Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Martyrdom

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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Friday Fantasy ~~~ Number Eight


~Copyright, 2014, Alexander M Zoltai~

The Scribe and The Sun of Truth

~ He was running for his life. 

The Sun was falling and he had to get to the Ocean before he was engulfed in Its Flames.

Just as he reached the shore

He woke up.

Ninevas sat up on his cot and spoke to the Dream:

“Mercy! I hear your command yet know not how to comply

He waited for confirmation

No voice, no evidentiary animal sound, no alteration in his humble surroundings

“Bedevilment! I am cursed

Ninevas was scared to shivering.

I did not wish that Dream… I do not want that Dream

After he rose from his cot, he took the Sacred Stone from his pack and said:

“I hear you Sun Benthos.

“I hear but do not comprehend.

“May I be led to Your Wisdom.”

He returned the Stone to his pack, slipped on his robe and sandals, slung his pack to his shoulder, and splashed his face with what remained in his cup from the last evening’s drinking bout.

“The wine’s dream it is

“I am not worthy to dream of Sun Benthos

He had the last of dawn to roam the foothills before he began his work for Stenrus.

He left his tent and walked softly past the others’ dwellings.

Why should I have this Dream?

None will believe me, none will help me unravel its meaning

The Chronicles had it that, when the Sun Benthos returned to Earth and sought Its rest in the Ocean, the World would end.

Ninevas was not of the Priests, nor the Masters.

Ninevas was extremely distressed and wishing with all his might to be rid of the Dream.

A scribe does not dream of the gods!

He wove his way through the struggling bush, retraced his steps past his tent, and headed to the magnificent adobe home of the Masters.

Removing his sandals at the entrance, he met Bilbras, the Masters’ cook.

“Bilbras, have you a short time for a query?”

“I have no time, there is no time, I have an impossible task.”

“You are the Masters’ cook. No person of mid-rank excels you in creativity.”

“It has nothing to do with my abilities. I am to prepare a Feast for a Visitor and there are no extra supplies. Do I ask the gods for grain? Do I pray for rain to water the dying crops? The Masters will thrash me when they have less to eat

“Dear Bilbras, I leave you to your challenge. Is Anthrase in the dwelling?”

“He is.”, said Bilbras as he strode away.

Ninevas regretted his plight but Anthrase was the only possible soul who could understand

He will not speak to me and if he does he will report me to the Masters

Ninevas was in a well of depression—surging with frenzied feelings.

He scoffed at the idea of approaching Anthrase and went to Stenrus’ rooms.

Stenrus was surprised to see Ninevas arrive early but gave a crooked smile as he said:

“Ninevas, you may earn your keep today. Sit and write.”

Ninevas snatched his papyrus and pen and sat.

“The salutation shall be, Oh, Worthy Milkas, we greet your arrival with anticipation of your showering us with your Wisdom.”

Milkas was a Master from the coast region of the Sea of Abjuration.

He was loathed by Stenrus but had lands, not so ravaged; and animals, not so skinny; plus, solid gold.

Ninevas recorded the missive and copied it for the Masters’ Book of Affirmations.

Stenrus applied his seal to the papyrus, summoned a runner, and instructed him:

“You shall carry this at speed to the approaching Personage of Milkas. Meet him at the village of Silras or be hanged!”

Stenrus turned to Ninevas as the runner departed:

“Stay in the dwelling. Partake of a small portion of food. Return here at mid-day.”

~~~

Ninevas sat in the kitchen munching on a flat cake.

Bilbras entered in a rush, arms full of small sacks—the reward of his earnest begging at every dwelling.

“Bilbras, have you heard who it is you will feed today?”

“I have no need to know. I have work and I have embarrassment—begging food for the Masters! What is the world coming to?”

“The world is—”

“Yes? You are saying?”

“Nothing

“Good. Stay out of my way.”

~~~

When Ninevas returned to Stenrus’ rooms, he sat in his place and pondered while waiting for the Master to return.

Things are bad to worse

The Masters demanding Bilbras obtain food from the people—robbing them of what the Masters allocated for their nourishment

Perhaps Milkas can offer help

~~~

The Feast had finished and Stenrus had returned with Milkas. The Masters’ discussion was aiming towards conclusion, Ninevas recording every word; though, his impression of Milkas made it hard to concentrate; and, Stenrus’ lack of manners toward a guest were dismaying him.

After Stenrus indicated Ninevas’ immediate job was done, instructing him to make a copy before sunrise, Milkas addressed him:

“Ninevas, I require your services for a turning of the glass, no longer than that.”

Ninevas felt an unaccountable thrill in his heart.

Stenrus bid them away to the common room.

~~~

As soon as they were seated, Milkas said:

“Your Dream is Truth, Ninevas.”

“My—”

“I am Revealing Myself to you, Ninevas. You will record My Words.”

Ninevas felt a strength filling his agonized frame—he had no true awareness—he wrote uncomprehendingly.

A timeless time later he heard Milkas say:

“Please, read what you have written.”

Ninevas read:

“Hear me, oh people.

“I am the One you long for, the One who fills your dreams and the Dreams of your ancestors.

“I bring you what you most need.

“I offer you Truth.

“Your Masters are ill-equipped to aid you—they live from stealing your birthright—they are palpably misguided.

Ninevas read to the end then fell into a swoon.

~~~

He woke to Milkas’ ministrations, supping a liquid of heavenly sweetness, gathering his wayward limbs into a sitting posture.

“Ninevas, who do you judge me to be?”

He heard himself say:

“Thou art Sun Benthos.”

“Yes, I am the True Sun, the Fire that quenches the Sea of false knowledge; and, you are the first to believe in Me.

“You feel not worthy yet I heard your prayer:

“‘I hear you Sun Benthos.

‘I hear but do not comprehend.

‘May I be led to Your Wisdom.’

“Be happy, Ninevas. Today you shall serve Me well and gain infinite blessing.”

Ninevas swooned again.

~~~

The sun was approaching its setting as Ninevas woke.

He had no doubt, no fear.

His Dream had become Reality and he had a Mission.

He felt the Prescence of Milkas though His body had departed.

He went from dwelling to dwelling, reading out the Words of Sun Benthos.

Some believed, most thought him insane, one rushed to the dwelling of the Masters.

~~~

Stenrus roared:

“Scum !

“You dare to usurp our rule !!

“You repeat the words of a raving lunatic and bring iniquitous shame on yourself !!!

Stenrus struck Ninevas in the face with such force that he slide across the floor.

“You shall be burned alive.”

~~~

The fire roared around him.

His flesh bubbled and his bones snapped.

His mind was clear and his heart joyous.

He greeted the Sun of Truth in His Holy Dwelling—far beyond the cares of the earth
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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