A fib of foxen dashed through the tall grass
and into the bush.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Friday, December 27, 2013
Saturday, November 16, 2013
“Wut tat tummo” He inhaled with her breath, slowly allowing his lungs and abdomen to fill. He exhaled with her, lightly gliding his fingertips over her burnt hair and charred bone. Upon expiration, he tensed his abdomen from the bottom up letting the lullaby well from deep within himself, as Kunden had instructed him to do a lifetime ago.
The words were less an articulation of his lips and tongue and more the result of his breath, will and posture. In this way he was and instrument and the simple song; his saving grace. This was all he could do sometimes to calm the baby she dragon.
“Wut tat tummo…Wut tat tummo”
Shilog changed the pacing of melody and enucleated different vowels to create some variety. He’d already lost perception of time. In the deep mountain ceremonial chambers the lighting was a luminous jade emitted from fungi Shilog had never been interested in examining and the reflection of that light in the pools of dark water Shilog was afraid to approach.
Slowly, painfully slow Shilog mopped at Tummo’s black hair with a wet sponge. The water helped to coagulate the plasma that burned her from her inside, out.
“Wut tat, tummo…wut, tat tummo” Shilog drew out the last vowel into a hum. Kunden had taught him the tones for the body’s chakras. Drawing upon his apprenticeship to Edmund Greer, from the life he knew when he was called Adalgiso Baeri, Shilog could convert each vortex tone into a musical note. Tummo responded best to C.
Shilog dampened the sponge and squeezed out the excess before gently placing it back onto her red inflamed skin. The skin had begun to grow after the plasma cooled enough on her bone and formed blotches of black, fowl smelling, tar. If he could keep her from scratching at the tar it would eventually harden into a caprice and fall off with healthy skin beneath.
Shilog had begun months ago with her feet. Shilog would kneel on a rug in the center of the chamber and stir the water in the buckets with the sponge. Slowly, Tummo would appear from the recesses of the dark cave. Shilog would sing through the musical scales being mindful to not linger too long on any of the tones above the heart (fa). After the first couple of rounds she’d have a seat on the ground close to Shilog, but never close enough. Shilog always stifled a smile when he has to comply. After healing her legs and feet the rest of the work was comparatively easier. She sometimes seemed to enjoy the grooming. She would balk and grunt, but made no motion to stop him.
To fully lull her to restfulness Shilog began to hum the melody. It took a better part of the first session before he realized the coincidence. He spent the remainder of the session in silent awe of his new found perspective.
Shilog watched her chest rise and fall. She was sleeping. He slowly slipped his lap from underneath her large head. She’d grown since he was last down here three days ago. She’d eaten the oxen Shilog had left for her in those three days, leaving only charred bone. He estimated that she must be closer to seven feet by now.
Shilog winced against the pain his nervous system was reporting from his sleeping legs and pelvis. He inhaled silently and exhaled sharply through pursed lips has he thrust his legs straight. Tummo stirred, but did not wake. Shilog twisted and contorted while the needling sensation moved in waves through his body.
When he could support his weight without pain, Shilog gently tipped over the remaining bucket of water allowing it to flow towards Tummo. Her skin gave an audible hiss, but did not disturb her sleep.
Gathering his buckets, but leaving the rug Shilog crept towards the steps and mounted the stairs. On the third landing Shilog looked back to the sleeping monster. He felt a great pity for her. All she’d known up till now was the suffering of her own existence. Shilog lowered his head for atonement and prayed for an end to her suffering. When he was finished he recouped his buckets and again began his ascent.
Next: Honey and Locust
Mother knelt before the crew of the Silent Night. He had intended to lead them in prayer, but could barely bring himself to form a vowel without beginning to blubber and sob. The Monks had dressed the captain in a white linen shroud and wouldn’t allow his triorne captain’s hat to be placed on the body. Mother clutched the filthy hat against his chest and buried his face into it as he sobbed, smearing his face with filth and sea salt.
The crew was now crying, although no one pulled against the rope that bound them to the funeral pyre as a thirty-man pyramid. Each ragged respiration from the crying crew echoed off the stonewalls of the cavern and were lost, bouncing off into the vast expanse of the chamber. Some of the monks began to pour oil on the pyre, the crew and finally themselves before taking a seat on the ground in a loose circle around the funeral pyre. The remaining monks lit torches and incense flavoring the air with a could scents Mother had yet to encounter despite all his travels. The smoke began to irritate Mother’s eyes. He pulled his kerchief from his neck and wiped away tears and salty filth from his face.
His captain would be furious if he saw the state of his first mate and his crew. He would rage and the sea and storm would rage with him. To be dishonored on his wedding night would shame the soon to be immortal name of the dread pirate; Captain Abraham. Mother righted himself and took a long pull from the flask of the captain’s rum that dangled from a rope tied to his belt. He never wanted the Silent Night nor it’s beastly crew. He had only ever wanted to serve his beloved captain.
Mother had sailed over every ocean. He had stood on lands his own mother and father would not have been able to believe if the archangels themselves sang their praises in the privy. He had only his captain to thank for that. Mother owed Captain Abraham many debts that could very well extend beyond this lifetime and he intended to pay as many of those as he could right now.
Mother clapped together his thick, salt stained hands. His captain has taught the crew this trick. One clap called for silence two for prayer. The singular thunderclap echoed off the cavern walls fading into an unseen distance. Mother’s mind wandered for a split second as it followed the sound deeper into the mountain sanctuary into recesses that he doubted many of the monks had ever ventured. The crews had stopped their mourning and were working to restrain the tide of grief they were feeling. Mother licked his lips and tasted the last of the captain’s rum. He took a torch from the nearest monk and inhaled gently.
Although, Mother had never led the captain’s dream song, he knew it well enough. Captain Abraham led the crew with the song in the evening before supper from the first night after he had the first of his dreams that eventually lead them here. Mother had felt inspired by the clarity the dreams had given the captain. He knew where to guide the Silent Night from that point forth, as easily as he knew the song upon waking.
Ko…Si Ra Saa…” The crew blinked absently at Mother. Maybe they would only
respond to Captain Abraham’s deep rugged voice. Chi Va
A panic caught Mother. What if the crew were over come by their passions? The crew of the Silent Night were renown for their demonic furies thought the seaways. Over come with grief and madness there would be nothing Mother could do to quell their wild rage. Mother licked his dry lips. The salt filled his mouth, mixing with whatever rum remained in his saliva. He inhaled and relaxed into the next verse of the prayer allowing the words to build on the vibration within his chest, giving the song a nice hum.
“Ar-Hang. Ka Ru Ni Ko. Shap Pha Sat Ta Nang.”
The monk standing to Mother’s left began to sing the prayer as well. There was almost a look of surprise across the monk’s face. Mother couldn’t bother to give it more than a passing notice. He inhaled deeply and allowed to next verse to come from deep within his belly.
“Oh Sa Ta. Tip Pha Man Tang. Pa Pha So.”
The remaing crew and monks began to sing along filling the cavern with song. The monks sitting on the floor joined the prayer a moment before the pyre crew began to stumble through the round. Through tears and ragged breaths, the full chorus of the captain’s prayer was sung.
Smiles began to break out on both monk and crew alike. The rounds were flavored by smiles and the prayer exalted. As the second corus swept into the third, the monks and sailors were laughing and smiling. They joined hands and began to sway in unison.
“Na Pai Tang Vean. Na Vean Ma Ha Kuu. Ey Hi Ma Ma.”
Mother could feel himself choke up as they neared the end of the song. He would not allow himself to cry again and noted how bitter the lump in his throat tasted. Mother swallowed hard and finished the song.
. Ro Kaa. Pa Ya Ti. Wi Nas Santi.” Na
Mother exhaled from his belly, releasing the last line of the prayer.
“Sa Tu No Pan Te.” A silence seized the chamber almost immediately. Against the oppressive silence of the moment, Mother forced a whispered prayer from the captain’s old gods.
“Yit'gadal v'yit'kadash sh'mei raba. b'al'ma di v'ra khir'utei”
Mother could not press against the silence anymore than that. He’d never felt a moment to be so silently demanding before. They had invoked some god or another and it would not suffer the mumbling of fools any longer.
Mother felt to monk to his right slip a hand gently under his elbow and begin to guide him towards the pyre. The remaining monks followed while the remaining crew maintained a circle behind them.
Mother had already said goodbye to the crew and fixed his eyes on the captain. Beneath the shroud the captain’s skin had already accepted a grey and blue hue. His thick black hair and beard framed a now other-worldly face. Captain Abraham looked almost peaceful or as peaceful as a thunderbolt could possibly look.
Within a few steps and before he cold ever possibly be ready, Mother and the monk were mere cubits from the ring of monks and the pyramid of martyrs. Mother could smell the salt, sweat, and oil mix with the lavender the monks had used to covered the captain’s body. Without pomp, Mother tossed his torch into the kindle. The remaining monks did the same.
The fire leapt from the ground and sucked the air from Mother’s mouth and momentarily blinding everyone in the cavern. Mother was flung backward, groping at the air for purchase he managed to dig his fingernails into the forearm of the monks beside him. The monk was wild with fear and religious ecstasy, and responded by grabbing at Mother and clawing at his face. Mother fell to the ground beneath the wild monk. The remaining crew pulled the monk from Mother before too much damage was done. They flung him to the side where he thrashed about and gnashed his teeth. Four monks carried him by each limb towards the steps carved into the walls of the cavern. The fire had flared and extinguished itself almost instantly. Later, the crew would swear they had see all the colors of the rainbow shining out of the funeral pyre
Mother bit his lip against the pain he felt from the burn he had on the right side of his face and arm. The monk had clawed away a portion of his left cheek, but the pain from the burn canceled out any other stimuli. Mother pulled himself to his knees and looked upon the pyramids of ash that were the remains of the martyrs and monks. Captain Abraham had taught him to count, to read too, but he wouldn’t need either of those skills. He knew that the pyre was short one pile of ash. Where the captain had been laid there was now only a gleaming black jawbone that looked to have been carved from the same volcanic glass they’d found from time to time in their journeys. The crew and a monk were pulling Mother to his feet and helping him towards the long ascent.
The monks were chattering in their tongue and rushing Mother and the crew up the mountain steps. Mother and the crew of the Silent Night walked the two hour ascent in silence. They shuffled through the monastery and out into the snow shower outside. The monks had erected a small tent city with a large tent in the center serving as hospital. Mother understood that the crew of the Silent Night would not be welcome inside ever again and he could feel that they were not long to over stay their welcome in this shanty town. As soon as they had guides and the weather broke they would make the journey back to the ship.
Although a small portion of him yearned to be hurt and confused Mother wouldn’t have it. He accepted that he was no longer within the protection of his captain. He was once again a pawn in the ploys of others. Mother layback in the arms of the monks as they carried him. Above him the stars sway in time with the movement of the men’s shuffling as they hurried towards the hospital tent. Mother absently clutched at his chest. He was surprised to find that he still held the captain’s triorne. Mother pressed it gently against his nose and inhaled the fading scent of Captain Abraham’s dirty hair. A pained smile started on Mother’s lips. They would again set sail in a month’s time and search the Night for a new captain.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
It's not a pretty picture or anything, but I like to see the inner workings of these types of things so I thought that you might as well.
Tummo sketch in action fighting hordes of bla bla bla...
Tummo sketch in action fighting hordes of bla bla bla...
|I can't get it to rotate so use your clairvoyance.|