The Eye of Argon Chapter 4

All knowledge of measuring time had escaped Grignr.

Greg, it’s only been half an hour. Your drama llama antics are getting annoying.

When a person is deprived of the sun, moon, and stars, he looses all conception of time as he had previously understood it.

…. and apparently he does this pretty much instantly. Apparently Greg is a parakeet, and if you drape a cloth over his cage, he can’t tell if it’s daytime or not.

So if he locks himself in a room with no windows, he suddenly can’t figure out what time it is?

It seemed as if years had passed if time were being measured by terms of misery and mental anguish, yet he estimated that his stay had only been a few days in length.

… but if all knowledge of measuring time had escaped him, how the hell could he estimate how long he’s been there? Aw, fuckit.

He has slept three times and had been fed five times since his awakening in the crypt.

It’s not a crypt, idiot. A crypt is basically a tomb, usually under or near some relevant structure. This is a CELL.

However, when the actions of the body are restricted its needs are also affected.

“Damn, I need to poop really bad.”

The need for nourishmnet and slumber

Nourishmet? What is nourishmet?

are directly proportional to the functions the body has performed,

Is there a mathematical formula for this sort of thing?

meaning that when free and actiive Grignr may become hungry every six hours and witness the desire for sleep every fifteen hours, whereas in his present condition he may encounter the need for food every ten hours, and the want for rest every twenty hours.

Now observe the wild grignr’s behavior when confronted by a flowery-haired prostitute. In his present condition, he has no phallic broadsword and thus is rendered sexually impotent. He may snarl and bristle when keepers enter his cage, and attempts to make himself look bigger than he is. When removed from sunlight, the wild grignr’s coat loses its color and he becomes languid…

Seriously, it sounds like Theis heard this on a trip to the zoo and decided that it would be awesome to include it in his fantasy opus.

All methods he had before depended upon were extinct in the dismal pit.

Those sick evil bastards! Now entire species of methods are extinct!

Hence, he may have been imprisoned for ten minutes or ten years, he did not know,

“Dude, do you hear that prisoner wailing in there?”
“I know. He’s been in there for like an hour. It’s always the ‘big tough’ ones who start going emo first.”

resulting in a disheartened emotion deep within his being.

“Damn, I seem to have developed a disheartened emotion in my being. I keep having the doctors give me antibiotics for those things!”

The food, if you can honor the moldering lumps of fetid mush to that extent,

  1. Who is “you” and why is Theis changing style after four chapters?
  2. I think he means “moldy” or “molding.” Moldering means to crumble or disintegrate.
  3. “Fetid” works. But… how do you have lumps of MUSH? Isn’t that like having chunks of water or slushy rocks?

was born to him by two guards


Seriously, I do not need to imagine Greg having sex with two prison guards, let alone having mushy lumpy fetid offspring. Now, back to my reaction to that idea.


who opened a portal at the top of his enclosure and shoved it to him in wooden bowls, retrieving the food and water bowels from his previous meal at the same time

The food and water BOWELS? Uh… does that mean that they, um, clean up the crap and pee?

after which they threw back the bolts on the iron latch and returned to their other duties.

“Well, we fed the apparently only prisoner in this dungeon. Fancy a game of Yahtzee?”
“Nah, today feels like a Chinese checkers day.”
“Ignore him. I’ll set up the board.”

Since deprived of all other means of nourishment,

… except for those Snickers bars the previous prisoner left in the corner.

Grignr was impelled to eat the tainted slop in order to ward off the paings of starvation,

Amazingly, the word “impelled” may actually be used correctly. Then again, it’s eclipsed by talking about the “paings” of starvation. I’m confused, are those like a combination of pains and pangs?

though as he stuffed it into his mouth with his filthy fingers and struggled to force it down his throat,

… he discovered that it smelled like mint.

he imagined it was that which had been spurned by the hounds stationed at various segments of the palace.

I’m pretty sure that when you’re eating something so gross that it can’t be made into DOG FOOD, you’re supposed to imagine something a little different.

There was little in the baren vault that could occupy his body or mind.

  1. “Barren” or “baron”? Because it could be either!
  2. At least the lack of mental stimulation won’t affect him. He’s just as dumb as he was before.

He had paced out the length and width of the enclosure time and time again and tested every granite slab which consisted the walls of the prisonin hopes of finding a hidden passage to freedom,

“HGGGNNN! Nope, not that one. HHGGGGNNN! Not that one either. Damn, isn’t there supposed to be a secret passage? I mean, it’s a genre cliche! I’m the hero so I need an easy way out of this place!”

Also, we’ve been told that this guy doesn’t know if he’s been there for “ten minutes or ten years.” Yet somehow he has had plenty of time to run around tapping or pressing or kicking every stone in the cell… yet he doesn’t know if it’s been more than ten minutes yet. Yeah, he’s not very bright.

I’d also like to mention that while this is going on, that sacrificial scene is ALSO going on. So either they’re taking DAYS to sacrifice some girl to Argle, or Greg is the biggest crybaby in the universe.

all of which was to no avail other than to keep him busy and distract his mind from wandering to thoughts of what he believed was his future.


He had memorized the number of strides from one end to the other of the cell

Good boy, Greg! You can count all the way to five! Seriously, how spacious is this cell?

and knew the exact number of slabs which made up the bleak dungeon.

  1. “Uhhhhhh… what comes after eleven? Wait, don’t tell me…. eight! Or… is it twenty-three? Let me take off my shoes…”
  2. I’d also like to mention that all this counting and measurement is never going to be relevant, but since this chapter and the last two have been PURE FILLER, I shouldn’t be surprised.
  3. An editor wouldn’t bother editing this book. He’d just impale it on a bloody dagger.

Numorous schemes were introduced and alternately discarded in turn

“Hmmm, maybe I can fling my food bowl, ricochet it off the walls and knock out the guards, thus allowing me to pick the lock with my sharpened fingernail. Nah, too obvious.”

as they succored to unravel to him no means of escape which stood the slightest chance of sucess.

…. WHAT THE HELL IS HE SAYING? Seriously, this sentence literally makes no fucking sense! It’s like Theis played pin-the-dictionary and selected random verbs! Let’s dissect this pile of steaming shit!

  • Succor: it means to aid something.
  • Unravel: in context, to figure something complex out.
  • No means: NO! I mean, it means… no course of action.
  • Sucess: Sort of like “success” but less successful.

So he is saying that his schemes… are aiding him… in not figuring out… no method of escape. FUCK, MY BRAIN HURTS! This is just so STUPID.

Anguish continued to mount as his means of occupation were rapidly exhausted.

“I lost some of the cards! How will I play solitaire without them?!”

Seriously, he spent all of chapter 3.0 whining and moaning about how horrible his situation is, and now he’s doing the exact same thing in chapter 4! He never shuts up! He just lies around whining about how he’s stuck in a cell, and gives up on any escape idea BEFORE HE’S EVEN TRIED THEM. Isn’t this guy supposed to be the alleged protagonist? He is completely passive! If he were any more passive, he would be in love with Edward Cullen!

Suddenly without no tive,

… tive?

checks dictionary

No, “tive” is not a word. Also, he used a double negative.

he wasrouted from his contemplations

… of neo-realist French literature.

as he detected a faint scratching sound at the end of the crypt opposite him.

Watch out, Greg! Edward Cullen is coming in to watch you sleep!

The sound seemed to be caused by something trying to scrape away at the grantite blocks

Ah, grantite. Such a good building material. Almost as good as granite.

the floor of the enclosure consisted of, the sandy scratching of something like an animal’s claws.

… something LIKE an animal’s claws? What is it then?

Also, to my knowledge animals don’t really try to dig through SOLID STONE. They either find someplace they can wriggle through, or they find DIRT or WOOD that they can chew or dig through.

Grignr gradually groped his way to the other end of the vault carefully feeling his way along with his hands ahead of him.

Fortunately there was a line of protruding busts on the grantite slabs, so he was able to grope his way along the wall.

When a few inches from the wall,

… when WHAT a few inches from the wall?!

a loud, penetrating squeal, and the scampering of small padded feet reverberated from the walls of the roughly hewn chamber.

Wow, those are officially the loudest rats ever. Apparently they’re SO loud that their squeaks and FOOTSTEPS echo! Ever heard a rat run? It’s not very loud. They don’t tend to squeal either.

Grignr threw his hands up to shield his face, and flung himself backwards upon his buttocks.

Fortunately his buttocks are very large and pillowy.

Seriously, he hears a rat squeak and he immediately throws himself to the floor with his hands over his face? What a little girl he is.

A fuzzy form bounded to his hairy chest, burying its talons in his flesh while gnashing toward his throat with its grinding white teeth;

  1.  … what? So he’s being randomly attacked by a single rat while he’s fully conscious? On what planet does this happen?
  2. Seriously, why is a rat attacking him? They tend to scavenge, not attack creatures dozens of times their size!
  3. Rats don’t have “talons,” they have little nail-like claws. And they can’t really dig very far because they aren’t very hard.
  4. They also don’t have white teeth. Even in the best of health, rodents have pale yellow teeth. Because they don’t have whitening toothpaste.

its sour, fetid breath scortching the sqirming barbarians dilating nostrils.

Somebody pass that rat a breath mint. Also, how big is this rat if he can smell its BREATH?

Grignr grappled with the lashing flexor muscles of the repugnant body of a garganuan brownhided rat,

So not only is it a giant rat with abnormally large claws and carefully whitened teeth, but its muscles are “lashing”? Is this like the rat version of Dr. Octopus?

Yes, I know I suck at photoshop. Go away!

striving to hold its razor teeth from his juicy jugular,

  1. So rats have talons, white “razor” teeth and they randomly attack people for no reason? Glad I only hang out with fancy rats.
  2. Vampire rats! Does it sparkle too?
  3. Jugular juices! They’re juicy yet tart!

as its beady grey organs of sight

Are those anything like eyes? Or are we talking about some OTHER organs of sight?

And in case you’ve never seen a rat before, they don’t tend to have grey eyes.

glazed into the flaring emeralds of its prey.

Can you see my eyes glazing? Because they’re doing that. Right now.

Taking hold of the rodent around its lean, growling stomach with both hands

Just how big IS this rat? It takes both hands to grab a skinny starving rodent?! Or… did… did Theis mix up rats with some larger animal like a dog?

Grignr pried it from his crimson rent breast,

The landlord wouldn’t let him repaint it.

removing small patches of flayed flesh from his chest in the motion between the squalid black claws of the starving beast.

So… the motion is between the squalid black claws of the starving beast?

I think that… yes… yes… I think my brain just died. Farewell, brain. It was nice knowing you.

Holding the rodent at arms length, he cupped his righthand over its frothing face,

Ohhhhhh, so the rat has rabies. Suddenly it all makes sense. No, wait, it doesn’t. Nothing about this makes sense, especially since rats rarely get rabies.

contrcting his fingers into a vice-like fist over the quivering head.

You know, this guy is supposed to be some sort of Stuey Super-Warrior type who can kick all male asses and caress all protruding busts. But apparently it takes ALL his skills to fend off a single RAT. I can only imagine what happens if he’s assaulted by a cat or a beaver.

Retaining his grips on the rat, grignr flexed his outstretched arms while slowly twisting his right hand clockwise and his left hand counter clockwise motion.

Unless he happened to be in the southern hemisphere. Then his RIGHT hand would go counterclockwise, and his LEFT hand would go clockwise. Seriously, who carefully thinks about this sort of thing?

The rodent let out a tortured squall, drawing scarlet as it violently dug its foam flecked fangs into the barbarians sweating palm,

  1. I’m pretty sure that rats don’t squall.
  2. Rats also don’t really have fangs. They have little beaver teeth.
  3. I’m still not sure why this rat randomly attacked Greg.

causing his face to contort to an ugly grimace as he cursed beneath his braeth.

I assume that a “braeth” is some kind of Celtic hat.

With a loud crack the rodents head parted from its squirming torso,

Thanks. I wanted to know that.

sending out a sprinking shower of crimson gore,

What is “sprinking”? And is “crimson gore” anything like life fluids?

and trailing a slimy string of disjointed vertebrae, snapped trachea, esophagus, and jugular, disjointed hyoid bone, morose purpled stretched hide, and blood seared muscles.

Greg got an A- in college biology. Then he dropped out to become a barbarian asshole.

Flinging the broken body to the floor, Grignr shook his blood streaked hands and wiped them against his thigh until dry,

“Now my thigh has blood on it! Damn my tiny brain!”

then wiped the blood that had showered his face and from his eyes.

“Now my hands have blood on them again! Damn damn damn my tiny brain!”

Again sitting himself upon the jagged floor,

…. jagged?…

checks dictionary

Merriam Webster:
1: having a sharply uneven edge or surface <jagged peaks>
2: having a harsh, rough, or irregular quality <jagged rhythms>

I think we would have heard about this before if the floor were actually JAGGED.

he prepared to once more revamp his glum meditations.

“Hmmm, my glum meditations aren’t quite emo enough. I should crank up the ‘woe is meeeees’ and add some colorful swearing. Perhaps if I lamented my ultimate fate in a slightly more gravelly voice, then climbed out while people chanted in Arabic.”

He told himself that as long as he still breathed the gust of life through his lungs, hope was not lost;

… then he realized that a “gust is actually a blast of wind, and since he’s in a dungeon there’s very little wind there. So he gave up hope.

he told himself this, but found it hard to comprehend in his gloomy surroundings.

“Uhhhhh…. uuuhhhhhh…. my brain hurts.”

Yet he was still alive, his bulging sinews at their peak of marvel,

  1.  … despite having apparently spent days just lying around being emo.
  2. Or maybe ten minutes. I don’t know.
  3. Sinews are tendons, dude. It’s connective tissue. It doesn’t bulge… unless there’s something VERY wrong with your tendons.
  4. Peak of… admiration and wonder?

his struggling mind floating in a miral of impressed excellence of thought.

“Uhhhhhh…. a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife…. all bad poetry springs from genuine feeling… all great change in America starts at the dinner table… an ant on the move does more than a dozing ox… I have great faith in fools, self-confidence my friends call it… happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct… a child miseducated is a child lost…. an oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger…”

Also, what is a “miral”? I googled it, and all I found were references to a Julian Schnabel movie.

Plot after plot sifted through his mind in energetic contemplations.

“I just figured out the meaning of Southland Tales!”

Then it hit him.

A slab of grantite had slipped and clonked him on the head. Fortunately, there was no brain damage.

Minutes may have passed in silent thought or days, he could not tell,

Apparently he didn’t need to pee, eat or stretch during that time, so I’m thinking it’s “minutes.”

but he stumbled at last upon a plan that he considered as holding a slight margin of plausibility.

Apparently assaulting the guards is too impossible an idea to even bother with, especially since they didn’t bother to chain him up or anything.

He might die in the attempt, but he knew he would not submit without a final bloody struggle.

So… if he doesn’t care if he lives as long as he doesn’t stay here… WHY DID HE SURRENDER?

It was not a foolproof plan, yet it built up a store of renewed vortexed energy

So his energy is spinning, turbulent fluid?

in his overwroughtsoul, though he might perish in the execution of the escape,

PERIODS ARE FOR WUSSES! I shall only use commas, little man!

he would still be escaping the life of infinite torture in store forhim.

Ah yes, the infinite torture of… sitting in a dark room. Thumbscrews, the rack and the iron maiden have nothing on this!

Either way he would still cheat the gloating prince of the succored revenge his sadistic mind craved so dearly.

  1. “Oh, Greg? He’s still down there? I’d forgotten all about him. Why did I put him in the dungeon again?”
  2. If he hasn’t killed you already, he probably isn’t craving any kind of revenge.
  3. And why does his revenge have aid, relief or assistance?

The guards would soon come to bear him off

… how the fuck does he know this?! On two separate occasions Greg has insisted that he doesn’t know if it’s been minutes or days since he came there, but apparently his skewed time-sense still tells him that he’s running OUT of time? How the hell does he know this?!

to the prince’s buried mines of dread,

Apparently you have to dig dread up in mines. Are there also dread miners? Dread refineries? Industrial complexes of dread? Dread depots?

giving him the sought after opportunity to execute his newly formulated plan.

Yes, don’t bother doing it when they come to feed you. Wait for the very last minute, and ignore all those times they open a tiny door and stick their hands through. Don’t pretend to be dead so they have to come in and check on you. And definitely don’t find some hiding place in the PITCH-BLACK CELL so that they think you might have escaped already.

Holy crap, fantasy guards are DUMB and genre blind, and Greg isn’t even taking advantage of that?

Groping his way along the rough floor

… which thankfully ALSO had a row of protruding busts.

Grignr finally found his tool in a pool of congealed gore; the carcass of the decapitated rodent

“I will gross them out with my dead rat, and make my escape while they’re throwing up!”

the tool that the very filth he had been sentenced too, spawned.

So… paraphrased: “… he had been sentenced additionally, spawned.”

When the time came for action he would have to be prepared, so he set himself to rending the sticky hulk in grim silence,

Yeah, this should be interesting. On the plus side, something has actually happened other than whining and descriptions of the place.

searching by the touch of his fingertips for the lever to freedom.

Apparently rabid giant rats have skeleton keys inside their bodies.


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