Here I am

Writing about the ocean on a day when I feel about as far away as a person can get.

There aren’t any waves except the ones I’m making, the tide just went out,

The seagulls aren’t bothering me.

There’s no sand in my shorts or ferry boat ticket stubs in my car,

No sudden burst of coconut scent when the bronzed waitress passes by to deliver Mai Tai and Margaritas,

No sneaking out back with the band to smoke a joint,

No chicken shit bingo.

I’m about as far away as a person can get.

Advertisements

Black Petals

Image result for black rose petals

“If he had only listened to me none of this would have ever happened in the first place!”, thought Theodora as she prepared the petals.  She had been drying the rose petals inside her diary for quite some time, and before that, she had died them black.

She had never intended to send them in a letter, but now she wanted to let a certain treacherous thief that she knew what he had done to cause her so much trouble.

So Theodora took out 13 of the petals and placed them inside one of her envelopes,  sealed it with her waxy Red S, and sent it West with her raven.

“When he gets this he will know that I know,” thought Thedora.

How had things gone wrong with Kitsune?  It seemed like a budding alliance: he was a Setite, he was a thief, and she knew that he would make a good ally and a solid member of her clandestine organization in service of King Chaka.

“I should have never left the camp, despite my fear!”, she said out loud to herself, “But if I had stayed here… I wonder… with the necromancy, and the corruption in mind… how would things have gone for me?”.

(to be continued)

Farewell, my love, my Shani, Deux

20190702160129_1.jpg

The guard took hold of Theodora as she almost fainted upon the sudden knowledge that it was Shani who was arresting her, “and what for?”, she asked herself as her heart broke and she began to weep.

“Shani! What are you doing to me!?!”, screamed Theodora as she wept.

“You will be bound until your trial Theodora of Vendhya”, replied Shani, flatly, sternly.

At this Theodora tried to fall again as she struggled with the guard and wept in large waves of body shaking sadness that fell upon her like a stone.

“Shani, I was your comfort when you were a slave in this camp!”, cried Theodora, “show me mercy now, what have I done to have you before me like this, my only and closest friend, how can this be?”.

“Look here Theo, at entry 8 of your diary!”, replied the Queen as she showed Theodora the book, “you have condemned yourself and will face trial!”.

“My diary!? You have access to all my thoughts because I love you Shani, you are my closest friend, my only friend, that is why you have access to my diary!”, she exclaimed, and then she turned inward, whispering, “you break my heart…”.

Upon hearing these words and seeing that Theodora was in great distress, Queen Shani hesitated, and tears began to flow down her cheeks as well, “and you break my heart Theo, why have you forced me, forced us, to arrest you? Can a King rule without laws, you must face trial!”

Suddenly the Queen’s demeanor was stern again and she became angry and said, “Why did you flee? and not stay and seek justice with Chaka?”

“What justice my Queen?”, replied Theodora, “did you not see what he did to poor Audhilde before I slew her?”

The Queen continued, ignoring what her prisoner had said, “And I am angry that it is I imprisoning you right now Thedora!”; “You will be allowed to move about the camp under guard, but do not try to leave, on pain of death, do you understand Theodora?”

“As you wish my Queen,” replied Theodora, and then she did not speak to Shani again.

Theodora’s Diary Entry 11:

Here I sit and weep. All that I have done is to make Chaka a great king. But he torments me night and day and will not forgive me for killing the Nordheimer. Curse Sekhet! She asked me for it and then colludes against me. Taking my slave Kitsune and inciting Chaka to tar and feather me. I will never forgive her for her this. I would have given her an army. Nevermind her. For now, Chaka is my hope, he always was, and all I have done is for him.

But now my heart is broken beyond repair. My friend has handed me over. Where is Pia? she would not keep her comfort from me in my hour of need. I hope that they kill me so that I do not have to look at her or be in her company again, it is too painful. Why has she done this to me? She even took my things for the bracelet.

I will never speak to her from my heart again. Farewell, my love. 

 

Farewell, my love, my Shani

20190702085113_1.jpgTheodora left her tower in the cold mountains, she left everything.

And now she longed to see her beloved friend again, “Shani, how I miss you Shani, soon I will see you again!”, she thought to herself as she got out her quill and parchment.  She then happily wrote a letter to let Shani know– sending her raven with it to Camp Bone Claw, the center of the Darfari in Exile Kingdom.

Necromancy changed Theodora and her mind had become clouded with corruption.  Only the time away from the camp had given her mind a chance to cleanse and refresh. Her thoughts were clearer now and she longed to return to her tower and to her Shani.

 She penned her letter thus:

“Dearest Shani, I am returning. While I have been away I have come to realize that the necromancy has been corrupting my mind and keeping me from my goal of removing the bracelet. I will return to my tower in preparation to go back to the Black Keep and get the next artifact. Your friend, Theodora the Vendhyan.”

After that, Theodora started the long trek back to Camp Bone Claw.

When she arrived at her tower room the first thing that she noticed was that Shani was not there as she had said in her letter.  Then she looked inside her chest to find that all of her precious things, things needed to remove the bracelet, were gone.

“Where is Shani?”, she said to herself, “I long to see her and she is not here.”

After that, Theodora sat down to wait a while and write in her diary:

This is what she wrote:

“I have returned to my tower in the Darfari camp.

I do not know if I am safe here but I was losing my mind before I left for the north, though I did not know it at the time.

The necrotic powers that Oteku gave me were causing me to lose focus and enter the world of the corrupted undead– it is likely because I am not fully skilled in the arts as I should be.

I will stay here until I am ready to venture forth again to the Black Keep and secure the next artifact I need to remove the bracelet.

Hopefully, the corruption that has afflicted me will not hinder my goal.

–But it is nice to be back in my room. Shani is here sleeping now. She is my beautiful guardian and my best friend. The great Serpent blesses me with such a friend. But what will Chaka do? I wrote him that letter and shamed him, will I die here in this camp? Gods help me.”

When Theodora had finished writing these words in her diary she became restless and went out onto the balcony of her tower and called out, shouting: “Shani, Shani! Where are you! I must see your face at once!”

It wasn’t long before the Queen came riding toward her tower on the cable car, and Theodora’s heart leaped for joy.  “Shani!” said Theodora, jumping up, and with a bright smile and joy in her heart.  The Queen smiled and waved back as she walked down from the car and into the tower.

Theodora waited on the balcony for her. Then, when Shani didn’t appear as soon as she expected her to, went down to her room to find the Queen there, with a guard.

“Shani! It is so good to see you again!”, said Theodora as she hugged her Queen in joy.

Queen Shani’s face did not return the smile… and soon Theodora was in chains.

(to be continued)

A Memory of Bad News

Theodora was just sitting down to her breakfast when a servant knocked on her chamber door, “my Lady, news comes from the front at Uttarakuru, your mother asks that you join her in the dining room immediately.”

Theodora’s heart sank as she answered the servant and said: “Thank you, Arjun, I will be down after I am dressed”.

Her mind raced: “my father! the news must be about my father!”, she thought as tears began to spill out of her eyes.

“Set save him! let it be news of a different sort,” she muttered as she began to sob and get dressed, “he is not dead, it cannot be.”

But the news was true.  Sadar Rajni Rajna had been slain by a terrorist who did not wish to be under the yoke of the Kshatriyans.

The terrorist who slew the Sadar is called Garan Johdahr, a wizard of the Uttara Kuru nobility– Garan suddenly appeared inside the command tent and pierced Rajni through the neck with his arcane sorcerer’s blade.  Poor Rajni died instantly, and before the guards could take hold of Garan, he vanished into the mist and was never seen again.

Theodora dried her face, opened the door, walked down the hall, down the spiral stairs, and then into the dining room where she found her mother in tears and surrounded by attendants.

Upon seeing her mother in this condition she fainted in grief and fell to the floor unconscious.

When Theodora awoke in her bed she thought that she had been having a nightmare.  That is until she opened her eyes and saw her handmaiden, red-faced from crying, at her side.

“Beloved Pia, tell me what I know is not true, save me!”, said Theodora in her grief as she rose from her bed and collapsed into the arms of her servant.

Pia started to cry again and said, “I am sorry my beloved Theodora, your sadness is real and your father is dead, but I am with you, now and forever my Lady.”

“Sweet Pia, what will become of us now!?”, asked Theodora as she sobbed.

Pia said nothing as she enfolded her broken mistress into her arms.

20190702085113_1.jpg

 

The Meeting of Zod and Ursa

Sun_Transparent_PNG_Clip_Art_ImageAs Zod was led through the ghost wall towards the place where he was to be tied to a cross, he daydreamed about his homeland and the company of a certain young woman named Ursa. Ursa was not from Khitai and Zod’s father strictly forbade him from seeing her.

Ursa was from Hyrkania across the mountains to the West.  She had been taken as a slave by Kaghan’s relative, who was a member of House Bataar    After some time living in Bataar’s house, and after she had come of age, Ursa was apprenticed to become a concubine.

Zod met Ursa when they were both 16 years old.  When Zod saw her she was sitting down to eat her lunch under an oak tree near the Bataar main house.  Zod saw her and thought that she looked like an angel, and after gathering his courage, walked up to her and said:

“Zod wishes to sit beside you and enjoy your beauty and company, what do you say, loveliest of House Bataar?”

Ursa looked up at Zod and replied, “My lord may do as he pleases since I am only a slave in this house.”

With that Ursa smiled at Zod and his heart leaped inside his chest.  Then Ursa, seeing that Zod was enamored and speechless, continued, “Sit beside me my Lord Zod, Son of Kaghan, I do not bite.”  She then appropriately covered her mouth and giggled as Zod sat down beside her on the grass.

Zod had never before encountered a girl as beautiful as Ursa.  To him, her beauty surpassed that of even the Empress! Even though to say, or even think such a thing, was treasonous– this aspect only added to his fire for Ursa.  
Soon the two were lovers, then close friends, and then soul mates of an exceptionally deep spiritual connection. 

Zod would never again feel the way he did during those years… and as he thought of Ursa, tears began to pour out of his eyes and roll down his cheeks.

 

A Spectacle of Fearsome Acts

220px-Set

These are the tales of Ishmael the Wise, former citizen, scholar, priest and soldier of Khemi.  His exploits were many and his downfall tragic.

I, Sasur-amen, chronicle the many exploits of those bound to The Great Serpent through devotion to the Sacred Crocodile of Set Militant.  Read and hear my words and know this tale of wonder.

When the moon was waxing gibbous and the grackles had migrated from the temple grounds, in the days of Ctesphon III, Ish-mael of Khemi was an acolyte at the central temple.  He was 25 years old.

And it came to pass during this time that Ish-mael of Khemi happened to be on his way to Taba on an errand for the High Priest. He was to deliver a parcel of ceremonial daggers which had been blessed.

For this mission, he was not dressed in his temple garments, choosing instead to dress in traveling clothes without any markings of his station.  Thus,  along the way, Ishmael was held up by bandits who stole his parcel.

Enraged by this and not wanting his teachers at the temple to know that he was robbed, Ishmael left the road in search of the bandit hideout.   He would make an example of the bandits and recover the stolen ceremonial daggers.

Ishmael made his way through the dense forest, spotting and tracking the signs of the bandits’ egress.  He followed the bandit’s trail until at last, he spotted their camp beside a small cave.

Now when Ishmael the Wise had found the bandit camp he laid down silently in the brush and watched them for a long while. Once he was satisfied that their number was five and three women and two children, Ishmael took off his garments until he was naked, and with his khopesh and shield in hand started towards the campfire by the cave.

One bandit stood beside the campfire and saw Ishmael walking towards him but did not speak before his head was removed by the khopesh.  Covered in blood and in a furious rage, Ishmael then made his way inside the cave where there the three women and two children were just beginning to realize that they were in grievous danger.

Through tears and shrieking cries for mercy, all five were cut down.  Then two of the bandits returned from a hunt, they also were killed.  After that, the final two returned to the camp after having unsuccessfully tried to pawn the temple daggers– they were slaughtered and their heads were removed.

Ishmael then gathered up the parcel of daggers, the two bandit heads, and a pike that was leaning against the cave wall.  And after cleaning and dressing, Ishmael went back to the place in the road where he was robbed.

There he took the pike and fixed it into the ground, and then shoved one of the bandit heads on it.  Then he took the other head and placed it on the ground beside the pike, and then shoved one of the ceremonial daggers through it and into the ground to hold it in place.

Once finished Ishmael said, “Now these irreligious bandits will know that touching a servant of Set can only lead to death!”.

Ishmael then continued on to Taba.

Thus says I, Sasur-amen, Chronicler of the Order of the Sacred Crocodile of Set Militant