Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Entry #69

by Bernita Harris

In the blue of the moon they howled and hunted.

Night was their strength and light their only weakness.

But our high forest was a dark, rich place of shade and shadow, even by day. Of massive deadfalls, tumbled rocks and sudden crevasses.

And no longer sanctuary.

Some who ventured to gather fuel or tend their snares did not return.

We found only blood among the pine needles and heard the clan winds, lamenting, whispering:

Cha till, cha till, cha till, mi tuille. We return, we return, we return no more…

We saw their shapes slink and circle beyond our night fires. Fires that grew smaller as our supply of wood decreased. The Woman of the Bones warned us we must make an end or flee…

They hunted me through the dawn on either side of the narrow track. Before and behind, beyond the flame of my torches, padding, sniffing. I could almost hear their saliva drip from open jaws.

When I heard the first long undulating howl behind me I ran toward the sunlight, leaped the pit trap and turned at bay.

Blood lust for my bare flesh made them incautious. They burst in full cry into the broad shaft of golden light that pierced the swaying treetops and struck downward like a spear.

It turned them to stone.

We dropped more stone over them. It is named the Place of the Dark Trolls. There is even a song.

I never hunt that way.

I hate being bait.


Chris Eldin said...

Oh, I love this. My favorite part was the golden light as a spear. Funny, unexpected ending!

This adds to my recently acquired knowledge about porphyria.

AngelConradie said...

fabulous! love it!

Unknown said...

Brilliant! Well paced, good tension and strong voice. Really well done!

Anonymous said...

It's always a pleasure to read your work Bernita.

Blood lust for my bare flesh made them incautious. - delicious.

Jaye Wells said...

Bravo, Bernita! This reminded me of the 13th Warrior in some respects.

Anonymous said...

Ah;, very nice - uh, what are porphyria?

Victor Bravo Monchego, Jr said...

good read, bernita. is the language real? effective either way.

Chris Eldin said...

Hi Victor J.
Porphyria is a genetic condition that makes people extremely sensitive to sunlight (so they prefer the dark), they have more than average hair on their bodies, and sometimes they have dementia. Also, their eyes can be red. It's how the werewolf legend originated.

Bernita, I just read through yours again. It has a rhythmic, somber/musical ring to it. Very, very nice.

Bernita said...

Thank you, dear people, for your kind words.

Victor,the language purports to be Gaelic, and from a lament of exile.

Trolls - petrified - are also associated with pareidolia.

SzélsőFa said...

it flows easily like a butterfly. I imagine it being read aloud - and enjoyed thoroughly.
I'm sure I will re-read it times again.

Anthony Rapino said...

Lovely language throughout this--it sings.

I also love the ending. A bit of a twist on what I thought was going on.


Jeff said...

Very nice, Bernita! I love your writing.

Bernita said...

I am so pleased you heard music.
Thank you, Szelsofa ( there's music in that name), Anthony and dear Jeff.

briliantdonkey said...

Excellent imagery throughout but My favorite was "I could almost hear their saliva drip from open jaws."

Very nicely done Bernita


Bernita said...

Kind of you, BD.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Poetic, even enchanting descriptions. The last line is precious. Well written.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jason.
A lovely contest.