Wisps of A Sinking Empire: Part II


“Little girl fear not the unseen, invoke the power of the odds to break the unbreakable, reads the snippet of the Pylanduus Book. The book was torched to fire, as was the humble home that protected the sacred book and its guardian. It contained stories of the past of our kingdom and predictions of the coming time. My memories of hearing my mother recite it to me are vague. I only remember the way my heart beat drums frantically when a heavy knock sounded at our doorstep in the middle of the dark night.

It was unusual to have visitors at a place that was hidden amidst the towering forests and cloaked with a concealing spell. Not long after those frantic few seconds of fear, my mother rushed me to the back of the house, ushering me to escape with the book.

But the foreboding that crept up my legs was more than what had frozen my senses. Before I could comprehend that I was being handed down the protection, cloaked people entered the house and grabbed my mother by her hair to put not only the house but also her on fire.

Nasty, orange flames rose to lick and devour the small place within a matter of a few minutes. And in those few slices of seconds, when my mother’s shrill screams tuned to a melody of sorrow, I made a selfish run for my life from the back door of the blazing house.

As its guardian burnt to death, with the fire snuffing the flame of her life, the book of Pylanduus grew hotter and hotter in my hands until it became red-hot, only to continue turning black at the corners. In my growing delirium, I dropped the book behind me only to turn back and see the burn growing over the body of the book. I realized that the book’s life was linked to its guardian’s and the least I could do was protect it. So, I tore a few pages and zigzagged through the forests to end up at the frontier of the city.

Where my mother, the guardian of the book was engulfed in an angry fire, set by masked people I had never seen or thought of, I was enveloped in pain and grief of the heart.

Those few pages that I had managed to keep close to me guide me now and this is from where I am sourcing the coming devastation. The torn pages were random. Some blackened at the edges, while a few are ripped apart from the middle, leaving me with only a few lines of incomplete sentences.

I have a picture of the problem, though the cure still remains purged somewhere; lost with the soul of the guardian or with time.

The Kavis; ancient storyteller women folk of the Bedouin nature came to the city this summer too. They make seasonal visits from the deserts but a single meeting with them, helped me put pieces of the puzzle together. I know now, the empire is under the silent presage of attack from the witches for the drunken fools, under the guise of a mistake, stepped in their territory. The empire only awaits a doom now.