The Quest Divides
Part 27 of Quest
Quests, like hearts, divide.
One quest’s end starts another.
The heart picks the quest.
~ ~ ~
Chero stirred, waking from sleep and troubled
dreams as his ride halted at a nondescript
granny-apple-green grass patch that bubbled
up as he watched two bright slashes that ripped
the ground apart, making an aperture
that spied a tent city ringed by white dunes.
“That’s not Shayari. Where’ve you brought us to?”
he asked his psychopomp pet, but the loon
pointed a hairy leg at Istan, who,
saw that foggy place and knew it’s his stop.
“Our fellowship ends for me, not for you.
We’ll meet again and our stories, we’ll swop.”
Istan nodded then and started to go
but Irene halted him; she had to know.
~ ~ ~
His leaving after she had found again
what she’d lost long ago to youth’s folly
hit like an electric shock jolting fain
hopes she’d entertained of times more jolly
regained; now with visceral pain, she faced
separation again. No, cleansing such
thoughts from her mind, she moved alongside, placed
herself between him and that wormhole; much
rode on her next words; they mustn’t be feeble.
She couldn’t allow him to go north to doom.
He touched her lips with a finger; eagles
screamed somewhere, giving voice to grief that looms
in all lovers’ hearts, e’en those separated;
“I have to follow a cross,” he stated.
~ ~ ~
She had her own Quest to pursue, Undeem
demons to tame, their queen’s pow’r to hamstring.
With a kiss, they parted and the ground seamed
itself back together; its elastic
feel easy on her sore feet as she shuffled
on, following a spider through plastic
passes cut in a landscape that’s ruffled
by their presence and the syncopated
steps of their psychopomp spider; the land
shifts underfoot into a timepiece, plated
in silver with black hands that twirl round and
round, blurring until a portal appears.
She jumped, dropped down that hole and disappeared.
~ ~ ~
The hole closed up leaving Hen to wonder
if his turn’s next to part the company
of his winged friends, who’d saved his life, wandered
far to help him find the kidnapped baby
in his arms–a child he’d no way to care
for, no milk, no clean nappies, not even
a roof to put o’er his head; it wasn’t fair.
He had nothing but thanks to offer when
his exit rose up, a ghostly mirror
reflecting the avocado green shoots
breaking through the thawing earth–spring’s anchor,
those shoots, bordered by roots, which marked a route
that led up a rise into a valley–
one of Shayari’s famed hundred valleys.
~ ~ ~
Hen stepped forwards to enter that image
and smiled when, his spider guide and friends
entered; e’erything went sideways; night’s cage
fell upon them; a mad queen’s cackles blend
with howls; the last tincture of sunset’s rose
is swallowed by falling night and somewhere
a portal opens spewing a monster clothed
with hate for all life, a viscous meld there
to exact vengeance for their swift escape.
“Run!” Chero said, hopping off his spider’s
back; their tired, eight-legged savior shrinks its shape
’till into Chero’s pack crawls his spider.
Two of its legs loosely drape round his neck
in an embrace; its head rests against his neck.
~ ~ ~
Off they fly, fair scouts.
Below runs man holding child.
The Undeem give chase…
The Quest continues tomorrow…
Before I leave you,
allow me one question, please.
Your thoughts are welcome.
I’m thinking of ‘writing into the gaps’ I left and adding prose to the poetry to flesh out Quest into a more traditional narrative. The poetry would stay; there would just be prose passages filling in the gaps caused by the restrictive form I chose. So, there’d be more action, more interaction, more characterization and more room for the enchanted forest to do its thing and mess with our Questers. (Because that’s what a quasi-intelligent Enchanted Forest does. I’ve been curtailing it and it’s not happy about that.)
What do you think? Do you want more Quest?
I’m not sure how this would play out editorially yet, suggestions welcome on that. If this doesn’t appeal to you, feel free to say so. Quest is not ending here with this post, in fact it’s just beginning.
Thank you for reading,
Thank you for comments and likes,
You’re always welcome.