First 200 Words (part 5)

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Here is another story set in a world Philip José Farmer created, Ancient Opar and the Khokarsan Empire. This was a favorite of both Phil and his fans in the short lived series, Hadon of Ancient Opar and Flight to Opar. The following takes plays after a battle in Flight to Opar, and follows Hinokly’s story a little further than Phil did. Christopher Paul Carey is able to tell this tale because, as coauthor with Philip José Farmer of the forthcoming Khokarsa novel The Song of Kwasin, he knows his Khokarsan lore.

“A Kick in the Side”

by Christopher Paul Carey

       Down he went into water blacker than the ink of his trade. But the cold waters of Piqabes, green-eyed daughter of Kho, would stain him much deeper than ink would his skin. The sea would absorb him until his body was indistinguishable from the salty depths and then his soul would drift listlessly through the mouths of many fishes and slithery creatures before ultimately sinking into the silt at the bottom of the Kemu.
       As his lungs gave out, Hinokly cursed his fate. He was not to be a hero, like Hadon, or even Hadon’s loutish, ax-swinging cousin, Kwasin. Though Hinokly had once stood in the court of the King of Khokarsa, twice traveled to the depths of the Wild Lands, and even journeyed to the Ringing Sea at the edge of the world to look into the eyes of a god, he was a nothing, an expendable sidekick to great men (and even greater women, he thought, as the beauteous face of Lalila filled his dying brain).
       Hinokly stopped struggling and waited to enter dread Sisisken’s dark realm. No longer would he be bullied or overshadowed by those whose minds were as thick as the half-witted engineers who had …

(Copyright © 2010 by the Philip J Farmer Family Trust)

The rest of the “A Kick in the Side” can be found in The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 1: Protean Dimensions. Keep watching this space for more 200 word excerpts.

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