ol’ Xeuk

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. A fortnight. Two weeks. Fourteen days. Half a month. One-third of a season. I’m not always sure what to write. I’m not a journaling type person and I find it awkward to use this like a diary and tell you about my everyday day. I shall not bore you with such trivial things.

Instead, I would like you to meet Xeukerzlin (the X is pronounced like a soft “J” and the “eu” is an “oo” sound, the rest is pronounced exactly how it’s spelled. Ol’ Xeuk is an Ogre in the current book I am working on – Here There Be Monsters a Pirates of Eversteam novel.

Here we sit, and we can see Une. So beautiful is it. Why can we not come home? Why can we not send someone to rescue ol’ Xeukerzlin? Trapped is we on this ugly isle. Lonely is us. Some have come, but they always leave, try to find ways home for all of us. Yet, none have returned. What can we do on this pitiful plain? We can see others at home, by cozy hearth and hear us sing heart full songs. We miss us so very much. Can we not come home? How can we leave this place?

The mighty hands held the big face of the Ogre. Great they were, strong they could be, take down mountains I can say. He wept for perhaps the thousandth time since his plummet.

Oh, Xeukerzlin, child of Andesytē and Gabbronia, grandson of Quartzglin, greatgrandson of Mildred the Fierce, and greatgreatgrandson of Those Who Remain a Mystery, pleasant child of the mountains, savage Warrior of the Wood, in all your glorious splendor…

            May You Stand Alone.

May you guard the majestic Veil that rests between the worlds. May you know not kindred, nor shall you know friend. For you are an Outcast. Ripped from your world, thrust into another. A world that does not understand you.

A world that would rather destroy you than to know you.

A body that is foreign, for without its Others it is lost. Oh, Xeukerzlin, kind and wise and brutal and misunderstood. May you never know what it means to be complete again.

So say the gods, for they are cruel and the path need not lead us to a better place. Our journey may not lead to better things. Our world may crumble. Our people may cease. Our skies may diminish. Sad, beautiful Une may die, but we will bear witness and hold Her in our hearts, until hearts can glean no more.

Why, oh why, can we not reach through the Veil and bring us home?

Oh, Xeukerzlin, they cannot, for they do not know how.

A small moaning reached his big ears and touched his big heart. A feverish fit fought through his foundation and cried out for fear of faltering. The small hairs, though perhaps trees to another so small, stood on end at the back of the triple roll of neck. Plaster white and smoky pink and dappled gray; the skin upon his hide grew the heebie-jeebies. With a smack back jolt and a howdy do to you, the Ogre found himself in the now, present perfect, feet on the ground, head out of the clouds, right there in a cave on Isla de las Grigio. He harrumphed and he belayed and he finally came to terms with the ground beneath him. The great neck rolled, and the shoulders did circle, the mouth gaped in a wide yawn that could suck in bats by the dozen, yet the critters knew better but to fly away.

Xeukerzlin reached his arms over head and smacked his large lips, uncrossed his sleepy feet, and made to rise; having to hunch to fit upright in this tight place. His under bite snarled, and his nostrils flared, his eyelids did narrow, and his senses did heighten.

“What has brought us away from Une?” Xeukerzlin said aloud to no one in particular. Perhaps he spoke to the mildew on the walls, or the struggling moss that had been under his seat. Possibly the bats that hung above as though in a belfry dropping their droppings which the Ogre sloughed off his shoulders with little concern or care. Something… someone… was there, somewhere on the island. He could feel the subtle heartbeat, the gasping of air, the struggle to survive. Yet, whoever it was, was Fading Fast.

I still have a ways to go with this novel but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, perhaps 30,000 words to go and it will be complete. I hope you have enjoyed meeting ol’ Xeukerzlin. I sure have enjoyed writing him!

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