What I See: Escorting in Twilight

Inspired by Charles’ post: From the Vault, Man of Verse or Volume, I found myself drawn to one of my favorite trios. (Yes, three steps back when I’m supposed to plan on going forward – what else is new).

Aktinson

The Smoke-Filled Soul

Gray chokes orange-yellow as raids rip through their serenity

Siblings sworn to protect, attacks deflect, gone – improbability

Repose now lost, pure instability.

Quinton the Quintessential paves the way towards new family

Parents with talents, knowledge of secrets bring sweet harmony

Of balance, new live, and discovery.

Monsters in the mist appear, suns’ rise ‘til twilight, taunt and jest

Cursed memories, longings, and questions about those once thought blest

Now stir up ashes, bring out death, unrest

High hopes these phantoms’ terrors, senseless murders finally crest

While he and the others hiding in view continue to wrest

Control, freedom for all before they rest.

 Jalem3

Missing, Gone

Don’t take for granted what you see before you.

Time and Pain can change your view

What you see fit to dismiss and to put down

Will throw you up, undo you

Don’t assume I will stand and repeat your lies.

You, deaf to all of the cries

While those pierced, un-mended, in red rivers drown

While the Lake of Kindness dries

Behind this façade of reason, so-called calm

Urgently applying balm

Laughing, screaming, I’m with ever present frown

How do you hold out your palm?

No mistake, I will die for what I believe-

Others suffering relieve

Within the confines of this idyllic town

Where still more families grieve.

Don’t take for granted what you see this time,

What’s buried beneath grime

Thrown about because many fools want the crown

Claiming justice, this vast crime.

Desmon, too

Cleave

Call me what you will – your words cannot kill

Love’s boundless cloak of calm, within, without

Even the duality of my being gives you no reason

Alleviating the wounds where the sword will pierce

Voiceless ones now shouting, a loud voice you think your

Ever faithful fools would abide – Curse your soul!

To the Grave

Voba

Voba

Inspired by the Daily Prompt: What’s the most significant secret you’ve ever kept? Did the truth ever come out?,  a segment from “Escorting in Twilight.”

Voba watched the older trio from the corner of the bar. It was a relief to have the ‘boy’ home after all this time. While he shared the same concerns as the others about the increasing limp Atkinson showed. Despite Wellone or Jalem’s remedies, the walk of the child returned, bringing an uncomfortable silence from the once lively dancer and singer.

The younglings to his left had no idea about the one they sought; knew as little as the ones chaperoning them. Voba considered that part of Quinton’s blessed curse – worse than the sightless leading the soundless. If Desmon, Jalem, Wellone, or Quinton forbid – Atkinson, found Sorpha, it would mean Voba’s death if the truth were learned, only because Quinton the Great would probably sacrifice Atkinson’s life to Sorpha.

The innkeeper smiled as he watched the banter between the friends, seeing younger faces from another time, before the terrors began, and wondered f he stood a chance of forgiveness for what really happened that night of the raids. It was a three-fold horror that he never spoke of, cursing the failed attempts of keeping everyone safe.

The scar Atkinson had was Voba’s doing, the jagged knife plunging into the lower back of the boy as Voba turned to conceal him from the bandits. However, the pain caused by a ‘misguided blow’ was the better choice, a small pain to distract the child from the truth of what Voba saw that cold evening in the moons’ absence, with the many orange flames lapping at the spilt blood by Sorpha’s hand, a telltale twitch of the eye.

Voba swore to Quinton, the Guardian of all, that he would never tell the man before him, the returning son orphaned so long ago how his sister had vanished or who had plunged the knife into their parents’ hearts. What Voba had shared with the rest of the elders and fighters was the truth, in a fractioned fashion, was that Michael Sorpha was evil increasing, that the massacres would worsen.

Half of Before, and More than Ever

Desmon, too(Inspired by the Daily Prompt: Is the glass half-full, or half-empty? and a continuation of “The Near-Ageless Ones” segment)

Desmon stared at the miel-colored ale, swirling the contents as his mind spun about the earlier conversation. The revelation his father shared with him had shattered him, like the crackled exterior of the glass in his hand.

How could he be part ‘near-ageless one,’ when his father looked as old as Professor Miga or the others Desmon assumed to be the older man’s age? How could his father remain so calm while his wife, Desmon’s mother, spoke her truths of undesirables? How could he begin with such a strong truth and then make a confession like that?

“There are many times I’ve tired of the separation, the silence, the solitude. Between you and me, I thought about the Unforgivable Decision. Couldn’t do it, though. I remember the illness that came – well before you were born, when…when a Near-Ageless One did that. I couldn’t bear to let you suffer that, son.”

Desmon stared at the emptiness of the glass, a space representing his mother’s absence. To imagine that doubled would…what? Allow for an opportunity for more anger and hatred to pour in, increasing Desmon’s chances of following in Michael Sorpha’s steps? How many barrels of ale could Desmon drown his soul in before that unforgivable detour?

That was the beauty of the miel­-ale, its sweetness numbing the bitterness of whatever ailed the soul. He understood why Jalem liked the mild drink, why Allen prepared some meals with it. Miel-ale never went bitter, never grew sweeter. The grains it had been based from remained true to their form, only the additives tainting it.

Was that what he had become? One able to wander from region to region, taking and giving before anyone suspected, then moving on because time dictated it, or maybe Quinton’s direction? With this knowledge of being part of a people who seldom aged, who decided when to die…

Desmon emptied the contents before ordering a refill. If he had the potential to decide when he died, then he could deem himself the first and final fighter before seeing his friends fall. Maybe he could accomplish the impossible, of rebuilding with his own hands parts of the regions that had been destroyed, by their actions or inactions.

Reflecting on the chats over the years with the Yomins, Desmon saw a double-meaning to most of them now. They had known, known that their friend’s son could outlive theirs, had known that they, too, would probably outlive their son, or Jalem or…

 He took his time with the drink, allowing the ale to sooth the insecurities of his identity. No, he wasn’t half the man that he thought he was reduced to, nor was he anywhere near whom he thought he should be as his parents’ only son. Staring at the reflection in the glass half-filled with the ale once more, he took to heart what his friends had told him for years –

He was Desmon Noble, a man gifted with setting his own destiny.

Little Things

Shell of Shadows' SoulsInspired by today’s Daily Prompt, “Describe a little thing — one of the things you love that defines your world but is often overlooked,” here is a snippet from “Escorting in Twilight.”

Alle Yomin took something out of his inner-shirt pocket, it’s ‘twin’ secured wherever his wife kept hers – most likely in the wooden box tucked behind the loose stone of the fireplace. Inside was a collage of tchotchke that symbolized the many lost souls found, some lost again. There was the bit of mud Alle scrapped from a child’s knee when she first arrived; a blade of grass that surrounded a struggling seedling in the small hands of a healer as well. There were intertwining swirls made of the many strands of hairs of children. And then there were tiny crystals from the sands by the shores he and Ella walked along. Many of those coastal paths were gone, along with the civilizations that built them, only to be buried by them.

Alle ran his long, bony fingers over it, yearning for the current conflicts to end, if only to give hope of life to the living.

Some nights, as the winds howled and his heart ached, the near-ageless one placed the shell against his ear and listen to the stories, songs, soft prayers or whatever soothed his soul. When the winds died down, along with the setting moons, and his eyes watered up, Alle remained strong in keeping the dam from breaking. “May the spirits be with you,” he whispered before returning the unbreakable shell to its proper place.

Zephyr

a-to-z-letters-zZephyr

Gone were the uniforms of svelte learners draped over straight backs and squared shoulders, replaced by long, dark coats with many buttons, concealing the casual attire of the entrusted, elected educators of the emerging term. The trio of silhouettes against the rising sun over the horizon had, yet hadn’t changed in in the old one’s mind.

     “Now it begins….Professors,” Jalem whispered to the men on either side of her, her heart racing at the responsibility of guiding the students through the quagmire of insanity and towards Quinton’s core teachings.

      Desmon smiled, hands gripping the solid edge of the wall that dropped all the way down to the water’s depths below. The clamoring of footfalls, the shouts, taunts, greetings and laughter rose to a crescendo as a group of teens and pre-teens ran towards the building, energetic, nervous, open to a world of possibilities. “Here’s to building the future.”

      This environment, with its steady and sure pace similar to the one left behind, had some comfort to it for Allen. Finding that sliver of freedom and hope to enjoy, confident that they could logically lead this group away from the madness that could lead to more massacres, he hoped by Quinton’s strength, they could succeed.

     They stood to their full height and enjoyed the gentle breeze caressing their faces.

With Love

Today’s poem share is my original pair, describing the powerful love that Ella and Alle share for their adopted son.

Elle Yomin

Elle Yomin

 

Tending to the Mending Heart

With the arrival of the gloaming

She first sees a lost lamb roaming

Appearing to be torn apart,

Narrowly missing a passing cart.

She steps into the cloak of evening shade

Wondering how this child will behave

He’s far from home, that much is clear

Yet his posture gives clue what he wants is near.

For her, a flicker of hope and doubt

Disciplined skill keeps her from crying out.

She’s failed once, that one far from pure.

The second time, she is still not sure

This child here, she’ll never scold

But rather heal his wounds and help him grow bold.

Alle Yomin

Alle Yomin

Embers Eternal Embrace

As the volcano’s

Fiery river dissolves

Ashes to the wind resolves,

The one logical choice to be made

To prevent the loss of another by blade,

For all the love and all the might

Were not enough to undo the blight.

Aware that the wrong child could die,

Sent to their death with a stealth-told lie,

The sureness of wind, the spirit of water,

The sizzling wrath to thwart the slaughter

To hold on now by letting go

Hoping that the child knows

The sun shines on forever.

Xenolith

a-to-z-letters-xXenolith

Jalem kept score of the debates, wondering how long it would take for both ‘opponents’ to realize they were more alike than they cared to admit. True, she had the advantage of knowing something intimate about Desmon and Allen, secrets she’d keep until the end. Given the true strengths beyond the masks they wore, she expected to live a long, long time.

Maybe that was why Jalem wasn’t surprised by the bonding ceremony, a foolish hope she had even before the revelations in secret. She couldn’t define – then or now – what it was that made each man a relative outsider to the community, yet fitting in seamlessly so for safety’s sake. If Desmon knew the truth about Allen, or vice-versa, then neither friend needed to worry about punishment from the magistrates.

Yet Jalem saw the power behind their combined talents, an opportunity of throwing fire with the rain. She would only have to steer them like the winds that blew over the coastal waters, guiding defensive learning with an empathetic soul. They could succeed, guarding the next generation from the trappings of twilight. Maybe.

Wellone

a-to-z-letters-wWellone

Atkinson’s krov-cousin, the young man wise (and perhaps older) than his years has never forgotten the one who left in the middle of the night. What Voba tried to prevent started before that fateful night, an event that led an abandoned baby to Schilon’s doorstep.

Wellone is gifted in more ways than most in the village. His connection to Allen so far away helps the young man become healer, tending to everyone in the village and beyond. When the opportunity arises for the caretaker/protector to be tended to, Wellone claims the roll quickly and decisively.

What he hasn’t gleamed from Allen’s formal learning is innate to him, giving him insight into Desmon’s true destiny, among other things.

Wellone

Wellone

With each step taken, the mind awakens

To the possibilities of this world and the next

Untangling those things that others find perplexed.

With eyes of brown, he sees all of town-

To the place where the stolen were sold.

Undeterred to have the truth be told.

A jovial dance becomes a lullaby

Until the time comes for a decision of goodbye

With the steps towards sleep, of rest so deep.

 

 

Voba

a-to-z-letters-v Voba , sees and hears more than others realize – fluent in most languages of the travelers, peddlers, tradesfolk and the like; a ‘magician of the mundane’. As innkeeper, his hospitality goes beyond those who stay within his dwelling – a place he build alone, with the scars on his hands to show it. He provides and protects, goads and guides.

What happened to Atkinson didn’t prevent the tragedy that increased threefold. Yet Voba’s ‘claim’ to the prodigal son is one he will not release without a(nother) fight.

Voba

Take my kin; spill your blood

Bones will break; I give my word.

’tis easier to push you hard

Than drag you cross the yard –

Of what life has in store

Once you’ve stepped outside my door.

Yet come on in, have your fill and rest.

By Quinton’s strength,

I’ll keep your faith abreast.

Unstoppable

a-to-z-letters-u

Unstoppable

“Just because Sorpha is unstoppable doesn’t mean things aren’t unchangeable.”

The three of them looked up from their studies, ingredients and materials held mid-air above the pillar of steam. “I don’t understand,” Desmon said.

Alle smiled as he stretched his legs towards the fireplace. “Something unstoppable doesn’t mean it isn’t unchangeable. Goodness knows how much has happened in the course of our lifetimes where the prophesized plan became a near obsolete obstacle instead.”

“You’ve heard the stories, though,” Jalem said. “Entire villages have been burned to the ground; homes once firm within the cliff-faces by the seas gone, smaller than the sands below.”

Alle nodded. “Yes. However, from the ashes of the villages, peoples as strong as those of the Rathens Regions emerged. From the foams of the waves, warriors ward against the deaths of the desolate districts.” He paused, a slender finger tracing the details of the modified timepiece, dark eyes staring out the window where the garden could be seen.

“Realistically, the three of you don’t stand a chance against Sorpha. What he’s accomplished in such a short time is… Don’t surrender, but don’t slip into a false security of surviving without scars.”

“Father, we never thought-,” Allen began, furrowing his brow.

“Enough. Not a good use of the evening before the celebrations. Finish what you’ve started. We’ll be beside you, united, throughout it all.”