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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

ONE CHRISTMAS NIGHT_WEP Entry_Utopian Dreams


I am the Charioteer


A rather grandiose name considering my present occupation.


But here in the ironic dying of civilization's light in the 21st Century's dawn, 

there are precious few ways to to roam abroad on horse-drawn vehicles.


After my days as the Cid, I forswore riding for any king or country.  

My days at Camelot should have taught me better than to think any king worth the blood of his followers.


Once I drove Apollo's chariot across the skies, not that he was worth the deaths he caused in his vain wisdom. 


But I was young enough to sacrifice good sense for the thrill of flying across the heavens, 

my fiery steeds singing their joy at the celestial race in tones that thrummed my bones like tuning forks.


Yes, I contested in the Roman Colosseum races as well.  Not for the thrill of victory nor for the roar of the brutish crowds.

I did not know then for what I raced.


I do now.

I raced in a vain attempt to outrun my mistakes of the past. 

But you cannot outrun regret or the pain of memory.

Pain always catches up.


Perhaps that is why my pace is so much slower now.  

My valiant warhorse patiently pulls my light-festooned carriage, waiting for me to come to my senses and race the moon again.


My passengers chatter behind me, their words becoming more shallow and empty with every passing year. 

Soon their words will become so slight and without meaning that they will fly away on the chill winds before they can reach my ears.

One can only hope.

I no longer turn when a passenger boards my carriage.

I hear the rustle of the worthless paper money go into the slot of the metal box behind Sir's back.

Sir?

Once his name had frozen the blood of humans ... as had mine.  

He thinks himself a Foo Dog.

I let him.  

After all, do we not all deserve to write our own myths?


Few see his two other heads. They only see death if they should attack me.  

Few do attack.  And none twice.


Snow drifts like dreams' echoes around me and Sir.  I feel my carriage shift from the slight weight of another passenger.

No paper money.  The heavy thudding of gold coins.

Sir rumbles a greeting, something he has not done for centuries.

"Good to see you, too, Cerberus."

The Voice whispers icy tingles through my blood.  Tender, cold fingers feather the back of my neck.

I turn.


Turquoise eyes laugh into my very soul.  

A face, its beauty terrible and haunting beyond any singing of it, study me with wry amusement.

"Oh, Helios, how often I beckoned to you, but always you raced faster than my words."

"I move slower now, Gaia."

Her whole face glows in a smile.  Snow flurries swirl around us.  

"Perhaps our nights will no longer be lonely."

Nor were they ... ever again.

Perhaps on Christmas Night, miracles still happen.



I wrote this flash fiction to this tune:

35 comments:

  1. Hi Roland - a grand sweep of history told in your unique way ... for Utopian Dreams. If we could all have miracles for Christmas and particularly in 2017 ... life would be wonderful - life is fun and full of understanding ... a little help would be gratefully received by many of us and most importantly by those who are much worse off ...

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. I pray for a Christmas Miracle for you now and all through 2017. Yes, a little help from unexpected sources would be nice, wouldn't it? :-)

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  2. Very nice.

    It always strikes me as odd that when you're young, you race around so. Then you reach an older age where you look around yourself and think, "And I did all that rushing to wind up here?"

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    1. When we are young, the world stretches out before us in a thousand paths. When we battle down the years, we turn around to find only one -- if we are very fortunate, we discover that the path was filled with more love than loss. :-)

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank you for that, Alex. It means a lot coming from you. :-)

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  4. A rider of chariots
    a carrier of men
    With only a dog and horse
    as your friends

    Across the dark sky’s
    leaving blood on the land
    Yet only rains you held
    in your hands

    Arthur and Apollo
    had nothing on you
    For you raced the best
    around the world you flew

    Still in time not
    everything will end
    Now you’re with Helios
    racing In heaven my friend

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    1. What a beautiful poem, my friend. It was a great Christmas present to me. Thanks so much!! :-)

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  5. Once again you leave me breathless, Roland. Such a burden to live forever with regrets that chase you from the stars. Well written as always.
    Nancy

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    1. Really nice of you to say, Nancy. Each of us lives with regrets but hopefully we also bring with us memories of acts of kindness, right? :-)

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  6. Roland, a spectacular story written for Utopian Dreams. Ah, when we were young, eh? Things were different then. And Christmas. It is a time for miracles. The suffering, bleeding world could use some miracles.

    Thanks, as always, Roland, for posting to WEP. I wish you a happy Christmas and a fabulous writerly New Year. May you reach the stars with your books and your writing craft.

    Denise :-)

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    1. I have given up my dream of making it as a writer. I simply write for the joy of it now. May your New Year bring you all the goodness you wish for. :-)

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  7. More love than loss. So blessed we are! May we take this time to appreciate all our blessings.

    As always, Roland, true artistry. Well done!
    Thanks for continuing to add your talent to the WEP challenges!

    May your holiday be filled with love, joy, and your New Year with success and abundance!

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    1. Thanks so much, Yoland. May your own Christmas be one of healing and happiness! :-)

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  8. Pain travells so fast, and so surely doesn't it?
    Lovely to read a happy ending. We all need more of them.

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    1. Unhappy endings I leave for real life. I like to make my tales to end with some small measure of love and peace. Have a beautiful Holiday Season!

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  9. Wow! What a story. And I enjoyed the pictorial aspects of your post so very much. Aging changes even the immortals, makes them wiser. Hopefully...

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    1. I am glad you liked the images that spiced up my tale. I have always been irked by tales of long-lived beings who seemed not to have learned a thing in all the centuries they had lived. :-)

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  10. Masterfully vivid, as usual. Always enjoy the sweep of history and mythology and legend that you blend together with consummate ease. Beautiful.

    Season's greetings to you and the very best for 2017.

    Nilanjana.

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    1. Season's Best to you, too! I have always loved myth and thought it fun to mix it in with history. Glad you like it.

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  11. You have done a great job depicting the misery of mankind and also the arrogance that has ruled throughout every century.
    Wishing you all the best for 2017.
    Merry Christmas and a beautiful walk, over into the new year.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

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    1. And Shalom aleichem to you, too, Pat. Mankind has not been very kind all through the centuries, has it? :-(

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  12. A saga of the charioteer capsulized brilliantly! Thank you for the beautiful journey across time.

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    1. I tried to mix poetic myth to the Christmas season. I am so happy you enjoyed my little tale of the Charioteer. The tale of the Caretaker is the story I submitted to the Insecure Anthology. Wish me luck. :-)

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  13. Eloquent. Enjoyed your story, and the lushness of the writing.

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    1. Thanks so much, D.G. I pray all is much better with you this Christmas!!

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  14. Ah Roland, beautifully written, as usual. A heartfelt journey through time and space, carried swiftly on the winged feet of time.

    Merry Christmas and I hope you are looking forward to a joyous New Year.

    PS the song is perfect. Listened as I read.

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    1. Isn't that a grand song about Joan of Arc? Both Mark Twain and John Steinbeck wrote tales of her. May your Christmas be all you want it to be. Thanks for the nice words! :-)

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  15. Thoroughly enjoyed both the story and the pictures you selected to go along with it! Very interesting to see the same essential character in different times and places in history ... and out of it too, I suppose.

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    1. Thank you, LuAnn. I have always been fascinated by the idea of what immortality would do to the perception of a person. I took great pains with the pictures I selected; I am glad you appreciated them. :-)

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  16. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. In my own way, I try to entertain. Thanks, J Lenni. :-)

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  17. Oh, this was a joy to read! Thank you, Roland — truly, your blog offers such pleasure always. Happy holidays, friend!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

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    1. Guille, your kind words made an end to a weary work-day ever so much better! Happiest of Holidays!!

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