Had a little fun with the prompt over at The Tsuruoka Files’ Mid Week Blues Buster this past week. The prompt was simply “Iron Maiden” and here’s what I wrote. At the end of the story, there’s a little question for ya.
Born two minutes to midnight on 22 Acacia Avenue, I am my father’s seventh son. He was his father’s seventh son. “For the greater good of God,” they used to say when I passed by and I, deemed by many a wrathchild, made more than just priests and educated fools protect themselves with the sign of the cross. As if I were to be blamed for the evil that men do, I, the prisoner to the age of innocence, a young man on the edge of the thin line between love and hate, squandered too many wasted years wasting love and chasing the wildest dreams.
Then I saw the pilgrim and it was as if in this one man did two worlds collide, for in him I saw merged as one the Lord of Light and the Lord of Flies and all I could think when I first saw him was “Holy Smoke,” for the journeyman who appeared to me out of the shadows told me I needed to run to the hills to find sanctuary.
“Past the gates of tomorrow,” he explained, “and caught somewhere in time is a brave new world, a different world that is brighter than a thousand suns.”
I asked him how to find the place.
“First, you must remember tomorrow,” he replied, “and when you can do that, you will know you are where you need to be when the wild wind blows.”
I squeezed my eyes shut and shook my head. “What?”
“When the wild wind blows you will find yourself at the edge of darkness where resides the King of Twilight. It is your fear of the dark that is your dance of death,” he said. “But you must understand that fear is the key. Now at this edge you are but one step away from here to eternity, the still life, the place of revelations, the new frontier.”
I wanted to run, but he had his hooks in me and I stood there on this, seemingly the longest day of my life.
“Now listen to me and listen good. He will send you on a quest for fire and despite your hesitation, you must be quick or be dead or so shall ye rest forever your face in the sand. Back in the village you must ask both the angel and the gambler the whereabouts of the Clairvoyant. Avoid at all costs the mercenary or you will die with your boots on and steer clear of the clansman—you will know him for he is marked with the number of the beast. You must find the Clairvoyant, for he will tell you the whereabouts of the Rainmaker. Now listen to me and listen good. When the Clairvoyant asks you who you are, this is how you must respond…You must say ‘I am the reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg.’ It may sound easy, but when in the presence of the Clairvoyant it is as if you are standing in a dream of mirrors. So you must remember. Don’t just say Benjamin Breeg. You must say you are the reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg. If you get it right, he will respond ‘Hallowed be thy name.’ Got it?
“I think so.”
“Should you pass the test, you will find the Rainmaker and when he asks you of your quest, tell him you have been sent to tame a land. Now he will try to confuse you. Let him. He will declare you two blood brothers. He will scoff at your quest and tell you he knows the secret location of El Dorado. You must stop him and say ‘No more lies.’ Then he will give you the gift, the great sword of the former sheriff of Huddersfield.”
“What am I supposed to do with that?”
“Return to the King of Twilight, he will be waiting for you at the edge and you must be quick with your flash of the blade, for defeating him requires both sun and steel. Then you will manifest your destiny, your futureal and escape, out of the silent planet that is the earth, this world, this iron maiden.”
So here’s the question: How many Iron Maiden song titles can you identify?