Monday, December 26, 2016

A New Mythology--Oramon--Denu and the Wolves

   Neron and Onera made their abode on Onerae and repopulated it with creatures. They gave the island a spring that produced a cleansing water, to purify the memory of the horrors that had befallen the island. They called the spring Nyr for it was restorative.
   “Now let us make one like us,” said Onera. “Like me.”
   “Like you?” said Neron.
   “Yes, but new. I will sculpt his features and design for him a unique countenance and he shall be named Denu,” said Onera.
   So Neron created a man upon his wheel and Onera designed that he should be handsome and unique from all other creatures, though he bore the form of Neron and Onera and Nomra. Onera bade Ariaj give Denu eyes of Light, so Ariaj brought down stars from the sky and set them in the new man’s skull. Onera wished for Denu to have the voice of the birds, so Neron formed vocal chords like those of the birds but stronger and more magnificent and put them into the new man’s throat.
   “Now bid him rise,” said Onera.
   So Denu rose and his eyes were powerful and his voice was beautiful and Onera loved him. But Neron was not pleased. He did not like that Onera spent most of her time with the creature who bore their likeness.
   One day Nemrus came to Neron with the bloody corpse of a hart.
   “Something has come from the dark and slays my creatures,” said Nemrus. “A strange creature unlike the others you have formed.”
   “How can this be?” said Neron. “None of my creatures would kill another.”
   He knew not that Nomra had at last learned to form shadow creatures in the depths of the Darkness of earth. She had found forms there in the gloom, some she could awake with the fire of Phiron, who often accompanied her in the deep places she created. Others, she formed herself from the darkness of dreams, but they could not be awakened by any light brought into the shadows.
“I will make a new light,” said Nomra. “One for the dark.” She formed crystals into a globe and put into it fallen stars and brightness captured from the Light that shone by day. With this light she brought life to her dreams. Some of these dreams escaped through the cleft and came to the forests of Nemrus, where they destroyed his creatures.
   Neron sent Denu to find the killer, hoping to keep him away from Onera. But Onera followed Denu and together they searched for the killer. Onera knew only one other who had killed before and she was afraid of what this new creature meant.
   “Fear not,” said Denu, “no dark thing can harm you whilst I am with you.”
   “Nomra did not use dark things to kill me,” Onera replied.
   At last they found the killers, for there were many, and they feasted on one of Nemrus’s elk. Denu called to the killers in his magnificent voice and the killers were startled. They turned to run, but stopped, for the voice of Denu was enticing. They tried to answer him; they tried to repeat his strange and elegant call.
   “Feast no more upon the innocent,” Denu told the killers.
   The leader of the killers, the first-formed, replied, “It is our nature, our intrinsic purpose. We are Dark and must kill the Light.”
   “Light and Dark are both in all,” Denu said. “Light makes the Dark come to life.” And he settled his eyes upon them. These were eyes of Light, the power of creation, and the shadow killers became flesh and blood. The killers could now be killed. And Denu called them wolves. The wolves, fearing death, fled back to Nomra in her underworld. Eventually, they slunk back out at night to continue hunting. And Nemrus hunted them in the forest with the first bow and arrow.

   Denu secretly admired the wolves and sang to them at night and they answered. Neron heard these songs in the night and mistrusted Denu the more for it. He strictly forbade Onera from keeping company with him but she met him secretly in the deserts where abided the strange life Onera had designed. Denu sang her the first songs and with his voice and eyes of Light he could shape new sounds and realities.
   But Ariaj saw them there and told Neron.
Neron was wroth and went to find them in the desert, but Denu heard him coming and transformed himself and Onera into wolves. Neron could not find them, though he searched the whole of Oramon. Onera and Denu explored the desert and swamps in their new forms and settled awhile in the cold regions of mountains and lived like the wolves, even feasting upon the animals.
At last, Neron discovered what had been done to trick him, and with the aid of Nemrus, hunted them down from the mountains and across the plains toward the sea. Heavy with child, Onera was not fleet enough. They reached the shore of the sea with Neron and Nemrus close upon their trail.
   “Go on without me,” Onera told Denu. “My father will not harm me or the child, but I know not what his wrath may have kindled against you. It is almost time and I cannot swim thus.”
   So Denu dived into the sea, transforming into a dolphin, and vanished. Neron and Nemrus found Onera upon the sand, wracked with the pain of birth. As she brought forth seven children, she changed back into her old form.
   The seven children of Denu were like unto him, with starry eyes, but also bore the mark of the wolves, with fangs and claws and silky hair. They also bore resemblance to Onera, if only to her darker nature: the darkness of her shadow.
   Neron was horrified, but Onera loved them and named them Ner, Deru, Nom, Ee, Nerus, Nu, and Dena. She took them to Amalteron and raised them in the orchard of Nomra. Neron returned to Onera and Nemrus continued to hunt for Denu, but Denu hid in the sea with Triona, who liked to keep secrets.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A New Mythology--Oramon--The Lost Shadow

   Where Nomra’s tears fell upon the earth, there rose the Seroi, the spirits of grief. They were quiet and settled heavily upon the shoulders of the mourners. At last, the mourners drifted away as night fell, each leaving a tear. The tears glistened around the bier of Onera, sparkling in the night. Only Neron would not leave the funeral, he could not bear to leave Onera there in the dark. The Seroi clustered around him and at last he fell asleep beside the body of his daughter.
   Ariaj carried Nomra to Onerae and they alighted silently near the bier. Nomra came and rested her hand upon the forehead of her daughter.
   “I am sorry,” she said. There was no light save the tears in the night. “Rise.”
   Onera opened her eyes.
   Nomra looked into the eyes of her daughter. There was no light within them. Neron woke as the sun rose and saw his daughter standing before him. She had no shadow and her eyes were lifeless.
   “What is this?” Neron asked. “What have you done?”
   “I have tried!” Nomra replied. “And I have failed. There is more to a being than the body and I do not know whence that part has departed. But I swear I will find it, Neron.”
   “You cannot make me love you again,” Neron said.
   “So be it,” said Nomra. “But I will undo what I have done.”
   Ariaj transformed into a giant raven and carried Nomra away. Neron fled from Onerae and the soulless body of Onera and hid himself in a secret ash grove. The body of Onera stayed on the island and no creature dared go near it.
   “We will search the air for her missing spirit,” Nomra said to Ariaj. She sent Triona to search the seas. She sent Phiron to enquire of the Lights in the heavens. They could find nothing.
At last Nomra asked Nemrus, “Have you seen the spirit of your sister?”
   “I watch all the earth and the animals thereof,” said Nemrus. “Onera’s shade passed by me in the night, in the dark it slipped past, she is gone now.”
   “Whence did she depart?” Nomra begged.
   “To a place where Light can never shine,” Nemrus said. “Her shadow has gone down into the earth. She is within Oramon. Beneath the soil and stone in the heart of Darkness. From Darkness she was formed and to Darkness she has returned.”
   “But her body lives!” said Nomra. “I will find her shadow and reunite it with her body. Where did she enter the earth?”
   “I will show you, but you will have to go into the Dark alone, I will not accompany you.”
Nemrus took her to a cleft in the stone far to the north where the mountains glistened always with ice. The cleft was Dark and into the Dark, Nomra stepped. It was a familiar embrace, the embrace of untold time and unknown place. She had slept in the Dark before Time, before Place, before Light.
   “This is a place of shadow,” said Nomra. “How will I find a shadow amongst shadow?”
   “With Fire,” said Phiron. He had followed her and Nemrus to the cleft and come after Nomra into the Dark. His radiance bloomed bright in the shapelessness and Nomra used his luminance to form them a glittering path into the belly of the world.
   Down they went, and on, but no sign of Onera’s shade could they spy.
   “Onera!” Nomra called. “Forgive me for my jealousy. I have wronged you and your father. Come to me that I may make it right.”
   “Mother,” came a voice from the Dark. “I forgive you, but I cannot come back with you.”
   “Why not?” Nomra asked.
   “Because this is the place where future people will come when they die and it is terrible.”
   “Then come with me, leave this place, leave the Dark!”
   “I must stay and make it a pleasant place. A new place of wonder, like the world above, the one that you made.”
   “Come back to the surface,” Nomra begged. “No one need ever die and come to this place. Come back, your father is heartbroken.”
   “Neron…” Onera said. “And Nemrus, Triona, Ariaj and Phiron.”
   “I am here,” Phiron said.
Onera’s shade emerged from the Dark, into Phiron’s light. Tears were on her face. “I’ve missed you so much,” said Onera, trying to embrace Nomra and Phiron, but she could not touch them, for she was only a shade.
   “Let us return to the Light,” Nomra said. “Your body is there.”
   Nemrus was waiting at the mouth of Darkness.
   “Something is wrong,” Nemrus said. “The deer tell me of distress in the forests afar. We must haste to Onerae. But when they came to Onerae, the body of Onera was gone and all of the animals upon the island were dead.
   “The body without spirit does terrible things,” Nomra said. “For so I was when I slew Onera.”
The sea monster had carried Onera’s body to the mainland and now she laid waste a path of death into the forests. Nemrus, Nomra and Onera’s shade followed the trail of lifeless animals and found the body at the base of an ash tree, where it was about to drink the life from Neron.

   “I am empty and seek to fill myself but nothing satisfies,” said the body.
   “We have brought your soul back to you,” Nomra said. “Do not take Neron’s!”
   “I cannot go back in,” Onera cried, “my body has been defiled.”
   “You must,” Nomra said. “Or Neron will be destroyed.”
   So Onera clave unto her body again and let Neron go.
Onera took on a sadness that had not been before. Neron did his best to bring light back to her eyes, and created more beings and creatures for her.

   Nomra no longer favored Amalteron. She spent much of her time in the cleft, upon the crystal path she had made to find Onera, exploring the dark places within Oramon, forming silver caves and rooms of glowing stone. Here she could be alone in a cold place, in the Dark, away from the world and her loved ones. 
   She saw them occasionally when they met upon Amalteron and they would tell her of the new things they had made. But Nomra was silent about her own creations and the things she found sleeping in the Dark. Neron and Onera had forgiven her, but she had not forgiven herself.

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Chirstmas Letter Gone Wrong

   Beware this Christmas season, that you don't let loose the Scrooge in you. We all have a little bit of him within us somewhere (right?). I love Christmas. I love the lights, the caorling, the warmth, the snow, and above all, the egg nog! However, when I sat down to write a Christmas letter...well, it came out...sort of, well, wrong.
   My letters do tend to come out rather sardonic. For some reason when I write a letter, my style dips into a kind of Lemony Snicket knock off drawl of sarcastic misfortune. And this attempt came out worse than usual...see below.

   Merry Christmas, you old goat.
   Sorry, I’m talking to myself. I’m the Grinch.
   I guess this is that annual letter where I brag about all of the amazing things I did and far off places I visited. Let’s put them in list form.
1.      I didn’t die.
2.      I didn’t kill anyone on accident.
3.      I didn’t kill anyone on purpose.
4.      I am still alive.
5.      I am not in prison.
6.      The world is still turning.
7.      I didn’t die or kill anyone.
   There. Does that cover it? I don’t really feel like sharing personal information with you just because it’s Christmas and you are distantly related to me. If you really must know, I had two books published this year. Yes, two, and if you didn’t know that already, and didn’t immediately purchase three copies of each, you don’t really deserve to get this letter, do you? It’s a gift.
   I visited the filthy streets of tourist-border-town-Mexico back in March. No, it’s not the Mediterranean. If I had the money to go there, I’d still be there and you wouldn’t be hearing from me.
My job ended due to my boss’s restlessness and desire to get out of here. An aspiration with which I have no sympathy. So I may find another job, or I may go into business myself next year, which is sure to be a financial disaster in which I die, kill people, and stop the world from turning, so you can hope diligently for that so as to escape next year’s letter. In the meantime, I will work on writing more books and so you had best start clearing your shelf space.
   This year, Christmas is bound to be delightful, what with the sister coming over and bringing her boyfriend and his children and brothers and assorted familial relations. How delightful to grin at people you share a blood bond with. How much more delightful to grin at people that you share nothing but the awkward silence with?
   Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas and I love my odious relatives. And my odious non-relatives are surprisingly non-odious. So life is good. And that election we just had?
   I just brought that up to start fights.
   I’m the Grinch.
   So have yourself a miserable little Christmas and a piss-drunk New Year.
   Much love and hatred wrapped up in one misanthropic bundle of nihilistically diabolical joy,

P.S. I hope Krampus gets you
This is just a random Grinch I found. I'll probably do some of my own Grinch and Krampus art soon! that out of my system, right? I hope. Writing is a good way to detox the soul. Or nurture that which grows there. But don't worry, I'm on my way to find some French carols to learn!
Merry Christmas in advance and I'll be in touch before then hopefully. The next installment of Oramon should be ready by this weekend, it was supposed to be up already, but I hadn't finished it and I don;t have an illustration yet!