EXERCISE Myth-take Challenge #5

Discussion in 'REFINING WRITING' started by Lstorm, Dec 10, 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: Gáe Bulg

    Gáe Bulg is a legendary spear that was used by a warrior called Cúchulainn in Irish Mythology. It was a weapon made out of the corpse of a sea monster, and according to the myths, it was an absolutely deadly spear that always killed the one it targeted. While there are several alternate descriptions of the lance, it is clear that once the lance was thrown, the enemy was dead, and it would take a long and gruesome process to remove the spear from the body.

    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. Vultures circled low above the blood soaked ground, their silent approach spreading a feeling of dread as they prepared to get their fill from the endless bodies of warriors scattered across the field. The sound of the fierce battle had died down leaving an eerie silence under a burning sun shaded only by an occasional vulture circling by, the normally humid air under the large trees and by winding streams was hot and dry as the grass had been kicked up and left dried earth to whirl around. The two races at war that in life could not stand the sight of each other now lay beside one another as if strewn by the hand of a God, they did not look all that different with varying hues of dark brown and dark olive skin, dark eyes and hair. But the shortest among them, consisting of far more females than males, had their skin decorated with tattoos and the sides of their heads were shaved, the remaining hair braided and bound together in contrast to the others who had their hair kept shorter and hanging loose. Spears, swords, and bows lay strewn among the bodies or stuck in the ground a curious and hungry crow let out a scratchy call before lifting from a spear with strong wing beats and circled low before landing by a body.

    This war was not over however, the conflict had not been solved by the deaths of all the fallen ones the root of the problem, the races differing culture and belief still demanded solution. On a nearby field the surviving warriors stood gathered at each end of the open field, tired, stained by dirt and blood they wished for victory and rest but the two in the middle seemed more spirited. A short, tattooed woman with the sides of her head shaved and her remaining hair braided and decorated with beads of wood and bone reaching far down her back, in her hands she held a long spear made of bone, the yellowed surface covered with dark symbols. Across from her stood a tall man with short hair clad in a sturdy leather armour suited for the warm and humid climate in contrast to the woman's leather top and skirt, his dual swords carried almost lazily in his hands though his eyes were active and on guard showing he was not as docile as it seemed.

    Their duel was to determine the winner of the war, neither side could loose anymore without suffering in the long rune due to the harsh land yet neither wanted to yield so a duel between leaders was the solution. Aktua had her black eyes fixed on the heathen man, this leader of faithless scum that sought to push her people away and take over more land laughed at the Goddess and even now stood assured of victory. She was weary, though she refused to let it show, she would not let that man have the satisfaction of seeing her fatigue, her hard grip on her beloved spear was just as much to keep her concentration as in anger, she had to win this for her people, she had to. She knew what would work, what would hand her the victory, her secret weapon that always let her win, Aktua preferred to win on her own but this man had greater physical strength than her and his damned swords blocked her spear constantly.

    Shifting her grip on her spear Aktua prepared to throw it instead of stab it, she could see the humour in the man's eyes, as if he found her pathetic for trying to throw a spear at him. Aktua smiled cruelly, her feral appearance enhanced by that single smile and then she let her spear fly. As predicted the man went to dodge it but suddenly the spear shifted course slightly and pierced the man's chest, cutting through the hardened leather as it was simple fabric. Surprise flashed across his face as he fell to the ground, blood seeping through his wound, his attempts to pull out the spear futile and his bloody fingers left marks on the bone yellow surface but as Aktua bent down by his side the blood vanished as if sucked up by the spear itself.
    “This is no ordinary spear,” she explained, enjoying her victory already. “It's actually closer to a fishing tool, with barbs to keep the prey after catching it.” Aktua herself had never experienced the pain that the Bone Spear brought on but she was not a stranger to pain, using to divined spear had its price that the user had to pay.

    Bending closer to the man Aktua saw the fierce glint in his eyes slowly die down as the seconds trickled by.
    “You should not underestimate the Goddess,” she said to him, almost in a whisper, her mouth twisted in a wicked smirk. “Kuvna helps her followers.” Gripping her spear Aktua sent a silent prayer of thanks to the Goddess of Chaos and felt a sure of power go through her and into the spear. The pain ripped at her very core, but she knew the pain and only her own tribe could recognize the signs of pain in their leader's body language. Kuvna helped her followers indeed but the Goddess didn't do it for free and neither was she entirely good either, as a commander of chaos Kuvna liked disruption that came with war and conflict, so the price to pay for a spear that never missed and inflicted pain and certain death on an enemy was life force, and of course having to enter the Qonvue N' Tskuq, and kill a predator to carve the Bone Spear from. The Rifts of Death, a simple yet descriptive name for the deep ravines in Peikanja where the sun barely reached, where only a few had ever returned from and even fewer survived their injuries.

    Aktua grabbed a sword from the fallen man's side and used it to pry her spear from his chest, the dark blood gleaming in the sun, the smell coppery and strong before it seeped into the bone. Rising her spear above her head Aktua roared in triumph, her tired warriors following suite, the eerie silence giving way for calls of victory. Now her people could go back to build back their lives after the long war and hopefully this day would follow their enemies nightmares' for many years, keeping them on their side of the mountains.