On twitter I know a whole cabal of writers. And writers, as writers do, write. One writing exercise that I’ve never seemed to find the time for has been Whimword. The simple concept being: churn out 100-500 words loosely based on a single word chosen by the previous “winner.”
This week was different, I finally pulled my finger out a wrote something for it.
I’m terribly guilty of recycling concepts and ideas, whittling away at them until they’ve been honed into a fine, razor sharp point. This tale was no different, being heavily based on the events and settings of Yogic and Shaman from 2014. Weighing in at 417 words I give you my inaugural entry into Whimword.
That Which Rises
On a myriad of worlds throughout the known galaxy there exist mountains. Some smooth, some sharp, some buried beneath seas of liquid methane, others shrouded in corrosive, sulphuric mists. But of these mountains it is always the largest and tallest that capture the imaginations of sentient life: Those which tower into the rarefied sky, breaching the heavens. It is no wonder that these lofty perches often become venerated as the home of gods, or the embodiment of powerful spirits. None more so than on a small isolated world that sits beneath the wan and tired glare of an ageing blue sun. A world where places have no names, for that right belongs only to the towering glory of their mountain.
Aase Acalapati; Highest of the High
She is old, and she is eternal. Some would call her just a mountain, but she is divinity wrought in rock. She was here before our people came, and she will be here long after we are gone.
Aase Acalapati; That which Looms
We dwell within her shadow, supplicants at her feet. We are permitted only to touch her blessed skirts, hoping for scraps. Hoping some sign of her favour tumbles out of the high places.
Aase Acalapati; The Immovable One
Her slopes and ravines were baptised in blood at the dawn of our coming. When she was crowned in night-black steel and her peak set with the elder jewel of the old world’s heart.
Aase Acalapati; Queen of Peaks
We live in service to her. Ever since the old ones came to this place from far beyond the sky on the backs of birds of shining silver.
Aase Acalapati; The King of Mountains
Every year, on the first day of summer. We sacrifice to her our kin, as the old rites demand. We give ourselves to her, and to the empty air. We leap. But none can leap like those of the elder times. And so the chosen fall upon her slopes, shattered and broken. With their lives they renew the covenant.
Aase Acalapati; Tower of the World
With a grave and titanic majesty she fills the horizon and blots out the sun. A bridge between earth and sky, between here and there, a gateway to the stars, the door to the space between spaces.
Aase Acalapati; Mother and Home
None dare challenge her. Nor could any succeed. Not until the coming of the conqueror and the breaker of ways. They who shall inherit the mantle, and remake the world.
(This piece was declared the “winner” with the title of Prose Prince)