Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Crone and Prince Uruz

This is the story of the Crone and Prince Uruz, as told to me by my uncle Hilbert ( Libby)
Andersson, son of Karin Peresdotter, daughter of Pere Olsson, son of Ole Andersson, son of Anders Johnsson.
Deep in the verdant forest near Asgaard, ruled over by Odin, a large majestic Hall welcomed weary wanderers and wayfayers, its heavy oak doors unfolding like the solid arms of an ancient matron, to gather in the battle fatigued soldiers, unfortunate vagabonds and assorted notables who had somehow grown bleary and lost their way. One evening as the moon pressed down like a thumb print on the glassy silhouette of the Hall, a Crone and a Prince appeared at the towering doorway, suddenly, as though out of nowhere. The sentinel, positioned in the Halls' turret high above the two figures, was taken off guard by their abrupt arrival. Without hesitation he signaled the arrival of the two travelers and a guard was commanded to open the doors forthwith. In the noble history of the great Hall, what followed had never occurred; despite an epic and mighty exertion, the guard could not open the doors. Try as he might, the massive portal remained sealed. He quickly called for his fellow guards to come and assist him, but as you the reader might have guessed, their strength did not avail against the obstinacy of the great doors.
Outside the Crone and the Prince became uneasy. Although they could not hear what the guards were saying to each other , they sensed that their entry was somehow prohibited. After a brief consideration they decided to retreat to the forest.
The Prince was relieved; he hadn't wanted to enter the great imposing Hall in the first place, much preferring to rest on the mossy floor of the great forest, his Staff of Neptune vised resolutely in his hand. The Crone was not so relieved; she had spent many nights enjoying the delights and comforts of the Halls' hospitality and was not inclined to spend another night out in the cold. She began to sing mournfully ,
So was Uruz beside the chieftains
like the bright-growing ash beside the thorn-bush
and the young stag, drenched in dew,
who surpasses all other animals
and whose horns glow against the sky itself
while she forged a very crafty plan in the hope that the two of them could gain entrance into the great Hall. Now reader, you may be wondering why the Crone and Prince Uruz were traveling together in the first place. Another question you might have is why it was important to the Crone that Prince Uruz come with her, for it has been revealed that he had no desire to enter the great Hall. These questions will be answered as our story proceeds, for now, let's look in on them as they prepare for a night in the forest...

Prince Uruz was extremely tired. It had been a long,toilsome day since the two improbable companions had stealthfully gathered their scanty property and decamped the Donjon in Helsinborg,long before first mornings' light. The Crone had very quietly suggested, but not without urgency, that they resign from the Kompatica ,adducing convincingly the likelihood of their death should they remain; they were after all, leading by an unreachable margin. Prince Uruz had grudgingly yielded to the Crones' recommendation though before they made the abdication official, he astounded the panel by trumping the Casting Shadows, reciting Infinity/Infinity=?, calculating Feminine Endings, and finally, seeding Intonation Theory. The Crone felt a track of pride rip through her; how was it that the panel had not guessed that they were related? Had they guessed, the two would most certainly not be alive to study the question.

He wearily stationed his Staff of Neptune on a soft drift of spongy moss and dropped beside it. He ached as though a hammer, wielded by a feckless giant, had pounded his entire body. The Crone was also exhausted and weak; she laid down between two deep, guttural roots of a nearby Remmingstorp and pretended to drift into oblivion. Her mind though was on fire, scorching and singeing first one plan to infiltrate the great Hall, and then another...

Morning found the Crone gathering winter grass and berries as the suns' red hues bled onto the forest floor. Prince Uruz lay very still, unaware of the events about to erupt. The Crone had decided to poison herself, reasoning that Prince Uruz would have no choice but to demand entry in to the great Hall so that she could be attended. She chewed the winter grass and berries into a soft pulp, then spit the mash into her cupped hand. From a small leather pouch which swung from her neck, she extracted four large pinches of Myristicin, which she stirred into the mixture with her long, weedy finger. In an instant, she popped the poisonous gruel into her mouth and swallowed. As she entered the clearing , her back arched in an grotesque spasm , her eyes bulged as though squeezed from behind their sockets, and a shocking moan discharged from her bleeding mouth. She quavered like a saw blade stuck in wood, and collapsed into a shrieking, convulsing mound..

Would you be surprised dear reader to learn that the two were indeed lodged in the palatial comfort of the Great Hall by mid morning? This is how it came to pass; the Prince awoke just as dawn threatened with a grey and gauzy light diffusing the camp. He arose, saw the old Crone sleeping soundly and very furtively, and very carefully, bent over her and plucked four large pinches of Myristicin from her pouch. You see, he had reasoned that if he poisoned himself, the old Crone would surely be able to incite the sympathy of the guards, and gain access into the Great Hall, so that he would be attended. He decided to time it just perfectly so that the effects of the poison would be in full vigor right around the time the old Crone returned from gathering their morning berries...

They were found by a sentry making his early morning circuit. Indeed a cart was dispatched and the two were gently loaded upon it and brought through the looming doorway. And so it was that the old Crone and Prince Uruz were the guests of honor that evening in Valhalla.


Hector the Crow said...

great stuff, you have a talent for dialect and metaphorical narrative - sounded mist of avalonish at times - hope my use of certain terminology didn't throw you - sometimes on my blog i'm an arrogant artist type, exploring words, digging in the corners where offense originates, rubbing the sore spots, that kind of stuff

Hector the Crow said...

dark and beautiful - good story