Sunday, 24 July 2016
Fenrir's Daughters: Pearl Chono (Part 1: Childhood)
The sun blazed through the forest as the sword went cutting across flesh. By evening the sun had gone down behind the trees, hidden but leaving a smouldering heat and stench of death.
A gentle stream washed the blood off her sword. Around her, seven slain wolves piled in a heap. She was only protecting her baby.
Song retreated into her small abode, to see to her newborn baby and gather some things.
"We're moving on, Pearl. The forest isn't safe. Predators will come now."
She put everything she had in two baskets. Song put her baby girl, named Pearl, in a vivid purple and silver embroidered sling carrier and strapped it on. The clean sword was at her glittering belt.
A warrior woman of the hills, trained by the masters of the broadsword in temples, Song was the only surviving member of her family. As a teenager, her older brothers were killed in a skirmish by the emperor's soldiers. The soldiers burned down the village and set fire to their rice field. The remaining villagers, including she and her parents all fled. They journeyed alongside a vast river until a plague struck most of them dead. Her parents died because of this terrible plague. She had no choice but to flee again in another direction, and this is when she almost starved to death in the forests.
Wolves attacked her, even when she tried to fend them off with her sword, yet she was able to kill them. Their bites left deep wounds in her body and she felt dazed for months. Despite this she lived.
Song staggered into a poor village and was looked after then the emperor's soldiers soon raided that. She was assaulted by soldiers and couldn't remember very much except pain, and she didn't want to remember anything. This terrible event caused her pregnancy and this was how Pearl came to be.
Named after the pretty magic stone inside a sea shell that Song discovered many years before as a child. It captured her imagination ever since, and she wanted to pass on those happier times to her daughter in a name that was a memory.
Pearl grew into a strong girl and she managed to instinctively know martial arts. She developed her own weapons without Song knowing this, and never teaching her that.
"Mum!" Pearl said at the age of nine. "Do you like the bow and arrow I made?"
Song was astonished when she saw that her own child crafted a beautiful wooden bow, cleverly hand-dyed in saffron, with delicate lethal tipped arrows.
"How... how...?" Song wanted to ask her how she did this but was too shocked that she couldn't get the words out.
Pearl was able to do somersaults, cartwheels, back flips, and aim extremely well at targets. She made spears throughout her childhood and taught herself how to do it all!
"Are my brothers' ghosts helping you Pearl?" Song asked over dinner of boiled cabbage and fish.
"No mum, I hear it said to me by wolves."
Song nearly dropped her spoon.
"What did you say?"
Pearl could tell she might've offended her mother.
"Sorry mum, I didn't mean to."
Song quizzed her daughter but Pearl shut down and refused to answer. She walked away from her mother.
They lived in an abandoned hut for years but soon it was time to move on. Song liked to gather food and grow vegetables and hunt in the streams. When she wasn't gathering, hunting and cooking, she was weaving grass baskets. And making clothes. She took Pearl through a market and bought fabrics, food and clothes. Song was skilled.
One day, Pearl wore her favourite clothes that her mother made. A bright colourful del tunic and little brightly embroidered boots. She loved to wear a little hat covered in small river stones that Song made for her.
Then Song became very ill with a sickness, and there was nothing Pearl could do.
"Mum!!! Don't leave me!!!" Cried Pearl.
Song didn't want to leave her ten year old daughter in a forest infested with huge dangerous beasts.
"If I don't make it, promise me you'll carry my sword?" Song said sadly.
Song passed away in her sleep. It was time to move on from here but Pearl couldn't leave her mother, even though she was gone. Sh picked wild flowers and put them on her mother. She covered Song in leaves and twigs.
"I'm sorry mum, I can't take your sword."
She placed the sword on her mother and folded Song's arms around the hilt.
"You belong with the sword and can carry it with you."
She made a small fire and set her mother's flowery little pyre on fire. It burned softly in the moonlight. Wolves in the distance howled.
Wolves came, and they could smell death and they sensed the frail figure of a human child. Pearl looked at the wolves emerging from the bushes with their twinkling eyes.
"Your kind bit my mum," Pearl said through tears. "And she killed those wolves!"
The pack leader was angry. He was the largest of the group, the size of a big horse, with moon white fur and blazing solar eyes. A wolf of the sun and the moon. The others were mere shadows in the background.
"YOU AND YOUR MOTHER ARE DESCENDANTS OF ASENA," thundered the sun-moon wolf leader. "THE POWER OF ASENA RUNS IN YOUR FAMILY WITH THE SHE WOLF."
Pearl backed up into bushes and fumbled in her pockets to find rocks she could throw at it. She would aim straight for it's eyes and then get a dagger and lunge it into the wolf monster's throat. The others would come after, but she knew the trees would offer some safety from them because wolves can't climb very well up trees.
"Asena?" Pearl said, locating a small rock in her coat pocket. "Who is that meant to be?"
The wolf beast laughed and it sounded awful, like the earth was cracking.
"ASENA IS OUR GODDESS. SHE IS A WOLF. A VERY LONG TIME AGO, SHE WAS POISONED AND GAVE FORTH HUMAN SPAWN. YOU COME FROM THAT ABOMINATION!!!"
Peal threw the rock directly into the big wolf's left fire eye. He roared like the earth was breaking apart. The other wolves scarpered into the dark forest. Terrible as he was, he wasn't an ordinary wolf. This was a god. And he wanted to kill her.
She was so frightened that she ran to the nearest tree and climbed up as fast as she could.
Wolf laughed again and the trees were shaking.
"DO YOU THINK YOU CAN ESCAPE ME UP IN THAT VEGETABLE?!" He boomed. The wolf lunged forwards and banged against the tree, and Pearl grabbed on as much as she could. She shut her eyes and prayed for her mother's spirit to come and help.
A blue light made her open her eyes. A beautiful lady with white hair and sky blue eyes drifted on a cloud and smiled sweetly at her. Pearl felt the most calm she ever felt.
"I'm Asena, don't be afraid. That demon can't hurt you," said the lady.
"Are you the goddess?" Pearl asked.
"Yes," Asena replied. "you've nothing to fear. Your stone sent it away."
"He's going to kill me."
"He's gone. He disappeared forever once your stone hit his left eye. He can't live without both of his eyes."
Pearl noticed that she was on the ground and there was no sign of the large wolf anywhere. At all.
The lady slowly melted into fog, and then reappeared, only this time she was a splendid looking wolf with a blue aura.
"I belong in the sky, and you're blessed with the power of the sky too, as your mother was strong, she survived well on her own. You shall find a safe home in the town if you walk South. There you shall meet a prince."
Asena disappared in a bundle of stars.
If it was true that Pearl was a descendant of a goddess such as Asena, then she could understand how she managed to learn sophisticated fighting and hunting tricks. She only taught herself, with the inner divine wisdom embedded in her genes from the sky wolf goddess. She went on the path that the divine Asena told her to follow. Her colourful, adventurous journey had only just begun.
((The Fenrir's Daughters fiction stories belong to author Rayne))
All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2016 Rayne Herbert.