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Writer Gal

April 2017

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Writer Gal

You wanted Were-Hippos?

You got 'em.

I have it on good authority that it's probably not canon, but it swings.

And, you know, if you're at all CURIOUS to see what in the seven bleedin' hells the poem's about (other than the insanely obvious, emphasis on "insane"), you should PROBABLY read James Enge's books, The Blood of Ambrose, not to mention, This Crooked Way, and the upcoming The Wolf Age.

I'm tellin' ya. Well, I already told ya. But whatever. I'll say it again.


Morlock Ambrosius & the Were-Hippo of Laent

By C.S.E. Cooney

For James Enge

Morlock met the Hippo Man while running from the Khroi
The Hippo cried, “Hide in my hut, you crowlike crooked boy!
For surely as Saint Ambrose did convert me years ago
An Ambrose stands before me now – Laent’s only Were-Hippo!”

“My name is Morlock,” said the Maker, “I would not be a liar;
My blood burns not with holiness, but wizard’s caustic fire.”
“This truth is meet,” the Hippo said, “let’s keep it fast between us
My name was, once upon a World, Aurelius Augustinus.

“I was a doctor of the church, my theologies most pliable
(Tho’ intimations have been made that these were irreconcilable)
Now all heresies are history; they’re neither here nor there
For by the blood-sweat on my brow, I was not always Were.”

(“I wondered that,” Morlock replied, “but ask I did not dare.”)

“Have you ever stared Death in the maw and known it to be bottomless?
Did you know He’s not an Angel, but a pygmy hippopotamus?
One bite, said Death the Hippo, and I’ll send your soul in swirls
Far past the great Nepenthe & across the Sea of Worlds.

“My end anon, my work all done, my legend fixed in time
I’d had enough mundanities; I itched for the sublime
Perhaps the thing I’d so long sought, I’d find in an oblique way
It might as well be in Laent, if it’s truly totus obique.

“So here I sit inside my hut, nearby this tranquil pool
And shapeshift to a hippo every time the moon is full
Humble as a hermit crab, ascetic as a fakir
I linger in this limbo and I hope to meet my maker.”

“I am a Maker,” Morlock said, “though not the one you mean
And if it’s death your heart desires, at least I’ll make it clean
My flaming choir to melt the ore, a mold to shape the dart
A slender point of silver that will straightway pierce your heart.”

Aurelius Augustinus sighed, “Do this thing ere you depart.”

That night did Augustine his second martyrdom undergo
His death rattle of relief unsettled teeth and tail and toe
So the Maker fled the hippo’s hut, between two ragged boulders
The weight of every single world upon his crooked shoulders.



Hippos are notoriously wicked creatures. They are definitely deserving of being were-beasts.

I esp. liked:

"His death rattle of relief unsettled teeth and tail and toe"
They can bite canoes in TWO!

Also, I love that they secrete "blood-sweat." Only dying gods and hippos do such things.


Thanks for reading! Enjoy your THREE DAY WEEKEND!!!

Oh - you're probbly not up for it, but Twilight Tales open mic (which I was gonna skip out on) apparently features me as "Special Guest" tomorrow. So if you're around and feeling like getting out in the sunlight for a little while, do come. I'm taking the El. You could take it with me, and then we could walk by the lake.

It seems unlikely. But I thought I'd invite.

Have I mentioned that i adore you? I cannot help it, you are too fabulous not to adore. This is brilliant! *still giggling*
Well, I can't HELP adoring people who adore me. It's so EASY!

Also, you were kind to Amalface when she was sad on ze LJ, and that just made me LOVE you more!

It's strange, isn't it, how FIERCE one's affections can be for people one has never met?

I just wish I had more of a chance to prove it! By... you know... friendly things! Hanging out. And feeding when sick. And birthday gifts.

But I can't live everywhere. Later. After I've atomized. I'll spend some quality time with folks I like. For whole EONS!

*ded of giggling* Yes, we shall ALL know each other INTIMATELY then.

Well, as intimately as one can, given the the comparatively vast distance between particles on an atomic level. . .

You know, I bet particles use chat clients.
I'm not sure I wanted were-hippos, if for no other reason than I don't think I'd contemplated them before. But this is brilliant. And I must track down Enge's stuff, even if this isn't canon.
Oh, you'll LIKE Enge! He's far better than were-hippos! I PROMISE!
I keep thinking I've read some of his stuff. But I don't know what I've read. Because I haven't read his books.

And my memory for details is roughly analogous to my ability to rearrange the cosmos with the powers of my MIND.
Yes, but, uh, with random motion, and... um... CHAOS, we might be able to manage it. Somehow.

Dang. Comforting theory of after-death-visitations-on-subatomic-level SHOT!

Oh, well.
No no no! There's SYMPATHETIC RESONANCE. It'll be awesome! We can all be part of the ansible network, endless communication!


That's a relief then.


You must have a GREAT MEMORY then!

Most of his second book "This Crooked Way" appeared as novellas in Black Gate Magazine. And his stuff has appeared elsewhere. Info on his web page.

Or maybe you ASTRAL TRAVELED while DREAMING or something and READ OVER MY SHOULDER when I was reading 'em!

Oooh. Much creepissimo. Not that you're not welcome. You're totally welcome to astral travel to my aerie. Any time.

How utterly sweet of you. *beaming*
Were-hippos may trump everything. Anyway, this is awesome.
I like the word "trump." It reminds me of Zelazny.


Sooooo heppy you liked it, James!!!