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The Basement Window

Patrick W. Marsh

For me, it might as well have been a gate between heaven and hell.

For everyone else driving by, it was simply a lit-up window sitting on the earth like a glowing snail. A luminous blip of symmetry on your way to the nearby park, church, McDonalds, or school. A bright square dividing the siding. An architectural necessity. An eye of yellow fabric on a typical suburban tapestry.

Growing up for me as a kid was difficult when it came to relating to people. I was incredibly sensitive and emotional, byproducts of having severe depression chiseled into my person by some villainous genetic artisan. Throughout my young life, and into adulthood, I struggled with the very basic interactions with my friends. I could never tell if I was teasing them too much. I could never tell if they were teasing me too much. I could never control my emotions in…

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Horselords 8

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One day, the couple travelled through wooded country.  It was getting dusk when they found themselves in a clearing and decided to rest for the night. It was the last night of Majordar, and bitterly cold. An easterly wind was blowing from the Mountains of Doom, bringing the promise of a freezing night.
There was a spring in the clearing, turning into a small stream which gurgled its way through the trees on its way to join the Avrimar, the river that passed close to Eribor, and hence to the Inner Sea by way of the Mistmere. They lit a fire to try to keep some of the cold at bay and to cook the last of their provisions bought from a friendly farmer the previous day, then they settled down close to the fire to rest.
Suddenly, Kimi became aware of a growing light in the clearing. She opened her eyes, thinking that it could not possible be dawn yet as they had only just got to sleep. The clearing seemed to be filled with a soft golden light, and a feeling of peace and calm stole over her. She felt Davrael stir at her side, and then sit up and look around. The voice came then, soft and gentle.
It was a deep male voice, and it said, ‘Kimi, Davrael, my children. Do not be afraid, but approach the spring.’
They looked at each other and stood. The voice, although kind and gentle seemed to command their obedience as they walked hand in hand to the spring, which now seemed to look more like a beautiful fountain to their eyes. They did not see the figure at first, but then he spoke again.
‘You are blessed, my children. Love such as yours is a wonderful and rare thing. You have both given up much to be together, and you will be rewarded. I believe you wish to be committed to each other for the rest of your lives?’
‘Who are you?’ they both said at once. ‘And how do you know who we are?’ Kimi added.
‘That matters not,’ the voice replied. ‘Do you wish to vow to each other eternal love and fidelity?’
The shadowy figure stepped forward and they saw a man dressed as a scribe, carrying a scroll and a pen. He had white hair, but his face did not look old, and he was wearing a purple robe, the colour worn by the clerics of Zol, the god of learning and the consort of Kassilla, the chief deity.
After exchanging a brief look, the young couple replied in the affirmative.
‘Step forward to the spring,’ commanded the cleric.
This they did, and he asked them to speak their promises to each other.
‘Say whatever is in your heart,’ he told them, and I will record it on the scroll.’

Davrael began. He looked deep into Kimi’s eyes and said, ‘Kimi, my little Mouse, I promise you that I will always love you. I will give my life for you if that is necessary. I will never love another. You are my reason for living, and without you I am incomplete. This I swear before the gods themselves.’
Then Kimi replied, ‘Davrael, my one and only love, I swear before all the gods that I have never loved anyone else the way I love you. I will remain faithful to you for my entire life. Even if you should die before me, I will remain faithful to your memory, and if I should die before you, I will wait for you beyond the veil until we can go on or be reborn together.’
Their promises made, the strange man then said, ‘Enter the fountain together, and be bathed in its waters.’
After they had done so, the scribe smiled at them both, then became more serious. ‘Your promises have been noted and are irrevocable. You can now consider yourselves married. Your lives will not be easy my children.’ he went on. ‘You will face tragedy, but you will also know great happiness, and as you share your great love, you will also come to know great friendship too. You have a task before you. It will not be easy, but you have each other’s love to aid you. Go in peace, my children.’
With that, the figure disappeared. Kimi thought she heard glorious music for a while, but then that too faded. The pair looked around and to their surprise, the winter glade had become transformed by a profusion of spring flowers that were definitely not there before. The newly married couple then returned to their bed by the fire, silently wondering exactly what had just happened.
The next morning, when they awoke, Kimi related a strange and beautiful dream to Davrael. Oddly, he too seemed to have had the same dream. They rose and went to wash in the stream. Half way there, Kimi stopped and silently pointed to their surroundings. There in the glade were hundreds of spring flowers.
‘Could it have been real, Davrael?’ she whispered. ‘Who was that man?’
Her new husband put his arm around her and hugged her to him. ‘I think, my little Mouse, we have been in the presence of one of the gods. I think that Zol himself has married us.’

What has the future in store for Kimi and Davrael? What did Zol mean by his parting words?

Find out more about Kimi and Davrael by reading The Wolf Pack, Book 1 of The Wolves of Vimar. Click the image in the side bar to buy.

Please leave a comment in the comments box below.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Processed foods vs. Industrially manufactured foods.

Some thoughts on the food we eat. Sally is a woman after my own heart.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Over the last four years, those of you who regularly read the health posts will know that I am very keen on the ‘cook from scratch’ with ‘fresh produce’ approach to eating.

I have been on that mind for over 20 years, even though I do enjoy buying the odd thing that is manufactured such as crisps (potato chips) cereals, bread, they are nearly always from the in house bakery, own brands fresh sauces or organic brands.

But even then, when you see bread displayed without packaging and oddly shaped, it may have been created from frozen dough from thousands of miles away, defrosted, formed into loaves and baked in the ovens.

I came across the following article back in 2015 and I have the link in a special folder of those that I want to keep and reread from time to time. This particular post lays bare some of…

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