Yesterday the hunters ate only roots and grubs but now, in the fading light, they chance upon a lame bokkie. Hunt and kill are over quickly. Careful for the tinder-dry veld, they make a fire within a ring of stones and each eats their fill, leaving a portion for Aquila, who guards their improvised camp from a hungry howling wolf until dawn spreads her golden fingers.
The sun climbs and the dry savannah shimmers. A green smudge rises from the ripples and the hunters hasten to the acacia-shaded spring.
The eagle calls out Owab attends the warning: beware the serpent!
In case you’re wondering what in the world is going on, the previous episode of this little adventure is here.
Concealed behind that plain façade silently observing yet unobserved you creep along obscure corridors listening at keyholes, capturing confidences pocketing intrigues and salting them away.
Green mantle cloaked, you traverse the town sniffing out secrets, ferreting for indiscretions licking spoons that stir the pot snatching skeletons from cupboards to one day share and spill.
Nothing escapes your inimical attention under your watch, people scarcely sleep they mind their tongues, mind other people’s but blank of countenance and with eyeless innocence for now your secrets stay safe with me.
Aquila flies over the desiccated veld, periodically checking on the hunters who march like ants across the dry savanna beneath his substantial eagle wings. Owab is the youngest of the band; it is to him that Aquila carries the mystical connection.
Now in early autumn, the earth still waits for the rains. The ground is dry and the game has scattered. They travel east to the purple mountains in search of the great beast who, with a nod of his gracious head, will call the storm clouds.
Over the parched soil the eagle leads us onward seeking the Rain Bull.
The Mark of Gaia flares on my back and I cling to the towering North Stone for support. The sun blackens, the moon and stars fall from the sky; the world is cast into blackness: a void. Her pawn again, my consciousness expands.
A sun rises in the west and Gaia’s words fall from my lips.
‘You will live without hunger, thirst, weapons or injury; you will exist, casting no shadows; all humanity will share a single language and belong to a nation without borders.’
Our hearts fill with joy: our world is new and fertile reborn, we give thanks.
Author’s Note: Gaia’s words are taken from Zoroastrian eschatology.
each night, enveloped in scarlet golden sun slides under blue blankets gossamer strands of lingering light caress cooling sands waves wash upon the shore, breaking breaking, unceasingly breaking erasing away the day
each night, cloaked in obsidian silver moon shakes out her gown scattering glittering pennies over wine-dark skies waves wash upon the shore, breaking breaking, unceasingly breaking hailing a new dawn
I fall through a shower of effervescent light particles and land with a jolt, my nostrils filling with the simple scent of sandalwood overlaying the smell of decay. My uncle’s kindly face comes into focus, he sits in his library, surrounded by his cherished possessions; the lines on his face are entrenched, his shoulders stooped; he has aged – a decade or more. I glance at my hands, the still-smooth skin suggests I have not.
‘Hasten to the Stones,’ he commands. I rise and approach him, but I’m dismissed.
Megaliths murmur: On the Eve of the Dawning Gaia greets your return.
Leaving the devastated city behind, the road leads me past pockets of people, scattered across wildernesses where they scratch a living. Their eyes hollow and dark, they stare at me as if I’m a ghost; perhaps I am – I have no hunger, no thirst, I just walk and watch, a dignified presence on the periphery of a broken world.
Time and existence are unravelled; I know not over which continent I travel. A shining figure in the distance beckons. I hasten, knowing she will lead me home.
Rapture transports me out of carnage and decay: bound to be reborn.