Saturday, December 12, 2009

God of the High Mountains

A response to Nathaniel Lee's "Lord of the Greenwood" in Mirror Shards.

Garci Rodriquez de Montalvo, god of Kali Forno, climbed to the granite summit of one of the peaks that overlooked the ten kilometer long valley of the great scar. He clasped his son's hand and helped him scramble over the last jagged edge almost as tall as the little boy.

"Look at all of this," said Garci as he waved his hand at not just the great scar but also the rocky foothills that led out to the barren hills and dead grass valleys that undulated all the way out to the ocean. It wasn't much, not enough trees, thought Garci. "One day it will be all yours." Garci tousled the boy's hair.

"But why do I have to go?"

Garci didn't want to tell him about an old man's mistakes. Instead, he said, "The gods there tricked us and stole your inheritance. When you cross the great river, you'll see powerful trees unlike anything we have here. If you can conquer some of that land, you'll eclipse me like this peak over that valley below."

The boy was silent and together they looked at the sparse granite landscape punctuated by pine trees. The boy asked, "What if they kill me?"

"Remember what I taught you," said Garci. "Do not confront them directly but use your cleverness. The blood of the Amazons runs thick in you."

"I'll miss you. I don't want to go."

Garci knew that he would miss the child as well but he couldn't join the child's battles because his brother would know him if he set foot in the East. He rued the day that he had agreed to take the western lands and leave the eastern riches to his brother.

"Must I leave now?" asked the child.

"Yes, my son, you must go now before the power of our trees -- a power that wanes every day -- leaves me dead."

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