Vulcan’s Peak

Archive for the 'scribblings' category

Part the Second

May 17, 2005 3:24 pm

A Journey Begins with a Single Butterfly


She had been pacing in the castle garden for a full hour, watching the butterflies wander past. There is no such thing as a hurried butterfly, but nevertheless, these creatures were imbued with a sense of purpose. Two feet southwest, around a stand of willow trees, ten feet southeast, but always south, always south. She shivered, percieving in some small degree the setting of the sun, bringing one day closer the chill of deep autumn and the inescapable advent of dark winter.

When she had been pacing for over an hour, Merlin found her. His brown robes caught the autumn wind, giving him the appearance of an overgrown butterfly, wandering south towards her with a piece of parchment in his hand. She watched him approach, still pacing. She was going nowhere, but a restless urge in her chest drove her feet to keep moving.

“You’re going to wear holes in your shoes first and those stones shortly after. Or possibly the other way around.”

She stopped and smiled at him. “You didn’t come out here to tell me that.”

“No. A messenger has come from the Pendragon.”

“What could Uther want?”

“He remembers well the incident of Vortigan and the dragons. More to the point, he remembers my role in it and thinks to have me on his side.”

“You’ve been watching him, haven’t you?”

“Crystal balls were made for this, were they not? And it is only wise to keep the powerful where you can see them.”

“Apparently Uther feels the same way.”

“Indeed. You’ve watched the butterflies long enough, my lady. Come. We too are going south.”



May 16, 2005 3:02 pm

As I’ve been working on this twenty page humanities paper, I occaisionally find myself drifting off and unable to focus. Nothing new, this is how I achieved some ungodly tetris scores during 12th grade. Point is that it has occurred to me recently that this would be as good a place as any to share some of my scribblings. Writing them amused me, and so perhaps reading them will amuse you. Comments and criticism is always welcome, of course.

This one I wrote Saturday; there’s a similar one from yesterday that I will post in a day or so.


It spun before her like a soap bubble, delicatly shimmering. She held her breath while she studied it so as not to damage it or chase it away. No chart or table would ever describe this, she knew. Others had attempted to diagram destiny, but none had ever been lauded as a success. One, an old graybeard who had organized his brain through a system of binomial nomenclature, had developed a system resembling stop-motion photography, compiling diagram upon diagram as this manifestation of destiny flowed and twirled. Of course, he could no more capture the movement of his subject than a manipulated bit of clay can emulate the grace of a ballerina.

Another had written elaborate equations, Greek symbols flowing from her pen. But when the action of writing the equation better describes the subject than the equation itself, can one claim to have succeeded?

Arcane symbols had been developed and arranged in strange, meaningful patterns. Theses had been written and rewriten and some of the best minds of the land had been driven mad trying to describe the undescribable. Because destiny is not a sentence, and cannot be diagramed in the dimensions we know.

Still she sat, trying to wrap her mind around the bubble floating above her outstretched hands. Through it, she could see the open window and the last vestiges of twilight fading into darkness. The purples and blues in the sky were faintly reflected in the bubble. Are we within a larger destiny-bubble? she wondered.

“If you don’t breathe, you will suffocate,” Merlin told her. Only then did she remember that she was holding her breath. Looking over her shoulder at him, she filled her lungs. “Let destiny go,” he said. “Other matters warrant our more immediate concern.”

With two fingers, she pinched the bubble, popping it. She looked back at Merlin and noticed the shades of twilight reflected in his bright blue eyes. “It doesn’t matter anyway,” she said, though she hadn’t known it until she heard her own words. “Destiny is not kept within that bubbe – no bubble of any size could do that. Destiny is better defined by what is not in the bubble. By the outside world.”

The wizard frowned. “Who could possibly describe the outside world in all its chaos and infinite detail? Generations upon generations might attempt it and still barely begin.”

She smiled, a bright evening star in each eye. “So be it,” she said. “If our work has been worthwhile, their work can only be more so. For if we do not understand our world and ourselves, what are we to do?”


PS. At work we’ve recently (and by recently I mean since January or so…) been helping students who are using MovableType blogs for various class projects. Somehow last night this reminded me that I actually do know how to manipulate my own template. Note the sidebar.


December 10, 2003 12:39 am

I added a couple of poems to the Wordsmiths site last night. They’re kind of an odd pair, but there ’tis. Feedback welcome! – either as comments or as e-mail.