Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Alcove

The day wears on, the sun adrift above the clouds. Gloom has moved across the peaks of the Sirris and reached down to touch the canopy with a light finger. Though I sense no coming rainfall, we retreat to the safety of the mountain walls and slip within a fissure.

We have moved from the opening where once I faced death, staring into its eye. I measure myself against myself as I have none other to reflect upon. I steal a glimpse at my savior as the low fire basks upon his chiseled face. He is a hunter, of that I have no doubt. My hope of travel quail before his life. He has walked the trails of the world where I have walked none but a path from my back yard.

"What troubles you, Clancy?

The silence hangs between us as I stare into the ground. I feel the coolness of the rocks as they surround us. I look up as my benefactor comforts me with his words.

"My day has been unsettling, my friend. I feel the foils of my folly rolling within my stomach."

"I see." I watch as he leans back, resting his hands upon his lap. "You are troubled by what happened to you today."

"I am." It is a statement he makes. "I would be dead had it not been for you."

"Would I have suffered any less fate than you?"

"Well, you may have been able to..."

"To what?" A smile broadens in the light. "You were one against five. You were surprised. Had I been caught unawares, I would likely have suffered the same."

"But you killed them all!"

"Only because they did not know of me. It is surprise that was my ally, and the light of the day."

"What of it?"

"They are creatures of the night. They prefer to walk in subtle tones of night. They do not fear the day, but it is not their friend."

"You seem to know much of these creatures." The churning I feel begins to lessen as we talk. "Why is that."

"I do." My savior rises, dusting off his pants before the fire. He stands tall before me, a serious look suddenly upon his face. "Because I hunt them."

My soul shakes at his words. What has become of my friend? What would turn his life to such ends? I can only guess. The flames crackle as night begins to take hold of the mountains, daylight snuffed as were the lives of my captors.

It is time to sleep.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A light of life

At the moment of my freedom, the sun blazes through the sun-swept canopy above. It is as a sign of deliverance, and I am free once more. My hand releases the rod that was to be my savior, letting it fall to the ground. The voice that once I heard, I hear again, in time of my greatest need.

"You seem to have a penchant for getting in trouble, Clancy."

I nod, as the expression of my gratitude shines through. Not once, but twice have I been the benefactor of such good fortune.

"Authurn." His name is all that I can offer as my body begins to shake. My courage is leaving me in the face of my savior. My breath is heavy as my knees land in the moist earth, my head falling toward my chest. I lift my face to warm it in the light of day.

"Clancy, it is over."

He strides toward me, standing tall in the light of day. Sunlight beams over his shoulder, his shadow casting its pall upon me, but it is a blanket of salvation that lifts my soul. I can do nothing but smile in relief.

"You have come to my aid in times past, my friend. That I could call you friend, if I could be so bold."

His booming laugh echoes across the clearing, yet another dagger in the backs of my enemies. His hand comes to rest upon my shoulder, and I feel the power of his touch. His face is alight as the sun itself. His is a soul of joy, even in this time of death.

"We shall be friends from this day forward, Clancy." He chuckles at the notion. "It seems we come together at the most opportune times."

"Opportune for me, that is."

"Be that as it may, it is a beautiful day and we shall make the best of it."

A helping hand raises not only my body from the damp ground, but lifts my soul in reverie. I shall live to walk the world, another day.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dark to light

My legs begin to strengthen as does my will. My pack and belongings having been strewn about, hide my weapon from my eyes. A stout log lays near my side and it is quickly within my grasp. Though I tremble within, I do not taste the fear I would have imagined when I began this adventure. Be it only a few weeks, I have begun to rely on myself and face those shadows that fade within the light of day. I shall not run. I shall fight. The log I raise with which to do battle shall be my sword. It shall be my rod.

The sound of footsteps echo from the dark place where my captors have taken refuge from the light, the screams of death and torment now silent. My savior has surely not suppressed them all. They are too many. He has likely fallen and I shall face their retribution as a result. A stampede erupts as a black creature scampers from cover. His eyes are wide as if death hunts his soul, should such creatures be in possession of one. He bores down on me, and I ready my rod. Vengeance shall be mine.

As I ready my thrust, my enemy falls to the dirt, his weight flushing out the leaves that litter the ground. My eyes are wide, my heart a symphony of percussion. I am dumbstruck as I see this lifeless corpse face-down in the muck. My lungs exhale violently as the threat is taken from me. Another shuffle grabs my attention and I look up to see my savior strutting from the dark hole, a smile washed across his face as wide as the Orange River.

"Hello." His voice booms across the clearing, no filter to mask his presence.

My mood brightens as I see who walks before me. It shall be a good day, today.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Release

The sun has climbed to its zenith as I remain encumbered, my back snug against this oak. I feel its bite, my back nearly raw from the turns I have spent within its grasp. My captors have retreated to as dark a place as they are able to manage. It is obvious they do not suffer well the light of day. I have relented in trying to observe them further as they have settled into their night world. I sit now with the light of day to do nothing more than ponder my fate, certainly a prospect that appears bleak.

I hear a dull thump and feel a shallow vibration through the massive trunk. My shoulders fall slightly, no longer pulled tightly behind. A whisper floats upon the stillness, a calmness that awakens my spirit.

"Now stay still for a moment, my friend. I have work yet to do." The voice is as calm as a summer's breeze among the leaves.

I pull my arms forward, my shoulders screaming in agony as a blade slices though my bindings. My feet now free allow me to slide my legs forward. They as well, feel the sting of atrophy. I am free. My mind races to cover the ground away from my captors, yet my legs are not to the task. I remain beneath the shade of the oak, afraid. A single step I hear as my champion retreats into the background, lost to me in the light of day.

I turn abruptly toward the hollow where my captors have taken refuge. The sounds of death have awakened them. But whose death shall follow? I struggle to my feet and shake the weariness from my bones. I will not go down without a fight. Of this I vow, yet my mind screams the obvious; run!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My captor's face

The light in the sky begins to awaken the world around us, even here in the depths of the wilderness. My captors do not seem to embrace the coming of the day as do I. They have moved away from the dying embers and seek shelter in the coves of the nearest hillside, while I remain strapped to this pillar.

As the light rises, they move deeper into the recesses. Perhaps this day has become my savior. I work to study them in their plight. It is something I may be able to use against them. In night's depth they were no more than silhouettes against the background, yet in the light of day, my nightmares have surely come true. 'The talker', as I have come to think of him surely is the leader. He is taller and broader than three others,. though another is near his bulk, but quiet. His hand has sent another cowering. Their forms covered with dark wraps, make it difficult to distinguish their true nature, though I can sense the darkness of their souls.

My captors have quieted as the sun tops the fields to the east. I have come to believe they are creatures of the night airs; those creatures that invade the dreams of the pure of heart. They are nightmares; devils once of spirit, now embodied before my eyes. It is my unlucky fortune that I have stumbled across their path.

I kick again against the dirt to prop myself up against the tree. My legs tied like a pig, I can not stand; I can not run. Their voices fade as their world comes to their night, a night of daylight, and I am still a prisoner.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Captive

My head stings, my neck stiff as I awaken to what is before me. I have been asleep for a time, my fire not what it was, as I hear the embers failing. I reach to rub my neck but find my hands tied, my ankles strapped beneath me. I look up, the pain in the back of my neck screaming as winds through mountain passes. The sky lightens to the east; it is that time before dawn when the world has not yet fully awakened.

The tree behind me stabs my spine as I push against it to adjust my back. My knees ache. I push against the dirt with my legs to straighten myself. It is of little use. My eyes sting as the salty sweat drips over my brow. I am a prisoner.

The flames that warmed me, are now no more than an orange glow before silhouettes as dark as the blackest night. The sounds of dawn begin to trickle into my ears, yet are interrupted by the guttural sounds of my captors. Five I see, squatted before the fire, their voices like claws scraping against stone. Most of their words sound foreign, though the more I strain to listen, the more I begin to understand their gravel. They seem not to care that I am here, their attentions focused elsewhere.

Someone is killing them; tracking them. Their number was once greater. They were seven. A laugh from the tallest makes light of it. My eyes widen as I come to realize I have become the object of their desire. They believe they have captured their hunter. Should they realize I have awakened, my time shall surely grow shorter upon this world and my adventure shall come to an end.

I close my eyes that I should live a little longer.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Eyes of twilight

The light of the fire illuminates all within its grasp, except my foe. His darkness nearly absorbs the light itself. He is blacker than anyone I have seen in all my days. He steps forward, a wicked smile upon his dark face. Again his words rake across my ears, their sounds, gutteral.

"You should not be here."

His words spit at me from across the distance, yet I hold firm my ground. I take my eyes not from him as stumbling sounds assault me from behind. I am surrounded. I fight the urge to look, to turn, but I cringe at the thought of turning away from what is before me. My blade though sharp, feels no more than a toy within my grasp. His blade is one that is true.

"My travels are my business." I swallow hard, my mouth suddenly as parched as a desert flower. My skin floods with perspiration, raining, as if I were standing before a hundred such fires, yet I muster the courage to respond. "I will go where I will."I straighten, that I would stand as tall as I am able.


A sudden snap, the sound of cracking brambles makes its presence known above the snapping of the flames, and I am forced to turn. My circle is dwindling, the light failing in the gathering darkness. I raise my blade to challenge the new, but twilight stills my eyes as I fall to a blow upon my neck and I am thrust, into nothingness.