Friday, January 26, 2018

Conservation of Magic



I'm still chipping away at my latest States of Change installment, so to satiate your fictional appetite here's a little ode to fantasy I wrote a few years back for which I won an honorable mention in a quarterly Writer's Weekly contest.


Image result for waterfall from the sky


The amberescent sound waves resonated for miles around the Vale, rolling over the peaceful autumn afternoon. A Zelazna bird glided above the magical landscape and perched upon a puffy, low altitude cloud. Thousands of its kind nested in the cotton soft cumulonimbi that drifted across the expansive valley. Zelazna feathers were prized across the kingdom; as tall as a human, the luminescent feathers each day would continue shifting through the visible spectrum months after separation from their avian host.

DONG!

As noon approached, the clouds had left their infrareds behind in favor of gremlagreens lending the passing clouds against the dark ocean-blue sky a decidedly cheerful tone. From a Zelazna bird's view, the countryside surrounding the Vale evinced a surreal nature. Like a pebble dropped in a peaceful pond, radiating magical tones washed outward from the Vale's center across forest, savanna, marsh and desert alike.  They lapped in great circles until they ran up against the glacial Tolkiennig Mountains, the discreet border of the valley. Such sorcery was a sign of power not seen for a hundred years.

DONG!

Trees of a thousand varieties in the forest of the Vale were tickled from trunk to twig by the powerful, aural energy coming from the towering white temple at the heart of the Vale's great town, Valensia. Feistial Oaks dominated the forest closest to town, their broad structures permitted its mobile leaves to crawl from branch to branch and enabled optimum sunlight collection. Piersian Pines grew in solid numbers where the hills grew gradually into perilous mountain cliffs. Their trunks spiraled upward a dozen times higher than any other tree species in chaotic zigzags. Green needles grew like porcupine fur directly from its bark. Many a wanderer has been said to have gone mad contemplating those pines, their lampooning silhouettes ever-present at the Vale's periphery.

DONG!

On the other hand, the rare Aspirina Ashes preferred the relative dampness proximal to tributary streams. Unfortunately, this rare ash had become ever scarcer as they were found easily by the human woodcrafters of the Vale. Evolution had granted these trees a loud, cackling laugh to scare off annoying Rowling wooddrillers and other sap seeking predators. Humans, however, were savvy enough to train the simpleminded wooddriller to seek out the Aspirina Ash to set them laughing uproariously; needless to say, after decades of exploitation the chuckle of this ash was more rumor than reality at present. A century ago their numbers had been much greater when the white tower had last tolled powerfully across the Vale.

DONG!

The people of the Vale themselves were of diverse origin, though all could trace their roots locally back for generations. Indeed, the Vale itself was quite difficult to reach, or leave, for that matter. The mountains and trees provided a physical barrier to travelers, to be sure, presenting them with arduous heights to traverse,. More severely, the cold winds at altitude froze blood solid if the appropriate firecloak spell had not been invoked.

DONG!

Still, the real barrier to exit were the unpredictable, anti-magic gales that would gust in the upper reaches of the Tolkiennig highland's only mountain pass. In the thousands of years of civilization in the Vale and the subsequent magical advances, no counterspell had ever been found to prevent the cursed wind from disabling the protective magical properties of even the most adroit sorcerers.

DONG!

And so the Vale had developed into a complex, self-sustaining kingdom. Over the years the isolation of the Vale had bred not only a rich culture of craftspeople and tradesman, but as is with any civilization an underground culture of crime that sought to redistribute wealth alongside vices according to humanity's twisted wonts. At least, that was the cultural norm a hundred years ago until the Queen's sorceress schemed to unleash her magics to bring unwavering justice to the Vale.

DONG!

A hundred years ago from now, nearly to the minute, Dorothenda, the Queen's sorceress, cast a powerful enchantment upon the whole of the Vale. Having grown up as an orphan exposed to corruption in the streets, Dorothenda had been consumed by her need to visit justice to criminals. Happenstance enabled her to climb the ladder of the sorceress guild, and eventually she set her mind to the decades of planning necessary to orchestrate the Incantation of Peace. Drawing upon political connections, her design came to fruition, culminating with the royal construction of the towering white temple at the center of Valensia and the diversion of the great Morganarik River through town and beneath the tower via a massive aqueduct.

DONG!

The Sun had risen to its greatest annual height a century ago when Dorothenda stood atop the temple tower and in unision with twelve priestesses began a twelve day incantation that would enforce absolute peace across the Vale. The chanting had gradually increased in volume for days, rhythmically enhanced by the coursing magics of the Morganarik.

DONG!

At the conclusion of the spell, the power of the incantation pulsed outward in amberescent waves, tolling with resonance as if an angry thunderbeast were making its presence known for all of the Vale to heed. Suddenly, the roaring river surged in turbulence, and rose upwards at the base of the temple tower desecrating Gravity's lawfulness. The rising torrent carried the Queen's sorceress and her priestesses skyward to the sacrificial deaths they had known would be required for a lasting enchantment to take.

DONG!

And for a hundred years the mammoth volume of the Morganarik River has flowed steadily upward surrounded by a valley thriving in peaceful abandon. Any attempt to visit violence or unfairness had been met with a simple, abrupt vanishing. Would-be thieves, murderers, and connivers of any kind simply disappeared a split second before their evil act could be performed. The river ran upward beyond the clouds, an aqueous pillar serving as a constant reminder of the powerful enchantment enforcing kindness and good will for all who lived in the Vale.

DONG!

Alas, even the most powerful enchantment succumbs to the just magic that is Time.  A balance of natural forces patiently stands watch at the core of the Universe, no matter the workings of human women and men. Now, a hundred years after the Incantation of Peace was forged, the Morganarik stalled in its upward climb and the vast reservoir that had built up in the skies above the Vale began to fall.

DONG!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Shakespearean Recursion


to be or not to be
that is one multiple choice question 
answers to which I choose neither

dualities present no thing
past conceptual fodder 
for homo groundlingeus  

beyond iambic simplicitude
existence serves as humanity’s bane
non-existence, its inspiration

somewhere in between lies reason
fiction's fibbing
where rhetoric cannot tread

yet you will