Saturday, June 09, 2007

From the Minor Annals -X


Art by Brian Leister.

Each year, my mother told me, after the moon of lambing, the great scaled birds swooped down, like gods, to snatch the flocks.

Some whispered they were commanded by demons.

So, with cunning, the people tethered a single lamb at the Place of Sacrifice and hid the rest.

That year, my mother told me, the Night Watchers claimed they saw the sun fall in flames.

Nevertheless, it rose again, though pale and pallid like a distant torch. The sky wept and roared and the earth groaned and shook.

As did the people.

Then the waters reared in rage to breach and break the sea wall at the mouth of their their narrow bay. It left behind monsters that bloated and stank and fouled the shoreline amid the wreckage of the fisher boats.
The people saw it as a sign when the lady moon rose blood-drenched from her bed and the skies by day were yellow like a bruise.

So that year, they tied my mother with woven vine, naked, on the high bare promontory, as an offering.

The great scaled ones came in legion, calling high and harsh to each other, but they disdained her tiny form. They settled to feed on the sea beasts on the beaches.

All but one.

The one with the rider.

Who cut her free and took her up before him. To fly northwards, never to return.

My father's eyes were jewelled, she said, like those of his great bird.

Like mine.

28 comments:

Jon Mayhew said...

Cor Blimey guvnor! As they say in my realm! Wonderful stuff! I used to read loads of L Sprague de Camp and Michael Moorcock, takes me back! My synapses have all gone gooey, who wrote the Warrior of Mars stuff? Edgar Rice Burroughs? Look what you've done now! I've gone all fantasia!
Tell me...sorry...show me more!!!
Great stuff :-)

JLB said...

Beautiful... I'll be musing on this one all day. :)

Steve G said...

Very nice, Bernita.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jon!
Burroughs? I think so. John Norman also did the Gor series which has similarities with Burroughs - the first book or so anyway, before he went off the rails.
You'll find the others in the archives for the last 10 Saturdays.

Pleases me to think you might, Jade. Thank you.

Steve G said...

Bernita, if you are interested. Brett Battles is doing another give away of his Novel. Stop by my site, I have left a link to his blog. It's a good read.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Steve, and thank you for the heads- up on his give-away.
I'm really slow doing my blog roll this morning.

spyscribbler said...

I'm not sure how this subject came up, LOL, but Brett Battles' book is GREAT. He's the one who had such a fabulous twist at the end, that I didn't dare speak of it for fear of giving it away. He also started a cool site, battlesandbrowne.com, about writing and such. Very neat.

I love this, Bernita. You have a way with those last sentences. They up the ante so well!

kmfrontain said...

I like gryphons. :D

Bernita said...

Thank you, Natasha.
Steve brought it up. Perhaps, if I win an arc I can improve my antes.

Why I post a picture, Karen.

raine said...

Oh, this one took my breath away at the end!
(Once I got past the sacrificial lamb, of course--I'm a softie).

The stuff of lovely legends, Bernita. Thank you.

Bernita said...

Thank you, My Dear One.
I did mix a few.

Scott from Oregon said...

I would have thought her husbands eyes to have fell clean out...

Lovely lovely lovely...

And very "nice".

Bernita said...

And very nice of you, Scott.
Thank you.

LadyBronco said...

Wow.

Just...wow.

Sam said...

I truly enjoy reading these vignettes. They're just gorgeous - jewelled - like a bird's eye.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Lady B., Sam.

writtenwyrdd said...

Oooh, I like this!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Written.
It's probably the last one I'll post.

Robyn said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

You rock, my friend.

Bernita said...

Nice of you, Robyn. Thank you!

Sid Leavitt said...

Bernita: Your writing remains so good that I've stopped putting quotation marks around magic realism.

Bernita said...

Ah, Sid...thank you for the compliment.
"Urban fantasy" is the term that seems to have replaced "magic realism." But I'm not always urban - or even urbane.

Bhaswati said...

A feast for the mind as always. Writing that appeals to all five senses and beyond. Thanks for the relish, Bernita.

Bernita said...

Thank you Bhaswati.
Always kind.

Marie said...

Beautiful words.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Marie.

Charles Gramlich said...

Beautifully done. Flash ficiton with lovely visuals.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Charles.