A Prequel To: The eyes of fire, the nostrils of air, the mouth of water, the beard of earth.


It’s been a great couple of days for writing.  I got a prompt from another blog I stumbled across Master Class  the prompt was “Desperation had given him authority.”  It reminded me of my recent story about Gregorim, so I thought I’d expand on the universe a bit.  Let me know what you think :).  Here’s a link to the other story 




The flames licked at the edges of his vision.  Smoke hung thick in the air, carrying with it the smell of burning wood and flesh alike.  His mind was frenzied.  His breaths came in ragged choked gasps.  His eyes stung with the combination of smoke and tears.

He hadn’t meant for it to go so far.  He hadn’t meant to do all of this.

He gaze drifted from the husk of one building to the next.  The shells of what used to be homes and shops leering at him, flames staring from behind the empty sockets of their sagging window-frames.  There was no movement in the streets aside from the hungry fire.  The screams had stopped.  The only thing to be heard was his own heart, sounding like an army of angry blacksmiths, destroying his ears.  The time passed with the slow crawl of tar on a cold day.  He was numb.

Finally he looked down at his hands.  They were covered in blood so thick it looked black.  His once white clothing was also mostly reddish-black.  He let his focus slip for a moment, at his feet were three torn and battered shapes.

Small shapes.


He felt the tears spill down his cheeks.  He wanted to scream.  He wanted to tear his own eyes to stop himself from seeing.  He began to notice the piles of what used to be people scattered around him.

A piece of stained and battered bronze caught his focus for a moment.  He saw a broken spear next to a crumpled body.  The breastplate had been crushed, pulverizing all that lay beneath.  One eyes stared at him from half of a face above the breastplate.

He drifted again.  An impossibly small heap lay a few spans away.  The now bloody white dress of a young one was all he could focus on.  A burlap doll appeared to be floating face down in a sea of crimson. There was a sky blue ribbon in her coal hair.  She lay face down. One hand reaching for her doll.  He clenched his fists tight enough to tear the skin of his palms.

There were dozens more.  Some lying in clusters, small ones next to larger ones. Families.  Others were groups of men in brightly polished armor.  They were the hardest to recognize as what they once were.

He fell to his knees as the his breath became so ragged that it stopped completely.  His face was frozen in agony.  He did not mean for this.

He felt a hand lightly grip his shoulder.  He knew who it was without looking.  His kind could always sense each other.

“I didn’t mean it, Gregorim.”  He sucked in his breath and almost gagged on the fetid stench of death.

“They were leaving me.  They were…”  He broke down completely, a drooling sobbing mess.  “I didn’t mean it.”

“I’ve told you about your temper Kraksis.”  The voice from behind him was full of pain and disappointment.  Gregorim had warned him about his temper.  He had told him that this very thing might happen if he let it get the best of him.

“They were talking to one of the travelers.  The priests.”  His sobbing overtook him again for a few minutes.  Gregorim stood behind him patiently waiting.

“I saw one of the children wearing their symbol and I couldn’t contain myself.”  He looked down at his hands again.  He tried to scrub them against his tunic, but it was so soaked through with blood that it only served to make them worse.

“I was desperate, Gregorim.”  He looked up at the figure behind him.  Gregorim was much taller than him, his thick black curls and beard set him apart as well.  He was the last of his family, the only family with that coloring.

“I had already been growing weak because of the priests’ intrusions.  I was not going to wither and fade like so many of our kin.  What choice did I have brother?”  He looked at Gregorim imploringly.  He must see that this was the only way.  The only way to make them see that he  loved them was by taking their false beliefs from them.

Only he could have saved them, and he had.

With fire.


5 thoughts on “A Prequel To: The eyes of fire, the nostrils of air, the mouth of water, the beard of earth.

  1. I am a huge fan of dark stories. Your visuals here are beautifully written. You made me care about this person even though he did this horrible thing. That’s some good writing. I hope you will write with the Master Class again. While this piece totally fits the prompt, technically you are supposed to include the line in your work as well. I’m really glad the prompt was useful for you and I’m really glad you linked up. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m looking forward to reading more of your stuff in the weeks to come.

    • Thank you so much!
      I will definitely hang around the master class. I have written the next weeks prompt already I’m just in the revision stage. Anything to make me write more is good.

    • Thanks so much for the kind words. Those are rough drafts, I’ll be posting a revision soonish. I revise quite a bit, but I wanted to post something new so the roughie went up. Thanks again!


  2. Pingback: Master Class 2013 #11: Desperation, Authority, and a Lamb | My Write Side

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