Wednesday, September 23, 2009

War Cry Mountain

After my tryst with the desert witch, I decided to cool it off by going to the mountains. I set out alone towards the north. Soon enough, I reached the foot of the mountain which they called the War Cry Mountain.

Legend has it that a giant leaped by with a handful of earth he had scooped up, and from his fist fell a clod of earth. That clod of earth formed the mountain as we know it. When war was announced, they did so by climbing on top of this mountain and beating the huge gong on top. Another legend says that a king once killed a ferocious demon with a divine sword and buried him at the south eastern foot of the mountain and kept him inside with a huge slab of stone. A local elder once took me to the spot and showed me the fabled slab of stone. It was massive indeed. I wonder whether the legend had some truth in it, because the terrain isn't rocky. How did the huge slab come there on its own?

I circled the mountain from the western side. A clump of orchids caught my eye. They were ground orchids and resembled narcissus in color and look. But such beauty! I badly wanted to take some with me and possibly plant them in my garden. I checked my bag for my dagger and proceeded to dig out a bulb. Hardly had I done so when a feminine voice behind me said, "You'll have to splice the root and take out the core for it to grow." I turned around and saw a pretty young lady behind me dressed in white. She quietly took my dagger from my hand as I stood staring at her. Digging out a tuber, she sliced it quickly and then removed the core and handed it to me. "You see, the core has a charm that prevents the orchid from growing anywhere else. Unless you remove it, your bulb is as good as a clump of earth."
"How do you know?"
She just smiled. Then, without a word, she gave me back my dagger and walked off towards the north and turned a corner, even as I stood by like a stupefied idiot. When I came back to my senses, I ran behind her as fast as I could and reached the corner that I saw her negotiate. No one was there. Not a soul, except the bamboo towards the west and the deserted shrine on the north. Where did she go? Who was she? Was she the lady of the mountain, the one who presides over the area and guides lost travelers? I wasn't lost, or was I?

I continued walking for hours, walking mindlessly most of the time. An old man appeared out of the blue and beckoned me to follow him. He said my mission was in the lost valley and that I had to hurry there soon. I didn't know the way to the valley nor what I was expected to do. He led me to clearing where a cloud of stars was hovering by. He stepped into the cloud and it swirled around his feet. He signaled me to follow and I did so without any questions. I saw him muttering a spell and we were gliding through the mountains, towards the lost valley...

(to be continued)


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lil 'a Bop

Normally and generally, I am ether. I float in and out of substances depending on where my journey takes me. Most times though I am confined inside a container made of tissue, and my senses are restricted to what can pass through that tissue. You could say that I am confined to a body. Who isnt? And when I am thus confined, my ethereal self can only travel certain spaces. I long for that spell that works on my bodily container and lulls it to rest. Because only then am I all ether. And I can then be what I truly am, and transform into whatever I please...

I love water. It's so warm and cosy and is less restrictive than solid substances. I live in water, and revel in it. I can rest undisturbed in its depths or just float merrily on its surface. Lately, I have been exploring its depths. Clarification: I live in water, but right now, my residence is the Emerald Pond that exists inside Bemma's subconcious. It's part of her memory and is part imagination now. There was a time it had a more physical manifestation. It was cold then, and it housed different kinds of fish, insects, reptiles, and different fauna. Now, it's just emerald and warm, and it houses me and whoever I want it to house. You see, I am Bemma too. I digress...I am ether and I am woman and I am Lil a' Bop. I dive in, waiting for my mate to join me. I have the blue gem with me and its brilliance is something that can be hidden safely only in the depths of the Emerald Pond. I see that my scales have changed color to white ever since I got the gem. Anyway, does it matter?

Noise. It sounds like chatter. Three men are approaching the emerald pond. I think they espied me in my maiden form. They hasten. Why doesn't he arrive sooner? Would I have to call on the blue gem to show its power? That would only bring those greedy men nearer. I despise violence. There must be another way...I dive inside the depths of the Emerald Pond. I hear him say my name. Lil a' Bop. I say it out aloud taking care to breathe through the gem. Dont ask me how. And then I surface again. Splash! I stretch my neck to its full length and peer towards the men. I see them scurrying off into the distance, frightened. I smile. Little did they know that the denizen of the emerald pond is no tame human maiden. Lil a Bop... the silver-white serpent that enthralls and awes...I don't need venom in my fangs to strike fear in the hearts of men...until the next time I find myself in another form, I stay, swimming inside the Emerald Pond, basking in the moonlight, and looking at the blue gem from time to time. Smile.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Gold, Copper, Silver (continued)

Time froze as I watched the speck of gold from the lairen's eye jump into my husband's right eye. The men cloistered around him suddenly faded out. Have you experienced anything like that before? I haven't. It was very surreal, but there was no doubt in my heart that it was very real indeed, and all consequences, never to be undone again...Sigh.

Would we have been better off as humans?

Well, as you might be guessing, the speck of gold was no ordinary speck of dust, but the Lairen himself. All these years, he had lain there, under the mound next to the village with no name, biding his time. His rival, the black serpent, the Laimu had been ruling the Lake all this while. And now it was time. The era was ending, and Laimu could rule no more. Lairen's essence had jumped into my husband's eye. And soon, he would be human no more, but start morphing. One week to the full-moon left before he would be fully Lairen.

But that's all about him. I didn't tell you that being his human consort was painful for that week to the full moon and a week after. You see, with nightfall, he would turn and want to stay in the pool all night. By day, he would be human. One week after his metamorphosis was complete, I too morphed. And then it was just a matter of time until we went and started living in the Lake.

I love the Lake. Beneath the floating mass of phumdi, the islands of matted weeds, I can swim and swoop, twirling my tail round and round. I am a mass of shiny copper scales that glint in the sunlight. I love my new look, but Lairen I find spectacular. Sometimes, when he dips in and out of the Lake, his golden scales reflect the moonlight in a way I cannot describe. He is busy working up a pact with his friend Laingou--the white serpent. Laingou will be in charge of the northern parts of the Lake.

Oh, dawn nears...I have to slip back now to the watery depths.

*Notes: I have borrowed the terms lairen, laimu, laingou and phumdi from my native Meitei language for this fantasy post.