About Reptilspire Productions

Orga

Orga was once a normal city, though most would still call it normal now.

The Organs, the populace of Orga, had developed a fear of viruses – particularly from fresh foods – after a brief outbreak of e-coli swept through the city and killed dozens of elementary school children.  The Orga city council discussed possible solutions and agreed that the best choice for everyone was to allow and import only prepackaged foods into the city as to prevent any possible future viral breakouts.

The Organs soon developed a sweet tooth for the shrink-wrapped and vacuum-packed goodies that were sold in vending machines – and, as the number of vending machines increased, so did belt sizes around the city.  By the third year of the fresh food ban, the average pants size in Orga was a whopping 70 inches.

The plump, chocolate-sedated Organs didn’t stand a chance when the vending machines attacked: the puft-up marshmallow men and women were slaughtered like the pigs that they had become. 

            Sterile.  That is how most visitors to the city of Orga might describe it if they were to visit today.  The germophobic Organs got their postmortem wish: there was no longer an e-coli threat with the vending machine conquerors in charge of the city.  The vending machines became politicians, school teachers, taxi cab drivers, and vending machine repairmachines.  These snack-dispensing overlords took over society exactly where the Organs had left off.

The only virus that might plague Orga now would not exist of microbes or cells; it would exist as a string of ones and zeroes.

Demongate

            Statues.  Ever since the dawn of time, human beings have been fascinated with forging these effigies of themselves – there is something about these scaled reproductions that enthralls humankind, often becoming hypnotic, whether they are chiseled Neapolitan marble golems or poured into molds and forged into bronze metal colossuses.

            The city of Demongate is much like most other cities.  It has, however, hundreds of thousands of statues.  A visitor might be amazed by this total, but the citizens of Demongate continue to add to their collective statue collection by an average of at least several hundred a month, if not more.

            The outsider might view Demongate as a bizarre yet cosmopolitan wonderland, rich in the visual arts; in favor of the artist.  Unlike the avant-garde statues that adorn most art museums, all of Demongate’s statues are of the same design: shiny, metallic human-like forms posed in a variety of positions.  A common pose among Demongate’s statues is a heroic “area surveying” pose; a poise and gesture that might be seen in a painting of a frontier hero or a commanding general surveying his battlefield.  Other forms are posed athletically; others sit in contemplative repose.  There is no rhyme or reason as to why certain statues are forged in the poses that they possess.  “That’s just how it is,” locals will say when asked.  “We have always put them like that.  We like it better that way.”

            Demongate has hundreds of public statue parks to exhibit their collective, never-ending public work.  A visitor to any of these parks will find them all remarkably the same: seemingly-endless rows and columns of the same type of statue.  Most outsiders will find the locals of Demongate very bizarre in the manner in which they love their statue parks: often lines just to get into these parks exceed a mile long.

            Statues can be menacing, yet, conversely, so comforting.  A child tiptoes down a dimly-lit corridor past midnight, follows a bend and proceeds down a creaking staircase into the abyss, turns another corner, scratches his or her eyes, then opens them.  In front of the child is a life-size menacing bear statue and the child hears its primal growl echo in his or her head.  The child cries and hides in a corner.  Meanwhile, a man or woman kneels before a spotless ivory statue of a religious figure.  A comforting aura surrounds them and they feel at peace.  They have no fear.

The statues of Demongate fit this duality.  Locals visit them daily, speak to them, cling to them, love them.  These statues glow with peace and serenity to them.

When in contact, outsiders are the child and Demongate’s statues are the bear.  Demongate’s statues are not monstrous entities for the locals.  They are the corpses of deceased citizens – posed and coated in metals for an eternity of public exhibiton.

            Immortality is a physical impossibility for the human body; there is no debate as to this manner.  Statues offer immortality to their likenesses.  That which is not forgotten cannot truly die.  The citizens of Demongate have discovered this little secret to immortality.

Solar

            Solar – the city of the sun; the city of eternal darkness.

            Gold-paved roads are now tarnished a murky green; valueless.  Creeping, black tentacle vines consumed once-brilliant structures, crumbling them to unsalvageable piles of rubble, shattered mirrors as far as the eye can see.  It is now a nebulous, deplorable bog where one is more likely to see swamp monsters lurking in the muck and quagmire, amidst the occasional grime-stained human skeleton.

            It was once a city that was destined for golden greatness.  Centuries ago, Solar was founded by a group that shared a mutual admiration: the sun.  The only plot of land available to these pilgrims was in a swamp, but before the city of the sun could be built, the pilgrims had to push back the dinginess of the swamp – a stain on the land, as they saw it – and damned the swamp by damming its tributaries.

The Solar town square had been carefully constructed out of pure gold to serve the purpose of a calendar and sundial.  This aurous agora was truly magnificent in and of itself – merchant carts crafted of gold, all peddling beautiful golden trinkets depicting a personified sun.  Travelers through Solar never hesitated to buy a trinket.  Solarians collected them and wore different sun medallions daily as benediction.

            Beautiful artistic representations of the sun adorned all of Solar’s breathtaking gothic structures.  There was no need for a museum of art, for the city itself served that purpose.  It was not uncommon for Solarians to break down in tears at the sheer beauty of their creation.

It was a truly priceless majesty; maybe only comparable to Eden itself.  Yet, it was not enough – the Solarians believed that the sun deserved even more praise than that of gold.

            All structures in Solar were then plated with mirrors to reflect the majestic radiance of the sun to every possible location, from the dark space under a bed to the nook underneath windowsills.  Virtually every imaginable surface was coated in reflective metals.  Solarians wove resonant tunics and ponchos and, too, became little walking mirrors.

            Mercury rose from the intense rays of reflective sunlight, bursting thermometers, charring flesh.  Many perished from heat stroke; others developed skin cancers – but the Solarians believed these happenings to be the work of the sun: a punishment; a demand for even more praise.

            The Solarians agreed to a meeting to discuss an appeasement of the sun and unanimously agreed to a solution: to devote every second of their lives to the praise of the sun.  The following day, every Solarian gathered in the town square at high noon as the sun shown down from directly above them.  On the Mayor’s signal, they stared into the sun.  When the sun set, the Solarians returned to their homes with sore and swollen eyes.  They repeated this process the next day, and the next day, and the next day.  After a month, the now-defunct eyes of the Solarians resembled fried eggs.

            The obsession with eternal brightness brought forth the punishment of eternal darkness; a purgatory of blackness.  The visionless Soliarians were unable to maintain their city; their majestic, golden creations now frivolous forms in the darkness.  The golden roads became stained.  Buildings were overtaken by nature’s creeping cycle.  Dams broke and flooded the city, drowning most Solarians.  Those that survived were eaten by the swamp monsters that had swarmed the city in the events of the great flood.  Those that survived the crocodiles lived bleak, shallow lives, unable to live without their cornerstone beauty.

            The swamp had reclaimed its home, thanks to the sun.  Unlike humans, who shed allegiances like dust in the wind, nature remains harmoniously united – even between something as bleak as a swamp and something as brilliant as the sun.

Copyright 2009 Matt Hohnstein. All Rights Reserved.