From the Mouths of Boars


Photo © Alastair Forbes


Jotan winced. He’d been cleaning his nails with his knife to look tough and had just jabbed himself.  He bit his tongue to keep from screaming in front of the scholar.

“You want me to get spit from this atchewa-ka-ta… er, demon-boar?”

“Demon-boar is a misnomer, they’re not really…”  Master Herrala sighed.  “Yes, saliva.  Spit.  And remember, it must be alive at the time.”

“For the magical vision-y powers.”

Herrala nodded.  “Can you do it or not?”

Later, sneaking toward the dozing demon-boar, Jotan pondered that question.  Pondering only took his mind in circles, though, so he concentrated on walking quietly instead.

It helped that demon-boars snore.   Who knew?

Then he saw it, hanging on the curve of the boar’s tusk: a huge droplet of spit.  It fell, but another slowly formed in its place.

Creeping closer, Jotan held the jar as far as his arm would reach.  This might actually work.  One more step…

The image inside the droplet captured his attention.  Strange people, impossible spires, bizarre machines.

He shuddered.  It was wrong to see that.  Wrong.  He jerked his hand back.

The demon-boar twitched awake.

Running, Jotan pondered whether misnomer meant light sleeper.  Stupid scholar shoulda just said.

Word count: 200.  Inspired by this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge.  Thanks as always to our wonderful host Al Forbes!  Click here to read the other stories based on his photo.


27 thoughts on “From the Mouths of Boars

  1. Very unique idea. Boar spit, I would have never imagined in it, one could see the future. I wonder what Jaton’s scholar/teacher meant by sending him to get it. Extremely creative. I liked this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mandi, glad you liked it! In Eneana (like in the D&D game it was originally based on) a lot of spells require a special material component to get them to work. It’s not such a stretch that magical boar spit could be one of those components!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks! After such a long string of heart-wrenching tales, I kept telling myself I’d try something funnier. I’m glad it worked! Although you’ll notice that even in the “light” story, the guy ends up being chased by a killer demon boar. Not sure how well that’s going to end up for him, hm…


    • Thanks Al! Yes, some components are harder to get than others. As far as what this one does… I’ll admit I hadn’t gotten any farther than “magical vision-y powers.” Who knows when it might come up again, though. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hm, good ideas, Al! Actual seeing into the future doesn’t exist in Eneana — I’ve spent too much time debating causality loops and free will related to time travel in science fiction, and that’s basically the same thing. However, there are certain divination spells that mine existing information to produce interesting visions of likely futures (basically, really good predictions) and many people who use these don’t make the fine distinction. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • I found that when I used to run AD&D. By using a forward seeing spell, it set some parts in stone and resulted in me making sure a character survived even through their own stupidity. I altered it to being only 75% accurate though as a couple of people were using the spell to purposefully make sure I wouldn’t kill them off.

        Reading minds in the game could also have unforseen consequences if they read the mind of a bad guy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I had those same problems when I DM’d, which is one reason I got rid of those spells in my house rules. I think a lot of authors believe that they don’t have to worry about such possible misuses of magic (or other aspects of their world) because they have control over all the characters, and can just *make* them behave. But that means sacrificing reality: if that was a real world, someone somewhere would be acting the same way PCs always do — taking full advantage of whatever the rules are to benefit themselves and get ahead. So why hasn’t your fictional world been taken over and/or ruined by such people? Time to revisit the magic rules. 😉


      • Wait, I should clarify: I didn’t get rid of mind-reading. It’s illegal in most places, and it’s not 100% accurate, but sure enough, people do it, and get themselves and others into all kinds of trouble. Of course, it also means there are tons of defenses people have developed to reduce their vulnerability to such spells — and super villain types are most likely to be well-armored in that respect.


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