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Black Labels: A Peculiar Flavor Special Short Story

Welcome to the Peculiar Flavor Roundu… No, that’s not what this is. Welcome to Unmapped Domains, an entity legally distinct from any “uncharted” “realms” that you may have read elsewhere on the Internet. Take note, kids, this Peculiar Flavor article is rated PG-13 for some adulty-type situations.

Real Talk: This is a work of parody. No ownership is claimed of any characters, concepts, or art developed by Wizards of the Coast.

Every day at Peculiar Flavor, we bring you rejected flavor text from some of your “favorite” Magic cards, but I was on vacation last week, so no rejected flavor text for you! Instead, I have a short story special that was posted to the Peculiar Flavor tumblr in five parts. Read to the conclusion to see this week’s super-special “preview” card. Without further ado, I present:

Black Labels: A Planeswalker’s Tale

by Myke Okuhara

New Jankton Concept ArtConcept Art by David Revoy

 

Welcome to New Jankton, a seedy port city on the continent of Brurp on the plane of Murp (a few light years northwest of Zendikar taking the I-405 Bridge over the Blind Eternities). New Jankton is, and always has been a villainous hive of wretched scum. But in recent years, that wretchedness has been more unbearable than usual thanks to a prohibition on alcohol by the local authorities. A few citizens abide by the law, but many more have kept the good times rolling, thanks to a few “entrepreneurs” that call New Jankton home.


Part 1: Black Label

 

I only have myself to blame.

“Fellas, I’m sure we can work something out.” The tip of the Corrix’s knife, an inch from my sternum assured me that there was nothing to be worked out. “You don’t want my blood on your lovely blade; my bodily fluids will corrode that thing into a rusty nail file.”

It wasn’t even Corrix and his knife that bothered me. Speakeasies didn’t need to do their own dirty work. That’s what his two “friends” behind him were for. Big ole’ orcs, really big. Practically mini-ogres.

Orcish ConscriptsOrcish Conscripts by Douglas Shuler

 

“Terence, you promised me a case of Gergich Black Label,” Corrix said, perhaps truthfully. “If I don’t walk out of here with my whiskey, you won’t be walking out of here, period.”

“Black Label is expensive garbage, my friend,” I said, perhaps less truthfully. “The distinguished palettes of your… clientele, would balk if you served it. I’m doing you a favor by keeping that bottled swill away from them.” A quick nod and the two orcs advanced on me a couple of feet. My eyes darted for the exits, but big abandoned warehouses, while excellent meeting places for bootlegging, leave few places to hide from pursuing thugs.

Escape was out of the question. Fortunately, I could always rely on my unimpeachable integrity. Also, my ability to lie. “Listen, listen: next week I will have a shipment of 1352 sapho coming in from the valley. Wine, in this day and age! A whole case with your name on it, Corrix, I swear. When have I ever let you down, aside from this time and the last two times?”

Vedalken PlotterVedalken Plotter by Greg Staples

 

I could see the wheel’s turning behind those dead eyes. I mean, all Vedalken eyes look fairly dead to me—I swear, I’m not racist—but Corrix’s eyes looked positively undead. “Okay, Mr. Fast Talker,” he said finally. “I’m giving you a week to get me a case of the Gergich Black Label, and the sapho,” he twirled a spindly finger in the air, signaling an end to the meeting, “but only because supply is tight as ever. Also, I don’t think you can actually deliver, and I’m curious what excuse you’ll give before my guys beat you up again.”

“Again?”

Two thrashed fibulas and a black eye later, I was dumped in an alleyway behind the warehouse. The fishy mélange of the nearby port greeted my lungs as I panted heavily from the beating. Corrix asked them to take out my legs on purpose; he knew I had to walk home today. Painful as a stroll would be, at least the sun was peeking out from behind the far hills, and New Jankton began stirring to life to greet another morning.

Rishadan PortRishadan Port by Jerry Tiritilli

 


Part 2: Black Label II

 

I turned a corner, leaving the docks district and heading toward the heart of the old town. Yeasty exhaust wafted out of the corner bakeries. Some Kithkin were receiving their deliveries, readying their newsstands for the morning rush. Early bird strip clubs were opening up their breakfast buffets. Yes, it was my kind of town. Would’ve been paradise were it not for Prohibition.

Forsaken CityForsaken City by Dana Knutson

 

Of course, without a booze ban, I’d be out of business.

I only have myself to blame. If I were a little smarter, I probably would’ve stayed in the countryside, following my father and uncles into honest work, which is to say, honest illegal moonshine distilling. But, no. As an idiot, I was drawn to New Jankton to make a name for myself. As an idiot, I thought bootlegging—er, importing/exporting—would be a dignified trade for a cosmopolitan individual. As an idiot, I promised ungettable Gergich Black Label to a speakeasy working for the Vedalken mob.

“Terence!”

Jelenis, my favorite cart vendor, hailed me from across the avenue. I bounded between the sparse horse traffic, arriving at her broken down excuse for a coffee stand. To call it a cart, with three-quarters of its wheels just there for decoration, would be generous. To call Jelenis merely elderly, after having pushed around that piece of rickety plywood for three-quarters of a century, would also be quite generous.

Ghost QuarterGhost Quarter by Peter Mohrbacher

 

“Jelenis, my sweet, I don’t know what I need from you more right now: a cup of your awful coffee, or conversation with someone not actively trying to break my legs.”

“Here, have both.” She handed me a cup, no cream and too much sugar, just how I liked it. “Now that you mention it, I do see the limping now. You all right, dear?”

“Fine, fine. Nothing I can’t figure a way out of in a week. Enough about my boring business, how are you doing?”

“Good, Terence, um, too good, actually.” She winked.

“I hear you. Running a little low on ‘coffee’ are we?”

This time she just blinked blankly. “No, Terence, I’m talking about,” she lowered her voice to a whisper, “the booze.”

I sighed, here I was being coy and no audience around to admire it. “Yes, Jelenis, I understand.” I reached into my overcoat and grabbed a small, unmarked bottle full of a deep amber liquid. I casually slid it into her hand. She grinned and placed it in a concealed cabinet in her cart. Customers knew to come to Jelenis for her special brew. It kept her in business.

Dark DealDark Deal by Scott Murphy

 

“It’s got a nice, smooth taste,” I told her. “Gergich Black Label. I’m sorry it doesn’t actually have the black label, but trust me, it’s good.”

“Terence, what do I care what color the label is? I don’t even care if it’s got a label at all. You could deliver me whiskey in a hippogriff stomach for all I care, as long as it’s strong… strong like you, young man.”

Listen, I enjoyed horrifically obvious flirting from centenarians as much as the next guy, but I liked easygoing customers even more. Piddling vendors that punched up their offerings with a boozy kick were a lot easier to work with than jerks like Corrix, whose well-to-do customers obsessed over labels, vintages, and, I don’t know, tannins?

Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t just dump Corrix for more salt-of-the-earth folk like Jelenis.

“Oh, and Terence, I’m afraid I’m a little cash light at the moment. Is it okay if I pay you for this delivery next week?”

Oh yeah, that’s why. It’d take a hundred small-time hustlers to replace a single Corrix in this business. Whatever. I was more than happy to put Jelenis on the payment plan, and for all I knew, in a week a Vedalken hitman would be burying my body in a cornfield, so what did I care? I thanked her for the coffee and let the caffeine propel my half-broken body the last few blocks back to my tenement.


Part 3: Black Label II: Blacker Labels

 

Three stories of dilapidated brick, stucco, and, what I believe to be load-bearing wasp nests. The old building had seen better days. Or not; from my understanding, the neighborhood had been a dump since time immemorial. But it was home… ish.

Crumbling NecropolisCrumbling Necropolis by Dave Kendall

 

My ascent to the third floor was accompanied by a soundtrack of barely muted petty crime, domestic disturbances, and by-the-numbers fornication. Also, I’m pretty sure a second-floor apartment built for two was housing an entire warren of boggarts, so a day never passed without some calamity erupting.

Horde of BoggartsHorde of Boggarts by Steve Prescott

 

I opened my apartment door gingerly. The floor was pockmarked with bottles of all sizes, shapes, and colors. Some open, some sealed. Some full, some empty. I tiptoed across like a crane wading through the wetlands, eventually making it to the relatively bare floor of the living room. I tried navigating myself into a sitting position that would reduce contact with my sundry bruises.

I shut my eyes, waving a hand blindly across the floor until hitting a nearby bottle. It was a squat cylinder a quarter-full of, well, whatever. I downed its contents, and let out a low, gurgling “blargh” as it burned its way to my stomach. The blargh must’ve been loud and lasted longer than I intended because it drew attention.

Elixir of ImmortalityElixir of Immortality by Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai

 

“Good lord, it sounds like a hill giant is dying of a stroke in there.”

I grinned. “I was going for a phelddagrif in heat, but that works too.” I opened my eyes. My brother, Horace, was standing there, clearly amused by my disheveled state. Now, I say “standing” though more accurately, he was “sitting in a wheelchair.” I don’t want your entire mental depiction of him rotating around the fact that he’s wheelchair-bound, even though now, I’m sure that’s all you can imagine, but hey, it’s a free country, you think whatever you want. Anyway…

“You look like crap.”

“Hey, you should see the other guys!”

“Not a scratch on them?”

“Nope. If anything, I left them in better health than I found them. Help me up.”

“Very funny.”

Wincing, I scooted my butt over to Horace, boosting myself against his chair to get off the ground.

“Went that bad with Corrix, huh?”

“I’m still breathing, so hardly the worst case scenario.” I dropped the now empty bottle of whatever into Horace’s lap. “This was good, what was it?”

“Umm, I dunno, some kind of paint thinner disguised as gin.”

“We should unload it on some of the small timers on the east side.”

“Hey, that’s your department. I can do it if we have the time.”

“Mmm, well, obviously the priority is the Gergich. It’s good but not perfect. Much as I like old Jelenis, it’s not like she’s the most discerning critic. When Corrix tests the merchandise, he’s going to know.”

I limped over to a worm-eaten table in the middle of the kitchen where three snifters of whiskey were laid out. “These are the latest,” Horace said. “Woodier and more ‘airy’ than the last, whatever you meant by that.”

I sipped from each in quick succession. “It’s there. Almost. Anyway, you have about a week to fine tune it before we need to start bottling.”

“A week? Is that all you bought us?”

“Yeah, and… that reminds me. You said you were working on a sapho, how’s that coming along?”

“You tell me.” Horace shook out his wrist a bit, then reached out and lightly tapped one of the snifters of whiskey. At first, nothing happened. Then, like a sunset suddenly in a hurry, the amber liquid glowed faintly, darkened, and finally settled into a deep purple.

Liquormancy, the power to transmute any liquid into alcohol. Honestly, why should that strike anyone as unusual? The city was full of pyromancers, necromancers, and lithomancers. Heck, we lived next door to a mind sculptor.

Liquormancy ran in our family, you see; Our father and uncles (and mother, sisters, and great-grandmothers, for that matter) were all liquormancers, able to twiddle the chemical makeup of whatever moonshine was brewing that day, turning it from a catastrophic throat melter into something technically potable. I could do it too… sort of. I mean, if you had a gun to my head and were in the market for a cheap industrial solvent, I’m your guy. Actually, it was probably for the best that a lout like me didn’t have unlimited access to booze at all times.

But Horace, he was the prodigy, the boy genius. Whereas I wielded liquormancy like a club, Horace was a laser-guided goblin grenade. Name any booze, any year, any batch, any soil, any weather condition, and he could dial in an exact replica—taste for taste—of the real deal.

He was too good for the dismal backwater we grew up in, so when I ran off to the city, I did it all pushing Horace ahead of me. It was a good partnership, Horace “the Talent,” and Terence “the Agent.” Whereas most bootleggers spent a fortune evading the cops and smuggling booze in from the sticks, Horace and I could operate right in New Jankton, a two-man show from the comfort of our own bathtub.

I held up the sapho to the window. “Color’s good.” I sniffed the wine and downed it in a gulp. “Smells and tastes like wine. I mean, good enough to fool me. Start bottling.”

“Okay, we have the labels?”

Labels, labels, labels. They were always the problem. Here we were sitting on a limitless supply of alcohol and the only thing holding us back was the availability of old bottle labels. Even someone who could print decent facsimiles might work, but I knew of none that would pass inspection by that old eagle eye, Corrix.

“Don’t worry about the sapho. I know a Farrelite monastery on the western continent that used to make wine. People’ve stopped giving quite so many alms recently—I guess cranky about prohibition—so the good brothers and sisters of the cloth have been a little short on cash. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to let go of a few empty bottles.”

“And the Gergich?”

I looked Horace straight in the eye. “Leave the black labels to me. They’re as good as got.”


Part 4: Black Label II: Blacker Labels: the Voyage Away from Home

 

I only have myself to blame.

There wasn’t a single source of Black Label black labels left within a hundred leagues of New Jankton. By the end of the week, I was basically reduced to digging through garbage cans behind speakeasies. Don’t get me wrong, there was still as much booze in the streets as ever, but everyone had apparently decided to drink the good stuff and toss the bottles long, long ago.

Frantic SearchFrantic Search by Jeff Miracola

 

“Look, it’ll be fine,” I told Horace, as I hauled the cases out the door. “The whiskey tastes perfect, we’ve got the sapho, and we’re just missing a few measly labels. Corrix will understand, we just have to take a hit; I’ll offer him, I don’t know, 25% off the price.”

Horace rolled up to the threshold of the apartment. “He’ll demand 50% off. And we should be happy to take it, Terence.”

“Fifty? We can’t get by on that.”

“You don’t have to keep getting beat up, or worse, for us to get by. We did just fine selling to petty crooks and corner drunks.”

“We didn’t leave home to do ‘just fine.’ Once we get regular shipments going through the mob, we’ll have the cash to move out of this dump and buy ourselves some… respectability.”

“Respectable bootleggers, yeah I suppose. Though it’d be rare.” Horace smirked and began nudging the door closed in my face. “But a respectable Terence? Now that’d be a darn unicorn.”

“Hey, genius,” I hollered straight into the now closed door, “New Jankton Zoo still has an elderly unicorn alive in captivity, so there!”

Downstairs, I loaded our wares into the back of a single-horse cart. I’d have a dozen small deliveries to do across town before meeting with Corrix that night. On top of the cases of booze, I threw several boxes of porno mags. Publication after publication chock full of mature elves, shell-less homarids, black vises, jackal pup play, mindslaver stuff, just, just the absolute most depraved, embarrassing material imaginable. Which was exactly the point. On more than a few occasions cops had stopped me for cargo inspection, only to open up a box full of centaur-on-loxodon action. All completely legal, mind you. They’d wave me along, red-faced, eager to see me gone. Tricks of the trade.

CensorshipCensorship by Censored

 

The day started out normal enough. Just the usual runs to small-time peddlers, wannabe speakeasies, and other miscellaneous enterprising tradespeople like Jelenis. Also like Jelenis, my take for the day was mostly in the form of coupons, IOUs, and outright barter.

One of my usuals, an alchemist living in a blacksmith’s spare storage room, actually traded me a creepy blue homunculus for a bottle of scotch. He claimed the booze was for his experiments, but I knew those experiments were mostly going to be on his own liver. I took the deal anyway figuring Corrix might like a homunculus as a gift to smooth over the lack of Gergich labels.

Homunculus TokenHomunculus token by Howard Lyon

 

So the whole afternoon passed by with me making small talk with this little blue git sitting next to me on the wagon. At first, I tried telling it dirty jokes to see if I’d get a reaction. But all it did was look up at me with pursed lips and blank, beady eyes. I eventually gave up and just started playing tour guide, pointing out all the places around New Jankton that I had witnessed people getting mugged and/or stabbed.

Night fell and the gas lamps along the avenues sputtered to life. The foggy light bouncing off store fronts and apartments revealed the city at its prettiest, and that wasn’t even counting the numerous ladies and lads of the night strolling around the tenderloin district. Waterfront bouncers were tossing out undesirable clientele. An unseemly hustler was trying to convince some passersby to visit an underground carnarium. Yes, it was all a rich tapestry. Unfortunately, once I heard the clock tower downtown strike ten, I couldn’t put it off any longer. I steered the horse towards the docks.

Kessig Concept ArtConcept art by Jung Park

 

“And here, Unkfloop,” I had nicknamed my little friend Unkfloop, “is where I almost got stabbed a week ago. And this concludes our tour of New Jankton. Sorry we couldn’t stop at any celebrity homes, but I’m afraid no celebrities would be caught dead living in this dung heap of a town.” I brought the horse to a stop outside the warehouse and unloaded the last two cases from the wagon, throwing Unkfloop on top as I dragged everything inside.

I wasn’t late, but I saw Corrix and his bodyguards already waiting in a pool of dim light at the center of the room. Corrix himself sat imperiously atop a plain wooden stool, inspecting his fingernails.

“My somewhat sincere apologies, Corrix,” I called over my shoulder as I lugged the booze backwards a few final feet into the light. “I hope you hadn’t been waiting long.”

“No rush, Terence, please catch your breath.” Corrix sounded pleased with himself, rather than angry, which was disconcerting. In retrospect, I definitely should have known better.


Part 5: Black Label II: Black3r Lab3ls: Black Label or Die Hard

 

Corrix seemed too smug by half. I mean, you know how Vedalken can be, but somehow even smugger than that? Again, I swear I’m not racist.

“I, uh, I want to lead off with the honest truth here,” I said, “because of our long, fruitful friendship.”

“Indeed. So what is this truth?”

“The truth, ah, is transportation of the Black Label, the Gergich, was botched by some… third-party associates. I take full responsibility, of course, I only have myself to blame for hiring them.”

“Oh no,” Corrix said, the tiniest hint of sarcasm seeping into his voice.

“Now, before you worry, the whiskey is perfectly safe, the only damage was to the bottle labels themselves which were unfortunately scratched off and unsalvageable.”

“I see.”

Corrix’s terse responses were beginning to get unnerving. “I want to assure you that those responsible for the mishap have been justly reprimanded, and paid reparations, which I am of course, happy to pass along to you. Now, since the booze itself is perfectly intact, I think a… 10% discount on our previously agreed price is reasonable.”

ReparationsReparations by Douglas Shuler

 

“Yes, reasonable,” Corrix said, after a too short pause. This was going too well to be going actually well.

“Oh, ah, wonderful.” I decided to cover my bases anyway. “As a gesture of respect, in addition to the sapho, I’d like to present you with a gift which I acquired at great personal cost.” I picked Unkfloop up off the box, holding it aloft in front of me as I bowed smartly at the waist. I had once seen a butler present his master with a piece of mail in exactly the same fashion.

“Mmm, a homunculus, how… stereotypical.” Corrix stepped off his stool and wrapped his fingers coarsely around Unkfloop’s waist. “Fortunately, Grunknunk, here has a fondness for homunculi, don’t you, Grunknunk?”

The orc on my left stepped forward and accepted Unkfloop from Corrix’s hand. He inspected the homunculus, holding it up pinched between his forefingers. There they regarded each other: the orc and his evening snack. Grunknunk swallowed Unkfloop whole.

I gaped in horror and nervously swallowed myself.

“Tell me,” Corrix boomed, snapping me back to reality, “you claim to offer this gift out of respect, but I wonder if you understand the meaning of the term.”

I stood, frozen solid where I was. Corrix snapped a finger and the second orc retreated into the shadows behind.

“Is respect keeping secrets from me?” Corrix continued. “Is respect making me wait a week for merchandise? Is respect making me wait a week for counterfeit merchandise?”

Sweat that had formed as I dragged the booze into the warehouse now ran in rivulets down my temples.

“I had been wondering how a yokel dirt farmer like yourself has kept the spigot open when so many, let’s say, more capable bootleggers have had their supplies dry up over the years.” The orc returned from the dark, carrying a man under his arm, a hood over his head. He plopped him down roughly on the stool. I’m not going to insult your intelligence: when the hood was yanked off, it was obviously Horace.

Corrix strolled casually behind my brother. Both orcs flanked him as well to hold him upright. I kept my eyes on the Vedalken, drilling my gaze straight through his head. “You okay, Horace?”

“I’m fine, Terence. I mean, what were they going to do, break my legs?”

“I assure you the people my associates sent were very professional,” interjected Corrix. “Simple snatch-and-grab this afternoon as your brother slept.”

“Shows what I get for taking a power nap, right?”

“Horace, shut up. Corrix, how, did—”

“—A boggart that lives in your building owes the syndicate some money. I asked him to spy on you. It was the most curious thing: he told me he saw cases upon cases of booze leaving your tiny rathole apartment, but only empty bottles coming in. Quite a mystery.”

“Listen you sonuvab—”

“But liquormancy,” Corrix continued undeterred, “that would explain everything. I had heard stories of this form of witchcraft, of course, but had I known they were true, I would’ve brought one into my employ years ago.”

“Horace isn’t your employee, and neither am I. We’re… I’m going to walk out of here with my brother.”

“Nice scam you had going, Terence, but I’m afraid it’s over. I can see how the labels would be an issue, but no matter for me. My people can just pour it behind the bar and my customers would never know, right?”

“How much will it take, Corrix?”

“For what? There’s literally no amount of money you can offer that I couldn’t top simply by profiting off your brother’s amazing talents. You think you’re clever, right? Offering discounts, sapho, homunculi, anything to buy you time to figure it out. Well, you have no more time to buy and nothing to buy it with.”

“Terence, just get out of here,” Horace said levelly. “I can take care of myself with my new… friends, here. We’ll work something out eventually.”

“Horace, I said shut up. We’re both leaving, NOW.”

“It’s a nice sentiment, but you see, neither of you is leaving here on your own. Your brother is coming with me, and, well you, you’re just extraneous to the operation now, aren’t you?”

Corrix’s orcs pulled blades from their scabbards and started toward me. Full disclosure, I was not a veteran of many battles. I mean, I once fought with a squirrel that was trying to steal a sandwich from me. That one ended in a stalemate. No, I had always used my legs or my tongue—whichever worked fastest—to get out of any situation. But seeing Horace in Corrix’s clutches, well, flight was taken off the list of options. For once, I was ready to go down swinging.

I balled my fists and widened my stance. This was a thing fighting people did when fighting, right? Horace, whose eyes had been locked on me from the instant the hood came off, seemed to sense my intentions. “Terence,” he said, barely audibly, “run.”

Horace reached out and grabbed each orcs’ arm as they passed him. The bodyguards roughly shook him off and continued advancing on me. They took two more steps before collapsing, face first, in a heap on the ground.

My brother and I had never really been in a spot that called for this, but we both knew it was technically possible. Horace the liquormancer needed but one touch to tap into the orcs’ circulatory systems, turning every drop of their blood into pure grain alcohol. Bodies, it seems, were not meant to run on alcohol alone (though I’d put that theory to the test over the years). I don’t actually know whether it’s a painful or blissful way to die, but at that moment, either one worked for me.

DeathgripDeathgrip by Anson Maddocks

 

I grabbed one of the labeless Gergich’s from the case and smashed it against the ground. I held the jagged shard in front of me as I stormed towards Corrix.

“Ah, ah, ah,” the Vedalken said, as he drew his own knife, hovering it carefully across Horace’s neck. I stopped dead in my tracks. “Horace, you leave your special hands right where I can see them. You die if I see one more move by your brother, too. That, that little trick of yours was fair play, I’ll give you that, but, but now it’s over.” Corrix continued to eye Horace warily as he called out to me. “Terence, you leave the city right now and I promise your life will be spared. I’ll guarantee your brother’s safety too, so long as he works for me.”

Quick mental calculations. Even with all the adrenaline pumping incessantly through my body, I could still reckon clearly enough to see that Corrix was too greedy, and frankly, too cowardly, to do it.

“No,” I said.

“What?!”

“No. You’re full of it.” I charged him.

Corrix panicked, dropping the blade and stumbling backwards over himself. I ducked around Horace, and lunged at the now prone Vedalken as he hastily scrambled away on his hands and knees. I jammed my foot into his shoulder blades, pinning him to the ground. I raised the broken bottle above my head and drove it down towards the back of his neck.

And… maybe the shard of glass connected.

Maybe it didn’t. To this day, I’m not quite sure.

What I do know is that in one moment, I was in a smelly, dank warehouse in New Jankton, and in the next, I simply… wasn’t. I only remember the sensation of my entire body suddenly free of sensation. Gravity, air, heat, it all just melted away. Actually, I want to say that I could still hear Horace calling out my name, demanding to know what was happening. It was faint, a million miles away. Maybe.

What I know now that I didn’t know then, was this was my first experience planeswalking. Actually, that seems too elegant a term for what I was really doing, which was staggering dumbly across the Blind Eternities like a child.

When I came to, I’d woken up in another city. Not, just another city, though. Another city on another plane of existence. I mean, if we’re being technical, the entire plane was a city, but, you know what, that’s not important to the story now.

What’s important to me is whether that broken bottle found its mark. For my brother’s sake, I hope it did, because if not, he might be chained up in a basement right now, churning out booze for the Vedalken mob. One of these days I’d like to find out for sure.

Unfortunately, what I’ve found over these last several years is while I can planeswalk in a pinch, I’m just as bad at it as I am at liquormancy. I’ll hop from plane to random plane with no real control where I’ll land next. Some planes are nicer than others. Some certainly more dangerous than others. Whatever the conditions, I can usually scrape by and make a living.

I sometimes wonder if my brother, the wunderkind, would be able to master the planeswalker spark as deftly as a bottle of Gergich Black Label. I hope find out next time I see him. And I will see him again.

If not, I only have myself to blame.

 

(Click for today’s preview card! What’s that, there’s no link? Oh, just scroll down then)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terence, the Sarcaster_v2

Note, this is Terence’s self-portrait, which he completed while highly inebriated and without a mirror. It is entirely possible, nay, probable, that he doesn’t actually look anything like this.

Terence’s abilities are very… Terence. His first ability demonstrates how adept he is at aggravating others to the point of inciting physical violence. His second ability showcases his newfound insistence on getting paid upfront for his (admittedly limited) services. And his ultimate ability highlights his penchant for screwing others over, even—perhaps especially—when it’s technically against the rules. Kids, if you don’t know what ante is, go ask your parents, by which I mean parents that were playing Magic in the 90’s.

Thank you all very much for reading. Any comments/feedback are appreciated. Next week we should be back to your regular dose of rejected flavor text. Cheers!

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2 Comments

  1. Bosco
    May 9, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    This was very well done and quite entertaining. Good job, Myke.

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  2. […] Follow Stark on Twitter – @StarkMaximum The Love Song of Night and Day – http://archive.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/feature/145#1 Black Labels, a Peculiar Flavor Special Short Story by Myke Okuhara – http://themanapool.com/peculiar-flavor/black-labels-peculiar-flavor-special-short-story/ […]

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