Of the Featherless Tribe

Jul 23, 2013 by

Feather_Study_by_Phoenix_CryVarrok of the Sun Stone, speaker of the Skies was old. He could feel age creep upon him in his hollow bones. Though the sun shone above him and the clouds whispered a sweet day as winds ruffled the long grass of the plains around his gathered people; their moods were sour. Their beaks and eyes dark. He stood upon the stone with the Speaking Staff clutched firmly in his talons. When he raised his foot to tap it to the stone to signify the beginning of his judgement, it was most usually a means to silence the crowd. Today, the sound rolled over the silence of them all and reminded him of the plains thunder before a storm.
“We are one mind, one feather, one flock,” he began, the words so old none could say when they began. They simply where. The crowd solemnly repeated them.
“I have called you today to pass Tarro’kar, judgment upon one of us. One of us has done something that is not Amushor. One of us is no longer part of the flock. He has done unclean things–”
“Father!” A shout from his left and behind him. Wearily he closed his eyes against the image of his son, bright blue feathers with gold trappings stripped being drug by guardtalons. He did not want to see it, but he would.
“Silence when the Speaker sings!’ He cried, hearing his call cut like sharpened stone.
“Father, please! Just listen to me–they’re not evil! Please, father! We love each other! We did nothing wrong–”
“You will be silent or I will have you silenced!” He opened his eyes and swiveled his head around over his back, shouting the words. In threat, he lowered his crest and body to the ground, opening his beak half way to hiss dangerously. His son shut his beak with a soft clack and lowered his head in submission. The guards drug him before the crowd and he shook himself and his feathers back in place as he sent his eyes out over the gathering instead. It hurt less when he did not look at his son.
“For the crime of betraying his flock, his people, for the crime of being with a Featherless One, I reject you.” He intoned. Then, in symbolic rejection, his talons clicked softly on the stone as he turned to present his back to his son. He heard the thousand quiet clicks of his people do the same–turning their back on his son. My son, who should be standing on this stone and not me.
“We do not see you in the skies. We do not hear your song. We do not tap your names in the ringing stones. You are no longer.”
He heard the sound of his son sobbing as they took him away. At first it was loud: as loud as the lack of wind that had suddenly stilled. As loud as the tears of his wife, who buried her head under her wing and tried to muffle it. As loud as his heart, limping away in his chest. Then as he was drug away the sound grew further and further away. He wanted to turn and watch his only hatchling that survived, go. His only child. His only son.
He wanted to take him under wing and preen him. He wanted his wife to no longer weep.
As the sound of his son sobbing faded, so too did his hope for an heir for his people. He cursed his son. He cursed the gods. And he cursed himself.
comments

Related Posts

Share This

Aten in the Palm

Jul 8, 2013 by

egyptian_temple_2_by_magikstock-d4rvw7d

Being queen had its moments. The roar of the crowd as she’d ridden on a chariot formed in gold and lapis lazuli had dazzled her mind. Their cries of her name, their reaching hands, their words had been thunder fit for any god, boiling along her veins. Later, when her husband hunched his groaning way off the chariot, drooling and mumbling she did not even seem to care this time. The crowd was still singing in her blood. The danger and the fire still burning. She dared drop a lotus flower, their signal, and run off breathless as a maid away from her Queen’s guard.
He was there waiting. So tall, so dark with eyes as warm as honey. His beautiful face was a adder in disguise, she knew, but she could not help herself. He was everything her King was not. In his mad embrace for wild moments, in between kisses and hungry hands, they spoke of their love, their lust and…their problems.
“And what, he who gladdens my heart, makes you think that he will believe such things?” In the shade, away from the harsh daylight, none would dare say anything for fear of their death at her bidding. He nibbled on her earlobe, he suckled at her neck then pressed his mouth against her temple before speaking.
“Oh lotus flower, oh sweet sister–” Laughter and desire made his voice warble as a birds. “Are you not Queen of all? Are you not his beautiful companion? Are you not a goddess yourself?”
Before she could grow angry at his daring, his words–he pressed a small trinket to the skin of her breast. She reached up in annoyance to grasp it from him as he laughed in the face of her anger. Too pretty to be smart, she thought in annoyance before glancing down at what was in her palm.
It was a single, small gold disc. Aten, a representative of the sun no bigger than her thumb, scratch free, flawless and polished so well that even in the shadows it somehow found the sun. Clever, clever one, she thought. A smile bloomed as wide as the river.
Akhenatan, and soon, Egypt herself would stand in the shadow of Nefertiti’s brilliance. Neither would be the wiser.
comments

Related Posts

Share This

Mr. Bitey Teaches a Lesson

Jul 7, 2013 by

Lightsabers_In_PS_by_Vasper

“Master?” A piping question from down below his hip came, the notes in her voice held both curiosity and trepidation. It had only been a few weeks since he had taken her from her home world, her parents, everything she knew and loved. He still remembered the sound of her mother quietly crying. He tried not to dwell upon things he could not change.
“Yes, Nalla?” He reached down to guide her shoulder out of the path of two very busy as well as not paying attention twi’leks, their head tails twitching madly in gossip. Above them, hundreds of lanes of vehicles dotted the sky of Coruscant. Their puttering motors and gleaming metal were as much part of the city as it’s graceful durasteel towers and glittering lights. He caught his Padawan staring agog at them more than once and said nothing. She would grow used to it in time.
He watched her round blue eyes flutter briefly to a couple head to head on a bench facing one of the many gardens that dotted the way toward the Jedi Temple.
“Will I marry you when I am old enough?”
He nearly walked himself into the two twi’leks. They sent him a glare and he bowed gracefully and apologized before pulling his Padawan off to the side.
He forgets, sometimes, just how different his home world is from hers.
“No, Nalla. The Jedi order forbids marriage or relationships like such. Especially between two jedi.” His double hearts finally stopped beating like they’d been surprised by a rancor.
Her little nose wrinkled and her mouth puckered in a half-frown, half very heavy thoughtful expression.
“You can’t love anybody when you are a Jedi?” He could hear she wasn’t sure she liked or understood the idea.
“There are many types of love, Nalla. A Jedi must have room in his or her heart for all as well as the Force. To love someone above all or the Force can lead a Jedi down a dark path that is difficult to recover from. It is too easy to let jealousy and passion rule where peace and calm must remain. “ He never knew what to expect with Nalla. She was his first Padawan and she had kept him on his toes more than any of his Masters at the Academy.
She wiggled small and still chubby-with-youth in spot, signalling she was giving her Master’s small lecture great thought. She was, after all, only a youngling and quite new. It was generally unusual for a Master to pick a padawan at such a young age. But the bond between the two had been strong and obvious at the start. He did not question the Force, he merely followed it.
“Do you understand?” He finally prompted her, gently. She hadn’t stopped wriggling about.
“I think so…It’s like when Nalla chose Mr. Stuffy over Mr. Toothy and Mr. Toothy felt sad and jealous and said mean things. So I shouldn’t be like that, I shouldn’t choose Mr. Stuffy or Mr. Toothy but love and help both to conquer Mr. Bitey, because Mr. Bitey is just very bad– but not to yell at them because I am a jedi and I must not give into anger.”
…He was very sure that his slow blink was  heavy enough to be audible. It took him several moments to remember the tattered collection of stuffed toys she was unable to bring with her; these must have been their names?
The Temple really did not prepare him for this.
“Just so, Nalla. For a Jedi to love one above another–” He paused here, cleared his throat, “–there is a chance to become just like Mr. Bitey. So–”
“When can we practice again, Master?”
He felt guilty as he rose and heard himself let slip a sigh of relief.
“When we get to the Temple, Nalla.”
As he answered each of her questions as patiently as he could: where is the temple again? Why is it taking so long? Why do we have to walk? Why can’t you carry me? Do I have to wear the same robes you do? Why do you have horns? Can I paint the horns? Why–he could not help but feel that it wasn’t just his padawan that had learned a lesson that day.
comments

Related Posts

Share This

Fate and a Gun

Jul 2, 2013 by

gun_png_by_doloresdevelde-d5fye4hHe was, quite simply, mad.
Though she knew he did not start that way and his thread was never knotted to be so, some things were well out of her hands. Which, in retrospect, the thought would have made her slightly smile if it wasn’t for the fact the chill barrel of a gun was pressed as surely as a lover’s kiss upon her temple.
“I said, undo it! Unravel it! Un-unknot it. Whatever it is you do, you fucking do it, got it?” In the caverns, his tremulous and cracking voice bounced along the walls as a child’s toy thrown in grief.
“I cannot,” she repeated herself quietly. He smelled like sorrow: salt and tears and sweat and fear. He had not washed in several days. She did not think he had eaten, either.
“You can,” barked. The gun was painfully shoved into her temple, pushing her head violently to the side. She straightened herself best as she could and noticed that she could see the smallest sliver of light underneath the blindfold.
“I cannot, there are rules I must not break.”
Even the smallest click of metal as his finger tightened slightly about the trigger felt louder than any of the screaming he had done earlier.
“You can either break the rules or you can be dead. This is the last chance I am giving you.” His hand had trembled earlier, his voice wavered with hidden tears. Now she heard another note. A note that finally made her hands on needles and thread in her lap move. She picked up her golden needles and began to weave the hole in the path of Fate that the death of his wife made.
A car accident a week ago. It had not been her wish to end the woman’s life so suddenly and it had not even been knotted into the string of the woman’s life. But Death also had his own rules and his own way of things. His string she could never see or touch, so she could not tell when he would throw an unseemly tangle in her careful stitches. And so it is what it is, she had thought seven days ago. But she had not counted on him. There had not been a human in the caverns of the oracles in thousands of years, the old gods should have been long forgotten, the old ways of summoning buried deep.
Should. Yet, here he was now, grieving for his wife with a gun to the head of Fate.
“Please,” softly. “Please rethink this. You do not know the consequences. There are some things which cannot be re-done,” she pleaded, even as her hands skimmed over the work that was usually familiar to her. It was a tad more difficult to knit blindfolded, with a gun to her head.
I don’t care!” Shouted. “I don’t care. She’s…She’s my everything. She was everything. She’s all I have and if you do not bring her back I will end you. I will end you, and then find all of you and kill them too until I have what I want.”
She did not doubt him. “All right,” soothed. “All right,” her voice was calm but it was her turn for her hands to tremble. She found the string she wanted, knotted it around her needle and slipped it through. End over end and around and about, in her mind she could envision the faint cavern’s light flickering off gold as it had done and always did for centuries.
“It is done,” she intoned. There was a strange echo to those three words: a warning, a sadness, and a finality that even made him hesitate. She could feel it in the way the gun barrel pressure on her temple lessened.
“What–?” He did not finish. The sound of Death’s footsteps were that of long passed leaves, dry shed skin of serpents tussling with one another in the wind. One moment silent and the next moment she could hear the silk rustle of his robes as he rush-stepped (never ran. Death ran for no one) over to touch the man on the shoulder. As he did so, the man died. The gun, his last breath, crashing to the stone floor.
Death eased the blindfold from fates eyes. She blinked the light back into her vision and glanced down to the lump of the human who dared to find and threaten a god.
“If only they listened to our warnings,” she murmured sadly.

What is FF month?

July is Flash Fiction month, where authors and writers attempt to write a 55 – 1000 word story a day for the month of July. Fate and a Gun is the first Flash Fiction for July, inspired by Flash Fiction Month deviantart’s group; where text, visual and audio prompts are given to inspire fellow writers. Join in and visit Flash Fiction Month here: http://flash-fic-month.deviantart.com/
comments

Related Posts

Share This

Crow

Jun 29, 2013 by

SONY DSC“I can see why they named you Crow,” said, while he reached with sticky hands to smooth back her black hair. Straight, glossy-clean, soft as things he had no names for (because in his world, soft was not a part of it.)
“Though you didn’t caw in time to save any buffalo, did you? No, not even once to save yourself,” chewing thoughtfully, he pulled a small bone from between his teeth and gestured with it as he spoke.
“Do you know that legend?” He tossed the gnawed bone over his shoulder and waited. “The legend of how Crow came to be black?” She didn’t answer; dark brown eyes stared past him. It wormed in his belly a moment to become a small fire of anger–women and their eyes. They always had a talent for cutting you with them in a single, dismissive rake.
He leaned forward and shoved the tip of his thumb between bone and lower lid. A sharp small movement with enough force that prised the eyeball out of her socket in wet, squishing—pop– release. He raised it, twisting it right as well as left to stare at it thoughtfully.
“Perhaps if you are a good girl, I’ll tell you one day.” He grinned, slipping her eye between smiling lips.
comments

Related Posts

Share This