The Scryer

From the collection of October creative writing…

Anna Lindenberg

Gray rock dust covered the front of her clothes, haggard and spent she sank onto the barren ground, alien words passed on the breeze. Phrases of the old tongue rose on her lips in response the wind’s poetry. The mouth of the cave was the only place of wreathed in light, shadows coated the walls into an abyss of nothing.

Scrap ripped from clothes, pitch from her bag, wood from the dead, gnarled tree overhead. Flames chased the dark away as she traversed the hellish place, warmth decreased the farther she went, her breath glittered like dew on a web. Shadows receded from the torch’s bite, but swarmed again, away she stepped. 

They murmured amongst themselves, futures yet told and tales yet sold. Old tongue and new, harmony of words, mixing, singing, and ringing together, stories of heroes, tales of old. Magic whispered through the room, wisps of color against the gray slate, leading deeper and deeper. 

Water dripped from the ceiling, the only sound in silence aside from footsteps immortalized in dust. The shadows danced on the walls to the crackling of fire. The cave grew more narrow, the whispers grew louder, the calling grew stronger. 

Murals paint the walls, curlings of shadow, tales of soon, later, and now, times of horror, tales of gold. Finally a space, a grand open cavern. Water gurgled in its endless circular loop, centered awaited a small platform and a statue of a shackled four armed creature of stone, arms snaking around an orb. All it took was a glimmer, a glint of power, from under the grime to call.

Old tongue cried out to the living and the stone, no prompting needed, she knew it was hers. She reached out and touched the surface of smooth stone, fingers come back coated in dust. The statue crumbled and fell away, only left in a pile of ash. She opened her pack and spread her blanket, settled and curled her arms around the orb. Futures eternal, images unknown reflected in her eyes, of advances and backward steps and broken glass, the crackling of stone began anew. Now a new statue awaits in the cave, a dark scryer for those who shirk the path of light.

The beasts stopped howling, stone fell to the ground, and for the first time in years it rained.