Friday, April 12, 2013

New Story Start: the Misspent god

Ever since I read Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis I've been ruminating on a story about a god or a king or a queen or someone with incredible power.  And I'm still intrigued and challenged to write something in first-person.  I took a mythology course in High School that has stuck with me, am fascinated by Norse mythology and love the movie Thor (of all the superhero movies, one of the most Shakespearean --Thank you, Mr. Branagh).  So, it just seems like the natural next step to take up the subject in earnest.  Enter stage left:  Oldenvort.  Here is the beginning of what may be a short story, a long short story or another novel.  Who knows how far it will go?  This is what I love about writing fiction! (And yes, the missed caps are intentional.)

the Misspent god

I died on the third floor of the library, facing west—wonderful, oceanic west, with the sea sparkling as I had forgotten that it could.  Shall I tell you how I came to such a place of death?  It comes to mind that the beginning would be a good place to start, although I am far more intrigued by the ending of things than their beginnings.  Where I now reside has no beginning and no end. But, I do think that you may need a beginning.  However, the middle of things tends to be much more dramatic than the beginning or the end—ah, I diverge as I am prone to do. 

The beginning was full of my unthrottled cries and my mother’s heavy and newly unburdened sleep.  The midwives, I was told repeatedly, were nearly as exhausted as my mother.  So, few words were spoken as they cleaned my flailing body.  “This one will be great in the midst,” said one midwife to the other.  A wink and a nod were the only other two parts of the weary conversation.

Bound, but this time in coarse cloth and not my mother’s fleshy belly, I fought as Prometheus to loose myself from the woven fetters. Soon, through much writhing and wrestling, I freed myself with such zeal that the golden cradle that held me tipped to one side and I rolled free of its clutches. Having rolled several times, I then lay beneath a large, rustic table obscured by shadow and hidden from any searching eye. You may find it incredible that I neither cried out nor suffered any pangs of hunger and that I recall this event in its entirety. I was born a god, remember everything and have suffered much from both.

For seventeen cycles of the sun I lay there silently beneath the table. I remember feet the better part of that time. The feet of the nurse-maids, filthy and rough, the boots of the guards, stolid and polished, the loose and scuffed shoes of the conscripts searching for me, and the boots of my father. These were great boots with bronze scales reflecting any light by day or night. The leather soles were as thick as my leg and the straps were as wide as my hand. The ground shook as he walked and all souls quaked at his entrance.

I believe this was the first time I hated him. I could hear the trembling in their voices as he questioned and accused. And I comprehended his power that could bend the heavens and the earth to his will. In my infancy, in my beginning, I vowed that I would not wield that power. And thus my journey began—a journey of diminishment. It was a journey solely designed to dismantle the power of my father’s voice. I am Oldenveldort and this is my tale.

Copyright M.R. Hyde 2013