Golden Age [cont’d] – The Monksville Chronicles #92

“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!”

“High Shinewatcher?” The Giant asks bewildered as the shamanfolk dance all around him.

“Highest fishcatcher, what you hold in your palm is a sign from the divine! You have been claiming the great famine had come to an end, but I must confess, none of us believed your words. The food is plentiful once more, yes, but you, fishcatcher… you disappear onto that Reservoir day after day in pursuit of a muskellunge, unrelenting in your search even though your hands return emptier with each new set of the great shine. We’ve watched you lose weight, sanity, and even the hand off your right wrist in pursuit of this ghost fish, of this lakebreather which may not breathe the lake. When you lost your hand we were certain your fishing line simply got tangled and, in your madness, you severed your own hand to make it seem as though you finally got but a taste of that which you have so feverishly sought after. But now, with the appearance of a flying squirrel… when the waters are poisoned, by drought, famine, or otherwise, the landwalkers are the last to take notice, and the same is true for the rebound. The flying squirrel is a sensitive creature, one that cannot survive unless the living conditions are optimal, that will quickly flee when they are not. But now you hold one in your hand, one you rescued from catastrophe, no less. In saving the glider, fishcatcher, you’ve saved not only our village, but also yourself – go now, hand the wingwalker to me and return to your Mother Monksville. On this day you shall catch your fabled stinking fish; the Great Spirit has decreed it so.”

Bubbling with excitement, The Giant hands the flying squirrel over to the blind elder and sprints away without uttering another word. He heard all he needs to hear. The muskellunge awaits.

The shamanfolk circle Shinewatcher tightly, unable to believe their eyes. A true to life flying squirrel saved from the waters of Monksville, here in their village. If not a sign of prosperous times rising over the horizon like the great shine come morning, what could it possibly mean? The shamanfolk have no reason to question it further.

Guided by intuition and the pinecone-shaped organ in his brain, Shinewatcher walks reverently to the forest’s edge with Buggaboo cupped comfortably in his hands. He holds him next to a tree with anticipation leaking down his cheeks. This time, Buggaboo takes immediately to the bark and climbs to the lowest branch above the heads of the old mystic giants. They watch in awe as Bugga’ scans his surroundings and eyes his target – a birch tree with a massive hollow two giants’ heights above the forest floor. Without so much as a squeak, ‘Boo leaps and engages his gliders, but his patagium are still damp from Monksville’s loving embrace. He falls faster than he anticipated. The giants watch him plummet – all but Shinewatcher, who cannot see at all – their smiles quickly fading to frowns.

Buggaboo collides with the base of the birch tree. The meeting of his skull and the tree produces a woody knock reminiscent of a sasquatch communicating with mortals who stumble lost into High Mesingwe’s realm, but that’s just fine. Buggaboo is strong, Buggaboo is mighty, and so Buggaboo shakes it off like it was nothing. He climbs up the slender birch, bypassing the hollow to find himself a higher branch, a branch to offer him a glorious view of the shinerise. On this branch Buggaboo shall sit for many and many’a restful moment; when the great shine casts high noon over the still waters of the Wanaque, Buggaboo will glide again.


This has been the end 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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