The Sphinx Jerribean, who is also head of the Cairo Inimical Artifacts Department, is requesting help in tracking a loose Hatery. Or at least we think so. It is difficult to communicate clearly with a Sphinx.  For example exhibit A, her announcement:

It spreads dislike

Causes abhorrence

A hostile world

It makes more so

In this mechanism

I sense gears turn

The one thing we can guarantee is that a Sphinx doesn’t release her riddles for nothing. Alternative potential interpretations are welcomed.

A Hatery is a device, usually worn, like a pocketwatch or bracelet that hates. It manufactures hatred towards a target and pushes that hatred out into the world, into anyone it can reach. They are a difficult device for the wearer to bear, as Hateries draw their power from the wearer’s non-hate emotions. This leaves it hard to feel anything else.

As a rule, people are already pretty fantastic at hating each other without paranormal assistance, so I question the sanity of anyone who makes one of these things. With the wrong wearer and target it is likely to spark a dangerous and unpredictable outcome, but I suppose it could be of use to someone who considers themself a modern-day Machiavelli.

Sphinx are often excellent investigators due to their love of complexity and patterns, centuries of experience and natural predatory leanings. Jerribean is one of the most accomplished of all Sphinx investigators, so if this Hatery has eluded her enough to make her ask for help then it must be hard to find indeed. Perhaps she eludes to turning plots with her final line.

Please send any leads to the Cairo IAD by carrier pigeon. Do not expect to get the pigeon back.

If you enjoy the story please leave the author a comment, as this makes him very happy. You can also help the Archive decypher cryptic riddles by voting at Top Web Fiction.


One thought on “Hatery

  1. At first I misread “Alternative potential interpretations” as “Alternative political interpretations”. I’m not sure what that says about me, or about politics in the world these days. Unrelated, I didn’t realize Sphinx (not Sphinxes?) enjoyed raising pigeons.



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