Thursday, 16 February 2017

Omen of Seven

In a clearing The Seven waited. The moon was rising and soon it would be time for the conclave. Prodigy paced around the circle, wearing a path through the grass. She was impatient to begin. As the eldest it was her role to start and end the conclave. She had the power to overrule any one of The Seven and she had used her power only once in her long life. She wrapped her cloak more closely around her thin frame and ran her fingers through her greying hair. Auspice sat on a three legged stool and stared glassy eyed before him. It was many years since his sight had been taken from him and he had finally accepted his blindness after many years of anger and bitterness. He now saw the wisdom that had been granted him when his vision was lost. The ropey veins stood out on his arthritic hands and he rubbed them together against the cold.

Sign lounged against a tree with his arms folded, observing The Seven. He was bored and wished this evening was over soon. There were things he needed to attend to and he had no time to waste hanging around in this ancient wood with the others. He scowled at the others with contempt in his ice cold blue eyes. These were not the powerful mages he had expected when joining The Seven and he had little time for any of them.

In the centre of the clearing stood Portent rubbing her swollen belly. She felt serene and calm despite the bad vibes pouring from Sign. She smiled at him and he turned away. He was an angry soul and Portent sighed. There had been a time when they had been close but he had withdrawn into the company of thieves and vagabonds. She hoped that they might be close again soon but even the impending birth of her child had failed to touch his cold heart. The child quickened and she rubbed more slowly, calming the life within her and singing to it. Augury drew close to her and took her hand. He felt her pulse and stroked along the length of her fingers. He smiled and nodded at Portent. The healer within him tapped into the life force of her child and told him that all was well, the child was strong. He closed his kindly hazel eyes and listened to the life-force of Portent’s daughter. This one was strong and Augury could feel the old magic surging through the child.  

Presage sat cross legged on the ground plucking and weaving flowers into a braid.  She hummed an ancient tune and watched as her fingers twisted the stems into a plait and saw it grow. When it was the right length she twisted the ends together and formed a circlet. She rose effortlessly and placed the garland on Auspice’s head. He smiled and reached for her hand. Presage held his hand and lifted it to her lips. The old man smiled and pulled her hand to his cheek, savouring the cool smooth flesh against his wrinkled skin. Presage tossed her golden curls and threw her head back to stare at the rising moon. She felt great peace in this place, a sense of well-being despite the sneering of Sign.

‘We are only six, ‘ said Prodigy. ‘We cannot begin until we are seven and the moon is nearing its zenith. We must begin soon or lose the perfect time for another year. Where can he be?’

Sign snorted and strode across the circle to join her.

‘If I have wasted my time here I will not come again next year. Many plans were cancelled so I could be here and my time is precious, even if yours is not.’

‘Heaven forbid you should miss a chance to make another soul’s life unhappy!’

Sign turned towards Auspice and scowled at the old man.

‘Please, think of the child,’ whispered Portent. ‘She deserves peace and good will, not negative thoughts and words.’

A chill wind blew through the clearing and ruffled the robes of The Seven.  The moon shone brightly through a gap in the clouds and a hooded figure walked slowly from between the trees.

‘Welcome to conclave. Make yourself known.’ Prodigy spread her arms and all eyes turned to the hooded figure. Auspice leaned forward and listened to the breathing and the rustling of the robe. The figure stood tall and still.

Augury shivered as the temperature dropped. The figure dropped the hood from his head. A gentle face, shaved head like a monk and a smile. Augury moved towards him, circled and nodded.

‘A gentle soul, well worthy to join The Seven. Welcome!’

One by one the others approached and examined the stranger. Presage guided Auspice and the old man ran his hands lightly over his features. He also nodded. Prodigy was the last to face him and he raised his eyes to meet hers. They looked deeply into each others eyes and eventually Prodigy nodded too.

‘We are seven and may begin. The moon has risen, the time has come. Join us.’

They stood in a circle, joined hands and waited. In the distance a wolf howled and a bell tolled. Prodigy dropped the hands she held and raised hers to the moon.

‘We welcome the seventh, to take the place of Foretoken. Share your name with us and become one of The Seven.’

‘My name is Omen. I join The Seven with joy, with humility and with gratitude. Accept me, make use of my gifts.’

They began to walk slowly widdershins and chanted.

‘Welcome to The Seven! Welcome Omen of Seven!’

The conclave of The Seven had begun.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Phoney Valentine

You sent me flowers,
I thought of funerals.
You sent me chocolates,
I thought of the calories.
You sent me champagne,
I thought of false celebration.
You sent me a card,
I thought of the ruined rain forest.

You took me for dinner,
I had no appetite.
You gave me jewellery,
I saw a guilty conscience.
You played romantic music,
I heard silly, soppy tunes.
You tried to romance me,
I felt cold and betrayed.

You rushed off early to meet up with her,
I went home to shred your clothes,
Key your car, destroy your CDs
And leave you..
Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, 11 February 2017

The Prompt - Be

Be present in the moment,
Let all things quiet and settle.
Be still and notice
What surrounds you.

I am bad at being still,
i am bad at being quiet.
My minds chatters on and on,
Thoughts rush at me unbidden.

Be still and feel your body,
Sense and feel your breathing.
Be quiet and listen to the Universe.
Appreciate the moment.

My mind whirls, refuses to listen.
The Universe can't get a word in.
I twitch and fidget,
Unable to just 'Be'.

Be quiet and listen for wisdom,
Breathe deeply and just be.
Be present in your body,
Be aware of what you are.

I'm trying, Universe, really trying,
But I'm having difficulty.
How can I listen and breathe deeply
When there is so much more to me?

I don't do meditation.
I don't do sitting still.
I don't do yoga or zen.
I can't just 'be'.
I need to chatter, to interact,
To connect with those around me.
So thank you for the wisdom
But I'll pass on serenity,
Say 'no' to tranquillity,
Ignore just 'being'
And enjoy just being me. 

Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Prompt - Yellow

This is a continuation of my last The Prompt post, prompted (excuse the pun!) by all the kind words and wanting to know more. So buckle up, here we go!

As Tom stepped into the lounge he was aware of a chilling cold. The room felt as if the window had been left open on the coldest night of the year; it cut him to the bone and he wrapped his arms around his torso. The darkness seemed solid here, far darker than it ought to have been with a lamp burning in the hall behind. Tom stared hard into the darkness but couldn't make out anything in the room. The drum beat was still here although it seemed to be coming from far away.

Suddenly the door slammed shut behind Tom and he spun round in surprise. He reached out for the handle but it was no longer there. There was nothing solid for his fingers to touch, no handle, no door, no wall. Tom knew that he'd only taken a small step into the room so the door should have been right behind him. But it wasn't. How was this possible? Tom moved forward one step, expecting to bump into the door but he didn't; another step, still nothing. Even though it was impossible to do, he walked forward by five or six steps. He should definitely have banged into the door or wall by now.

This was silly. The room was the darkest place he had ever been. He closed his eyes, then opened them and the effect was the same. Not a glimmer of light anywhere. He turned slowly round but there was no light, nothing he could see which gave him a focal point. Tom felt totally disorientated, he had no idea where he was in the room or where the door was to get out. Why hadn't he flipped the light switch when he opened the door?  And still the drum beat on.

Tom spun round, groping around him for anything solid, anything that would help him work out where he was. The drum was beating in time with his heart, just half a beat behind his heartbeat. The faster Tom's heart went the faster the drum beat, as if it was synchronised to his heart. His breathing became faster and shallower and Tom realised he was on the verge of a full blown panic attack. He'd never had one before but he had seen it after an ill-advised visit to the reptile house at London Zoo with a snake phobic girlfriend. He made a conscious effort to slow his breathing and his panic soon began to die down.

The drum continued to beat in tandem with Tom's heart. It seemed to be coming from behind him but Tom knew from experience that this wasn't reliable. As slowly as he could he began to turn to his right ; the drum beat moved with him. He stopped and slowly turned left; the same happened, the drum beat moved to the left too. Tom was chilled through, blind as a bat and disorientated. It was time to take control. He had to get out of the room.

Tom knew that the room wasn't that big, he should be able to cross it in no more than ten paces. If he could stride out confidently he would hit a wall in a few steps and then he could follow it round the room until he found the door frame. Then he could turn the light on, see what was making that awful drumming and put a stop to this nonsense. Taking a deep breath he strode out into the darkness, one step at a time, arms extended in front of him. He was reminded of childhood birthday parties playing Blind Man's Bluff with his friends. This time, however, there was no childish laughter and no prize at the end.

After twenty paces Tom stopped. This was silly. The room wasn't big enough for him to have done what he had just done. Standing completely still, Tom strained his ears to listen once more to the drum beat. It was steady, just like a heart beat. Just like his heart beat. All the time it seemed to be behind him, as if it was following him across the room. Tom could think of nothing in his house that could make a sound like that. In fact, he couldn't think of anything at all that would sound or behave like it.

More worrying was the lack of any other sound. No traffic, although he lived close to a busy road; no household noise; no voices of passers-by. All he could hear was the drum beat, his ragged breathing and the blood pulsing in his ears. No sound, no vision. Tom felt alone and frightened.

In the corner of his eye Tom saw a faint yellow light. He closed his eyes, the light was gone. Opened his eyes, the light was there. He repeated this several times and each time the light was still there when he opened his eyes. Tom realised that he'd been holding his breath so took a few deep breaths to steady himself.  He turned his head towards the light and it was still there, front and centre. Hardly daring to believe what he was seeing, Tom slowly moved towards the faint yellow light. It remained steady, it got closer as he walked but stayed faint and fragile.

Tom hoped that it was the light seeping round the edge of the door but as he got closer he saw that it wasn't like the edge of a door. The light was hovering at eye level and seemed to be floating above the floor. As he drew nearer Tom could see that the light was splitting into several parts, two, three, four distinct lights hovering in front of him.

Tom gasped as he realised what he was seeing. Picked out in pale, flickering yellow light was the word 'HELP'.