Thursday, 8 September 2011

My Dark Fiction Entry

So I didn't get shortlisted for the Dark Fiction EPIC FLASH FICTION COMPETITION.  Le sigh.  I am not bitter, congrats to everyone who got picked, I shall be hearing some of you forthwith :).

And so, since Martin Six-Winged-God-Of-Llamas said he liked my story, I thought I would share it with you, fair and gentle reader.

WARNING: It rhymes.

How Far The Road To The Howling Shore

How far the road to the howling shore?
Which mad men tread to return no more
Obsidian stone laid mile on mile
It winds and writhes with serpentine guile.
From a city cursed to guard its gate
Through desert cold to uncertain fate
Pass sages, warriors, filled with might
All lost beneath the claws of the night.

But to the walls of Zanarian fair
In a night-time blessed with sweet scented air
Came riding forth out of the sun's embrace
A woman in red with bright perfect face.
Her mare was the same, a fire borne mount
Both gilded gold, jewels too many to count
They rode to the Gate of the Western Plains
And found the doors to be close barred with chains.

The lady bold she called aloud
Her voice was fierce as flame endowed
“What cost to let these chains fall by!
To let us in my horse and I!”
Expected she a man to shout
Barbican guards all strong and stout
But from the battlement on high
She found a child did to her cry.

“Lady Red please do not stay near!
Lest demons come and find you here!
Run fast you must before the dark!
Or they will brand you with their mark!”
Insistent was the high pitched voice
The lady found she had no choice
“Then let me in, give me a bed!
Or find my fate be on your head!”

The child ran fast to do what she was told
In awe of a lady both brave and bold
In haste they entered into her domain
The lady quick made it secure again.
A small spell of strength, endurance, deceit
Then allowed herself to be led down street
Through a city deserted not by all
The children were left, to live or to fall.

“What blight took place?” asked woman of girl
Bidden the child did this tale unfurl
“Out of the east, an evil smoke rose.
It hid the sun, the start of our woes.
The air was ice, its scent was of death.
We had to fight to take just one breath.
Then a darkness took hold of the grown.
From Zanarian they all have flown.”

“Did these devils come forth with the smoke?”
“The dark transformed Zanarian folk.
My mother, my father, went insane.
Enraged they now roam the Western Plains.”
The girl led on, past fresh water founts.
“But now you are here, that's all that counts.
My lady in red, please help us all.
Stop that which has our parents in thrall.”

They came at last to a building so black
The light of the moon did not reflect back
Its doors were ajar, its timbers rough hewn
They wore painted red, the single same rune.
The child stood afar, she cowered in fright
But Lady Red smiled. “It will be all right.”
She mounted her steed, and entered the hall
That housed the black gate in this city's wall.

Through chill thick air the mare trod on
Upon white bones her light it shone
The skulls of men who'd gone before
Go no further! they did implore.
The lady's eyes were on the end
To breach the gate she did intend
Its form was blackened chiselled stone
Its faces chilled her to the bone.

Their unseen hands did part the way
Animated by magic fey
And from the portal racing east
She felt the road, its lure increased.
Horse and rider quit the dark hall
Under night they flew to the call
Sparks were struck as hooves hit the line
Fast to shore by their own design.

In crashing tides stood an island of rock
All jagged black teeth, the earth it did mock
In stone obsidian the goal rose there
A hell-god's abode, a castle nightmare.
Cross rotting wood the mare took her rider
Under the arch their light it grew brighter
And unto the keep a tower soaring
Their radiance turned evening to morning.

The lady's power called forth the Beast
A sea born monster fat from the feast
It sprang from the dark, tentacles barbed
In poisonous slime its form was garbed.
Myriad eyes observed this new prey
Knowing not her will it would obey
The woman in red raised both hands high
And brought white lightning down from the sky.

Bolts of pure fire danced round the court
Against this web of magic it fought
In language foul it raised the grey tide
Around the castle their powers vied.
The mare cried out, the tentacles thrashed
Against the lady's face cold rain lashed
But the lightning closed in on its aim
Striking the monster, making it lame.

Injured the creature screamed forth its rage
Triumphant the lady wove a cage
To keep bound the monster and its spell
To call no more to ravenous hell.
Avenged were those who had cried for peace
Drawn against sense by sudden caprice
The lady red smiled, her task was done
Now he could rest, her slain golden son.

Now no one goes to the howling shore
The gate and the road lure men no more
Obsidian stone lies under sand
Calm returns to Zanarian's land.
A child tells of a woman in red
Who restored her parents to their bed
For she lifted the curse with her might
And faded away into the night.

Copyright © 2011 LKG Frendo, All Rights Reserved

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