Tuesday 15 February 2022

The Wordsmyth - Short Story/Flash Fiction by Linda Imbler


The Wordsmyth


The Wordsmyth sat in his dim room. In front of him was an open book which leaned against stacks of books at the end of the table. This would be his last before he went to the halls of the ancient ones. His eyes were focused upon the first blank page and the furrow between his brows deepened as he prepared to begin this task.  He had only the light of candles ensconced within fixtures in one wall and light from the small oil lamp beside him on the table to cut through the gloom. His long silver hair, which belied a youthful visage, was tied back with a leather hair tie that allowed him unfettered access to an entire page at one time. 

He dipped his long and rather wide, new quill into the ink-pot and leaned in to begin his task.  There would be many hours of scritch scritch upon the parchment, as well as many late nights,  before he was done. 

The finalized books in the piles were each labeled with the name of a species. Within each book was written a language of its own. Each also had its own audio vibration that he wanted that set of creatures to possess, and every page within the books was full. 

As each book had been written, his raven had sat at the corner of a tall cabinet above the Wordsmyth’s right shoulder.  The raven asked every day, as was the ritual, “Who is the wisest?” The Wordsmyth would answer, “You are my friend.” “Will you always let me be at your side?” asked the bird. The Wordsmyth assured him with a simple “yes.” 

The Wordsmyth had long ago first written the language of the sky, giving it thunder, lightning, rain, and the wind.  He had given the seas their voice with whooshes, splashes, and crashes. He gave crunches and the noise of upheaval to the land, and whispers and cracks to the trees and plants. 

He then wrote the language of the birds.  This allowed the raven to speak to him.  The birds learned to speak to the trees and the sky with coos, trumpets, tweets, chirps, clucks, and hoots. And all understood each other and their intentions. 

From then on, with the completion of each book, he sent the raven out on a quest to teach the language that the Wordsmyth had created for that group.  He would leave the window open, so the raven could return back to his side after concluding his appointed task. 

As time passed, the reptiles learned to speak to the rocks and the sands through roars, hisses, and screeches, and all understood each other and their intentions. 

The fishes learned to speak to the rivers, ponds, and seas using grunts, growls, and chirps, and all understood each other and their intentions. 

The amphibians learned to speak to the shores by peeps , trills, croaks, clicks, and whistles, and all understood each other and their intentions. 

Nearing the end of the Wordsmyth’s task, the raven had passed on the necessary language to all creatures of fin, fur, and feather.  There were cries, meows, barks, moos, bleats, growls, squeaks , oinks, and dozens of others to fill the world with sound. 

This last book was reserved for creatures of the flesh.  When the last ink stroke was dry, the raven left to deliver the words. Once the raven was out of sight, the Wordsmyth shut the raven’s window and locked it.  The trusting raven delivered the words as required, and thus, man learned to speak, and sadly, how to lie.

Examples of Linda Imbler's poetry and a listing of publications can be found at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com.  When not writing, Linda is an avid reader, classical guitar player, and a practitioner of both Yoga and Tai Chi.  In, addition, she helps her husband, a Luthier, build acoustic guitars.  She lives in Wichita, Kansas, U.S.A.  She enjoys her 200-gallon saltwater reef tank wherein resides her 21 year old yellow tang.  Linda’s published paperback poetry collections include Big Questions, Little Sleep,  

Big Questions, Little Sleep: Second Edition, Lost and Found, Red Is The Sunrise, Bus Lights, Travel Sights: Nashville and Back, and Spica’s Frequency.. She has four e-books published by Soma Publishing;  The Sea’s Secret Song, Pairings, which is a hybrid ebook of short fiction and poetry, That Fifth Element, and Per Quindecim. Linda has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has five Best Of The Net nominations.  


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