Henneth woke to a strange sight–a glowing
globe spun in a silver cage suspended
from a mosaic sky. Pendulum’s swing,
back and forth–if it fell, it’d squash him dead.
He looked at that light whose shine was sun-like
and yet it didn’t blind like the sun’s burning
eye; he wond’red why it’s white that bright spike.
Why not canary that crystal spinning,
whose downfall oppresses his confused mind?
He could bide here awhile while pieces swarm
’bout his mind trying and failing to find
a place in that tenebrous mire where warm
thoughts twist into cold dread and visions passed:
a baby, a dark thing with claws stealing past…
~ ~ ~
Hen sat up and fought down histrionic’s
friend, panic, for the baby they’d taken.
‘Round him spread a garden quite botanic
with Groundlings, if he is not mistaken.
The Little Folk paused leaving carts to block
the flower-lined lanes between their stone homes.
A bubble of blue light bobbed and wove; shock
made Hen feel faint at the sight of–a gnome?
Too small and butterfly-winged–fairy folk?
She stood eleven inches in bare feet;
her gauzy blue dress, breeze ruffled like smoke,
hung to her knees; beside landed no sweet
escort but a lowering storm–twelve inches,
boot to crown, a moth-winged prince who didn’t flinch.
~ ~ ~
“You’re okay!” squeaked the Anandarwen girl.
Her companion stayed silent and deadly as smoke.
“I’m Anasril and this is Chero,” girl
continued, giving her dark friend a poke.
He stayed firm as iron and quiet as still air.
No toxicity or hostility,
not in that boy-man with wings, but yet there’s
something about him–a nobility
in those foreign eyes. Eyes that’ve seen things
that would make Hen shudder if he unlocked
those lips, convinced the youth to talk–some things
in ignorance’s domain are best locked.
Adapting is for the young in body
not the old and weary who want to be.
~ ~ ~
“Did you see a baby?” Hen asked knowing
the answer before two fair faces fell
and two dark heads shook; neither spoke letting
the silence say what they could not and fell
him with grief’s ax at the thought of a babe
taken by dark pow’rs in that savage night.
Chero spoke then, “The Undeem took the babe.
We heard his cry disappear into night.”
“You heard but did not see, so you don’t know
where they took the child or where I should search?”
‘Twas subtle that shift, the firmed spine–he knows,
that Chero; his averted gaze–a lurch
he’s in now; for the magical speak true,
if lies they spew, each one they live to rue.
~ ~ ~
A furtive glance at the girl clarifies;
Chero won’t speak of what he knows in front
of her and that means these Undeem, despised
by all, have homes difficult to confront.
A woman with a blue-violet kerchief, gray
curls spilled down her back in a neat tumble,
a bowl of steaming soup on a gilt tray–
she stood three feet tall, bare foot and jumble
his thoughts with her a smile, she did, as a crowd
of Groundlings gathered ’round waiting to hear
a tale of heroes, one fitting the proud
blade a-glow beside reminding that queer
creature called fate had passed near, regarded
and targeted, a life use discarded.
~ ~ ~
He breathed in humid air and the truth fell
willingly from his lips–“I found the sword.
I’m bound for a city to return–” A bell
rang in warning; hunting horns screech a chord
of dread as they climb into the clarino
register; their frightful call rising high
into octaves he couldn’t hear, but Chero
and Anasril kept their ears plugged, then sighed
their relief as the horns passed out of their range.
Through the oculus above the crystal’s
bright swinging, night cloaked the sky and its strange
children, the Undeem, walked as shadow’s thrall.
Hen drank the soup, stood with the sword in hand
ready to run and seek the Undeem’s lands…
~ ~ ~
The story continues tomorrow…
This post is part of Quest. For other posts 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.
~ ~ ~