Friday, May 25, 2012

Blood Magic Makes the World Go Round

I fly in my Merlin2000 carpet, one of the full-bodied sleek outfits lacking a retractable bubble because these models have higher efficiency. I'm trying to assuage my guilt, but even the Merlin2000 requires the blood from three cows for my short jaunt home from the dragonport. It shouldn't matter next to the blood required for my intercontinental flight, but it does because this blood was spilled solely for me. If only fighting global warming could be done from the comfort of home.

The crystal ball in the dash crackles as a connection blooms into full image. My wife. "What's wrong?" I reach out, touch the crystal ball, feel the strong jaw behind it. Her eyes dart, evading, either hiding a lie or scared. I have a bad feeling that I don't want to know more. "I'm almost home, honey."

The crystal ball flickers. My wife disappears. Pain explodes from my fingertips and I jerk my hand from the dash, dripping blood.

"Almost home. How sweet." The face that appears in the crystal has thick scars folded over themselves into ridges that lined the man's cheeks. A sure sign of a blood priest. "My acolytes broke your house's defenses. Have your wife. You'll land if you want to see her again."

The Merlin2000 had too many blind spots. I twist until I see the black shadow of a carpet descending towards me. I punch the accelerator, dripping with blood for my fingers into the intake valve, feeding my own blood magic to Merlin, and it leaps forward.

No match for the blood priest's carpet.

The bubble's roof dents with the impact of the priest's car. I crash into the ground, digging a furrow like the scars on the man's cheek. I roll from the car, blood on my forehead where I hit the dashboard.

Dragonspies hover above me, but the four-winged cameras smaller than my finger won't save me.

The blood priest approaches. A ball of hair in his hand. "You will retract your findings."

I close my eyes. The priest was a global warming denier. The institute had predicted this would happen and had offered their bodyguards. I couldn't accept them and the additional magic and therefore warmth they'd require. "Never."

"Your wife will die. You shall see pain." He lowered the ball of hair before me, it wasn't a ball but an intricate four chambered model of the heart with the curls of hair creating aorta and veins. "You know what this is."

My heart beats rapidly. I feel it like one does in the first hours of waking when it's thick and languorous and almost heard. Yet, here it's raging fast and the heart in his hand beats in time with my own.

He squeezes it tight. The world darkens. A high-pitched yell of terror is the only sense I notice beyond the pain that suffuses me. I realize the yell is my own.

"You will recant."

"No."

"I warned you." The blood priest signals his minions through his crystalwatch.

My wife dies. Her lifeforce a blinding volcano of energy. Love binds the last minutes of her soul and then it's gone. My heart no longer hurts physically, only with loss. I look up, the bloodpriest flayed by our love.

Bloodpriests were blinded by their own scriptures. Blood magic might make the world go round, but love magic couldn't be trumped.

25 comments:

  1. I'm loving the concepts. I like the literal blood being spilled to power things as a way to think about our own world. I like the sinister.

    I'm not sure about the ending though, it feels a bit out of the blue. I sort of have to work backwards from the event to understand the metaphysic.

    Otherwise great, keep feeding the merlin!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Peter, I modified it very slightly. Perhaps that will help. Unlike usual, I knew my ending line before I wrote this, so that may have caused me to jump too quickly.

      Delete
    2. I also felt that the final two paragraphs were too sudden. Certainly just saying the wife dies rather than showing it felt strange, particularly since the previous line made me expect minions to come and do something. Was it just the last line you had in mind, or the closing idea?

      Delete
    3. Hi JohnW, It was the last line I had in mind. I'm also going to have to sheepishly admit that I don't know how to show her death when she's no where near for him to witness. Of course, being the writer, I could connive to make her appear nearby ... summoned by the protagonists blood perhaps.

      Delete
  2. Would it be redundant to say "heartwrenching?" lol.

    I read the last few too. Your writings are weird in an intriguing way. Your worlds are well built, the stories still feeling complete. Love the sense of loss, and strength.

    the ending to this one works ok. Love is powerful.

    ........dhole

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the idea of a bloodpriest

    ReplyDelete
  4. I loved the story, blood priest brilliant

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks CharlotteC, Bloodpriests seem so menacing. But when bloodmagic makes the world go round, I'm sure we'll be singing praises to them eventually.

      Delete
  5. I love the idea of a bloodpriest

    ReplyDelete
  6. A strange and interesting world, where blood is used for fuel,I would imagine a high abduction and murder rate in a place like this.

    As always Aidan, imaginative and creative writing. Brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Steve, yep... won't need any siphons here... just the neighbor's pesky little cat, or little Johnny.

      Delete
  7. Wow. You've crammed so much story, back story, and world building into this. I love it. Brilliant piece.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jen, glad you enjoyed. I'd played a little with this world earlier so it gave me a head start with another look at some new characters.

      Delete
  8. The return of the dragonspies :).

    I also enjoyed the blood power source. It would really make people only take essential trips. One of my favourites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, the dragonspies don't get to play center stage, but the world seemed like it could use another major idea to balance it out.

      Delete
  9. strange and interesting. I like the idea of blood magic and love magic, even though I am not sure what love magic is. I do like the idea of using blood to power everything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm... eventually, I think there will be a love magic trio to flesh this world out and these three ideas will work to provide the backbone. Thanks Sonia for the idea ;)

      Delete
  10. I wasn't sure if the global warming was going to be a result of methane emissions from all the cows they needed for the blood magic... ;)

    I like the idea of the car(pet)s, and I liked the ending (as it currently is), it is quite sudden, but I think OK for a flash.

    Love is maybe the 'green' energy source? Maybe they'll have to ease people round to that way of thinking with hybrid carpets...? (although, maybe best not to think about what that might entail... =s )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John, the bloodpriests would argue that global warming isn't caused by methane or blood. If Love was a green energy source, it would bring new meaning to loving the commute.

      Delete
  11. Liked the bits about the cows for the dragons -except its usually the milk not the blood! So, another piece of the puzzle of the world of dragonspies - very intriguing. Absolutely love the idea of love trumping all.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Interesting parallel between blood and money.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi there Aidan --

    By a strange coincidence, was watching a political program last night where a woman on the panel flat out denied global warming. Which kind of freaked me out. Possible blood priest?

    Hopefully some sort of burger deal with the flight sacrifices, or possible bio-diesel conversion to plasma?

    I want a carpet now, woven with go faster stripes and flames. :)

    St.

    ReplyDelete