[Po]: 80.OnnwuenFortune

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2006-02-18 08:24:42
short story
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Theme: Fortune favors the bold.

Onnwuen’s Fortune

Copyright Rose A. Campbell 2006

   Ælfgyð heaves her hands to the sky and keens for Egric. The wise woman has forgotten all her wisdom as she stands over the wasted clay that was once her beloved son. In her agony, she charges the sun to enact her revenge upon his slaughterers. My heart echoes this curse, for Egric was my husband.

   We build a pyre, and consecrate the ground where he fell. As the fire consumes the goodman’s flesh, so does rage consume me. We stand, wise woman and widow, mourning our loss until bone turns to ash and even the lowest of soldiers has long past wandered from the killing field. The wind toys with my hair, and I can feel Egric’s touch in it. He is still warm to me.

   “Mother, the price this play-king exacts is too great. I cannot be idle now, while this army rapes our home and takes from us all that is precious!” Deep, deep within my throat come my words, softly. My fury burns too hot for any raising of my voice. I am taken with a clarity pure as the rain. “Now I act.”

   “Onnwuen, consider well what you do.” Counsels Ælfgyð. She does not stray me from my purpose. Not all her wisdom can combat her bereavement. Egric was her only son. “Allow me to help you, daughter.”

   Armed with the wise woman’s protection of the elements, earth, wind, water, and fire, I pursue my vengeance.

   I walk with resolve into the sprawling camp of my enemy. None try to stop me, for I seem to belong in this place, so confident am I. The drum of my heart pounds louder the closer I come to my goal. I can see the flicker of lamps within the play-king’s pavilion. My stride lengthens, and still there is no challenge. The moon sends me her benevolence and strength as I step between the doorkeepers and separate the canvas to enter.

   “Who comes?” cries the play-king, drawing iron. I do not speak, but smile my sweetest. He is a buffoon, an ugly, warty man with evil in his face. My smile assuages him, and he blindly sets aside his weapon. I approach him, his stench filling my nostrils, and settle my arms about his neck. He grins a rotting, broken-toothed gape. “Ah, finally they send me a morsel worth nibbling!”

   “You shall not taste of these delights.” I speak flatly, coldly, boldly. The grin falls from his face, but only momentarily. His mind filled with conquest, he passes my words from his thoughts.

   “Come now, give proper obeisance to your King!” he chortles, his meaty fingers toying with my hair. Egric’s pyre floods my thoughts. Never shall another woman build a pyre for son or husband killed by this man. Without a blink, I reach for the blade the play-king so idly set by, and with a force I did not know I possessed, I plunge it into his withered heart. He is taken with amazement, gawping at the hilt blossoming from his chest. His voice rings astonished, “Oh, what fortune is this? Ah, me, help!”

   His monstrous form crumples to the ground, fits of torment overtaking him. Blood rises from his spittle; his hand raises toward the curtain, toward the guards. Fiercely I grind it underfoot, leaning into his sweating, hoglike face. I watch his eyes glaze in death, and feel once again my sweet husband’s spirit touch me. Egric is avenged. “What fortune is this? Blind fool, it is mine!”

2006-02-24 mousepoet: This sounds like something out of a bigger piece. I want to know more about about the play-king, more about Onnwuen, more about everything! But a few minor suggestions:
-Is there a lapse of time between paragraphs two and three? I can't quite tell, the writing seems to say there is, but the format doesn't.
-"...he passes my words from his thoughts." The wording is a little awkward here.
I'm not being too constructive, am I? Oh well, I'll try to slap the editor in me awake soon. ^_^

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