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The AlchemistYours is a stupefying talent honedTransforming love galore to eldritch fountsWith every valiant virtue all dethronedAnd you entrenched atop the gory mountsGrotesque abominations sink their teethin; flay my mind and leave infected scarsOf hatred, anger, self-detest beneath;By blood and tears and tissue tainted memoirsThis gruesome dance macabre never endsWhile you are perched upon your throne of goldYour potent magic my love’s essence bendsAs you command to firm the blighted holdAre you content extinguishing one’s fireTo taint and watch one drowning in one’s mire?
SecretsThe archives bursting at the seams A crack slithering on the walls How long can be those secrets kept till the snake grows and the dam fallsthe paper in the darkness gleams? How long can be those secrets kept Words wrapped in the thickest coversIs this how your design congealedFriends turned into hateful brothersfeelings scorned and the trust bewept?Is this how your design congealedOf honesty to be bereft?Open the archives, drain the damuntil there is nothing leftbut the naked truth revealed
The Weeping Tree - The HunterIt was yet another unlucky day for the young hunter. All his traps had been empty and he had not been able to find any tracks that would promise a prey. He ventured far beyond the borders of his tribe, and if he went any further, he would be trespassing another tribe’s territory. The least severe of all the possible punishments for him would be a swift death by a fellow hunter, but his actions could also spark a war. Yet, he had no other choice. He was being pushed by necessity – his family was starving for days, and the other hunters had not been very successful either. The tribe was slowly running out of their supplies and the winter pantry was not well-stocked. If the hunters’ luck would not change soon, most of their tribe would not survive the winter.War’s the least of our concerns now anyway, the young hunter thought. The sudden vanishing of animals did not make much sense to him. It almost seemed as if the animals avoided the valley. Yet the hunter could not fathom the reasons for their disappearance. He finally reached a big stone that was marking the beginning of the other tribe’s territory. He hesitated for a moment, leaving his leg stretched mid-air, and then he finished his step and crossed the imaginary line in his head. From now on, he would have to be even more careful, because if anyone from the other tribe would catch a glimpse of him, it could lead to bloodshed.He spent the next two hours by sneaking through the thicket. His mind was getting more and more anxious because with every next heartbeat he was risking being discovered. Suddenly, a bush near him rustled. In an instant, the hunter ducked and pressed his body against the ground. From the shrubs, a small hare jumped out.I’m sorry, little one. You’ll be better than nothing, thought the hunter. He slowly rose to his knees and took his bow from his back. Without making the slightest of sounds, he readied his bow, aimed, and released. The arrow pierced through the air and mercilessly dug into the hare’s flesh sending the little creature flying back into the bush whence it came.The hunter then got up and walked towards the bush where the once lively animal lay. “Spirits, I thank you for this gift,” he muttered the prayer. He pulled the arrow out of the hare and put it back into the quiver he had on his back. Then, he tied a leather string around the creature’s body and fastened it on his belt.His thrill of finally striking some good luck evaporated with the next heartbeat when he realised that he is far from having enough for his family not to mention the tribe. He needed to venture forth, deeper into the foreign lands. It did not take long when he finally chanced upon some fresh hoof marks.Deer!He set to follow the tracks and soon he found some other signs of a living animal somewhere in his vicinity. There were freshly chewed leaves, snapped twigs, and an abundant number of droppings. The hunter looked around carefully for the animal must have been very close. Then he saw a white smear move approximately a hundred lunges to his right. He followed the smear with his gaze and, through the coverage of leaves, he was able to see a majestic white-tailed deer male. If he managed to bring it home, his family would have food for days, and he would also get some extra hides to trade. He knew he probably only had one chance so he had to get much closer to the animal since his bow would only harm, not kill the deer. He crept towards the nearest tree to take cover and avoid detection. The wind spirits were kind to him as they were blowing the air currents towards him and not from him, which would surely foil his endeavours. He needed to position himself to assure the best shooting angle. Luckily enough, the animal seemed to be perfectly calm, it grazed on the juicy leaves and grass that were wildly growing all around them. The hunter managed to cut some good twenty more lunges and was getting very close to a distance that would secure the kill.A little bit more, just a little bit more. Oh, please, spirits, don’t let him see me. Just thirty more lunges… twenty… ten…He was in position. The deer had walked a little further by now, making it harder to hit the deadly spot, but the hunter was confident he could still land the shot. He crouched, slowly took his bow and readied an arrow. His heart was racing. He took a deep breath in an attempt to calm himself. His hand stilled. He was ready to send the arrow off to its death-bringing flight when a twig somewhere behind him snapped. He instinctively ducked and an arrow buried deep into the wood of the tree he was hiding behind just a split of a heartbeat later. If he had hesitated, he would have had an arrow burrowed deep into his skull.“You have no right to be here, you Great River scum!” he heard someone shouting. It was the Coyotes; he bumped into them after all. He scrambled avoiding another arrow, rose to his feet and burst into a sprint. He heard two voices cursing and shouting. They were definitely chasing after him. His mind set to a single goal: survival. Everything else ceased to exist. He did not know where he was heading, but it mattered little as long as he was alive. His dark hair danced jerkily with each swift movement of his legs like the tail of that big fire he once saw in the black sky. There was a giant log in his way; he did not hesitate and jumped. The timing was perfect. He overcame the obstacle in one long smooth leap. It was so graceful that he almost seemed to fly. Then the gravity bested him, he hit the ground and avoided a fall by doing a roll. The hare attached to his belt got caught in one of the branches that were scattered around the area he made his landing. The leather strap resisted the tension for a brief moment and then snapped, leaving the small trophy lying on the ground motionless. He did not notice.He did not know for how long or how far he had been running, only a sharp pain in his side shooting all over his chest reminded him of it. He did not even remember when was the last time he heard his chasers. He had not registered the sudden change in the surroundings. He dared to stop and turn around. No one was after him any more; the chasing had stopped.He examined the area he found himself in. He instantly noticed that the grass under his feet had disappeared; there was only bare dark grey ground that looked more like fireplace ashes than dirt of a forest. He also observed that the air was strangely dim. Although, indeed, it was getting rather late, the light should still have been plentiful for at least two or three hours. He looked up at the sky and saw that there is some mist covering it blue-grey in hue. He looked back to whence he came. He saw a borderline of the dark grey dirt immediately transitioning into richly green turfs of grass just two or three lunges away from him. The border curved to form a perfect circle and he was standing in it.He pondered whether to go back. He was in a foreign territory and to backtrack his footsteps and navigate home will be much more difficult at night. The Coyotes could have been waiting for him as well.A thought flashed in his mind: No, you need to press on, you need to find more food or else your family will starve to death! If you do not find anything soon, your tribe will banish you for being a liability!But that’s utterly silly, he thought to himself. My tribe’d never banish me. They only banish wrongdoers.Is it not wrong to eat your tribe’s food, threatening it to suffer hunger in winter? Is it not wrong to eat your tribe’s food when you have not contributed? said the voice in his head.He needed to find more food. He could not risk his family’s lives or the lives of his tribe. He had to bring something. He looked around for any signs of animals and it was at this moment he noticed something shimmer in the distance some good two hundred lunges – a lake maybe? Since his body was strained from the long sprint, he decided to go there as he only now realised how thirsty he was. Furthermore, a source of water also meant animals. He could find some fresh prints or hunt for some waterfowl.The closer he was to the lake, the more clamorous and insistent the voice in his head was. Save your family! Save your tribe! Keep walking! You need to find more food! There is certainly something ahead!When he reached the lake, his heart sank. It was just a small pond holding very little promise. The hunter let out a loud sigh. Welling up with anger, he impulsively picked up the nearest object and threw it into the waters. He was overwhelmed by sadness. He followed the bank and, in a few heartbeats, he arrived into the shadows of a willow where he sat down crying.With every passing moment, his sobbing intensified. He collapsed onto the tree leaning against its cold dark grey bark. Because of the tears, he did not see a face manifest in the tree. He did not see it open its mouth. He did not see the glowing, wispy blue-grey ribbon slowly leaving his mouth and gliding into the mouth of the tree face. He did not see any of this.The sobbing was stopping, the hunter was making sounds no more. The end of the smoky ribbon entered the mouth of the tree face and the mouth closed. A blue-grey pulse flashed across the whole tree, into every twig and leaf of the willow.The hunter got up and started walking slowly in the direction he originally came from, leaving the tree, the pond, and the pile of bones with one arrow in it behind.
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