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Deus ex Machina

Deus ex Machina

Lyric #2811 by bassMonkey

Tags: Mythology, Heroes, Monsters, Sinatra, Folky, A little light humour
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posted on #1
bassMonkey Supporter
Posts: 289
Joined: Dec 2, 2020
Hero's tears bless her sword in the lair of the Basilisk,
The purpose of her quest in sight, the sacred golden disk,
The key to boundless riches and the door to timeless fame,
She steps across the skulls of people who believed the same.

The sweat drips from her forehead and it runs into her eyes,
She wipes it with her hand and keeps her gaze upon the prize,
The Basilisk is stirring and it's tail begins to twitch,
She reaches in her pouch to yield the magic of the witch.

She casts seeds into the pool wherein the water grants them life,
They grow in to glass peacocks each one sharper than a knife,
In a hall of flying mirrors you can never be alone,
The Basilisk sees its reflection and it turns itself to stone.

She rides back to the city and she starts to climb the hill,
People falling to their knees to honour her that made the kill,
At the gateway to the temple priests have gathered to resist,
But she scatters them like leaves with just a flicking of her wrist.

Aside from their false idols in the candle-speckled gloom,
Stands the deus ex machina in a corner of the room,
She grips the golden disk between a finger and her thumb,
Slides it right into the Juke Box and puts Frank Sinatra on.
posted on #2
bassMonkey Supporter
Posts: 289
Joined: Dec 2, 2020
So, a few questions have arisen.

"Hero" is the name of the protaganist as well as her role (used here as a female given name c.f. the character in Much Ado About Nothing - mine is tougher than Shakespeare's).

Blessing a sword with the tears of a hero/saint appears in some mythologies (and some RPGs) and here I am punning on the name.

A Basilisk is a mythical reptillian beast which kills you by looking at you, sometimes through petrification or turning to stone - there is one in Harry Potter BtW although it's more snake than I would like. Some legends state that when they see their own reflection they turn themselves to stone which has helped out many heroes.

Just because she uses "the magic of the witch", does not make Hero a witch (it's a bit sexist to assume otherwise IMHO). In the broader story I sketched out, Hero acquires peacock crystals formed in a remote desert from the action of the solstice sun on the sand and the magic of a nomadic witch. "Seeds" scanned better and worked better in the story of the song as they brought forth glass peacocks which act as mirrors. All of which I made up but it turns out you can buy them on Etsy.com.

"Deus ex Machina" (Latin from the Greek) literally means "god out of the machine" and generally refers to a plot device in a story whereby a happy conclusion is created from the introduction of some improbable (and possibly incongruous) item or circumstance. So anything from multiple events (like the statue coming to life) in "The Winter's Tale" to the spaceship that saves Brian in Python's Life of Brian.

My "Deus ex Machina" is a Juke Box. Why would mid 20th century technology (replete with contemporary recordings we assume) exist in this seemingly mythical world? So we think about parallel universes along with the possibility that the action takes place in a dystopian far future.

Naturally, "Deus ex Machina" is not normally called out by name in the text of a story (it'd be a bit like shouting "here comes the joke!") and I did it here specifically to create a double meaning - If there was indeed a machine from which you could call forth gods, it would be a Juke Box. I happen to like Sinatra, choose your own god if you wish.

How the (presumably electro-mechanical) device is powered in the context of the temple is a bit of an anomaly that probably needs a better explanation than "by magic". I'll brainstorm that one with Spielberg if he picks up the movie rights.
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