Photoart by Maggie Mae-Hymn
Twisting certain small truths that don’t really matter, we wield a sly power to ensnare the unwary. And so the Dark Smith spread a certain fearful tale. He often claimed that beneath the Mountains of Tyranny he had learned his craft. In the anguish of terrible dungeons… burning metal rang, he said.
But it wasn’t true. He had learned his craft from the Longbeards. In the mansions of the Longbeards he saw their hammers rise and fall.
He learned from them a curious art – the art of shaping empty echoing meteorites into weapons, darkly glowing swords. He took that knowledge into the deepest forest of the ancient world. As if into bottomless pools of dead leaves, fading roots. Disappearing into that forest dusk, if sunlight never really falls, it might not really seem dark.
The Smith saw meteors roaming in the night above his deep forest. He watched them glimmer as they fell asleep between the stars. As they dreamt of their descent. Their flash of fate. The doom that takes everything down bitter molten paths to the earth.
Finding the meteorites still mildly glowing, he woke them among charred roots where no light had ever before fallen. Holding luminous forms of wonder, the Dark Smith could almost feel the joy that made the stars shine.
But upon his iron forge the wonder slowly became dread. A sharp thing of malice. A bleak vacuum that yearns.
Making such weapons, the Dark Smith’s power seeped into the ancient wood. And his spells filled night-like roots beneath the world. His chanting filled veins of roots with a cruel silence that can break stone into dust. The Dark Smith stood in his fearful forest and whispered those spells. The Dark Smith sang of binding hearts to wispy deceptions.
He longed to set traps for wandering minds, if they should wander into his gloomy wood. And one dark day he heard a rumor… the faint rumor of her footfall in the forest. Black-hearted trees waved heavy branches, as if surprised. Passing on the tale, they brightened slightly as she wandered.
Lit by the lightness of her pale feet. The way she wore silver and white. Her shadowy hair didn’t mind very much as the Dark Smith wove a subtle spell around her unwary path. For a long time she didn’t seem to notice, or if she did, she didn’t care. And so his twisted trails took her deep among forgotten trees. No sunshine had ever fallen upon these roots.
At last she stood before his door. An enchanted twilight encircled her. The Smith stood waiting. Her pale glowing arms trapped. His dark web singing dimly around her. Around the pearl of her flesh he sang his twisted lies. She saw only a grey fog in the doorway. A wall of fog as she disappeared forever.
He seemed to say that she would never leave the twilight in his eyes. She would never question the gaze of the Dark Smith in the ancient wood. She would never quite feel that twilight. She would always almost hear – but never really hear – the sorcery of his lies.
Her hope he would soon set upon his anvil. To forge into his next twisted truths. His strangely supple metals. He would wear her wishes like armor. Her naked aura he would caress. If he ever caressed her, maybe she wouldn’t care.
Maybe it had to happen like that for her. In the end no one could stop her from entering the forest, from stepping through the foggy door in the forest. She thought her story seemed important. But in this forest only the tales of the Dark Smith mattered.
It is strange how wispy our truths can become. Because his weird sayings seemed very thin as they entwined her. The ambience of what happens in life can slip over us slowly. Perhaps like… like truths that could never really matter. Until we suddenly feel dark threads that clasp us tight.
Anyway, nothing can stop us. Even if they do matter. Whatever truths. However small the twists. The sly power to deceive. The years that pass like that. In every dark enchanted forest.