29 comments

Fantasy Kids

To hear the stories told by old women over the fire, one would believe the world to be inhabited by ghouls and hobgoblins. This is not true. The world is full of magic for sure, but the magic has been here longer than the old women, longer than humankind and longer indeed than memory can express.

In the beginning of time, Allondial was born. Her first breath was a gasp that awakened humankind from the eternal sleep of non-existence. Her smile was gentle as she gazed upon all creation as it woke, and humankind smiled back, enthralled by her presence. Enchanted by her beauty, humanity sought ways to draw close to her, to find comfort in her bosom. For she was the first light, a magical, shimmering luminosity that whispered of possibilities and caressed the soul.

In the shadows cast by her gentle light, poets and artist and musicians were born, their inspiration drawn from the heart of the one who called them into being. She smiled upon them, her gentle radiance guiding their endeavours, and as they shaped their art, the heart of Allondial sang with joy.

Yet, the breath of Allondial was fickle, akin to the capricious dance of the zephyrs, and ebbed and flowed as her attention fluttered towards distant realms and unexplored horizons. As her face turned away, darkness draped the world, and humanity, left alone, wailed in despair. Shadows deepened, and a profound sorrow, accompanied by weeping and wailing, swept across the land.

Amidst this enveloping darkness, a man named Remu arose, a soul aflame with defiance against the darkness. In his desperation, he cried out to Allondial, hurling rocks into the abyss, pleading for the return of her radiant light.

“Allondial!” he beseeched. “Turn your face to us once more. Bless us with your light, for without your breath, we are nothing.”

In the silent darkness, Remu’s voice echoed unheard. Frustration gripped him, and in his anguish, he cast a stone, inadvertently igniting a spark that flickered and vanished, gone before he could even know its name. Undeterred, he continued, desperate to capture this new light, to hold that brightness and study its beauty. It was so incredibly different from anything he had ever known. On and on, casting stone after stone, until one spark, landing on dry grass, birthed a tiny blaze, growing in size and brightness and warmth. Soon a small blaze fluttered about Remu’s feet. He laughed and searched for a way to harness this spark, to control it and keep it close to him. Grasping a branch from a nearby tree, Remu thrust its leaves into the blaze. Ravenously, the new light consumed the offering, growing ever brighter.

“I will call you ‘fire’, and you shall be with me always,” Remu announced with pride.

Remu took this new fire back to his people, igniting their curiosity once more with the bright flame. Its warmth lured them from the shadows to bask in the glow and dance by the wavering light. Soon Allondial was merely a memory, and humankind ceased to pine for her gentle face. The heat of the flame ignited a new passion, fueled by wanting and a desire to harness the flame for himself, to bend its light to his own need.

Yet, as the flames multiplied, so did the flames of greed within their hearts. Where once humankind had created harmony, enjoying the fruits of the soul that flourished in the light of Allondial’s gaze, now nothing but envy grew. Each person could measure the brilliance of their own light and compare it with the blaze of another. Want grew within the soul, obliterating need, leaving no room for the beauty of hope. Each person fed their flame, hoping to enlarge it, to brighten their own world and prove their personal superiority.

As the competition grew, so too did the flames, until it was impossible to contain them. The fire, an impish, impudent and impulsive beast, escaped its confines to run rampant. It danced with delight, devouring all in its wake, knowing neither friend nor foe.

And soon humankind learned a new word—fear. The shouts and screams echoed throughout the land, as fire consumed them without discrimination. What was once a source of joy, igniting hope, now created a desire to become a merciless destroyer.

Remu, witnessing the devastation wrought by his own creation, wept for the ruins of his home. Accusations were hurled at him by his own people, fingers pointed in harsh judgment.

“You caused this!” they cried. “You brought this beast to our door, and it has feasted upon our lives. Now it has ruined us!”

Remu, burdened by the weight of guilt, could not deny the truth. His actions had birthed a destructive force that now consumed the very essence of their existence.

Drawn to the light, Allondial returned to witness her progeny engulfed by the flames of chaos.

“Remu!” she cried. “What have you done?” The sound of her voice drew all things to a halt. Every voice was muted, every flame frozen in its place. In the brightness of the fire, Allondial’s face waned, and the radiance was leeched from her skin. Deathly shadows deepened her eyes and carved the groove of her mouth. Her sinister appearance shook Remu to his core, and he threw himself before her in fear.

“Forgive me!” Remu begged.

“You have defiled the land. For that you must die!”

Allondial raised her hand and grasped a flaming branch and thrust it into Remu’s chest. His life blood welled up and flooded the land with its crimson tide as it doused the flames. Slowly, Remu sank into the ground as darkness once more covered the land.

In the silence that followed, Allondial searched for her people, her face once again shimmering with light, but everywhere she looked, she found them sleeping, their bodies overcome with exhaustion. There was no one to admire her, no poet to write an ode to her beauty, no artist to paint her radiant face. No matter what she tried, no one would awaken, and she stood in solitude for an eternity.

Finally, unable to bear the loneliness any longer, Allondial reached into the ground to find Remu, and pulled him from his death.

“Why are they sleeping?” she asked.

Remu glanced about him. “They are tired.”

“Why?”

“They had to work hard to survive the fire.”

“When will they wake?”

“I do not know. When it is time to work again, I suppose.”

Allondial thought about that for a long moment. “They work when your fire is burning, but sleep when my shadow covers them.”

Remu agreed that it did seem to be so.

“Then you will need your flame once more.” She took a branch, and with her gentle light, set a small spark to burn. She handed the flaming branch to Remu. “Take care that you do not set the world on fire this time.”

Remu took the branch and bowed to his lady Allondial. “Will I see you again?”

“I will not be gone for long. We will meet again.”

And so Remu set forth with his branch ablaze, awakening humanity and encouraging them rise and work.

When the day was done and the flames began to escape their confines, setting the land ablaze, Allondial returned and once again thrust the burning branch deep into Remu’s chest, quenching the flames. She then wandered the land, calling to lovers, poets and dreamers, igniting within them a fire of passion and creativity.

And thus, it is the pattern for all eternity, Allondial and Remu follow one another, meeting only at dusk, to quench the flames of day and again at dawn to bring light to the new morn.

****

“Now, my sweet child, that’s enough for one night. Go to sleep. Allondial is coming, and you don’t want her to catch you trying to burn all the branches. You know what happened to Remu when he wanted more?”

“But mumma, it’s just a story!”

“Is it?”

November 14, 2023 15:08

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

29 comments

Kayden Solace
23:51 Feb 16, 2024

This is really good! I don't know if you intended this, but it reminds me of dreams. When under her shadow, they sleep, but she also prompts people to find "within them a fire of passion and creativity." Are these dreams? Or insomnia? Just a thought.

Reply

Michelle Oliver
04:07 Feb 17, 2024

Thanks for reading. Dreams or insomnia. Two sides of the same coin really. Glad you enjoyed the story.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Amanda Lieser
17:05 Jan 04, 2024

Hi Michelle! What a beautiful story of creation. I loved the way that this story lit a fire in my heart. It certainly warmed me and it was needed because of the snow falling in Colorado. There was wonderful vivid imagery and the dialogue felt old and new at the same time. I adored the format, we jump into this story and then we have that heartwarming moment between mother and child. It certainly took me back. Nice work!!

Reply

Michelle Oliver
22:25 Jan 04, 2024

Thanks Amanda. I enjoyed writing this one, creating something entirely new but trying for that sense of a timeless myth.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Stevie Burges
05:48 Nov 27, 2023

Lovely, Michelle. You have received some wonderful comments. Great writing and great story.

Reply

Michelle Oliver
07:51 Nov 27, 2023

Thank you Stevie.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Richard D
17:34 Nov 23, 2023

Absolutely beautiful writing. I can only dream of ever being able to create something so superb. So evocative and creative.

Reply

Michelle Oliver
22:02 Nov 23, 2023

Thank you for reading. I am humbled by your comments. I’m glad that you enjoyed the story.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Robert Egan
00:31 Nov 21, 2023

Beautiful writing. The myth seems to work on multiple levels; it actually made me think of work-life balance after Remu was resurrected.

Reply

Michelle Oliver
09:09 Nov 21, 2023

Thanks for reading. I was hoping that the many different layers would be evident in this story. Glad it worked

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Graham Kinross
09:15 Nov 20, 2023

Duly epic. I like that the gods and goddesses weren't the well rounded type, more the Greek or Norse gods that were wrathful and flawed. Great story.

Reply

Michelle Oliver
10:06 Nov 20, 2023

Thanks. Flawed gods make for much more interesting reading. Thanks for your feedback.

Reply

Graham Kinross
14:14 Nov 20, 2023

You’re welcome.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Marty B
02:47 Nov 18, 2023

An epic tale! As in all good myths the flawed gods and goddesses show the sins of us mortals, but to godlike extremes, greed and ambition to shine bright as a star, which of course burns us up. For all the love Allondial receives, I don't like her, she seems too self interested and petty. I relate more to Remu, doing the best with what he was left with. Thanks!

Reply

Michelle Oliver
05:21 Nov 18, 2023

She is very flawed, but perhaps her inability to understand is because she is not human and doesn’t think as a human would. We relate better to the human character of Remu flaws and all because he is us. Thanks for reading it.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Michał Przywara
21:47 Nov 16, 2023

I do enjoy a good creation myth, and something about this one strikes me as delightfully Olympian. Perhaps it's the flawed deity with her own vanities, and how the mortal is conscripted into service to atone. His gushing blood representing a sunset is also visceral, and lovely imagery. There's a story here too, about need vs want, isn't there? About complexity. In the beginning, the humans have no light save Allondial, and it is all they need. Furthermore, it is a shared light, a communal experience. When she leaves, Remu discovers fire an...

Reply

Michelle Oliver
22:02 Nov 16, 2023

Thanks for reading. I had hoped all those themes were evident. It’s more than a creation myth, it’s a tale of greed, and corruption, of needs versus wants and desires. The flawed deity makes for interesting conflicts and resolutions. Thank you for your detailed analysis of this story and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Chris Campbell
04:20 Nov 16, 2023

Michelle, This story evoked a gamut of symbolism flashing through my head. The most conspicuous is the correlation to how today's society follows the path set out by your Allondial and Remu. Shows like X-Factor and social platforms like Tik-Tok reflect your storyline within. Young and old trying to outshine each other - hoping their flame will shine the brightest - until their audience tires of the constant repetitive formats and lack of individualism. Then the fires die out and all that's left is disappointment and insecurity. The fast...

Reply

Michelle Oliver
14:27 Nov 16, 2023

Thanks for reading. I had hoped the multi level symbolism would come through. Yes this is a creation myth, but with a moral for the modern world. Wanting more is consuming us, and will ultimately destroy us, unless we curb it. Yes the social media world we inhabit, makes shining brightly a glamorous thing, but the reality is so damaging.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Danie Holland
13:48 Nov 15, 2023

Michelle, wow. This piece was absolutely beautiful. I could feel the brightness from Allondial's face and yet the coolness as the dark fell over the land when she turned away. It's only natural that Remu sought heat and light in her absence. It's the very essence of a human to want to be warmed when we are cold. And in the same breath, to keep wanting more of a good thing to the point of destroying ourselves with it. This was very well written. We find it hard to fault Remu when he is us and we are he. But for the source of his worship to gi...

Reply

Michelle Oliver
14:02 Nov 15, 2023

Thank you Danie. I am happy you enjoyed it. Wanting more and more is an addiction of our modern world, so hopefully this is a myth with a moral that is relevant.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
04:17 Nov 15, 2023

😍 Love it! Such a sweet story, and really interesting. Fits the prompt beautifully. My understanding of Allondial (love the name by the way. Just from your head, of inspired by something?) grew as the story evolved. First I thought she was the equivalent of God, then the sun, then the moon - The descriptions were poetic and beautiful. 🩷 “Take care that you do not set the world on fire his time.” - 'his' is supposed to be 'this'? ❤️💛💙

Reply

Michelle Oliver
08:44 Nov 15, 2023

Thanks for the pick up. Sometimes names just spring into my head and Allondial was one. I had to google a bit because I was sure it was from somewhere, but I couldn’t find anything, so I’m going with “I made it up.” I’m glad the language worked to give the feeling of a creation myth with the poetic style.

Reply

04:41 Nov 16, 2023

Maybe you're thinking of Galadriel from Lord of the Rings? It sounds similar, and represents a similar being - I think.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Mary Bendickson
17:55 Nov 14, 2023

Myth ccome to life. So well written and illustrated.

Reply

Michelle Oliver
21:15 Nov 14, 2023

Thanks so much for reading it.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Tom Skye
15:59 Nov 14, 2023

Haha, great punchline! I find this kind of subject matter really fascinating. All of those steps humanity must have taken and the drama that must have surrounded them. Like we know we learned to control fire (most likely more than once and in multiple places), but the response of the people in that moment must have been wild. Like you allude to, it would have been magic or godlike. Setting up an allegory for night and day was very elegant, and the punch line served it well. Also a commentary on the greed of humanity. Whatever it is we ha...

Reply

Michelle Oliver
21:14 Nov 14, 2023

Thank you for reading it. I’m not sure how well it fits the prompt, but hey, i enjoyed writing it.

Reply

Tom Skye
21:43 Nov 14, 2023

Haha sometimes when I am reading the stories of people I follow, I forget to even look at the prompt. I think your ending cosied you under the prompt nicely

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
RBE | We made a writing app for you (photo) | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.