Wednesday, January 7, 2015


In radiance set the sun, pursued at a careful distance by the pinkish mist that obliterated cairn and chasm even in their moment of crepuscular glory. The only thing exempt from the forgetfulness of dusk was the hunched but significant figure of a man as he sat on the brow of a knoll above the fog, tending the nascent curl of a campfire, his back against the stump of a wasted tree.

To this prominent figure, as to a beacon, young Soupcrumb made his way along the sodden track. He was hungry and tired, and his feet were scraped and raw. There was black mud between his toes.

Soupcrumb crawled into the fire's gathering radiance without remark, but without bothering to hide either. For a while the huge man did not seem to notice his presence, but at last he broke the silence with a not unfriendly grunt: "And what finds you here, little waif? Fey thing, are you? Come out of the mist to play my eyes for fools? Some Spinney-scamp come to lead me into a depthy swale?” The question did not seem serious to Soupcrumb. It was as though the big man had been expecting him, and that his surprise was some ineffable kind of joke.

Soupcrumb was not scared, and the big man seemed to notice this. “My name is Glimmergulch, boy. Now tell me why you soil my fireside.”

At last Soupcrumb spoke: "No Spinney-scamp am I, though as much I may become. I was a Skeldkryk farmer's son. But I stole away. Raising cabbages is a shit life, and my Pa's a cruel arse. I set fire to his shed and then I ran."

There was a voluminous pouch by the Glimmergulch’s side, partially concealed in the many hides which he wore draped about him. Shifting the stave that protruded from its mouth, he produced a crust of dark bread and an ale skin, which he offered to Soupcrumb. The boy filled himself eagerly.

Glimmergulch scratched his copious whiskers as he watched the boy drink. "So you are here now, and hoping your Pa will forget about you. There are many such in these parts. Mark me boy!" Soupcrumb looked dizzily up from his meal, for the ale had been strong and it clouded his wits. As his eyes climbed, the giant shifted aside his great hide cloak to reveal a polished gut-plate of a somnolent emerald luster and the size of a well cover. A black spiral was cunningly inlaid into the lacquer, and it seemed to Soupcrumb that this spiral traversed an incomprehensible dimension. His jaw grew slack. He was aware--faintly--that the man was speaking.

"My name may be Glimmergulch, thing, but none call me that anymore. What they call me, when they remember to call me anything, is the Overlooked. I know what it's like to be well and truly forgotten. You see, even you've forgotten me.” The clod released a low chuckle. Soupcrumb’s head bobbed in hypnotized time with the motion of his diaphragm. “I saw you but yesterday morning. I saw your Da' take up the thresher. He saw me too, which is what stayed his ire. But he doesn’t remember me either. I handed you the torch that kindled your Da's shed, do you not remember you miserable child? Of course not. None remember me. But you remembered where I told you to find me, though you hardly knew it. And now you'll never have to see your mean old Da' again."

The unfortunate boy finally collapsed in a heap by the cold embers of the fire. The night had already passed away, not wishing to linger on such a scene. From Glimmergulch’s pouch came a tittering. He withdrew the wooden stave which was his cudgel and It winked and gibbered at him. " More fuel for the fire, eh Glim? A tasty morsel you've won tonight," it sang. " Do let me crack his eggbasket, do."

"Nay twig. This one's to be laid by, for I have on the morrow to bargain with Toads, and they like their currency fresh."

“Tender! Tender tender for the toads,” giggled his cudgel.

Glimmergulch swept the unconscious Soupcrumb into his sack with the crook of a massive elbow, and swung it over his shoulder as he began slowly to plod down the cold little hill. Around him the dawn gathered and the mist began to disperse, revealing the faint outlines of berms and barrows like the traces of a haunting memory.


  1. Love the look of that big guy!! I'll keep my eggbasket far from his reach that's for sure.

    1. Thanks man! This was one of those bones figures that I was dreading painting due to the detail looking really chunky and ill-defined, but once I got it under the brush, it turned out to be a lot of fun!