Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Friday Fantasy ~ Number Eleven


The Avatar and The Dragon

~ The people hoped Wurm was still asleep but they could feel the mountain tremble from his movements.

Dragon

Image courtesy of Jason Antony ~ http://www.sxc.hu/profile/vancanjay

Do dragons dream?

The people feared his waking and interrupting over a thousand years of peace

They all knew Wurm was dangerous—legends told of his fire-breathing, not to mention what one swipe of his tail could do

None had dared enter his lair in the mountain’s bowels.

Still, there were more recent tales of his stirring but not waking, so folks began to ignore the tremors; also, they had something else to occupy their worries—that damned, purported Avatar

He had declared his Mission last year but who could believe that Beluian, son of Beluis, common citizen known to all, was a religious Avatar?

Certainly there were some who followed Him, lowly folk—those said to lack a soul by the Priests of Adion.

The Head Priest, Seuljas, had called a general Council and was seated in the Temple speaking to his acolytes:

“The Priests from Zelvan and Lessus will be arriving any time, be swift with your duties and well prepared to offer them obeisance!”

Szalas, the most devoted of Seuljas’ acolytes, braved a comment:

“There have been recent converts in the merchant class to Beluian’s evil cause. Should we prepare the boiling oil?”

“Excellent, Szalas! A demonstration of our holy protection of the Faith of Adion will aid in securing the allegiance of the visiting Priests.”

~~~

The Council had finished its first meeting and adjourned to the central square of the city to watch the immolation of the infidels.

The cloth merchant, Heson, the seed merchant Kesun, and the shipping merchant, Guliaz, were being led to the metal-lined pit which sputtered and fumed with its bubbling oil.

They all showed signs of torture—holy torture designed to save their souls and give them the chance to recant their belief in Beluian.

Obviously, none had recanted and Szalas shared his joy with the other clustered acolytes:

“They were doomed when they first accepted belief in Beluian’s accursed ravings! Their souls were already dead or they would have recanted. God will bless us for consigning their bodies to—”

His last words were swallowed by the cheering of the people gathered for the holy event.

Some noticed that none of the merchants screamed as they were thrown into the boiling oil

~~~

The second session of the Council had begun and Seuljas was presenting his plan for the eradication of the remainder of Beluian’s followers:

“This false prophet is gaining too much ground, and swiftly. His lies are entrancing more of the upper class—even the senator, Mulophius, has succumbed.”

His speech was interrupted by the arrival of a messenger—with a missive from Beluian.

Seuljas bade him read:

“Oh, Priests of Adion, Zelvan, and Lessus.

“This is a summons from your Lord and the Lord of your ancestors.

“I have come as your prophecies foretold and as you must witness.

“It is said in the Most Ancient Tablets—‘He shall arise from among you and you shall kill His Friends with an evil heat’.

“Yet, ye are blind to how your own actions proclaim the truth of my Mission.

“It is not for God’s servants to test His Messenger but I shall, in my Mercy, offer you a chance to redeem your pitiful existence.

“I shall submit to whatever Test of Holiness you can devise.

“If I meet the Test, you shall admit the Truth of my Cause.

“I will await your appearance at the hill of mourners.”

There was profound silence

Then, nervous stirrings

Then, the Priests felt a tremor from the mountain

Seuljas stood, with weak knees but a straight spine, and said:

“We will invoke the Ancient Forces! We will Conjure the end of this Pretender!!”

Vesion, the Head Priest of Lessus, stood and said:

“Seuljas, you ask us to invoke the Dark Forces—imperil our souls?”

“I ask for nothing but what this evil creature deserves. Let us unlock the scrolls in the Tomb of Secrets and prepare to defeat Beluian with Creatures of the Realm he has risen from !”

There was much fevered consultation

There was a Decision.

~~~

Beluian was sitting on the hill of mourners in conversation with Szalas, Seuljas’ chief acolyte.

They had been talking for the past hour, ever since Szalas had arrived with word of the Priests’ Challenge.

Sazlas was in tears

Beluian, in the kindest tone, said:

“Sazlas, have no fear. Your belief in my Cause has given you new Life.”

“Beluian, they will arrive soon and unleash the most terrible of creatures against you—and, I shall be killed—I can in no wise go back on my realization of Your Truth

“We shall be together in My Highest Realms. Surely this can give you joy?”

Sazlas wiped his eyes, his face beaming with an effulgent smile.

The Priests were approaching the hill.

Sazlas walked down to meet them.

When he stood in front of them, he said:

“I greet you in the Name of Beluian. I adjure you to save your souls—from conjuring evil beasts as well as defiance against your Manifest Lord!”

The Priest, Seuljas, grabbed Sazlas by the neck and strangled him to death.

The other Priests took note that Sazlas gave no struggle

Seuljas rallied the other Priests to their Task—each kneeling and intoning the Curses from the Ancient Scrolls

Beluian stood on the hill with a smile—the smile of a father watching his children at play.

The Priests continued their chantings until two black clouds began to appear, one on each side of the hill.

One cloud began to resolve itself into the form of a giant ant which began to spit acid at Beluian

The other cloud turned into a horned beast that charged up the hill and gored Beluian

Beluian’s skin was blistering and His side was spouting blood, yet He still stood and spoke in a thundering voice:

“Wurm! Come forth from your abode and slay these manifest Phantoms!”

The ground shook and a wind arose, soon followed by Wurm, beating his wings and breathing fire toward the hill.

Beluian still stood, untouched by the fire

The giant ant released a stream of acid at Wurm.

Wurm’s wings began to blister and he landed on the hill.

The horned beast charged Wurm, slashing his belly.

As the dragon bled out his life, he consumed the creatures with his flaming breath.

With his last bit of strength, he wobbled up to Beluian.

Beluian bathed in the dragon’s blood, which healed the blisters from the ant and closed the wound from the beast.

Suddenly, Wurm disappeared with a blinding flash.

The Priests were running away in frenzied fear.

Beluian walked down the hill to Sazlas’ lifeless body.

He kneeled and took up the body with exquisite tenderness.

He walked back up the hill; laid Sazlas’ body on the ground; and, with His bare hands, dug a shallow grave.

Copyright, 2014, Alexander M Zoltai
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4 responses to “Friday Fantasy ~ Number Eleven

  1. penpusherpen February 14, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Holy torture indeed Alexander, always there is pain when one belief is struggling for supremacy against another. The Pretender is finally triumphant. I’m enjoying your Friday Fantasties. xPenx

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai February 14, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      Thank you, Pen—there is more reality in this fantasy than even your perspicuous comment reveals

      Like

  2. Jane Watson February 16, 2014 at 7:08 am

    Great dragon picture! Loved ‘Do dragons dream?’ – been wondering every since. this makes us think that torture of innocent people for their beliefs is not such an ancient idea – we see it now in modern times and perhaps we turn our heads and cannot believe it is happening. We should ….believe.

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai February 16, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      I didn’t realize something until I read your comment, Jane, which made me look up the etymology of “dragon”—its ancient root is “to see clearly”

      Did I unconsciously use a dragon to emphasis seeing the truth??

      Like

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