The sparse leaves bristle under a spell of echoes. It is raining hard; yet the greenness fades, receding gradually to the edges, leaving a sea of deep brown and you to trudge through the engulfing oblivion.
Everyone had gathered like a roughly drawn arc in the hot afternoon air, debating how best to save the dying fire. You listened absent-mindedly as beaks tweeted how an elf had tied the clan’s fate to a fire whose glow wanes with each passing of time. An hush fell on the group, a massive silhouette darkened the arc’s exterior as Initshe emerged from a dark skyline flustering at first, then with a hunched gait strode to its bull’s eye. Without words, he pointed at you with an enormous totem, covering half the arc with its shadow. Wings fluttered in protests, but the powers-that-be have weighed-in and chose you. You are to travel the continuum and defy time, but pay heed to the sprite that deceives for only him could cause your failure. He handed over to you the totems, a stone arrow head, a pitcher and another heed against weariness. Posterity records:
The little Ingonyi, its wings and quiver
against some fury,
to save the flames in bravery
or folly, only to suffer a fate both weary
Your steps betray your doubts as you traipse through the void and its vastness which swirls like a whirlpool of emptiness. Why should an entire clan be tied to the fate of flames and fumes? You question as the rhythm of uncertainty gives fatigue to your wings.
With fate of many on his shoulders,
Idada forges on in this quest
weary and wobbling like the boulder,
which lie unrest
in torment of him and his brothers.
You seek for respite, momentarily forgetting the heed, you had to reach him at all cost and pay the price: present him the spring of Styx in a pitcher. He alone could rekindle the fire of the land. You lie for a while with the totems by your side. The world can wait.
It caught his eyes, a trunk
adorned but fallen,
from which emerges a unicorn,
through a most celestial form,
a star shaped opening.
You leap up as it glides towards you; a hand relaxes on the arrow with a fastened stone head and the other a bow. You marvel at it, lost in its admiration you do not see it turn a Leprechaun till its wand hits you in the face. The arrow head and the pitcher drop. You drop too, into a strange emptiness.
Someone rudely nudges you. You find yourself standing in a bar with an empty tray.
“You’ve been at it again, Uche! This Insomnia is really a buzz kill”. She moves away and mutters before disappearing:
“This is the fourth water pitcher you have dropped this month and you know how much Austen hates cracked China wares. He would surely fire you this time”.