Picture it and Write: Storyman

by joetwo

Hi there! This is my contribution for this week’s picture it and write from Ermilia’s blog here. Once again, the picture is not mine I only use it for inspiration. Anyway, enjoy!


“Listen while I tell you a story” The old man began, his grey robes shimmering in the firelight. The small children gathered around the Storyman as he spun his elaborate tales. Even some of the adults, who must have already exhausted the repertoire of these travelling entertainers, paused to listen and remember.

“It is about a time long ago, a time when men thought they were gods and could shape the world however they wished. They had cities that pierced the sky and housed millions, great shining birds of metal, that could take you around the world in a day. They even deigned to rise to the stars and lifted themselves on great pillars of flame.”

The Storyman paused for a second and then said quieter “These men thought they knew it all but they failed to realise, the great black above is vast, vast beyond imagining, and filled with unspeakable evil. Through the blackness they could hear the men working in the world and they grew jealous. They desired the world and came to take it from the men.”

The Adults even leaned in closer at this part. “The men were taken completely by surprise, whole cities, millions and millions of people, were gone in an instant, the world was almost taken over and the men, all men, were nearly wiped out to the last.

“But these were men capable of greatness, they were accustomed to wielding immense power and they turned their power against the evil. Great Warriors, with power enough to stop the invaders were built in haste and set loose. The battle was colossal. Many millions more died, whole lands vanished into flames but in the end, the evil was destroyed.

“The cost was great and still shows today. All that is left of the cities are a few crumbling ruins, you cannot enter whole lands since the air and the ground there is poisoned with a pestilance you cannot see. But most apparent is what it did to the men for they knew then about the Black above and that if they tried to be gods again it would bring the evil back. So they broke up and buried what remained of their great works and decreed that they would only live simply from then on, in harmony with nature, as all people still do now. They also decreed that the people should always be told about the Black Above, and the danger of trying to be gods. That is why we have the storymen, so that the tales never dies and the lesson not lost. Thank you children may the gods keep you.”

The Storyman finished and allowed an applause to flow around the listeners. As always; one child, a girl, raised a hand “But Storyman! What about the Great Warriors? What happened to them?” The Storyman smiled at the question and addressed his answer to the whole crowd “That is a good question little one. The truth is no one knows. Were all the Warriors lost in the war? Did they go with the rest of the great works? Maybe! Or maybe the great men thought that even after all they did the evil could still return so they hid the warriors, to wait until they were needed again. They could still be waiting, the warriors know no aging or sickness, and if that is the case be thankful for they will keep all the people safe and…”

There was a shout from out in the direction of the fields. A man, carrying a short spear came running into the light of the fire. He was panting and his face held fear. “There’s something in the fields I don’t know what it is! Come quick!”

With the Storyman in the lead, the crowd came to the edge of the village fields. In the pale light of a half-moon they could barely see the growing crop of wheat shifting in the breeze. But there was another light as well, a bright yellow, shifting amongst the stalks, casting  an eerie glow from the center of the field. Suddenly whatever it was darted up several feet into the sky, becoming a tiny star, blazing away above the stands of grain. With a gasp the crowd inched back.

All except the Storyman. Instead with a look as composed as when he was deep in a story he stepped forward. A hand went deep into the robes and removed a tube, plastic, very old and rare, likely a gift.

Holding the tube with one hand he raise the other. Like lighting there was a flash of metal from inside around his arm and faster then anyone could see, faster even than a whip, something struck out and hit the floating light.

In an instant the light had moved, from the field into the little tube. The Storyman held up to examine it then looked out into the distance, his face stern as if he was concentrating on something.

After what seemed longer then the few seconds it actually was, the glow in the tube died and the Storyman placed it back in his robe then turned to face the crowd. Their faces were a mixture of shock and fear. As he stepped towards them the crowd all pushed back some more all except the girl who had asked the question. Blind wonder was in her face. The Storyman stopped in front of her and chuckled slightly.

“Perhaps; little one, the Great Warriors are closer than you think?”