Sunday, 31 May 2015

Taurus

Inspiration: Picture from the PS4 Game 'Wild", sent by Lynn de Jong, a friend from my writers group.



Looking down on my beautiful little newborn, I remember the bloody mess of his conception. Some people say childbirth is messy, it was nothing compared to blood and rain streaming all over me on the day he was conceived.

It had been raining for months. I came back from a long ride with my mate, looking for dryer grounds for our horses and cattle. We make a good team. Mino is very good at guiding a horse with his mind, he is strong and very willful. My mind tends to wander easily, but I have a sharp eye and a good sense for balance. So I am the perfect scout, standing on the back of the horse Mino is guiding.

That night when we came home, it had stopped raining for the first time in three weeks. The sky was pink in the light of the late afternoon, promising more rain tomorrow. We were in a gloomy mood when we were met by the elders. Mino almost lost it when he heard the elders had picked me for their ancient ceremony. We all had heard the tales of the ceremony of course, but it was never performed in our lifetime.

‘How can you pick her? She is hardly a virgin! We have been together for months now.’
‘Exactly,’ the elder answered, not wanting to dwell on that fact. ‘But she has never been with a bull has she? So technically that makes her a virgin for our purpose. She is perfect, standing strong on her feet and not too squeamish.’ And so it was decided, it had to be me.

On the day of the ceremony the weather gods seemed to agree with it, sending us more rain and even storm and thunder, making a real spectacle of it. First the bull was led to the cow, which he rejected. Then he was led to me. I was covered in cow dung and maybe something else, the bull liked that. It hurt like hell. I think I was bleeding, I was certainly screaming, but never lost my balance. I was standing strong and proud. After the bull did what he had to do, the elders slit his throat, catching the blood and pouring it all over me, like fertilizing me twice. I just stood there, till the rain had washed off all the cow dung, all the blood, all my tears. When it was done, Mino wrapped me in a blanket and took me home.

‘It looks just like its father, you can’t keep it,’ Mino says, looking down on the baby. How can he say that? The baby is perfect. Yes, he has his father’s eyes, his father’s nose, and his father’s chin. He even has his father’s lovely hairy ears standing proudly on his head. But he is human in every other aspect. Since his conception the rains have stopped, our land has dried, our cattle is healthy again.

‘Oh but I am! I am keeping him, look at him, how beautiful he is, a gift from the gods.’
Mino just grumps, turning his head away.
‘Hey, I am naming him after you, Mino! You will help me raise him, won’t you? You’ll be such a good father, he’ll need your strong mind for guidance. Please Mino? I’ll have to name him after his other father too. The elders insist. His second name will be Taurus. But please Mino, yours will be first.’


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Way Back

Inspiration: Cheating a bit by using one of my own pictures, taken during a week of bowbuilding and archery in France.
The people in the picture are dear friends and are in no way like the people in my story.


Crap, she thought, from all the devices she could steal she must have taken the only malfunctioning one. Her intention was to flash back just a few hours, not a few centuries. She had never seen a world so green in her own time, the device must have sent her way back. Sure she had noticed it was an old model when she picked it up, but there was no time to be picky really. It was either act and flash back or be gone forever. She preferred the first choice.

The world around her was overwhelmingly green. Did she die after all? People who came back from the dead told stories about green hills and colorful flowers. But the grey clouds above her contradicted that suspicion. She must have travelled back before the 22th century, when rain was not controlled yet and was known to pour down for days, hence the green land and the moist soil beneath her feet.

Concentrating in the middle of her head she tried to brain scan her surroundings, but as she feared she lost connection, definitely way back in time. She closed her eyes in order to access her internal library, but the lack of sunlight must have shut down that system too. So she had to rely on memory! Not many people of her time were able memorizers, but now she was grateful it had been a part of her training as a time traveling assassin. During those intense training years she had to memorize a whole range of ancient weapons too, all designed to inflict bodily damage, so barbaric.

With a shock she recognized the bows, one in the hand of a man walking in front of her. She must have landed in a warzone, if only she could know when? Bows indicated somewhere before the 16th century even, but something in the picture didn’t add up. There was a wooden chair, with more bows on it. That was strange, in every picture shown during training, bows were stored in racks. Nobody in his right mind would lay a precious weapon such as a bow on a chair.

The man in front of her started to turn, it was only a matter of seconds now before he would see her. If she was in a warzone, he would most certainly take her for an enemy. He would shoot her, wouldn’t he? She fumbled with the device in order to get back, trying to estimate the century she was in to be able to travel back safely. Travelling beyond your own lifespan meant a certain dead, thus were the rules of time travelling.

She had to think fast. So she calculated, archery, replaced by fire arms around 1500 AC, take a safety period of 200 years that would make it around 1300 AC. Adding the years travelling back adds up to… She set her estimated goal and pushed the button, before anyone noticed her.

Green, the land was still very green, was the device really broken? No the rainclouds had vanished, the men and bows were gone. It was sunny, very sunny but not hot. She looked at the big flowers in unbelievable colors. She had never been good with calculations.