Hi guys. Here is my little entry in the Fragile Earth mini-contest. All of the entries have been just spectacular. The quality of our little community
of writers here at ATS continues to improve and it was great to see new members make submissions.
For this story, Fimbul Lost, I decided to set it in the Ice Age, just to be different. Actually, it's set right at the end of the Ice Age, hence the
title. It's exactly 500 words in length. I hope you like it, guys. Excellent work to all and let's see a similar level of support and comraderie
when the contest finishes.
The world was changing and Yarlc was overjoyed. As he looked out over a vista that had once borne the weight of a river of ice, Yarlc summoned the
earliest tellings of his tribe, delving into ancient memories that flittered, like moths at the edge of a warming flame, on the cusp of plunging into
the ashen wastes of things that had been forever forgotten. The tellings that he conjured spoke of the world before the ice had come to lay on the
land. Now, that world was come again and bore with it promises of prosperity and the crush of grass beneath children’s feet.
The flowing plain that lay before him had been a sea of snow since before the time of Yarlc’s grandfather’s grandfather. Now the sun, as though
with a renewed sense of purpose and urgency, burnished the plain in dazzling hues of gold and copper. Tall, slender reeds and grasses lapped the feet
of the hills like the tide, swaying lazily in the gentle breeze that blew down off the forbidding mountains. Strange plants with soft leaves of many
colours bunched and dotted the plain, oases of stunning beauty on a canvas of grass.
In his mind, Yarlc reckoned this change to be a great omen from the Gods. His Other was not long from birthing their first child, and Yarlc knew that
the Gods would favour him with a son, and he would be healthy and strong and would grow to manhood in a new world of living colour, devoid of the
crushing grey grip of ceaseless snow and endless ice. In his mind’s eye, Yarlc saw the joy on his Other’s face when he spoke to her of the change
which was upon the world and the promise it held for their son. His chest swelled when he thought of the pride that would be his when the Knowing Man
praised his findings and honoured him before the tribe. The world had changed and Yarlc’s people would be its masters.
The spear pierced Yarlc’s chest with such savage speed that there was scant time for pain. Its wicked barbs tore through his heavily muscled back,
cracking his spine and his ribs. His heart split and Yarlc grew cold as his body spat its most intimate secrets upon the stony ground. Turning, Yarlc
beheld a strange creature. At first glance, it appeared similar to Yarlc himself, but it stood a full head taller and was lean and muscular where
Yarlc was broad and heavyset. The creature’s body was covered with strange markings and in its hands it bore weapons of curious design. As his legs
gave way and the ground flung itself at him, Yarlc offered an unspoken prayer to the Gods that his son would grow to know the beauty of the plain and
the warm kiss of the sun against his skin. As darkness bled into the corners of his vision, Yarlc observed the strange creature casually approach him,
to retrieve its weapon.
[edit on 23/9/05 by Jeremiah25]