that Merj's mind broke
off into the silent heap of madness that is his present
state when he witnessed a sod climbing the Spire. It
looked to him like the bugger kept getting higher, but to
the climber, it didn't look like he was getting anywhere.
This paradox crushed his mind, for to him, it looked like
it was very probable the man'd reach Sigil. Unfortunately
for the man, when Merj's mind and attention (Merj's
belief in the fact that the climber was getting higher
was what was causing the climber to get there) broke, his
progress did too, and reality realigned itself so that he
fell from grace... with a rather large thump.
Smoat moved his Queen's Pawn, a
standard opening move, and the rilmani proceeded to stare
at the chessboard. Their games are so legendary in the
Gatehouse, partially in the fact that they're so
beautifully balanced the whole way through - hardly any
pieces ever get taken - and in the fact that Merj is
usually hours between moves. He stares at the board, and
plays out the entire game in his mind, before Smoat grabs
a piece and moves it for him. They usually end in a
stalemate, their games that don't end with Smoat
wandering off to do something else, while Merj continues
It's that sort of barmy that keep a
cutter sane in this world.
Four and a
Half Hours After Peak. Then
there are the other barmies. Prowling the inside of the
Gatehouse with the rest of its normal staff and tending
to the inmates is another integral part of my day. Unlike
the healthy barmies, who're just missing a few apples
from the bushel, the ones we keep inside are completely
done with all normal sense. There's the murderous ones,
in the Criminally Insane wing, where all the buggers
think about is rape and killing. It's advisable to not go
in the place without at least a little bit of padding in
your clothes and a large enough weapon to beat them off
with, if they're in an offensive mood. I usually prowl
the Irretrievably Insane ward, or the Mad Bleaker ward. I
feel more at home with the barmies there, which though
they aren't safe, are more in my league. That's where
I'll end up, eventually, so I figure I may as well get
used to the place.
Wandering the Irretrievable Ward is
today's task, it's always something there. Either a barmy
wants to chat a bit (and we're obliged to listen in the
Irretrievable Ward... we're only allowed to let them
scream in the Criminal and Mad Bleaker wards) about
something on his spiralled, permanently crooked mind,
there's a mess to clean, there's a bed to make, there's a
corpse to get rid of, or anything like that. The
Irretrievables hold a special place in my heart, victims
of meaningless tragedy or coincidence. Unlike the Mad
Bleakers, who go barmy trying to stop the multiverse from
smashing its pointlessness into others, or the Criminally
Insane, masochistic bastards who usually bring it on
themselves, the Irretrievables get here from seeing the
Criminally Insane slaughter their uncles or the Mad
Bleakers trying to clean the streets. They're the
innocent bystanders of the lot, the sods who get what's
coming, even if it's not coming to them.
"Please Mr. Shu! In
hear! They're coming again! I hear the feet,
I stepped into the cell, an
off-white room lit by small windows in the wall,
each covered in a very fine steel mesh. Nothing
could ever hope to get in or out save the air and the
light. These windows are only put in the rooms of people
like this, the people no-one care about. The criminals
sit in darkness, or in candlelight if they care to buy
it. A soft carpet covered the whole floor, nailed in
place by ancient steel spikes, and the walls were covered
in a soft rubber paint and overlaid with a layer of
cotton, so sods bashing their heads off them can't do
much damage. Comfortable little places that're warm in
the cold and cool in extreme heat, the barmies have
better housing than most of Sigil's middle class.
A small hole led down into a deep iron pipe in the
corner, the barmy's personal privy. An empty, tin food
tray was sitting next to the slot in the door from which
it came, holding a pile of crumbs and the crusts from a
"No one is coming, my
friend," Every barmy knows me, but I'm afraid my
memory isn't so good. I pulled up a stool and sat beside
him. Two stools sit in the room's corner - both riveted
to the floor, so an excited barmy doesn't stack them up
and jump off or some such. The wretched figure before me
was huddled in the corner, with a blue (Gatehouse
issued) shirt pulled up over his head, trying to
block out whatever it was he was hearing. A very
sorry looking human, with the yellowish glow to his skin
common in Outlanders, he looked up as I spoke with deep
sadness in his greenish eyes.
He whimpered a little bit and
pulled his shirt closer up over his head. They didn't
have to wear straight jackets unless they attacked us, or
unless we perceived them as a threat. Even then, there
are the exceptions - the barmies so barmy they don't need
them. For example, Pickling. "I hear them though," he
said, throw a choked sob.
"Now, now. Who do you hear?" I
said in a soothing tone. Soothing tones are something
they teach to all Bleakers who're going to work in or
around the Gatehouse, they're a necessity. Making a barmy
feel all warm and cozy with his surroundings is the best
way to calm him down, we're taught. I believe that
"The Modrons! They're marching
outside! I hear them!" He screamed out, tears
pouring from his eyes.
I stood up and looked out the
window. "No, if you'll look, that's just Smoat stomping
around the Gardens. You know Smoat, little gnome, always
playing chess with that rilmani?" Of coarse, he did
know him. Even though the barmies stay walled up all day
in the soft comfort of their cells, they looked out their
windows from time to time and learned faces. They heard
stories from the others as well, and Smoat lived just
down the corridor.
He nodded slightly through his
tears, and gave a reluctant smile. He slowly composed
himself, "Yes, he must be losing to be stomping around so
I patted him on the shoulder
reassuringly and smiled, "He never wins. The rilmani
always makes it look like he is, but he can never quite
He smiled back and said, "Ya,
bloody rilmani," he sniffed, "They're never there
when you need them." His eyes took on a very
introverted look as he wiped the last tear from his
I stood up and left him to ponder
his madness. It's usually best to leave without
saying anything, lest you excite them. If they don't
notice you leaving, a lot of times they won't remember
you even coming in. The poor sod. Probably had his
village trampled in the last march, while the rilmani
At least he's quiet now, that's my
job. To keep them quiet. To make them forget for the
moment, that's what they say to do. Unfortunately, they
don't so much forget as they do stop thinking out loud.
The introverted look a barmy gives when he puts his chin
on his knees is the one he gives before he once again
contemplates his situation... a great downward spiral.
When they hit the bottom, and the source of their
madness, their reality sets in even more overwhelmingly.
Eventually, they die from the mental stress or rarely of
suicide. Some struggle for upwards of fifty and even one
hundred years before giving in to the next reality...
wherever it is, if ever it is.
after Peak. Dinner time in
the Gatehouse comes at the eighteenth hour of the day,
promptly. It's one of those things a cutter can count on,
if he's barmy and in a cell, that his meal will be hot
and in his room at promptly six hours before Antipeak.
Usually, the meals aren't that good (the service is
stressed a bit more than the food - the average barmy
cares more about getting served than what's on the
platter), but they're both nutritious and edible. And,
though it's a bit redundant of me, a barmy doesn't real
care what he's eating. Usually. Of coarse, we make up
nicer dinners for the ex-Factols and Mad Bleakers (though
a few of the poor ex-Factols've passed away recently... I
believe there was an article on it in S.I.G.I.S.), but
there's a bit of confusion sometimes and a really lucky
barmy'll end up eating from a silver platter, while an
ex-Factol gets more depressed at his lack of kingly
I got stuck doing the sods in the
Criminally Insane ward tonight.
The Criminally Insane ward is
unique. While the Mad Bleakers get crushed by trying to
stop oppression, and the Irretrievables by being the
innocent bystanders, the Criminally Insane is the place
the people who are too barmy for even the Wyrm to be
taken. The Red Death doesn't want anything to do with
them... one once said to me, and I believe this sums up
the reason we have a Criminally Insane ward best (along
with saying a lot about the Death):
"If they don't understand why
they're getting their justice, they're under your wing.
We don't have the time to waste on barmies."
The Criminally Insane are the sods
that are so twisted the Mercykillers don't even want to
punish them. Serial Killers who get caught, and are found
to have had their minds psionically destroyed. Rapists
who confront their victims later, and then feel regret -
but go and do it again anyway. The really twisted ones.
They get sent to us straight from the Prison, after it's
decided they're barmy. They're cells are damp, usually
dirty, and they usually get chains. There are no windows
in there, either, and the bars on the door provide a gap
only big enough to permit the entrance of a bowl of old
chowder. We don't like having them around as much as the
Mercykillers - but they're barmy, so they're
And like the other barmies, they
all know me...
"Hey, Shu, out doing good again,
"Hah... there goes ol' Pekan. The
world looks like it was awfully mean to him
"What happened Shu, another kid get
"Ya... that's right... reminds you
of your grandson, don't it Shu?"
"Wanna know what I did to him,
"Ya... tell him..."
"I dunno if he remembers. S'right,
Shu! It was me! I did him in, the little Zerth
"S'right, yellow man! It was
"And... you can't do anything about
A hall full of Criminals
didn't eat - for once, one of the Gatehouse's constants
was broken. I pity the sods who have to guard the hungry
I hurried back to the Gardens, past
all of the barmy killers screaming for their food, and
Five and a
Half Hours Before Antipeak.
If only for the educational value of it, and the point of
seeing why I am a Bleaker, I will relate the story of my
He was a little Gith, only about
seven, when he came to live with me in Sigil.
I worked for the soup kitchens in my spare time, as
some way to give back, but I was a weapon smith before
that, and a great knight even before that. I am very old,
as may be guessed. A tiefling, came in my shop one day,
and bought a nice sword. He paid me extra, winked at my
grandson (whose parents had died on Limbo - eaten by
Slaadi), and left. He was a good looking sod, dark tan,
jet black hair and eyes, and the drawn, handsome features
of an accomplished Blood Warrior. He had the smile of a
My grandson went out to play a bit
later on that day... the next I saw him, three days
later, he was in pieces in a box, in a warehouse in the
Hive, with the sword I'd made sticking in what were his
remains. Tools of torture were strewn about the room - I
don't even allow myself to think what that bastard did to
my own grandson.
They never caught him.
I joined the Cabal shortly
afterwards... and have been here for a long time. But I
haven't forgotten, and neither has the Criminally Insane
Before Antipeak. After
going back into the Gatehouse to help clean up,
I came back out to the Gardens again.
A shipment of manure was about to arrive, so I
thought waiting for it might be good. The sod who runs
the company I buy from, a cambion named Marcus Carfax,
charges hourly. If you aren't there when he arrives,
he'll usually claim (beyond all logic) that he's been
there all day and that people have just been ignoring
him. It works pretty well - when I'm not around, he can
usually trick new Bleakers into giving him a day's worth
of extra wages.
He wasn't there yet, so I wandered
over to the chess game, which was still going strong.
Smoat was arguing with himself, and Merj was staring at
his King's Rook... both looked intense.
Merj was still maintaining his
beautiful, silent stalemate with Smoat. Not a pawn had
yet been taken, as such would ruin the beautiful balance
of the game. Smoat was always worried that destroying the
balance would anger his silent friend, who would then
quit and find something else to do. Merj always played
this to his advantage (apparently), by doing the same. He
would manage to checkmate Smoat in the most beautifully
subtle ways. While it's hard to imagine Merj actually
playing - the normal bystander would assume that a barmy
gnome was just playing chess with himself, while a very
bored rilmani watched - the way the games would end could
be called artistic. It's said that viewed from above, one
of the longer games ended in a checkmate with the pieces
arranged to form a picture of her serenity, the Lady.
That's tough to arrange, when you're a barmy gnome with
the pieces some thirty pounds heavier than you and a foot
taller. Merj is there, thinking... but who knows. Maybe
Smoat is just a barmy artist, the powers know there's
tons of them.
Carfax arrived shortly, with his
big wagon full of Stench Kow manure... and by the powers,
it did stink.
"Ahh, Pekan, I got here four hours
ago. Where were you?" He tried.
"I've been here the whole time,
Marcus. I saw you get here a minute ago."
"I get paid by the minute, you
"Sod off. You have the three
hundred pounds I ordered, right?"
"I thought I was selling you
manure? My little runners are off selling it now, I
thought you cancelled that order..."
"What are you talking
about? What runners?"
"Oh, just a bunch of Gith kids I
have selling those mushrooms. You know, you ordered them
and then cancelled, right? Er..."
"You have got to be kidding me,
Marcus. Unload the manure."
"You can make good cigarettes out
of this manure..."
I fumed for several minutes while
he unloaded his cart. It figured, fiends don't sell dirt
to the Gatehouse. It's always a front for something. It's
always a big plot. But why is it always these kinds of
plots? Why does the ghost of my dead grandson have to
constantly be dredged up from the grave to haunt me? Why
can't this happen to other people? Why me?
I'm afraid I might end up in the
Mad Bleaker's wing sooner than later...
He finished unloading his
cart. "I already paid, Carfax."
"You did? Oh, yes, right. I recall.
Will that be it?"
"Yes. Same order for next
"Right you are, Mr. Shu. You
seem a bit... well, depressed. What's wrong?" For
how big a bastard he is, Marcus Carfax never fails to be
the happiest bugger in the multiverse when he's taking
someone else's money for something as worthless as
manure. For all he cared, he was getting money for
bringing some waste products from a very dirty animal
from point A to point B - a rather easy
"Nothing. Don't worry yourself over
me... you still have a few long years of taking my money
ahead of you."
He grinned and got back on his
cart. "Good evening, Pekan. I hope you feel better next
I hope I'm still thinking
straight next month...
Hours Before Antipeak. I
spent the next hour spreading one of the smelliest
substances known to the multiverse across the Gardens.
Screams from the barmies with windows, gasps from people
in the Gardens, and inquiries of what the horrible smell
was from people on the street interrupted the process. My
olfactory sense is mercifully dead. Working with what I
do, I can only imagine what things smell like - but
that usually has the desired (or undesired) affect. I can
smell in my mind what the manure smells like, just as
well as I can smell any of my flowers.
Unfortunately, the others can smell the manure for real,
and it doesn't please them. Normally, the shipment comes
later at night, when everyone is in bed, but it had to
come early tonight for some reason or another.
I took the Astral Violet that was
in my pocket all day, in it's safe wrapping, and planted
it deeply. They're the most gnarled, ugly bulbs. You can
probably cut someone with one, if you scraped it across
their face. The bulbs die almost instantly in the air,
and have to be packaged in the membrane lining of a brain
mole's stomach. They grow to be very large flowers -
their stems get up to three inches thick, and their
flowers range in light blue to dark purple in colour -
each with a diameter of up to two feet. They're
fantastically beautiful, and as I mentioned earlier,
The light boys' staffs began to
glow out in the foggy nighttime of Sigil. Smoke clogged
the air more so than usual, and the fog made it so bad as
it was impossible to see even the Cafeteria just across
Bedlam Run. A horrid night. Mornings after these are
usually busy ones - the Knights of the Post usually take
advantage of such weather to take tries at their
businesses. On nights like this, we close up
A chess king hurtled through
the air, nearly hitting me.
"Yez're cheating again, I knows
Merj only stared.
The two barmies quite their game
and went back inside the Gatehouse. Curiosity took over,
and I climbed up onto one of the Gatehouse walls, and
stared at the board... sure enough, a very vague picture
of a flower bulb was visible. Where the king should have
been lying, if the king were tipped on its side in the
normal fashion of defeat, was where the flower was
sprouting out of it's case.
One of them was definitely an
One and a Half
Hours before Antipeak. In
the Gatehouse, the candles were all being extinguished.
With only an hour and a half left in the day, the
mandatory bedtime had arrived. The time of day Bleakers
hate most. The time of day where the barmies won't be
quiet, when they have to sit in the dark with nothing
better to do than scream. I'm thankful I have my shack by
I stalked up and down the
Irretrievable Ward, listening to the slight whimpers and
sobs of the inmates through their doors. Gently
telling them that it's Lights Out, and that I'd be back
to turn the lights on in the morning, I turned out the
candles one by one. As a mother lays her baby down to
rest, I turned out the candles. As she walks out, happy
in the knowledge that her child is quiet, I did. With the
great frustration and helpless irritation aroused when
the baby starts mindlessly screaming, so I gritted my
teeth when the barmies started their nightly
I looked about, as the Bleakers who
still had half a mind went back to their rooms... where
they'd be kept up until the morning by the wailing
madness. I looked back into the wards, where all the
noise came from. I looked out into the street, from which
it originated. As I do most nights after Lights Out,
I cried. For all of them, that they might find
peace, or that I might.
A half Hour
Tollysalmon is out there
somewhere. She wasn't found dead in the cave in a few
weeks ago, and her cell was one whose roof fell
through. She hasn't been seen in the Gatehouse for
weeks, in fact. It's a mystery to me, but also a good
feeling. To know that she's out there, surviving, without
getting sent back is a good feeling - maybe the barmies
can be cured.
Then again, she might just be being
barmy somewhere where the Red Death won't scrag her, like
outside of Sigil. The powers know, she's probably
preaching right now - or lying in chains. At least it
isn't here, listening to the screams, without being able
to do anything about it. She's probably happy, or safe in
her barminess. I hope one day I might join her, and be
Copyright 1999 by Tom