Twial: A Myth


            In the beginning, Beeius opened his hand. When he spoke, his voice echoed into an empty sea of bright, shining stars. On the eleventh day of holding open his hand, he called to the other gods. His impassioned voice fell upon their ears.

             “What can I do to supply life for the humans? I know they will come, but how will I keep them?” He asked.

            On this question, Bratas, the wind god, Siewell, the water god, Antairre, the sand god, Dinairre, the rock god, Nissyn, the dirt god, Disian, the mud god, and Selv, the grass god, as well as Helium, the sun, and Spaci, the moon, communed for several days. Beeius waited in unmoving silence. After several years of talking, they looked up and spoke to him.

            “We have decided that we will help you. The creatures, humans, cannot live without us. We will sacrifice ourselves for them.” Bratas said. 

            Beeius thanked them and eased himself into a comfortable position. They settled into his palm and opened up. Bratas first swept across the surface, cleaning any debris that might get in their way. Siewell then let out his breath and poured himself into any crevice and open basin he could. Dinairre broke himself apart and fell in line above and below the water. Nissyn and Antairre rained down to take their places. Selv began to sprout his seeds. Disian filled the gaps.  Helium stood above them all and shined down. When they settled in, they began to move and try to find rhythm between each other. They discussed what they would do when the humans came. In their talks, they realized they would need the animals, and so Bratas went to find and reason with them. He also reasoned with the trees and flowers and plants. After much debate, they all arrived together and began to settle in, rooting into Nissyn’s seeds and exploring Dinairre’s plains. Then all the gods waited, finding rhythm through the years, for the humans to come.

            While waiting, the gods began to argue and fight. Once, Dinairre got so mad he blew up one of his volcanoes. The blast blew out Beeius’s ears. The trees spoke of this often.

            When the humans came, the animals immediately wanted out. They spoke to Bratas and the others, but nothing could be done. The humans simply kept killing the animals. In time, the gods began to resent the humans. They only acknowledged the humans because without the gods the humans would die. The humans only spoke of and prayed to the gods from an idea passed down to Rhimoa from her lineage.

            One day, in a rhythmic lull of movement, Dinairre found himself in talking distance to Antairre. They spoke to each other for many years, asking each other about the humans and what they could do to help the animals. Eventually their talk turned into a quarrel. Dinairre told Antairre that he was weak because he was scattered into many pieces. Antairre replied that there was more of him so he would never disappear. Dinairre said that his thick body could outlast anything.

            Caught in the midst of their argument, they did not see the traveler Craaigg walking by. Helium, the sun god, shined down and reflected himself upon the glass held up to Craaigg’s eyes by thin twigs. If the two had seen him, Antairre would have tightened up his quicksand so that Craaigg would not fall in. But he fell in. He clawed at the surface of the sand, taking handfuls with him as he sank.

            As he slid beneath the sand, he heard the vibrations from Antairre’s voice.

            Bratas, as he flew by, saw the clawed sand flying into the air. He saved Craaigg. When Craaigg stood up, his sleeves were torn. The marks on his arms were visible to the gods who stared at them. A large creature on his forearm was staring back at them.

            “I heard you talk,” Craaigg said.

            Dinairre and Antairre froze. They fell silent as Bratas began scolding them. They stopped moving and Antairre immediately dried up and hardened. Dinairre watched Craaigg.

            Craaigg stood in front of the gods and spoke again. “Can you all talk?”

            Bratas replied to him. “We can speak, but only to each other.”

            “I can hear you too.”

            Bratas fell silent. The gods stayed silent for several minutes, so long that Craaigg sat himself down on Antairre. After the silence, Craaigg spoke a third time.

            “What can you tell me about yourself? How many of you are there?”

            And so, after thousands of years of never talking to the humans, Bratas stayed and spoke to Craaigg about how many gods there were, who the gods were, how they came to be, where they were, and how the humans came to be. Dinairre and Antairre stayed quiet, still in awe that Craaigg could hear. He stayed and spoke with Bratas until Helium went to sleep and Spaci took his place. Bratas even told him that there was no need for him to hold his breath when Spaci came. When Craaigg saw that he was fine, he thanked Bratas and went to sleep. Bratas left Dinairre and Antairre alone so Craaigg would not freeze.

            In the morning, Craaigg continued his wandering and made his way through towns, telling what he had learned. Very few of those who listened believed him. As Craaigg spoke, Bratas would sing by, and Craaigg would call out.

            “Did you not hear him? Bratas, come back and sing through me. Show them you are here, that you exist.”        

            The people looked on in interest when Craaigg spoke this way, but Bratas never stopped any time Craaigg called.

            The town of Palimos had not yet heard the story or of the gods. When Craaigg arrived, he was their first visitor from the land, as a large boulder had fallen from the cliff above and blocked their access to the other towns and cities and countries. The people of Palimos could leave by sea, but they themselves did not have boats. They did not have the materials. When passing crews came to their port, those who wanted to leave Palimos could board those ships.

            As Craaigg walked up to the boulder between the cliffs, Dinairre saw Helium reflect off the glass held up to his eyes by twigs. He moved out of Craaigg’s way in shame. After Craaigg passed, Dinairre fell back into place.

            The townspeople stood in awe of Craaigg. They gasped at the marks on his arms. He was invited in for a meal, and they all waited, excited, until evening for him to tell his story. When he spoke, he felt the ears of the listening people and lavished in the feeling. His story had grown throughout his travels and so took more than one night to tell. He spoke the first night until Helium left and Spaci came out. He held his breath with them, as he had not reached that part of his story yet.

            At the end of the evening, a man and his wife approached Craaigg.

            “We would like you to stay with us tonight. We want our daughter who is too young to leave the house to hear your story,” the man said.

            Craaigg agreed and followed the man and his wife to their home. 

Den Mother

             The mouth of the cave was flooded in the winter seasons and so Den Mother, who lived inside, fled elsewhere. During the dry season, the water receded and the craggy rock mouth darkened with shadows. Plumes of thin smoke rose from the cliff above. People sat, waiting for her to come back so they could give warning. No one ever saw her, besides Weas. Weas saw the eyes once after waiting for several days, but no one believed what he described. They thought it was hunger. They had all seen tigers and had heard of leopards, but what he described was neither of those things. Through the blackness, her blue eyes captured him in a trance. His mind transported him and he hovered over the ocean. The blackness became rocking waves and white-capped surges. He looked at the sun. When Den Mother blinked, he shuffled back into the world where he was before, looking into the black. She sunk back and curled up into the cave, and he scurried away. When enough people gathered, they swept the cave but found nothing. She had left. They did not see her again, and the water rose with the changing of the seasons. Now someone always watched the cave in wait for her.

            Lo sat on the edge of the cave mouth with one foot dangling, tapping the weeds that sprouted up between the rocks. She wore a shirt covered in holes and stained with mud. Her feet were red from where the weeds scratched against them. Doir sat above her on the cliff, poking the fire smoke lazily rose from. He spoke. “I’ve heard that she won’t be back for hundreds of years. We won’t see her in our entire lifetimes.”

            “I’ve heard she doesn’t exist.”

            “You don’t believe that, do you?”

            “I don’t know. I haven’t seen her. Have you seen her?”

            “No. I’d like to see her though. I’ve heard she was beautiful.”

            “I heard about the eyes, blue like Rhimoa’s. I want to see her eyes. Do you know the story? Could you tell it to me?”

            He turned his feet over the cliff, so they dangled above her, and began to talk.

             “I’m no Rhimoa, but I’ll try to. It started with Weas. He heard about the creature during the wet season, when Siewell filled the cave and nothing inside could survive. He swam inside the cave several times looking for any evidence of the creature, but every time he swam underneath, Siewell didn’t want him to find anything and pulled him back to the surface. He took Siewell’s pull as a sign that something did exist in the cave. Rhimoa spoke to Weas about it, but her opinion did not satiate him, so he traveled around spreading the tale of what he felt and singing his own praise. He insisted that once the dry season arrived he would stalk out along the shoreline and wait for the creature.

            “Once the dry season arrived, he stalked out along the shoreline alone. He waited near the cave mouth for several days, watching the darkness. Bratas spoke to him as he waited. He did not pause a breath when Spaci came. Bratas told him about that. Bratas told him what the creature was and what it could do. Weas asked questions. When he came back, unsuccessful in seeing Den Mother, Rhimoa did not listen to him. She belittled him and his story. He did not care, as he had spoken to the gods, and told the tale they gifted him. He told the creature’s tale.

            ‘She is a den mother. Her children are lost to her, vanished and disappeared. When the wet season comes, she leaves her cave in search of them. She wanders the woods alone, breaking the scattered branches and crunching leaves with each of her large, gracious steps. The trees feel bad for her and cover her tracks in thick roots and leaves. This is why the floor of the forest is covered in green and brown. The other animals bow their heads as they graze while she passes them. Some of them follow her. She leaves them untouched. She travels the world in her looking. She travels through every climate and climbs every mountain. She walks slowly and follows any scents and every trail. When she feels their presence, she cries out. The sound she makes travels for miles and is so strong it can fell trees.

            ‘Then, when the season begins to change back to its sunny and green state and Siewell begins to subside, she circles back to the cave in hope that they will arrive. She sits in the dark of the cave, curled up and weeping. She does not know that some the gods have talked of her and have planned this. They took her children in the night, hoping that she would blame us. Some of the gods want to rid us from the Earth.’

            “When Weas saw her eyes, he almost did not come back. He did not speak for several days after, and when he began it was as if he had never spoken. When he spoke clearly, no one believed him. He said that he floated above the water. On the cliff across from him, her children bayed at him. He couldn’t turn around, but felt that Den Mother was near. When he blinked he found himself walking through Dinairre’s mountains. When he blinked again he was walking alongside Siewell. Then, in a blinding flash, he came back and found himself alone and unable to speak.”

            In a trance, lulled from the story, Lo left the cliff and wandered into the woods. Her bare feet curled around the ground full of vines. She tripped over one of them as Tweard inhaled a breath and she fell in front of the sleeping Tweard and Dinde. The sound of her fall was loud enough to wake them from their sleep. Tweard spoke to her.

            “You tripped on me. Who are you? What are you doing here?”

            “It’s okay. I’m Lo. I’m not sure where I am. Who are you? How long have you been here?”

            “We are the trees and we are thousands of years old. But we can’t be seen talking to you or Beeius will get mad at us.”

            “Why not?” She ran her hand across his bark. “You are beautiful.”

            Tweard blushed. “If you want to speak to us, climb up in my branches. I’ll hide you so no one walking by can see. Beeius only knows what he sees,” he said.

             She climbed up the tree with help from his branches, unfurling to create steps, and sat against his trunk. Leaves and vines pulled against her and shrouded her body. 

            “See? Won’t he hear us? We live on him, so aren’t we close to his ears?”

            “No. He’s deaf. Dinairre once became so mad that he blew one of the tops of his mountains. Beeius lost the ability to hear from that, and besides, he doesn’t bother with us often. That’s why there are the Earth-body gods. They watch over all of you on Earth. I’m blocking you in case he happens to look down or the other gods come by.”

            “Are you a god? I know about Bratas and Disian.”

            “We are not gods. We’re simply friends of the gods. When Beeius called upon them, they asked the animals and us to help with life. They couldn’t do it alone, or you would have died.”

            “Do you know about Den Mother?”

            “Yes, we know about everything. We’ve been here longer than you’ve been. We hear everything. Our roots connect with Nissyn.”

            “What else can you tell me?”

            “I can’t say much more.”

            “Tell me about Den Mother.”

            “She’s a shape shifter, although she—.” As he spoke, a huge branch swept across and hit him in the face.

            “Shhhh!” Dinde hissed. Lo laughed.

            “She asked about her! Am I supposed to say nothing?”

            “We don’t talk about that. The gods trust us. We shouldn’t tell these things.”

            “She asked.”

            “They don’t sacrifice to us. We aren’t Gods. That isn’t our story to tell. Now she’ll tell others and the humans will know.”

            As she spoke, Bratas stormed by in a thick, loud hum. Lo sucked up close against Tweard’s trunk and his leaves pressed tight against her.

            Bratas stopped to talk to Tweard and Dinde. “Have you seen any humans? Beeius wrongly called upon Weas and now he plans to venture out. I am going to speak to Beeius before Weas leaves and hurts himself. He may bring the end of Earth body.”

            “None have passed by us,” Dinde said.

            Without answering, Bratas shot off in the direction he was already going.

            Tweard loosened his branches when Bratas left. Lo dangled her feet from the branch she sat on.

            “Who was that you spoke with? I heard Bratas’s song for a moment.”

            “Could you hear what he said?” Dinde asked.

            “No, I just heard the hum.”

            “Okay. Now Lo, you are far from home. If you wish to get home, walk in that direction, toward the opening between the other trees.” She lowered one of her branches to point Lo.

            Once Lo was gone, Tweard and Dinde began to talk again.

            “Do you think Bratas or the others will help her home?” Tweard asked.

            “I don’t know. She will have to try to convince them. You know how they feel about the humans. I only hope she does not tell of us to the humans.”

            Tweard nodded and grunted in acknowledgement, and the two of them stiffened their branches and went to sleep.   


            Weas and Rhimoa argued for several days. He said that Beeius gave him a plan. She did not believe that Beeius would pick Weas, as she sacrificed in Beeius’s name every day. Weas did not have an answer, and so the next day he set off to fulfill that plan. He created a raft, with help, and pushed off into the sea to begin. He left during the wet season and so had the helper, Hay, cover his raft with a roof. He sailed off into a clear Siewell toward an unknown island.

            Beeius spoke to Weas softly before his voyage out and Weas listened. He understood. When he saw another coast he was to stop and turn back. If he noticed a change in weather or a whirling in Siewell ahead, he was to pray to Siewell and ask for help and a clear path. If he did not pray to Siewell or any of the other gods who made his journey difficult, then they would set him on a different course of direction where he would wander and never be able to return home. Bratas and the other gods did not hear this conversation, and Weas set sail quickly after.

            At first, Bratas blew him across Siewell, keeping the raft steady. Weas prayed to Siewell, but Siewell only laughed at him. The only reason Weas survived the trip was because of Bratas’s hard blows. Siewell swelled himself up, sucking water deep into his chest and holding it for as long as he could. Weas noticed the calm sea. Siewell then released the water from his lungs and sent whitecaps roaring from his lips. Weas held on as best he as he could. Dinairre floated out thick, buoyant, dark rocks in the way of Weas’s path. He hurled them will all his strength, but they still only moved slowly in the deep water. Their wakes rocked the boat. Antairre brought his sand from the ocean floor closer to the surface to try to run Weas aground. The only thing that allowed him to pass through was Bratas.

            Then Bratas, after clearing Weas of the troubled paths, spoke with the other gods. They spoke first.

            “Bratas, why are you helping him?” They asked in unison.

            “Beeius has us live here to help them. We are for them,” Bratas said.       

            Siewell spoke in low rhythmic patterns so as not to have Weas hear him. “Bratas, we agreed with you when we came here. We settled into our places and I became the swelling sea. The humans talk about us in awe. We receive more praise from them than we ever have before. That feeling is great. But even with that feeling, they take more from me than I can bear. Every day they take of me what I do not know I can get back. None of us realized what we were sacrificing to keep the humans alive. Selv is dying faster than our help can save him. Have you heard the animals’ screams? They did not know this would be their fate.”

            Bratas replied, “I have heard the animal’s screams, and I understand the strain, but we all agreed to help Beeius, and we all spoke about it. What more would you like to do? If we were to abandon them, Beeius would cast us away.”

            “Why don’t we use what we already have? We can talk to the others and flood the world or dry out all crops, not allow food to grow. We’ll rid the world of the humans. Only we will be left.”

            Bratas replied, “I don’t know if we can do that.”

            “Why is it that you can go wherever you want, and you don’t lose any of yourself at all, but when we talk about our damages, you disagree? These humans are killing the animals. Do you see that? I am covered in the blood of the sea animals. I can sometimes hear their screams through the waves. I can hear the other gods talk about it.”

            “Yes I see it, and we’ll do something, but we need to gather everyone first. The humans are fated from Beeius to live for much longer, so we can’t kill them.”        

             When Weas crashed ashore, Bratas followed him to point him in the correct direction. Weas, however, did not listen and walked across Antairre’s hard body. Antairre in unison with Bratas tried to stop Weas and suck him back with his sand. Siewell threw down heavy rain. Weas still did not listen and did not notice the forces trying to stop him, only wiping his face to clear the rain, and kept walking. Bratas grew stronger until Weas reached Dinairre’s flat plains. Selv began to tie himself around Weas’s legs and feet. He still didn’t listen and eventually stopped at a pile of boulders to rest. Dinairre came alive to point Weas in the direction he needed to go. Dinairre pointed toward Nissyn and Selv, who lead toward a plateau he had formed. Weas looked in that direction and saw a figure sitting on the edge looking out. When their eyes met, the gods dropped all their help. Bratas fell silent. Siewell stayed the rain.

            As he climbed up, Dinairre crumbled the rocks under his feet. Den Mother waited for him. He touched her neck. She sat calmly with one large foot hanging over the edge. She did not speak out loud, but he could hear her.

            “What are you doing here?” She asked.

            “Beeius told me to come.”

            “I was not aware he or the others were looking for me. Do you know why you are here?”

            “I don’t. But I think it’s because I know you exist. No one believes what I saw. I cannot convince them, and you have not been back to the cave.”

            “I stopped going back when I was being watched every day. I smelt the fire burning above and on some days saw smoke trailing the sky. You are one of the only humans to be kind and for this I will tell you of my travels. Maybe the other humans will believe, once you know everything.”     

             Weas followed her but did not ask where they were walking. Some of the animals they passed stared at him as a stranger. They saw the shine in Den Mother’s eye. When the two stopped walking, a deer approached and nudged his shoulder in welcome. Den Mother nodded at the deer and then spoke.

            “In the first year of my travels I was sorrowful for I did not know where my children were. The animals looked at me when I passed, or avoided contact. None spoke. I spoke to no one the first year. No one tried to help me. They were all afraid of me. The animals spoke to themselves of me like you humans do.

            “As I walked through one of the warmer regions, one of the animals living there attacked me. I believe you call them lions. I had walked through its den unknowingly, and then his large mane appeared in front of me, up to my shoulders, as he growled through clenched and gnarled teeth. I spoke to him and told him I was going to do no harm, but he could not understand me or did not listen and attacked. When he pounced, he tripped into my legs where I clawed him and flipped him over and threw him. He landed in a pile of fur and stopped moving. He shot back up moments later and ran back at me, his fur reddening, clumping around his neck. I jumped up at the same time he did and he pushed into my chest, but I came down upon him and crushed his neck and left him in the dirt. I traveled another day before exhaustion caught up to me and I lay down to sleep. I wept through the night. I continued searching, with all animals’ eyes upon me, until the seasons changed and then I walked back to my cave.

            “In my second year of travel I stayed near the water. At several points in my travel, I saw a colorful glow beneath the water as fish followed me. I walked for many days, and different schools of them came and went. Some of them had fins and scarred, tough skin, and others had scales that shined underneath the sunlight when they broke the surface. When I approached an inlet that became a bog at the shoreline, a grotesque, green and sludgy color, the fish did not follow me in. I could see down below on the shore, for I walking along the rocky cliff, a fire crackling and smoking. I assumed it was humans, but I did not know. I was hesitant to walk down to talk to them, but I thought they might know where my children were. Like I am talking to you, I thought they might listen.

            “When I stalked the shore, I saw no people and heard no voices. Next to the fire were stacks of wood. I swiped at them, and heard something large move in the water behind me. I turned around to stare at a creature with several heads lumbering toward me, blocking out the sun. Its front hand was above the water and looked to be one large, sharp, curved nail. I tried to speak to the creature, but it was not listening.

            “I dodged its first strike and used the momentum to pounce into its chest. I swiped at the throat and saw a thin stream of blood pour out, but it still lurched forward. It grabbed me and threw me into the ground, hard. My back leg gave out under my weight when I tried to stand. I stopped, lay down, and looked up toward it from my back. When it pulled in close, close enough that I could feel its breath, I latched onto its neck with my claws. I sliced and fell to the ground with its head. The long arm whipped around, severing the other heads. They plopped into the shallow water and began oozing out. As the creature reared, moving frantically, men came out of the woods, picked up pieces of firewood, and lit them like torches. They climbed the creature’s body, careful not to be cut by the swinging arm, and stuck the torches into its neck. The loud hiss nearly deafened all of us, and the creature dropped into the water, disappearing beneath the green sludge. They cheered.

            “They nursed me and helped me heal from my wounds. I spent as much as I could of the rest of the season wandering, though I could not make it far. When the seasons changed, I slowly made my way back to my cave to wait in hope of my children’s return.

            “My third year away lasted for all the time between the seasons, as I thought I found a clue. I was walking along the base of a mountain when I heard a twig crunch in the trees next to me. A deer stood between two trees, holding up its proud neck. It pawed at me and so I followed, but when I turned, it dashed forward into a sprint and disappeared between the trees.

            “I chased that deer for the entire year. Each day, we both ran until exhaustion set in and then dropped to the ground. We would often speak to each other while resting.

            “‘Why do you run from me?’ is one of the questions she would not answer. It took me many months of chase to see the scar on her belly the same size and shape of my claw.

            “‘Do you know my children?’ I asked. ‘Do you know where they are?’ Still, she would not answer.

            “I caught her right before the season changed, but she still would not tell me anything. I threatened to hand her over to the hunters who roamed the plains, and when I did this she only bellowed one word, “Siewell,” and broke free and bounded away. I did not know what Siewell was and returned back to my cave to wait in hope of my children’s return.  

            “In my fourth year I traveled through winter snows that proved to be a powerful challenge. My fur only kept me so warm through the cold. The wetness and cold sunk into my bones. They became so stiff I could barely walk, but I found my way to a cold but dry cave during a storm and curled up at its mouth. As I began to fall asleep, I heard the crackling from a fire and turned to see its faint glow on the wall deeper inside the cave. I inched closer to it and spoke, but heard no answer. When I walked closer to the warmth, I saw two people, a man and woman, sleeping next to each other. They were sleeping soundly, so I didn’t wake them and curled up on the other side of the fire. I left in the morning before they woke and went back out into the cold.

            “After slushing through many more days of snow and cold wind, I saw an ivory tusk sticking out of a pile of snow. As I passed it, I heard a loud snort and felt a rush of wind as a large mongrel creature ran past me. As it past me, I saw a patch of blood on its fur and heard human shouts, angry cursing behind us. I was able to trip the beast, running behind it, swiping at its back foot, and wait for them. They thanked me and I asked them about my children, but they did not know, so I continued walking. I found nothing in the snow for the remainder of the year. Any tracks were covered or washed away. When I got back to my home, I curled up in front of the sun outside the cave mouth to regain warmth.

            “In my fifth and final year of searching I was given gracious hospitality and almost found my children. I came across a farm set deep in a valley and a farmer with information about my children. His crops were yellow as far as the mountains. Next to his house was a large, gated horse stable. Hay covered the ground and dung was piled in the corners. He let me stay at the farm while he and his wife took the horses around the property. He told me to rest from my travels and when they got back he and I would discuss.

            “After a long rest and when the sun began to set, the farmer was still not back, so I went to look for him. The door wouldn’t open. I scratched and clawed and yelped and cried for him or someone to unlock it, but no answer came. I tried breaking the walls, but they would not break. I was caged in. Completely trapped. I clawed at the ground, but it was only dirt. After pacing around and with no options, I curled into a ball in the corner, as far away from the dung as I could be, and waited. In my waiting, I realized that I was the prize the farmer was looking for. He and his wife had left so that I would tire out before they opened the doors.  

            “When the moon came out, I heard footsteps and I spoke. Someone answered me. A man with marks on his arms, except for one spot on his forearm, and with clear glass held up to his face by twigs, appeared when the door opened.

            “‘What a beautiful creature,’ he said. ‘What are you doing locked up?’

            “I told him my story with the farmer and he told me he was a traveler. I asked him, then, about my children, but he could not help me.

            “So, I thanked him and he went off in the direction I had come from and I went off in the direction he had come from.

            “At the end of the season, having searched for my children everywhere on land, I went back home to the cave. Now I only leave during the wet seasons because you people show up and try to invade my cave. Now I simply weep.”   

             When Den Mother finished her story, they had walked down Dinairre’s plateau and across one of his large plains. Their lone footsteps echoed without Bratas there. Weas did not speak for several minutes. When he did he asked, “How can I help you? I have heard your story, but do not know of your children or where they might be. I would lead you if I knew.”

            She replied. “It is alright, Weas. It is enough to me that you listened. I will take you back to shore so you can begin to make your way home.”

            In saying this, she bent down on her front two paws and told Weas to climb on her back. They raced along Dinairre’s empty plain and were back to the shore within hours. As Weas cast off into Siewell, he called out to Den Mother.

            “I will tell of your story. I will try to reach your children. Rhimoa may know of them.”

            Den Mother bowed her head and wandered back across Dinairre’s plain. Bratas waited until Den Mother was a far distance away before pushing Weas out into Siewell. The gods all kept quiet on his trip. Weas had no one to speak to. He spoke to himself, repeating the story he heard so he would not forget it. When he landed he went to speak to Rhimoa. She let him into her home as a guest and sat him down, finally interested in what story he had brought. He told the story.

            As he finished the story, she stared out the window into the wall of the next house. Her blue eyes shined underneath Spaci. She spoke.

            “I know the creature you speak of. My father learned the story of the man at the stable from his father who learned it from his father who learned it from his mother. The man with the glass held up to his face by twigs I was told about many times. My father held that story in loving regard. My father told me the man’s name was Craaigg. If I had known it was she, I would have done more. Let us call on Beeius. He may know about this.”

            They called. Beeius did not answer.