Wednesday February 27th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: the rune.

Since Kat was required to attend the first year class of her online course yesterday, she had today off - which meant she was able to join Max and I at Mother Goose this week.

He seemed to enjoy having both of us there. In fact, during one of the very few, very brief quiet moments, he decided to start babbling. Very loudly.

Since he'd not done that there before, it took me a moment to realize the noise was coming from my son. Startled the hell out of me.


A hooded figure moved in the darkness of the monastery, maneuvering around chairs and avoiding loose floorboards with practiced ease. Stopping before a large oak door on the lower levels, an iron key was fit into the lock and turned. The door was pushed inward, the figure entered the room, and the door swung shut and automatically locked itself.

All was accomplished noiselessly, as though a ghost was responsible.

But this man was no ghost.

A match whispered to life, lit a thick candle which sat upon a desk in the middle of the room, and then was blown out by a dusty breath. The flickering light revealed a small space, its walls brimming with books large and small.

The man did not lower his cowl then, as if he feared the shadows that remained in each corner of the room would bear witness against him. After taking a moment to gather his bearings he moved to a shelf opposite the entrance and extracted a thin tome, no wider than a finger, no taller than his hand.

He brought this back to the desk, placing it gently upon its surface. Easing himself down into the only available chair, he allowed himself a few measured breaths as he studied the cover.

Saint Zephyr's Collected Runes

Much was sacrificed to fill those pages. Powerful spells lurked within. Spells of last resort. Spells that were meant for a night such as that.

With a wrinkled finger that hardly trembled at all, the man reached out and turned to the first page.


Greg said...

Max sounds like quite a handful, but in the best way. And I bet Kat was pleased to be at Mother Goose and watching you coping with all this!
Heh, I did wonder what you were going do with your rune, and that's a nicely creepy little piece with plenty of potential for continuation. I rather like the name of the book, which understates its purpose just a touch :)

Mine's a tritina, because I know it's been a while since I wrote much poetry. I still don't think much of the form, but hopefully this won't be _too_ repetitious.

The runes
Upon the tomb of Magnusson
inscriptions wrote in runes were found,
and academics gathered round.

A man was carved, both tall and round,
so clearly this was Magnusson.
Then when translations had been found,

the runes told tales of what he found;
of things he killed, and travelled round,
and celebrated Magnusson.

Lord Magnusson, when found, came round....

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

I started a thing, but then Safari crashed on me and lost it >< But! I remember what I wanted to do! I'm backtracking today.
- - - - - - - - -
I knew these back alleys like my own name, so how I got lost is beyond me. What was worse, I was certain someone was following me, and I didn't have a clue who it was.

Corner after deceptively-familiar corner wound and writhed around each other, until finally I turned the corner I was most sure led out of here.

Except it led to a dead end.

I scowled at the brick wall before me, and was just about to give it a good kick when I heard my pursuer come to the entrance of the alley.

The footsteps that had followed me hadn't been hurried, and now they ambled even slower towards me. I continued to face the wall.

"Well," said the footsteps' voice---low, solid, and warm---and sounded pleased with himself and curious about me.

I wasn't one to take bait, but I couldn't help myself, the word just sat there. "Well what?"

"We didn't think it'd take this long to find you." I tensed. I swore I only heard one set of footsteps.
"Oh," he continued, and took a few steps closer, "I'm the only one here, but I'm just doing an errand. You're important to a number of people, apparently."

Me, important? I actually laughed. "Who says I'm important? Do they know who I am?" I still didn't turn around.

"Actually, they do, Thomas Alexander." I gasped, though immediately regretted it.

"Who told you that?"

"The runes did. Well, they knew about the Foretold in general terms for quite some time, but the name only came recently."

Again, I don't tend to take bait. But when piffle like runes and fortune telling get thrown around all bets are off. I turned around.

"What kind of jive you talking?" I demanded, trying to bring myself to my full height, which ended up as an exercise in futility. I had shot up in recent years, but this chap was a good head and shoulders taller than me, and could barely fit in this dead-end alley. A character even I wouldn't dare cross, and yet something in his eyes wasn't entirely unkind.

I swore I saw a hint of a smile. "I don't 'talk jive', Mr. Alexander---"

"It's Tom."

"---I'm telling you what's so. And I can't explain much now since we're out in the open. But you'll get an explanation when we get there."

"Hold on. Who said anything about going anywhere?"

"I did. Just now."

"And who said I'd be going?"

"I did. And you will." I was about to open my mouth to protest when this gent cut me off: "I'm under orders to bring you back with any means necessary. That means either we walk, or I carry you back like potatoes. And frankly you're probably lighter than potatoes." I scowled at him, though he moved not an inch, which startled me for some reason.
"Which would you prefer?"

I screwed up my mouth in discontent---which drew out no response---so I sighed and said I'd come with him, on one condition.
"I have to know your name."

"Fair enough. The name's Scotts."
- - - - - - - - - - -

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, I'm kinda tempted to continue it. Perhaps I'll get around to it.

Not too repetitious at all, I think the form worked quite well here. And that's a delightfully creepy final line too :)

g2 - ah, you did continue that! Most excellent :D

Another layer is added to the story, and a very interesting one to boot. I am most definitely enjoying this.