A Stormy Quest


A Stormy Quest

Part 29 of Quest

& Part 1 of Istan’s Solo Quest: Chasing the Cross

(If you missed a part of Quest, find it here on its TOC.
Picks up where The Quest Divides left off.)

“Lie still, Father Storm,
through storm’s eye you fell, lie still.
Let storms rage, lie still.”


~ ~ ~

Istan remembered a portal spider-
spun, floating there like a sideways puddle.
Currents of magic’d rippled like eiders
sailing across a lake; their wake muddled
the image reflected there of a cross.
A vision unspooled; a lone mountain peak,
crowned with snow and recently used cross.
The blood stains and nail marks– of loss they speak
and something more that called him to follow,
to seek and discover a truth that set
him free from the maelstrom’s mental chains; so
when he’d seen that cross in the portal set,
he’d crossed that threshold and fallen, tumbled,
landed jumbled, ‘neath a storm that rumbled.

~ ~ ~

“Lie still father of storms,” said a man with a painted face.

Yellow lines winged up from dark eyes that could have pierced but instead, some emotion softened their depths. A red dot between those lines sat on a palette of white that caked his dreads and the bush that covered his chin, which hid an unsmiling mouth.

Father of storms, the man had called him. Istan shook his head and regretted it as his mind rolled back and forth like a loose stone, slamming each wall of his skull for good measure.  He winced and raised a shaking hand to his brow.

“Not Father of Storms…lost the mantle…it went to…another…”

The wind howled and gnashed its teeth, pelted their shelter with sticks and stones. Good thing the dim walls weren’t made of bones. The old rhyme brought a ghost of a smile to Istan’s lips that faded as his head throbbed.

The man’s eyes sharpened by the whetstone of Istan’s words. The news didn’t please him that someone else held the title and the blame for the storm breaking outside.

What are you god of then? His painted caretaker’s eyes asked. Or maybe Istan had read that thought from his mind. After all, he did possess the mind gift–the one magic that was forbidden to both gods and men.

Without Winter’s Mantle to suppress it, that gift bloomed, sending out shoots and runners in every direction. More minds lay within easy reach–a community perhaps? All of them huddled, shut away from the violence outside.

Hail battered a roof obscured by shadow. He blinked and looked for the source of the dim illumination. Seeing nothing that gave off even the faintest glow, he realized that the light came from him. He was a blanket wrapped candle exuding light from every fiber of his being. Every part of him was infused by magic thanks to his godhood. It didn’t matter that he descended from a broken pantheon.

“Rage storm, vent your pain
spin your anger, funnel it
twist tight tornadoes…”


So spake a voice on the wind–one Istan didn’t recognize. Yet that voice whipped the storm into a frenzy. The air charged itself readying a lightning strike. Bolts he’d once held and hurled though never at a living soul.

“Save us dear savior,
transmute lighting into sun
part those angry clouds.”

So prayed the villagers. Their fears pressed in, smothered Istan where he lay. A community cowering, waiting for the storm to tear down their walls and sweep their loved ones away.

“Come savior, protect,
come with love to deliver,
come with haste, save us!”


Snatches of prayers that rang in his mental ears drove him out of the hut. Animal hides stretched over the bleached bones of what were once enchanted trees that now served as flimsy protection.

No mantle meant no elemental power, not directly at least. That storm throbbed in his breast; the wind buffeted him in time with his breaths. Not the Father of Storms, no, but he was the son of a storm god. The wind’s power was in his blood for he was kin to it. Not a power he could access to stop a storm, no, he’d need the mantle and its crown for that. He was the only son of a storm god who’d not inherited his father’s elemental power.

The wind hounded him as he staggered; it nipped at his skin, tore at his clothes and hair but it could not topple him. His bare feet connected with Mother Earth and held him steady, upright and moving ever forward. Passed more huts he went, heading towards a rough circle in the village’s heart. Its hail-trampled green drew him.

The painted man’s gaze followed him but the man kept to his hut. The storm’s increasing violence penned him in. Kept him stuck there waiting, hoping he had salvaged their salvation.

~ ~ ~

In prayers Istan saw flashes of a cross.
A man–no a god–hung from its timber.
Blood wept from nails driven into that cross
through his hands and feet, soaking the timber
cut from a tree that had lived centuries.
All their minds held that image and cherished
the sacrifice given that day centuries
past; a man who had that evening perished.
Istan saw that sacred blood running down,
outlining shapes–the old runic language.
He understood what must be done; sharp ground
cut his soles, he bled magic; shed baggage
he couldn’t use, his father’s magic, traced lines
in the the earth that the funnel cloud must mind…

~ ~ ~

The tornado paused
Clouds crossed brilliant lines and changed
a gentle rain falls.

~ ~ ~

The painted man nods.
Wisdom whispers of a quest.
Great deeds await him.

~ ~ ~

Istan’s Quest continues in Emperor’s Quest Part 1

Looking for more QuestsClick here for more Quests.

~ ~ ~

Lead image is courtesy of Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Prompt #99. For Color Your World: Green.

32 thoughts on “A Stormy Quest

      1. For me, I liked it a lot.🙂 It is impressive that you still feel uncertain, Mel. That means you’re humble enough to be sensitive about what your readers think. But like what I said before, a great writer like you can do no wrong. 😀😘

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you Rosema. I wish that great writers could do no wrong, but they are only human and being wrong is part of the whole human experience. The hardest part of writing for me is publishing it–putting it out there for others to read. I love what I write but that doesn’t mean others will. I think I write well but what if I don’t? Even if I do write well, if no one reads it then it doesn’t matter.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh that is so true. You know what, Mel, I do have all those thoughts after I started this blog. I was a Journalism student and since my college years, I have been wanting ot dreaming to have my own blog. But it took me almost 6 years to finally put all my fears aside. That is why my first ever post is titled Agony.🙂 It is inspired by a quote from Maya Angelou. It says “There is no greater agony that bearing an untold story in you.” i am not sure if it was the correct quote verbatim haha but that’s the message.🙂 So keep the stories coming, Mel. When I think you can write things better I will surely tell you.🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  1. This is absolutely it Melinda. You’ve balanced perfectly between poetry and prose which adds a lot of content to the characters and scenery/images. Personally I think this is flowing perfectly and blends in so well when one is reading it. Bravissima!


  2. I love the new format, Melinda. As Geetha has said, the shift between prose and poetry (both sonnet and senryu) adds weight to the content. You certainly are a master at mixing forms and still the master of storytelling🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I like the new shift too. It gives the story more room to breathe. I’m going to go back and add prose passages between the sonnets for the first 28 parts and of course, publish those changes here. I haven’t figured a schedule for that yet though. I think it will enrich the story and gives newer readers a chance to catch up.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 🙂 thanks for sharing your response to the photo challenge Melinda

    indeed you certainly are able to weave a rather fascinating tale encompassing many stories and depths🙂

    Cheers ~ Pat


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