Michael Brian Anderson is a cynic, a mess and an agnostic, who in spirit is truly a wayward soul lost in suffering until this person finds their life turned upside down in an epic journey through Myth, Folklore and a world of the strange, the wyrd, and the gifts from creation.Transforming like a chrysalis from a broken body into a full realized and rather imposing figure.This tale I spin is an epic invocation that transcends billions of years through space/time and evolution to cast what one can blossom into when unconstrained by limitations of the mind, and a full realization of the spirit, that a broken body and heart can heal and effect the very outcome of the Great Web of Creation herself.
Word Count: 157790
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
… Somewhere Along the Wheel of Creation
Two figures at the edge of a field in some remote location waited. The sun set sometime before, an iridescent orb now racing through the sky. Only a few minutes from the zenith of the moon’s path through the night, they stood just out of phase from their surroundings being cast in contrast by the opalescent blue halo of the full moon. Eerie contradicting shadows and stark pale light made for a calming backdrop to this desolate place. A late summer breeze giving sway to wisps of autumn just days away. This area that had been chosen was patchy and dry, most of the verdant green trampled away, years later a creek would form close by, bringing life-giving water to the rough terrain. The signs were present the waters bid their time in the aquifers below. This place was likely a foraging trail for prey animals, and if all things happened as they needed to, then it would be a snare of sorts catching the one they sought.
The figure furthest from a stand of brush and new trees was a short creature, clad in an ancient grey pelt that once lapped at the ankles of its wearer now dragging on the ground inches behind. The moon’s light cast its pale azure aura on the face of this aging woman. Her wrinkled and sunbaked skin shining like cracked porcelain now washed out by the moonglow. This would soon be her guise going forward. No longer would she be able to walk among the people as one of their own.
Nor would she be same as the new arrivals to the continent. This creature left that world long before, now only a witness to their ways. Within centuries, her tan terra cotta finish would fade. Her homage to the light of the afternoon sun would become the color of snow. With more and more tall ships coming from the far shores of Europe it was time to start her path in the shadows.
Like ants trailing in a line, urged on by the smell of a rotting carcass they came. More each season, they came. Newer and different banners, regimes and dogma, sadly with the same root of domination and conquest, they came! From all directions of the compass descending upon these bountiful lands.
Island chains and barriers assaulted and drown. Each picked apart, stripped of their unique wonders and consumed. Soon they would be a swarm! Millions of carrion eaters laying their eggs in the rotting corpse of the mother. This was foretold, so it was time to act.
One of three harbingers watching, waiting and preparing a safe place for the others to find their way watched the signs and knew this was the moment.
This ancient woman had made peace with this path long ago but she would miss her long ebony tresses. They reminded her of the one they waited for. Begrudgingly she let the silver take root. In only a relatively short time the long black locks cascading down the back of this once great animals pelt would be bound, entrapped and unmoving like a gourd.
Thankfully she already had the knives to wear as means to hold the silver threads in place. They had been a gift from an old friend, like the pelt and silken tunic she wore. Other’s had worked hard to ensure this path would come about, however unable to be present they passed these gifts to her.
Her companion on the right was much, much larger. Sporting an impressive rack... Of antlers. This massive creature was nearly four meters high, hoof to head. The sprawling rack of bone was nearly half as wide as the animal was tall. They were larger by twice the old woman’s size. A stoic and protective look in his deep hazel eyes, glimmers of stars reflecting back at her. As a sign of love and support for this endeavor, he periodically rubbed his nose on the woman’s pelt. Clearly, they were close. How fitting it was for him to be a stag at this precious time. Reaching her hand up she stroked the side of his face, her other holding a staff, some of whose component pieces could very well be half as old as the one they were meeting this night.
“Ah, he’s here.” All the years she spent reminding him of the importance to be on time appeared to have paid off.
“Evening Gina.” She chortled. He was still trying to be funny after all these years.
“That’s not my name.” responding softly.
“But it suits you.” The figure who spoke exited a stand of trees across from the trail.
His movements so quick and smooth, not ruffling a single leaf or blade of grass nor making a hint of sound. Unlike her, this tall handsome man had already donned the garb of the newcomers.
Clad in a wool trench coat, with the customary tunic, waistcoat, leggings and stockings he was hopefully prepared for what was being called the new world, at least by these latest brutes.
Many peoples throughout these lands and more so to the lands in the south had already perished or been corrupted. The madness of wealth had taken hold, an idol offered in return to the sick, dying and enslaved. Pelts and skins taken as trophies in the east and north, promises of friendship and brotherhood as hollow as the bones of any game bird. Sadly, the lives and fates of many of the first people were entangled like a nest of serpents with the peoples of the western lands of the far shore.
The three had spent much time on the other continents. Watching empire’s rise and fall, plagues and crusades. Ideologies clash and battles of will and ego consume nations. They had seen high points like reason and enlightenment, often constrained by fear and ignorance dissipating hope for the advancement of the species.
Masses of people from Europe through Asia slaughtered, burned, maimed or enslaved like the kin of Africa because of such simple and idiotic illusions of belief, wealth and constructs of power. As if the Goddess would be so petty to endow one person or group superiority over the whole of creation! Bedlam had taken hold of the world. Several millennia of cancer yet to be cut out.
He spun around for her, mindful of the hour to come. “How do I look?”
“Dashing as always, but that outfit is so provincial. It only leaves your head and hands exposed. However, will you cope?” It was always fun for them to make light of each other, another reminder of why they were here.
With a broad shit-eating grin he beamed his charm, even raising one eyebrow for effect. “Why, with my stunning good looks!” His dark eyes and full perfect face radiated an aura of sensuality.
“Still so humble...” Smirking.
“He fell for me once, so something will work in my favor.” Toning down the radiance to be more sincere.
“Yes but the second time, he saw right through you, even turned your approaches down several times if I recall?”
“True however now it is his turn to meet me, this me. Or the one I will become for the first time. I just hope I am the one he waited for?” That unusual feeling of insecurity nagging at him, what a gift to have been left with.
“If you’re having doubts, we can change this, you’d still meet but he wouldn’t have to know all that does. Or see what he will witness.”
“That would be selfish, he has the right to follow his path for better or worse.” Pausing only briefly, another distraction, this man pulled him from his calling. “More importantly there are so many souls at stake he would want us to try. Even with the uncertainty of tampering with the natural order, the way we are about to. We have to go ahead as planned.”
“You worry too much old man! Were not tampering with anything! The Mother has already allowed it to happen. We are just lighting the fuse!”
Twirling her hand in the air as she formed her thoughts. This woman had a responsibility to choose her words carefully. She had grown very wise in her time on the Earth. Her thoughts became words, became actions, which became deeds that impacted many lives.
“Think of it as simply tidying up the loose ends, so that our new, old friend has a place to come home to.” The stag snorted in agreement.
“Are you certain YOU want to do this? It will hurt.” The dark-haired Adonis asked the looming stag. It replied without speaking, as he always had.
“Then let’s get started shall we.” The wisewoman lifted the staff, its end broken. Sharpened by age. “All the signs are here and with enough time for it to grow. Blood, root, stone, and bone, under the Jackal’s moon. Please, my dear friend, unveil your true form.”
“It is humorous, out of the few people who have seen my true self this ritual will bring the one home whose face I have never actually seen.” He was somber almost losing himself to his thoughts as he let the glamour shed away. Focusing his will to contain the aura within just enough so that the land and the pair present would not turn to ash.
“Put your hand out.” Taking the sharp edge of the staff and holding it to this thing’s extended hand. “Do you think about him as much as I do? He was my new strange friend whom I now think upon as a son.” She ran the bone against his skin deep enough for the ruby liquid to spill out.
“I remember his name, a few memories, odd bits of conversations, some impressions. You both remember more than any.”
“It seems the impressions he’s left you with were strong enough to keep you interested after all this time?”
“His odd speech that hurt the head, I could not forget that. I do worry about the covenant. He would still be subject to it.”
She was sympathetic as she turned his hand over to drain his blood more efficiently. “Unless someone else paid the price.”
“I do not want that to be the case, however, it is likely.” Pumping his hand to speed the drainage. “I want so much to be with him, yet as the day approaches I fear what might be. I have strived to be better, less how did he put it? Slutty. Over these eons. It helps with the uncertainty.” The unusually confident individual paused, again trying to imagine the one who caused such feelings. “Waiting for him creates feelings like fear and doubt that I have not experienced before.”
He hadn’t grimaced at all and seemingly felt no sensation by the blood letting. The great stag walked calmly between the two of them and held his head high, unafraid. She turned the staff to the animal’s throat.
“I love you, and I will see you again soon.” Stroking his cheek once more. “Together!” The man and woman drove the bone deep into the stag’s neck up toward the brain stem killing it almost instantly. It stood just long enough for them to remove the bloodied object then collapsed onto the ground. A pool of blood streamed out, lapped up by the hungry earth. She broke off three small chunks of wood from the staff, stabbing herself with the shards giving each a taste of blood. Handing two to the man with the still bleeding hand. “Let them grow. One within and one without.” He palmed one fragment to his other hand where the blood-stained wood wrapped around his finger. The other fragment, soaking up his blood for a minute or so, was then placed it in the hole in the sacrifice’s neck. Within seconds a shoot budded up from the wound and spread several small leaves. “And so it begins.” Both reciting softly. She put the last piece away for safe keeping.
Recovering for a moment while the mystical energies dissipated. “Most mortals have those thoughts and feelings daily. You my friend, nearly the longest-lived among immortals, are finally feeling what it is to be alive. He has made an impression on you!”