Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Charybdes - story sample from Beyond the Forest of the Dead and Other Stories


She was born in the depths of the Abyss, skin of alabaster and hair like living fire, delicate and supple as a willow, her eyes blazing with the flames of her birth and her wings, stretched and formed of flesh as of a serpent, showed her Daemonic origin. Her creator, Veles, was with her in that moment when those ruby eyes awoke to the pain and delight of new life and she felt the hunger of her empty soul.

Veles filled her and left within her the seed of knowledge. She lived a thousand lifetimes in a clouded breath. Felt death and love, fulfillment and longing and with a soft, sharp cry was possessed by such lore that the sages of earth would lease their souls to attain.

She fell to her knees and drew her serpent-skinned wings about herself and though she could not sleep or dream she closed her eyes and found herself shivering naked amid a landscape of ice and freezing stone. There was a small chain of silver-coated iron about her ankle, silver so that it would not sear her flawless skin, and a collar of the same about her throat. Her eyes looked on all this in wonder and her mind drank in the new world around her so different from the place of her birth, the fire that gave no light or darkness which nourished her. This bright cold world was a torment and she wept.

She knew of time but had not experienced it till the light began to dim and the cold became a thousand knives that cut at her, but the darkness, the darkness was very sweet. When the light was gone she unfolded her wings, shook them and broke a shell of ice which had formed about her. She could not fly and although she had never flown knew that flight called to her as Veles had called to her, but the chain of iron and silver bound her to the stone and she could find no release.

Charybides stood and stretched her wings till they scraped against the cold walls of rock at her sides. She stood like the daughter of a God stepping from the bleeding cavity of his skull or a vision from the heart of a shell rising from the ocean deeps. Hers was a grace that no mortal could ever duplicate.

The chain sounded in a small chorus, its links had been adorned with bells and they pealed with tiny voices as she moved. A deeper louder fuller bell gonged in the distance. Charybides stopped, not in fear as she knew fear only as an idea, and listened. From a point beyond where she was there came the deep bell and a rumble that she could feel through the soles of her feet making the tiny bells of her chains cry out in small voices in response.

The light had not returned and she could see, not as a mortal sees, but in the way that fire sees. She watched the darkness blaze with colors that moved and danced and flowed like the crashing of waves.

To be continued...

I also have two fantasy novellas available for sale on kindle.


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