NEW Story: The Fountain
From the notebook of Tzipora:
Total hedonism across a thousand generations produced the creature known as the ‘tooth regent’, who was a human by technicality but was built genetically only for consuming. His name was Arhen CIII, and where his ancestors had mouths, he had a thousand teeth that sat in messy rows to the back of his throat.
Three times a day his mouth had to be washed by palace maidens, and excess teeth brushed off. At night, as he slept, the teeth would grow back and occasionally sprout from his cheeks and chin.
He was one of the most powerful men in all of Zen, the land of gem deserts and magic, and tales of his brutality echoed among the large cities of the subcontinent. His jaws were mounted in his face like hunting traps, and upon bad news he would order the messenger’s hand to be placed in his mouth. That would clamp shut, the poor soul would scream, and minced meat would be spat out by the regent.
For a man built for consumption, luxury became lust. Like his father and his father’s father, he quickly became the richest oligarch of the Zo peninsula, acquiring old magic, artefacts, estates and fine foods like a glutton piles supper on a plate. It was not possession that motivated him, but acquisition and consumption, destroying hedonistically objects that might lift a thousand from poverty or heal the sick. The simple biological impulses of a human were so primitive compared to Arhen, who satisfied his genetics with an insatiable lust for growth and purchase. Over and over, the cycle would continue…
In some ways, he was on his way to becoming a Palace God, in which the essence of his family dynasty was being rewritten to a higher place of purpose. But where the Palace Gods derive their powers from superstition and traditions, the Arhen bloodline cultivate godhood through industry and commodity subsumption of the orgasm.
Arhen’s greed, or rather, his purpose, was only satisfied by the acquisition and consumption of one invaluable product — himself. He mortgaged his soul into his estate, through the aid of a spirit-banker, and set to work.
The maidens recall hearing only snorts and ecstatic screeches from his room for days. It was not uncommon for the regent to snort — his airways were severely deformed by his posthumanism — but it soon seemed to replace his loud breathing altogether, as though he were talking to himself in pig. This went on for a week.
Finally, on the eve of the new Zen calendar, his favourite maiden dared enter. She was called Zamen, and being a strong-willed woman, had attracted some level of respect from the otherwise inhuman Ahren. She found the bedroom empty, except for a pair of fine shoes and a small pile of teeth. It was suddenly clear to her what had happened — finally, the prince had completed his cycle and consumed himself. His father had cycled out the same way.
That day ushered in the regency of Ahren CIV, and the cycle of consumption would begin anew.