Huh pt 2: What was I even thinking?

Suddenly, he stopped running. He turned to face his predator, axe drawn. The voracious beast roared with its carbon-monoxide breath puttering out of the exhaust pipe at its rear. The Harley slowed, reaching its quarry. Mombercum readied his axe for the Harley to charge him, he understood these beasts. It wouldn’t wait long.

The beast spun the mighty wheels in the thick mud, spraying Mombercum with the brown semisolid. It began to circle the warrior, revving its engine and snarling it’s sputtering snarl. It stopped, and Waited. Mombercum was puzzled. These things don’t wait, they don’t learn. They’re mindless! Mombercum took this pause to his advantage and charged.

The vehicle lurched forward, bumping Mombercum’s shoulder as it sped up. Mombercum hit the ground hard, rolled and tried to get back to his feet quickly. The Harley was staring him in the face with its lone headlight. It let out a little chuckle as it revved a few more times. The warrior froze. His axe was in the mud beside him, probably out of reach. The Harley continued to glare at him, inching closer and closer with each revolution of its engine. Mombercum knew he had once chance…

The warrior flew through the air, trailing mud behind him as he arced over the Motorcycle and landed on the confused beast. He grabbed the steel horns on its top, and forced down the throttle. The beast roared in complaint, but sped off at Mombercum’s command. He turned the horns to the left and right, and the beast complied with his every whim. The warrior – once a hunter and combatant of these beasts – was now also a Tamer of vehicles. After several hours, the Harley submitted completely to its master’s will and mentally, was no more. Mombercum grabbed his axe and sped off on his new mount.

Mombercum had been travelling for days, eating the scraps that he could gather in this stony wasteland. He left his homeland since being trained by the tree, and had since gained a cynical view of reality. Life exists as pain and suffering, so why stop any of it. He had vowed to bring death to anyone who couldn’t understand it.

His new mount felt good. Soft leather seat, chrome and red trim, plastic handles with rubber grooves for fingers. It felt good. Driving the beast to it’s max, Mombercum drove up a lone, jutting rock in the ground at full speed. The Harley kicked off the rock at the last moment, sending the mounted warrior into the air. A moment of peace was held for the apex of the jump, and they both crashed back down to the solid terrain.

Bounding over the dusty dirt and jagged rocks, the pair made their way back to Mombercum’s homeland. He felt within himself now, that he had to reconcile with the ghosts of the past. With those he failed to save, thanks to that damned tree. It took several weeks of riding his mount to reach his ancestral home.

The grass and weeds had overgrown the stone remains. He noticed a few bumpers and tires buried in rock and moss. Good, he thought, they took some of the beasts with them when they died. He walked down the forgotten streets and around the wrecked buildings that made up his old home. He came to the building which used to be his home, and he wept. He found one of his sister’s old toys half-buried in the dirt. He found some of his mother’s mending tools for clothing. And he wept.

He left the depressing foundation behind him, and went to the gathering pit. There used to be raging bonfires here, with men and women dancing around it. Happy times. Good times. Yet, there was something he did not recognize. A wash of dread waved over Mombercum as he noticed…

“Hey, young Pig. How’s life been treating you?”

That voice. The voice he heard for years while he was imprisoned in the belly of that… that thing.

“You…”, he spoke, adding an ellipsis to emphasize that he was incredibly displeased at the sight of this Oak.

“Yeah, me. How’s it go?”

“You ruined my life! You caged me for- I KILLED YOU!”

“Oh, that, yeah. Turns out, I’m magical and stuff, what with devouring you and keeping you alive for years like that, and spawning all the cars and trucks. Heh, that reminds me of our time together. Good times.”

“Good times? You kept me from saving my family, or dying with them! While I was kept in your rotting belly, they were out here being killed!”

“Oh, I know. But, you gotta look back on the good things, really. If you focus on the ba-” the Keldinium Axe embedded in the side of the Oak “… erhm… yeah, that doesn’t work, man. Take your stick.”

Mombercum removed the Axe grudgingly and sheathed it.

“Alright, tree. You seem to know more about everything than I do. What am I supposed to do? Hmm?”

“Well, as you know, there was once a great city here…”

“Great city? This was my hom-“

“Just listen, will you? Long ago, when you were just a child, there was a town here with people so mighty and powerful that they were chosen for a great purpose. These people would be the ones to tame the vehicles. That’s right, the vehicles can be tamed and ridden, like ordinary beasts.”

“Yeah, I know. I rode one into town.”

“WHA-? Then … You’re the Chosen one! You’re the one who can bring order to this world!”

“I… I am?”

“No. Just messin’ with ya. So, how’s about you build a town here. I’ll give you some people an-“

“What? Build a town, on the ruins of my home? Wait, how can you ‘give me people’?”

“Liiiiike, this!” the tree opened his mouth wide enough for someone to walk into his mouth.

Or in this case, walk out. The villagers, those Mombercum knew and loved, everyone – except his family – emerged from the tree.

“Wha… everyone! Where is my family?”

The tree grinned. “Heh, yeah, uhm, the other villagers needed food an’, we figured, since you were gone…”

“WHAT?!”

“Heh, nay, I kid thee again, little pig.”

Mombercum snapped.

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