Where did it all begin? A possible answer.
By Andrea Sharkey
From the white void swirls of color formed and bulged until he found the right shape. Roloc beamed bright blue as looked around and then paled. “So bland,” he mumbled to the vanilla walls and ceiling. “No matter”, he smiled and with a ripple of thought splashed the walls with a calm blue, brushed the table a solid oaken brown and the chairs a pale gold and then filled the room with a soft light.
This was his gift, the spectrum of light and color to please the eyes or turn them away as was his wish. Roloc leaned back. “Ah, that’s better.”
Two rainbow nymphs danced around his head until the room shook with thunderous laughter. “Always the first to arrive aren’t you?” Odua whispered in his friend’s ear.
“I’d so hate to see you trip over something in the darkness.” Roloc grinned.
“You are so thoughtful.” Odua’s mellow tone seemed to weave with the colors and a fanciful melody saturated the space like rain breathing life into a flowerbed. The chair creaked as he placed his bulky form into it.
Roloc’s hand flinched as the table felt as woody as it looked and the chairs became as cold as gold should be.
“You are lovely as ever Leef.” Roloc nodded in gentlemanly repose.
“Lovely, but must you always tiptoe about.” Odua moaned.
Leef laid a soft sensual hand on his shoulder, “Does not the softness of my hand tease the same pleasures as the gentle padding of my feet?”
Odua’s tune skipped a beat and Roloc’s thoughts brushed the room a shade of pink.
The temptation was good in nature and Odua’s tune quickly took on a lively twist. Leef watched as the room rippled with color and together the three orchestrated a millennium of scenarios as they waited.
Then the table suddenly spewed forth shards of wood and Roloc’s nymphs buried themselves in his cloak while Odua’s pleasant melody turned to a pining wail.
The three sat back in silence.
“What, no warm greeting, no how are you?” Nomed sneered. “Did I ruin the party?” His dark breath turned the walls gray and the table became as cold as the chairs.
“Have you considered trying to collaborate instead of control?” Leef shook her head and returned the table to its previous warm woody feel.
Odua’s lips formed a perfect circle as he whistled a cleansing tune.
Roloc waved his hand and poured a coat of bright red on Nomed who quickly shook it off.
“None of you will ever understand and today it is most important that we understand.”
“I think we all understand, Nomed.” All four turned to the deep voice.
Nomed rolled his eyes at the final member whose appearance altered at each glance.
“My friends, this is a pivotal moment, one we have pondered more eons than any can remember, but we are in agreement that the time has come?
“Good.” Efil turned up the palm of his hand. Like a dance of stars all watched the molecules come together and form the mound that now sat in Efil’s hand.
Roloc turned a bit green and whispered to Odua as the ripples of the mound settled. “I have always envied that.”
“You are not the only one.” Both turned to Nomed as their chairs developed thorns and spikes until Nomed saw Efil’s eyes.
“As you wish.” The mound flattened and stretched to become long on one side and short on the other. Nomed waved his hand and sat back grumbling at the minimal task.
Leef glided her hand over the object making it smooth as ice on a winter lake. Roloc smiled and his colorful vision found a new home. Odua blew a kiss and the card whispered sweet notes.
This repeated many times, each mound uniform yet unique. Finally the deck was complete.
Efil leaned back and whirled together bits of crystal which turned brown like clay and soon a rough bowl full of whispers sat in the middle of the table.
But then he produced a sheaf that took form as it reached Nomed’s grasp and crinkled like parchment between Leef’s fingers. Roloc sprayed it a mottled brown and watched as black letters took shape as it finally landed in Odua’s hands.
“Here is our covenant. As the stars wait patiently for another reason to shine we begin The Game.”
Odua read on, his voice no longer a melody but a carver and each word was etched in stone. The covenant would be sovereign over them all. For they knew that for all their powers their displays were lacking, like a spray of flowers with no sweet scent or a feast where food offered no taste leaving a yearning hunger.
As he came to the end and the rules of The Game were laid out the room shifted in color and shape and sound. His somber voice spoke clearly the most important words, “All powers will be forfeit when the hand is lost. They will reside in the bowl, untouched until The Game has but one player. As has been agreed the winner takes all and our fates rest in the hands of that player.
All nodded and placed their seals on the sheaf that took its place beside the bowl and The Game began.
The first era of play was light and gay, but soon reality shadowed. Odua’s pert tune slowed to a somber chanson each beat marking the march of defeat. The blue in the walls gave way to gray and the wooden table dried like a leaf ready to leave its branch.
Soon Leef’s lovely face withered and the room lost all warmth.
Efil dealt the round, each card falling into the player’s hands. Leef stared blankly at the cards; she no longer cared about the prize but struggled for survival. Her eyes studied the two strongest players, an even match, she thought. But what choice? Her hands pushed the cards together and stacked them neatly before her on the table. “My friends, I concede.” As she spoke the bowl bulged, shook with her power and then lay in wait.
Leef took her place in the perimeter. It didn’t take long before a void arose. A void of sound, nothing could be heard, not even the flipping of the cards. Odua lowered his head. His thin voice cracked and the bowl received a symphony and then sat in silence as Odua joined Leef to observe.
Roloc once cool and full of confidence felt isolated, overwhelmed. After but a few more rounds of play he was a bleached and withered rag, so pale, approaching transparency. The bowl exploded with color and again lay in wait.
Nomed’s eyes deepened their coal blackness. The Game was on its final round. He stared at his cards considering carefully each move.
Efil waited patiently, creating a ball of mud amidst the stars. It sat smooth and serene.
Nomed played his card and toyed with the ball, pushing up jagged edges, carving grotesque caverns doing his best to distract Efil from The Game.
But Efil was not so easily turned and both players soon focused on the cards. The pale bland space filled with smoke taking shape as the players thoughts demanded.
Efil’s mind spewed forth the warm pastel colors of morning and lush green meadow surrounding the room in a pleasant mist.
Nomed shot out spears of black and silver clouds, darting through spirals of deep purple smoke that formed demons marching in the air.
Below them the ball shook and changed with each play.
The other three watched and knew the prize would be planted on the mud ball hanging in the sky.
The Game wore on and with it Nomed’s patience. Too even a match, he thought, but I’ll give it more time.
Indeed The Game had climaxed and reached a stalemate. The fog of the Efil’s and Nomed’s thoughts spread and little could be seen.
And then a cry arose, shrill and victorious. Nomed cleared the fog and laid his cards on the table.
Efil looked at the pale cards whispering their names and each player that had given up power shuddered. Odua’s eyes widened as Efil looked down at him to be sure of what he knew. Odua nodded.
Nomed squirmed in the silence and suddenly felt a clamp around his ankle. Efil’s voice cracked like thunder and lit the room like the sun breaking the night. “Do you remember the rules Nomed?”
“Of course, what do you mean, set me free!” He demanded.
“That I cannot do. You cheated.” Efil turned to Odua. “Let him hear the card.”
Odua took the winning card from Nomed and its tune changed, just a note or two but it became what it had been.”
“You dipped into the bowl Nomed, your impatience has denied you the prize.”
Nomed tried to slither out of the clamp but Efil had already wrapped his hands around the bowl and swallowed all that existed in it.
As all had hoped the parts became greater as a whole and Efil’s power reigned.
Nomed whimpered and croaked, begging forgiveness, swearing to honestly for all eternity.
But with each moan his body changed, it took solid form, ill-proportioned limbs with a head too large for the body and a complexion splotched with red and gray.
“Noooooooooooo…..” His scream shook the stars and sent all but Efil cowering in a corner.
Efil laughed and as he did, walls of unbreakable mesh encased the howling Nomed.
Efil paced around him. “You were quite interested in my little mud ball, true ?” Efil continued, “Well, you may go there, NOW!”
An instant later Nomed was gone from the room. But the mud ball trembled and rocked with his anger, as he, in his cage, sat in the center of the ball.
Efil turned a kind eye towards the other three. He had the ultimate prize, the power to give life, mortal life and this he granted to the other three. But he would remain eternal in the sky as Nomed would in his prison.
But when the beings that eventually inhabited the mud ball covered with lush green meadows and salty seas saw a volcano spew forth its hot lava or felt the land split from a quake or when they hid in the hills from the salty seas rising in windy fury they knew Nomed was remembering the Game and they prayed Efil would remain ever victorious.
Want to review or comment on this
Click here to login!
Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!