Chapter 44

Thistle Whistle

Poepi quick descended the stairs,

And at each gate, she touched right where,

The dim lit lock was fix positioned,

So that it clicked and wide transitioned,

Letting Poepi pass right through,

Until no gates were left to do.

At stair bottom, she stopped and stared,

At what she found at rest, down there.

The light, now bright, filled her eyes,

And made them widen in surprise.

For on a pedestal, sat a sphere,

Smooth, and glass, and plain, and clear,

Its surface covered in beautiful writing,

And embossed, with Giants fighting.

As Poepi slowly stepped more near,

Apprehensive, full of fear,

A line appeared, as Poepi touched it,

Bringing to life, the markings on it.

And from within there rose a scent,

Of wooden polished instrument,

Which was a simple hand carved whistle,

Skillfully made, resting on bristles,

And when Poepi tepidly reached,

With fretting fingers, across the breach,

Of the sphere’s odd opening,

Soothing sounds and gentle pings,

Echoed off stone, as songbirds sing.

Further into the sphere she thrust,

Her urgent hand, disturbing dust,

And caught it up within her grasp,

Cold with carvings on barkish shaft.

She held it close, up to her face,

Now bright and glowing in its grace,

And adorned with inlaid thistles

Of patterns carved along the whistle,

It felt light within her hand,

And buffed and polished as with sand.

But then she saw it was not new.

Some spots looked worn. She wondered who,

Had been to use it before her,

And what it was that might occur,

If she took her sudden urge,

To exhale all the angst and dirge,

From her mind, and lungs and heart,

Through its calling mouthpiece part.

Would it mean her new found life,

Of princess pride, and lack of strife,

Would be destroyed, and she would find,

Herself back sent to diamond mines?

Then she thought of Gar, above,

His purposed life, his seeming love,

Of who she was, and Islegrove’s curse,

And the weight on her fate by the rule of the first.

That was when upon its side,

She saw engraved a sentence wide:

“Blow the whistle and you will call,

a wind to make the giant fall.”

Then she thought of Perla too,

Who seemed with Bar content to do,

Whatever was the Giant’s bidding,

To keep the lifestyle they were living.

This did not sit with Poepi well.

She pictured, again, the sleeping spell,

Bar had put upon his brother.

Had he also cast another?

And once again, she remembered the rain,

Vivid and livid and sending pain,

Of toxic lightings from giant’s helm,

Of her parents’ folly, and their magic realm,

Of her father’s curse, and the giant’s swear,

That she and Perla would serve his care.

And suddenly, deep within her,

She felt a shameful, tratorous, sinner,

Even though she served no god,

Except the truth-scent seeking dog,

Of her reasoned conscience,

And its thoughts of common sense.

Remembering the pointed question,

Perla once asked her with apprehension,

Back at home in the fairie grove,

When they had danced around their stove.

“What does it mean to be a princess?”

Perla had pondered, without success.

Now Poepi finally knew the answer,

Curing, at last, her cancerous anger.

No longer she wondered what to do.

Lifting whistle to lips, deeply, she blew.

It made a single soundful note,

That clear and true, in air did float,

And seemed to linger longer after,

Like the calm before disaster.

The note was sweet and magical,

And yet was strong and angerful,

Like an urgent call to arms,

To rescue all the world from harm.

When it finally dissipated,

All was silent while she waited,

To see what then would happen next,

As if she had unleashed a hex.

Beyond her ears the proud note sped,

Up through castle’s hewn floor bed,

Ringing sounds that boomed the floors,

Like a shockwave, and what’s more,

Continued going through the castle,

Up to the surface, passing vassals,

And spires, and buildings, and citizenry,

Out to the ocean, across the city.

It continued, strong as ever,

Over the mainland, a sonic mover,

And past the lands, and to the beach,

Across the sands, then past their reach,

Rising in pitch, and strength, and sound,

Departing the giant’s Island ground,

Spraying out, across the ocean,

Ever expanding, in its motion.

Back under the castle, long moments passed,

Down in the dark, lungs breathing fast,

Until at last, the only sound,

Poepi heard, was the pound,

Of her heart, in all four chambers,

Alerted to some unseen danger.

But no danger, did she greet,

And when her pulse slowed down its beat,

She put the whistle, in her shirt,

And hid the sphere, within her skirt.

Turning to face, the base of stairs,

And peering up them, longest stare,

Until she found, way at the top,

The opening, and started up.

Yet on the first spot her foot stepped,

Something clapped, and snapped, and tripped.

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