The Blooded Eclipse
I was running as fast as I could with what strength I had remaining…weeping, tears streaming down my face. I knew I was being herded toward the gateway. The fire in the sky…it was the passing of the sun as it set…and there must be a passing of a soul so the sun would return the next day. That soul was I.
The magic elixir that would chase away your fears was denied to me as I must be untainted. As had all food and water for the past three days. When the priest stopped by the cage where I was held, he would finger his ancient flint knife wanting to bloody me but knew the village would stone him if he did. The blood was for the draugr and not to be wasted.
As I rushed through the berry brambles, where I had often come to gather, I felt my strength ebb away. I just wanted to sit and once more taste the goodness that the earth provided. Admire the blossoms that would grow to be nourishment. Let them drag me to my ending…but within me lived the spirit of the warrior and with my last ragged breath there lived the hope that I would make it to the passage way first and dart through the rock womb that would give me a new life.
If they caught me, they would chain me and I would be left for the draugr, the again walker. And if the blood sacrifice pleased the draugr, with his magic, he would force the sun to continue on, with it once more giving life and not leaving all in the harrowing darkness where he ruled and we all became enslaved forever to his family. I did not want my last thoughts to be so full of dread. My life should not end with sorrow, but with me cursing the priest!
There was a flutter within! I felt the life move within and a smile covered my tear streaked face. His father had been a majiker and I felt his tiny soul for the first time and his powerful essence spread through me and cast aside the cold aches in my heart and self-doubts! I could feel the tendrils of his magic wrap itself around me! My weakened limbs strong and supple once more! His strength flooded me as I sped happily through the rocks and jumped over holes and creeks! I was through the door, past the stone arch that birthed me to a new life and then I emerged from the womb and was down on the ground.
I was prepared. Even before the death of my mate, often I had seen the priest long for my bearskin and the crystal necklace my husband had gifted me with on the day of our joining. When the old fox pulled my marker from the bowl, I was not surprised. I knew of his ilk. Drawing the swords I had hidden in the brambles, I pulled myself up onto the top of the gateway and screamed at the top of my lungs. “Come to me and greet death,” I laughed as the village slowed their approach and stood far enough away to throw stones at me.
The priest stepped forward as the darkness now pushed down upon us. “It is truth. You have been reborn,” his voice was slow and measured. “You now have the power to call the sun back to us. But the draugr must be fed. This is our promise and has kept us all from the darkness. And since you have been reborn, you are no longer Darlee, but Darlii. And I say,” he smiled with a sure nod of his head. “That you are once more,” he raised his staff and turning, shouted to the village, “the accepted sacrifice.”
Just as the sun disappeared into the sea and the last of the light winked out, the priest was gone. Also disappeared the Clan chieftain. The screams began in earnest as the village fled and you could hear the dread cries and shrieks of those whose souls were being drained as the draugr fed.
I felt the wind push gently against me before I felt his body pushed into mine. “Beloved,” he whispered in my ear as he placed his hands on my tummy. “My son does well. I could feel his magic as I rose.”
“Husband,” I snuggled into his now warm body that was flush with the blood of those he had drained.
“I shall guard you during your day rest.”
“And I shall guard you at night. And when our son is born,” he laughed, “he shall guard us both.”
Check it out! A one shot!
I am still healing and have been pushing all in that direction. I am doing physical therapy twice a week, (practicing what they are teaching me everyday at home) small out-and-abouts and a lot of resting physically and emotionally while I watch the bees, butterflies, frogs, and humming birds in my garden as I listen to my small fountain and admire the flowers and the life that surrounds me.
This is the first thing I have written in weeks!
Not a thought to editing, a plot line or a rhyme has been in my head since the hospital. It really has been all about me for I guess, wow, for the past month now. Really? A month?
My schedule is more of the same this coming week. Healing and getting stronger! Next weekend we are off to Oregon where I wish to immerse myself in some old growth forests. The morning of our anniversary we are going to watch the sunrise over Crater Lake.
If I have internet access I will post photos.
As always, thanks for reading!