Saturday, March 5, 2011


So I returned to my village upon the lake, traveling by moonlight and hiding from the sky fire during the day. My people. What would I tell them? They expected an experienced life-eater, or at least the possibility of one. And I had failed. Oh, the woman, the older one, Renate (yes, she told me her name) was still abroad in the world. I did not know where she was. At times I'd get an inkling. Still, I did not know how to interpret those things. So she was completely lost to me. At least back then, during the early days she was. I came into the village late one autumn night. The people were seated 'round the communal hearth sharing new experiences and old stories. I stood back in the shadow of a dwelling and listened to the voices of my clan. I remembered how much I'd missed them. Then I stepped out into the firelight. They looked up. They smiled. People jumped up to embrace me. Someone found a stool and shoved  it under me. I sat down. Children were called. Old folks shuffled out from dwellings. All eyes were upon me, waiting for my tale. Did I bring one? Did I get one? Where is the new shaman? What miracles can they do? And then they waited as I composed my thoughts. Yes, I brought back a life-eater. There was a collective exhalation in response. They were relieved. And the life-eater, the shaman is here with us right now....People asked - Where is this person? We cannot see them. Are they hiding in the ether?.... No, I said. They are right here.....And then I performed one of the first feats I'd discovered. I sublimated my hand through a beer bowl placed before me. All were silent. All were thinking. Some actually inched away from me. They could accept such enchantment in an outsider, but not in one of their own, not in a contemporary. So I rose  to my feet and addressed them. I said - I am the new shaman. I am a life-eater now, created by one most venerable and knowing. And I shall guard our lives from this day forth. A few of them, mostly the spiritual older women, came up to embrace me. They cried and I cried. Heads nodded. Drums and pipes appeared. Songs were sung. A bit later, when I sensed the coming of the dawn, I told them I would retreat to a small, winding cave near the shore, for daylight was my time to rest and meet with the spirits. Heads bobbed in understanding. And they formed a column behind me, singing softly as I went to my new sacred home...........Now some night I will tell you of events long ago. Of times spent in royal courts and in the spell chambers of long dead alchemists. But not tonight. For I am lonely. I acted in haist. And now I must go about rebuilding a family. So I wander 'round this one-time shipyard, listening through walls and waiting for a chance to do what I must do.......Maybe later, If I am in the mood, I will tell you fearsome tales of killings and tortures in the past.... There, I knew you'd like that.......

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