Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Friday Fantasy ~~~ Number Fifteen


The Centaur’s Quest

~ It was said to rival heaven.

It was also said to be non-existent.

People also believed the Centaur, Lesuun, came from this supra-heavenly, non-existent city, Bhiastan.

Lesuun himself felt fully real and found it hard to bear the awe and wonder the people projected when he appeared.

So, he tended to stay on the plateau near the sacred mountain, Thel.

The upper reaches of Thel were said to be the location of Bhiastan, the Eternal City.

Sometime during the year he first began rutting with the human’s horses, Lesuun started to think he should make a trek up the mountain and see if he could determine, first, if Bhiastan was there, and then, if it was his place of birth—or, at least, origination

But, before making such a perilous journey, he had to rouse a number of strong men to accompany him.

No one knew what was in the upper reaches of Thel—sounds and lights unaccountable happened in those cloudy heights

And, to convince these awful, fearing humans to help him, he had to perform a conjuration that gave them great benefit.

Lesuun had been able to conjure small things—rocks, lizards and such—since he was small and lost on the plateau.

Lost in space and time—not knowing whence he came or when; or, even who from

He had only one human confidant, old Meslen, the herbalist.

~~~

Lesuun was just approaching the dilapidated dwelling when Meslen came out and hailed him with:

“Four legs! What a good time you choose to visit.”

“Good time? Why is that, Meslen?”

“I’ve just finished a concoction for your heartache, you beast.”

“Herbs will drive away my burning emptiness?”

“I believe so

“I have a mission in mind that may do the same.”

“Oh?”

“A trek to Bhiastan

“Bhiastan? The imaginary city?”

“Perhaps as imaginary as me

“You do pose a problem when it comes to explanation.”

“Is it not likely that my plateau’s nearness to Thel may make the mountain my first home?”

“Have you ever ventured farther than the tree line?”

“No

“And, what of the sounds and lights? What if they are from other imaginary things that have an unexplained reality?”

“Legends are full of dangers that clearly thought-out action can dispel.”

“And, what are your clear thoughts?”

“I will take a group of strong men, perhaps Bethum, Montu, Nesso, and Venti

“Strong, yes. But, I am the only person who trusts you, Lesuun.”

“Yes, though if I conjure something the people need, something that is of great value to them, I may be trusted enough to entice those men to trek with me

“Perhaps

“I came to ask what you think would gain their appreciation.”

“First, come in and drink my concoction, it may relieve you enough to make this trek unnecessary

“I doubt that, Meslen, but I will try your potion.”

~~~

Lesuun drank the brew, passed out for a time, and revived feeling strange.

“How do you feel, Lesuun?”

“Like I just rutted with that brown filly called Noam

“Hmmm

“What’s that word you use, languid?”

“Ah, yes, but how is your spirit?”

“I do feel a bit more hopeful

“Good, good! You must take some each day. I do so hope you can be more at peace.”

“I will follow your wishes, Meslen, but what can I conjure that the people will treasure?”

“Perhaps a new plant One that grows swiftly and produces a fruit with healing properties?”

“I can only conjure what I’ve seen, Meslen. You want me to conjure what the people already posses?”

“No, something they don’t yet have.”

“Well, can you describe it, make it seem real to me, draw what it looks like?”

“Yes, and I will share what I know of the healing fruits we have—give you a hint of what they do in the body

~~~

Meslen described and drew and showed Lesuun plants that might resemble what he desired—a plant that banished fear.

After twenty or so conjuration attempts, Meslen said:

“This may be it. Wait here.”

Meslen went to the dwelling of a family that had more than the normal amount of fear that dogged the people.

He shared some of the fruit and engaged in conversation, bringing up topics that scared everyone.

~~~

Lesuun had done it and Meslen carried the news far and wide.

People began to approach Lesuun with questions—the most common being if their horses would birth foals like him

Most were still too afraid to get near him, even the men he wanted for his trek.

Meslen was sharing the new fruit with those most afraid, urging Bethum, Montu, Nesso, and Venti to eat two apiece.

As evening fell, there were about a hundred folk gathered around Lesuun, including the four he wanted for his trek.

Meslen sidled close to his friend and said:

“Even though I still think your quest will be without issue, now is the time to announce it.”

~~~

The next morning, when they had reached the plateau, Lesuun bade his men halt and eat more of the fear-dispelling fruit.

He took a sip from the pouch carrying Meslen’s potion.

Then, on they went, reaching a point just a bit past the tree line by late afternoon.

They rested, ate more fruit, then continued toward the mysterious sounds and lights

~~~

As the sun was setting and, right after they’d negotiated a precipitous, curving traverse of loose stones and reached a hidden lake, they stopped dead at the sight of a gargantuan spider, glowing iridescently in the rays of the sun.

Montu was first to speak—quietly:

“This creature explains some of the lights

Bethum added:

“Is it asleep?”

Nesso, said:

“There are enough stones back there and enough of us to either kill it or chase it away

Venti opened his mouth to speak and the spider said:

“None may pass but the four-footed creature.”

Stunned they were but Lesuun said:

“Why may I pass?”

“You are the one they wait for.”

“Who waits?”

“Creatures like you

~~~

Lesuun went higher.

The four men returned.

The people waited but, for many years, there was no return of Lesuun.

The men had even ascended Thel again, spoke to the spider.

All it had said was:

“What you believe to be real does not include me or the creature I let pass.

“Go.

“Live in your small and comfortable world

Copyright, 2014, Alexander M Zoltai
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10 responses to “Friday Fantasy ~~~ Number Fifteen

  1. penpusherpen March 14, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    So, Alexander, has Lessun found others of his ilk… Or? …Mayhap I’ll have to visit Thel myself.. Now… what was the fruit ingredient of the fear reducing concoction? … :-) xPenx

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai March 14, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      It appears the spider knew there were others of Lesuun’s ilk

      As far as whether he got to them, that’s left to the reader’s heart and mind.

      Well, Pen, the “concoction” was made for Lesuun—the fear-reducing fruit, on the other hand, was pretty much like many fruits most folks know—having properties little realized through lack of ingestion or greatly hidden by other less-beneficial foods

      Like

  2. ajwrites57 March 15, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Marvelous story!

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai March 15, 2014 at 1:47 am

      Thank you, So Much :-)

      Like

      • ajwrites57 March 15, 2014 at 1:50 am

        My pleasure. i enjoyed the way you mixed narration with dialogue!

        Like

        • Alexander M Zoltai March 15, 2014 at 1:55 am

          Aha! Always glad to get specific feedback :-)

          Like

  3. Jane Watson March 17, 2014 at 7:55 am

    So…how do we take away our fear and… what is real? These questions and more were raised for me by this story which I loved. I particularly loved the ending – it balances so perfectly and cryptically between the mystic and the mundane:-)

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai March 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      Whew!, that’s some high praise, Jane—“it balances so perfectly and cryptically between the mystic and the mundane”

      But, I’ll take it :-)

      I’m very glad you saw the expression of the issue, “what is real?”

      Like

  4. Barbara Blackcinder March 19, 2014 at 8:05 am

    I love the story. I’m still weighing the interconnections between the various characters and the reduction of fear in each of them, in their various efforts to get Lesuun ‘up the mountain’. Thanks.

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai March 19, 2014 at 11:39 am

      So glad you like this one, Barb—it surprised me, greatly, as I was writing it :-)

      Like

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