Friga’s Day Flash Fiction: Howl at the Stars

Jake-looks-at-stars searched the skies for signs, using his magicks to guide his pack to safety. Fortunately, the skies were clear, the stars and moons bright this night. Jake-looks-at-stars was both magician and werewolf, a powerful astromancer who consulted the stars on the best path to take, letting them speak to him in their twinkling, silent majesty. The pack was lost in this strange valley, and needed to regain its way.

So many mighty suns, so far away, and yet he knew them by name, every fixed point, every wanderer, every constellation like his late grandfather, mighty Dunnar-howls-at-clouds did in his time as chief magician of the clan.

He could see most of them by naked eye, and more by the use of his enchanted glass, convex pieces of crystal in a metal tube he carried. Perhaps he could later use his arts to craft one more powerful still.

The constellation of the owl was far to the North, and its central star would be just over the pole, shimmering and flickering with its pale blue radiance on this cold, dry night. Auroras shifted and flickered across the sky.

Jake-looks-at-stars shifted the paw of his left arm to human form as he changed — claws were useful for battle, but clumsy for tool use — he was one of the very few who could selectively shift his form.

“Jake,” His sister, Jennek-thinks-too-much said in his diminutive, “The pack needs to move soon. How much more time do you need?” Jennek was the clan’s archivist, holding the clan’s oral traditions handed down over the ages, but got her name for her proneness for self-doubt and worry. In a culture with little use of written language, save the signs and sigils of a magician, she was a valuable asset, and a brilliant one at that.

“Only a few seconds left. Still figuring out what the constellation of the bat is trying to tell me as it crosses the sky this time of the year… There!” He said triumphantly, “We can go this way across the valley,” he pointed a finger due West toward a pass on the near side of the valley, “Follow the third moon and move here across the path of the grey wanderer three arc seconds from the wing of the bat. They shall lead us to our goal, and then we can regroup and avenge our grandfather.”

He put down his enchanted crystal, placing it in a leather case he harnessed across his back when in both human and wolf forms. He shifted fully to wolf and howled to alert the pack, far below in the valley. Seconds passed, then another howl answered him, from the pack’s alpha. Message received.

Jake-looks-at-stars and Jennek-thinks-too-much loped on all fours down the mountain lookout point to join their comrades…

They would gather, regain their strength, and then vengeance would be theirs.

James Randi: Thoughts About God

The Amazing Randi gives his thoughts from a refreshing perspective of modesty that Troythulu can only hope to emulate (being this blog’s resident Eldritch Entity™ only does so much for one’s humility…) on the topic of religion and religious belief, and why he suspects they came about, what purpose they originally served, and to some perhaps still serve. The discussion about driving animals, like dogs, nuts with conjuring tricks he performs, is amusing and illuminating with it’s implications that human cognitive limits are not so different from those of other species, with surprising parallels between us and them. It’s cool how the uniqueness of humans is seeming not so unique after all.