(Picks up where The Undeem’s Quest left off)
Anasril stirred when Chero took to flight.
He shot across the field to a great tree.
Blest long ago, the tree collects starlight.
It shimmers silver, rises to a V.
Its great limbs reach for the sky, touch the stars
whose small light powers its protective charms.
There flies an army sent from father to bar
access to this field and they have come armed.
Snow drops poked hopeful green heads through frosted
grass that spread ’round their tree in a small sea.
They presaged spring, which winter’d accosted.
Old Storm King had bit deep for this to be.
The cold burned his wings; he missed milder climes;
he could only visit them in dream time.
~ ~ ~
For gone they were now as the earth’s magic
recedes back to its home in Shayari’s
seeds, her sleeping buds, spring’s coming magic.
Deforestation in the west left three
options for Chero’s people: stay and die,
fly east to where forests and magic thrives
or survive deprived of magic and vie
for dwindling resources where war still thrives.
Chero’s father chose flight and migration
back to where their ancestors first breathed life
in their line and left behind damnation.
He still heard the clang-clash of fighting rife
with screams, smelt death’s fecal stench, tasted
ash choking air o’er land that’d been once chaste.
~ ~ ~
He pushed such thoughts aside, breathed Shayari’s
pure air, spiked with pine and scented with snow.
The West was gone; East was his home and he
had a squad of fear-crazed fairies to throw
off the chase, convince them that those coming
after him were allies for the moment.
As he’d hoped when he had sensed them, seeing
him confused them and they paused for comment.
Their instructions hadn’t included a run-
in with the very person they’d been sent
to find and that gave Chero time to run
through the adventure he’d had while absent.
His father’s lieutenant scratched his green hair
but the rattle of wagon wheels was near.
~ ~ ~
Too late now for his father to object;
that worthy had gone to search for his son–
the idealized version, who’s an aspect
of the reality who saw black suns
rise ringed by fiery coronas in burnt
siena skies; they resembled black eyes
swallowing the gold sun’s light and they weren’t
right; such a sense of wrongness had gripped vise-
tight, clamping down on reason until
none remained. Such a sight he couldn’t forget
not when it telegraphed evil’s rise which will
expand, come here to Shayari this threat.
Evil expands daily; what can small men
do when they’re tall as boots of larger men?
~ ~ ~
Chero didn’t know and he wrestled with this
as the cart halted by the Guardian.
He lay in a cleared patch of grass with his
sword at his side battling obsidian night
with its white glow augmented by the red
light of lumir stones that ringed his body.
Had the Undeem’s touch and its shadows shred
part of this man’s soul or his tall body?
He was five and three quarter times Chero’s
height and more than twice that of the Groundlings
lifting him into the cart; reverent though
they stayed, that little group, ne’er a Groundling
said a single word as crystal sword and
man nestled, blanket wrapped by stranger’s hands.
~ ~ ~
The cart turned then, its bed full and its task
only half done, turned towards that underground
village, sheathed in the sword’s glow; will it mask
their presence from the Undeem? Or will sound
give them away? A blue glow flits catching
his eye; it’s Anasril trading driver’s
bench for a look at him, whom she’s saving.
Chero flies, ignores objections offered
by his father’s men; she’s a puzzle worth
solving and perhaps helping a warrior
of the light will help one day to save earth.
He joins Anasril who is checking for
life; what else can one small warrior do but
lend aid to those who can slash evil’s gut?
~ ~ ~
The story continues tomorrow…
This post is part of Quest. For other chapters in this lyric novella, visit the TOC.
If you enjoy this style of writing, check out Stars and Angels Sing:
It’s also written in verse (sonnets of course!) and set in Shayari. It’s on sale now! Get your copy here.
~ ~ ~