Isis and the Valley of Song

Isis was on a mission to find a special flower called the Jabari Violet. As the second born to the chief, it was her responsibility to become a powerful priestess and learn all of the most powerful spells known by her people so they could turn to her in the event of a crisis.

Isis and the Valley of Song

A short story by Emma Lee Downs.

Summary: Isis is a young centaur who lives in a culture that values the power of music. Unable to sing herself, she sets off on a journey of self-discovery to find her place among her people.

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Isis and the Valley of Song

By: Emma Lee Downs

Isis, a young centaur of thirteen years old, was out on an adventure exploring a cave system which rested on the outskirts of the town of Analia, the place she was born and raised. Analia was a small village in the Zaire kingdom which rested in a far western land on the world of Iregeya. It was the head village of many that dotted the bottom of the Damari Valley. Her father Malik was the town chief and her mother Kala was the town healer. Her elder brother Enoch was the first in line for the title of chief, after their father retired from his position in the community and was usually out with Malik on town business to learn the ins and outs of his future role. In addition to their town, Isis’s family ruled over all of the villages that were nestled in the Damari Valley. Because of her high position in the town as the chief’s daughter, Isis didn’t have many young centaurs her own age to play with. This left her alone to explore the lesser known corners of the Damari Valley where the many villages of her tribe, the Yehuda, made their home.

The Damari Valley was protected by a magic force field, generated from all of the magic songs of the centaurs who lived there. Because the villages were protected by the tribe’s ancient magic, most young centaurs were free to explore the caves and other interesting aspects of the valley on their own. The force field had been put up many generations ago by the first Yehuda Tribe members to keep the goblins who lived at the far edges of the valley away. In order to keep the force field up and running, every centaur had to learn to chant ancient and mysterious spells in order to generate enough magic to strengthen the force field. Just one centaur that did not learn to sing could break the power of the force field and allow the goblins to get in. The centaurs who didn’t learn to sing the ancient songs were sent away to live with their cousins, the Zylus Tribe, who made their home at the top of the valley. The centaurs there didn’t sing because they didn’t need to use magic to keep the goblins away from their villages. This was the tradition of the Yehuda Tribe and that is why learning to chant incantations was so important to their people.

Today Isis was on a mission to find a special flower called the Jabari Violet. As the second born to the chief, it was her responsibility to become a powerful priestess and learn all of the most powerful spells known by her people so they could turn to her in the event of a crisis. Her mother had taught her many healing spells already and her father had taught her a few protection spells. Despite her extensive knowledge of the magical arts at such a young age, Isis just couldn’t make any of her spells turn out the way she wanted to. Her mother explained that she wouldn’t be able to cast any of the spells she learned properly until she could speak in song.

Earlier that day, when Isis failed at casting another healing spell her mother had told her, “My child, the most powerful spells are cast in song. Our tribe sings throughout the day to keep all evil goblins from entering the valley. Until a young centaur can learn to sing the ancient song of our people, they will remain an outsider to our tribe. Once a song flows fourth from their heart, their bond with her people will be eternal.”

Chanting was a long tradition that all of the high members of her tribe had to learn to do in order to earn the respect of the other centaurs and to become powerful magic casters. If a centaur with a high position couldn’t sing they would never become powerful enough to lead their people and would lose the respect of all of the members of the tribe. They would be sent to live with their cousins, the Zylus Tribe, at the top of the Valley, and could never become a full member of the Yehuda Tribe. Kala reassured Isis that all centaurs eventually learned how to sing and not to rush into it all at once. But Isis was not convinced she could do it on her own. She had never been able to sing the ancient spells of her people in all of the eleven years she had been alive. Even her father was starting to worry for her.

One night she had heard her parents talking and she overheard her father say, “Kala, I am worried about our daughter. If she can’t learn the ancient chants of our tribe, we will have to send her to live with the Zylus Tribe. That will be a very sad day for our village.”

Isis didn’t want to be sent away to live with the Zylus Tribe and she didn’t want to be a disgrace to her people so she decided she was going to explore the Kasabian Caves in search of the Jabari Violet, a plant that was said to make any centaur have the ability to sing if made into a special potion and drunk in one gulp. She had explored pretty deep in the cave but had yet to come across the legendary flower. Near one of the cave chambers further back she had seen a flower very much like the Jabari Violet; tall, blue, with large yellow tubes growing out of the center of the petals but the color of the stem was wrong. The flower she had found had a green stem, while the Jabari Violet had a blue stem. Feeling disappointed, she kicked the imposter flower with one of her front hooves and carried on deep into the cave until she reached the chamber she was currently in.

The chamber gave of a faint blue glow because minerals clinging to the rocks growing out of the side of the walls glowed in the same blue color. Isis stood on a natural stone bridge over a sea of stalagmites which congregated together at the bottom of the drop. It seemed like the strange room was the last opening in the network of caves and still no Jabari Violet was to be found. Isis felt very frustrated and let out an agitated grunt.

“I’ve searched all day and still I can’t find the flower I am looking for. It’s not fair. Why can’t I sing like the other centaurs?”

Isis plopped down on the stone bridge, hitting the ground with a large thud that echoed off of the cave walls. Some of the stalactites from above were shook loose from the sudden vibration from the ground below and came tumbling town around her. Isis shielded her head to protect it from the falling stalactites. When it sounded like most of the loose mineral deposits had fallen, she uncovered her head and then gave a small gasp in shock. There, lying in front of her were three Jabari Violets. Isis looked up at the ceiling and realized that the Jabari violets had fallen from there, for they grew all over the cave ceiling above her on vines winding in and out of the stalactites. Isis was so excited she could hardly contain herself.

She immediately set to work taking out the peach nectar, cinnamon, and other ingredients necessary to make her special potion from a small brown satchel hanging at her side. She mixed them all together in a small bowl she also pulled out from the brown satchel and then added the three Jabari Violets as the last ingredients to the mix.

She said the words she had learned from her magic book out loud, “And now I will always know the songs, that centaurs have spoken since early times!”

When the words were spoken, she drank the strange mixture in one large gulp from the small wooden bowl. When the contents were empty, she placed the bowl back in her satchel and waited patiently for the results. At first nothing happened, but then Isis started to glow a faint blue color that matched the color of the glowing mineral deposits that clung to the rocks jutting out from the cave wall. The faint blue color lasted a few minutes and then disappeared, leaving Isis the same young centaur she once was upon entering the cave.

She decided that she would test her new ability so she attempted to sing out loud, “My name is Isis and now I can sing whenever I please.”

Nothing even close to a song had left her lips. She frowned.

“No, that’s not right. Let me try again. Ok, now this time for real.”

Isis sucked in air and then attempted to say in a sing-song voice, “My name is Isis. I ate that Jabari Violet plant, and now there isn’t any song out there that I can’t sing.”

Isis shook her head in frustration when she was unable to sing once more.

“No, no that isn’t right either! Why isn’t this working?”

Isis stared up at the cave ceiling and gave the Jabari Violet plants an evil stare.

“Some help you plants have been. I think I’m even worse than before, which is saying a lot because even my non-singing voice was better than this!”

Isis begun to cry and ran full gallop toward the entrance of the cave. When she reached the mouth of the cave system she looked down at the valley below where her people had lived for generations through cloudy tear blurred eyes.

“I will never be like the rest of my people. I will never learn how to sing. Then I will be kicked out of town and be alone…for…forever. I still can’t do it. It’s just not fair!”

Looking down at the happy Yehuda below Isis continued to cry as the breeze gently pulled at her long black hair.


Later that day when Isis had finally managed to stop crying and had journeyed back into town, she ran into her mother gathering ingredients for her healing potions at the town market. Kala cheerfully called her daughter over and had her help with the late afternoon chore. When the ingredients were purchased, Isis and Kala carried them in their satchels back to Kala’s Healing Lodge. As the two started to put the ingredients away, Kala asked Isis about her day.

“Well my daughter, did you have fun exploring all of the chambers in the Kasabian Cave?” Kala asked, placing her portion of the ingredients in a nearby cabinet that had other healing ingredients in it already. Isis sighed as she placed the perishable ingredients in the ice box.

“No momma, I did not have fun. I tried to find the Jabari Violet, and I thought I found a lot. But when I made a potion out of the flowers, and said the spell, I still couldn’t sing at all. It was the worst day ever.”

With the last ingredients placed inside the cabinet, Kala slammed the cabinet door shut in panic and turned around to face her daughter with a worried expression on her face.

“My daughter, please tell me that what you have just said is not true. If what you say is genuine, then there is no cure for your current condition!”

Isis kicked the ice box shut with her front hooves and met her mother’s concerned stare with her own.

“I’m telling the truth. I made the potion and I drank it. Then I said the spell I found in one of your magic books. I don’t understand mamma; why are you so upset?”

Kala began to chew on the bottom of her lip nervously.

“Because dear Isis, that spell was created to make sure all of the other creatures of the world cannot use the ancient power of our songs for themselves. The musical chants of our tribe, the real spells we use, are something our people keep hidden. We spread the rumor of the Jabari Flower so all of the creatures of the world will seek its magical properties. They eat it in the other kingdoms of the world and hence can never learn our ancient songs. When you turned twelve in just eight days, I planned to show you all of the ancient chanting techniques and give you the potion to make you able to sing, but now I can’t. All is lost. And you ate three of the flowers. When three flowers are eaten at once it brings on a curse that will not ever let a person sing; even if it isn’t one of our tribe’s ancient songs! Perhaps a cure could be found for one flower, but the magic of three flowers cannot be reversed”

Kala began to weep as Isis placed a hand on her right shoulder.

“Don’t cry momma. Maybe there is a way for me to b alright. Maybe if we told daddy or brother they could find a spell to help reverse the spell and everything would go back to normal.”

Kala shook her head sorrowfully as she continued to cry.

“No my child, they must never know of this problem. If your father or brother were to find out about this crisis they would be the first to suggest we send you to live with the Zylus Tribe. While your father and brother are good centaur men and have compassion for all of troubles of their people they still must follow the ancient traditions of our tribe. If they were to know you cannot learn to sing because of a curse, they would surly ask you to leave in time. My little one, you must go to the land of the ancestors and seek the help of the High Queen Zuri. I believe only she can reverse the powerful spell of the Jabari flowers for anyone else who might attempt to help you would just make it worse. I will transport you there with one of my spells and then you can tell the high queen all of what has taken place. While you are away, I will tell your father and brother that you are training in another village with your aunt Mala. It will buy you some time, so no one will suspect that you ate a Jabari Violet by accident.”

Isis gave her mother a reassuring smile.

“Ok Mamma, I will go. Just make a portal and I will tell the High Queen everything. Don’t worry; I’m sure that Queen Zuri can help.”

Kala whipped away her tears and gave her daughter a weak smile.

“I know you can carry out this task. When it comes to finding solutions to problems, there is no one better than you. Now help me gather the items we need to make the portal as quickly as we can!”

Isis nodded and helped her mother gather some of the ingredients they just purchased along with ingredients that had been sitting at the Healing Lodge for a while into a large cauldron in the center of the kitchen. They added one thing after another until the final ingredient was added and giant spiral of green energy shot up toward the ceiling. In the center of the spiral formed a circle which took on the semblance of a mirror at first but slowly started to reconfigure into the scene of Queen Zuri’s throne room, where the high queen was sitting on her throne, looking over one of her many royal documents.

With the portal open, Kala gave her daughter a quick hug and said, “My daughter, you must now go and talk with the High Queen. When you are done with your quest, return home as quickly as you can manage. I will keep the portal open on my side while you are away. All you have to do is speak the words ‘take me back to the origin of the portal’. Then you will be sent back to the Healing Lodge, where I will be waiting patiently for your return.”

Isis returned her mother’s embrace and then nodded and she pulled away from it.

“Don’t worry mamma, I’m going to fix this. I’ll be back soon!”

With her final words spoken, she hopped into the portal and was instantly taken to the High Queen Zuri’s throne room. Queen Zuri was startled away from her reading when she saw a huge flash of green light shine above her and a little centaur with long black hair and a grey flank crawl out of the green light. When Isis reached the edge of the green light she immediately plummeted down towards the High Queen. Queen Zuri dropped the royal document she was reading when Isis landed forcefully on top of her lap. The queen stared down at the centaur girl sitting before her with a mixed look of shock and awe.

“Oh my,” Queen Zuri said in a startled voice, as Isis turned around to face her.

Isis smiled up at the high queen of their land sheepishly. She realized that her entrance into the throne room wasn’t very polite or proper so she did a quick bow and then said, “Um your majesty, I am sorry to drop in on you like this but I need your help. I accidently ate three Jabari Violet flowers, which gave me a curse that will never let me sing again unless you can help me find the cure. If you can’t help me, I’ll never be able to go back to my clan, so please help me High Queen, oh please!”

Isis did a full bow on the high queen’s lap and waited to hear what she had to say. To her surprise, Queen Zuri let out a merry laugh and gestured for her to rise from her bow.

When Isis did so, the high queen said, “I would be honored to help you little one, but first I would like to know a little bit more about you. What is your name and tribe do you come from? What magic did you use to get into the throne room? I don’t think I have seen a centaur like you before. I want to know everything.”

Isis looked up at the high queen of her land shyly. She was larger by at least two heads than the centaurs of her land. She had long, brown hair plaited with many silver ornaments. She had kind green eyes and a light brown horse body. She was very beautiful and emitted a very peaceful aura. Isis knew she could trust the high queen so she crawled down from her lap and did her best to answer all of the questions Queen Zuri had asked her when she reached the tiled floor underneath the throne.

“Well,” Isis began, rubbing her chin deep in thought, “I come from the town of Analia. My tribe is called the Yehuda. We live at the bottom of the Damari Valley. The high members of our clan cast magic with potions that we cook up in special brews. I am the daughter of chief Malik and head village woman Kala. My brother Enoch is first in line for the title of chief. I am training to be the village high priestess, as is custom for the second born child. In order to become a full member of our clan, everyone has to learn to sing, especially the high members of society like my mom, my dad, and my brother, so we can cast spells to protect our people from danger. I tried to learn how to sing the ancient spells of our tribe for eleven years but I just couldn’t do it so I tried to make a potion with the Jabari Violets I found in a cave located outside of my village but I just ended up getting cursed. If I can’t find a way to lift the curse, I will never be a member of my tribe and won’t be able to become the village high priestess, so my mamma sent me here in hopes that you could help me. Please tell me that you can, Queen. I really need your help! If you can’t help me, I won’t ever be able to go home.”

Isis began to tear up at the eyes a bit, although she didn’t allow herself to cry. She didn’t want to make herself look foolish in front of the High Queen.

Queen Zuri took in everything Isis said and thought long and hard about a possible cure. She knew that with a set of ancient relics called the Ulani Swords she could certainly restore the young centaur to her original state. Since the royal family was always able to wield the power of the swords she could harness the power of at least one. Her husband could also wield a sword and aid her with the task but unfortunately he was away on his diplomatic mission to establish friendly connections with the surrounding kingdoms. The problem was that she would need to find six other centaurs to wield the other Ulani relics and the little centaur didn’t seem to have enough time to wait for the centaurs to be found and brought to the castle. Sometimes it took years to find the right candidates to wield the ancient weapons and Isis needed a cure that would help her out quickly before any of the other centaurs caught on to what had happened. There was one other thing she could do but…it would come with a great price.

She sighed and then said, “My little one, the only thing I can do in a short amount of time is cast a banishing spell. The spell will cancel out the effects of the flowers. However, banishing spells always require something in return of equal value. The spell would return you to normal, it might even bring out your latent singing ability, but in return, you would not be able to return to Analia. Maybe you could return to your people and explain your situation. I am sure if you talked to them, there might be another way for you to become a member of your tribe.”

Isis whipped away the tears starting to flow from her eyes.

“No, your majesty. In our tribe, if you can’t sing, you can’t be accepted as a true member of the Yehuda. I would have to leave in shame and live with my cousins, the Zylus Tribe, who make their home at the top of the Damari Valley. I think using the banishing spell is the best option. At least I can prove I am a true member of the Yehuda tribe before having to go away forever. You could come with me in eight days, when the ritual to initiate me into my tribe was supposed to take place after my mom gave me the real potion. After I get initiated you can cast the spell on me and then I can…leave my tribe for good.”

Queen Zuri stood up from her throne. She picked up the little centaur standing before her and held her close.

“Now, now little one, we won’t give up that easy. I will have my royal chariot drivers take us to the town of Analia and I will speak to your family myself. Surely we can all come up with some solution that won’t get you banished forever.”

Isis nodded weakly as the high queen let go of Isis and summoned her chariot drivers to the throne room. The six built centaur men with black horse bodies came galloping into the throne chamber together as if on cue and kneeled at the throne of their queen.

The leader of the chariot drivers, a tan skinned centaur named Cassius rose his head slightly and asked, “What is it you require of us your majesty?” as the other chariot drivers continued to bow.

“Cassius, I want you to take this young centaur and I to the town of Analia, with the directions she provides. We shall leave immediately. Have royal advisor, Lord Theon, take over while I am away.”

Cassius nodded and signaled for one of his men to inform Lord Theon of the queen’s departure while he instructed the rest to get the royal chariot ready. With his orders given out, he faced the High Queen once more and said, “The chariot will be here in less than fifteen minutes. I sent Tyrus to inform Lord Theon of your departure. We will have everything ready soon and will wait for further orders once the chariot is ready.”

Queen Zuri thanked him and then sat Isis up on her shoulders.

“Now little one, while we wait I will tell you everything I know about my kingdom since you were kind enough to tell me everything about your kind.”

Queen Zuri carried Isis around the throne room on her shoulder and showed her all of the stained glass windows with the stories of all of the lands of the centaur kingdom of Zaire etched into them. She told Isis the story of how she and her husband had once defeated an army of goblins together with the help of her royal army. She explained that her husband was now traveling across the world, attempting to establish friendly relations with all of the other kingdoms. She told Isis about the special power of Ulani Swords that had been passed down in the royal family for seven generations by a wizard of the land of the dwarves and how they could only be used by those with the purest of hearts. Queen Zuri told one story after another until the royal chariot arrived and the two of them boarded it to journey to the far off town of Analia.


After many days of travel, Isis, Queen Zuri, and the royal chariot drivers arrived in Analia. The centaurs of her village were surprised to see the larger centaurs from the capital city of Xael in their native lands. They were even more surprised to see that Isis was standing among them. Isis’s mother had seen the chariot land from the town Healing Lodge and was pushing her way through the crowd of onlookers to get a better look at the new arrivals. When she caught sight of Isis, she broke through the first ring of centaurs at the front of the crowd and ran forward to hold her daughter in her arms. After the mother and daughter had a heartfelt reunion, Isis’s father Malik and her brother Enoch also came and gave Isis a warm welcome.

Greetings out of the way, Chief Malik examined Queen Zuri and the Royal Chariot Drivers with questioning eyes. His wife had told him that Isis was away studying magic with her Aunt Mala and had not mentioned anything about visiting the mysterious centaurs from the other side of the Zaire Kingdom.

Chief Malik intended to get some answers so he faced Queen Zuri and asked, “Your Majesty who comes from the capital city of Xael, what brings you to the lands of the Yehuda Tribe? And furthermore why did you bring along such a frightening group of centaur men? I have so many questions for you, such as why my daughter has arrived with your party in my people’s native lands. I was told that she was studying magic with her Aunt Mala. But I see that she was visiting your kingdom instead.”

And at that Chief Malik gave his daughter a stern look. Isis shrunk back behind Queen Zuri, hiding from her father’s critical gaze.

Queen Zuri bowed politely toward the chief and said, “Please forgive my rudeness for not giving you a formal introduction. I, the High Queen Zuri, have come to this town because your daughter Isis came to me with a big problem that I am afraid can only be solved with a banishing spell. I brought her back in hopes that I could talk to you about another solution to her problem that would not cause me to use the spell on her.”

Chief Malik nodded in understanding and gestured for Queen Zuri, her team of chariot drivers, his wife Mala, his daughter Isis, and his son Enoch to follow him to his house at the other end of the town. When they arrived, Chief Malik led the group of centaurs to a conference room with many chairs set up around a large square table. Kala, Malik, Enoch, and Isis took the four seats near the front end of the table, while Queen Zuri and her chariot drivers took the other seats positioned around the table.

After everyone had settled in to their chairs and introduced themselves, Queen Zuri was the first to break the new silence that hung in the air by saying, “Isis has eaten three Jabari Violet flowers. These flowers have given her a curse that will prevent her from ever learning how to sing. In your culture learning the ancient songs of your tribe is something that all centaurs need to know, especially centaurs in high positions of power. Isis came to me hoping that I could help her break the curse. I do possess the magic to do so but it would come at a great cost. Isis would be returned to normal if I were to use a banishing spell; it might even bring out her latent musical abilities. However, in return she would have to leave Analia forever. The nature of the spell is to banish one thing in exchange for another. In exchange for becoming a full member of the Yehuda Tribe, Isis would have to be banished from it forever. I am hoping that we can find another solution that will not have to result to such an extreme measure on my part.”

Chief Malik felt great sadness upon hearing the curse brought upon his daughter. Enoch was also very sad for his sister. The two centaur men exchanged weary glances. They both knew what needed to be done but it wasn’t something either one of them wanted to carry out.

When Enoch could see that his father couldn’t bring himself to say what needed to be said he raised himself up from his seat and said, “We want nothing more for Isis to stay with our tribe, however I am afraid that if she cannot sing, we have no choice but to send her away, like the five centaurs we sent off earlier this year. You see, all centaurs who live in the Damari Valley must learn to sing in order to help summon a force field of magic that surrounds each of the villages and keep the goblins at bay. It is our Tribe’s custom. If just one centaur cannot chant the ancient spells, the force field will weaken and then in time the goblins will break through the protective shield. When they reach the many villages of our tribe they will attack us like they have done in the past. They will fight to take all of our lands and if they succeed, they will drive us away from our home in the valley. Those who can’t sing will suffer the worst, for the goblins that find them will not show mercy to them. They will take the weak centaurs of our tribe back to their kingdom and keep all of the captives as personal slaves. Those who do not comply with their demands will be murdered. This is what has happened in the past before our ancestors put up the force field to protect our people from the goblin’s raids. The goblin kingdom is built into the outer cave systems of the valley. They are always waiting for the moment when our force field will weaken and they can invade. In order to protect Isis, we must send her to live with our cousins the Zylus Tribe who make their home at the top of the Damari Valley. The Zylus Tribe does not need to learn the ancient chants of our people because the goblins stay in the valley below, in the lands where only our people dare to tread upon. The Zylus Tribe has its own magic and its own mysterious ways. They are a peaceful people who have lived at the top of the Damari Valley since the ancient times. My queen, you must help take Isis to the top of the valley. She cannot go by herself, for the goblins are always waiting to snatch up a stay member of our tribe and turn them into a slave. Please send some of your men to guide her safely to the top of the Valley. Instruct your men to keep Isis protected from any goblin attacks and to make sure to keep her from being captured by them or worse.”

Queen Zuri thought about what Enoch had told her. It seemed like all of the traditions of the Yehuda Tribe were built around protecting their kind from goblins. If she could somehow get rid of the goblin problem, Isis wouldn’t have to be sent away. The centaurs in the Damari Valley wouldn’t have to live in fear anymore.

Her mind made up, Queen Zuri said, “Chief Malik, Enoch, Kala, and Isis, I would like you to wield four of the seven Ulani swords and use their power to banish the goblins from this land. I believe that Isis has demonstrated great courage by asking for my help. One of the swords will surely allow her to wield its power because of her courageous heart. I will bear one of the swords like I did when I went to war with the goblins with my husband and the royal army many years ago. The royal family is always able to weird the power of the Ulani Relics. It is our birth right. Chief Malik, you are a wise ruler and very powerful. I think you are the perfect candidate for one of the Ulani Swords because of your wise heart. Your wife Kala is powerful and has a gentle spirit. I believe she is the perfect candidate for one of the weapons because of her gentle heart. Enoch, you had the courage to tell everyone that truth about the situation with the goblins. Because you have a steadfast heart, I believe you are perfect candidate for one of the swords. If we can just find two more centaurs to wield the last to Ulani Relics, we will have all the power we need to drive the goblins from the land, and to cure Isis of her curse. I can send one of my Royal Chariot Drivers to the Xael palace to retrieve Ulani Swords from the Chamber of Oracles, where they are kept locked away when they are not in use.”

Kala’s eyes filled up with tears. She was so happy that there was a solution to the problem that had plagued their tribe for so long that she couldn’t help but tear up a little. They would just have to find two more candidates to bear the last two Ulani weapons and all of their problems would be resolved. Kala thought about this and then she recalled that her two older sisters were some of the most powerful magic users in their tribe.

“Queen Zuri,” Kala said excitedly, whipping the tears from her eyes, “My sisters Mala and Imogen are two of the most powerful magic users among our people. Surely they can help us to fix this disaster!”

Everyone around the table agreed that Kala’s sisters should wield the two other Ulani Relics. Queen Zuri sent the head of her Royal Chariot Drivers, Cassius, to retrieve the weapons from the royal palace in the capital city of Xael. Cassius did a customary bow and sped off to retrieve the swords from the special room Queen Zuri kept them in back in the Xael Palace. Chief Malik sent for a messenger to summon Mala and Imogen to the central village of Analia. The messenger bowed and sped off to summon Kala’s two sisters from the neighboring village of Thea.

When the messenger left the room, Chief Malik turned to everyone at the table and said, “When Kala’s two sisters Mala and Imogen and Queen Zuri’s royal chariot driver Cassius arrive at the village in two days’ time, we will set our plan into motion. All of those chosen to carry out the task of wielding the Ulani Swords will do so. We will use the power of the relics to drive the evil goblins away from the Damari Valley for good. This is all thanks to the High Queen Zuri’s brilliant suggestion. Our tribe will forever by in the High Queen’s debt. Now, while we wait for the other members of our party arrive, we will throw a feast in honor of our guests from the capital city. Tell all of the centaurs of the Damari Valley that they are welcome to join in on the festivities. We will show the queen and her men all about the Yehuda Tribe’s traditions and ways while we wait for the others to show up in the main village!”

After Chief Malik made his speech the council was broken up and preparations were made for the two day feast that would show Queen Zuri and her Royal Chariot Drivers all about the Yehuda Tribe’s traditional ways. Queen Zuri helped Isis and Kala gather a group of centaurs together to decorate the town. Tyrus and the other remaining Royal Chariot Drivers helped Chief Malik and Enoch put together the entertainment. When Queen Zuri, Isis and Kala were finished helping the other centaurs decorate the town, they gathered up centaurs to help them make food for the event.

With all of the preparations complete, the town had a grand celebration to welcome the visitors from capital city of Xael and to celebrate the plan of banishing the Goblins away for good. The first day of the celebration, the centaurs performed the traditional welcoming dance where the female centaurs stood on one side and the male centaurs stood on the other in two grand lines that stretched from one end of the town to the other. The female centaurs started the dance stomping their front hooves and singing an ancient chant. The males joined in afterward, stomping their back hooves and chanting in deep throated grunts. The newcomers to the town, Queen Zuri and the royal Chariot Drivers were led down the line by Chief Malik and his family. At each centaur they passed, the centaur bowed and threw a rosary of flowers over the necks of the visitors. This repeated until Queen Zuri, The Royal Chariot Drivers, Malik and his family got to the end of the line.

At the very end, where Chief Malik’s house stood, he had two guards open the doors of his grand estate and then he called back to the crowd behind him, “Let the feasting begin!”

The centaurs all thundered their hooves against the ground and clapped their hands together in a grand applause and then ran toward the open doors. The centaurs filled the many rooms of the estate, now lined with dining tables stacked with all sorts of food and caterers moving back and forth across the room giving assistance to any centaur who needed it. The feast went on most of the night, until it finally came to a close with another traditional dance. With the first day’s celebration over, Malik showed Queen Zuri and her royal Chariot drivers to rooms in his estate that they could use during their stay in town of Analia, and the visitors thanked him graciously.

The next day, when the sun rose up over the cliffs of the valley, the town held the second celebration. It was a full festival complete with games, all sorts of merchant booths, dancing, music, theatrical productions, storytellers, bards, and lots of food at every turn. Isis showed Queen Zuri a game that young centaurs played where they stood on each other’s backs as tall as they could go. The centaurs split into two different teams. The centaurs who created the highest towers were the winners. Isis joined the leaf team, while her brother joined the acorn team. Centaurs stacked up on Isis’s and Enoch’s backs way up into the sky. At first it seemed like Enoch’s team would win but then all at once, the newest addition slipped and the whole tower came tumbling town, making Isis’s team the winners.

Tyrus and the other Royal Chariot drivers were enjoying traveling booth to booth and playing the various festival games. Tyrus played a game which required its player to toss a ring over one of the many glass jars filled with fish laid out on a grand platform. If the player could get a ring around one of the glass jars they could keep the fish inside. Tyrus managed to win a goldfish that he ended up giving to a village child with short white hair since he had little use of it once he got back to the capital city. The village child thanked him and ran to show off her new pet to her friends. The other Royal Chariot Drivers were not so lucky and decided to move on to other booths and try their luck there. Kala showed Queen Zuri to an area of the festival where a traditional magic show was being put on. The High Queen watched as the centaurs putting on the show told the story of how the ancient Yehuda Tribe found the Damari Valley and drove the goblins deep into the outer caves with their magic. Each part of the show was highlighted with magical effects that rivaled the magical artistry of the shows put on by the centaurs in the capital city.

After the magic show, Malik led Queen Zuri to an area of the festival where the male centaurs were wrestling each other. It was a magical wrestling match, so the centaurs were using any trick they could think of to get an advantage over their opponent. The ultimate winner of the competition was a centaur named Demarcus, who proved to be the strongest of all the competitors after being victorious in fourteen matches. His prize was a large green mask carved in intricate patterns that showed he was the ultimate victor of the competition.

The festivities carried on throughout the night, each Centaur and pony enjoying all of the entertainment it had to offer. The festival ended once again with a grand dance before all of the centaurs returned to their homes. Queen Zuri and her Royal Chariot Drivers stayed in their rooms at the grand estate of Chief Malik once more. They each went to sleep quickly, eager for the night to pass so all of the pieces to banish the Goblins from the valley for good would finally fall into place with the arrival of the other party members in the morning.


The next day was brought forth as the sun slowly crept over high stone walls of the Damari Valley. The centaurs were working together to put away all of the decorations and return Analia to the way it was before the two day celebration. Chief Malik’s messenger, Eliseo, returned from the neighboring village with Kala’s two sisters, Mala and Imogen. Cassius returned around the same carrying a giant golden chest that held the Ulani Relics. With everyone now present, Queen Zuri instructed Cassius to open the chest and hand out each of the Ulani Swords to each of the seven party members. Cassius did as he was instructed and handed out each of the weapons one by one.

With the weapons distributed, Queen Zuri commanded her Royal Chariot Drivers to guide the team of adventurers to the edges of the valley were the Goblins made their home. Malik, Kala, Mala, Enoch, Isis, and Zuri boarded the chariot and were whisked away to the cave systems where the goblins had built their kingdom by the Royal Chariot Drivers, who followed out the Queen orders without a second thought. When they arrived in the territory of the goblins, a particularly ugly goblin with spiky black hair and red eyes was there to greet them.

As Zuri and the others got down from the chariot he came over and asked in a grumpy voice, “What business do you travelers have in goblin territory? Leave at once or we will take you all as our captives!”

No sooner had those words left the goblin’s mouth, a whole army of goblin men and women appeared behind him, wielding all sorts of awful looking weapons and wearing spiked armor from head to toe.

Zuri frowned up at the spiky-haired goblin.

“We will not leave. You goblins have caused enough trouble for the Yehuda Tribe. Now it is your turn to go!”

The spiky-haired goblin gave out a wicked laugh, echoed by the many goblins behind him.

“Oh yeah lady? Who is going to stop us?”

Isis jumped forward and frowned up at the Goblin.

“We are! You terrible goblins have made many of our people leave the Damari Valley just because we don’t know how to sing. Now we are going to put you in your place.”

The Goblins laughed wickedly again as the goblin with spiky black hair and red eyes drew in closer to the group.

“Perhaps you don’t know who you are addressing. I am the King of all of the goblins, Sedric, and I have the most power of anyone in the land. It takes the magic of an entire tribe of centaurs to keep me out of the Damari Valley and you think only your small party of travelers can defeat me? What a joke!”

Sedric waved his hands in front of him and lifted Tyrus into the air. Without warning, he flung the queen’s chariot driver into one of the sides of the valley. Tyrus came crashing down violently, breaking one of his legs in the process. The other Royal Chariot Drivers rushed over and helped tend to his wounds as the seven main members of the party continued to stare their adversary down.

Kala narrowed her eyes as she said, “You monster! How could you do that to him? We are going to teach you a thing or two!”

Sedric continued to laugh and started to shake the rocks free from the canyon walls. The rocks came tumbling down in droves, barley missing the small group of centaurs standing in front of him. Queen Zuri gave a signal to her fellow warriors which they all interpreted as use the power of the Ulani Swords. Each centaur in the party nodded in understanding as they placed the blade of the weapons in front of them. It was not long before each of the swords begun to light up one by one. Eventually Zuri’s weapon lit up and the combined power of the relics shot out from the ends of the swords and put a force field around the group of goblins.

Queen Zuri pointed up at Sedric and bellowed, “You and your people will be sent to a land far away where you can never bother anyone again. Be gone evil goblins! And never return!”

The magic swirled around all of the goblins and lifted every member of their tribe up into the air. It shook each of the goblins until they were relieved of their weapons. Then it flung the goblins off into the distance until they reached an uninhabited land blocked on all sides by hot pots and other geothermal activity. Next, Queen Zuri used the power of the swords to heal Tyrus of the injuries Sedric had inflicted on him. The magic engulfed his body and healed his broken leg in a flash of white energy. The last thing to do was to heal little Isis of her curse. Queen Zuri summoned Isis forward and whispered an ancient spell. A blue light wrapped around her body and she could feel the curse unraveling from her like the peel from an orange. Next, Queen Zuri cast another spell that would awaken Isis’s latent musical abilities. A purple light engulfed Isis’s body and she felt all kinds of music awakening from within the deepest parts of her soul. When the spell was complete, Queen Zuri told Isis to try out her new gift.

Isis cautiously moved to the front of the group and sung out, “Queen Zuri has awoken my ability to sing so I will be a powerful magic user in my tribe!”

Isis’s eye lit up with wonder as she realized that she had sung for the very first time.

“Oh my! I made my very first song! Did you hear everyone? I can finally sing!”

Isis danced around in joy, followed shortly by her father, mother, her two aunts and her brother. Everyone was happy that after all of those years Isis had finally learned the ability to sing and could become a true member of the Yehuda Tribe. After a small celebration by the party in honor or Isis’s newfound ability, Cassius collected the Ulani Relics from each centaur they had been lent to and placed them back inside the golden chest they had been taken from. Then the party stepped on Queen Zari’s chariot and was whisked back to the town of Analia by her team of royal chariot drivers.

When the group returned to the town of Analia, another celebration was planned to welcome Isis as a new member of the tribe. Everyone decided to hold the celebration on the same day as her birthday, which was only five days away. Queen Zuri sent Cassius to return the Ulani Relics to the palace. Cassius carried out Queen Zuri’s orders immediately, returning the ancient relics to their rightful place in the Chamber of Oracles. Queen Zuri and the rest of her men stayed behind while Cassius carried out his task. The visitors from the capital city continued to visit with the Yehuda Tribe and learn all about their traditions while they waited for Cassius to return.

Two days later Cassius returned to the valley, and three days after that the initiation ceremony for Isis was brought under way. Queen Zuri watched as the young centaur had flowers tossed at her, her face painted, and her grey fur coat decorated with pollen to symbolize her formal acceptance into the tribe. Although Isis was happy to finally be part of the Yehuda Tribe, she was sad that Queen Zuri would have to leave and return to the capital city of Xael after the celebration was over. While she was in the capital city she felt an immediate bond with all of the centaurs who lived there. She wished that she could travel back with the High Queen, even though she knew it was a selfish request.

Isis’s Aunt Mala noticed that she had gone off into a corner by herself after the initiation ceremony while the other centaurs talked, laughed, feasted, and danced.

She walked up to her niece and placed a hand on her shoulder.

“What is wrong little one? You do not seem to be enjoying the festivities at all.”

Isis teared up a little as she replied, “Auntie Mala I love living with the Yehuda Tribe but I wish I could go back with Queen Zuri and live in the capital city of Xael.”

Mala thought what her niece had said over for a moment and then got an idea.

“My little one, I think you should ask Queen Zuri if you can go. Perhaps it is your destiny to live in the capital city and give your assistance to the people there. You should not worry about the position of high priestess. Although my daughter Ophelia is younger than you by two years, I believe that she has the potential to make an excellent high priestess with the proper training. I will talk to your mother and father about letting your cousin take over your role in your absence. Now go and ask the Queen if you can return with her to the capital city while you still can!”

Mala placed Isis on her back and galloped over to the Queen. When the two arrived, Isis climbed down from her aunt’s back and shy bowed in front of Queen Zuri.

“Queen Zuri, I’m happy that I am now a full member of the Yehuda Tribe but I have a favor to ask of you. In return for helping my people, I would like to travel back to your land with you and live among all of the people of your land. I want to study to become a powerful magic user and help anyone in your kingdom who may be in need of my assistance. Please allow me to serve you and your people from now on.”

Malik, Kala, and Enoch saw their daughter talking to the Queen and came over to get a better look at what was going on. When Kala heard that her daughter wanted to leave their land to live with the queen she felt great sadness in her heart.

She came up to Isis and said, “My daughter I wish that you would remain here in the Damari Valley with us. I do not want you to leave our tribe but if it is truly your wish, I have no choice but to let you go. I always had a feeling that you were destined for great things that would take you far away from our valley. Mala has a daughter that can learn the rites necessary to become a high priestess. I have known this for many years but I always held out hope that you would learn the ancient songs of our people and remain here in the Valley to carry out your role. But if you feel that you must go then I will send you off with a blessing.”

Chief Malik came up beside his daughter and gave her a warm embrace.

“You have helped us greatly my daughter. Like your mother, I do not want you to leave us. But if you feel that you should leave the Valley then I will allow you to travel back to the capital city with the High Queen. You will be missed by all of us here but knowing you are happy will give us all some solace. You must promise to visit us whenever you can. If you can keep this one promise then I will let you go.”

Isis held her father tightly and said, “I promise, daddy. I will visit you, mom, Enoch and all of the members of the tribe whenever I can. Thank you so much for understanding.”

Enoch was sniffling as he came up to his sister and said, “I will miss all of the days we spent exploring the different parts of the Valley together, but I can’t tell you not to go. It would be wrong for me to insist that you stay in our town. Just promise that you will come play a round of Ibak with me whenever you can. I will miss you whenever you are not here.”

Isis let go of her father and gave her brother a big hug.

“I promise that I will visit you and everyone whenever I can. You can count on it!”

Enoch nodded as he held his sister for a few moments then pulled away, whipping away some tears that had started to form in his eyes.

Mala smiled warmly at her niece and said, “My dear do not worry for the tribe. I will teach my daughter everything about being the High priestess. You should follow your heart. We will always be here in the valley, waiting happily for your return.”

Isis smiled up at all of her family members.

“Thank you so much everyone. I will return to the capital city of Xael with Queen Zuri when the party is done! That is if she will allow me to go.”

Isis kneeled in front of the High Queen and said, “Oh Queen Zuri please say you will take me back to the capital city with you. I want to serve you and your people from now on. So please let me go!”

Isis stared up at Queen Zuri with pleading eyes. Zuri smiled down at the young centaur kneeling before her.

“Of course you can come back with me to the capital city of Xael! I will make you an honorary member of the royal court. You can study magic under me and act as a foreign ambassador for all of the centaurs of the Damari Valley! I will make a portal in the Xael Royal Palace that will allow you to travel to your land whenever you want to visit your family or friends. Does this sound good to you?”

Isis stood up from her kneeling position and literally jumped for joy.

“Oh Yes, your majesty, I would love to be a foreign ambassador of the royal court! I will visit my people as often as I am able and will study magic under you at the palace as you have planned!”

Isis’s family members jumped for joy as well. They gave her many warm embraces to congratulate her for acquiring her high position in the Xael Royal Court. They would be sad when Isis had to leave, but they were comforted in knowing that Isis could visit them any time she wanted to. When the celebration was over, Isis packed her belongings and placed them in the Royal Chariot. She said a tearful goodbye to all of her friends and family members in Analia and journeyed with the Queen to the capital city where she became the Official Royal Ambassador for her people. She studied magic with Queen Zuri for many years and when she became old enough to live on her own, she purchased a small estate for herself which rested on the outskirts of the city in the Oriana forest. Queen Zuri moved the portal that linked the town of Analia to the capital city of Xael to Isis’s new home so she could use it whenever she pleased.

Whenever Queen Zuri journeyed to Analia, she summoned Isis to act as her official Royal Ambassador. She always was happy to assist the Queen on her travels and she was also pleased to have an excuse to visit her family during the outings. Isis used her knowledge of the magical arts to teach many of the centaurs in the capital city who wanted to learn the magic of their people. She also taught magic lessons at a local university and was paid very well for her services. Many of the centaurs in the capital city never knew about Isis’s high position in the Xael Royal Court because she didn’t like to boast about herself. But years later, while looking through the many books of the Xael Royal Library, the daughter of Queen Zuri, Princess Naya, found an interesting book titled, The Cost of a Song. The book told the story of a centaur who didn’t know how to sing and commissioned queen Zuri’s help. The centaur in the story wielded one of the Ulani swords and helped the High Queen send all of the evil goblins away from the land of her people. Later the centaur became a Royal Ambassador and even studied magic under the High Queen’s watchful eye. The centaur was never named, much to Princess Naya’s disappointment.

She thought it would be an interesting story to tell to Isis so she brought the book over and read it to her teacher over tea. The princess had been a student of Isis’s ever since she was born into the royal court so the two of them were very well acquainted. Princess Naya knew that Isis taught at the local university and often accompanied her mother when she traveled to other lands but she didn’t know much else about her. Isis smiled fondly as her childhood adventures were brought back into remembrance one chapter at a time. When Princess Naya was finished with the story, Isis thanked the princess for reading it to her.

“So who do you think the centaur in the story was, Isis,” Princess Naya asked, after she took a bite out a of tea cake resting on a plate in front of her.

Isis chuckled and replied, “I am not sure who the young one might be, but that was a great story to be sure.”

Princess Naya nodded and the two friends continued to talk about all sorts of things as they enjoyed the freshly brewed pot of Jasmine Tea, the assortment of tea cakes in front of them, and wondered together about the many mysteries of the world.

Published A Story In 6 Plots

One of my writing pieces was published in the short story collection, 6 Plots: Leo & Other Grave Tales!

I Published A Story In 6 Plots: Leo & Other Grave Tales

The book collection was put together by Kenneth Kohl.

My story, ‘The Family Secret’ appears on page 57.

My story, ‘The Family Secret’ has been published in this literary collection.

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Vampire Epoch

The moon was full in the sky, All children, men and women were in their beds, When the strange traveler came to town, Wearing a crown of roses on her head.

Vampire Epoch

A poem by Emma Lee Downs.

Summary: A creepypasta poem about a monk from ancient Ireland who gets turned into a vampire against his will.

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Vampire Epoch

By: Emma Lee Downs

The moon was full in the sky,
All children, men and women were in their beds,
When the strange traveler came to town,
Wearing a crown of roses on her head.

The traveler wore a dark red cape,
Uncommon for the times,
A black dress that buttoned in back,
Two wine-red boots that rose to thigh,

A burgundy ribbon in her long black hair,
A silver necklace at her nape,
That housed a ruby stone beyond compare,
Of any found in the Emerald Cape.

On her wrists she wore silver cuffs,
On her ears hung two shards of claret glass,
Her eyes were brown and filled with lust,
On her neck were three bite wounds from the past,

Like the wolves of frost and snow,
Her teeth were bared and sharp,
As she gazed upon the town below,
With ill intent in her gluttonous heart.

Though much prey rest below,
Sleeping in their mortal homes,
The traveler thought them weak to hunt,
And journeyed to the church above.

Her target was a holy man,
Who only followed God’s command.

She aimed to spill his sacred blood,
Among others of his brotherhood,
So her name would be immortalized,
Among the brethren of her kind,

For so conflicted would be a monk,
With everlasting demon soul,
Feeding on the blood of men,
That used to pay his churches’ toll,

Who had no choice but to thrive,
With the creatures of the night,
That every time God’s word he spoke,
He’d bring himself eternal woe.

The woman quickly made her way,
Up the churches’ stony path,
Until she reached the humble quarters,
Of the monk and gazed inside at last.

There she saw a flickering candle,
Burning tall and bright,
And the pious man beside his bed,
Reading scriptures into the night.

His features were fair,
His dress was modest,
He wore only a pair of russet pants,
His chest was bare,
Save his greatest treasure,
A silver cross that hung around his neck.

The woman made her presence known,
And walked through the wall of the good monk’s home.

The man did not divert his gaze,
When he asked the pale-skinned traveler,
“What business do you have,
in the town church at this hour?”

The woman frowned and coolly replied,
“That should be obvious to anyone with half a mind.”

The man’s green eyes did not leave the bible,
They followed the psalms left to right;
And this cut into the black heart of the woman,
Like a jagged, sharp-edged knife.

“Well, have you nothing to say, good monk?”

“At least stare me in the eyes,
before I lead you to
your inevitable demise.”

The monk ran his long fingers,
Through his dark brown hair,
And then held up his cross,
Leaving his neckline bare.

“My lady, I would gladly look upon thee,
if there were something worthwhile to see.”

“However, it is the scriptures that captivate me
so go drown your ambitions in the Adrian Sea.”

The woman’s eyes turned red with anger;
Her fangs grew long in the good monk’s room.

“I have heard of you before this night,
from the dark trees of the wood,
that have tried to tempt you to no avail,
and have thus allowed your kindness to prevail.”

“You are said to be the holiest man in all Europe,
and this is what brings me here tonight.”

“You think you are righteous man, but very soon,
you will become a creature of the night!”

The woman crept toward the man,
Venom dripping from her fangs,
With her arms flailing wildly about,
Like a spider ready to kill its prey.

The man did not let his gaze fall from scripture,
The source of heavens love,
As he chanted ancient verses,
To his lord in heaven above.

The woman crept near the monk,
And pushed his holy book aside,
The pages burned her pearlescent flesh,
Scaring her hands that fateful night.

The man held his cross and chanted hymns,
The woman drew closer and grabbed his neck,
She moved her cold fingers along the cord,
And snapped his last testament in half,

The cross fell and was swatted away,
The man closed his eyes and began to pray,
The woman caressed his face with seductive touch,
The man cried out for heaven’s love,
The woman gave him a fatal kiss,
The man’s body could not resist,
As the woman injected her venomous tongue,
Burning with envy, greed and lust.

The man couldn’t pull away,
His body was numb and his eyes half blind,
But he continued to recite,
The scriptures in his mind.

His frail body began to ache,
As the woman’s blood filled his veins,
But the strength of his heart,
Kept all dark thoughts at bay.

She bit his neck and spilled his blood;
It trickled to the floor like a black river.

His thirst became for her blood too,
And he bit her throat under the harvest moon.

Her blood he drank,
It coursed through his soul,
But it did not turn black,
Like her own.

She gave him pleasure and pain,
As she returned to skillfully taking the blood from his veins.

Without control he continued to bite her too,
And in the late evening,
The good monk was subdued.

Her sinister job complete,
The woman held him tenderly,
As a mother treats its newborn babe,
And sealed his wounds carefully,
With the golden crest of Cain.

She grinned to herself and waited there,
Stoking the good monk’s matted hair.

All at once he awoke with a start,
With pale skin and a reborn heart,
That thirsted for blood and his short hair grew,
To his waist where it turned to a darker hue,
Of brown and his eyes turned dark as night,
Though they were still green in the middle around the iris,
And his teeth grew to fangs long and white.

His first breaths were torment,
And he pulled his hair,
With his long white fingers,
When he saw the woman standing there.

“How could you do this to me?”

“I am a man of the lord,
and I can never touch,
my holy relics again!”

“How dare you take my cross from me,
and then my book and decency?”

“You are a monster,
a servant of Cain,
and I never want you,
in my sight again!”

The woman laughed a dark laugh,
That would have turned the purest heart to dust.

“Now you are one of us.”

“There is nothing you can do,
to satisfy your thirst,
outside killing the innocent. “

“You may try hunting animals at first,
but it is human blood you will eventually taste.”

“And once you drink mortal blood,
you shall never go back,
for there is no mercy for a man,
with a soul that’s black.”

The man picked up his cross,
Though it burned in his hand,
And told the woman to leave,
With a harsh command.

He cried out the scripture,
Though it burned in his mouth,
Until the woman left his modest house.

When the woman left he threw down the cross;
The burn almost reached his very bone.

He tried to pick up his holy book,
But it burst into flame;
Horror filled his blackened eyes,
As he put it out with his sleeping mat.

He was now the thing,
That he loathed the most;
A brother of Cain,
And no psalm could heal his soul,
From the venomous sins,
That plagued his veins.

His thirst grew wild,
He thrashed about,
He needed blood right then,
Without a doubt.

The beast within was let unleashed,
And he drank the blood of all the priests,
That had taken him in from an early age,
Before the starry night turned to day.

One after another they fell that night;
They could not fight the ravenous monster,
So they all died under the pale moonlight.

When the sun crept over the horizon,
And shone on the monastery below,
The man’s wit returned,
And he saw his blood stained home.

All of the people he had once loved were dead;
A few had been torn to shreds,
Some had been beaten beyond recognition,
And still others had severed heads.

He knew at once that he was to blame,
And he tried to take his life,
But as what happens often in fate’s cruel game,
He found irony in his strife,

For while he could freely murder the innocent,
Nothing could end his heathen life.

He knew that he couldn’t stay at his home,
Smeared with blood and sin,
So he burned the church in ceremony,
And then sought to fight the beast within.

He sought the help of a well-known priest
Whose monastery dwelled in the east.

He begged the priest to seal him away,
So he could not live to kill another day.

The priest knew of one spell,
That eternally bound the creatures of hell,
Though he warned the monk that he would forever sleep,
And that god’s kingdom he would never see.

The monk said it was just as well,
For death would bring him only hell.

The priest solemnly agreed to do the task,
And bound the man with a spell at last.

He lit seven candles big to small,
With one deadly sin inscribed on them all,
Which each represented the monk’s inner beast,
And then laid the poor monk down to sleep.

Then the monk’s body was laid to rest,
In a coffin surrounded by roses and lit incense.

One by one the candles were blown out,
And the spell was completed by a final shout,
Of the priest to God to seal the coffin away,
And the monk’s tomb was shut in the church to stay,
Forever hidden from mortal gaze.

There the monk dreamed for ages,
Of the sins he had committed in the past,
And the years crept by, one by one,
Until his story faded into legend and myth.

A hundred years later,
A woman with scarlet hair,
Journeyed to the monk’s tomb,
With a scroll of prayer.

Her complexion was fair,
Her heart was true,
Her soul shone bright,
Behind eyes of blue.

She opened the door
To the room unaware,
That the monk from the past,
Was resting there.

She had mistaken the room,
For the church’s basement,
Where she wished to return,
Her scroll to a silver casement.

She whistled a hymn from the morning sermon,
As she lit the candles one by one.

The light revealed a bare room,
Save one broken shelf and a wooden tomb.

Just when she wondered who rested there,
The monk from the past arose from his sleep,
And his gaze fell upon the maiden fair.

“What happened; is this a dream?”
He asked the trembling woman before him.

She shook her head and replied shakily,
“No, this is modern London.”

She then gained the courage to ask,
“Who are you and why are you here?”

The monk mournfully replied,
“I am here because I can never die.”

“The priest, Sir. Mathen, put me under a spell,
so I could never again do the works of hell.”

“I hoped here forever my body would lie,
but now I wish that I could have died.”

“Eternal sleep torments me,
and now heaven’s grace I will never see.”

The fair lady,
Felt pity for the man,
And she caressed his face,
With her gentle hand.

“Oh dear sir,
how sad this is,
to say that you wish
that you had never lived!”

“What is it that you could have done
that makes you want to die so much?”

“The lord forgives,
this I know,
so don’t be sad good sir,
please don’t!”

The man’s heart was stirred,
And tears came fourth,
For the gentle woman,
Was the only person in one hundred years,
That had tried to reach out to him.

He took her hands in his own,
And drew her slender body close.

“Oh precious thing,
your words are sweet,
they stir my soul and heart alike.”

“I am deeply moved that you care for me,
but I must live a cursed life,
because I have killed in cold blood,
and I do not deserve your love.”

Just then the beast within awoke,
And the monk’s eyes turned from green to red,
For he saw the woman’s veins pulsing beneath her flesh,
And sinful thoughts rushed through his head.

He gently pushed the lass aside,
And begged her to run and leave him be,
To suffer alone in solitude,
For the rest of eternity,

For he could not control the monster,
That hid beneath his immortal flesh,
But the girl refused to leave his side,
And took his hands in her own instead.

“Oh, poor creature I will help you battle,
whatever beast dwells within your tainted heart,
so let me help you and I give you my word,
that my faith in you will never part.”

The monk’s thirst grew wild but he held it back,
As the girl laid her hands upon his chest,
And prayed for his pious soul,
To be released from the icy grip of Cain.

The monk’s body felt weighted down,
And he was forced slowly to the concrete ground,
As the woman with heart brave and true,
Prayed for his soul black and crude.

Then a miracle occurred that day,
That the monk could scarce believe himself,
For an angel appeared before the girl,
And lent her heaven’s help.

The angel sung an ancient song,
That shook the beast within the monk,
And he fell to the floor hastily,
Convulsing from the shock.

The angel with silver robes,
And hair as white as winter snow,
Moved her hands above the good monk’s body,
As quick as they could go.

She smiled at the woman,
Who watched in awestruck wonder,
As she separated the bloodhound from the man,
With a flash of magic thunder.

The beast howled and growled,
And gnawed upon its own front paws,
As the angel sealed it away forevermore,
Beyond the realm of hell’s front door.

The monk gasped his first mortal breath,
That he had taken in one hundred years,
And then he proceeded to weep,
Many joyful tears,
As the angel gave a humble bow,
And then a smile filled with love,
Before returning to God’s kingdom,
In the mystic realm above

Then the young woman with scarlet hair,
Caught a glimpse of the young monk laying there.

His dark hair had turned to a beautiful blonde,
And his eyes to a frosty mint green,
The color had returned to his skin,
And had turned dark red around his cheeks.

The woman helped the monk off the ground,
And the two gazed in each other’s eyes for the first time.

The young monk stroked the woman’s hair,
And took her hands in his own,
For his happiness was more than he could contain;
The woman smiled warmly,
And gently stroked the young man’s face,
And the monk and priest’s daughter,
Fell in love that day.

The two left the church,
And settled in the countryside,
Where they both worked the land,
And were married in due time.

The monk loved the woman,
Who had saved his mortal life,
And the priest’s daughter,
I must admit, made a lovely wife.

Both were blessed,
Though both had sinned,
And were given never ending life.

As for the she beast,
Who had cursed the monk,
Five hundred years ago,
In a town in Northern Ireland,
Before the autumn leaves turned to snow,

The monk found her and all her kin,
Sealed away in unmarked tombs,
That his lovely wife had traced,
And they both later exhumed.

On a faded scroll,
Placed upon the she beast’s grave,
Were the words, “For my friend,”
Left without a date or name.

Some say it was the souls of the priests,
That the monk had killed long ago,
Who finally found their peace,
By sealing the evil in the ground below,

Still others say it was the angel,
Who helped the pious man,
By banishing all the evil spirits
To cursed and untouched lands.

But this I will leave up to you to decide,
Because the true message of this tale,
Is that where evil is present,
Good will always prevail.

Published Work In Enchanting Horrors

Two of my writing pieces were published in the short story collection, Enchanting Horrors: More Tales From the Darkest Corners of the Web!

I Published a Short Story and Poem In Enchanting Horrors: More Tales From the Darkest Corners of the Web

The book collection put together by Kenneth Kohl.

My poem, ‘Social Disconnection’ appears on page 169.

My story, ‘The Tale of Applena’ appears on page 173.

My short story, ‘The Tale of Applena’ and my poem, ‘Social Disconnection’ have been published in this literary collection.

You can purchase the collection from this link:

You can purchase it from Amazon at this link:

Here is the Kindle edition:

Here is the Barnes & Noble link: Here is the Barnes & Noble link:

Published Two Stories in Delightful Horrors

Two of my writing pieces were published in the short story collection, Delightful Horrors: Tales From the Darkest Corners of the Web!

I Published Two Stories In Delightful Horrors: Tales From the Darkest Corners of the Web

The book collection was put together by Kenneth Kohl.

My story, ‘Don’t Eat The Sandwiches’ appears on page 5.

My story, ‘Paranormal HQ TV’ appears on page 115.

Two of my stories, ‘Don’t Eat The Sandwiches’ and ‘Paranormal HQ TV’ have been published in this literary collection.

You can purchase the collection from this link:

You can purchase it from Amazon at this link:

Here is the Kindle edition:

Here is the Barnes & Noble link:

The Many Troubles of Prince Ackeyun

Prince Ackeyun of the kingdom of Dagwan had forty wives. He had so many wives that he didn’t know what to do with all of them.

The Many Troubles of Prince Ackeyun

A short story by Emma Lee Downs.

Summary: Prince Ackeyun is forced to marry the princesses of the neighboring kingdoms to keep treaties between the kingdoms alive. But one day he comes up with a plan to free himself from his unfortunate fate.

Original Link 1:

Original Link 2:


The Many Troubles of Prince Ackeyun

By: Emma Lee Downs

Prince Ackeyun of the kingdom of Dagwan had forty wives. He had so many wives that he didn’t know what to do with all of them. Every time another wife was offered to him as a symbol of peace from one of the neighboring countries, he could not refuse their father’s marriage invitations. All of the kingdoms of the world of Iregeya wanted peace with his kingdom because he had resources they each craved.

Marrying into the resources was the best way for the other kingdoms to have access to them without being forced to sign a proper treaty. Thus, poor Prince Ackeyun was stuck with forty wives from the most known kingdoms of the world. The only thing he could think to do with his wives was give them a good place to stay.

He placed each of the women in the Grand Halls that rested at the back of his palace. The Grand Halls had been built by one of his ancestors long ago to accommodate the imperial harem. The multiple chambers had great columns made of black stone that rose for what seemed like miles into the sky. At the top and base of the columns were the carved images of griffins.

Each of the griffins had painted red eyes which stood in contrast to their otherwise black, carved, stone forms. The roof was made of black wood and laid in a crisscross pattern over the columns. On the roof of the grand halls were the painted images of the God Ravin Mon, with his eagle wings outstretched and his feet grasping at the threads of the universe with his hooked talons.

The walls were decorated with complicated hieroglyphics that the ancient kings had once written in. Sitting next to the upraised hieroglyphics was a writing script that the kingdom still used. The hieroglyphics were a window into the past. The only way they could be deciphered was by the modern script that was written on the gold walls in red ink. The ancient language had long been forgotten and the Grand Halls was one of the only places in the kingdom that they could still be found.

There were multiple natural hot springs that were built into the layout of the Grand Hall. Each of the hot springs was circled by a dark ring of stones and had black, steep steps built down into them. The stairs stopped at the bottom of each spring, where they met a natural rock floor. The hall lead out into many gardens that were watered with an ancient pipe system that ran underneath the city.

Multiple pipes drew water out of a river that snaked into the mountains far to the east of the kingdom. The water in the pipes was partitioned throughout the palace and other areas of the kingdom. It was used for everything from fountains and sprinkler systems to bathtub water and even running water for toilets.

The Grand Hall had many rooms that were each decorated according to the taste of the princess that lived in them. Some of the rooms had lavish sofas with many pillows of silk and cotton atop them that the princesses used as cushions for their beds. Some of the rooms had four posted beds with canopies that held rose petals above them as they slept. Some rooms had grand carpets made of thread that only traveling merchants from faraway lands had access to before being brought to the palace.

Never in one place had anyone in those days and days since seen so many rooms with so many different adornments. The princesses had many servants that attended to their needs and lived with them in their imperial chambers. The rooms were large enough to accommodate as many assistants as the princesses needed.

The prince took very good care of his wives. Whatever they asked, he would do everything in his power to provide for them, no matter what the distance away the item was that they desired, or how much it would cost. Some would say that Prince Ackeyun was very lucky to have as many wives as he did that he could call upon any time he felt lonely.

However, the truth of the matter was that it was very hard work trying to please all of his wives. He often found himself with a quite a big headache at the end of the day. As if dealing with the matters of the kingdom was not hard enough, he also had to worry about his forty wives.

His father and mother were still alive, so some of the country’s burden was lifted from his shoulders. Even so, Prince Ackeyun was aware that this ideal situation would not last forever. He could only imagine how things would be when he had the full rights to the throne. If the countries of Iregeya kept marrying him off to their daughters, he wouldn’t have any time to himself at all. This troubled him greatly and often made him feel overwhelmed.

Prince Ackeyun was trying to think of a solution to his problem on one such occasion when he noticed one of the princesses walking unescorted in his palace’s main garden. He immediately sat up from the grassy knoll where he was sitting and walked over to greet her.

He bowed slightly forward and said in a courtly manner, “My lady, you should not be walking outside the boundaries of the imperial harem without an attendant to guide you. There are many countries jealous of my wealth. You could very well be captured by one of my enemies if you wander around the palace gardens unescorted.”

The lady sat down in the grass, pulling her many skirts around her frame. She smiled up at the prince.

“Your highness, you do not have to worry about me. I come from a warrior nation to the northeast of Dagwan. I have been well trained in the art of war. I was going to be a general in my army until my father sent me here.”

When she saw the prince’s look of shock at her sudden forwardness she quickly added, “Oh dear, I didn’t mean for it to sound as though I didn’t want to come here. I was just trying to let you know that you don’t have to worry about me.”

The prince sighed and sat beside her.

“I wish that the really were the case. It would be nice if I didn’t have to worry about you all of the time. However, the laws of this land dictate that I give you the greatest of care. I am responsible for your well-being. I must make sure that you are well housed or I shall be thought of as an irresponsible member of the royal house when it comes time for me to rule this land. ”

The princess looked ashamed for wandering around by herself, after hearing what the prince had told her.

She said, “It was not my intention to cause you worry or to be a burden to you. I just thought you should know that I am more than capable of taking care of myself. No one would look down upon you if they knew how capable I was of being my own master.”

The prince didn’t know quite what to say to the princess’s revelation. However, the longer he gazed into the princess’s eyes the more her words stirred something inside of him. His thoughts turned to his current situation.

He thought to himself, “Why couldn’t that be true? Why couldn’t I just let my wives worry about themselves? They were all formally trained before they arrived at the palace. This princess might really be onto something here.”

It occurred to the prince that what he was thinking was just crazy enough of an idea to work. He really did wish that the princesses could be free and happy outside of his care. His plan was one way of accomplishing this lofty task. Prince Ackeyun realized that he had been quiet for a long time and smiled tenderly at the princess.

“My lady, if I made you a general in my army, would that please you? You couldn’t be my wife, but I would pay you for your services. You could make an honest living doing something that you love. Would this make you happy?”

The princess’s eyes lit up in wonder.

“I could be a general in your army, and do whatever I wished and married whoever I wanted to?”

The prince nodded.

“That is correct. Anything you wanted, you could do as a free member of my royal house. What do you say?”

The princess hugged the prince.

“Oh, I would like that very much! Can I be a general now? I want to enlist in your army as soon as possible!”

The prince stood from the grass.

“Indeed you can. I shall proclaim you as a new head general straight away! Come with me to the Chamber of Warlords at the southern end of my palace. We shall fit you with armor and a sword this very day!”

The princess hopped up from her place on the grass and followed the prince to the royal Chamber of Warriors. When the prince explained the situation to the head general of the Royal Army, the men that had overheard the conversation thought he had completely lost his mind.

Nonetheless, the general followed the prince’s orders and the men in the prince’s army accepted the lady as their superior. The princesses was fitted with armor, given a horse, given a proper weapon, and was enlisted as a general in the royal army. In time, she became a legend in the palace tournaments. People came from all over the kingdom to watch her joust and display her warrior skills in other fighting tournaments. Everyone in the kingdom was impressed by her skill.

When the other princesses learned of Princess Moryana’s fate, they too wanted a position in the palace. One by one the prince gave the princesses titles in the palace. Some became advisers. Some became admirals in the kingdom’s navy fleet. Some became council members. Some became royal seamstresses. Others became royal chefs. Pretty soon the whole palace was filled with an equal number of men and women carrying out every level of task imaginable. Some of the princesses left the castle and worked as governors in neighboring towns. Others worked in neighboring cities as Council members, or soldiers in other parts of the kingdom.

Prince Ackeyun had finally rid himself of the responsibility of looking after so many wives. Now he could focus on choosing on wife that he really loved, rather than looking after an entire imperial harem. Some of the royal family members of the other kingdoms of Iregeya discovered what prince Ackeyun had done and were not pleased.

The ruler of the elementals, King Leighton of Joziah kingdom, could not believe that his daughter Moryana was working as a general in the king’s army. The Satyr King Ignacio of Valentia Kingdom could hardly believe that his eldest daughter Rhea had become an imperial baker. This was very troubling to many of the kings of the various nations. No one had ever heard of such a thing in their entire lives of living on the world. It was totally unprecedented.

It came to pass that there was a council between the kings of the countries that had married their daughters to Prince Ackeyun. It took a month for all of them to meet at the designated place, but when they all got together they were more furious than ever. The kings had decided to hold their meeting in the kingdom of Gaige since it was a neutral kingdom. The fairy king Bael was the ruler of Gaige and was chosen by all of the other kings to be the head of the council. After everyone had settled into their chairs in the great council room, the kings began to address their grievances one by one.

The Troll King Davon of Blaise Kingdom growled between clenched teeth, “Do you know what my daughter Yanet is doing? She is working as a palace administrator. She is doing a job below her station. This is an outrage!”

The Dwarf King Maxton of Shudra Kingdom waved his hand dismissively.

“That’s nothing. My daughter Honora is working as a royal carriage driver. Can you believe it? She wrote me and told me that she is going to marry a dwarf man that tends the royal stables. What does that Prince Ackeyun think he is doing?”

The pale-skinned Fairy King Bael raised his staff to silence the muttering that was being exchanged between all of the members of the council. He gestured for the gnome king to speak his piece when the chattering had settled down.

The Gnome King Framend of Arlo Kingdom stood up in his chair and bellowed at the top of his lungs so everyone could hear, “The lot of you do not even know what suffering means. My daughter Teegan has become a head member of the royal sewing committee. Her greatest power is commanding the other woman of the sewing committee to make carpets for the palace, bed sheets, or clothes! I tell you, this young prince is an upstart. If it weren’t for his resources, I would have never sent my daughter to live in his kingdom in the first place!”

The council room echoed with the voices of the other angry fathers as they tried to speak about their grievances all at once. The Fairy King Bael raised his staff above his head and held it until the council was in order.

He proceeded to say, “It seems to me, that the prince thinks that his marriage to our daughters was some kind of joke. I say that we attack his kingdom, reclaim our daughters, and take his resources for ourselves.”

The council members all shouted words of approval and that is how the whole world turned against poor Prince Ackeyun, quite literally. Princess Moryana heard rumors of the impending war and told the prince about it straight away. The prince was shocked at the news. After talking with the other members of his council (many of them the princesses of the other kingdoms who intended to attack his land) he decided that he had no choice but to go to war.

King Leighton of Joziah set a time and place for the battle to end all battles. Prince Ackeyun accepted the invitation reluctantly under the guidance of his council and headed out to rage war with the other kingdoms. Many of the princesses the rode into battle at his side were commanders, admirals, and generals in his army. When he arrived on the battlefield, a curious thing happened. The gathered armies recognized the princesses by the country flags waving from the back of their chariots and refused to advance.

The Elemental King turned to the other kings commanding their vast armies and said, “We cannot fight a battle against our own daughters. We must think of another solution to this problem.”

The other kings agreed and had their generals waved the red flag of peace. One by one the red flags rose in the air. Never had there been such a display of red banners all in one place before! So it came to pass that the war that had taken over a year for each side to correlate and train for was disbanded in less than a day. Finally, King Leighton of Joziah and the kings of the other nations had a council meeting in the kingdom of Prince Ackeyun. Each of them expressed their grievances and the prince listened to the complaints of each one. When everyone was done talking the prince had this to say.

He stood from his throne and said, “Every one of you kings married your daughters to me in order to have access to my resources. Each of you has had free access to my resources without a formal trade agreement for many years. I have provided each and every one of your daughters a promising role in my kingdom. I would like to add that each of them is compensated for their services. All I can say is that if you are so angry with the way I am treating your daughters, you should be angrier at yourselves for handing them over to me for your own selfish purposes in the first place. May shame be upon any man who wishes to deprive his daughter of the good fortune they have found in my lands for no other reason than to save their own pride.”

The kings were shocked at what the prince had brought to light. They all muttered amongst themselves and finally came to the mutual agreement that the prince was right and that his solution had been the most just of anyone there. That very day, the prince drew up a peace treaty with all of the nations present. He also signed a free trade agreement, so there wouldn’t be any more daughters forced upon him to marry. That is how prince Ackeyun freed himself from being tied down to forty wives.

It is said that other kingdoms followed his example. Women became powerful members in government and were free to choose their husbands across the world of Iregeya. After having so many wives, prince Ackeyun never thought he would settle down and marry. However, when his mother and father died, he was obligated to find a wife after taking the throne. His thoughts returned to the princess that had given him the advice in the first place that fateful day in the palace garden.

He married the lady Moryana and he made sure that she still held the title of general in his army. The only thing that changed was that this time around, she was the royal general. They say that never in the world of Iregeya was there a fiercer a warrior than she. She had many children with prince Ackeyun who also became warriors.

From that moment on, it became a tradition for all the princes and princes of the house of Dagwan to become warriors for their kingdom. None of them had to keep an imperial harem so the old space was turned into a lavish guest hall for travelers to say in when they were far from the borders of their own kingdoms. Dagwan became known as the kingdom that had the best hospitality and most secure resources because of the decision to disband the imperial harem by Prince Ackeyun and his children that followed after.