Golden Age – The Monksville Chronicles #91

Buggaboo sits in The Giant’s right pant pocket with his front paws grasping the lip, just like they did to the lip of a hollow to which he shall never return. The Giant landed his boat but did not pull the hollow log fully out of the water, for there was no need to stash it back in the bushes – he will soon be returning to his lake. Once he returns, he will not leave it until he lands his muskellunge; this much is a promise.

Down in the Fishing Village the small giants rise from slumber, one by one. Like vultures to deadmeat they flock to their pocket of the Wanaque Reservoir and take their morning dip; the rest of the giants are very thankful for this, as it tires the small ones out and makes them much easier to wrangle when the time to wrangle them arrives. The fishcatchers are loading up in troves, the bowhunters are stringing their bows and repairing what arrows need the attention, the leatherworkers are sharpening their blades and setting their tanning racks, the gardeners are tending to the crops, and the shamanfolk, smoking pipes loaded with ash from the kinnikinnik they torched before the rise of the great shine, stand in a circle around the bonfire pit. Though it no longer smokes, the embers are still hot to the touch – from the pit they lit their sticks, from the sticks they lit their pipes, from their pipes they lit their minds, their bodies, and their ancient souls. They see The Giant approaching through the eye in the center of their brain, and only open their exterior eyes when he has joined in the circle with them.

“Hai, shamanfolk,” The Giant greets, bowing ever so slightly.

“Hai, fishcatcher,” the shamans return in unison.

The blind elder then speaks and the others go silent, observing with three eyes as Existence spirals evermore into the here and now. “You do not travel alone this morn’, fishcatcher, and you come to us not for pointless chatter. What weighs on your mind, what guidance may we offer you?”

“Shinewatcher, you speak only truth. Early this morn’ I found myself awake and unable to fall back asleep, so I launched a boat on Monksville and attempted to land my fish.”

Your fish, you say?” the blind elder clucks, his tone of voice amused. “You mean the one you chase though it leaves you no trail to follow? The one who may not swim at all?”

“The very one, High Shinewatcher. I had launched my boat and taken to Lure Cove, meaning to troll from there to Muskellunge Cove with the spoonplug I was gifted by the leader of the Tribe of the Forge. If any lure will catch the muskellunge–”

“It is the lure bestowed to you by the other tribe. Yes, fishcatcher, we know your battle well. And did you land your catch?”

“I did not get a bite, high shaman, for I did not cast my line. As I prepared to sink my lure, as I held the longpole in my lifeless metal hand, I heard the distant scream of a screech owl and my blood ran as cold as the water come winter.”

The other shamanfolk perk up at the mention of the owl. The blind elder shaman shows no outward evidence of excitement, though his heart triples the pace of its beat.

“A screech owl, you say? Do expound, fishcatcher.”

“I followed the sound to what I believe was its source, but the owl was nowhere to be found.” Half the shamans lose interest, but the rest give The Giant the benefit of the doubt. “Upon ceasing my paddling, I noticed a disturbance in the water’s surface; I first believed it was my fish, or perhaps even a lakewalker, but as I approached, I saw that I was mistaken.”

The Giant reaches into his pocket and cups Buggaboo once more. Buggaboo does not fight. As The Giant reveals the flying squirrel to the circle of shamanfolk standing around the bonfire pit of the Fishing Village, the passage of time seems to grind to a halt. Even the blind shaman’s eyes grow wide in the presence of the humble Buggaboo.

“This… this…” Shinewatcher begins, his voice warbly. He seems unable to properly speak the words. Then, “The Great Spirit has spoken, brethren, our times of hardship are over! The flying squirrel has returned to the crescent moon valley! The highest wingwalker glides again! Our golden age has arrived!”

[to be cont’d]

This has been the beginning of the ninth subchapter of the last chapter of the book The Monksville Chronicles. Here is everything you need to know about it:

The Monksville Chronicles

I’ve written a few other books, too. Even fixed the link. Click here to see the list.

If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. From this day on, we move forever forward~

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