Hero's Diary: Day 1, Part 17
11/02/23 at 13:09 EST

"Go on, go see them!" I had just been informed that I now had a wife and daughter in this strange place, and Etranger was encouraging me to visit them. She pointed to my house, but when I followed her direction, there wasn't a house to be seen. "Are you dumb? Get going!"

She was insisting that the piles of sheet metal leaning against one another was, in fact, a humble abode. Not being one to argue, I fought a powerful sigh and wandered over. A warm light was glowing from inside, and it felt rather inviting. I lowered my head to squeeze through the doorway, which had a clearance of just 4 feet, and found that the inside of this one-room home was actually rather spacious - much more so than it appeared from the outside. Hardwood floors, partially furnished, indoor heating - not too shabby for a pile of scrap metal.

There was no sign of my wife and daughter, however. Just a penguin - that beady-eyed creature that was staring at me when I first woke up on this strange platform. It continued to stare at me unflinchingly, and it was creeping me out. I looked away - a moment too late, however: a monster had found its way here and leaped at me. Unarmed and caught off guard, I failed to defend myself as the creature - equal parts human and avian - descended upon me with wide eyes. It shrieked something into my ears that almost deafened me: "Daddy, you're home!"

As the words sank in, I wish it had.

The harpy had pounced on me not with malicious intent of dismemberment, but affection. "Ew, you still smell like rotting flesh!"


She pulled away, covering her human face with a very feathery wing. "Take a bath before coming home, Daddy! Being up to your waist in blood and guts makes you smell like the Hospital across the street!"

This creature is not my child. She actually might be older than me. And the thought of her being of my seed breaks far too may laws - pertaining to both international laws and laws of physics.

She shuddered briefly and turned to one side. "Mom's been worried sick. I haven't seen her budge an inch since you and those other weirdos left for that scary dungeon. Maybe talk to her, then go shower."

I followed her gaze, expecting her to be staring at an occupied bird cage, given her physical appearance. But there wasn't anyone else in the room with us, so what was she looking at? The penguin?

Oh, no.

No, no, no, no, no.

Forget it.
Tagged under: ZHP
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