Saturday, August 26, 2006

From the Minor Annals - V


That year brought plague and pestilence and a desperate hunger.
And fear.
The night skies were like ichor and the clouds like the poisoned spume that clung to the rocks of the shrinking river.
That year the maidens of the clan were sacrificed one by one to the new priest's unsatiated god.
That year I stood on the stoney hillside with the others, our faces washed to bloody bone in the streaming torch light.
When the moon curved above the clouds like a knife I watched the priest raise his arms in incantation.
I saw the sigil of the goddess written in the sky above her veiled face and knew he lied.
When he led me forth his eyes gleamed red. My mother moaned, and the clan rustled like a hot wind through dry leaves.
I waited until we reached the stinking altar before I struck.
I let them tear him to pieces among the stones.
There were no more sacrifices that year.
That year or thereafter.

Inspired in part by the fabulous picture supplied for Jason's Lonely Moon short fiction contest.

22 comments:

Erik Ivan James said...

Um, I do believe it time for you to start a focus on the Minor Annals toward publication. From my perspective, these are your most powerful writings.

Ric said...

good stuff, Bernita.

I agree with erik. You've got a whole world here, just begging to be shared.

Bernita said...

Thank you both.
Still very much a WIP, in a way Damie's adventures are not, as I'm still searching for an arc, a focus, to tie the Annals together.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Wow...

I have shivers.

There are some incredible words and phrases here. Great stuff!

Bernita said...

Truly, Sonia?
Thank you. That's very gratifying.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Oh, yes...

night skies like ichor

faces washed to bloody bone

the moon curved above the clouds like a knife


Just a few of the bits that really stood out here. Absolutely gorgeous!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Sonia.
So much!

Robyn said...

~Moved~

~Seconded~

~The ayes have it, motion carried~

You rock the ancient worlds, Bernita. Please work on tying the Minor Annals together and submitting them.

EA Monroe said...

Beautiful and powerful, Bernita. One of these days when you least expect it, the focus of your arc for the Minor Annals will blossom. I'll be waiting, too!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Very cool, I was ready to read more, but I got confused. Did I miss something important>

First you said, "I waited until we reached the stinking altar before I struck."

And then you said,"I let them tear him to pieces among the stones."

LOL...Who them? And how did she strike?

Bernita said...

What would I do without you, and
your never failing encouragement?
Thank you, Robyn. Thank you, EA.

"Them," Bonnie are the assembled people of the clan/tribe. A maenad genesis, if one choses.
Logically, she strikes with a knife of her own.
Or as a hand of the goddess, also if one choses.

kmfrontain said...

Yep. I keep wanting to see the novel of all these wee pieces. Is scary fascinating.

Gabriele C. said...

You managed with a few sentences to make me go, 'yes, kill the bastard,' and I don't even know what he has done. :)

Bernita said...

Thank you, Karen. So far just episodes, but maybe a link will emerge if I beat myself over the head enough.

We're a vicious pair, aren't we, Gabriele?

He's just the standard, power-hungry, opportunity-grabbing, blood-thirsty, false-priest type.

MissWrite said...

You know what I love most about when you write in her perspective? The palpable angst. It grips the soul of the reader.

Agreed with Erik--start aiming toward publication.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Tami, for the encouragement.
Just idle glimpses so far, but if I've managed to evoke a feeling personality, that's a start ( as long as I don't up and lose it).

Scott said...

Why don't you enter something into Jason's contest, or are using a pen name?

Bernita said...

Don't use a pen name, Scott.
Was over there again today reading more entries - such an array of genuine talent, including yourself!
But the only half-way suitable piece I have is this.
Maybe I'll ask.

Scott said...

Bernita, of course this qualifies, and its damn good.

The night skies were like ichor and the clouds like the poisoned spume that clung to the rocks of the shrinking river

Nuff said. Submit it.

Bernita said...

Just to show the flag?
I'll blame it on you then, if I do.
Thank you, Scott.

M.E Ellis said...

our faces washed to bloody bone in the streaming torch light.

Oh la la! FAB!

Come on now, do something with these words of yours, send 'em out!

Your images are brill. Especially liked the clan rustling. Ooooh...I could eat a book of yours.

Not literally, but you know what I mean when you read something that is so rich and delicious?

You've got it, missus, really.

Got any light horrors/creep fests for me on WCP mag? I've had no subs so far this month...

:o)

Bernita said...

You are a dear, Michelle. Thank you.