A Quest for Safety
Part 28 of Quest
Night laments unseen,
its grief veiled by shadows seen,
Undeem stalking prey…
~ ~ ~
Darkness rippled and flowed between the boles
of the ancient trees that spring is waking.
Throwing off their winter slumber, their souls
churn with magic bright, hidden ‘neath icing
left over from winter’s last stormy stand.
Stretching, waving long limbs ‘gainst the wind’s tug;
their ice coating’s cracking; it can’t withstand.
Mischief, the enchanted forest now hugs.
Anasril wove between the branches, wished
that navigating the waking forest
required less dodging, less flying through rifts.
Below Henneth moved in a sphere of blest
light emanating in a white nimbus
from his Guardian blade, on his back trussed.
~ ~ ~
Beside her flew Chero, whose wings melded
with the night until the sword’s light caught gray
markings that refracted the light, welded
her eye to those black wings, the stripes of gray
along his lean side running from shoulder
to foot in an unbroken reflective
line–so lithe –she wished that she was bolder.
Chero yanked her up and o’er a restive
branch, shifted her perspective back to flight.
“Where are we going?” she asked aware now
that safe had no toe hold while Undeem hunt.
“The Groundlings’ cave, it’s over that hill’s brow.”
Chero said as something rose up in front.
A black hand swatted but they divided,
flew ’round monsters made by the misguided.
~ ~ ~
Henneth skidded as shadows rose, twisted
and formed a nightmare that they’d left behind.
His shadow divided and resisted
the pull to join her kind as she welled up, mind
still her own, identity fixed–Undreal,
the only Undeem to ever rebel.
She’d done it for the baby as unreal
as that seems; dark power she has to steal
from the writing mass working to attain
full monsterhood; she siphons its unlife
cocktail, weakening the bonds that contain,
constrain its shape, end internecine strife–
it’s shaking now and soon will break apart,
pop like a foul pimple on night’s black heart.
~ ~ ~
“Who are you?” Henneth asked.
She was a woman made of shadows, but one growing more solid with each breath. Tattered remains of a dress swept the ground hiding her feet–if she had any. Her face was glass and smoke, mobile and not unlovely if Hen ignored the fact that he could see through her head to the snake-like locks twisting about it, crackling with a magic he couldn’t see but could feel like the hot breath of hell on his cold face.
What was she? Not an angel fallen nor a demoness, not Undeem either though something about her reminded him of their ilk. Yet she was obviously of the dark. So why was she intervening? What was he missing? Where had she come from?
She’d welled up out of the ground or had appeared to but that couldn’t be. Shayari lay on enchanted ground and most of its magicked miles were also blessed by one old godling or another. They’d all wandered about the country blessing this and that. All for the fun of it, adding to Shayari’s magical weirdness because the country needed more bespelled grass blades.
“Run you fool,” said his strange womanish protector.
Three words that should have sent Hen flying for the hills. His winged friends tugged on his sleeves trying to budge him. All the creaking and shrieking that the Undeem monster indulged in had woken the baby who reached out eager fingers towards Chero’s and Anasril’s wings. The pair managed to avoid the child’s attempts to touch them.
“We have to go.” Chero pointed to something obscured by the shifting trees.
The forest was waking from its long slumber and swatting at them and the Undeem monster swelling up as more of its shadowy number merged with the creature. Whatever she was doing kept it from attacking but that wouldn’t last.
~ ~ ~
She looked at the babe,
a desperate plea in her eyes.
He ran for safety.
~ ~ ~
The Quest continues tomorrow, do let me know if you like the inclusion of prose passages. This is not the best example of what I had in mind but it’s the best I can offer you tonight.
for Color Your World: Gray