Monday, June 25, 2012

The Widderschynnes Dance

Sample from Ehaema. For more information, please contact the author


In the days before the red rain fell, and the harbingers came to lay waste to everything wonderful and everything good, there had lived a strong hunter who lived with her siblings in the sheltered heart of the Grove.

She was the youngest, but also the quickest of eye and the sharpest of nose, and when the day’s eye closed and Mother Twilight spread her skirts over the land and blushed, then the strong young hunter rose with her brethren to search the world for love and food.  

For the day’s eye judged them hotly, and in its burning gaze, the sky kings could hide and strike at them like lightning.  The deep reaches of the night, with their mazing foxfire and hordes of watchful lurkers, were no better.  So their day was the breadth of Mother Twilight’s bosom, while the kings went to sleep and the hordes were yet to rise.  Wise travelers moved past the Groves quickly if the day were on the wane, and no foraging creature lingered long outside at that time.  To see the widderschynnes dance of a flight of hunters, even in the distance, was to see death in buzzing wings and needle fangs and shrieking laughter.

During full day the winged hunters slept, and during the full night they bided in the shelter of the Grove, whispering secrets and singing songs, and painting each other with the juice of strange fruits of phosphorescent colors that have long since left the lexicon of light.  It is said that the oldest among them formed cocoons and slept within them for nine years, though no one agreed on what shape the creatures took when they finally emerged.  Of all this, little is known and less is certain, and dwellers of the day have long since dismissed the tale as a fanciful lie from the dwellers of the night.

But in the between times, when the Moon looked over her shoulder at the world below, the hunters would see her and hear her song, and they would find their second nature.  We all have a second nature, hidden right behind the first, where we cannot see it.  For the hunters, twilight was a doorway with intractable gravity.  Every day like clockwork, it led them into a world divided very simply into things to ignore, and things that would be warm and good when sliding down the gullet.

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