Monday, December 20, 2010

Cold Night Creation Tales

--by Janin Wise

*Please be advised, these have not been edited. They are just as they were typed for the NaNoWriMo project.*

You might think that telling a story in the morning means there’s no need for a story that night, but a bed time story is tradition in our house, so there’s no avoiding it.

Now it happens to chance that we’re getting the first really cold weather of November. Which is all fine and good when the heater –works-… but becomes quite interesting when it doesn’t.

So when it came time for bed, both boys were told to bundle in their warm winter jammies, and I placed a mink blanket over the rest of their covers for them to burrow down inside as the story began.

Once upon a time, in the deep, dark, arctic cold of always winter, man didn’t have nice houses with heaters. In fact, they didn’t have houses at all!

They had to live together in caves when they could find them, and live several families together so their body heat would help them stay warm. And they spent their time in terror, for not only was it cold, but it was always dark. They had not yet discovered fire and knew nothing of the sun, for it never rose in this place of eternal darkness and misery.

Times were getting tough and fear was rampant. But one young man decided that he would travel out into the world to see if he could find them a better life. He asked if any of the others would be brave enough to travel with him, and one other young man, his brother, was the only one to speak up. So the two of them gathered what little belongings they had, and despite the protests of those that loved them, headed out into the world to seek their fortunes.

Now it so happens that one of these brothers was an excellent archer. There was not a thing he could not hit with his arrow, even with his eyes closed! And the other of the brothers was an accomplished fighter. Why! He could take one a mammoth bare handed all by himself and feed the tribe for months! (So you can see why there were so many protests when the two of them decided to head out!)

They traveled for many days through the endless night, only resting as they became tired, when they began to see something to the east they had never seen before. If they had seen gold, they’d have said it shined like it! And it beckoned to them, calling them onward towards it—and they came willingly, for never had either of them seen light.

As they got closer, the came to a land of all light—the warmth as they approached had them stripping layer after layer of clothing from their bodies. Oh! It felt so GOOD!

It was not long that they came across two travelers coming towards them, moving to the west. The four men decided the make camp together and share their tales. After the brothers spoke of their world, the strangers told them about the land they had entered.

“Yes, there is always light. It is impossible to sleep! And though it may feel good now, we are always hiding in caves because it scorches the world and us as well. Nothing can grow in it! Nothing can stay in it for long! We are looking for something better. A way to improve the lives of our people!”

And the four men realized they had similar problems, and each other’s solution…but how to share it?

They could try to convince their tribes to move from their ancestral homes—but even as it was suggested it was discarded. They all knew their people would never leave. And besides, all they would be doing was swapping problems.

So they needed another solution…

The younger brother thought silently for a moment and then he asked, “Have you ever been to the source of your light?”

To which the strangers responded that they had gone east before turning west, and had come to the origin of the light. But as that would not help them, they had abandoned the idea. They suggested the brothers abandon it as well.

With these words, the four men broke camp. The strangers continued their journey to the west, and the brothers continued theirs to the east, this time, looking for the source of the light.

They traveled many, many days, remembering the caution of the strangers and stopping frequently in caves along the way. Until one day, they heard a strange noise. Less brave men would have quaked in terror and fear, perhaps turned and run, but the brothers were strong in their convictions and headed onwards.

And what made such a terrible, shiver causing, wet your pants and hide kind of noise?!?

Why! It was a fire dragon!! Oh, I’m not talking about a fire breathing dragon like you hear about knights going off to fight in the middle ages. No, this, THIS was a more elemental! Larger, more primal, and much, much more dangerous. For this was a dragon OF fire, simple as that! Yellow flames were the spikes that raced down it’s back. Red flames kissed with purple were the scales across it’s body and it shown beautifully as that fire flickered!! It’s eyes were the fiercest, brightest fire of blue, and from it’s mouth came fire so bright and white, their eyes watered to witness it!

Now I know what you’re thinking. They’d come to steal the fire and slay the dragon, but if you’d seen this creature, you’d have known that being good men, these thoughts never even crossed their mind, for before them was a wonder and marvel of innocence, and only evil men could bring such a thing to an end.

Instead, the two brothers laid aside their weapons and walked into the presence of the beast, saying, “Oh beautiful, majestic creature, may we please speak with you for a moment?”

And the great dragon, seeing into their hearts, knew them for the honorable men that they were, and granted them this request.

Now the brothers told the dragon of the plight of their home, and not being selfish men, also told it about the plight of the others who lived so much closer to the dragon.

The dragon had been completely unaware of the world outside and how it’s presence was affection it. For you see, the dragon lived by dancing to the music of the cosmos—and if a mere mortal could hear it, why! They too would do nothing but dance, even unto their death! So it’s lucky for us that the music is beyond our ears while things like eating matter.

The three of them talked about it, and the dragon knew that it could survive without land beneath it’s feet. So it flew higher and higher into the sky, the brother’s watching it. Periodically, the dragon asked if it was far enough away that it’s light no longer hurt, and when it reached the right distance, the brothers shouted that it was where it needed to be.

But still, there was the land of dark to fix. The dragon reasoned that without land tying it to one spot, it’s dance could flow around the world in an unending pirouette of light and beauty and so it began it’s journey heading west towards the land of darkness, bringing it’s light with it.

Now, it so happens that as the brother’s began their journey home, the dragon was sharing the marvelous astounding experience with all the other dragons in the universe—each of which had never considered dancing in the sky! And so as the brothers reached home, where the strangers were staying with their tribe, and had witnessed the glorious passing of the light for the very first time, the other dragons took to their skies as well, and the night sky was peppered with the lights of a million billion dragons, dancing to the music of their cosmos.

And that, my loves is where day and night come from, as the dragon dances across the heavens sharing it’s radiant light with the world, and the other dragons sparkling in the night sky are the stars we see on a clear night!

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