Merlin 3:26 – “Assent in Err”
An occasional tree marks the summit of an occasional hill in countryside of many hills. A rasorial phoenix walks with its tail in air scouring the soft earth, down the hillside to lower valley and softer earth in search of mole or vermin of elsewise. Midst slope in wiles the large swan-like egret watching and communicating with gestures arrogant incommunicable to humans and mostly ambivalent between birds, and equally the same speechless communication between Troy and Kylesa, nubile interests and virile conquest to both testing the limits of silent communication in burgeon. It begins to rain and they share their thoughts ensconced, lightning in the distance as they drop their frivolous smiles in hate of rain and with spite of interruption, but the water washes unheard regrets clean, locked in the sound of silence he touches the drops on her face and they begin passion as the sky falls of rain. The egret nestles and sleeps, the phoenix settles with a hood of its wings and wrists above itself.
Close to their steamy sensuality of fire and lightning is a town in the endless Baotou foothills, built with food in mind the patrons all step-farmers of terraces and andenes built into the steepest hillsides, tiled roofs of clay and not wood the homes distinct yet clustered as groups. A nearby bamboo forest looks to be empty of all but the trees, giant herculean branchless poles marked by segments with ferns growing at their tops. Thru the forest run two men, their hair dark and skin fair, in their skulls sunken jaundice eyes of sickness and febrile latent enmity, determination approaching tireless encroaching thru the edge of town and inroad slip assassins shadow.
The rage of two men is quick, as one thru window one thru door silently flank and confront the local alchemist making his final sale to some customers and his tally of totals at the bottom of the store ledger, as the sunset races from the raining heavens to stark horizon. The thieves are humans born without magic looking for ancient relics to empower them in their vices, to mimic witchcraft and steal further more dangerously. One threatens the shopkeeper’s throat with knife as the other one searches jars, when the man urges them to stop his throat is cut and that jar, thereof the other thief, they two ransack. The dying man falls and breaks glass cups by so, and seen and heard ever secretly by a boy in the passing evening.
Loma: “Grab one more thing and we flee.”
Bern: “What I feel is mine?”
Loma: “Anything to tempt, to take, a thing to trade, impresses wizards, or defends from evil warlocks.”
After the telling by a young boy to the sheriff of this going, caught are they within the confines of the store.
The way of peace disappears by the happenstance of hostages to extort a free escape, but by the advent of threats and crossbow negotiations and their captives murdered does the loss of life total one wounded and one dead deputy and Bern deceased in a military siege. In the rain and pain within to without a conflict of mud and blood, the remaining Loma spared his pierced-heart by spear for the sake of a public lynching the next day. A night in the cage watching the sheriff eat, not answering any questions without twisted insult, and soon the strung gallows will sing the eulogy to a death knell in a midday.
In the very next, vilipend morning of inquest on a hillside, Troy and Kylesa wrapping arms around each other face to face on blanket of foreign cotton overlooking the town. With a distant stare as he tries to imagine every sensual touch in consideration, practicing memories for the import of sensationalism, Kylesa leaves in haste, pushing his chest to the brightly morning ground, before he can stretch she sits atop the large egret bird.
Kylesa: “I will return and show you why we came here.”
Troy falls to blanket overjoyed, with a smile on his face of thoughts virile and the warming morning. In the town, Kylesa walks by the gallows and the town jail, hoping to learn and find such as has precisely happened of the prior night’s events, she finds Loma in pillory being pelted by the occasional rotten potato, where she stops walking to watch. When he lifts his head and sees her he immediately shifts his eyes to the sheriff, who notices Loma’s surfeit action and now looks into the crowd unto whom mayhap that is she, but Kylesa is gone without survey and straights she hastily to Troy in order to tell him a conceited speech of deceit.
Flustering wind and quick dismount with egret promptly preening and Alerion still dreaming soon to rest in sunlight embrace, as the sheriff begins a sermon at the pillory before a sentencing trial and renouncing by the public, she rushes to Troy to tell him what to see.
Kylesa: “Look there, by the stockade, a pillory and a gallows, put to an innocent man a brace of his hands and head by a crooked and vile man, to summary a sentence in posture and next the gallows to stretch his neck unwarranted execution, go us soon down to save him.”
Troy: “Are you sure such are proven?”
Kylesa: “Of verily my course, a holy man and shepherd praying with his flock, when the brute viceroy took him up, to be hanged before choosing apostasy, make our haste while he has a chance of freedom.”
In the valley below Troy watches with eyes trained to watch ground in flight, they throw small stones and hard egg-roots at him while the goodly sheriff reads aloud the crimes obscured by distance from truth. Troy steps back and runs toward his phoenix, but before riding takes up his bow and arrows, turning back to the utmost of the hilltop and drawing arrow aside tautly strung cord aiming at the sky for the crown below them.
Kylesa: “Could you hit him, he may drop the floor nether the deacon, we must move quickly!”
Troy: “I can hit a quale from a mile; I’m going to cut the rope.”
Kylesa: “It is your confidence I give certainty, but if you do the viceroy will live and strangle him, or you kill the hangman.”
Troy: “…I can strike a field mouse from a league into the sky, when he sees the preacher fall – he will be still in this moment.”
Troy, aiming over the people, releases an arrow, before the bowstring loses its vibrations he draws another arrow and lets it thru the air, following the first arrowhead splitting the rope of the noose all but for a thread, with the good sheriff watching the hangman flounder from the splintering rope the second arrow punctures his heart.
By the action of fate the two men, introduced to death by transgressions, at opposite ends of a splitting rope, fall to the ground simultaneously. A wicked smile graces Kylesa’s face as she slowly lifts her wrists and wraps herself around him, still standing with the bow in hand in the embrace of forest shadows. A new passion by both begins. His phoenix only just lifting its head to a point of confusion looking Kylesa in the eyes, she closes them and continues kissing him, the white bird silent and cloying to a coy disposition of ignorance and flippancy.
Seeing the guards move toward Loma, Troy abandons her for phoenix and flight, and soon she follows most quite, onto birds of prey they skillfully float into town and block sentry and soldier, clearing the way for Loma to escape, wings of war and arrows drawn to damage in store.
Kylesa: “There will be no killing of innocent men today!”
Alerion opens posture for the angry people with wings of igniting fire as white feathers radiant with the light of the sun opening and lift the egret and Kylesa their leaps into the air, escaping flawlessly in opposite directions. She and Loma fly once over the city to mock the people and their arrows almost high enough to harm.
She lands with Loma for him to depart alone for the egret, though grand, cannot garner two riders enduringly and thus here makes him dismount. She hears Loma’s foot hit the ground, draws quickly her bow, and turning kills him, assuring the silence of their secret conspiracy. He strives to crawl, but the egret backs from him possibly enjoying watching his death as much as her. That night and elsewhere, lovers celebrate as lovers do, him promising her unsanctioned love and heroic defense of her good name and she to him sensation and scintillation, promising that false prophet Loma lives.
As Troy and Kylesa share throes of prose and passion, in the full moon in a distant dark room cast by moonlight thru only one window, Nickolas immortal and imprisoned is being fed-upon by vampires, laughing at him in fiendish addled intoxicated bliss almost without sound, more so of daze and haze and craze. Their eyes with an almost amber syphilitic glow, he screams into the depth of tyrannical darkness a fear beyond hatred trapped in defeat, overprized, overset, and overcome.