Prompt: Your best friend knocks on your door one afternoon. You open it and he is dressed in a strange costume. Before you can say anything, your friend hands you a sword and says, “I need your help. Your family’s life depends on it.” Just then, your friend opens what looks to be a portal to another dimension, grabs your hand and jumps through.
“What the hell, Silvano?” I wasn’t so interested in the portal he’d pulled me through, even though it was a swirling mass of rainbows and glitter. I figured that was about on par with the rest of what I knew of him. I was more interested in why my family’s life depended on me coming with him.
“It’s all very wonderful, the elves told me about this one. You see, it all started with the war of ’39-”
“World War II?”
“No! The War for Elven Rights in 1439. A bloody mess, but it set in motion the gnomic rebellions in 1502, and then the dwarven Shatterscape of the eastlands.”
See? About on par. Silvano was a bit of a wacko. A lovable wacko, but still a wacko. He’s a writer, so madness is to be expected, but he went a bit overboard with it. He seemed to be waiting for a response, so I asked, “Shatterscape?”
“They broke a mountain! Shattered it, really. All that hammering that they do, that’s my theory. Anyway, that nearly killed Cassius Germanus, you know him, right?”
Sure, you’re hallucinated writer friend? I didn’t say that, of course. Instead, I said, “Yes, vaguely.”
“Yes, well, he came to me and told me about it, and I started to connect the dots. You know the earthquake we had seventeen years ago?”
We live in California, which one was he possibly referring to?
Apparently he wasn’t waiting for a response, though, as he continued shortly after. “The Shatterscape caused it retroactively. See, the Shaman understands. Time is all wibbly wobbly. One thing may cause the other even when the first came after the second.”
“But you’re saying that the Shatterscape caused the earthquake. Didn’t the Shatterscape happen in 1439?” You learn quickly to go along with whatever Silvano is saying. You don’t get very far arguing with him. Besides, I was floating through a rainbow and glitter tunnel, who was I to say what was real and what wasn’t?
“Yes, but not yet, and hopefully not ever. We need to go back and stop the dwarves from shattering the mountain. If we don’t, the next earthquake will cause your family’s death.”
I couldn’t exactly argue, seeing as how I was stuck in the portal. “Ok, sure. How?”
“Seeing as how we can’t let the dwarves shatter the mountain, and we need Cassius to nearly die from the mountain shattering, there’s really only one thing we can do.”
“But we can’t let the mountain shatter, and it needs to shatter. How can we change that?”
“I only said we couldn’t let the dwarves shatter it. So we’ll shatter it.”