the present/presence of life

[When I completed the circle for the third, the sword and stone] . . .. . . began to sing to each other. Sword pulled at my hands, so I plunged him into the ground facing his runish stone.

A wondrous sound in this silent world. Tonal call and response between the half-finished runelets circling Sword just below the hilt, and the ancient runish stone, carvings more visible to the touch than to the eye.

I stepped back, stretched out on the ground, using my arms as a pillow to rest my head against a large rock. Perhaps it was the hypnotic rhythm of the intertwined voices, or an enchantment in the river. I did not realize I had slept until I opened my eyes to what passed as day-light.

Sword was by my side, glinting like the day my Great-Grandfather took his first swings with him at the forge. The corresponding runish stone’s runelets so clear, the master carver had just left with his tools (lovingly carried in a dark leather roll).

Sword hummed a quieter version of last night’s song cycle. I picked him up, and sliced through the air, his weight more substantial and yet more ephemeral. It was then I noticed that the runelets on Sword were now complete. Looking at the stone, the missing halves were now carefully carved.

The second stone remained forlorn; dull, imperceptible runelets. Sword’s scabbard matched: burial dirt; tarnished metal; dents and scratches. Redemption only for two.

I assumed this had been Sword’s quest: to be made whole. Had Great-Grandfather, in haste for quest or battle, scooped up the sword before the runelets were finished? Or, was there a purpose for two sets of markings that completed each other through song?

Recovery from a mortal wound was my Great-Grandfather’s gift to me. Sword’s gift, a quest. What gift had I given? Providing legs for the journey? I hoped it was a more integral, special role.

Sighing, I placed bright Sword in dull scabbard, pushed them into the cord sword belt I had fashioned, and wondered what next. Still a quest to the fine green line on the southern horizon, or had destiny changed?

I waited for a sign from Sword. The still, suffocating air suddenly vibrated again.  The runish stone sang a bittersweet tone. A song of death and rebirth. At it’s base was a tiny green shoot. Life in a world of death. To the south it was then. A quest to continue. . . .

Written for MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie Fairy Tale Friday #38, the Gift.

Continuation of the story cycle*: Great-Grandfather’s Sword; 1 is the loneliest # ; The Runish Stones 

*These posts. taken together, do not form a traditional story cycle.


11 thoughts on “the present/presence of life

  1. phylor December 16, 2014 / 3:45 pm

    oops, took some medication for my back — should be writing!


  2. wendy December 15, 2014 / 10:47 am

    The next quest….


    • phylor December 16, 2014 / 9:12 am

      Ah, not to reveal the plot line just yet. Sword and the Narrator are not quite finished yet. Don’t know when they will appear again. Time and writing prompts will tell. Glad you want more!


  3. Bastet December 13, 2014 / 3:45 am

    How beautiful … can’t wait to see the next phase!


    • phylor December 16, 2014 / 9:14 am

      As I mentioned to Wendy — time and prompts will tell when we shall met the Narrator and Sword again. I have a few ideas that I might post with out a prompt to hold them up. The wordle this week has some words that gave me ideas, but not 10 of them, lol.


      • Bastet December 16, 2014 / 2:51 pm

        It will be interesting to find where you go with them … I don’t think it’s the prompts that prop them up ,,, more than anything else, they give us the community reads.


        • phylor December 16, 2014 / 3:37 pm

          True. And, I do have 3 more episodes “written” in my head. One came as a result of the wordle. I guess the prompts give me ideas on how to fit my wanderings thoughts, and scraps of chapters into something less ephemeral and more concrete by writing them down in response to a prompt or challenge.
          All the encouraging comments about this story are very appreciated. As are suggestions about our questing Narrator and Sword.


          • Bastet December 17, 2014 / 10:52 am

            I guess prompts work a little like a loom in the sense that we have all the wool and the designs in our head … it’s just a question of getting them together.


  4. summerstommy2 December 12, 2014 / 7:00 pm

    I love how you are exploring Great Grandfather’s sword, trusting it it to lead you to the next phase. Very clever writing indeed.


    • phylor December 16, 2014 / 3:45 pm

      Wriiting about Great Grandfather’s sword is my quest.


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