"Sundial H for Hero": Though the Babylonian elders would not listen to her, Laodice has had a dream which told her of the way by which she could save her people from the threat of the Mušḫuššu. She dreamt that a massive sundial in the village would need to be turned to a certain angle every day
Appearing in "Sundial H for Hero"
- Laodice (Dies)
- Bumper Carla
Synopsis for "Sundial H for Hero"
Though the Babylonian elders would not listen to her, Laodice has had a dream which told her of the way by which she could save her people from the threat of the Mušḫuššu. She dreamt that a massive sundial in the village would need to be turned to a certain angle every day by noon for four days, in order to create a shield against the monster. The sundial is missing two hours from it, which is part of why the elders have reacted with such skepticism - it cannot possibly work as a timepiece. However, Laodice believes that the flaw is by design. So, without the elders' help, Laodice and her young friends have been forced to move it themselves.
On this, the fourth day, the youths struggle to move the stone dial to face the direction that Laodice has determined it should, while the Mušḫuššu gets nearer to arriving. All of their families have left, in anticipation of the devastation, and Laodice is lucky that her friends have stayed for her. The creature had already attacked and destroyed several cities in Mesopotamia, and it was now nearly upon Babylon. With the dial moved to its proper location, Laodice could only wait for the noonday sun to cast its shadow, and hope that the shield would come in time.
As her friends run away, Laodice waits, even as the Mušḫuššu is nearly upon her. Suddenly, though, she is transformed into Bumper Carla. Riding a magical bumper car, she begins herding the creature nearer and nearer to the edge of a sheer cliff. Then, looping back around, she rams the creature hard, sending it into fairground hell. Laodice returns to her normal self to see her sister Stratonice. She has no idea what happened, or how it happened, but the remaining townspeople praise her as their saviour and a prophet - favoured by the gods.
Some years later, Laodice has been ruling her people while her sister has been searching for answers about the dial. Stratonice has been to many places in search of answers, but found almost nothing. However, in her travels, she discovered that someone was following her. Interestingly enough, Laodice has already found the man who was following Stratonice, because he had hoped to get to the person who had used the dial first. She had him imprisoned for safety's sake, because he knows about the dial. He warns of danger from behind his bars.
Laodice has not spoken to him yet, because she worries what he might do if he is the creator of the sundial, and if he discovers that the stone was broken during the battle with the Mušḫuššu. Not to mention, if he has anything to do with the dial, his power might be as strong or as dangerous as the power she herself gained from it.
Suddenly, Laodice and Stratonice are surprised by the appearance of Bumper Carla, who accuses Laodice of murder. She chases the queen to the jail where the mystery traveller waits. Without hesitation, Carla kills Laodice before their eyes, and tears open the prison that holds her friend. After setting him free, she acknowledges that she murdered Laodice, and consigns herself to the still zone, a kind of prison for her kind.
The man explains to Stratonice that Carla comes from a world with a fairground theme, and one day, she felt her powers being taken from her, and losing them at that moment resulted in the deaths of many innocents. She had become convinced that whoever took her powers and caused those deaths was from this world, and swore vengeance. He had come, in hopes of stopping her, feeling that what she had come to believe was impossible. He leaves, not knowing that she was exactly right. The sundial had allowed Laodice to take Carla's powers for a short time.
Now, Laodice lies dead, and the sundial lies broken.
- This book was first published on September 5, 2012.
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