May 24, 2014

The rise of the last moonchild

Long ago, when I was still young and joy flowed more freely through the world, the teller shared with me a story of a time before the fall. During the twilight of the age of Humanity when the decadence and decay was matched only by the brilliance of the technological achievements.

Indeed, it would seem that their nights were lit… Or so the teller told it, and I had no reason to doubt her. You see, there used to be magnificent creatures called moons that would fly through the night skies shedding silverlight in their wake.
Humanity was always in search of more power, and they had found a way to capture these moons in order to force them into service. It is a testament to their technical ingenuity that in the space of a few years they had managed to capture almost all of the free silverlight creatures. Thus the wild beautiful moons were tethered and in their slavery their lights grew dim, silverlight had turned to tarnished brass. Stationary lives ill suited their spirits which existed to be free. Slowly they began to die out, and without the silverlight, no new moons were born replace those that had been extinguished. I don’t know this for a fact, but it is my opinion that it was in large part the loss of hope that took such a toll on them.
At any rate, the last free moons, facing imminent capture, entrusted their child,little more than a teardrop of silverlight, to the cold winter clouds and the bitter north winds… Neither of whom bore Humanity any friendship. The last free moonchild was secreted away to the far north. Back then, it was a frozen land so inhospitable that even Humanity had failed to find a cost effective way of exploiting it.  

There the moonchild lived for a while, far from its kin. It was not quite alone: under the tutelage of the cold northern elements, it grew abnormally strong. It learned the ways of light from a distant relative named Aurora, of whom naught but the name and a reputation for elusive beauty remains. Eventually it grew so strong that it could fly higher than any of its kind had ever done before. It grew so skilled in the ways of light that it could weave silverlight into tools. Finally, after many years, it was ready.

The moonchild coming to free the first of its brethren

Upon its request, the harsh north winds flung it out over the frozen lands towards the domain of Humanity. It shaped sleek wings of silverlight and flew with the darkness around the world. Fueled by an anger alien to its kind, it undertook a mighty labor: it traveled everywhere at the speed of night, and wherever it went, it used a blade wrought of silverlight to slice away the shackles binding its kind. Finally, with every surviving moon freed in tow, the last moon child grew even brighter and stronger still. Faster and faster it flew, burning a silver white streak across sky, bright enough to be indifferent of night and day. A grand gesture directed towards Humanity, though I know not how they interpreted it. Finally, the train of moons had gathered enough speed and light to leave our world, and that is exactly what they did. The teller claimed that they went to live with the sun. Perhaps that is so. We can not deny that our nights are dark.

Hmm? What of Humanity, you ask? By my pointy ears and aching tail, that is a story for another day. Suffice it to say that you need not worry of them. They are merely the stuff of nightmares and legends now.

May 18, 2014

Respite

 
Traversing the dark expanse was never easy. 
As a veteran, she knew the risks, but not even she could have planned for what happened: everything that could have gone wrong had. 
Now, the vehicles, the cargo, and the client (by order of importance) were most likely lost and never to be seen gain. 
But none of that mattered: after weeks on foot in the darkness, no sight is more welcome than that of a light oasis.

May 15, 2014

Once upon a bleak midwinter

Once upon a bleak midwinter, driven by hunger and her dwindling stores, a young woman fetched up her bow and went out a hunting. Braving wind, frost, and snow she traveled far by vale and by wood in search of game.


Alas, skilled though she was, neither quarry nor spoor did she espy. After many long hours she found that she could go no further, for her travails had worked with the cold and hunger to rob her of her strength.

Knowing full well the risk that she took, she settled against the trunk of a welcoming pine whose snowy boughs sheltered her from the worst of the chill wind. Wondering if ever again she would awaken, she resignedly succumbed to slumber.

Sometime later, and somewhat to her surprise, she opened her eyes. Night had fallen and with it, a heavy blanket of snow and stillness. The young moon shed a weak light that seemed only to emphasize the darkness and the shadows of the trees, familiar by day suddenly made strange and uncanny.

There was an utter and unnatural lack of sound. An eerie silence that weighed heavily upon her, she felt as if it might steal her breath away. Then, without her noticing the precise moment it occurred, the silence was gone. In its stead, growing from barely audible to increasingly loud, a thrumming sound or perhaps some sort of vibration.
She grasped for something to liken the sound to, the only thing that came to mind was a hundred hives of harassed hornets. In truth, she had to admit to herself that it was unlike anything she had ever heard before.

She shivered when she saw the light flittering through the trunks of the trees. Half-forgotten stories her grandmother would try to scare her with so very long ago resurfaced. The mercurial and terrible Pouhkas with their ghostly lanterns, the malevolent flying spirit flames called Onibis, the endless and destructive despair of the lost souls called Feu-follets… But as the sound got louder and the light approached, what she saw was unlike any of the creatures she had ever heard of.

It looked like a flying sunflower whose bloom was made of bizarre green light.

It grew nearer and nearer and finally alighted in front of her. The stem unfolded in some manner that defied her comprehension and became something like a twiggy torso and a pair of legs. Finally the intense thrumming sound was quelled, and she realized that what she had mistaken for a flower was the creature’s three shining arms spinning repeatedly around its neck under its head like some kind of wheel around an axle. The creature staring at her was about two-thirds as tall as she. While the proportions of its face were a bit strange, the expression there was definitely and most irritatingly human: the creature looked both smug and pleased with itself.

Finally it spoke: “Heya dollface! I know I’m beautiful, but if ya keep staring like that ya gonna wear out mah good looks.”
She couldn’t put her finger on it exactly, but something in the creature’s tone and attitude irritated her so much that she quite forgot about being frightened. Instead she looked at the creature levelly and said: “I was just wondering whether yea be beast or plant…”
“Yeah, dat’s right! And youse can take dat to da bank.” it said, not answering the question.
“…to decide if I should roast you or boil you.” She said grinning toothily and pointedly fingering the hilt of her hunting knife.
“’Ay now, ‘ay now, doncha be talkin’ lahk that sweetie. Everyt’ing be irie doncha know?”
The creature’s voice changed every time it spoke, but somehow that only contributed to its aggravating nature… She finally decided that whatever it was, it was going to be neither help nor hindrance, and that, jest set aside, it was inedible. “Ignore it and head home.” She told herself.
“Hey lady, are yah gonna help me or what?” it said impatiently.
“I don’t think so, I have to get home before I freeze to death.”
“Thy mortal concerns are none of mine, know thee not that my kith reward well those who render us service?”
She frowned, “Your kith? I still don’t know what you are… Tell you what, if you take me back to my Hogan, I’ll try to help you.”
A Navajo hogan

The creature twirled its arms noisily and expectorated: “Yo yo yo, I’m an effing fairy yo, and I’ll ball wit’ you. Ain’t never turned down a chance to take a skirt back to her crib yo.”
She thought to herself about how meaningless a sentence with two negatives was and followed the creature as it noisily took flight. The loud humming noise of its spinning arms precluded communication and so there was no asking it how it knew where to go. “Besides,” she thought to herself, “…it probably wouldn’t answer me.”

Shortly afterwards they were on her doorstep and she released a sigh of relief. The creature had been true to its word. But before she could enquire as to how she was to repay it, it belligerently said: “Now you lissen heah’ lil’ lady. I reckon’ it’s time you pay up cuz I’m plumb tired a waitin’.”
“Alright, alright. What is it you want?” she sighed.
“Well, mate. It be right obvious, innit? Oi’m a genius, ahn’t I? But I cahn hahdly hea’ ma’self think while ah’m flying.”
For such a strange creature, it has a remarkably mundane problem, she mused. She pushed past her door and returned but a moment later holding a small flask.
“Hold still while I put this on your neck, it should solve your problem.”
The creature reluctantly complied and took the flask from her when she was done.
“Hide not thy poison with such sugar’d words. Thy unction smells to the heavens and shall surely make me the friend of maggots.” And having said that, it gave its arms a tentative spin and was astounded by the quietness of its flight. “Oh true apothecary! Thy drugs are quick, thus with a daub I fly! Though thou hast served me well, glad am I to be shut of you. Before I take my leave, take thee this egg of mine and plant it within the earth before dawn. In two days’ time thy reward will be beyond measure.”
And so it quietly flew away into the forest, taking with it her flask of olive oil.

Following the creature’s instructions she buried its egg, and two days later a giant thing had grown up, towering over her home. And so she set about discovering how to use it, but that is another story.

May 10, 2014

Stationary

Beginnings and endings.
The rainy station embodies both as I wait...
Change is part of life. 
The rail ties crossing the track look massive, immovable, and dirty.
It is time to move on.