The Sublime – A Short Story – #Eugi’s Weekly

Image credit: gene1970 / Pixabay

One hundred sixty kilometers west of a village called Nah, lies an enchanted oasis ruled by a powerful Werehyena—a shapeshifter, who could take on the persona of animals at will. His best and most fearsome visage was that of a stag, which the locals called, “The Sublime.” Its massive rack, five meters high festooned his ten-meter tall frame. His gaze penetrated the soul. Hunters who had first discovered ‘The Sublime,” over one hundred years ago in the little oasis, told stories of their encounters. One famous story goes as follows:

Once upon a time, a group of weary hunters from Nah got lost in the woods. Panic set in as their homemade flambeau torches flickered and died.

Suddenly, the hunters were enticed by an unusual full moon (unusual, because it was not yet the time of the Full Moon) which guided them unawares, deeper and deeper into the woods, to the oasis.

Suddenly high upon a waterfall made of liquid smoke, a large stag almost 10 meters high, glared menacingly at the hunters. The hunters called the stag “The Sublime” a word in their tribal language that means “beyond the unattainable.”

Without warning, “The Sublime” sped towards the hunting party. Its hooves thundered—kicking up dust spiked with an enchanted eternal sleep potion.

The hunters suddenly felt an unusual cold as the once gentle winds around them swirled with a mighty force. Some of the hunters said that there was an aroma of Morning Glory flowers blooming at Dawn. Others claimed the scent was asafetida. Yet others in the hunting party insisted that the scent was of sulfur.

Then, for some reason unbeknownst to the hunters, “The Sublime” halted his charge toward them.

A fly burst hurriedly into the hunters’ path and to their horror, the fly spoke—in their tribal language:

“Leave this place for good or, “The Sublime” will turn you into a waterfall— forever. Run for your lives! He enchanted me, Lagniappe. I was a warlock from your tribe. I cast a spell in search of immortality. But, “The Sublime” beguiled me. And now, my fate is to speak this warning forever in my present form…until someone believes me. Go now. Take that route—” uttered the fly, turning its body around and pointing to a glowing cypress tree. Then, the fly “Warlock Langiappe” vanished.

Needing little encouragement the brave hunters heeded the warning. They ran as fast as their feet could muster, in the direction the talking fly “Warlock Langiappe” had shown them.

A few moments later…

As they parted the tall cypress tree branches at the edge of the enchanted oasis, to their utter dismay, the hunters discovered that they had traveled a mere eight kilometers from their village.

An elderly man came up the path to greet them as the hunters entered the village after their all-night ordeal of traveling in circles.

Hello Sir,” said the hunting party leader, Tumu: “Can we help you. Where are you from?

“My name is Lagniappe, I have come from long ago and far away; but yet from this very village. You met me earlier and you believed me.

**The End?**

Written for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt – Sublime – April 26, 2022

Published by Suzette Benjamin

Positive thinker, inspirational, writer, faith

60 thoughts on “The Sublime – A Short Story – #Eugi’s Weekly

  1. 🐺Werehyena🐺

    Looks menacing but a welcome diversion from the common werewolves, stories. I just read that they are common in the folklore of the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.
    Fascinating, thanks for introducing us to the weird hyena. I’ve spent hours observing them in the wild. How I miss that life compared to the edginess and the beat I am living in now, where one can feel how the scales of the globe both spiritually and econimically, also politically has been tipped. There is no beauty in the ordinary day to day living anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, traditonal foklore of West Africa with my twist on it using Horn of Africa story telling lore.

      Your point about a former life observing the freedom of nature so far removed now from the whirligigs of city life, struck a chord. Amen!!!

      Like

      1. Oh i wouldn’t have recognised the horn of Africa lore. Well done, I love how the various elements and characters came together. I felt i was in the middle of a passageway eavesdropping.

        It also sent a shudder down my spine because just yesterday i read in a similar area as the picture without the stag of course in my country hikers were attacked on a trail by a group of panga-wielding men. Reading about that incident i just felt myself traveling back in time where men sat along the coast on a mountain top watching for ships coming in too dock. That felt so eery, I struggled to fall asleep having that picture in my mind.

        Whirligigs is an interesting word…Ye!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I like your words..
        “middle of a passageway eavesdropping”
        The perfect summary of the intended “cover” for the oral story telling around a camp fire late at night.

        Danger lurks on the roads at night. True indeed. I would loose sleep over such news. Sorry about that.

        ***Whirligig, a less often used word. I like to slip them in conversation just for the fun of the imagery it conjurs up.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, well said, danger lurks
        One shudder at the violence in the modern era.

        Lol, the word most definitely bring the desired effect. One has to watch out for them. But then when you away from them you long to be back there again, amongst them.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. 🧪A fly burst hurriedly into the hunters’ path and to their horror, the fly spoke—in their tribal language:🧪

    This is such an unusual shift, magnificent actually, and cleverly utilised because they are intelligent like that, wholly irritating as well….but that they can talk is a blast.
    Make the movie 🎬 🎞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that you mention making a movie, here! Lol.
      Yes, its amazing how a fly buzzes in whenever it is not wanted…hmm.. But like most things in this story his appearance was a fortituous shift in the hunters fate…Which you said so well, in your words “unusual shift.” Well spotted, as always.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I think the fly and its stories can make a whole series, even in animation form would be interesting, true to the line of a shapeshiter which we all have inside of us in one way or another.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. 🎊Lagniappe🎊

    I love this word – something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure, – but I’ve not had a blast of a moment to use it, so im quite ecstatic seeing it popping up here in folklore fashion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like this word alot. And yes, it is rare to find uses for it in today’s world. But…you know me.. always kind of “out there” in the linguistic ether pulling, stringing words together from French, Spanish and Patois cultures and making them sound “English” (lol)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol, know thyself
        And how much you do.
        I think it was Mark Twain that brought the word to the English shores.
        That is a wonderful revelation of you. So accomplished.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. 🤗🐺An elderly man came up the path to greet them as the hunters entered the village after their all-night ordeal of traveling in circles.🐺🤗

    I just love this moment in the story and needed to give the old man a huge hug. Thevwriting also reminded me a bit about the return of the prodigal son and the reception his father gave him.

    🇬🇭Tumu🇬🇭, so the story found its roots instead along the west coast?

    🎊My name is Lagniappe, I have come from long ago and far away; but yet from this very village. You met me earlier and you believed me.🎊

    I am so happy to read that their trust paid off and now the warlock is also released from the spell, and he is back home…
    Home sweet home.

    A therapeutic read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The story of the “Prodigal Son” fascinating that you would catch that connection. It was very subtle, really. Your discernment is amazing! Wow!

      So pleased to hear that this story of the folklore of Africa melded into mystical hues, resonated! It is my pleasure to dabble in styles ancient and modern and try to fashion something meaningful to read.
      Blessings to you on this day. Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, thank you. Bible strories were ingrained in me. There was a time that we were only allowed to read these stories. It became constricting hence my frequent visits to libraries when i could slip away on my own. But somehow the ancient of the bible resonates with me in different ways and I am receptive to them when they appear in other forms.
        I find it just an amazing path you are traveling within this literary genre. We need this style in our folklore, it is refreshing. Of course you need to delve into the ancient works to make that shift in our folklore.
        Blessings and Cheers.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes one must lose the shackles, there are many choices at our disposal and of course certain genres will always be favourites since they mirror so many parts of our lives.

        You are most welcome
        Thank you for the fine compliment.
        Cheers.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Suzette, you’ve outdone yourself with this piece. It’s very compelling and rich in language. Every time I read it, I enjoy it more and feel this would make a fabulous movie! Thank you so much for joining in. Brava!

    Liked by 1 person

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