EXERCISE Myth-take Challenge #3

Discussion in 'REFINING WRITING' started by Lstorm, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Myths and legends could be said to be the prototypes of modern novels. They are stories in their own right, tales that were passed on for generations. Even today, some elements from the old myths remain in our stories and occasionally, they serve as inspiration.

    This week’s mythical element is: Caer Sidi
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    Caer Sidi is an ancient fortress that comes from Celtic mythology, and the correct translation for its name is still debated. Some think that Caer Sidi was the “Fortress of the Zodiac” while others believe that it was a rotating. Caer Sidi is a legendary otherworld fortress. According to the two poems that describe it, it can be interpreted as a paradise where people never die and the water of the fountains tastes like wine, or an inescapable prison.


    Your challenge is to write a story that incorporates your own take on this mythical element. The genre and setting of the story does not matter as long as the element remains recognisable.
     
  2. Delen walked along the beautiful halls, the old foretress seemed so old and plain from the outside but as soon he had ventured beyond the gates the palce seemed to come alive, fountains flowed with crystal water and the courtyard in the middle surrounded by high walls was like a green oasis among the grey stone, with wide eyes he continued to take in the scenery, it was breathtaking and frightening at the same time seeing this place so beautiful and well kept yet devoid of any life. He didn't even remember how long he had searched for this place, it must have been years at least, his beautiful Taia had been so young and vibrant before she disappeared and while he did not want to admit it silver strands had sneaked into his dark brown hair and he still had not found any traces of his wife. But now he had reached the one place where he could find hope, this fortress had long been rumored among his people as a sacred place where your wishes are heard and perhaps even granted, and so Delen had searched and searched for this mysterious and elusive place for over two decades, his only thought was to get this place to grant him his wife back.

    Tiredly he stroke back strands of dark hair and turned his grey eyes skyward, except the incredibly blue sky without a single cloud it was empty, no birds flew across it or could even be heard this eerie silence filled the entire fortress, it was like this place had once been full of life before every living being was eradicated and the area frozen in time since then. A heavy feeling of defeat began to weigh him down, there was nothing in this place that could help him it was just an empty place full of mystery but void of the help he needed. Tracing his steps backwards Delen reached the courtyard again and before leaving he bent over a fountain, scoping up a handful of water, it was cool and fresh with a distinctive taste, it reminded him of wine but it was still crystal clear spring water. Odd, he thought but shrugged and headed for the large wooden doors and his steed waiting beyond them when suddenly a bout of nausea flooded through him and his limbs quivered with fatigue.

    Leaning against the stone wall Delen breathed deeply wondering what kind of devilry had poisoned the water while not staining the taste, just as soon as the feeling came over him it vanished leaving Delen feeling perfectly fine again, even better than before actually, his tiredness that had settled as deep as his very bones had lifted and he felt years younger than he had in, well years. Blinking rapidly Dalen felt like a mist had been lifted from his eyes without him even knowing it was there to begin with, the colours became more vibrant, the details crisper and he could see further. Suddnely a bird started chirping timidly and then a myriad of others joined in filling the air with sound, a wind picked up slowly spreading the scent of flowers and summer through the air and the sun's warm rays were for a moment shaded by a passing cloud. Delen stared wide eyed in surprise at the marel of life that had sprung forth around him, it couldn't be real not when it had been deathly still moments ago.

    "Are you going to leave me so soon,"
    a soft, oddly familiar voice asked.

    Whipping around Delen almost fainted as all blood left his head in a rush as he saw Taia standing a few feet away from him clad in a simple lavender dress and a cream sash tied around her waist and hung to the gorund, with her long black hair flowing down behind her back untied and free she looked just like she had done the day she simply vanished. Delen stared in disbelief at his wife, mouth opening and closing without any sound, this had to be an illusion, she had been gone for so long, she couldn't still look this young but this logic was slowly being pushed aside.
    "Wh...what...who are you," he finally stammered, as nervous as a young boy.

    "Don't tell me you have forgotten me already," Taia said, deep blue eyes looking at him with a hint of sadness and pain. "I've waited so long for you my love, and finally you found a way." It had to be her, it was her looks, her voice, her manners it could be nothing else than his Taia, no one else. Quickly closing the space between them he pulled her close, feeling her warm body against his own and her soft scent of lavender that engulfed him as her silky hair rose with the breeze and tickled his chin and he knew he was whole again. "I have searched for you for so long, too long," he said, realizing his own old age and her young beauty. "No," she said burying her head close to his throat like she used to. "Time doesn't matter, only we do."

    Somewhere deep in his mind Delen wondered if such joy could really be true, he felt himself slowly growing younger the more water he drank and the fortress was a perfect place where they had no worries only each other but was it real. Times when such thoughts over took him Delen explained it with the legend of the fortress, how wishes came true, after all he was in this summer paradise with his beautiful wife, he had finally found her again and he would never loose her again, they would live here forever.

    Autumn had claimed the land, trees stretched naked branches to the heavens and dead leaves lay in heaps on the ground and the leaves that still clung to their branch were slowly being forced to let go by a cold wind that brought promis of snow. The foretress stood silent by the lake, its water clear and still as a mirror and around the building time seemed to stand still, nothing was visible above the high walls and no lights shone from the few small windows. Inside, only visible to the sun and wind lay a man's aging body, his silver hair pooling around him and his wrinkled skin delicate as parchment, his chest still heaved softly by rasping breaths, he was more dead than alive and yet his eyes moved beneath his heavy eye lids as if in a dream. The man caught in an endless dream, trapped in a paradise he could never escape.