Thursday, August 27, 2009

Not a good day for sorcerers


Time stretched out as B. raised his stone blade, sensing each muscle in his arm and thinking for a moment that he was weightless. Knife, hand, arm all seemed to move of their own accord. A slight movement of air made the sweat trickling everywhere on his body cool and he thought he saw a sparrow hopping at the corner of his eye. The blade hovered and began its descent, returning from the heavens and the daystar on an endless journey downward, earthward, darkward. As the sharpened flint approached the twitching animal, B. felt himself falling beyond all life, all hope, unreachable by gods or mortals.
Every "person of power" who plays a role in this tale was touched by the events of the twenty-second day of the Herb Month. All were alarmed and by noon one is dead and three are exhausted. And the author? His bad knee hurts a lot right now. At work he takes breaks and stretches; writing at home he just sits and lets it hurt until he can't ignore it. Naughty writer!

I just finished composing one of the most dramatic chapters of the book. It is possibly the most evil moment in the tale and one of the most hope-filled. There is nothing subtle in the battle between light and darkness in this scene. The old woman commanded to help the princess recites a spell evocative of St Patrick's breastplate or lorica. It also clearly casts a circle, invoking the four elements and the four directions. The elements are easy to discern, the directions require a knowledge of the geography of my fictional world.

All those years studying Church history, liturgics, and various spiritual paths do make it easy to draw on sources of imagery and themes without cracking a book.

In this fantasy parallel world both pre-Christian and Christian imagery is saturated with light mysticism. Their version of the Prologue of the Fourth Gospel would begin thus:
Annan dechrad n Solus jeroh,
L an Solus lei Zdvas jeroh,
L Zdvas jeroh n Solus.

"In the beginning was the Light...."
Not a difficult stretch, nor alien to the Christian tradition of our own world.

Chapter 64 of the book (First Draft): Light 1, darkness 0.

And now to bed, earlier than last night, thank you Jesus.

Sweet dreams, my sprightly sparks.

--the BB

4 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Sweet dreams, luv.

I enjoyed your writing and your writing about your writing.

Paul said...

Thank you, Mimi. I was rather drained last night after writing the scene that stretched over two chapters. I believe it is the turning point of the book. Trying to write about the aftermath this weekend. It is such a wonderful adventure to tell a tale.

author said...

A long time ago you sent me a message on Facebook about this and because notification is spotty for me I just read it today after I went through everything. I love this -- and clearly the rhythm of the speech seems to me to be inspired by Armenian (spoken Armenian, not kurapar, I think). Very nice, creative and impressive!

Paul said...

Janine, Zdvas is adapted from Azdzvad quite intentionally.