Clyde B. Northrup

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Morgle Unmasked, Chapter 8, Part 4

Posted by gwermon on August 29, 2016 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)

29 August 2016

 

In this week’s installment from the third book of The Redemption series, The Morgle Unmasked, we continue with Rokwolf and Sutugno, the latter telling the former what he means to her, sealing her words with a kiss; now Rokwolf responds. . . .

 

Chapter 8, Part 4

Rokwolf shoved her away. “Have you taken leave of your senses?” he exclaimed. “Have you forgotten the vows made when you entered the kailu order?”

Sutugno staggered back, looking shocked and hurt, but then she laughed. “What order is that?” she said. “Have you taken leave of your senses? Haven’t you noticed the destruction of Shigmar and the kailu order that used to reside here, of which I used to be a part? I have no order to be loyal to, for by refusing to go with the others, I took myself out of the order, if it still exists.”

Rokwolf shrugged. “Well, even if you are not willing to keep those vows, I still have mine,” he stopped.

Sutugno laughed again harshly, interrupting him. “You mean the same order that kicked you out,” she retorted, “for no reason.”

Rokwolf went white. “How do you know about that?” he asked. “I haven’t told anyone, not even my twin.”

“I can see it in your face,” she replied evasively, “and I heard you talk about it as you slept. Besides, why else would you be here, alone, rather than out there somewhere leading a group of seklesem as you used to do?”

Rokwolf did not reply, knowing that there was nothing he could say.

Sutugno pressed her advantage, swaggering up to him again; he watched her but did not try to avoid her, keeping his eyes locked on her face, but this action drew his eyes to hers, and their enchanting blue depths. She wrapped her arms around his neck a second time and leaned close to him; Rokwolf felt his ears flame but kept his arms at his side, afraid to embrace her again.

“Now will you kiss me?” she asked, then added, “like you did before?”

“Only if you promise to open the door and let me leave,” he replied, trying to ignore her soft, bare, and very warm flesh pressed against him.

“Fair enough,” she replied, “but I’m coming with you.”

“Only down the hallway to find my twin,” Rokwolf noted.

“No,” she retorted, “I’m going with you wherever you go.”

“Absolutely not!” he exclaimed.

“Then the door stays closed,” she replied with a mischievous grin.

He tried to push her away but she clung to him tightly, pressing her advantage, trying to kiss him; he dodged to the side, and she, instead, kissed his cheek and neck, playfully biting.

“Stop it!” he said, trying to pull away, but the touch of her lips on his cheek and neck distracted him, and his attempt was feeble; instead, he changed tactics, reaching his arms forward as if he were giving in to her. This move caused her to pause and look at him, but he had raised his arms behind her back in order to signal Klaybear by touching the proper symbol on the verghrenum wrapped around his forearms.

Sutugno moved her face in front of his, suspicious of his actions. “What are you doing?” she asked, catching his eyes, which held his for a moment.

Rokwolf tried to move his head to see past her, but she kept her face in the way, her eyes still locked on his. “Trying to signal my twin,” he replied.

“He can’t open the door,” she replied as they continued to move their heads: she blocking his view, while he tried to see past her.

Rokwolf smiled at her. “He doesn’t need to,” he said. “He can make a new door.”

Her face changed. “And come here himself?” she asked; Rokwolf nodded, still smiling, but the look of adoration that held his eyes vanished, replaced by anger and madness. “Excellent idea!” she said, which made him pause in the act of touching the right symbol as she had stopped trying to block him. She let her arms slide from around his neck and down his chest to his belt, where one hand grasped the hilt of his dagger and jerked it from its sheath. She turned and ducked under his arms, then swaggered back to the bed; Rokwolf followed her with his eyes, arms still held up, one hand poised to activate the symbol on his forearm. She knelt on the bed, holding the dagger behind her back. She looked back at him, her face filled with both grief and hunger. “Then after you explain to him what you are doing here with me that would require that I be naked,” she used her free hand to draw his attention to her naked body, and his eyes followed, moving her hand slowly from her chin down to her knees, and as she did so her face changed, softened, becoming the face with the same passionate look that had drawn him into the swamp in his dream. “You do find me attractive, Rokwolf, don’t you?” she asked, changing direction suddenly.

Rokwolf swallowed hard but did not answer: he did not dare answer.

Sutugno read his answer in his silence; she got up from the bed and started toward him, still holding the dagger behind her back. With her free hand, she stroked his cheek and leaned forward to kiss him; he did not resist but kept one eye on her other arm and the dagger held behind her back. She kissed him for a long moment, further weakening his resolve, before turning away.

“Then, when you have told him about our night of passion, naked in bed . . . ,” she said, but he interrupted her.

“Night of passion?” he protested, his mood changing as quickly as hers. “Naked? I was still dressed, and I do not know how you came to be naked: I had nothing to do with it!” he exclaimed.

She whipped back around, and he realized at once that perhaps he should have held his tongue, for she pointed at him with the hand holding his dagger. “Nothing to do with it?” she shouted, waving the dagger very close to his chest. “Do you deny getting into bed with me?” she flung at him, jabbing the dagger at his chest. . . .

 

Come back next week to read Rokwolf’s answer and the conclusion of this conversation. Purchase the full ebook copy of this book, along with others in this series, from your preferred bookstore, using the following smart-link: The Morgle Unmasked. If the reader prefers print, order it from https://www.createspace.com/4526375" target="_blank">CreateSpace. Good reading!

Friday Poet's Corner

Posted by gwermon on August 26, 2016 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)

26 August 2016

Poet’s Corner

 

Last week, Tennyson added music to what we see in the courtyard, adding to the strange ritual occurring as the fountain erupts; this week, we continue with the latter half of Part 2 of “The Vision of Sin”:

 

[the music]Ran into its giddiest whirl of sound,

Caught the sparkles, and in circles,

Purple gauzes, golden hazes, liquid mazes,

Flung the torrent rainbow round:

Then they started from their places,

Moved with violence, changed in hue,

Caught each other with wild grimaces,

Half-invisible to the view,

Wheeling with precipitate paces

To the melody, till they flew,

Hair, and eyes, and limbs, and faces,

Twisted hard in fierce embraces,

Like to Furies, like to Graces,

Dash'd together in blinding dew:

Till, kill'd with some luxurious agony,

The nerve-dissolving melody

Flutter'd headlong from the sky.

 

Now we see the warbling music of last week become a crescendo of sound, causing all surrounding the fountain to rise and grab each other, notice this action is violent, and when caught, all wear expressions that are ‘wild grimaces’, partially obscured by the dim light. Now the dance becomes wilder, as if the participants are flying around the fountain, the dancers entangled in each other, until all collapse, the music trails away. Notice that the poet calls the music, ‘nerve-dissolving’, reinforcing the idea that all have fallen in a limp heap of bodies, ‘kill’d with . . . luxurious agony.’ One does not require a Phd in literature to recognize what has just happened! This place, as the poet wants all to see, is a palace of sin. More next week from this strange, more Romantic than Victorian, poem by Tennyson. Until then, good reading!

Morgle Unmasked, Chapter 8, Part 3

Posted by gwermon on August 22, 2016 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)

22 August 2016

 

This week’s installment from the third book of The Redemption series, The Morgle Unmasked, we shift to Rokwolf, as he watches over the mad Sutugno, and his strange dream about Tevvy. . . .

 

Chapter 8, Part 3

Tevvy swayed drunkenly atop a small round table, dodging mugs of ale flying at him from all directions; he sang at the top of his lungs a tune Rokwolf recognized at once as a bawdy song about a serving wench, but the words were his explanation of caravans attacked and the strange behavior and appearance of the wedaterem on the road between Kilnar and the Forsaken Outpost. As the awemi finished his “song,” his feet flew from under him and he fell off the small table, but as he fell, the inn’s common room melted into what must have been an inn’s cellar, packed with barrels and crates, lit only by a single, weak and flickering, lantern. Tevvy was about to land on his feet, and the noise of the common room started to fade, but then he fell through the floor of the cellar into a marsh with drooping trees, stagnant pools, and tall reeds. The little thief was barely visible in the semi-darkness; Rokwolf could just see him and another awemi, a female, with a round, innocent face and golden curls peeking from under her hood. They moved silently away from a darker mound among the trees and reeds, unaware of the green-skinned wedaterem surrounding them. Rokwolf shouted a warning and both seemed to hear him, stopping and looking up, but Rokwolf’s surroundings melted into the forested slopes along the road west, the same seklesem camp of which he had before dreamed, where his comrades sharpened and repaired, fletched and ate, while the caravan burned and the merchants were dragged south into the swamp. Rokwolf did not shout at them but instead ran toward the nearest seklesa and tried to shake her, turn her around, force her to see; the figure turned and he saw the blue-black hair of Marilee, one side of her face maimed. She took no notice of him but ran past him and into the arms of his older brother, Delgart, but then Delgart faded and she was sinking into a bog, face contorted with fear. He rushed forward and grabbed her reaching hands, pulling her free, and as he did so, her face became whole, her hair became blonde, her look of fear became a look of desire, and she was no longer Marilee but Sutugno covered with the muck from the swamp. She leaped into his arms; her lips found his, and he felt again passion inflaming him, discovering that the mud from the bog was all either of them was wearing. They fell together onto the ground next to the bog, oblivious of the seklesem around them, watching them, the wedaterem around them, watching them, and both groups began a slow march in opposite directions, like a dance, around the pair of them, and when seklesi passed wedateri, the two casually slew each other, although the number circling never diminished. When the flames ebbed, he noticed the audience and flung her from him, and she rolled into the bog; the fresh touch of the mud caused her desire to smolder once more, and she reached out to him, her face again lit with passion. He moved next to the bog and reached for her hands to pull her free, but the touch of her hands and the look in her eyes melted his resolve and inflamed his desire; he did not resist when she pulled him forward into her arms, where their lips met; their audience cheered as they sank, the sound fading to silence as the mud closed over their heads . . . .

Rokwolf jerked himself awake and sat up on the edge of the bed. In the dim light, he turned and saw that Sutugno still slept and was shocked when he realized she was naked; he hastily threw the blanket back over her where she lay on her side facing him. He looked down at himself and sighed with relief seeing that he, at least, was still wearing his breeches, although his shirt was unlaced and open. He recalled how she shook as he lay down beside her and held her in his arms, stroking her hair, how her lips had sought and found his, how reluctant he had been, and how his resistance had melted as she kissed him with more and more fervor. He remembered going to sleep with her head resting on his chest, but the memory was hazy, obscured by a purple fog. How and when she removed her clothing he did not know, but he thought that might have influenced the end of his dream; he shook his head and told himself he had to escape before things got out of control. Quietly and quickly he dressed, thinking he would slip out of the room and find his twin, and have Klaybear send him south to where Tevvy was, so that he could investigate what was happening there; he did still have a mission to perform, and he reasoned from what Tevvy had reported, and what he had dreamed, that he needed to investigate. He buckled on his sword belt, slung his bow and quiver over his shoulders, and moved silently toward the door.

“Going so soon?” Sutugno’s sultry voice asked. “Without even kissing me goodbye?”

“I need to speak with my twin,” Rokwolf replied without turning.

“Only a few hours have passed,” she replied, “I imagine that they are both still sleeping, and I know Klare’s temper: she would not appreciate being disturbed.”

“She’ll recover,” he replied, grabbing and pulling on the door handle; the door did not open.

Sutugno smiled and sat up in bed. “Also, I don’t think I have finished with you,” she noted.

Rokwolf looked back over his shoulder at her. “You should know, as Klare knows,” he began, “that what we have to do is more important than what either of you want. So you will please unseal this door, and I’ll be on my way.”

“You’ll have to be more persuasive than that,” she said.

Rokwolf whipped around to face her. “Do you think this is some kind of game?” he shouted at her. “Many lives hang in the balance while you hold me captive!”

“And what about my life?” she asked, voice getting louder as she got up out of the bed, not bothering to cover herself. “Do you know what it’s like to lose everyone you care about, everyone who is dear to you, and then have to wander those same hallways, like an ansu, doomed to haunt the place where the body was killed?”

Rokwolf tried to avert his eyes as Sutugno walked up to him, but her visible form, dimly lit, was difficult to ignore, especially since it reflected what he had dreamed, minus the mud.

“And do you have any idea,” she went on, standing face to face with him, “how much the last few hours of sanity mean to someone who feels as I do,” she said, her voice softening, her fingertips lightly brushing his cheek. “When I unseal that door,” she pointed past him, and the movement made him swallow hard, and he lost control of his eyes, his vision wandering over her curves, causing a burning deep inside, “we will leave together, and I am not ready to leave . . . yet.” She stroked his cheeks again and reached her arms around his neck, leaning closer and intending to kiss him. . . .

 

Come back next week for the rest of this conversation! Purchase the full ebook copy of this book, along with others in this series, from your preferred bookstore, using the following smart-link: The Morgle Unmasked. If the reader prefers print, order it from https://www.createspace.com/4526375" target="_blank">CreateSpace. Good reading!

Friday Poet's Corner

Posted by gwermon on August 19, 2016 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

19 August 2016

Poet’s Corner

 

We return with the first half of part 2 of Tennyson’s “The Vision of Sin,” reminding our readers that last week, we saw an innocent youth entering a strange castle, its courtyard filled with languid people waiting for a fountain rise, and we noted the obvious sexual imagery. In this part, the poet begins by adding music:

 

Then methought I heard a mellow sound,

Gathering up from all the lower ground;

Narrowing in to where they sat assembled

Low voluptuous music winding trembled,

Wov'n in circles: they that heard it sigh'd,

Panted hand in hand with faces pale,

Swung themselves, and in low tones replied;

Till the fountain spouted, showering wide

Sleet of diamond-drift and pearly hail;

Then the music touch'd the gates and died;

Rose again from where it seem'd to fail,

Storm'd in orbs of song, a growing gale;

Till thronging in and in, to where they waited,

As 'twere a hundred-throated nightingale,

The strong tempestuous treble throbb'd and palpitated;

 

The music is low and throbbing, and those seated around the fountain begin to dance to its rhythm. The fountain erupts, like ‘pearly hail’, and the music reaches the gate and dies, only to reassert itself, although now it is high, warbling, a ‘tempestuous treble’ pounding and beating. Notice the term ‘palpitated’ which is usually associated with the heart, and so the hearts of those gathered around the fountain are madly beating in time with the music. Come back next week for the second half of Part 2 of Tennyson’s strange poem. Until then, good reading!

Morgle Unmasked, Chapter 8, Part 2

Posted by gwermon on August 15, 2016 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)

15 August 2016

This week’s installment from the third book of The Redemption series, The Morgle Unmasked, returns to Klare and her dream, with her interpretation of it. . . .

 

Chapter 8, Part 2

 

Klare sat up in bed, grabbing and shaking Klaybear. “Wake up!” she hissed. “Something is terribly wrong!”

“W-what?” Klaybear yawned, getting up on his elbows, blinking his eyes to clear them; he whispered, and the magluku around the room glowed softly. As his eyes cleared and focused on his wife, he saw that she was white with fright. “What is it?”

“I’ve had dreams throughout the night,” she said, “dreams like your visions, where the images are smashed and melted together, but unlike yours, mine are filled with emotion, like an aura that surrounds and colors those I dreamed of; these dreams have kept me up most of the time that you have slept like the dead,” she noted, eyes narrowed and turned on her husband.

Klaybear looked sheepish. “That’s why I use a sleep orthek on myself,” he admitted, “so I can sleep without dreaming.”

Klare raised an eyebrow. “What an intelligent thought,” she said sarcastically, “I’m surprised that you came up with it.”

He shrugged. “I didn’t,” he admitted, “Master Avril and Headmaster Myron suggested it for Thal.”

“Still, good thinking,” she said, “but never mind that, you have again distracted me,” she held up her finger to stop his obvious protest. “Just now, the dreams changed and I saw more than before.”

Klaybear kept his face even, knowing the volatile nature of his wife’s emotions. “Who and what did you see that caused you to wake me so suddenly?”

“I keep dreaming about Blakstar and Thal,” she went on, “and their anger with one another.”

“Anger? Over what?” he asked.

She shook her head. “I don’t know,” she replied, wrinkling her brow, “but they are livid with each other, and I think, from what I just saw, that they are walking into some kind of trap that will end with the entire destruction of the kortexem at Blakstar’s hand.”

Klaybear looked shocked. “No,” he said, stunned, “that cannot be, what . . . how?” he asked, stammering.

“Something to do with the honor of his order,” she replied, “and a trial by combat that he wins; I also think there is a traitor among the kortexem.”

Klaybear shook his head. “That should not surprise us,” he noted, “given what has happened here. How does that involve them being angry with each other?”

Klare shrugged. “Maybe the fact that they are not unified gives the traitor an edge,” she suggested, “all I know for sure is that we need to go to them and try to resolve their disagreement before sunrise.”

“That’s a tall order,” Klaybear noted. “Why sunrise?”

Klare shrugged again. “I saw the others, too,” she said, “but the only other thing we need to worry about before leaving is your twin and my best friend.”

Klaybear gave her a questioning look but said nothing.

“I think that Rokwolf will want to go to the Mariskal,” she went on, “to find out what is happening with the seklesem guarding the road west, and I saw Sutugno there with him, riding through the swamp, meeting a seklesi patrol, all about to be attacked by those wedaterem Tevvy heard about.”

“Why is that a problem?” Klaybear asked, not realizing what Klare hinted at.

“Because, I don’t think Rokwolf will want her to go along,” she replied. “In fact, I suspect that he will be adamantly opposed to her going along.”

Klaybear shrugged. “I’ll take care of it,” he said, “I’ll just tell him that he needs to take her along to keep her busy, and to keep her from sticking a knife in my back.”

“She wouldn’t do that,” Klare said, teasing. “She’d hit you with your own mace.”

“Exactly,” Klaybear replied, eyebrows disappearing into the curls covering the top of his forehead.

 

Next time, the focus shifts to Rokwolf, who is watching over Klare’s insane friend, the only survivor to remain in Shigmar, and his strange dream. . . . Purchase the full ebook copy of this book, along with others in this series, from your preferred bookstore, using the following smart-link: The Morgle Unmasked. If the reader prefers print, order it from https://www.createspace.com/4526375" target="_blank">CreateSpace. Good reading!

Friday Poet's Corner

Posted by gwermon on August 12, 2016 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

12 August 2016

Poet’s Corner

 

Welcome back all! This week we move to another of Tennyson’s poems, one that is less well known, titled “The Vision of Sin,” also from his 1842 volume, “Poems.” This poem is apocalyptic in nature, telling the story of an innocent youth corrupted, and the consequences of it. This first stanza, Part 1, introduces the young man and sets the scene. We should also note that this poem, as we are told in the first line, is a vision, or dream, of the poet, his choice of language–vision instead of dream–shows Tennyson’s Victorianism, the Victorians suspicious of anything Romantic:

 

I had a vision when the night was late:

A youth came riding toward a palace-gate.

He rode a horse with wings, that would have flown,

But that his heavy rider kept him down.

And from the palace came a child of sin,

And took him by the curls, and led him in,

Where sat a company with heated eyes,

Expecting when a fountain should arise:

A sleepy light upon their brows and lips--

As when the sun, a crescent of eclipse,

Dreams over lake and lawn, and isles and capes--

Suffused them, sitting, lying, languid shapes,

By heaps of gourds, and skins of wine, and piles of grapes.

 

This youth rides a winged horse, a horse that would fly if his rider were not so heavy, up to the gates of a palace. Out of the gate comes a ‘child of sin’ taking our youth ‘by the curls’ and leading him inside this palace, a marker of the youth’s innocence. If one cannot figure out what this ‘child of sin’ might be, one needs only to read on, for inside, we see people with ‘heated eyes’ waiting for a fountain to rise! The poet notes that this is like the anticipation of waiting for the sun to rise, except that these people are sleepy, languid shapes, surrounded by ‘gourds, and skins of wine, and piles of grapes.’ These final images show us clearly that this palace is like the ‘child’ who draws the youth in, a palace of sin, a place of Hedonistic excess. If the reader is unclear about what is going on in this stanza, we suggest speaking to his or her parents concerning the proverbial ‘birds and bees!’ In the context of the poems in this volume (the 1842 “Poems”) this particular poem of Tennyson seems out of place, strange, and harking back to the earlier Romantics. Tennyson is a transitional figure between the Romantics and the Victorians, showing markers of both. Next time, we will look at the second part of this odd poem. Until then, good reading.

Morgle Unmasked, Chapter 8, Part 1

Posted by gwermon on August 9, 2016 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

8 August 2016

 

This week’s installment from the third book of The Redemption series, The Morgle Unmasked, begins the eighth chapter, returning to Klare and Klaybear, and the dreams the former has, warning her of trouble on the horizon for the chosen. . . .

 

Chapter 8, Part 1

 

In a short century of our history, it is clear to me that the female of our species, nay, of every species, is far superior to us males. . . . Some have claimed an equal and complementary division between us–between logic and emotions, between mind and heart. While it is true that we males are more logical than emotional, with few of us able to understand our hearts and emotions, the opposite is not true; many of them are equal to if not superior to us in matters of the mind while they far exceed us in matters of the heart and emotions, realms that completely baffle the best of us. . . .

 

from Lectures of the Headmasters, ‘Shigmar’ Volume

Lecture by Headmaster Shigmar

 

Klare’s sleep was troubled; she had awakened again in a cold sweat clutching the firm rock that was her husband, Klaybear, who lay unmoving at her side, his breathing slow, deep, and even. It did not seem fair that he should be lying there sleeping so peacefully while she was wakeful and tormented in the dark by leering faces–purem–and the memory of groping, clawed hands; she shuddered and gently whispered, and a magluku winked on, glowing softly, next to her side of the bed. A change had occurred during her last moments of sleep; new images inserted themselves among the leering faces and groping hands, familiar faces, the surroundings were blurred, but the feelings associated with them were clear and strong, so strong that they were like colors surrounding the forms: Thal and Blakstar red with anger; Rokwolf and Sutugno mixed red and purple of anger and desire; Delgart and Marilee were yellow devotion tinged with purple desire; Tevvy was surrounded by a conglomeration of emotions and colors too complex to separate, as if he were caught in a maelstrom of conflicting feelings all directed at him.

Klare thought carefully over what she had dreamed as she lay in the half light, one hand holding firmly to her sleeping husband’s. With the white maghi and the kortexi, both were angry, and their anger was directed toward each other, which she realized was a serious problem, but as she recalled the images, she remembered that both were touched with black guilt: Blakstar’s greater and older; Thal’s smaller and more recent. Her brother-in-law and her best friend, she smiled as she contemplated their images together, both feeling anger and desire; Rokwolf’s desire and anger directed at Marilee, Klaybear, and herself, while Sutugno’s anger was directed at Klaybear, and herself, she knew, and her desire directed toward Rokwolf. Klare for a moment considered borrowing breath-giver to look in on them but rejected the idea immediately; she would know as soon as she saw them both. Delgart and Marilee’s images were surrounded by devotion, directed at each other and from those who surrounded them; the desire tingeing the devotion Klare knew came from the two of them, and was directed at each other, and as yet unrecognized by either one. But Tevvy . . . , the awemi was a puzzle; Klare recalled his situation last night and guessed that might have something to do with the emotions surrounding him, but she did not think that explained all of them. Tevvy was in danger–a true statement–and he was moving into even greater danger, according to his own perception of his circumstances and what she had felt. Klare drew a sharp breath, suddenly realizing that she had remembered who each of the figures in her dreams was. She wondered what could have triggered her memories and reasoned it must have been seeing each of their faces in her dreams. “Neki,” she whispered, canceling the light as she turned toward Klaybear, putting one arm across his warm body and laying her head on his chest; she sighed and slipped back into sleep and the world of dreams.

Leering groping claws tearing cloth red eyes hot panting screaming red anger maghi shouting kortexi facing accusing guilt lashing metal shining faces twisted shouting laughter leering groping claws tearing cloth red eyes hot panting screaming panting red hot breath wolf friend kissing passion friend purple moaning wolf howling mounted shrouded eyes friend ponkolu melting wolf howling purple mounted friend moaning offspring gray darkness drooping trees green-skinned wedaterem stalking seklesem howling laughter leering groping claws tearing cloth red eyes hot panting screaming yellow seklesa half-face seklesi brother yellow purple surrounded raised turned half-faces together whole shouting yellow laughter leering groping claws tearing cloth red eyes hot panting screaming white blade slashing faces leering splitting red blood awemi surrounded whirling maelstrom colors changing danger closing round face curly blonde innocence black bars white strands shaking awemi white struggling sticky laughter leering groping claws tearing cloth red eyes hot panting screaming red anger shouting kortexi accusing guilt maghi facing lashing red leather shining darkness pattern unraveling sword flaming glowing staff traitor accusing red guilt black anger test guilt trial field blood red kortexem one remaining laughter howling anger guilt black red facing shouting room magluku shining rain pounding sunrise traitor waiting kortexi facing red maghi shouting laughter leering groping claws tearing cloth red eyes hot panting screaming blood screaming passion screaming. . . .

 

Next week, Klare will wake from this dream, recognizing what it means for her and the other chosen. . . . Purchase the full ebook copy of this book, along with others in this series, from your preferred bookstore, using the following smart-link: The Morgle Unmasked. If the reader prefers print, order it from https://www.createspace.com/4526375" target="_blank">CreateSpace. Good reading!

Friday Poet's Corner

Posted by gwermon on August 5, 2016 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

5 August 2016

Poet’s Corner

 

We return with the final stanza of Tennyson’s “Ulysses,” a poem directed at the end of Ulysses’ life, and his longing to return to the sea. At this point in this dramatic monologue, Ulysses turns his attention to the harbor:

 

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:

There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,

Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me—

That ever with a frolic welcome took

The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed

Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;

Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;

Death closes all: but something ere the end,

Some work of noble note, may yet be done,

Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.

 

He gazes with longing on the ship, her sails filled with wind, moving out of the harbor into the open ocean. He speaks to his mariners, old men like him, noting that although all recognize the end of their lives is coming, there is still work that they could do, lands that could be found, if we took to the sea again. The stanza continues:

 

The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:

The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep

Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,

'T is not too late to seek a newer world.

Push off, and sitting well in order smite

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the western stars, until I die.

 

He now sees himself on the deck of that ship, at sunset, seeing the lights from houses on the shore twinkling. He adds that there is still time for them to sail away, beyond that far, western horizon, before death takes them. He goes on:

 

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:

It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,

And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

He recognizes both the peril they might face, as also the possibilities for adventure, to see Achilles again; he notes that age has taken much of their strength, but sufficient remains for them to try again, to return to the sea, for their hearts are still strong. The poem becomes a lament that we can understand, for the many people who are retired from work while they still have much to contribute, as also reminding us of the human need for challenges: “To strife, to seek, to find, and not yield,” not give in to old age or weakness, but continue to strive up until the very end. Wise advice for all, spoken by an ancient hero. Come back next week for more of the poetry that has influenced our own writing. Good reading!

Morgle Unmasked, Chapter 7, Part 7

Posted by gwermon on August 1, 2016 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)

1 August 2016

 

We return with the final part of the seventh chapter of the third book in The Redemption series, The Morgle Unmasked, as another argument erupts between Thal and Blakstar, leaving them to work in a heavy silence. . . .

 

Chapter 7, Part 7

“Must everyone who enters Karble, enter with the rising sun?” Thal asked.

Blakstar shook his head and moved to one of the cabinets, having placed the last piece of his armor–his breastplate–on the table. “Only if he enters with a kortexi,” he noted. Blakstar pulled a bundle of clean, white rags from the cabinet, along with several bottles marked for cleaning and polishing, for both leather and metal. He brought them to the table, set them down, then picked up the breastplate.

“It’s remarkably clean,” Thal noted, “considering all we have been through.”

Blakstar nodded. “Only a few spots,” he said, “then some polish.”

“Can I help?” Thal asked.

The kortexi looked at him a moment before replying; he shrugged. “If you want,” he said, “it’s not the most interesting work. In fact,” he gave a sidelong glance, “I detest it.”

Thal smiled. “I suppose it was a task given to novices?”

Blakstar snorted. “Along with other, more tedious work,” he said, “usually for punishment.”

“I imagine for an order focused on physical skills and prowess,” Thal said, smiling, “it would be punishment.”

“Yes, but necessary,” Blakstar said. He was looking over the breastplate. “This looks good; I think it can be polished.” He took a clean cloth, folded it into a hand-sized square, then turned the bottles until he found the right one. “Take some of this one,” he went on, “and pour it onto the cloth, like that, then rub it into a section of the armor piece until you can see your face sweating in it,” he finished, showing Thal what he meant by polishing one corner of the breastplate.

“By the tone of your voice,” Thal noted, “I’d guess that the last part about the shine is not yours?”

Blakstar shook his head while he rubbed, stopping to look after a time. “The words of the master of novices, repeated a thousand times a day, I think.” He tilted the breastplate in the light, then turned it so Thal could see. “Like that,” he said.

Thal took the breastplate and the cloth, then poured some more of the proper liquid on it; he started to rub next to the spot the kortexi had just polished. After about the same amount of time, he stopped and checked his spot against Blakstar’s. “Well,” he said after a glance, “it is certainly not as easy as it looks.”

“I doubt you have had much practice,” Blakstar grinned, “polishing armor.”

“Cleaning pots, yes,” Thal said, “but not polishing armor.” They both went back to work.

After a while, Thal broke the silence. “Curiosity is driving me mad,” he said, “why must a kortexi enter with the rising of the sun? It seems to be an odd practice.”

“The tradition is,” Blakstar said, checking Thal’s work, “you missed a couple of spots,” he pointed, “there, and there.” The white maghi took the breastplate back and polished it some more. “After Karble first climbed the Mountain of Vision, and the first kortexem followed him through that initiation, Shigmar called for aid, under attack by Gar. He rode with all the kortexem he could gather to aid the first kailu, arriving just in time to turn the tide and save Shigmar. Word of the victory preceded them back to Karble, and they rode home, but were attacked repeatedly along the way. A winter storm approached, threatening to close the pass, so they rode in haste. They climbed the pass just before the storm arrived, but were attacked again by Gar’s forces, slowing them down enough that the storm struck the pass even as they rode across it. They rode on through the night, harried by both Gar and storm, almost as if they were chased out of the pass. Karble looked at his troops, saw they were weary, injured, and looked nothing like the kortexem who passed their initiations just a few weeks before, and he called out to the One for aid. This building appeared, and he sent them in by turns to clean up, polish, and heal. Just before dawn, they rode to Karble, appearing before the gates as the sun rose.”

“And that’s why you, we, have to do all of this?” Thal said.

Blakstar nodded. “That’s how the story goes.”

Thal snorted. “Why, that’s one of the silliest things I’ve heard,” he said.

Blakstar’s face flushed. “Are you mocking our sacred tradition?”

“A sacred tradition based on the fact that Karble happened to return at sunrise,” Thal said sarcastically, “what if they had arrived three hours before dawn, or six and three-quarters hours past sunset with a maple leaf stuck to the bottom of his boot? Would we have to do that in order to enter? Why not just say that you must enter at dawn to commemorate the events of that famous trip, rather than invent some ridiculous mumbo-jumbo that redefines the word, ‘silly.’”

Blakstar’s face was twisted with rage. “You’ve no right,” he growled through clenched teeth, “to mock what you do not understand!” He grabbed a handful of rags and threw them at the maghi, then slid the bottle of leather cleaner and polish toward him. “You better spend less time criticizing my order and more time polishing your saddle, or you will tarnish the reputation of your own order.” He picked up one of his leg greaves and rubbed with such vigor that it instantly sparkled, at the same time, he turned his back on Thal.

The white maghi shrugged, picked up the bottle, and moved to his saddle, holding the rags in his arm. Maybe Tevvy was right about Blakstar: he was just like all the other kortexem: dogmatic and prejudiced. He unstoppered the bottle, poured a little onto one of the rags clenched in his hand, and started to scrub at the spots on his saddle, thinking that no kortexi could outdo a white maghi in appearance, sitting with his back to Blakstar; the air hot, the light of the magluku around the hut tinged red.

 

Next week we will start a new chapter, returning to Klaybear, Klare, Rokwolf, and Sutugno, as Klare dreams, awakened suddenly by her nightmare. Until then, get the entire text in ebook form, here, from the bookstore of your choice. If you prefer print, order your copy from https://www.createspace.com/4526375" target="_blank">CreateSpace. Good reading!

Friday Poet's Corner

Posted by gwermon on July 29, 2016 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

29 July 2016

Poet’s Corner

 

We return to the second stanza of Tennyson’s “Ulysses,” (the Roman version of Odysseus) as our hero, the voice of the poem, making this a dramatic monologue, continues to pine for the sea, and the life of action:

 

I am a part of all that I have met;

Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'

Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades

For ever and forever when I move.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,

To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!

As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled on life

Were all too little, and of one to me

Little remains: but every hour is saved

From that eternal silence, something more,

A bringer of new things; and vile it were

For some three suns to store and hoard myself,

And this gray spirit yearning in desire

To follow knowledge like a sinking star,

Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

 

Now Ulysses sees the quiet, uneventful life–and recall that this life was what he ached for throughout the “Odyssey,” missing terribly his wife and son–as dull and boring, not worthy of one who has his abilities to shine, to act. He expresses his desire to return to such action, even if it is only for a few days, it would be, in his mind, worth it.

 

This is my son, mine own Telemachus,

To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,—

Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil

This labour, by slow prudence to make mild

A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees

Subdue them to the useful and the good.

Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere

Of common duties, decent not to fail

In offices of tenderness, and pay

Meet adoration to my household gods,

When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

 

He turns now to regard his son, Telemachus (same in both Greek and Roman), his heir, well prepared to take his place as king of Ithaca. Next week we will finish this poem, as Ulysses turns to contemplate the harbor, and the sea. Until then, good reading!


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