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Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Distant Echo Of Dark Shadows



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Book One...............................................................The Chase
Book Two.....................................................................The Game
Book Three.................................................................The Reward
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Lord, turn the hearts of cowards who prate,
Afraid to dare or spend,
The doctrine of narrower State.
More easy to defend;
Not this watchword of our sires.
Who breath’d with ocean’s breath,
Which naught could quench but death.
Strong are we? Make us stronger yet;
Great? Make us greater far.
Our feet Antarctic oceans fret,
Our crown the polar star;
Round earth’s wild coasts our batteries speak,
Our highway is the main.
We stand as guardian to the weak,
We burst the oppressor’s chain.
Great God, uphold us in our task,
Keep pure and clean our rule.
Silence the honeyed words which mask.
The wisdom of the fool,
The pillars of the world are Thine;
Pour down Thy bounteous grace,
And make us illustrious and divine,
the sceptre of our race.

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~Book One~
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The Chase

You call Me master, but you do not obey Me!
You call Me the light, but you do not see Me!
You call the way to Me, but you will not follow Me!
You call Me to life, but you do not wish for Me!
You call Me for wisdom, but you do no heed Me!
ONE DAY IF I CONDEMN YOU, WILL YOU BLAME ME?
** Unknown
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Chapter one

And so begins the game of chase,
Or does the chase begin the game?

The night ripped open painfully dark and unforgiving. A large forest of many types of trees; the naked boughs of the Alders and the full green skirts of the evergreen stood guard at the blackest hour before dawn. At the far eastern horizon a thin red line spread out across the predawn sky. A large hill sat in the middle of what would have been forest that would have ran as far as the eye could see in all directions. But now only sparse copses of trees lingered here and there wherever man had decided to leave alone Mother Nature. A sad cry to what used to be here when the greed of man was not yet strong enough to scar the land. The hillside was still bare; nothing of value would grow here. Here and there pieces of black stone jutted up and out like broken fingers skyward. Tall yellow grasses blew with the breath of phantoms here and beyond they swayed to the unheard music of the ages, this land was far older than those that dare dig here give this place credit were ever to calculate. The creaking and groaning of the leafless boughs was echoed by the sound of those that ruled the night. And then there was that, that lived forever never seeming to ever come to a rest. The thin red line of dawn began to grow until the entire length of the eastern horizon was glowing with the crimson red birth of a new day. As the red light became brighter, the lines of a once great wall made of fine black stone became evident at the bottom of this large hill that had been eroded over a thousand lifetimes of greed. The once grand wall must have ran the entire expanse of the base of the hill side and there was more evidence too show that perhaps another smaller version of the first larger wall had ringed the top most part of the hill as well. As the last of the rays of the moon reflected, the silvery beams of unearthly light that cascaded down to the jutting stone masonry made the black perhaps Onyx blocks that would reflect back the light to the heavens above with that of an eerie afterglow. This wall had been radiocarbon dated to at least fifteen hundred years to the past, they had yet to even find the heart of this place that had no name and not ever had been recorded in any history, of any book. And yet, it was still here. And how ancient would the heart of this place be? If the beginning was ever found. The October wind blew across the once dried bramble parched from the summer’s intense heat, the ground had been begging for rain. Again odd for the weather should have been wet; it was not. And now the rain had fallen for the last five days straight and had only subsided a short while ago. The rain had fallen in drops the size of clenched fists; the worse yet remembered by the old gaffers that could still remember that far back, but all agreed no one had ever seen such force in an autumn’s rage, the wind, the rain, the howling anger. The green ferns that always managed to stay spring like no matter the season still blew softly in the breeze as did the tall golden grasses that had yet to succumb to the torrents that had fallen, pounding the weakest into the saturated earth. The forest had reclaimed up to the base of this hill; the top still heavily shrouded in morn mists. Mother Nature had reclaimed part of the hill side with her long skirts of watery soil and shards of rocks, the backside of the hill side had been buried under a small mudslide and were forever lost once again from the land of the living. The mudslide of only small proportions had given away to covering the toils of those that had only recently abandoned their work for safer ground. The trinkets and the shards of metal had become interesting, the archaeologists only left because their lives were in jeopardy; the entire hillside was of wet loose soil and could disengage its solid consistency at any moment. Though the metal the archaeologists had found was not that of the Middle Ages, but shards that were of recent invention. But metal was at least a thousand years old, adding even more mystery to the place of no name. As with all of mans past, the riddles were always there just waiting to be solved or the door opened by just the correct person. To some the history of the world has only to open like that of a storybook. For that was all that history really was worth, a good story. History is nothing more than that of a well-written and directed tale of what they thought would interest their children; elaboration was not unheard of. So why believe what is written, what actually took place would never be properly told. A grand tale meant for children at bedtime. There is edited history, as with this place, the name forever erased from any book.

If this place had been found buried in its fullest form, the tall black turrets would have been etched permanently into the western horizon, as a marker of the land is what they would have found. The four high turrets towering over those that walked the vast grounds and gardens. The turrets would have reached unfathomable heights; markers for those travelling onward to London and beyond to the west to the sea. So many questions and not one plausible answer to be conceived. Those that had discovered this place thought that this would become one of the wonders of the ancient world, to go along with the other ancient structures of strange wonderment. The deeper that the archaeologists had dug into the soft English soil, the older and more unusually twisted the tale of the place with no name would become. The deeper they went, the more refined the building became. So much had been discovered, only to be lost to the wrath of the one known as Mother Nature as she was angered that one would dare carve into her flesh and scratch at her secrets that should be better off if left buried. The main Keep of this nameless place was the most confusing of all the structures; the Romans and the Greeks were known to travel and conquer. They had been here as well, the distinct columns and pottery were a strong hint that perhaps a Temple to one of their Gods or Goddesses? But they had yet to find a hint of which one. Then over top of that the crude structures of the next building. Each structure that had been built on top of the older one and then sometimes destroyed; leaving only layers of ash to decipher. Only then to be rebuilt again on top of the old burned down structure or added to what was still left standing. Those that had found this nameless place wondered if they had truly found a unexplainable place of wonder, they could not hardly believe that this nameless place had lain slumbering peacefully for centuries while the Shepard’s and their flocks grazed on the grasses in the fresh green of Spring.

A crossroads of sorts to all of Europe perhaps or just an ominous black guardian to the great sea beyond to the west. No one knew definite answers, but there were many definite questions.

But now the sleeper had awakened; thought he himself who always soared the skies had yet to find his peace. Had yet to find sleep. He had watched the centre of his life fall through and he could not halt the progress of mankind and the cruelty that went him in his curse of immortality. Man had become a savage beast, far cry from the intelligent being he thought himself to be. For centuries he had watched his home crumble, he had been shown for centuries what was within his grasp, but forever out of his reach This nameless place did have a name, and the name was home. He had to watch the fine black stone crumble downwards to the ground and his home had lost its namesake that had been given to this hallowed Hall; the name of his home had been forgotten by all that walked this walked the earth. Even he had forgotten many things of when he walked on two legs with that of mortal man. He never forgot for he that soars the blood red dawn, that was the only exception to the rule.

A pamphlet blew by on the breeze, someone had rewritten this unnamed place onto the list that claimed this place to perhaps be more than what it was or would this place deliver all from not believing in ourselves. Who knew what to believe? This place had become the thorn in the well-oiled society of facts and history, a bad jest on history's part. Or was it? The one that had been the last to leave wrote in scribbled letters his dreams in this nameless place on this pamphlet lost on the wind. His forgotten reward.

He himself had waited so long for mercy, would he even recognize mercy? He watches the bright white document float by him as he glides in closer to his favoured perch of late. He did recognize the text, but alas he had forgotten how to read them.

The pamphlet read as follows:

Egyptian Pyramids,
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus,
The Temple of Aremis {the goddess Diana} at Ephesus
The walls and hanging gardens of Babylon,
The Colossus at Rhodes,
The statue of Zeus near Phidias at Olympia,
The Pharaohs {the Lighthouse} at Alexandria.

Each depicted by a tiny picture or hand drawn sketch of the place that had been written about.

And scrawled if fine red pen on the bottom of the pamphlet were written these words of enlightenment, and by that of the context of the wording there was no doubt left that the person truly had lost their minds. Whether driven by the lust of finding the key to all that lay out like a misshapen jigsaw puzzle, or from beliefs so deeply driven robbing the owner of normal use of their facility.

GOD HAS NO PITY ON THOSE THAT NEVER LEARN FROM THEIR PAST. FORGIVENESS SAVES THE EXPENSE OF ANGER, THE COST OF HATERED AND THE WASTE OF ENERGY. GREED I AM, I AM VERY POWERFUL ADVERSARY AND DOUBTING DEMON. GOD BURIES THAT IN WHICH HE KNOWS THAT MANKIND WILL DESTROY HIMSELF TO FIND THE KEY. THIS IS TRULY A BLACKWELL OF MANKIND. LET IT BE!

That was only one of many pamphlets that had blown freely around this place that man had over run for years on end. This place like the others had been built from the hands of many; and the hands of many also ripped this place without a name down. Stone by stone to the ground, only to be rebuilt again by men of higher greed than he had himself. He had seen much on this earth and much more than he could never close his eyes on ever again. Man is a terrible burden on this place he calls earth, he himself had been that way, but he was slow to learn the trials of Life. But no longer, he prayed that he had suffered enough to last ten lifetimes. He had finally learned that that beginning is the end and the end is the beginning, believe and you shall find what you seek. Just one continuous circle of Life. He had yearned and searched. But had he found the meaning of his life? And he had.

All the archaeologists and the diggers were dumbfounded to the fact that plumbing and other grand indoor selections that were thought only to be recent inventions were in actual use before even the vaguest of sketches were ever to be seen on any drawing board. They had a hard time believing in what they saw and touched and felt in their hands. Reality was sometimes a hard thing to swallow; most here had choked on this information. The archaeologists had traced the boundaries of this nameless place that no one knew existed or was ever listed on any of the ancient maps. Nothing. But it was still here. Of course there are many such places erased from history altogether for whatever reason only the Storyteller of this snarled yarn would know. And he was not telling at this moment in time. At least this was until Mother Nature took back all that she revealed. And the land would once more cover the deepest secrets and perhaps reveal ones of a less threatening nature. Perhaps.

For as long as anyone knew of or lived in this region the ruins had been buried, lost, forgotten. Until the rains of ’99 came and one quarter of the hillside slide away from the back portion. The black stones were just stones, that is until a young artist from Wales saw that there was a pattern to the lay out. With in a month, after money raised, the tents went up and the dig was on. And now the rains had returned to take back what they had given. Or had they?

No one had even known this slumbering black giant was in their midst. No one had ever remembered anything but the hillside and grazing the sheep there. Nothing else, no legends of an ancient village or township. All had been completely erased from history. Only the lambs of the spring could be remembered with great detail, no history to the hill. To the nearby villagers the hill was just that, a hill, nothing more. But man has known to be inaccurate on many occasions in recording history.

Only the dangerous rains were enough to get them to move, the diggers and archaeologists. Barely. But now the rains were on their way once again, the storm of storms made them run for cover. This storm was stronger than that of the one in ‘99. As of now the mud ran in thick rivulets wherever the foliage had washed away. And now man walked the hillside no longer, the forest, and the hillside returned to those that dwell here. And have always dwelt here.

A strange calmness had overcome the land that still had no name, a kind of calmness that one could feel on the nape of ones neck as on a cold winter’s night when sitting warm by the fire wrapped in the arms of home.

But to He that soars through the endless sea of red knows the name and cries out the name along with prayers of mercy that were never shown to him. But he had been shown the glimpse; the key to his undoing of immortality, a salvation from this eternal gift A key to this door so wrongly opened by he himself, so long ago. A Pandora’s Box of sort, beautiful and alluring, hideous and ensnaring.

The dawning sky was such a thin red line that only the one who had been there always could recognize the familiar signs of pre-dawn. The thin red line of crimson began to bleed over the eastern horizon, the painful rebirth relived anew each day. And he too must forever live out another day in this cruel punishment that was demanded of him and would live out the rest of his eternity this way. Unless he found the key to his past and the future door was opened again so that he may have a chance to turn his fate in another direction. But would he? Eternal life had become a curse rather than the blessing he had always assumed would be, was not. He would return.
A loud screech ripped throughout the morn across the land sending those creatures that still hunted in the night scurrying for the safety of the dark shadows; all would run from the one that had always saw and was older than they ever knew. He had been there for ages, he that soars through the crimson dawn. His mournful cry could be heard for miles in all directions in the near silent dawn, he had been in the creatures’ tales of yore that their fore bearers’ woven to frighten them to sleep as young ones. They did not know why he was there only that it had always been this way and the simple creatures were not like that of man, they did not question the things and elements that they did not understand. Instead they made up legends to explain the events that had little or no explanation at all. And the weaving of the yarn of He that soars through the red line of dawn had been past down generation by generation until no one could remember if He that soars the red dawn had a name. So He became known simply as Legend in the realm of those that still were bound to the earth by wings, four legs or swam in the streams and rivers. And He was greatly feared.

A lone black falcon soaring through an endless sea of crimson red, the morn sun came up to greet him one last time.

At the start of the road that man had brutally carved into the flesh of the land, He had travelled this very road once had He not? After countless centuries He barely remembered much these days. Ten or more lifetimes ago from a time when He walked on two legs and without wings; to have a strong sword arm again seemed almost unreal now that he had a glimpse of what the key to returning to peace was and so near at hand. The large cleared space opened below him as he soared a hands width above the ground to his perch. The ground below was a haze He flew so quickly and with exacting experience; after all he had done this countless times. The large cleared space where the ground had rolled with great beasts thundering with out horses and belching out acrid blue poisonous smoke into the air. What evils this place had become over run with that of the wasting creature called Man. He himself had never changed, but he world around was no longer alive and growing, ‘twas dying. He had seen things that would blind a mortal man, he had enough of immortality. One must be so careful for what they wished for, the wish mayhap be granted.

The narrow road had led once to a grand archway only held dirt now and broken shards of black masonry stones, the cobblestones themselves had long since turned to dust and forgotten. A tall thick post had been pounded into the ground and the sturdy information board had been nailed to the post with giant rusting spikes driven straight through. And it was on the information board that He made his perch to survey his lands but never convey. From here He could see all and watch his lands fall to ruin. He could see the many documents flapping in the wind, some danced away on the wind, freed from their place. The text was that of naught of his calibre, He seldom remembered the words only the hues when He heard them spoken. One of the many documents flew by him with wings of its own; He pulled up and readied his talons to grasp the soft wood.

The lone black falcon came to a rest on his perch of the information board; He despised all that he saw within his black loveless heart. His long sharp talons dug easily into the softwood that had become saturated with the heavy rains, if one looked carefully one could see the metallic sheen to his talons, he was truly the only one of his kind. And he was not amused at what he saw, man had become what he had always kept in his own heart; cold and loveless. His ever-watching black bead like eyes glimmered like that of metallic diamonds, as he looked over the documents. He could understand only the simplest of text; He was to rely on instinct, instinct only. One of these documents was the key; would he even recognize the key? The wind around the area of the post picked up in strength for no particular reason, his ebony feathers rustled in the wind. Had He been finally shown a hint of mercy? He screeched at the fine red line of dawn, damning her for her insistent song that seemed to haunt him to his very being. The music had haunted him long enough; no longer did he wish to live forever.

Soon he had located the one piece of paper that was the document that would mayhap free him from these eternal chains; He thought He would find happiness in immortality, but alas he had found only misery and woe. How wrong had He been, if only He knew what He knew of now, He would not have chosen the left hand path of his destiny. He himself blinked at the documents, one more so than that of the others had caught his attention, although he could not understand the text he knew that he looked at the key to his destiny. This one document would seal their fates as one. He knew that this was the only key and the door still had to be opened by another; He still had to remember from his past and embrace his future. He did not have to go this way; He could always stay the way he was. But this was his last chance to vindicate his calling; He had chosen wrongly and yearned for a second chance at what he had lost. A thousand lifetimes sounded like a dream, how quick our dreams become our nightmares and the return path to the living hidden by the doubts that haunted us and consumed until we were twisted and contorted shells of what we once were. How lucky they are He thought, never to see the same sunrise and the same sunset for centuries come and gone. His thoughts had become harder to decipher and organize; He was becoming the black falcon in mind as well as body. Soon there would come a day where he could not be able to decipher between the two and beasts instincts would be the only ones he knew.

The large black falcon reached over and snatched up the one document that would save him from this ever happening again. Would he not ever make this choice again if he went the right hand path instead of the left, which He himself could not answer; but He would not be banished to this hell ever again damning him to a sentence much worse than that of death. He pulled on the document, the paper came free easily in his sharp orange yellow beak; He than proceeded to tear the document into shreds that would never be seen. The shredding was little effort on his part; after all He had ten lifetimes or more of rage building up in his breast. He closed his eyes and looked out to the lands that could have and still could possibly become his home. And what he saw was another realm of a much younger earth, in this world the shouts of freedom rang from dale to grassy knoll, glen and lea. Here a man could live by the sword and claim his fortunes, he could also die by the sword as well. In his ancient minds eye he saw shaded groves of willow and the sweet smell of the foxglove. The air alive and heavily scented with that of the spring and growing things. His eyes opened and they were full of tears for that of the entire mankind, for mankind had nearly truly and fully destroyed what had took eons to create. He watched the shreds dance away on the wind; those were the pieces of his soul fluttering away on each tiny shred. He would not be satisfied until every shred of evidence was gone. Of course there would be no returning to his birthright that he had left from, besides there were other more important things that were yet to come to pass that He had to look forward to. The Key.

And those would be the things long since forgotten would be remembered once more. He could wait the last moments of the end to the beginning of the start of the next. The black falcon took flight into the small amount of night that still ruled for awhile longer. He spread his ebony wings and leapt into the air, no longer could he refuse the song of the morn sun, her melody a hard pull on his cold heat. For the last time he took fight to caress the red ball of the sun; or at least He prayed this would be truth. ‘T’would have been better to die by the sword than to live out a thousand lifetimes of pain and suffering and all seeing. Only a thin sliver of the new day that showed through was all that would be seen, soon the sky above shall be so dark and foreboding that even the birds shall cower for cover. But He would embrace the juxtapose with all his being. He flew fast and sure into the thin red sliver of the red line of dawn; He flew directly into the red flaming sun.

A long black falcon soars through an endless sea of red....

1 comment:

Djierke said...

It is early...even the sun is struggling to rise this morning. I have finally finished the first installment that I started reading about 3 days ago. Simply amazing. You have a way with words-twisting them, bending them to your will that leaves me mesmerized. I wait now for Part 2. Thank you for sharing m'lady.
~Dirk

That's Life

That's Life
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The Master Of Her Domain

The Master Of Her Domain
There is One for everyone. The Master of my Domain is the axis in which my world spins. There shall only be but One. Among men and women, those in love do not always announce themselves with declarations and vows. But they are the ones who weep when you're gone. Who miss you every single night, especially when the sky is so deep and beautiful, and the ground so very cold......