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Another year, another lottery

This is Part V of Princess for the Night. Part I of Princess for the Night is here

Opium Tales Humpty Dumpty Autumn came much faster than anyone would have liked. Another year, another lottery. The neighboring villages all gathered around and the virgin girls, as ordered, submitted their names.

Avery had been training. He has vowed to put a stop to this madness once and for all. Despite the thick hide of the dragon, Avery thinks with a well placed slash to the throat, he could take the dragon down and end this.

Nobody else has dared. But nobody else has had his vengeance. Disgusted by Tonna’s death. Disgusted by the cowardice of his people. Avery has had enough.

For her fourth year, Isabella submits her name. The other girls do the same. An elder reaches into the box, scrambles some papers around and pulls out a name.

Several hundred people there. Yet, silence. Nobody utters a word. They all wait for the name to be called.

Everyone knows everyone. Every year, someone loses a family member. And everyone loses someone they know. A sister. A daughter. A granddaughter. A niece. A friend.

Every year, the older people become more numb. The young people get more anxious. That person must die for the survival of all the neighboring villages.

But why hasn’t anyone questioned this practice? Why hasn’t someone stepped forth and even attempted to be a hero?

Every year, the name gets called. And that girl becomes princess for the night as each village puts up the best party they possibly could for her. Then the next morning, they chain her in front of the dragon’s cave and the dragon feasts.

The confession

Avery witnessed last year’s carnage, to no one’s knowledge, except for Isabella’s. Not even his trainers knew.

Avery finally decided that he will put a stop to this. Or die trying.

At first, Isabella thought he was mad. Then as he described Tonna’s death in painstaking detail, Isabella almost shared his vengeance. But not at the dragon, for the dragon is just a beast. But for the whole process. The villages. The cowardliness.

Isabella watched Avery train and saw that Avery was becoming a monster. If anyone had a chance against the beast…

And if Avery dies trying, will the dragon attack the villages? That means the pact had been broken. Someone dared stand up to the dragon.

Avery considered this. But, he was confident that he would end this. Once and for all. No girl ever again will die the way Tonna died.

The draw

So, as I was telling you earlier, the elder reaches into the box, scrambles some papers around and pulls out a name. As he has done before for many years.

Each time he drew the name, there was a sadness in his eyes. A remorse. A helplessness.

As always, nobody uttered a word. Even the children, usually restless, knew that someone they know, they won’t see alive tomorrow. Even they kept still, and kept silent.


Unlike the other girls, Isabella came forward with a blank face. She neither cried nor collapsed. She simply moved forward. And bowed, accepting her fate. For she knew, the love of her life, her future husband, the greatest warrior this village has ever known, had a plan.

Princess for the Night continues here

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Avery’s vengeance

This is Part IV of Princess for the Night. Part I is here.

opium tales green the image of that initial bite never left Avery’s head. He couldn’t sleep for weeks, visualizing Tonna getting bitten in half. When he closed his eyes, he still saw her death.

Despite throwing up one to two times a day for weeks, Avery insisted on training. Umfrey had utmost respect for Avery’s work ethic before. But now, it was borderline insane.

Borderline? Why did I even say borderline? Take out that word. I was completely wrong to use it. Insane. Yes, Avery’s work ethic became insane.

Nobody trained like Avery. Nobody. He took it to a whole new level.

And within weeks, he was getting results.

Tired and exhausted, after a few weeks of intense training, he stopped throwing up. He learned to focus his vengeance. He learned to control his emotions.

Avery was already Umfrey’s best student. But now, he would become Umfrey’s only student because the other students were so intimidated by Avery that they quit one by one.

Isabella notices something

Avery stopped visiting Isabella every chance he could. And when they rarely snuck out together, Avery didn’t talk much. They didn’t kiss much. Avery would stare into space a lot.

Isabella would ask him what was wrong or what he was thinking about. Avery would come to, and smile and kiss her, then go back to staring into space. While saying nothing.

“Did I do something wrong,” she’d ask. He’d answer “no baby. You’re perfect.”

But she knew something was wrong. She didn’t know that Avery saw Tonna’s death. Nobody knew. Not even Umfrey.

“Were you in love with Tonna?”

“No. But she didn’t deserve to die.”

Isabella agreed. But why now? Why all of a sudden? Even as teenagers, they’ve been through several of these lotteries. And Gwen two autumns ago actually was Avery’s friend. Avery barely knew Tonna.

Isabella knew something was wrong. The child in Avery was dead. He was now a man, and a man with a vengeance.

Continue with Part V of Princess for the Night here

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Tonna’s obscene death

This is Part III of Princess of the Night. Part I of Princess for the Night is here.

opium tales green tonna lost the lottery. She immediately peed in her dress as the other virgin girls in that village and some of the neighboring villages breathed a sigh of relief.

Several of the girls cried for her. Some were close. Some weren’t. But even the ones who weren’t knew what she would have to go through. It’s something you’d have to be a sick fuck to wish on anyone else, even an enemy.

Princess for the Night

They threw her a party, the best party that all the villages could afford. However, Tonna just cried and threw up the entire time. Some people tried to console her. Half the people though couldn’t even look her in the eye.

Many of the adults got completely wasted. As this has been going on for decades, the older people became distant to the whole thing.

Tonna looked so pretty. Even crying her eyes out and even after throwing up several times. She had the prettiest face in her village, and was arguably the prettiest girl in the entire lottery. Her genes will never replicate though. Tonight is her last night.


Her eyes already looked dead as the elders led her to the sacrificial post outside the dragon’s lair. Still wearing that dress, she had no more tears to cry.

Her mother had completely lost it. She passed out when her beloved daughter’s name was called and had yet to regain consciousness. Instead of consoling his daughter, her father took care of his wife. As much as he loved his daughter, I think he was scared to face the reality of it all. She never even got a goodbye hug from either of them.

The two people closest to her. The two people she depended on most, when the worst thing that could possibly happen to her, weren’t even there.

With her death imminent, she had almost nobody to turn to.

Tonna didn’t even resist as the elders chained her to the sacrificial post. I won’t write about the previous girls because I only want to tell you about Tonna. I feel like you never even got a chance to know about her.

Did you know that despite everyone else thinking she was stupid, Tonna was really good with locks? So good in fact that despite it being a boy’s profession, her father encouraged her to become a locksmith. Yes, girls in those days raised children and most didn’t have jobs besides assisting on the plot they were tied to. However, Tonna would have become a locksmith and moved into the city.

No, Tonna was far from stupid. She stuttered badly out of nervousness, after getting kicked in the back by a poorly trained horse as a child.

The others her age misunderstood her. And underestimated her. No, I can assure you she had an aptitude for complexities far above her age. Tonna just lacked the speaking abilities to showcase her talents.

Her father though knew. Had she been born today, she would have made a damn good accountant. One that makes the six figures right out of college.

And then why you must be thinking could she not escape these chains? Like I’ve implied, Tonna lost it. She never handled pressure situations well to begin with and the lottery? It was enough to put her over the edge once and for all.

Avery witnesses the whole sick thing

As you already know, Avery was in training to become a knight. Still young and inexperienced, Avery trained six days a week under Umfrey, the best technical fighter around.

Avery wanted to know. He wanted to witness Tonna’s death.

He knew her. Not well. He was never attracted to her as his heart belonged to another girl. But they got along. After all, they grew up together in the same cursed village.

Avery watched from afar, but still close enough to see the details. His eyesight was quite good, and from where he hid, he could see the dragon creep out of its lair as per agreement.

Tonna finally came to life and would have peed a second time in her dress, but she had nothing left to pee. Or maybe it was a few drops.

She screamed helplessly, which sounded especially painful with her dry throat. The dragon approached her, slithering on the ground, then rose to its full height.

A magnificently horrible beast, Avery gasped. He had no idea how big that thing was. Now he knows why they all fear the beast.

Tonna never lost eye contact as the dragon’s head dropped quickly and tore her in half with one bite. Well, I say half but not really. The dragon went for Tonna’s midsection first and took a huge chunk out of it, consuming her pelvis area as well as her legs both separately fell to the ground.

The sick part of it all was that Tonna was still alive, cut in pieces, but her chest cavity, her arms, and her head were completely intact. How she didn’t go into shock really disgusted Avery.

It took her over a minute to die while the dragon chewed on the middle of her. Those too long seconds, I couldn’t imagine anyone having to go through them.

Avery got angry, really angry. Really, really angry. But he stood there, helpless, hiding.

The dragon continued to eat what was left of Tonna. First her upper half. Then it finally got around to picking up her legs one by one from the cold and wet black rocks. And when it saw that there was nothing left to consume, it turned around and slithered back into its cave, leaving nothing of Tonna other than some of her blood on the ground.

The elders would come the next day and look for any remains, and wash the blood away with buckets. They didn’t want anyone to see the grisliness of the event, especially the next girl.

No one had any idea Avery witnessed it. He wasn’t supposed to.

Avery though changed. And I’ll write about that change in him later. For now, let us have a moment of silence for Tonna.

Part IV of Princess for the Night continues here

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Young love

This is Part II of Princess for the Night. Part I of Princess of the Night is here.

opium tales avery swings the wooden practice sword and Umfrey easily blocks it.

“You’re telegraphing, Avery. I saw where the blow would land before you even got close to me. Try again.”

Yes, a prodigy with a sword, but still young. Nobody becomes a master overnight. Prodigies just speed up the years.

Umfrey is middle-aged. And huge. And has real life battle experience. Avery won’t be a squire under him. However, the Lord had Umfrey initially train Avery because Umfrey’s technique is top notch.

After about twenty more attempts, Avery finally whacks Umfrey on the arm.

“Ouch!” Umfrey smiles. “Well done.”

Repetition. The same exercises over and over again until everything is right.

First, you master the footwork. If you have bad footwork, Umfrey tells his student, you’ll never be a good fighter.

That night

Isabella waits for her parents to sleep. Then sneaks out the window. Avery waits for her by the twin birch trees.

She runs almost full speed into his strong arms and they kiss passionately. She then looks deeply into his eyes. He returns the gaze and concedes a smile. “Yes, you are more beautiful than Tonna.”

“But she’s prettier.”

“But she’s stupid. Stupid people do stupid things. And ten years from now, I can assure you that you’d be significantly more beautiful. Plus look at her ass. Do you think I want to be squeezing that ass ten years from now?”

Isabella laughs. Avery gives her another smile, then initiates another passionate tongue kiss.

Ah, the feeling of young love, when it’s just passion. Before it turns into need then companionship. That’s why it’s so much more fun to write about.

“You need to get some sleep. You got more training tomorrow and Umfrey is mean.”

“He’s not mean. He’s strict. Big difference.”

“He seems really mean.”

“That’s because he doesn’t want me to die in combat. Good war teachers aren’t nice. They’re strict. I need to learn to do things right.”

“Can’t he be nicer?”

“I don’t want him to be nicer. I want to learn how to fight. He’s teaching me war, not etiquette. That’s another guy.”

“But seriously Avery, you need to sleep.” This time, she initiates the passionate kiss. And breaks it off. Turns around and starts rushing away. And turns around one more time to blow him a kiss with the most heartwarming smile you’ve ever seen. Then lifts her dress so it won’t drag on the ground and rushes quickly back climb the tree to get back inside her window.

Avery watches every step she takes with intense pleasure. “Some day that beautiful girl will be my wife,” he says to himself with a confident smile.

Part III of Princess for the Night is here

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“You’re not going to need that love potion”

“You’re not going to need that love potion.”

Isabella looked up at her aunt and smiled. “You don’t think so?”

“No. He’s already crazy about you. Apparently everyone in the village knows this but you.”

Isabella sort of blushed. That’s a lot of emotion for Isabella, who’s more a thinking girl. Not your average feminine village girl.

Yes, she’s feminine. Don’t get me wrong. But atypical. In more than one way.

She and her aunt have been doing magic together since Isabella was a child. Isabella’s mother doesn’t know. Of course not. In this village, it’s not seen as something really bad. Not like some of the other villages where they actually burn people who practice it. But it’s still something to keep quiet about.

So you’re probably wondering about the boy in question. Tall, handsome, and the best kid with a sword around. He’d be called a prodigy if he were a musician.

Let’s put it this way. Peasants aren’t allowed to own arms. However, the Lord made an exception in this case. He knows Avery would make a good defender, and would train him himself if it weren’t for his shoulder.

Yes, Avery will soon leave the village to be a squire, then someday be a knight. And what a knight he will be! Fiercely gifted, the villagers knew from an early age that he could be the one to end the village’s curse.

Is Isabella the prettiest girl in the village? No, that would be Tonna. But Tonna is stupid.

Isabella’s a close second though. Plus, Isabella’s got a spunkiness that Avery quite admires.

Isabella smiles to herself as she puts enough of the potion’s ingredients into a tiny bottle. “Just in case,” she smiles to her aunt.

Part II of Princess for the Night is here

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Why Opium Tales?

I am a Romantic. No, not the cheesy 20th century definition. I fucking hate how they took something awesome like Romanticism and turned it into something pretty fucking stupid.

opium creative abilities

I am a Romantic, 19th century definition. If you have no idea what I’m referring to, read the Wikipedia page on Romanticism.

Romanticism was an art movement. Musically, it died when World War I began, but was dying before WWI began. But then again, WWI began before WWI began. If you’re a historian, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Opium was the drug of choice for Romantics

Well, alcohol too. So opium and alcohol were the drugs of choice for the Romantics. However, Alcohol Tales has no historical context. It’s also meaningless. “A bunch of drunks telling stories? How fucking boring. I’d rather read the news”.

Opium also gave its users creative abilities. At a cost, of course. Like the Devil, you can have the item you desire. It will just cost you something later on.

Thus, Opium Tales makes sense. It has historical context. You know they’ll be unique. And you know at the very least, they’ll be interesting.

This won’t be the only medium you’ll see them

You’re reading a blog. However, this won’t be the only place you’ll see Opium Tales. You’ll also see them in my music. You’ll even see them somewhere else.

For that, I won’t go further as I’m currently in negotiations for some money.



By the way, I’m also a painter. Check out some of my works..

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The Voodoo Sex Shop

Nobody fucked with Jack. Do you remember that old Jim Croce song about Leroy Brown? Yeah. Jack was the real life version of that guy.

Anyways, Jack liked to beat the shit out of other men who thought they were the toughest guy in the bar. He didn’t like it when other men stood tall around him. Best to just keep your head down. And don’t look at him, unless you’re handing him some money or some whiskey. He did like his whiskey.

Jack also liked women. He liked all kinds of women. Big women, little women, tall women, short women. He liked them all, but never kept one around. He’d do his thing, say some lovin’ stuff, then get on his way. He never stayed around that long. Jack would say something like the Law was looking for him and he best get on his way.

A lot of women liked that. He was a bad boy. And he could fuck. Or at least, that’s what the women told the other women. Best pure fucking they’ve ever had.

The Voodoo Sex Shop

So that’s Jack in a nutshell. That’s all you need to know about Jack.

Oh. Call him “Sir.” He likes that. You can look him in the eyes if you call him “Sir.” Then you’d be on his good side.

And buy him a drink if you’re anywhere near a bar. If you’re walking with Jack, and you happen to walk by a bar, say “Sir, let’s step inside and the first round is on me. Top shelf.”

Then find an excuse to leave. It’s best not to stick around when his fists start flying. Don’t worry, he’s not gonna hit you. But the other guy’s friend might punch you while Jack beats up his friend. That’s never a fun thing.

“Where are you going with this?”

Hold your horses! Jack deserved a proper introduction. That’s the least I could have done for the man. After all, I’m the only man he ever bought a drink for.

No, I’m not a tough guy. I’m a storyteller. And Jack liked me for it because I told his story when he’d hit the road and run from the Law. He did that a lot.

But he always snuck back here for personal reasons. This shit, I ain’t gonna tell you since it’s personal.

As I said, Jack liked women. A little bit too much.

Rumor had it Florida had a little whorehouse in a small town called The Voodoo Sex Shop. No, not New Orleans flavor voodoo. The Haitian kind, you know those guys who speak with an Afro-French accent. I wouldn’t have stepped foot in that place. But like I said, Jack liked women. A little bit too much.

So Jack checks out the place. And there’s this little skinny Haitian guy. Probably late 40s or 50s. Very cheesy looking joint and he’s got a top hat and a black suit in this heat.

“Hi Jack.”

“How did you know my name?”

“You got quite a reputation.”

“I’ve never been in this shithole town before. How did you know my name?”

“Well Sir, I know men. And when it comes to men, you’re like a King of men. And I know you like women. Lots of women. And we got women. Here…” The skinny pimp guy pours some whiskey into a glass, nods, and gives it to Jack. “On the house. To your health.”

Jack smiled. Like I said, he liked being called Sir. And he liked his ego stroked. And, he really liked it when someone gave him a good drink. “Oh. This stuff is smooth.”

“I provide only the best. That’s aged Tennessee whiskey. The maker’s a repeat customer. He gives me his best stuff.”

“God damn. This may be the best mother fuckin’ whiskey I’ve ever had in my life.”

“And you’re about to have the best time of your life, Jack. Two hundred fifty dollars, as many girls as you want, and take your time.”

Jack always had money

As well as I knew Jack, he always had money. I’ve never seen him work a day in his life. However, he always had money.

So he slapped down two hundred fifty dollars and the skinny man smiled and pointed with his wooden wand to the back. And bowed.

Yes, the pimp is that cheesy. Laugh all your want. But don’t underestimate people. What’s that saying? Don’t judge a book by its cover? Yeah. There’s a reason for that. Sayings that stay around for hundreds of years. There’s a reason for them.

More on that another day. Let’s get back to Jack.

Well, there may be children reading this. So I’m not going to go into explicit details. But Jack did everything a man can do with four women. And when I say everything, just open up your dirtiest thoughts and yes, he did that too.

Careful about those big smiles

He came out with a big smile. Four hours later, Jack had a big smile. Bigger smile than I’ve ever seen him have, even that time when five guys tried to jump him. Heh. That put a smile on his face. But I’m talking an even bigger smile.

So Jack was feeling really good about himself. And after he came out, the skinny Haitian pimp greeted him with a smile.

Jack decided to do something bad. “Are you the only man here?”

“Only living man, yes, I am.”

Jack looked around. And pulled out a knife. “You know the drill.”

“Not a good idea, Jack.”

“What are you going to do about it, Slim?”

“Me? Nothing. I’m not a fighter.”

Jack smiled again as he saw the pimp whip out hundreds of hundreds. And instead of handing it over to Jack, he started counting the hundreds.

“But they are.”

Jack dropped the knife in horror. The pimp definitely was telling the truth. He was the only living guy there.

This part, I’m not going to go into details because you might have just eaten. We’ll just say that it wasn’t that hard to dispose of Jack.

Afterwards, the pimp had a disappointed look on his face as he put the Closed sign up on the door and mopped up the blood.

Rumor had it that the pimp kept Jack’s heart because the heart of a strong man has a lot of power. I’m not exactly the resident expert in voodoo so I don’t know what that means. I just heard the rumors.

That was Jack. I never did know his last name.

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What’s in a name? Sometimes, everything

Dammit. I open up one of my old tales and it’s called A Pirate’s Tale. Written before Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean series came out, one of the main characters was named Jack.

So no. Not going to keep that name for obvious reasons. Everyone will think I copied them. Complete, and quite unlucky coincidence.

Of course, I’ll now have to change the name.

As for the Disney movies, the first one was excellent. None of the sequels held up to the first. I know it’s hard to do. It’s like so many bands that have an excellent first album cannot live up to it. Same deal.

The Godfather was one of the best movies ever made. The Godfather II was slightly better. That’s extremely rare.

So, not going to harp on the PotC franchise. They have my condolences.

However, I still need a name

So, before I even begin, I need to come up with a new name for this pirate. Give me a little bit of time to ponder it.

I’ll also consult history.

The Death of Jean Lafitte
The Death of Jean Lafitte

Anyways, I got a lot on my plate. Once I get some of this shit resolved, I’ll work on that name, and get A Pirate’s Tale uploaded here.

For now, tootles.

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Siren’s Lament – What happened at the interview

If you haven’t read the first part of that senile old dragon rambling on about the man who broke Parthenope’s heart, click here. Then his story will make a little bit more sense. Don’t blame me for his ramblings though. I’m just the guy typing.

opium tales green the dragon wasn’t so hard to find if you knew what to look for. Had he been younger and less senile, there’s no way in hell I would have found him. He would have covered his tracks significantly better.

However, he’s old and quite senile. It’s pretty weird that he still has another 400-500 years left to live, unless of course we inadvertently kill him.

I’m guessing that’s what happens though. I’d put money on him inadvertently getting killed rather than him living to die of old age.

He already confessed about two of his family members deaths. St. George killed his wife. His son died in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. He didn’t specify which one.

I’m not a munitions expert, but I’ll rule out that he died when we firebombed Tokyo because if I’m not mistaken, we used more incendiary devices to cause fires rather than a bomb that would blow things up. A war historian can correct me if I’m wrong. I’m more an art and culture historian.

Dragons obviously aren’t going to die in a fire. They don’t burn, no matter how hot it gets.

How I found him

It’s easy if you know what to look for. Have you ever seen a person do something they shouldn’t have been able to do? Like all of a sudden, disappear? Change form? Lift something they shouldn’t be able to lift?

Usually when that happens, you think to yourself that your eyes are playing tricks on you and you don’t tell anyone because you’re afraid your employer would think you were taking drugs. So you go to your grave not knowing that you really saw a dragon or an Olympian. Yes, there are a few of the latter left too.

There was an old Star Trek episode where Olympians were from another planet and some of them came to Earth to act as Gods. If you’re wondering how accurate that is, well, that’s pretty much it. But it gets worse.

You see, us humans are way smarter than others give us credit for. In the past 100 years, we learned how to blow up cities with a single bomb, cure cancer almost half the time, build fake hearts, and walked on the moon. That’s how it all starts.

Stephen Hawking explains the speed of light pretty well if you bothered to read his book. You see, we’re getting closer than we realize to send things at light speeds.

Now the down side. Most intelligent species learn to destroy their native planets. So, they go elsewhere. Olympians and dragons and vampires and all those things aren’t magical. They know science better than we do. So they appear like magic to us. Nope. It’s science.

Some of them ended up here and blended in. Most of them ended up elsewhere on nicer planets and started over again.

That’s it. If you’re wondering how I found him, he was a goofy-looking man with a three hundred year old jacket and a hot blonde on each arm. You can’t get more cliché than that.

Oh, one more thing I want to clear up. I’ve heard him play the violin. He’s lying. Paganini would kick his ass.

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Siren’s Lament Part II

If you haven’t read the first part of that senile old dragon rambling on about the man who broke Parthenope’s heart, click here. Then his story will make a little bit more sense. Don’t blame me for his ramblings though. I’m just the guy typing.

Opium Tales Blue You again. Why do you keep asking me about Parthenope? I already told you that Odysseus never even encountered her and that was her younger sister that threw herself into the sea.

Oh. You wanted me to talk about the man who broke her heart recently. Right. Right.

But first, you know why I don’t like you, right? You remind me of George. Yeah, Roman. That George. You don’t look a thing like him. But something about you, you remind me of him.

You know he killed my wife, right? You didn’t know that? Yeah, that was my wife he killed. And then people made him a Saint?

Opium Tales a dragon storyteller
St. George and the Dragon (artwork circa 1390)

I really don’t like a lot of you, especially what happened in Japan.

What do you mean you don’t know what I’m talking about. Japan. 1945. My son was visiting there and the whole city blew up. He got blown to bits while a hundred thousand of your kind got incinerated.

No, of course he didn’t get incinerated. You can’t incinerate a dragon. He got blown up.

There’s not that many of us left nowadays. Most of us have left Earth.

Why am I here? Because I’m old. I only got about 400 or 500 years left to live. We’re not like Olympians that live hundreds of thousands of years. We only live for a few thousand.

What? You didn’t know Olympians don’t live forever? Of course they don’t. Half of them were already killed when they had that revolution against the Titans.

No, Gaia isn’t an Olympian.

Don’t you people know anything?

Oh, the Siren. Living forever? No, stupid. That’s just a story. They live even shorter than we do. No, there are no Sirens left. Parthenope got moved to the Caribbean Sea but she died of old age. She was long dead before all those pirate stories that you guys all exaggerate about.

The man who broke her heart? Wow, Roman. You’re gullible. No man could break her heart. I just wanted to make you type more.

No, she died of old age and her body long ago was eaten by the fishes. There is no story to tell you. I don’t like you. Leave me alone.

No, stop typing Roman. I said leave me alone.

My thoughts about all this