Friday, August 27, 2010

Fragment for later

"Greetings to the last soul to speak to my father while living."

Jack looked up.  Floating out from the forest was a bowl of thorny horns, a stag's crown, growing out from a head almost human.  The face was furry, and ancient in a way beyond age, bearded and chiseled, everything a dark nutmeg in the pale moonlight, crossed by shadowbranches.  The face was bound to a body, the bulk of a bull in the mold of a man, massive and mighty.  The apparition passed from the forest, walking with a cadence of one entranced, but the beastman's eyes were as lucid as lakeripples. 

"He has rejoined us now, and is once more beyond us all."  The voice was whistle of wind through wood, breath across jugs.  Deep and warm and rich and soft.

This makes no sense, thought Jack.  He stared at the creature before him, rising up above like an ocean wave headed to shore, and felt a creeping sense of the familiar, and of the unreal. 

"Do I know you, sir?" asked Jack of the creature.  

"We have not met, though we know of each other.  You have been told of me, by journeymen across the sea.  I am the Horned One.  The Second One.  The Good One."

"I see," said Jack.  Suddenly he wished he had a weapon.  The party was close, but now oh so far away.  "Well then—hail, sir.  Well met."