Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Another story...

Another story, this one from when Bainwen asked me to tell a tale of heroism, the struggle between good and evil...

Many years ago, before the white man had walked the plains, there lived a peaceable tribe, one of men and women of honor pure. They traded fairly with their neighbors, never cheating of a single morsel of food, or even the tiniest member of the largest stable of horses.

Yet, there was trouble over the horizon, across a mighty river and atop a green mountain. There lived two men, one young and of great cunning and smooth speech, and one old, of great spiritual power but weak will. These men saw what the tribe had amassed and created, a life happy and safe, and envied it greatly.

They couldn't trade for such security, as they had nothing to trade. They couldn't work for it, as neither man could work. They could take it, opined the younger. Dim their eyes, dull their wits, and they could take whatever they wanted.

No. The old man was firm. They couldn't. What if there were survivors? The younger rebuked this lightly. There need be no survivors. If there were none, it was safe.

So it was sealed. As Iago dripping the poisonous thought into Othello's brain, the younger had started the older down a path that would lead to great wealth- and death.

Rituals were performed, rites offered, dark magic performed and repeated, each successive wave building on the last. The village across the river began to get sick. The strongest man to the youngest baby, each fell ill, and lay still, consumed with fever. Slowly but surely, the fevers advanced, taking victim after victim, and soon they would begin to kill.

A young shaman saw this, this evil that had befallen his village, and knew its source. In his younger years, the old crone who had taught him some of his incantations and prayers had spoken of the two men across the river. Evil lay in their hearts, she said. Evil, and the ability to bring it to life.

There, he knew what he needed do. With his wife he prayed, gathering his strength and the power of the spirits behind him. With a small bag at his side, holy sage and water inside, he traveled across the waters.

He came upon and bound the younger man, and saw what had occured. The old man had been completely consumed by the darkness, the dark power he had summoned. There was only one way he could be released, and that was for the shaman to go head-to-head against that evil. Alone. His spirit would need to walk the shadowy otherworld, and he would gamble it all. Win, and his people lived. Lose, and they died. Oh, by the way, his soul would take the place of the old man's- locked in the dark.

Lying before the fire, with a token of his totem in hand, the shaman let his spirit wander, willing it to enter that realm where the old man was trapped. His spirit met the evil within, and grappled with it. It was no contest- the evil was winning, and easily. Yet, with his last gasp, with the last bit of will and strength his spirit had, the shaman prayed.

"Wakan Tanka, tunkashila, onshimala...", it intoned. Pity me, Grandfather Spirit, so my people may live. With that prayer, begging for mercy and pity, begging for the strength of others, a light pierced the darkness. The evil was defeated, to never return. As he struggled back to wakefulness, the shaman saw a change had occured in the two men. The older man had healed, back to his normal self. The younger had been changed, and now pledged himself to service, disappearing into the wild.

On returning home, the shaman saw that his village was healing. The fevers had broken, and as he gathered his wife in his arms, he knew all was well.


Blogger martie said...

I've read both the stories that you posted. You are a very good story teller. Did you make up these stories? A Healer and a Story, what talent!

1/12/2006 12:41 AM  
Blogger Tirithien said...

Both totally on the fly, one evening when Bainwen asked me for a story. :-)

Thanks. :-D

1/12/2006 8:36 AM  
Blogger Bainwen Gilrana said...

Well done, my love. I like this version even better than the one you told me before. :-)

1/12/2006 10:49 AM  
Blogger Anonymous Assclown said...

I would have liked it better if evil triumphed over good.

1/16/2006 8:38 AM  

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