Erosoi Scene II

Erosoi Scene II

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“You’re not going to flake out on me are you?”

“You cheated,” whined Bran, hands on his knobby knees, fnasting his reply.

“Cheated!?” Despite his best efforts to resist, his smile found its inevitable way. “I counted to three.”

“Yeah, but you started running on one!”

Erosoi laid an arm over Bran’s shoulders. “You know I’m just kidding kidder.”

“Kidder?”

“You are going to be able to keep up right?”

“Hey,” he said, standing straight. “I’ve been stuck down here just as long as you.”

“You don’t see me huffing and puffing.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Can we just get going?”

Erosoi, the trail to the canyon’s rim to his back, turned his attention south. Flocks of sheep grazed in the grasses along which they’d just raced. Two dozen robins sought worms in the still wet grass. Thrushes (both the song and the thistle) proclaimed their stubbornness at a scold of invasive jays. And not fifty paces away stood the oaken Great Mother to whom he waved a cheerful goodbye.

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“Crikey, Erosoi. Can we just get going?”

Erosoi lowered his already low set eyebrows. “I’ll be buggered if you’re gonna talk to me like that, Bran.”

“I’m excited as you are Erosoi. I mean, you can’t stop moving.”

Erosoi fixed his feet and crossed his arms and hiked those thick, ideally shaped brows.

“Sod this for a lark,” Bran surrendered, breaking the awkward silence. He took his dagger from the leather scabbard at his waist and turning to find an old branch, proceeded to strip it smooth.

Erosoi, his gaze meandering over the canyon spread out before him, let a breath, heavy with everything he was about to leave behind, fall and turned, satiating his lungs with buoyant air, to the trail ahead. “Sorry kidder, just a little in bits, you know. I don’t know if I’ll ever be back.”

Bran nearly dropped his new walking stick and Erosoi took his first step up the long winding incline. “You’re not serious?”

Erosoi turned not to look over his shoulder and replied in the affirmative.

“Why? What happened?”

With neither pause nor break in his advance, Erosoi, determined to let yesterday remain just that, recounted the whole episode and the thoughts with which he wrestled, but did not let his retelling distract him from savoring his first ascent since the snows broke. He interjected into his story various observations as he, with the concentrated eyes of the shithouse rat, made a concerted and deliberate effort to take everything in. He twice mimicked the green woodpeckers’ loud kluu-kluu-kluus. He directed Bran’s attention to a jay half-hidden in the brush fishing for acorns and a sparrowhawk, black in the bright blue sky, circling over the dark forest to the north. Beetles and dragonflies and other little things crawled and buzzed and chirped. He offered simultaneous good mornings and good-byes to the woad and the flax and the madder and pointed out “that hawthorn” where “he and Henwen went hot and heavy,” the birch where Bella bared her baps, and by the time he said everything he needed to say about last night, they reached the rim and Erosoi turned to examine the canyon from which he emerged.

Densest to the north, the forest of oak and hazel and hawthorn and birch tapered on its way south along the eastern and western sides, where, at its southernmost reaches, the canyon rim lay bare. He combed his hair and entered the forest to a long, slow, moaning-wind welcome. And with that wind’s moan, the kind of moan a woman exhales when her champion, returned after a lengthy campaign, caresses her cwm for the first time, Erosoi knew Cuhmal mistranslated. Not that he didn’t get the words right; rather, he missed something in the grammar. His translation put the song in the future, but Erosoi knew the birds glad-warbled of the present: everything was alright, always already alright.

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Sap dripped from wet trees in the deep forest’s virgin dark and with his first gentle steps, he could almost feel the forest arch her back, grind her hips. He caressed the trees, rubbed their leaves between his thumb and forefinger. Shadows trembled and shivered. Branches grabbed his cloak and his bag. Low lying shrubs pulled his trousers.

And there, not twenty paces away, stood the squat pink salt cairn. Approaching it with the reverence about which Achtland taught him he must always maintain, he adjusted his trousers, palmed the stone, rubbed its flattened top, and leaned forward for the kiss. The wind wuthered, then howled; the trees shuddered, and a trickle of rain fell from a heavy cloud, a cloud, by all appearances, longing to rain much more than it did. Erosoi lifted his head and the wind sighed.

“Fucksocks, Erosoi. Are you done messing around?”

“Go swivel yourself you grizely chatterfart.”

Chatterfart!?” Bran snorted, and led his best friend forward, his arm draped over Erosoi’s shoulder.

Down on her knees, the forest begged him to stay. They could create a world together here, she promised. She pleaded with him to forget, to put yesterday behind him. Her palace of conception burning, she touched upon his sense of pride, tried to chide him into staying for now, in this moment of vulnerability, she would need him most of all. And if he stayed—she leaned in to whisper—she would make it all worthwhile. His heart raced at the prospect, but he narrowed his eyes when he saw through her pleadings and assayed her, still on her knees, the tears in her eyes as clear as the song of the nightingale.

Bending one turn too many, the twisting and spiraling within which the oaks retained their strength and quiet fortitude popped and exploded and Erosoi, his jaw clenched lest he say something he regret, spun and marched with the force, the speed, and the strength of strides born from the union of detest and war. Eyeballing the distant light at the edge of the forest, Erosoi kept his mouth shut, though the whites around his knuckles betrayed the grudge he bore against just another crackling dandilly who would hold him down. The vast rolling grassland a single step away, she, in one last ditch attempt, snagged him at the collar. She brushed him with one final wandering aroma and Erosoi, stuck for a moment in his roots, broke the nimble oak branch; he threw it to the ground and with one final victorious step, abandoned her for the world, now wide open, in front of him.

Back turned, arms raised overhead, Erosoi presented the forest a two-finger salute and ran his comb through his golden hair. His crowning glory.


16 thoughts on “Erosoi Scene II

      1. People say not to write too many convoluted sentences, but this is a style of writing which goes way back. I try to mix it up and keep the sentences manageable for YA Fiction, but in The Four Edged Sword I let loose with a swag of lengthy sentences, told in reversed or inverted classic English sometimes, mimicking verse so that the piece seems more poetic as the story is told. I even try to include poetry at points throughout the books. This is interjected and punctuated with some short, effective sentences, wherever needed. I try to write each paragraph three times and move on if I can, choosing the right one. Your style is beautiful and I, for one, cannot wait to see the finished result. Do you have a cover yet? It would be nice to be able to visualize. What’s the title of the book. I didn’t see one. I won’t tell, I promise. lol 😀

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      2. That’s the one thing that I have been frustrated about–people say not to write too many convoluted sentences, but I for one think complexity of sentences adds to their beauty. I can see why you wouldn’t want too many in a row…I think a lot of such perspectives stems from Hemingway residuals. And yes, complexity=poetry. I don’t have a cover as I am trying to go the traditional publication route–finding an agent and so on. The president of an agency called Writers House has his hands on the first 50 pages right now. So I’m crossing my fingers. Planned title is “The Story of the Four.” Simple, but to me, archetypal, mythic.

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      3. I like it. Game of Thrones is simple, but very powerful. I wouldn’t change it. When I tried to come up with a name for my world, I wanted it to be once like Eden, but fallen into ruin. So I mucked around with the concept of BenEden (As in “Been like Eden” or “Once like Eden”) Sometimes the simplest things are the best. 😀

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      4. I was wondering about BenEden–I thought the ben was as in the Hebrew “ben” meaning “son of.” I like it–Been/Once like Eden. Yesterday I wrote a post on the Adam and Eve story called “Re-Visioning Eve”–it’s under “Mythic Musings”

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      5. Does religion figure much into your work? I teach Religious Studies at a private university in Austin and while not the primary component, the religious/spiritual/mythological traditions of my respective characters are essential to their stories

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      6. Yes, but it is arbitrary. In each of my junior novels, religion plays a small part, but it is not preachy and only superficial in its presence and apart from one book, does not impact on how the narrative is driven. I also incorporate dreams as much as I can and try to be inventive about how they are used and written. 😀

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      7. Fair enough–definitely no need to beat the kids over with religion–but I was wondering more about your new work. Forgive me if I misunderstood, but I was under the impression your current work was not necessarily geared toward children.

        I too love working with dreams and dreams–with dreams you can make fantasy even more fantastic without seeming too cheesy. I have three such sequences posted: “Dreaming the Horned One” (Erosoi’s Scenes); “A Grateful Dream” (Darrath); and “Alchemy of Demons” (Jen).

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      8. Yes, my latest book is quite violent in places and definitely not for young people aged less than 16. I’m aiming for clarity of purpose, a genuinely believable world, stunning set pieces and characters you can believe in and want to succeed. But I won’t be killing off main characters like a certain other famous author. lol. 😀

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      9. I smile–gee, I wonder who you are talking about. Violence for me was a tough issue–how to express it, how much is too much, how little is too little. Excessiveness is just that–excessive–and while there may be a point to it (I think of the first scene in “Saving Private Ryan”), I think a writer can get lost and therefore loses the point. I have a couple fight scenes and though I don’t think 16 year olds get shocked by violence (which is in itself a whole different can of worms) again I think there is a time and a place for it. One of the greatest challenges I had in writing was the final battle at the end of Erosoi’s story–his story leads that way pretty early on. I had been reading a lot of Celtic poetry and some scholarly work on Celtic poetry (Erosoi is Celtic), then the bulb went on over my head–“I’ll tell the story of the final battle in poem form)…I researched ancient Celtic poetic forms and went for it…It was hard, but in the end I thought it was pretty cool. The reader then learns about the final war after the fact as Erosoi’s bard sings the battle poem.

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      10. Just looked you up on Amazon and read the first few pages of the prologue to “The Black Fairy and the Dragonfly.” It is lovely; I don’t know…this feeling of gentleness came over me reading it…just as I imagine a fairy and a dragonfly would feel. It makes me happy.

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      11. Thank you. The story starts off gentle, but there are elements of darkness to it, especially in the little black fairy’s dealings with the dark queen. But it never steps beyond the realm of a children’s fantasy, which is why it’s perfectly suited to 8 years and over. Thanks for those words of encouragement. Each of my books has its own style. Well, that’s what I was aiming for anyway. 😀

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  1. Now I just finished the prologue–and all that happiness and giddiness and lightness I felt just got twisted and turned–what a way to create tension and makes me want to read more. Great stuff. I can see why all the great comments.

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