Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pray Prey

Mondays Musical Musings

A story inspired ( or begun) by listening to:

Californian Dreaming

‘I stepped into a church just along the way. I got down on my knees and I began to pray.”

Dorel knelt at the makeshift alter.

Kneeling at the makeshift alter in the mud, Dorel clasped his strong hands around the hilt of his sword. He allowed his head, thick with sweat to rest gently on the hilt in prayer. Others from his clan also knelt behind him. Each ferverently praying for glory at the end of the day. A light misting rain began to fall around the kneeling group. Dorel smiled and turned his face upward, taking it as a sign from the Holy Ones that he would find his place amongst them today.

The battlefield had been set amongst the valley pines. Dorel could see the standards from the other tribes and could make out the hulking muscle bound champions. He knew his lithe agility would bring him victory over brawn so long as he remained focused.

Dorel rose and faced the men of his tribe. “Too long have we been disregarded and disrespected. Our womenfolk and childrens survival depends on this one day. Boars, it is our turn for victory!”

A roar erupted as the men thrust their weapons into the air. As one, they marched through the forest towards the valley and to their glory. A grand Pine Tree lay in splinters, decimated by one of the many meteorites which heralded the coming of the Choosers. High above the battlefield floating on their thrones sat the five Choosers; watching, taking note of every muscle flex, every movement, every victory. Great prestige and honour were bestowed upon the chosen victors. Additionally the tribes they originated were gifted with technologically advanced farming tools which in turn ensured the survival and abundance of the remaining tribe.

A low braying horn heralded the commencement of the battle. As one, the men of the Boar Tribe, cheered, their throats now raw from exertion as they ran head first into the pits of mud which lay before them, before glory. Dorel and his men, spearheaded the mass of bodies clamoring within the sucking mud. Swinging his great sword before him and chanting a prayer to the Holy Ones, he cut a path of blood into the middle grounds. With predetermined accuracy, the Boar warriors followed their leader, uninterested in individual skirmishes, with one goal in mind; that of reaching the firmer grounds before their strength gave out.

A shout and cheer from the far ground forced Dorel to curse. “The Deer Tribe have broken through! Hurry!” His muscular arm clutched a strangler still stumbling out of the mire, pulling him to firmer grounding. A wooden wall, twice the height of a man towered over them. Different tribesmen began to struggle out of the mud pits beside them, panting heavily from the hand to hand battle and the exertion of escaping from the deep mud.

The men of the Boar formed a human pyramid and as the uppermost man reached the top, unwound the strong rope from his waist; forced his sword into the wood and secured it to the hilt. Each man was then able to clamber up the wall with assistance and drop to the platform on the other side. Dorel ensured each of his men had a strong hold on the ropes and suspended bridges before encouraging them to cross quickly and toward the pinnacle. Although there were only five flags fluttering in the breeze, Dorel ensured the twelve men held a part of a flag as they lofted it upward toward the Choosers.

“ We claim the great prize - in the Name of the Tribe of the Boar.” Dorel shouted.

Silently, the thrones drifted down to their level. A tall commanding figure stood gracefully. Her long hair shimmered in the mist, fine drops forming pearls around her head.

.“What a fascinating display of manhood and leadership and dare I say it – team work. To think I was growing bored with the rivalry and bloodshed I usually see. I am sorry there were not more Choosers to witness this unusual tactic.” She smiled confidently. “ Under the laws set by the Holy Ones and the Great Empress, all of you must be included in the Chosen. Your tribe will be richly rewarded for each man who decides to leave this land and travel to us , never to return. There is no shame in stepping aside and returning to your tribe, but once the decision is done, forever must you uphold it.”

Here on the battlefield they risked their lives in tests of strength, agility and fighting ability. The Chosen would be taken from the battlefield, still slick with blood, sweat and mud and crowned victors before lead into the great flight ships the Choosers arrived in.

One of the younger men, more slender than the others, shuffled his feet and looked uncomfortably toward Dorel. Without turning his head, Dorel spoke to him.

“Go Kegan, with our blessings. Your wife is heavy with child and you must honour the Holy Ones first laws of life.”

He turned and grinned at him. “Besides, we need someone to sing our praises and tell the stories of this Choosing at the hearth. It will be a half lifetime before this battle happens again. You will be a greybeard with grandchildren on your knee.”