“May it be an evening star shines down on you. May it be when darkness falls, your heart will be true”—Enya
“We are dead stars looking back up at the sky….The stars will burn out someday, and the Universe will be dark…There will be myths about the days when the stars rained down.” –Michelle Thaller, astronomer (http://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/370784/we-are-dead-stars/)
1.) Hard Rock/Heavy Metal- Make it Real by The Scorpions
2.) Pop/Hip-Hop- Until I See You Again by Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth
3.) Country/Singer-Songwriter- You’ll be Mine by The Pierces
4.) Instrumental/Soundtrack- May It Be by Enya from The Lord of The Rings
5.) Wild Card- Valley Girl by Moon Zappa
What I Chose and Why
I chose Enya’s song, May It Be, as the focus for the writing prompt because I immediately had a story pop into my head with the first line. And then, a little while later, I saw this video on Facebook that my friend Phylise Banner had posted from The Atlantic.
If I do anything else with this story, I will get a native Irish speaker to correct my Google Translate version (apologies in advance for any errors in the Irish).
This was fun, and I’m loving reading everyone else’s stories. I don’t write much fiction. Hope you like the story so far…Thanks, Erika!
And now to the story….
As the streak of white light faded from the twilight sky, Stel’s body began to glow from the inside. Particles of light drifted from his skin into the atmosphere, speeding up as they wafted higher. Spiraling faster and faster, the particles lifted from the shape of him, until there was only one tiny spark remaining where Stel’s body had lain.
Quickly, Mornie caught the last spark in a small glass vial, sealing it with a silver cap in the shape of the evening star and attached to a thin chain around her neck. Tucking the vial into her shirt, Mornie paused for a moment, placing her hand gently on the spot where Stel had lain only moments before.
“Téigh i síocháin, mo chara,” she said as she rose to her feet and pulled up the hood of her cloak, her breath frosting in the night air. “I will find you again–if not this lifetime, then the next.”
Slinging her bow and pack onto her back, she whistled for Pathfinder and turned her attention to the steep trail that wended its way into the dark velvet of the forest below. Behind her, a shadow separated itself from the bushes next to the trail and silently stalked Mornie.
Without turning to look, Mornie said, “Come along, Laddie. ‘Tis a long walk home and we need to be there before the dawn.” Yellow eyes gleamed back at her from the shadow, slowly blinking in catlike acknowledgement before turning their attention to the trail ahead.
Just inside the entrance to the forest, Mornie paused and looked back up the mountain they’d just come down. Briefly touching the trees on either side of the trail, she sang 3 times softly, “Cosain dúinn agus cheilt orainn as a lorg súile.” The trees creaked in the rising wind and the trail disappeared behind her, as briars grew across the path. “Go raibh maith agat, bandia.”
The trail ahead flattened out and straightened as she walked, only to disappear behind her. It was third watch when she reached her lair, a small cave hidden behind a hawthorn thicket. As she reached the edge of the thicket, Mornie’s moonstone ring began to glow, and the thicket parted just enough for her and Pathfinder to squeeze through. The cave walls began to glow softly and a fire started in the hearth.
Tossing her pack and bow into a corner, she sat on the bench by the entrance, wearily shrugged off her cloak, and pulled off her scuffed and travel-worn black leather boots, massaging her feet for a minute before sighing heavily and glancing at Pathfinder who was curled up half-asleep on the thick rug in front of the fire.
“Don’t get too comfortable yet. There’s work yet to be done.” Pathfinder just looked at her and yawned, pointedly stretching his long legs and enormous paws and relaxing deeper into the rug.
Sighing again, she stood and went to back of the cave where a pitcher stood on a high shelf next to a small spring that bubbled into a pool surrounded by carefully placed stones. After filling the pitcher from the spring, she placed it next to a small, oval-shaped, black granite table in the center of the room.
Then, she went to the battered cupboard next to the hearth. After unlatching the door, she rummaged around until she found her brazier, a small cauldron, a fist-sized piece of crusty metal, a clean rag, and a mortar and pestle. Opening a drawer, she muttered to herself as she selected several packets of herbs and added them to her growing stack. Satisfied that she had everything, she carried the accoutrements to table and set them down on the floor next to it.
Carved into the top of the table was large rune, a five-fold set of overlapping circles, one circle in each of the cardinal directions with a middle circle overlaying them in the middle. Around the edges of the table were a series of double and triple spirals alternating with a triangular symbol composed of three linked oval shapes. Carefully, Mornie polished the table top until it gleamed in the soft light and she could almost see her reflection. She placed the brazier and the small cauldron in the exact center of the rune. A small fire started in the brazier. Smiling, she turned back to her supplies.
Into the cauldron, she placed the metallic rock and poured water over it, half-filling the cauldron. She added a feather, a small piece of parchment with faded writing, a rowan branch, and a small clump of dark soil that she had taken from Stel’s final resting place. As the potion brewed, she prepared the other materials.
After placing the mortar and pestle onto the table, but outside the large rune, she poured a small amount of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme into the mortar, she gently ground the herbs into a powder with the pestle until the fragrance of the mixture infused the air. Chanting, “An Domhan, Aeir, Dóiteáin, Uisce, ar ais, ar ais, ar ais, ar ais”, she sprinkled the herbs evenly along the lines of the rune, following an ancient pattern of balance and renewal. As she chanted, the rune began to glow.
“Pathfinder, it is time.” Pathfinder stretched and slowly paced the room clockwise three times, ending at the cave entrance. He sat looking out of the cave, still and alert.
When he was in position, Mornie took the vial out of her shirt, unstoppered it, and shook the small, particle of light into the cauldron. The particle of light gravitated to the hunk of metallic rock. When they touched a water spout formed in the cauldron, hissing as it rose above the cauldron, steam coalescing into Stel’s craggy face. Frowning, Stel said, “What happened? Why are you all blurry? Why can’t I move—Oh…”
“I’m sorry, Stel, but there was no other way. We both took the oath and you know that balance must be maintained at all costs. When Aurelia stole Corvus from us, you had to go back. We don’t have much time.”
“I understand. I’m just disoriented from the transmutation. What must I do?”
Quickly, Mornie outlined the plan, finishing just as Pathfinder growled a warning. As swiftly as she dared, Mornie shut down the link, doused the fire, and recaptured the particle of light in the vial. Wiping the herbs off the table into the cooling cauldron, she hid her supplies at the back of the cave, and just as dawn broke, whisked a table cloth over the runes. Pathfinder quickly walked widdershins three times around the room, ending on the rug by the fire.
Just as Mornie warded the cave, shutting down the glow and banking the fire, she heard a shout from somewhere outside the cave. Quickly, she chanted her hiding song, “Níl aon rud a fheiceáil anseo, ach carraig agus sceach gheal.”
Mornie and Pathfinder waited tensely in the safe dark of the cave as the dawn light crept nearer and so did the voices. It seemed like hours that the Seekers searched for her, but eventually, they moved off and the light receded.
Heaving a sigh of relief, Mornie stripped out of her filthy travel clothes, washed, and collapsed gratefully into her bed. As soon as she was asleep, Pathfinder crawled into the bed next to her, one giant paw resting protectively across her torso.
As exhausted as she was, Mornie slept fitfully, her dreams filled with images of Stel’s agony before his transmutation, whispers of the Seekers reaching her as they sought her out, trying to breach her defenses and get into her mind. They would kill her if they found her, blaming her as they did for the death of their King. In her dream, she shouted that he wasn’t dead, just changed and one day, he would return, but it was futile to argue with them. They couldn’t see that Light and Dark must remain in balance for the world to survive. For every loss of Dark, there must be an equal loss of Light, or the universe would die and all the stars would rain down from the heavens. Why couldn’t they see?
By day, I’m a consultant in technical communication and localization. By night, I write poetry, play with my dogs, have adventures with my awesome husband Dave, and often play board games with my grown stepkids and their SOs.
Business website: www.comgenesis.com