Quest for a Portal
Henneth stared at the lake’s shadowed water
wond’ring if his quest ended on its shore.
He’s not Magic Kind; humans and water
didn’t mix well when breathing’s involved, for sure.
Dawn flower’d between purple mountains, spreading
cornflower blue petals to drive back night’s
shroud but no answer rode on rays carving
golden paths above; his eyes clapped on light
diving towards him, then dividing as two
fluttering Anandarwen landed near.
Their scant weight didn’t stir branch or leaf; the blue
one, the girl Anasril, spoke as Hen’s fears
for the tiny girl, and his confusion,
increased; she’d come despite their evasion.
~ ~ ~
“Hold, speak that again–you saw men? Where? When?
How many?” Hen asked, stunned; help he needed
but would they come to iniquity’s den?
She stopped talking and paled as he needled
her for information; Chero realized
the problem, grasping it with uncanny
ease despite their peaceful nature and lives.
Some trouble had befallen his cranny
of the One Continent; his dark eyes spoke
of that; Hen bet that trouble had Undeem hands.
“We didn’t see them; we heard their hunting horns,”
Chero said. “A scout saw them near our lands.”
Hen sat on a rock to think; chase those horns
or find another way? His winged guide’s tired;
he’d not ask Chero to fly while he’s tired.
~ ~ ~
Anasril and Chero exchanged speaking
looks; he spoke, “We can find them if you wish.”
Hen shook his head. “We have daylight working
for us.” That babe might be an Undeem knish
already but while hope remained, he’d act.
His gaze drifted back to the lake’s dark face.
Chero landed in a crouch and unpacked
a spider whose eight eyes fixed on his face.
At a nod, the spider started webbing
branches, making a huge spider web thing.
~ ~ ~
“The door will be narrow,” Chero announced
keeping an eye on the spider weaving
tight patterns that shimmered as the sun bounced
its rays at the complex, man-sized web it’s weaving.
“That thing is making a portal?” Hen cried
shocked when Chero nodded and then explained.
“Spiders crawl through planes of existence, guide
those who enter their portals–it’s ingrained.”
Chero shrugged. “It’ll take most of the day
because the Undeem dwell in a dark plane.
By sunset, we should be able to cross.
‘Neath that lake is a door, that we can’t cross.”
~ ~ ~
Hen understood what Chero didn’t say.
At nightfall, the Undeem would exit their
lakebed portal and that’s when their web-way
would be ready–they just might enter there
when most of the horde was out on the hunt
if they could hide themselves from the Undeem
who’d pass o’erhead. How they’d hide a bright font
taking shape on shore with each new thread seemed
a monstrous chore and a necessity.
Hen watched that spider weave light and shadow,
its work beholden to sun’s affinity.
“How are we going to hide that light show?”
“Like all spider webs,” Chero’s wings folded,
wrapped ’round him, “no one sees them in the wold.”
~ ~ ~
No, not unless the light hits them just right.
Perhaps tonight, light would be their ally
and fall where paths need lighting, leave this sight
unseen by all eyes save those that dally.
Anasril sat next to Chero, her wings,
blue to his black, folding ’round her body.
Both looked exhausted and there was nothing
to do now but wait and share a story.
The only story that mattered right now,
the one he’d barely heard in the Groundling’s
cavern; one he should give ear to right now
so he knew more of the two he’s friending.
“That field of starlight, tell me of that night,”
Hen said, and why, they’d help to make things right.
~ ~ ~
The Quest continues on Monday. Tomorrow, Sarn returns.
If you liked this, you’ll love:
It’s an enthralling tale told in verse with a quest that centers on finding the heart of this winter season.
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~ ~ ~