30th May 2020

The Strange History and Legend of the Moran Moor

Extract Six. Survival, then Discovery

Consider the spiders web, that sublime creation that balances purpose and practicality with elegant and beauteous perfection. A simple wave of the hand through the intricately woven core reduces the seeming indestructible form to a mere smattering of wispy threads hanging tattered from the construct’s foundations. So it is with history, just as easily pushed aside and all but erased by those with the means and the will to bend truth and reimagine circumstances to their own persuasions and prejudices. However, to paraphrase Conan Doyle’s greatest creation the indomitable Sherlock Holmes, it is possible from the smallest drop of water to deduce the existence of the Nile or Zambezi without ever having seen them.

Imagine if you will the meeting of two utterly lost souls for the first time. One a princess of legendary beauty, fresh, innocent, to date untouched any man, forced through circumstance to accept an arranged marriage for the simple expediency of ongoing  inter-tribal peace, the other an unkempt and socially awkward young mariner, unaccustomed to the sight, sound and smell of any women not of the lowest and meanest dispositions, let alone one quite capable of tearing his still beating heart from his chest and capturing it forever within her magical aura.

Čəse’lqeel’č’ first encountered Julien Lasalle-Bargossa laying upon a volcanic sand covered  beach exactly where the fierce tide had deposited him naked but for some tattered bellbottomed matelot trousers, his upper sun baked torso wet and shimmering like the skin of some strange and as yet unidentified species of sea creature. His oddly scarified features were topped with a mass of matted jet black curls reminiscent of the wild feathering of a rain soaked raven, his muscles hard and still starkly defined even at this low ebb of  physical condition, the very essence of all that could be imagined to bring an impressionable but virginal maiden to a sudden realization of her aching need and overwhelming desires. For her part Čəse’lqeel’č’ was hardly the physical beauty so often portrayed in Western art, her figure was well rounded as was societally expected, exactly the  shape considered perfect for child bearing, keeping her spouse warm and happy at night and the physical demands made daily upon even a prospective chieftain’s wife. Dressed in a mix of gaily patterned fabrics, deer skin and fur she wore upon her head the large woven reed sun hat so atypical of her tribal heritage.

Julien opened his eyelids to see her form standing above him, shading his face from the glare from a sun high in a bright blue shy. He was at once transfixed, if not already a mute any words would have dried like slaked lime in his salt parched throat. Čəse’lqeel’č’ bent downwards and positioned a water skin to his chapped lips. Julien swallowed long and hard, fast drowning in her almond eyes.

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