“Midsummer’s Eve Magic,” Chōka-like

Artwork credit: Kerfe Roig

Kerfe shared a breathtaking piece of art she created for our Tanka Tuesday challenge this week. I saw so much magic in this piece. The Summer Solstice is right around the corner! Can you feel it?

A note about the chōka form. The nine-line chōka (5-7-5-7-5-7-5-7-7) should be unrhymed… but for whatever reason, the muse demanded words that rhyme. I suspect faery intervention as the good neighbors love to rhyme. That’s why I called it “chōka-like,” or inspired by the chōka syllabic form.

Midsummer’s Eve Magic

on midsummer's eve,
below June's moon glowing bright
gather up fern seeds 
for special sight—this magic 
summons all creatures 
don the cloak of unseen light
hunt buried treasure 
beware of faery spite
run when magic birds take flight

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

Celebrate the Summer Solstice with Fairies, Myths, & Magic: A Summer Celebration

Step into a world where fairies, dragons, and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by the celebration of Litha, the Summer Solstice. Meet Drac, a dragon cursed by his own poisonous deeds, and two pixies who help an old man remember a lost love. You’ll meet a pair of fairies with a sense of humor, and a young girl who fulfills her destiny after being struck by lightning. Learn what happens when a modern witch’s spell goes terribly wrong. Meet the Sisters of the Fey, a group of Slavic Witches who sign a pact with the Rusalki Fey to preserve their magic for the good of all. Atmospheric and haunting, the prose and poetry, will rewrite the mythologies of the past bringing them into the future.

The Elf Killer – Part IV: A New Discovery

Mel’s Midweek Writing Prompt for this week is: Option 1: Sentence Starter –

I live in a society without rules, without boundaries; it is a dark and desolate place.

Click here to learn more about this creative writing challenge. Believe me, it is addictive! I love it. These are my stream of consciousness stories. I write them as they come into my mind with the prompt from the challenge. In addition, I have been posting my contributions to ReadWave. Check it out. It is another great site to display your writing talent.

***

Rawmall slowly rolled over on the hard-packed earthen floor of the burned out elven hut. His head throbbed and felt like brilliant flashes of lightning were slicing into his brain. The acrid smell of smoke lingered in the hut as well as another unsavory aroma, of which he could not remember the source.

Gently, so as to not disturb his pounding head, he shifted his weight to his hands and knees. He balanced himself for a moment. Once the hammering in his brain subsided, he rose to his feet. Rawmall noticed that darkness had descended on the burned out elven community of Morr. He staggered towards the grey ashy remains of a fire where a cauldron was perched, still warm. The stench was overpowering and suddenly he remembered the events of the day.

The slaughtered body of the blue-haired elf, the human head of the elf killer boiling in the cauldron, and Nedra the Witch, all flooded his memory with the force of an assault from an enemy. There had to be at least fifty occupants of the elven community that were bewitched by Nedra somewhere in the Timmoral Forest waiting to be found. For a moment, Rawmall found himself temporarily blinded as the jaded fragments of his memory came together.

“I live in a society without rules, without boundaries; it is a dark and desolate place,” he thought to himself. Damn, that witch, Nedra! She had been pursuing him for the last couple of years now. Rawmall knew her game. She was a soul-eater. Every time she devoured her prey, she gained their strength. Men, women, elves, trolls, even half-breeds like himself, had fallen to her womanly wiles. Nedra was a seductive enchantress who always got her way. How he had escaped this time and why, he did not know.

A cupboard near the overturned table produced a loaf of stale bread and a gourd filled with water. Not the best meal, thought Rawmall, but better than nothing. Crouching in the shadows he ate his dinner slowly. In the silence he heard a slight rustling sound behind him.

Rawmall stopped eating and quietly set his dinner on the floor. Stealthily he crept toward the far corner of the burned-out hut. A dark shape moved softly toward the fire with little creeping motions. Its appearance was distorted and covered with some type of dark cloth. Suddenly, two brilliant blue eyes peered out from beneath the dark material.

It was a grundolyn female. She was small, only about two and a half feet tall, with pale skin and dark hair. Grundolyns work for the elves in exchange for a place to live. They have been the servants to the elves since the beginning of time. Many grundolyns live with the same family for generations. How this one came to survive Nedra’s bewitching was a mystery to Rawmall.

“It’s alright little one,” said Rawmall to the grundolyn. “You’re safe with me.”

The grundolyn stared at Rawmall and shivered, pulling the dark cloth around her shoulders. She spied the bread and water gourd on the floor and ran towards them. She grabbed the gourd and drank deeply. Water leaked out of her tiny mouth and dripped down her chin.

Rawmall sat back on his haunches watching the grundolyn with a puzzled look on his face. “How did you end up here, and not bewitched like the elves and the rest of the grundolyns,” he patiently asked her.

She shook her head and started to eat the bread, tearing it into shreds she could fit inside her small mouth. Rawmall repeated the question to the grundolyn, this time raising his voice. The grundolyn still did not respond. What the devil kind of black magic is this, thought Rawmall.

The grundolyn looked at Rawmall and covered her ears with her hands. Then she placed her hands over her mouth. She repeated this a second time. Rawmall edged closer towards the fire and pointed at his lips and then pointed to the grundolyn, motioning for her to look at him. “Can you hear me?” he asked her.

She shook her head trying to tell him “no.” She opened her mouth and pointed inside, nothing came out. It was then Rawmall realized that the grundolyn was deaf and dumb. She could not hear Nedra’s curse so it had no effect on her!

724 Words

Thanks for reading my continuing saga of the elves in Timmoral Forest.

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