Monday, January 12, 2015

1-12-15 Writing Warm-up
8:18 AM

1-12-15 Writing Warm-up

1-12-15 Writing Warm-up
Artwork © Jian Guo, All Rights Reserved -
Story and Characters © Corey Blankenship, All Rights Reserved 
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”

Stone chipped and churned as semi-solid breakers, sawing amid the chaos of the sea. The air convulsed and roared. Still, my feet continued to climb in the deepening gloom, upon the shattered pinnacle that had once been fair Mount Athelas.

My body protested the arduous defiance of Nature, but even she reeled as water replaced moor and timeless rock unhinged from ancient roots. The land--and its very spirit-- fell about me in shambles. I could not let my spirit tear apart with the disintegrating realm.

“No, you old fool, you mustn’t give up now!”

Athelas’ humbled crown tumbled yards before my feet into the swirling ocean. Spume, mist, and smoke coiled in frenzied whorls. Leagues ahead lay the buckled ruins of beloved Gol-Mora. The pinnacled crown of our people, the spired city-temple of our race, the home of knowledge and peace for, in an instant, a tortured, sinking ruin. How many still lived?

My eyes fell to the sickly cauldron that bubbled with a molten light between Gol-Mora and Athelas. The gate which tore open the Wall that kept back the Sea and Spirits. The portal that had spat out the Beast of Ending, Drak’anthi. With a withered hand to rheumy throat, I called forth to the beast.

Be Gone, Demon! The time of Peace has ended, but the War has not. Beware the might of ancient Athelas.

Wings of ash, scales of obsidian, and fangs of fire danced in terrible laughter. The twin ranges of spines rippled as the Beast swiveled his mountainous head to face me. A voice as mirthless and ravenous as tar pits burning seared the air around me.

And what tick has fled the dung hill to prick my ears? The War, if a Slaughter can be called thus, was won ere it began for you, Vermin.

Flee, flea, if you can. That is the only mercy you shall have from me.

His words gnawed in caustic menace. I felt my will retreating from its violating touch. I do not know what rose to meet the venom of his malice; I simply felt a pure spring of peace surge from deep within me. This hidden well cleansed, brimmed, and overflowed. Then came joy unfathomable, as a vision of a fairer realm in a greater time flickered within me. Athelas upon a field of endless green, and a city unnamed and beautiful between her protective knees. I soared on an eagle’s course, higher, until I saw green Athelas as an emerald amid a dancing chorus of colors. The realms flickered, then burned with unfaltering life. The vision vanished and returned to soot, fire, spume, and stone, as I held the dragon’s gaze with my own.

A world unhinged is not a world unmade. The time of endings has not yet come!

Bez-dul-ali, Drak’anthi! Bez-dul-ali, Drak’anthi, perez Athelas Al’nun-ali.

Thus, began the battle of Unspoken Fathoms.

Dragon roared a thousand curses,
from harrowed hill to desolate deep.
Of slaying, skinning, scaling, wailing.
Thunder-splitting, endless hailing.
Fire’s eager burning, rent rock overturning.
While I proclaimed healing sooths,
Of hallowed grove, sacred truth,
Of growing, sowing, flowing, blowing,
Sun’s rising, stars shining.
Hearths warmed, hearts’ glowing.
Air stilled and moonbeams sprouted,
As ancient power dueled and spouted.
Daemon’s roar and meteor’s flight
Burned against the oily night,
While minute man on broken rock,
Answered holy truth to demon’s mock.
Of first song, forgotten story,
Creation’s spark, ancestral glory,
Of blackened days, darkened nights,
Rebellions blazed, failing lights,
Repentant tribes reconciling,
Reclaimers who ceased defiling,
Of vile rites stopped and broken,
Of peace as penance’s token.
Of the snapping of elder ills,
Of returning Spring and daffodils.

The world already rent and roiling, had at the dragon’s words hastened its decay. Darkness curled back toward blackest night, and chaos called forth to Void long-hidden. Shadows danced as the last song had bidden. The rheumy voice of sage came calling, and the end of all things of-a-sudden started stalling. In the midst of breaking, the world remembered its first waking. Of fresh-lit stars, new-formed seas. Of blinking voles and buzzing bees. Clean blew the air around Athelas, father of mountains and friend of glens.

The sea calmed and the rocks ceased to rend. Demon howled and pitched as struck by sacred dart, down into the dimming gyre. And with one last gleam in his feral look, the Beast struck me down with flaming rock. We fell into the deep, both to toss in eternal sleep. What came After who can tell, for the rest is written in another’s story.


If you enjoyed the poem in today's Writing Warm-up, you'll LOVE our latest release, Sketchbook of Scrivenings! It's chock full of thrilling verses like this one. Check out the link below!


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