A Necessary Quest
(Picks up where A Starlit Quest left off)
Henneth crosses the field, razor-wire fenced,
iced barbs its only defense, ‘neath a sky
pricked by star glow that falls and condenses.
He sees ‘lil folk weave starlight as they fly.
Underfoot frost makes spiny acanthus-
leaved iced flowers of all as it settles.
His mind scrolls through the Litany to suss
out the Little Folks’ name as frost petals
crunch underfoot; Allies, Enemies and
Other Folk are named in the Litany.
Which are these Folk? Allies or Enemies?
“What do you think?” he asks the babe, tiny
in his arms, who just stares, “not enemies,
they’re too fair and enemies are foul, so
allies, but if I’m wrong we’ll pay in woe!”
~ ~ ~
He found them in the section for Allies.
Anandarwen, the Little Folk, lucky
to those who see them; they’re quite a surprise.
In the deep wood they thrive where magic’s key.
Henneth approached them with caution, mindful
of his advantage over a lissome
sprite one-sixth his height, known to be bashful.
A scream made all Anandarwen flee from
the bulging fence; barbs stab a falling dark
that cloaks stars’ distant light; too black to see,
the Dreaming Hour drops its shroud; all is stark.
Night takes on depth, tangles Hen’s feet; his knees
bend; he struggles to get free; claws scratch, tear,
knock him down and he hits his head on fear.
~ ~ ~
The Anandarwen cower in bowers
made of woven grass, nests that jays envy
and the Undeem skip as their loathsome pow’r
doesn’t penetrate auburn leaf mole, ivy
and frozen drops of spiderweb caught dew.
A babe cries as time elapses, threatens
to completely unspool, as the haunts drew
more foul creatures to the field, not their den.
The Hollowed Oak lay safely hid in star
glow, moonlight and all that’s fairest at night.
Time unaccountable passed ‘fore a star
flared white amid the tufted snow; it’s sight
made the Undeem cry and skitter away.
Long they waited for tumultuous day.
~ ~ ~
When sun’s light crested the Enchanted trees
that edged their field, the Anadarwen rose
from hiding; a man sprawled in their grass sea.
Trapped beneath him, a Guardian sword throws
the light that tricked them from their safe ‘lil nests.
Dawn, that pearl, hasn’t rolled down the East Reaches.
Mighty Night held dominion and that sets
butterfly wings to fluttering, teaches
them not to trust light alone to shield them.
They gathered around the man, Anasril
touched his hand, shook her head, “he’s no golem.”
“Not yet anyway,” challenged old Basril,
“You know what becomes of those the Undeem
touch and he was so touched by them it seems.”
~ ~ ~
Anasril faced them, “he’s a Guardian.
We must aid him!” She said receiving nods.
Shouts of, ‘for Vanatium’, Guardian
most revered by her people, sent from God
to save them from the Alou’ear, a mad
beast that had taken to hunting their kind.
His remembered deeds earned for this plain clad
man, a piping song that called all her kind
from the Hollowed Tree to come and carry.
Lights blazed on the wind, spheres cast by wing glow,
as an Anadarwen army ferry
the felled Guardian from this scene of woe.
Anasril glanced back at the broken fence–
wire webs, captured starlight was their defense.
~ ~ ~