Consider a grave and unforgivable sin. It is a combination of joke and Holy Spirit. Spiritus Sanctus is the shrouded figure rustling freshly starched sheets as it follows a flickering light caused by the cool breeze, to dance across the memory of some distance room. Leather clad horsemen hold to the tree side of a snow covered field recently planted, tended, harvested and turned under by figures dressed in black robes with unseen faces or shadows above the neck. Unnamed warriors and priests appear and disappear in the gloom and inside their robes and armor. The horsemen are silent and snow covers the dark fur of their horses. Snorts of steam rush from beast’s nostrils and the ax and mace form crosses beyond the locked arms of both fighters and champions. Spirit flies on a breath of wind and Cease-world ends.
What was the Coven? It began as an idea that came and lived and died before Plague. Are these old ones necessary? Time changed and changing and people come and go and live and die. No reason, but all the reason to live and the reason to believe a reason. Coven— people? These folks were the lucky ones, the live ones, the magicians, healers, killers, doctors, medicine-folk, angels and the high-ones. These names of more or less depend upon the watchers’ points-of- the-views.
These were the people of reminders and remainders. They built the Plague and they lost words with filth and life and nothing more-evermore. With plague they lost and won the Earth. They were the parents of the parents of those high folk in a Smokey Place of mountains and valleys and meadows and red dirt.
They were the Mystery of Rule. They were invisible except in Sity. They traveled in groups; men and women. They brought the fires. They cleaned the land of plague. They stoked the funeral pyres or ditches or more. They smoked through their hands and cleaned both the bodies of the dead and the land of the dying.
Sometimes it takes a long time for like to act like—like..Millions of families suffered and died. Crowman remembered the names for the extinction of humanity. First the Apocalypse and then the rapture and then another name for too many wars. There was never time to solve the issues of death, decay and sickness. When plague came it was expected. The illness was a combination of creation and complete failure. When a system breaks and then breaks again and again—those broken survivors faced folly and the greed-of-destruction. Crowman had seen this on a world or two or ten or one hundred. The Crowman was immortal…And! Some called him God.
Crowman thought of a god as a creator and the Crowman was no creator. In his short lived experience, across a mere one hundred worlds, he had created nothing—he had saved nothing—and he had prevented nothing from beginning until it ended. He was not Gabriel or an Angel of death. Crowman was the Crowman…And! He lived on and on and on until it was time to pickup and take himself into another place.
He was a Watcher.He could not see except on the notions and visions haunting his dreams since he was born or created. He was just another joke to a mysterious creator-type that pumped out creations and scattered into another oblivious oblivion or a region called Universe or the great forever. He had seen it all or had seen nothing to compare with the next ending or another beginning.
Crowman was from Fólkvang. Once a warrior—Valkyrie lifted and a favorite of Freyja. He had been discovered by a Coven witch years before the Plague. He had been near death on a laced up boat and a platform of plastic drums and wooden sticks—a raft. He had been found face down and covered in oil sores. The witch said, “Crowman purchased earth to save…” The old witch died on her 237th birthday…Witches had a shelf-life just like humans but considerably longer. Today, humans die soon after birth…Witches live forever. Such is the trade between magic and mortals.
Crowman was not a coven priest. He had been a healer, a wealthy pilgrim, a murderer, a father, a magic man, the Wizard of Sity, a teacher, a king, a fool, a lover, a complicated and a simple friend, a drunk and a terrible god to the most holy.
Crowman was a man…He could not be Coven-Sacred. Only women and magical things were Coven-Sacred. And! Only Spiritus Sanctus survived the Coven-Sacred. It was also known across the Sity proper that the Hurts were Crowman’s children…However; that is for another Time and another Book and another Reader.
So! As the Hurts often say, ‘Let us start at Sity-Door-Wide-Open.’
And! Beautiful you are…
From…’A Sity of Voices’ by Philip M. Edwards