AToR Prologue: Cherub's Foresight
I've been doing this current incarnation of the story in a much more non-linear style, writing the important bits and then gluing them together. I have however finished(?) the Prologue, so here it is.

Cherub talks to a horse named after a Scandinavian Cain-spawned monster. A lot. And he doesn't make much sense. Probably the blood loss. Shame he doesn't show up again in person until the Epilogue.

Wow, it looks so much more insignificant when it's all stretched out on here. Ummmm, just imagine paperback sized pages and it'll all be fine.

A whopping 763 words in this chapter. That's, what, like 1/90th of a Robert Jordan novel? w00t!


"So, Grendel, a puzzling matter is it not?" Cherub looked down the hill at what would one day be a monastery of the Heiho faith. Now, though, it was little more than piles of wood and stone. “One thousand years have I lived, my friend. Well, nine hundred and seventy-three anyway. I have been cursed with this body, with this power.”

“I have looked back and seen the death of the Old World, watched the origin of the one we know now, gazed forward at the many ways that could all end. I've seen the birth of kings, the death of princes, and the crowning of peasants.” Frowning, he pushed against the ground with his palms, adjusting his position. He lifted his legs into the air, wincing in pain as he realized his injured left leg refused to move. Instead, he lifted the leg with his hands and twisted sharply on his tail bone to face Grendel before gently placing it on the ground again.

“Fire, famine, flood. Earthquakes, drought, plague. Rebellion, revolution, civil war. I can see when they have happened, where they may happen, how they may result, but their origins elude me. Time is elusive and the slightest change may avert the greatest disasters. In a way, it is as though I can see a great lake, but never the rain that falls into it and forces it to ripple.”

Grendel responded, as she usually did, with a small snort then moved towards the shade of a tree. She stared intently at an apple hanging from it for several seconds before diverting her attention back to her master seated on the hill.

Cherub let out a sigh. “Yes, yes. I know you've heard this rant before. Or have you? Have I said such things since the last Grendel? I must have gone through a hundred horses such as you in the past few lifetimes.” He let out a deeper sigh as he leaned back to lay down on the coarse grass. “The point, Grendel, is that in two decades this location will be the origin of something awkward. An event that I can see, but only partially. It is not at all like the lake or the rain, but more like a torrent or waterfall. Visible, yet not. Inevitable, but malleable.”

The sun changed position, then disappeared from the sky, then rose again. All the while, Cherub lay and thought of what was to come, focusing on the truths and half-truths and possibilities. “What is my role in all this?” he finally said to the red streaks of light in the sky. “Do I even have one? Am I only to be a record keeper all my days? Why else would my body never age and my wounds seal so quickly if I was not truly the lore keeper of the gods?”

At this last spoken thought he reached his left arm down to touch the leg that kept him from moving. There was pain at the touch, though not as much as the night before. He would still be unable to use it for quite some time, if it would even heal at all. “Can I recover from even this? I've never sustained injury quite like it.”

“Too many questions, too many variables, too many possibilities. My mind cannot account for all of them. The weeping maiden. The three swords, one of justice, one of loyalty, and one who straddles the gray line between light and dark. The black prince, the lost soul, the cold destroyer. The quickener of blades. The traitor. The false queen. The horned man. Others come and go as the waters flow, but these remain the same. Consistent.”

Letting out a strained grunt as he lifted himself to sitting position, he fumbled at his right side for the object that had caused the pain in his leg. He held it up to the sky, studying the pattern the dried blood had made. “But out of all the questions, only two matter right this minute. The first,” he said as he looked around the empty hill, “where is my horse?” He let out a quick series of clicking noises and within minutes Grendel was atop the hill once more. “The second is much more difficult to answer.” Dropping his left femur on the grass once again, he stared at the horse intently, as if expecting an answer to the question that would follow. “How am I going to mount the damned thing?"
Of A Revolution Wrote:And we would sit, and wonder about the future,
But now I'm thinkin' that today sounds fine to me.

[Image: toriban.png]
Love the prophetic vibe of the second to last paragraph. I'm super glad you told us that he won't show up until the epilogue, because I feel like one might expect him to show up close to the climax of the major story arc. I like that it sets up a lot of questions already for the first-time reader. Well done.
EZS Writer
"Don't waste your time or time will waste you."

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