Saturday, May 05, 2007

A Reiteration


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 years 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.

I saw the sigil of the goddess written in the sky above her veiled face and knew he lied.

When the moon curved above the clouds like a knife the priest raised his arms in incantation.

When he led me forth his eyes gleamed red. My mother moaned, and the clan rustled like 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.

17 comments:

Steve G said...

I waited until we reached the stinking altar before I struck. I like the sound of stinking altar. Lots of blood spilt over it.

Bernita said...

You got it, Steve.
Thank you.

ORION said...

Oh I really like this one.
It is pleasing to me a reader when a writer lets me worry and think one thing is going to happen and then at the very end does something unexpected.
Very GOOD bernita.
yes I know it is 5 am in Hawaii but it was raining and my hatches were open...

Charles Gramlich said...

A good flash fiction here. I enjoyed it. But then, how can you go wrong with a word like "ichor?" I always loved that word myself.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Pat.
I'm usually up by five.

Glad you enjoyed it, Charles.Thank you.
Actually, you can. One critic vehemently objected to its use here.

Sam said...

I liked this very much - the twist at the end was very satisfying.
:-)

Rick said...

I like this one ...

LadyBronco said...

And what a perfect picture to go with such a wonderfully dark story!

I can picture the maidens lined up under the stone, and the crowd below tearing the false priest apart.

Nice.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Sam. Appropriate, I thought.

One of the better ones of the series, perhaps, Rick. Thank you.

Thank you, Lady B. Yes, finding the picture was most fortunate.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Thank god I'm not the only one writing darkness and violence...

Bernita said...

Has someone been giving you a hard time over darkness and violence, SS?
I'd be happy to help clean their clock.

raine said...

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

I think I remember this...
That image would definitely stay with me.
Striking.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Raine!
One of my better attempts at image, I think.

spyscribbler said...

I want a whole book of these, just as they are. They remind me of poetry. I love reading them every weekend!

Bernita said...

You say the nicest things, Natasha! Thank you.

Jeff said...

I think a bound collection of the Minor Annals is a wonderful idea!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jeff.
I'll have to produce a heck of a lot more of them to make that a viable idea!