Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Entry #87

From the Minor Annals
by Bernita Harris

That year brought plague and pestilence and a desperate hunger.

And fear.

The night skies were like ichor and the clouds like the poisoned spume that clung to the rocks of the shrinking river.

That year the maidens of the clan were sacrificed one by one to the new priest's unsated god.

That year I stood on the stony hillside with the others, our faces washed to bloody bone in the streaming torchlight.

When the moon curved above the clouds like a knife I watched the priest raise his arms in incantation.

I saw the sigil of the goddess written in the sky above her veiled face and I knew he lied.

When he led me forth his eyes gleamed red. My mother moaned, and the clan rustled like a hot wind through dry leaves.

I waited until we reached the stinking altar before I struck.

I let them tear him to pieces among the stones.

There were no more sacrifices that year.

That year, or thereafter.


Jaye Wells said...

Wonderful, Bernita. You have such a gift with words.

Robert Ball said...

The Virgin strikes back! I like it.

Anonymous said...

You threw me there for a moment, lady. I could have sworn I'd read this one already and started to look for a duplicate post. I'd forgotten I saw this come through on your feed today. Glad you decided to submit it!

Flood said...

Great job, Bernita! I was worried you wouldn't enter, but I am glad to see you did.

Joni said...

Astounding. I'm impressed.

anne frasier said...

wow, very nice, bernita!! a very powerful tale. i liked the structure of it too.

Anonymous said...

Nice switch-up at the end, Bernita!

anna said...

Bernita, Excellent!!
Loved the whole concept,
the writing was top notch.

Anonymous said...

Excellent, Bernita! You made me stop to catch my breath when I got to the end. Well done!

Bernita said...

Thank you all so MUCH.

And thanks to Jason for allowing its submission.

Anonymous said...

Powerful voice. This was engaging with its ancient feel.

Many good & well structured sentences: "When the moon curved above the clouds like a knife..."

The ending was strong and effective!

Bhaswati said...

You know I am a big fan of your writing, Bernita. So glad you entered. What a powerful tale this is. So much captured in so little. Thanks!

Scott said...

Geez, you snuck this one in on me. I fell behind in commenting and happened to stop by and see this. This is a wonderful piece and I'm glad you finally entered it.

Bernita said...

My dears, thank you.
All your fault, Scott.You nagged.

Anonymous said...

The strength of the story and the character is what moved me. Not to mention the writing is so strong. It commands attention. Highest marks overall.