I Fear No Darkness
It all began with a rusty iron key;
– adventures have been propelled into action
by lesser things….
And this was no ordinary key
I knew that from the moment I first laid eyes on it.
Despite the rust the key glittered in places…
flecks of shiny iron glinted through
were the rust flaked off….
… an intricate wire plait looped through the end of the key-
and fastened to the end of the plaited wire was a small green mirror.
I felt a moment of trepidation… was this a mystical mirror?
Dare I look upon the reflective surface?
Destiny holds shadows when you fear
and I had no desire to linger in flawed shadows….
… and so I looked… deep into the mirror
and what I saw was not what I expected
I had expected some decayed reflection of myself
but found instead a trail which lead off into vast distances-
– trees gathered by the wayside, a breeze trembled through rustling branches.
The far horizon dotted with a line of Pyramids
beyond which a blazing sun rippled with sporadic Solar flares….
spirals of smoke curled out from the sun like Medusa-hair
There can be smoke without fire, you know;
How long I gazed into the mirror I could not say
it seemed day passed into night and back to day
and when I finally tore my gaze from the mirror
I was not where I thought I should be-
– I was on that path, bathed in a heat so intense I could hardly breathe…
I stood on a golden step that lead down onto the path itself
behind me lay a darkness thick and foreboding
and it would seem my adventure lay ahead…
Even more so peculiar was my attire
for I was dressed in clothes of another time
a staff adorned with feathers in one hand
the key still gripped in the other-
– A pouch of herbs and a dagger were attached to my belt…
… I felt prepared for a journey and a quick glance into the mirror
suggested the same, for I saw invisible feet leave a trail along the path
and knew (don’t ask me how) but I knew those foot prints were mine;
I walked a ways, not really knowing my destination
knowing only that it would be revealed to me on the journey…
… so I walked, enchanted by the trees who sang of a far-off Shangri-la-
– they were good company, those ancient trees
each one whispered tales of the mystical nirvana at the end of the trail
a place of complete bliss and delight and peace
only… troubled times had fallen on the temple there
so sang the trees… the priestess’s were ill
of unknown causes
and only I could help, for all others had failed…
… I paled upon hearing this… my footsteps faltered
I could not save a temple of ailing priestesses
I was no healer… I was simply- me…
Have faith! cried the trees…
you must, you must in your own power trust…
But I don’t have a cure for what ails the temple priestesses I moaned
I am set to fail as all else failed…
No! The trees urged, already you travel further than those before
– a little further and all will be revealed…
have faith… have faith…
The trailed seemed endless… I felt no closer despite my steps
the trees all looked the same and I’m sure the darkness followed me…
have faith, the trees whispered, have faith…
no one has made it this far… all gave up and gave in- to the darkness
do not stop until you come to the Mother Of All Trees
for she has a gift for you…
And so on I walked, on and on, even though it felt like I made no progress;
I dare not rest… who was I to falter when others needed my aid…
on and on, that insidious darkness always lurking behind
I fear no darkness, I declared recklessly… I FEAR NO DARKNESS
this litany I repeated to myself over and over
fervently…. mantra-like … I fear no darkness
You are here, whispered a soft warm voice… where all else have failed
you are here… look behind you—the darkness fears you!
It was the Mother of All Trees who spoke and she was right….
… the darkness had retreated to the far distance
and I had made it to the line of pyramids
which guarded the entrance into the Temple of Shangri-la;
Mother of All Trees curved her branches around me in soothing embrace
dropping into my hands amber resin toffees….
Inside these toffees, there is medicine, the Mother of Trees said
your journey is almost over;
you must place one toffee in the mouth of each priestess
and then you must quickly leave… do not wait to see the result of your labors
trust that what you do is the right course of action.
Return to me and I will see you safely home…
I walked on… between two towering pyramids and on to the temple beyond;
once there I did as the Mother had instructed
pausing only briefly to gaze in awe at the supine priestesses….
and then I returned, wearily, to the Mother of Trees;
Have I been successful, Mother, I asked
you must believe you have child, faith, trust in your faith.
Now come, rest on this bed of soft grasses around my roots
I will watch over you.
I don’t recall falling asleep… I don’t recall dreaming
but when I woke I found myself nestled in the soft grasses
that grew around the roots of my favorite tree
by my favorite river-
– in my hand I held a rusted iron key
and an amber resin-like toffee.
This was written for a Fantasy Prompt Challenge on a creative site I help admin – Apollo Blessed. New Members Welcome
Apollo Blessed is a site for artists in general. Writing, music and art are all welcome here! Happy creativity!