Monthly Archives: June 2012
A soft voice urged Mirrortac out of his slumber. He squinted up at the silhouette in the semi-darkness; gradually realising there was a stranger in the cavern with him.
‘Now I see you, the one of the erfin clan, there is resemblance to us. I am Ameece, Maja-tak of the Werd.’
Mirrortac was surprised at the youthful tone Ameece conveyed to his mind. He strained his eyes to see her face but there was a distracting aura that simmered around her form.
‘Welcomeness She of the Werd. This erfin is named Mirrortac.’
‘The name is unfamiliar, yet it seems I have known it always,’ she answered vaguely.
There was a pause as her aura pulsed with a strange light. Then she said, ‘I am about to take you on a journey into your past. Do not be discomforted by the many images you shall be seeing. They offer no harm now.’
Ameece reached down and lifted up a small bundle at her feet. She began unfolding it, and as she did so, a soft light escaped, revealing the rough shape of a large stone that generated its own luminescence. It illuminated the maja-tak’s youthful face. Her fur was as white as snow and her eyes like bright blue jewels.
‘Mirrortac, I want you now to look into this stone and place your mind at its centre.’
But the erfin seemed not to hear as he continued to study her face.
‘Mirrortac, look into the stone,’ she said, still patient.
‘Look into the stone?’ he queried, absently.
‘Yea erfin … look into the stone; the Werdstone.’
‘Werdstone!’ Mirrortac’s eyes leapt to the glowing stone. This was the stone of the knowledge of the Ancients, he thought guardedly to himself.
He admired the stone and silently wondered at the strange luminosity which began to change in hue as he stared into it. Fascinated now by the stone, Mirrortac was almost unaware that it was drawing his mind into it, through the rainbow of yellow, green, blue … and finally, into deep violet. Everything else around him was lost to his sight until the only reality was a streaming tunnel of violet that spun and twisted past him as he sunk deeper under the spell of the stone. He could feel the strong presence of the maja-tak beside him although he saw nothing. They seemed to travel onwards, deeper and deeper into the tunnel while the voice of Ameece echoed around him, reassuring him.
‘Be nought alarmed, Mirrortac. What you are about to see, and feel, and hear and taste and smell will seem real but it be just a vision of the past. Pay no heed.’
Her voice was swept away as the tunnel appeared to explode all around him. There was a brilliant display of flashing colours which fountained out of the centre of the tunnel, gradually filling it with the most startling of visions. Indeed, despite Ameece’s warning, Mirrortac could only gasp with the incredible realness of it all. It seemed that he was standing in the forest of the Divine Green and ahead of him were the floral-clad meretees, dancing along the forest path, hugging trees and singing praises to the forest and its animals. Mirrortac could see the familiar wise form of Shubek ahead of him and felt himself acting out something that had happened so long ago now. He tried to pick up the pace but discovered that he had no control – he was simply the observer now.
Mirrortac warmed to his role as the wonderful adventurer. He told him as much as he could about the world of his birth. He told of the fields of nif-grass where the poultry bird, fote, bobbed up their heads while searching among the roots for worms. He told of the trees of the woodlands and the snowcapped heights of the mountains that towered high above all the villages. With the ability of mind contact, he was able to transmit images of all these just as though the child was there in Eol himself. Fervik beamed with delight and awe at all these fantastic visions which he relayed to all his young friends. Soon there was a small crowd of younglings seated around the erfin, who was careful not to transmit anything to do with spirits, demons and alien magic.
After the feasting was over, Swarg, the clan-master and elders led them all out into the air. All thoughts of the stranger among them were forgotten as they were greeted with the shining visage of Luma hanging above the far horizon. A brisk cold breeze greeted the party as they shrugged off the old season. Their feet sunk into the wet snow as thin streaks of cloud fanned out in the sky above them, forming a fine veil to remind them of the many days of darkness and snow just passed. Mirrortac took a deep breath, sucking in the cool crisp air until his lungs expanded, then he exhaled with a forceful gush that Fervik mimicked, grinning back with a cheeky gleam in his eyes. This made Mirrortac laugh and soon they were both laughing. The hyfnuks also laughed, but the sound of them only served to add to their amusement. The hyfnuk with the scar made such a peculiar sound when he laughed that this brought the two into hysterics until tears were streaming down their cheeks. Swarg, seeing the comical sight of all this hysterical laughter, could not withhold her own mirth, adding her own strange cackling to the throng. This dominoed onto the clan-master and even the stern-faced elders who all broke into their own unconventional chuckling and cackling. ‘Why are we all laughing,’ one elder thought out. ‘What more joyful way to greet the great Luma!’ Swarg replied.
A swirling mist drifted across the party as they moved slowly through the snow. Mirrortac squinted ahead, losing sight of them for a few moments as the mist thickened around them. His back ached under the load. There was something ominous about the mist and the sudden feeling of wariness that had crept into all their minds. In the next short moments, the hyfnuks abruptly dropped their loads and scattered, warning ‘Wooil! Wooil!’. They ducked for cover, raising their heads only a little to watch anxiously into the mist-covered ground ahead. Mirrortac was flung roughly into the snow as one of the hyfnuks fell in beside him.
The erfin did not have to wait long before seeing the cause of this reaction. It appeared at first like a small hill of snow moving towards them, but as it neared, he could see its four beady dots of eyes, which glanced furtively from side to side. The wooil thrust up its shaggy white head and sniffed the air. Puffs of mist blew out of its jaws that were armed with a dangerous set of slim pointed teeth. The creature mooed and grunted, stamping and heaving with hunger and impatience. When it saw the abandoned piles of weed it sauntered over to them and sniffed at them with interested grunts. They all watched from a safe distance, a wary head raised here and there as one or another gained courage. While they were clearly afraid, there was also another element in play – the racing blood and keen eyed mark of the hunter.
Muscles steeled as the wooil worried at the hyfnu, maddened by the scent of roznoghs. It pawed the weed with its heavy set front feet, tearing out pieces and tossing them in a litter around it. The wooil’s body was huge and white and furry like a bilk, sloping up above its thick neck in powerful shoulders then falling back into smaller yet still powerful hindquarters. It was too preoccupied with the hyfnu at this stage to notice the cautious approach of the hyfnuks who had surrounded it and were focused on a combined attack. Mirrortac shivered with awe.
Without warning they leapt up and charged the beast. Startled and stirred into a fury by the attack, the beast reared up on its hind legs, dwarfing the hyfnuks as it stretched up to its three erfin-lengths in height above them. The wooil’s deep snarling growl shook the air, mingling with the wild shouts of the hyfnuks who were charging at its belly and jumping on its back. They punched into it with their big fists, and tore into its short fur with able claws. This angered it even more, provoking it into a rage as it tried to shake off its attackers. It rested its beady glare onto one of the hyfnuks, and with a lethal swing of its powerful paw, clipped the top of the hyfnuk’s head as he tried to duck out of the way. Lumps of his fur sheared away, exposing raw pink skin. Shuth was behind the wooil when it kicked him squarely in the chest, winding him severely and throwing him into an untidy heap. Aghfa charged into the lower belly of the beast, putting his whole weight into the thrust. The wooil let out a sharp bellow of pain, falling in among the hyfnuks below it and lashing out at them with his paws. Large tufts of fur and flesh flew into the air. Aghfa slipped out from under the beast a moment before the huge belly came down, pinning one of the other hyfnuks. In a killing frenzy, the wooil sunk its teeth into the hyfnuk’s neck, and with one quick flick of its head, toar open his throat. Blood gushed out in a fountain. A hyfnuk leapt up behind the beast and started bashing his fists into its head. Other hyfnuks quickly joined in the melee, crowding over the wooil and beating at it until their knuckles started to bleed. The wooil tried to shake them off, snapping at them but without effect. Finally, it satisfied itself with gorging on the body of the dead hyfnuk. It disemboweled the corpse in front of them all, and buried its head deep into the warm innards. A distraught friend of the deceased tried to retrieve the body but the wooil back-handed him with a simple sweep of its front paw, instantly breaking his jaw.
 The six legged creature of the desert land of Petrosium.