Walking, stalking, plotting, slow,
Bar turned the lighted lamps down low,
And locked the shelters and the sash,
And stoked the fire and the ash,
So warmth and heat filled up the room,
Casting shadows, flickering doom,
While Blacksmith, girls, pixies, and faerie,
Waited, bated, for his story.
Still dressed in bed gown olden made,
Of blues and greens and pomagrade,
His jet black hair all combed back slick,
His measured breathing calm and quick,
He sat and felt his sore bones creak,
And hunching low, began to speak.
“My name is Bar Kamal-Kamok,
A jailer in the Giant’s charge.
My brother Gar Kamal-Kamok,
Is wanted as a thief at large.
He was fleeing fast to find,
Refuge from me, and my kind.
For years I’ve chased him high and low,
In many lands you may not know,
From the Giant’s mighty fortress,
To the blighted sand dunes, hopeless,
Through the rocky mountain buttress,
Over the blackbuck river, boatless.
But in each ugly chase and scrape,
My brother managed to escape.
There were other places too,
The monastery site at Voo,
The ocean shores, and clip wing cove,
The ruined lands of Islegrove.
And only he knows how his fear,
Led him to escape me here.
In snow I caught him on the plain,
Ten days from where you found us lain.
And then and there we fought and bit,
And screamed and kicked and cut and smit.
And he did best me, fair and square,
When snow wolves caught us fighting there.
But though I fell, to my surprise,
He grabbed my head and stared my eyes,
And swore to never let me die.
Gar fought them then, with howl and cry,
Falling himself, so I might live,
A gift myself would not him give.”
Yet after that Bar did not speak,
And swallowed hard, and scowled meek,
As if some quiet haunting thought,
Conflicted him when it should not.
The others only widely stared.
The Giant’s jailer! They were scared.
But even so they kept their cool,
For in the Queen’s
Her magic was protectionary,
And her power legendary.
Bar could sense that they were wary.
He wondered how the old Queen faerie,
Would stand against his magic’s might.
“Alright” he said in fire’s light,
Now that I’m healed, I will be leaving,
With my brother caught and grieving,
That he never got away,
That the Giant will make him pay.
Then Bar smiled a wicked smile,
Most like a closing crocodile.