Chair Saga III: The Chair Returneth


Raider Times photo / Nadeen Makhzomi / Word Painter

Art by Nadeen Makhzomi

Kiran Owens / Word Painter

That chair was what started it all.

Susan knew all the details of her house: every inch, every nook and cranny, every place where dust gathered and every place where slightly less dust gathered. But she had never seen the chair before, the wooden chair with its ornate carved legs and gleaming walnut wood finish and radiance of complete and total evil. And instantly, she knew where it had come from. “My son…. What has happened to you?”

Susan, unable to completely grasp the situation, slumped to her knees, dropping the cup of coffee that she had so perfectly crafted just minutes before. She gazed at the chair, in a state of complete shock and anger–the anger of one who has seen her son transfigured from flesh and blood to wood and wax.

“I knew it, I knew it… The chair wizard, he warned me of this!” exclaimed Susan, to no one in particular but herself. “But I turned a blind eye to his ramblings, I’m such a fool! Such a fool…”

Of course, she hadn’t really turned a blind eye to his ramblings. After that night on top of the Mountain of Great Height, the thought had lingered in her mind, the small, persistent fear that the chair wizard wasn’t just an asinine old bat who had lost touch with reality, but instead was a real, genuine, undeniable man with chair powers. But the fear had done just that: linger, and nothing more, until that day, where it was all confirmed in one unbelievable instant of recognition. 

Still shaking slightly, Susan slowly drew herself up. Her train of thought had been knocked off the tracks by that horrid comprehension of reality, but the locomotive engineers in her mind were working on getting it back in working order. Finally, gazing upon the chair with a grim expression on her face, she knew what she had to do.

The chair wizard had said other things, too. This wasn’t a beginning, but it sure as hell wasn’t going to be the end. Finding her strength again, Susan walked over to the worn-down, dusty old chest in the corner of the living room.

The lock on the chest was faded and crumbling from years of sitting undisturbed by hand or mind. It fell away to the touch almost immediately and Susan cracked open the chest, revealing the bounty inside: a sword, gleaming almost as if new, its golden and jewel-encrusted hilt shining with wealth and its paper-thin silver blade almost begging to feel flesh again.

Carefully, she drew it out of the chest. Even after so many years, the weight still felt natural and light to wield. Without warning, she whipped it into a ceramic pot on her bookshelf, and the pot fell to the floor, sliced neatly down the middle. Susan smiled.

Kicking open the front door, sword in hand, Susan took one last look at her son, then ran off down the road, forgetting her coffee as she ran. But, she figured, today was not a day for coffee. Today was a day for victory. 

Today was a day for blood.


(Published November 2021)