Under the Blood Moon
The Living Scrolls
The new moon was blood-red. Eagna gazed at it from her window in amazement. Whenever the crimson wonder rose on Domhan, it stirred strange energies. Naofa placed a hand on her friend’s shoulder which seemed to calm her restless spirit.
“It is a sign,” the Sorceress whispered. “Not for us, but for those who have been awaiting the gifts of Eternity.”
They sat together way into the night, watching the blood moon without a cloud crossing its path. The cave dwellers out on the porch also gazed into the crimson face of mystery in amazement, yet were not afraid. It was merely another sketch on their wall of life coming to pass. Once they all fell asleep none would stir again until the sun arrived to swallow up the miracle of the night.
In the Village of Espera and the neighboring tribe of Jinetes, sleep was more difficult. The tribe of females was restless with anticipation for the coming ceremony. The appearance of the blood moon confirmed the prophecy for the inhabitants of the village, while it heralded the coming of the Light Ones for the tribe of Jinetes. It was a glorious moon with not a blemish to mar its red face.
(After all, Ar’tine did red so superbly.……and allowing his hand to occasionally touch life on Domhan kept him from being suspicious.)
A dwelling was prepared for Eolas and Laoch to sleep in, its inhabitants moving in with another group. Sleep would come slowly for the weary males, even after all the excitement of the day and Mother Palabra listened to them giggling long into the dark night. The large meal and intoxicating effect of the females in their presence had been both exhilarating and somehow draining for the Hunter and Warrior, but in a delightful way.
Eolas spent the evening in the home of La Palabra, where she revealed a secret hold beneath the floor boards under her bed. Removing several of the long, smooth planks exposed a stone hollow that was deep and very dark; but she didn’t hesitate to reach into the darkness to retrieve the mystery of which she had spoken. In her hands she cradled a long, smooth cylinder, carefully crafted and painted with intricate detail. The Spirit Mother explained how it was formed with the red mud near the river and dried for many cycles in the sun. When it was ready, all females in the tribe shared the task of painting designs over the surface using berry and plant juices.
Eolas was mesmerized by the images on the jar and was not at all surprised to find a depiction of the great Vulture painted on its smooth surface. Beneath its dark form were delicate drawings of the Dove, Owl and the all too familiar multi-colored plumed bird he knew as his own Creator, Mac. The most striking difference about the image of his Father was the tail that had been added beneath the feathers cascading down its body. The spiked appendage curled down in a red spiral showing splotches of green scale upon it; and it wound completely around the cylinder several times and back up to the bird’s mouth where the feathered creature clinched the pointed end in its curved, yellow beak.
La Palabra explained that when their tribe awoke from the sleep of Eternity, they found the scrolls near where they had arisen, covered by mosses and soft grass. A dream revealed to her just how to create the cylinder to hold the sacred scroll. She removed the cover, laying it gently to the side, and carefully tipped the container sideways. The object that slid easily out of the dark opening looked like a rolled blanket, for it was as long as Eolas’ arm. La Palabra laid it lovingly on the animal skin covering her floor and began to unroll it there. Eolas did not know exactly what he was expecting because any image recording was new for him. And this. The images on the open scroll showed a life, laid out in pictures, flowing across its delicate face. There was no mistaking the Creators on the scroll. They were depicted as the animals they had chosen to represent their essence in the physical world of Dohman. Eolas traced each one with his finger-the gentle Dove, the Horned Owl, and the Feathered one with brilliant colors making up its plume. And behind them all was the Dark One, clearly in the form of the Wolf, lying in a supine position. The beast glared up from the scroll, its unmistakably red eyes meeting Eolas’ gaze directly.
As The Hunter examined the scroll spread across the floor his eyes scanned the impact of its tale. There on the fabric he witnessed the awakening of the females, saw them rise from the Earth, taking up their bows and poised to hunt. The small woodland was visible beside them, with the male tribe on the far side, its inhabitants holding tools and waving sticks with fire attached to them. Then, something quite unexpected caught his attention. The Hunter’s eyes were drawn to the picture of an animal he had not yet known in life. The gentle-looking creature had a long nose with flaring nostrils; and flowing behind its head was a long mane, like that of the great bearded cat. This was no great cat. The willowy beast had long legs, a muscular body and hooves, like the horned creatures of his woods; but it had a long tail trailing behind it, nearly touching the dirt upon which it stood. To Eolas’ astonishment each creature had a tribesman sitting astride its back, holding fast to it by a tether! A couple of the creatures bore no rider but carried bundles on their backs. As his eyes followed the scroll that now stretched from one end of La Palabra’s hut to the other, he was witnessing his own arrival with Laoch, so easily identified by the colorful headdress perched on his head and the broad, muscular form of his companion next to him. What an incredible likeness of the Warrior, complete with his bow, quiver at his side, and..how could it be? The tattoo with the dragon eyes was there upon his chest! How was this possible? The scroll….so old now…the tattoo, brand new.
La Palabra, knowing the thought of the Hunter, touched the tattoo and spoke in a whisper, “This is new.” She looked at Eolas.
“What do you mean, new?,” he asked in a hoarse voice.
Solemnly she replied, “It is an ever-changing vision. Our story unfolds even as we watch.” Her eyes showed amazement, but her mouth spread wide in a happy grin as though she found this entire experience incredibly delightful!
Eolas quickly scanned the remaining portion of the scroll where he saw the ceremony of joining. Both tribes were there, male and female, some sharing food and drink. He felt his face flush at the images of others depicted in entangled poses that he recognized. He could not bear to look at La Palabra; but she merely chuckled at his blushing.
Beyond the sketch of the ceremony, the drawings on the scroll faded into nothing; but somewhere beneath the moon which rose high above the gathering, Eolas could make out a very faint forested area surrounded by mountains. Foirfeachta! He squinted to clear the faded images into something recognizable. It was too faint; and yet he could distinguish something hanging in the space over the Garden. There seemed to be flames coming from it; but the image was too hazy to make out the detail. He looked at La Palabra. She shrugged and tilted her head to the side, thoughtfully. “Perhaps it is being written even as we breathe. Still, perhaps it is not to be. So, we must focus on that which is clear.” She leaned over the portion of the scroll bearing witness to the joining ceremony and tapped it. Eolas nodded in agreement, pushing the questions in his mind to a dark corner for another moment.
Quietly they rolled the scroll back up, slipped it into the jar and gently lowered it safely into its dark resting place. The boards were replaced and her bed put back over them. Eolas helped the Spirit Mother to her feet and held out his hand in a gesture of departing courtesy; but La Palabra unexpectedly reached up and wrapped her arms firmly around his neck, pulling him to her in a hug. “May Great Spirit help us to write a beautiful end to this story,” she whispered into his neck. When she released him he nodded and, not knowing how to respond, walked quietly out the door and down the steps to return to the place where he and Laoch would sleep.
Eolas could see Ella’s slim figure slipping across the clearing as Laoch watched from the doorway. The Hunter had a feeling about them. There was something about the way his friend stood taller when the female approached, but quickly relaxed as they became engaged in conversation. Eolas felt suddenly very weary and lonely for his lovely Eagna. He stepped past the Warrior and into the doorway. Laoch opened his mouth to question Eolas about the scrolls, but his companion’s hand went up quickly, silencing the Warrior. He knew it meant, ‘Ask me tomorrow’. And so he would…
to be continued……
Thank you for reading. I welcome all thoughts, comments and ideas!