Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bird of Prey

Standing high atop a mountain, looking out upon the land, a hooded figure waits.

The dawn has broke and the sun's rays slowly cascade over the sleepy land. Lush trees, winding rivers, and little villages populate the countryside below the looming mountain, where the hooded figure watches intently.

His dark eyes scan the land and sky from under the dark shadow of his hood, then narrow into slits as he spies a speck of movement against the brighting sky. The dot of black moves ever closer, becoming larger and more defined in shape.

The hooded figure smirks as he watches the distant object become the soring shape of a majestic bird. Its massive wings beating periodically; slowly, just enough to find another up draft to carry itself upon.

As the dark brown bird approaches the mountain top, the hooded figure raises his arms aloft and in a booming voice, calls out to the bird.

“Come, oh bird of prey!” His voice commands thunderously. “Come to me and aid me in my quest!”

In answer, the bird screeches out and swoops down from on high to where the man stands on the mountain.

“Come, my friend.” the hooded man greets the bird gently as it flutters to a landing on his outstretched forearm. “Once again you come to my aid in a time of need.”

He strokes the bird's proud head of soft feathers, and the two look into each others' deep brown eyes; eyes that are the same. In silence they commune with each other, high up on the mountain top. Until at last the bird and man nod their mutual understanding, and the bird lifts off with a beating of its great wings.

As it takes flight it calls back in a screech and the man pulls back his hood, revealing his fresh, young face and fair, brown locks.

“Go my brother.” he says quietly in the morning air. “Go forth and bring back to me what I have lost.”

He holds his arms up towards the rising sun.

“Bring me my sandwich!”

His voice echoes out, while down below, on a ledge not far from the bottom of the tremendous mountain, a fallen sandwich lays in wait.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Heart of Bees

Once there was a wizard whom did not want his feelings and emotions to distract him from his art. So he took out his heart and replaced it with a satchel filled with a swarm of bees.

And, ever buzzing within, then wizard was able to focus on his magic to become a most powerful sorcerer.

Unfettered by his emotions, he led a long and productive life; using his magic he helped the world become a far better place. He healed those that were ill, solved the age old problems of energy and food shortage, and even quelled the warring nations of the world with his wisdom.

The world became peaceful because he had found a way to avoid the distractions of the heart.

And then one day, an old friend came to him with a question; she asked if he had been happy with his decision to live without his heart?

He replied logically by saying that had he not, the world would have been much worst off if he had. Having only a satchel of bees, he was neither happy nor sad about things, but he knew in his mind that it had been a good thing and that people were happy, and that is all that should matter.

But she said that she had not been happy. For she had loved him ever since they were young, and that it had weighed heavily upon her own heart all these years.

On this the old wizard thought for a long time; had he missed out on a happiness of his own?

Coming to a decision he then said to her that because the world was now at peace, he could return his heart back to its proper place and be happy once again.

So they went down to his cellar, where in a small oak box he had hidden his heart away in secret these many years. Through magic he had preserved is and when he unlocked the box there was his still beating heart, strong and healthy.

His friend smiled and looked on while he carefully opened his up chest to replace the bees with his heart.

But over the years, the swarm had become angry at being kept captive within a satchel within his chest. And when the wizard finally set them free, they turned against him and his old love, stinging them unmercifully until they lay dead on the dark cellar floor.

They then grew in numbers, gathering their strength until their buzzing swarm darkened the skies of the world.

With no magical magician to protect them, the people of the world were helpless against the swirling hordes. Within a matter of days, the world that had at last found peace was no more.

And at the heart of it all, as with most things, was a swarm of angry bees.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Princess' Heart

Lighting cracked the darkness of the night sky. Thunder boomed as the bolt of electricity struck a iron rod atop a high tower of a massive castle.

The flash illuminated the dark for an instant and revealed, high on another spire, a shadow-
veiled figure perched silently.

Un-phased by either the lightning or its thunderous sound, the figure peered down upon the empty court yards below. None were out on this stormy night; none but the black-clad figure on their dangerous task.

The second after the next flash of lightning, the figure leapt deftly off the high ledge and fell quietly through the thick air. A rope trailed loosely behind as the shadow of the figure plummeted down and then went taught as it reached the end, which was tied securely to an old stone gargoyle; its horrid face watching passively as the figure swung back towards the tower.

As the thunder rumble in the sky, the intruder slipped into an arched window, leaving the harsh outside and entering the castle without a sound; a phantom in the night.

Inside, the figure rolled to a stop within the shadows of a small chamber; the only room of the highest spire of all the sky-scraping towers of the castle. A chamber that housed the treasure the thief had come to steal away.

Across the land, the fabled Princess' Heart was a gem that was said to have given the light of life to the once inhospitable desert that was now a lush and verdant kingdom; the capital of all the world.

The thief knew that such things were just romanticized mysticism told to add to the grander and illusion of the fat and bloated men that had used the riches and resources of weaker nations to further fill their stores.

But if the Heart could be stolen away, then perhaps the world would see that its capital was not as all-powerful as it would seem.

Perhaps, but whatever. The thief only cared about the fame of stealing the most coveted treasure in the world would bring!

Across the room, atop a glass pedestal, it shone.

Outside the chamber there were no doubt guards stood ready, but inside, the chamber was empty except for the brightly shining gem the size of a grown man's fist.

Careful not to make a sound, the shadowy thief made their way across the chamber floor into the gem's glow.

The light the massive, clear jewel shed was brilliant but not at all harsh. So as they approached the thief needed not squint or shield their eyes from its beauty. Reaching the pedestal the thief stood in awe of the gem's purity, and fumbled with the black wrap that hid their face.

Pulling aside the gauzy material she revealed her beautiful, flushed-cheeked face. Her jade eyes danced with the light that pulsated from within the gem. Her tongue licked her ruby red lips as she cautiously reached out for the Princess' Heart.

She lifted it up from its cradle and was surprised at how light it was. The light within it pulsated faster, matching the beating of her own excited heart.

A flood of warmth came over her, as if she was being embraced by invisible but familiar arms that made her feel safe and at home.

“Thank you.” a small voice came from behind her.

The thief turned quickly to see another young woman coming out of the shadows, unseen until now.

“Who are you?” the thief questioned as she guarded her newly acquired treasure.

The young woman was wearing a flowing gown, that of a noble or princess. And her pale cheeks became warm as she smiled and approached.

“I was once drawn here as your have been.” she said dreamily. “to steal away the gem that my father the King had locked away up here. I thought such beauty should be shared and seen by all the world, not locked in a lonely tower chamber. But I became a prisoner myself.”

The princess drew closer to the thief, who pulled the gem away instinctively.

“But now you have come to set me free.” the princess whispered happily. “Thank you.”

She leaned in and kissed the young thief's now pale cheek, then turned to walk back into the shadows.

“Wait, what do you mean, prisoner?” the thief asked confused. “I didn't come here to rescue you, I only want the Princess' Heart.”

The princess turned as her image began to fade into the darkness.

“Oh but you can never leave.” the princess' voice was sweetness, but underneath was a tone of malevolence. “For you now hold in your hands the Thief's Heart. And now you and it are one and the same.”

She smiled slightly as she disappeared from sight, leaving the thief alone in the empty chamber, her treasure; the gem of her heart, beating brightly in her hands.