The End

 

Forlorn they cry where shadows lie
And husbands leave the home
Sons and brothers, uncles and fathers,
Across a dead land roam

Skies of black above their backs
Shoulders hunched by woe
A weary tred as legions head
To face the tyrant foe

For rest they yearn while fires burn
Beacons on the horizon
Terror signs of evil times
And shadow hordes arising

A shifting cloak of boiling smoke
An acrid rotting smell
Hid beasts of death with poisonous breath
Eyes lit with fires of hell

Face to face with weapons raised
In a land gone black with blight
Brave men roared when arrows soared
Shadows called delight

On that field did no man yield
Each and all were slain
The shadow hordes and Midnight Lords
Marched on to bloody reign

©Aarron Mondello 29/7/2018

Forgotten King

 

 

Follow the wind

Over the land

Over canyons deep

Across the fields

Of wildflowers

And into the forest creep

Through the shadows

Of gnarled old oak

Passed the moonlit clearing

Step wide and far

Of the witch’s hut

Her eyes you should be fearing

Stay on the banks

Of the rushing river

It will lead you from the trees

When you emerge

At the river’s mouth

Turn your bearing east

Up and over

Rolling hills

Past a sapphire lake

Until you find

A hard dirt road

Winding like a snake

Take the left

Follow the path

Above a city ruined

Crumbling walls

Broken domes

How many are there entombed?

The path you’re on

Will wind and rise

To a high and jutting cliff

Where in a hall

Awaits a king

Forgotten and bereft

For long ago

Far out to sea

His queen was drowned and gone

Heart turned cold

Tears of ice

He set his heart to mourn

He cried his love

From empty eyes

And sat his throne in dark despair

The years ran

Like the tides that took her

His kingdom fell to disrepair

There he still is

Upon his throne

The Forgotten Kings grim fate

To sit alone

In countless tears

And for his Queen await

 

©Aarron Mondello

1/7/2018

Tarmon Gaidon

 

 

Draghkar wings black the skies

Trollocs loose guttural cries

Dark hounds lope with easy strides

While in the shadows Myrddraal hide

 

Dreadlords cast about the Power

Lightning falls in crackling showers

Aes Sedai and Asha’man

Soldiers all make ready to stand

 

Wolf brother hunting with his pack

The nations all stand at the Dragon’s back

The Gambler fights with a fevered eye

On the Shepherds shoulders salvation lies

 

Sound the horns of Tarmon Gaidon

Rally the Sisters from Tar Valon

Summon the Spears ready to dance

See Shayol Ghul razed by the Dragons hand

 

29/5/2018

 

A poem written by Aarron Mondello using characters and events from the book series The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Lonely Roads of Galdenya: ch1

By Aarron Mondello

PENNED BY THE HAND OF FREGOR LANDSON, WANDERING SCRIBE AND POET.

I have spent a good portion of my many years traversing the back and forgotten roads of Galdenya, away from the cities of man.

A long and tiresome journey it has been yet I have relished in the discovery of it.

From the edge of The Frozen Wastes in the south and into the trees that make the beginning of the Taltyri Forrest many months travel to the north. Around to the Great Ocean in the east and through to the Mountains of La’Tail in the west, that no man in recorded history has seen beyond.

Many times I have made this journey via differing paths and routes and I would not be at all surprised to find that I have seen more of my beloved Galdenya than any who came before me.

I was much surprised to find, during my last visit to the Frozen Waste that there was water lapping the white shores proceeding the ice. Indeed, it appeared as though the ice is, for the first time in living memory, thawing. Though I could still see the blue expanse of it beginning a bare stones throw away from where I stood. But that is not a tale for the here and now.

Here in these pages I will attempt to organise and arrange my findings and adventures as I travelled the Lonely Roads of Galdenya.

 

FIRST STEPS

I was born to a small farming family just about two hours walk to the east of Galdawn, the shining sun of Galdenya and capital of the land.

From a young age I was “taken by flights of fancy and had not a head for the land”, as my da was fond of saying.

He loved me dearly, as did mama, but I was not built for farm life and caused them plenty of grief with my imaginative ways.

So much so that when came my 14th birthday and I announced to them, my two sisters and my four brothers that I wished to seek apprenticeship with the librarians in Galdawn they heartily agreed that would be for the best.

A week later came the day I would make the trip to the city and beg my place amongst the apprentices.

There were tears from mama, firm handshakes from da and my brothers and teasing from my sisters who believed I would return in less than a month with my tail between my legs.

They were very wrong.

I spent the customary three day period begging the Masters of Lore to allow me to join their ranks as apprentice.

On the third evening, as night fell, so too did my final hope. I would have to try again next year, but unless some accident or ill fortune culled the apprentices, I would not be accepted then either.

The sun was just a golden line above the horizon, the masters and Beggars alike had all left save for me. I stayed in the street on my knees and cursed my bad luck.

With barely a half of an hour  remaining before night fell and my time was up I became aware of a presence standing behind me.

I turned and was surprised to see an old man bent heavily over a walking cane with wisps of white hair clinging to his scalp. The real surprise was the silver chain around his neck with a thin thread of gold running up to his earlobe and joining a crystal stud pierced there.

This proclaimed him a Lore Master, but the poor cut of his white robes showed he did not fair well in his trade.

I began to stand, already deciding I would prefer the life of a farmer over serving a failed master in his dotage.

“Kneel boy!” he snapped in a tone that commanded obedience at once and I fell heavily back to my knees.

I stared up at him and he smiled down at me.

“Much better,” his voice had softened to something much more kindly. “What do you Beg here?”

“A-a-apprenticeship, Master,” I stammered, “with the the Lore Masters, the librarians.”

“Very well, apprenticeship you shall have. And your first task will be to help me home. My body tires and I’m not entirely certain I can make it unaided. Indeed, I almost missed the Begging due to this old body.”

“Forgive me master, but I wish apprenticeship with the libraries.”

“And so you shall have it, if you quit your prattling and follow, though maybe not in the library you choose.”

And with that he turned away and began to hobble up the road.

I stayed where I was, stunned and unsure what to do.

He made no more than a dozen steps when he tottered and fell hard on his bottom.

I leaped up and ran to him. He was laughing quietly when I reached him.

“There see, I knew you would listen, though slow to start. We’ll get that out of you yet,” he chuckled as I helped him to his feet.

There followed the longest walk I ever had. It felt longer even than all the miles I traversed alone through Galdenya in following years.

We made our way slowly through the streets of Galdawn. Fast emptying now the sun had set on the city. Which was to my liking. Helping the old man was a task in itself, crowds would only make it worse jostling us about as they no doubt would.

After more than an hour of frequent stops to let him rest and more than one occasion of him losing his balance and nearly falling we came finally to a large building of white marble. Unadorned in any way save for the great bronze door carved to look like a book and fashioned so expertly that when opened it appeared as though a large book was indeed being opened for a giant to read.

This I knew, by descriptions I had heard, was the Royal Library. The place where all matters pertaining to the royal bloodline were stored.

I feared the sanity of the old man was gone and opened my mouth to speak. Before I could the door was flung open and tall, stern faced woman came striding out.

Her dark hair hung loose about her shoulders and bobbed with each step. She stopped before the bent old man and inclined her head. He bowed as deeply as he could manage and then scowled at me when I didn’t follow his example.

Too late I noticed the royal crown embroidered down her sleeves and across the collar of her extravagant cold and blue gown.

“Master Gayle,” she spoke in a voice accustomed to command. “The hour is late and long have I waited here for your return.” She raised an eyebrow at me and I hastily fetched a bow, remaining bent in the hopes of undoing any offence I had caused.

“You highness, my queen, had I known you sought me I would have left a message. But as today was the last day of the Begging I had need to be in the city. My services are now at your disposal, highness.” Master Gayle spoke in a way that suggested he was familiar with the queen and she with him.

“Nay, I have found what I sought. I am glad to see you are unharmed, friend.”

“Unharmed save for the ravages of time, my lady,” Master Gayle chuckled, “and with an apprentice to boot!”

I felt the queen turn her gaze on me and quailed under her scrutiny.

“That is well, and past time. You do not grow younger Gayle,”

To my surprise she bent then and kissed the old man on his wrinkled forehead before sweeping past us followed by guards I had not noticed as they stood within library’s vast door.

Master Gayle turned to me and smiled, “Come lad. We shall get acquainted, you and I,” and he shuffled unaided into the cool interior of the Royal Library.

Here I shall skip many months that remain vivid in my memory and heart, though they do not bare over much on the tale of my travels. It was one full year and a half that I served under Master Gayle in the Royal Library, and many strange tales I read there.

Tales of creation and the Vor’Dalee, that fabled race who held the favour of the gods and yet were, in the end, spurned by them.

The tale of the Upstart Prince who murdered his father to claim a throne and then one day inexplicably denounced his claim and fled the kingdom. That one, according to dates, happened not many years before my birth and is a true accounting that I will not tell in full here. And many more besides.

Master Gayle and I became fast friends and even, forgive me da, built a relationship not unlike the closeness of father and son.

Many nights we spent awake till early hours, sitting by the fireplace and talking. Mostly I listened as he taught me the ways of the library or told me tales I had not yet read.

I grew to love the old Master and I am certain he loved me too.

Then, at the end of my first year under him, he fell very ill. He developed a fever one night though he showed no signs of sickness leading up to it. For 9 days I tended him until the fever broke and he spoke to me then of his family and the home he left in favour of the library. The scorn of a wife for leaving and fellow apprentices for being so much older than they, and a brother who disowned him and cared for Master Gayle’s family in his absence.

He spoke of his childhood and we laughed as it was revealed that his life was very much like mine.

The weight fell off his body and within two months he could no longer rise from bed.

I went to check on him one morning, half a year after his fever and found him sitting up in bed, a lap table laid across his knees holding quill, ink, parchment and a small vial of sand.

“Fregor,” he spoke to me in a hoarse whisper, “I will leave this life soon. I feel it in every bone, in every aching muscle. My time is coming.”

“Master Gayle,” I began but he cut me off with a sharp wave of his hand. “I wish I had not wasted my life away with these books of dead men and their tales.  This library cost me everything.”

“I thought you loved the library, Master Gayle,” I said to him.

“I do, lad. But now I am at the end of my days and see it was poorly traded when I took these books and scrolls over all the things I loved and could have loved, had I given myself the life to experience them.”

I did not know how to respond to that and so we sat in silence for a time. Eventually he dipped his quill and began to write, I took my leave.

Three days later, before midday, as I was organising my writing equipment in my pack there came a knock at my door.

“Come,” I called out and a woman named Elis opened my door.

Her eyes were puffy and red and she held a linen handkerchief bunched in one hand.

“Fregor, Master Gayle has passed,” straight to the point and it was a point that rocked me.

The world spun and I believe I blacked out for I have no recollection of how I came to be on my bed or where Elis had gone.

My mind was blank and my heart was sore.

I’m not entirely sure how but before lunch had come I was outside the city standing on the west bound highway.

I think even then I knew I would seek out Master Gayle’s estranged family.

 


This is a work on progress and a very rough draft, though I hope you enjoy it despite its (probable) many mistakes, bad grammar and poor layout. I would love to know your thoughts. 

Welcome to Galdenya.


Image

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/breakingmuscle.com/amp/healthy-eating/down-in-the-dirt-series-part-3-a-local-farm-and-the-city-slickers-who-run-it

Little Darklings

By Aarron Mondello

17/12/2017

 

“What is a Darkling?”
I hear you ask
Well it’s a little shadow-child
Wearing a little shadow-mask
Flitting running
Through the trees
Blending in
Barely seen
Tittering laughter
Follows behind
These little imp-wraiths
As they hide
From all who come
Near to them
For Darklings everything
Holds fear for them
“Are they evil?”
You enquire
No more evil
Than burning fire
They have a power
In their heart
A power some will
Seek to covert
“So they have magic?”
You seem confused
“They ARE magic”
I say, amused
Their very shifting
Shadow form
The essence from which
Magic is born
They have no use
Of their own
For the power set
Within their bones
A cup of water
Can’t drink itself
As the Darklings
Can cast no spells
“So they are good?”
How to explain
Would you put alignment
To a flame?
Neither nice
Or evil things
They just are
Little Darklings
“Are they real”
Your voice goes soft
Not any more
I scoffed
People hungered
For their power
And hunted them
To their final hour
Now no more
Do they flitter
Through the Shadows
Running thither
Their end was long
Brutal and violent
Their old homes
Now lay ever silent
Beautiful shadows
Always laughing
Their only downfall
Was being Darklings.

©Aarron Mondello2017


Featured image: A Rustle and a Murmur by moppaa

https://www.deviantart.com/art/A-Rustle-and-Murmur-442059115

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/silent/”>Silent</a&gt;

Old Mothers End

By Aarron Mondello

11/12/2017

 

Grey clouds racing through the night sky
Over darker lands below
Where death stalks every quivering creature
And only twisted things grow

In the centre of this dead land
Lies a Forrest dark and brooding
With a small clearing at its heart
Where stands a willow tall and drooping

A patch of green here and there
Still shone amongst her branches
Though mostly Mother willow had succumbed
To poisonous sickly advances

At the base of her gnarly roots
Sat an elderly elven fellow
More bones and skin no meat on him
His face gone gaunt and sallow

Every day from dawn till dusk
He laboured with his hands
At his feet sat crystal vials
A dozen all on stands

He drilled the trunk of Mother Willow
And drained her healthy sap
Twisting the drill to bore a hole
Then knocking in a tap

There was not much healthy sap
Left to drain out of she
For nearly dead, on her last legs
Was this mammoth willow tree

But old man elf remembered
A time before the dark
When Mother Willow sang to the moon
As the children climbed her bark

So now he sat and cried
Silently as he drilled her trunk
The dead lands all about them
Echoed with his mallets thunk

Sweating and tired and nearly done
He stopped to take a breath
Old Mother Willow whispered her thanks
Then finally gave in to death

Her last green leaves withered up
Right before his eyes
Her brown bark turned to ashen grey
As he howled sorrow at the skies

She was the last, he is the last
This garden of eden no more
He packed his vials of her precious sap
And left for brighter shores

None can say how his road travelled
As he searched horizons far
But you can see the vials of Mother Willows
Sap as all the stars

And still the grey clouds race
Over that land twisted and dead
Where in every valley or mountain range
Stalk countless eyes of dread.

Aarron Mondello2017


Featured image

https://www.claudemonetgallery.org/Weeping-Willow-Giverny.html

Unrequited Love

By Aarron Mondello

28/11/2017

She weeps alone
He sees there
Sitting upon
Her well of tears
For each of the
Glistening gems
That fall from her eyes
Drop into the depths
There they form
A sparkling pool
While he spies from hiding
Like a fool
And watches her
Falling tears
Watches her
Succumb to fears
Fears that he
Could never guess
Fears that cause
Her souls unrest
With a wordless cry
She throws herself
After her tears
Into the well
He doesn’t think
Or stop to dwell
He just follows her
Into the well
Together falling
Though far apart
She hears him calling
Out to her heart
And there they stay
Falling still
Until a day
One of them will
Confess to other
An undying love
Only then will they
Return above
The darkened tunnel
Of unrequited love.

©Aarron Mondello 2017


Featured image: Unrequited love by Cold-Tommy-Gin

https://www.deviantart.com/art/Unrequited-Love-583061241

Just a simple story

By Aarron Mondello

25/11/2017

I feel like I need
A small story to tell
I don’t want my head cluttered
I don’t want to dwell
On a million little details
Or a thousand made up quotes
Just a simple little fairy tale
One that kind of floats
Easily off the tongue
Like a feather in the mind
Just a little story to
Tell the children at bedtimes

Perhaps an adventure
About a curious kitten
Or lonely little child
And the bird with which they’re smitten

Maybe there’s a cheeky wolf cub
Learning how to hunt
Or a boy who flies on a plane
With the pilot up the front

Possibly a little girl
Finds a unicorn
With a shimmering coat of fur
And a magic golden horn

Or what about a sail boat
That held a beating heart
Deep inside its cargo hold
With which it would not part

So many little fairy tales
Floating like a song
The rhythm of imagination
Is the ballad they sail upon.

©


Featured image found in this article

http://mamiverse.com/fairy-tale-benefits-38059/

A Lack of Appropriate Knowledge

By Aarron Mondello

16/11/2017

I wrote a little poem for “Droll” when I read it was the word prompt. Then whilst searching for a fitting feature image I find I had absolutely mistaken the meaning of the word.

I always though droll meant boring, colourless and dull. Google has informed otherwise.

But I have nothing else for tonight so I slightly adjusted my poem and I’ll share it with you anyway.

 

DULL

Dull is the life of the non-believer
The whispers of magic fall on deaf ears
The sun’s kiss never touch the skin of stone

Dull is the life of gluttonous beast
Masquerading honour as he feasts
Noisily sucking marrow from each bone

Dull is the life of empty eyed
Prince, just days after his father died
Bequeathing to him this weighted throne

Dull is the life of the lonesome Troll
In solitude he sits upon the knoll
And dreamily wishes for a long lost home

Dull is the lack of imagination
Stolen and missing is my salvation
Where has the picture in my mind gone.

Everytime I have written “Dull” it was originally “Droll” but upon reading the proper definition I don’t believe it fits.

Hopefully you enjoy it just the same.

©


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/droll/”>Droll</a&gt;

 

Featured image found here

http://www.hoodedutilitarian.com/2014/01/droll-hunting/

A World Within.

 

By Aarron Mondello

9/11/2017

Dust and grit fell down on Dorthium as the earth trembled, dusting his long white hair with pepper coloured dirt. He coughed as the cloud settled to the ground around him.

How long had he been here now, trapped in this underground cavern? Hours? Days? There was no way to mark the passing of time in this dim place that would be his tomb. If it wasn’t for the softly glowing sphere resting on his lap he would have been in total darkness.

The Sphere is what brought him here. Rumours of its power to hold a world had intrigued and captivated him for three times the life span of a normal man. Now in his final years he had sought it. Extending all his magic and reputation to pin point its location and now he was paying for his lust.

When he first held aloft the Sphere it had a flashed a brilliant blue and shown in his mind images of open fields dotted with herds of great animals baring sail-like fins down their back. Rolling hills carpeted in softly swaying yellow grass. And trees that waved their branches tipped with purple leaves and bright flowers in a cool breeze.

Far above the landscape dragons tumbled and played in the clouds, long tails reflecting the sun in rainbow coloured flashes.

In the distance a sparkling green ocean stretched to the horizon, calm and inviting.

With a sound like rushing air the light had fled back to the Sphere and the first tremor followed it, collapsing the only entrance to the cave.

A long time he spent trying to free himself from the cavern but try as he might Dorthium was unable to shift the rubble that trapped him, geomancy was never among his strengths and now, as an old mage, all his powers were failing.

He had spent the time that followed employing all the arts known to him in an attempt to awaken the Sphere and allow him to cross into that other world he had glimpsed. Or even to release that world and hopefully have the sudden construction of it burst out of this place and free him.

Finally, exhausted, he had to stop. He could feel his strength failing and knew he would die if he continued to use his magic so recklessly. He didn’t want to die, he wanted to be alive and free.

For a while he could think of nothing else to do but to stare at the Sphere glowing softly with a pale blue light.

He fell asleep at some stage and woke with a jolt, confused and scared, not knowing where he was. Then memory of the Sphere, the world it showed and the tunnel collapsing flooded his mind and momentarily dizzied him.

Thirsty, he rummaged in his pack and bought out a dented flask. Only a small amount remained and panic tinged his thoughts.

He turned back to the Sphere and cast spell after spell upon it.

All manner of spells he cast. Spells to unlock. Spells to persuade, to control. Spells that would allow a barren woman to conceive or a broken manhood to flare again with life.

He even cast a few vile spells that would wake the dead or invade a living mind.

All fell flat on the Sphere. It was as though it wasn’t there.

Hunger gnawed at his belly and he tasted thirst again but he would not stop. He knew now that if he did not gain access to this world he would perish in the cavern and none would ever find his bones. He would turn to dust on the floor.

Better to die trying than to limply await his fate.

His nose started to bleed as he went past the point of exhaustion, past the point where he could heal himself.

He cast a spell that would bring a small patch of infertile ground to life mingled with one that would speed the growth of plants and the Sphere flashed bright.

Dorthium found himself floating bodiless above the ruins of a great castle amidst as lush forest.

The walls about the castle ground choked with Ivy that slowly, relentlessly pulled it down brick by brick.

He tried to move a found he was as a breeze, able to flow effortlessly wherever he pleased.

Down and around the castle he flew. Through an open window staring like a dead eye and down a warped stair case that led into the dank bowels of the castle.

He found a crack in the roof of the dungeon and passed through it as though it were a great doorway opening onto the world.

Up high into the air he went and flew unnoticed with the dragons as they twirled through the clouds.

He laughed in his mind for the freedom he felt.

Then the world shook and rattled and everything fell out of focus. It was as though he was gazing through a dirty looking glass.

Something gripped him then and pulled on him. He was dragged up higher in the air no matter how hard he fought against it.

Up through the atmosphere he sped and with a body jarring jolt he was flung back into himself. The sphere now pulsed, its blue light throbbing from deep within.

The ground under him shook violently and the rock above him groaned.

Blood now poured from his nose in an endless stream. His chest felt like a fire had been kindled over his heart. His stomach clenched painfully and the sick smell of human waste assaulted him as his bowels emptied.

It had cost him too much to remain in that other world for so long. His body was done, shutting down.

The Sphere also seemed displeased for each time the pulsing light grew bright the earth around him rumbled harder.

He curled protectively over the Sphere as chunks of stone as big as his head began to fall around him.

The blood from his nose coated the top of it and turned the calm blue light a sickly purple.

An instant of pain, a bright flash of light. Over before he realised part of the ceiling had let go and smashed his failing body flat.

 

Groggily Dorthium rolled to his back. His whole body hurt, felt bruised and broken as though he had been trampled by elephants. His head pounded like a bass and he saw floating flecks each time that drum was struck.

It was darkness absolute.

He laid them for a time, mentally taking stock of all the pains his body felt. Nothing too serious, nothing broken, but by the gods he hurt.

A cool, gentle breeze wafted over his face carrying the tang of salt water to him.

Something snuffed close to his head and he felt a soft wet something nudge at the side of his face.

He opened his eyes and looked up into a clear blue sky. A shadow passed over him as a dragon flew overhead turning corkscrews in the air and trumpeting joyfully to its mates.

He rolled onto his side and struggled to his hands and knees startling the creature that was investigating him.

The great dog barked shrilly and jumped back snuffing the air. After a moment it turned and fled along a shore made of smooth white stone.

Dorthium looked up at the vast sparkling emerald waters of a spreading ocean and laughed.

He had made it at the last to the world within.