Weekly Skylights: The Tripod Looks to the Clouds

3 min read

Joey Cifelli ’23

Arts Editor

April 15, 2022, Part 1 

A messenger arrived at the gate of the Red King’s Keep, knocking on it weakly and leaning over and heaving heavy breaths. A guard from a guard tower at the top of the gate leaned over and saw him there, sweating like a pig. 
“Hark! Who goes there!” shouted the guard. 
“I’m right here, Gill,” said Hark, the second guard. 
“Hugo’s where?” the messenger at the bottom of the gate shouted back, wondering why this information was important enough to deserve such announcement. 
“What?” returned Gill, the guard. 
“Yeah, I don’t know who this is Gill,” said Hark, scanning a scroll he had just unraveled, “he’s not on the list.” 6.6/10 

April 15, 2022, Part 2 (Featured Image)

“Please, I have a message!” shouted the messenger. 
“He says he has a message Hark,” said Gill. 
“I know Gill, I’m standing next to you,” said Hark, sighing. 
“What do you think I should say?” asked Gill, a little too loudly. 
“I’ll let you in!” shouted the messenger. 
“Not you!” shouted Hark at the same time Gill shouted, “on what!” 
“What!” returned the messenger, more confused than he had ever been. 
“He’s not on the list, Gill, that means we don’t let him in,” said Hark. 
“But he’s right there,” said Gill. 
“That he is,” said Hark, stoically. He looked off into the distance, where a group of serfs stood huddled together betting on a cockfight. 8.2/10 

April 16, 2022, Part 1 

He continued, “but we are guardsmen of the Red King’s Keep—that means something. It means loyalty. It means honor. It means sacrifice. And specifically, in this circumstance, it means we don’t let him in without a name on the scroll, Gill, a name on the scroll.” 

The messenger, having given up on any semblance of communication, sat down and began to build a little house out of sticks 

“I wonder what he’s doing,” said Gill. 

“Oh wait, I was looking at the wrong scroll,” said Hark, “yeah he’s definitely on the list. Open the gate.” 

Gill, who had begun opening the gate halfway through Hark’s speech, said, “I’ll do that.” 

Hark gave him a look. Gill gave him a look. The messenger finished putting the roof on his house. He had always wanted to be a carpenter; unfortunately, his father was a carpenter, and it would have been embarrassing to have two carpenters from the same family. 7.4/10 

April 16, 2022, Part 2 

“Get in!” shouted Hark to the messenger. 
“Watch this,” said Gill, throwing a rock at the sticks below. The rock hit the messenger square in the temple and killed him instantly. 
“I’m watching,” said Hark 
“In my defense,” said Gill, “he moved.” 
“He did not,” replied Hark.  
Gill coughed, “I’m sure it wasn’t important, whatever it was.” 
Hark sighed and sat back down to his whittling. He was whittling an effigy of Gill to sell to the witches later for reasons of damnation. 
Three months later a breakdown of communication between the Red and Green Kingdoms sparked war, in which two-thirds of both kingdoms fell to steel or sickness. The conflict was ultimately ended through peaceful negotiation, as a condition of which the remaining third of each kingdom was also slain. At last, all were satisfied. 7.9/10 

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