Saturday, January 13, 2007

Scrolls Of The Gatekeeper (Part I) It's A Hellish Fantasy

The Whisperer:

The Moribund River, in the cursed land of Perdition, boils with fire. It breathes mud-like pockets of ashes and bones. On its west bank a vile creature named Pernicious crawls to its edges. His exaggerated eagle claws scratch the surface of Perdition’s thirsty terrain. He drags his broken skeletal body closer to the flames of Moribund.

The fiery river, he believes, will heal him. But he fears its power and does not touch. He can only wait for help and hope he is worth something to someone in this desolate land.

“Whisperer!” a voice thunders. “Come here!”

Pernicious mumbles and ignores the hollering of the one they call Abaddon. “Son of Anak,” the Whisperer screeches, “leave me be!”

Heat and dry dust burns in their throats. Ashes fall like snow. Both beings are irritated but wait for the magic of Moribund’s fire. Will it bring them life, such as it is, or claim it?

“How could you lose to the Canaanite, a mere human?” Pernicious scoffs. His voice is more raspy than usual. “You are twice his size with the strength of ten men.” He starts to mock his superior but thinks better of it. His taunt is a measly whisper. “Abaddon, mighty leader of the Nephilim, indeed.” Pernicious raises his bony jaw in defiance. The ground shakes and billows of smoke rise through the fractures of the land. “I was once mightier than the likes of you ―stronger, swifter, and prettier, I might add, a better warrior than you, by far. I was . . . long ago.”

The Whisperer chooses silence for a second or two, haunted by the memories of the perfect being he used to be. Jealousy, an annoying weakness of his, is the reason why he is now counted among the fallen.

How did I get this way? Why was I jealous of that Warrior, Paladin? I was already better than he, superior to say the least. His scorpion tail, coiled between the hanging skins of his hind legs, rattles and drips with poison. “You!” He points his decrepit claws to the leader of the Nephilim who is coughing and sputtering as the reddish mists of dust and air infiltrate his lungs. “You and your kind brought me down!”

Abaddon:

Abaddon, for the most part, keeps quiet. No doubt, he hopes that the future is grim for the Whisperer. Nevertheless, he and Pernicious both lie dying on the scorched land.

He is the General of the Nephilim (offspring of fallen angels) but he cannot remember a time such as this when he had cared about discomfort. The sharp pain in his head is beyond what he wants to bear. He squints and repeatedly bangs the back of his head on the parched ground. His pitch black eyes close, caving into the hollow of his sockets. Shortness of breath is his clue that life is fading. Like Pernicious, he waits.

Help finally comes when the Dark Lord of the South River (the part of the river which runs closest to Lake Torment at the end of the Moribund) appears from the miserable wastes of Perdition. Light from Perdition’s gushing fires reflect on his chain mail shirt. A hooded cape, mostly torn, grey and stained with blood, flutters around him.

“Lord of the South,” Abaddon moans, “Keeper of the fire. Heal me.”

Lord of the South River:

The Dark Lord uses a small oval flask of ocher glass to capture the blazing flames of the Moribund’s southern regions. His hands are riddled with burn marks. Strange to say, but there is a tree that thrives in the land of Perdition ― one small tree near the edge of Lake Torment.

No one there knows how it grows or why. Its leaves never wither though it takes the full brunt of the fire. Surprisingly, it bears fruit similar to an apple ― some bright red, some a cool green, and others as gold as the sun. Nevertheless, when the fruit is plucked from the branches, it shrivels and rots in one’s hand. The unattainable harvest is sheer torture to the Whisperers, and especially the Nephilim whose hunger is everlasting.

The Dark Lord stands in the shadow of this tree. He plunges his sword into the depths of the roots and, as the fire of the lake passes through the cut, he skillfully snares it in his soot-blemished flask. Not a word must leave his lips as he carries out the task before him.

This flask he now opens over Abaddon’s body and lets the fire drip like lava onto his lesions. Abaddon screams. His anguish is heard throughout the land. But in Perdition his cries will be ignored as his flesh sizzles and melts together. A putrid smell hangs like a heavy cloud that refuses to dissipate.

The Dark Lord chants a daunting song. He sees Pernicious cower closer to the banks of the Moribund River. “Hoping to receive but a drop, are we?” Laughter bellows from deep inside the slender body of the Dark Lord.

The Whisperer looks away as the Dark Lord takes his sword, dripping with fire, and violently thrusts it through the giant head of Abaddon. When he takes it out, three small stones are on the blade. The chant continues.

“Canaanite!” Abaddon hollers.

The Dark Lord’s song is over. He smiles. His delight is wicked. “Taken down with a sling and a shot, I see ― three precise shots.”

Abaddon is not amused.

“Give me the fire also,” Pernicious grunts. “Just one drop.”

“Pathetic shell of a demon,” the Dark Lord grumbles. “What is your life worth to anyone?” He pours more of the liquid fire, until near empty, on the remainder of Abaddon’s wounds. Then he meanders toward the Whisperer and tosses the ocher glass Pernicious’ way.


To Be Continued (LOL) on the next post
after a word from our Sponsor. (Hey, a girl has got to make a living, what say ye?)



1 comment:

Janey Loree said...

Hi Gatekeeper,
I decided to not go in for lunch today, so while I munched on Triscuits and sipped my iced tea, I started reading your "Scrolls of the Gatekeeper"!!

Very well written. Your writing is captivating, graphic and very expressive. You can understand my delight when I realized you are referring to David and Goliath!!!

BTW...chain mail is spelled chain maille. I know this only because my sons are learning the art of chain maille. :) Our December 5th post "Renaissance Cowboys" over at Mustang 'n' Cowboys shows their work...

I look forward to Part II!!!

 
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