To all a good night!

Can’t view the ancient parchments? Read it below:

and to all a good night

once a year the elves rouse him from the long winter of sleep
with their screams, their burning bodies dancing through his nightmares
he wakes to their ancient bones scattered around the workshop
white as the snow and ice that bury the ruins in silent, eternal night

the same elves that had found him under the world tree
as dead as all the other world trees
and had unwrapped him from the bonds of his frozen grave
root and chain and stone and bone
lost there for so many nights
he no longer remembered
who
or what
he was

they gave him gifts of warm clothes
hot food and drink
life and
love

until he burned inside
like a furnace

they took him into their workshops
and showed him impossible things
wonders made real
what some would call science
what others would call magic
what they called wishes

but all the wishes of the elves couldn’t save them
from the fire that burned out of control
inside him
and the ice and cold
of his soul

and so he sleeps forgotten again
in the ruins of the workshop
waking only once a year
on that anniversary

when their screams drive him out
into the snow and ice and long night
in search of other sleepers

so he can whisper in their dreams
the secrets of the elves
of impossible things
of the end

so he can free himself from the burden
of their gifts that could never be
and slumber for another year

his mind frozen hard
and unmoving
as a shard of coal
burning
in ice

Originally published in On Spec No. 102 (Fall 2015)

 

 

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About Peter Darbyshire (Roman)

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Posted on December 24, 2018, in Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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