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The Meeting I

Sunny days look grim Meeting The Ancient of Days Know something’s afoot. ______*______ Quite unexpectedly… The Elder Ancient of Days came upon the two At the edge of the Swamplands Where they were meeting private, in concert About the strange times unfolding. ‘Nothing comes by accident’, the Antlered Man murmured As he watched him approach. ‘Indeed not’, the Laughing Master added... Though no humor found home in his voice As he too, watched the Elder one approach. ‘Don’t rise for me’, the Elder Ancient of Days announced ‘I wish to sit with you both awhile. For we have things to discuss...’ He looked from one to the other. ‘A puzzle has appeared,’ he continued ‘And each may own the pieces needed To see the whole-of-it aright.’ And sighing in relief from his long walk Without waiting for reply He sat down next to them. ‘I see you have picked a nice grassy spot For our old bones to thus settle on,’ he said, glancing quickly around. ‘And it will be a good eventide’, the Antlered Man said in reply Looking too over at the open grassy fields ‘Perhaps the fireflies will deign to dance for us Though a little early in the year as yet.’ ‘And a fairy or two too’, the Laughing Master added, chuckling ‘That delight is always a comfort for my weary soul.’ ‘Yes’, the Ancient of Days replied ‘It shows good, the Earth safely, peacefully abiding… here. Balanced...’ he hesitated then added, slowly ‘Though, only for a little more time...’ ‘Share our humble meal with us’, the Antlered Man interrupted Passing out a small wooden bowl containing some fresh fruits Tumbled in a nut and seed blend. Bringing out his own bread loaf, the Ancient of Days added ‘And have some of this in partnership... For we are well met. After all, there is some time remaining.’ _____________*_____________ As the sun dropped lower on the horizon The three, a little disappointed… Could see the far fields misting away... No dancing was to come Only one tiny light made its presence noticed As it flew up near them Settling on an old large branch some feet away That was weirdly sticking up out of the ground. Paying it no mind They decided to light a small fire To ward off any coming night-chill… As well as light the airspace between them. ‘Oh my’, said the Antlered Man ‘We do need some wood.’ ‘I’ll get that stick’, the Laughing Master said rising… Walking over to a large, dried limb Sticking up out of the ground. As he reached to grab it... The firefly quickly rose in fleeing Disappearing as if never there. ‘Oh my’ he said, as he pulled up the branch Looking down at the larger hole that created... And then over at the distant Swamplands. Looking at the other two, he added ‘Quite a distance, don’t you think?’ The other two rose and came over. In the dimming light they could no longer Just still see the indentation where the stick had been mounted But a quite larger hole. ‘A Listening Stick?’ The Antlered Man asked ‘Way out here?’ He looked back at the Swamp. ‘Whatever for?’ The Antlered Man dropped to his knees And taking out his bone knife Started digging deeper Into the small hole that had appeared. And as he dug, it seemed to be easily deepening. He was only able to dig a small amount When the hole suddenly expanded quickly downward Disappearing from view. That seemed to stop all movement, and looking down... They could see an empty dark area below. ‘A cave... here?’, the Laughing Master asked. ‘No, more like a cavern’, replied the Antlered Man Again looking at the Swamp outlined half a league away ‘Dug out this far...’ ‘It is not just a Wizard listening post’ Said the Antlered Man looking at the two ‘It’s part of an underground system for spying, and capture.’ ‘I thought they were all abandoned after the Elven War’ The Laughing Master mentioned. ‘They were’, the Ancient of Days answered ‘This magic hole is very old, see? It just disintegrated when touched’. And then he pointed down, continuing.. ‘To now be as others, mostly empty Though I am surprised too… To see an underground network out this far’. ‘Never we mind’, said the Antlered Man ‘Those past times are long past It’s a bright moon tonight And we each know how to stay warm, eh?’ So smiling, they collected some more branches Went back, and started a small warming fire Settling down on the grass again, to eat… Not missing the small firefly That had seemingly disappeared Back into the encroaching darkness. ‘Good stuff’, said the Laughing Master With crumbs dusting his unkempt beard Nodding his thanks to the Ancient of Days. ‘And I have these to add...’ Handing each one then an herbed honey biscuit. Then he, looking up at the stars beginning to come out Commenced reciting a poem... ‘Oh man-kind, deep and dark is this misty moon’d night Your sad realm. so lightly attached Finding no special dancing fairies here… Which even these soft moonlight magics Fail to draw Kindred laughing spirits near Sadly, rare, not to hear. Then do teach me, better living songs to sing Repeating best refrains that thou hast learned Pleasant platitudes sounding up from wrong’s Thinking egos have the power to snare, into sharing blame...’ Then he looked over at the Ancient of Days smiling ‘Still waiting for more to finish that one’, he said Then quickly added… ‘Well, I know you are not here to get something different to eat Or hear more of my poems... What is it you wish to discuss?’ [to be cont’d]

Copyright © | Year Posted 2022

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