Authors Note: This is a very rough draft of this upcoming work. However, readers should feel free to leave comments with suggestions since this is in progress. It isn’t especially clear how it is related to The Bow of Hart Saga but it will show that as I post more of this series.
Dugon’s mind was a distant force in his head, urging him to answer the Avatara. But her intoxicating fragrance numbed his thoughts as he stared into morning light where she bathed, standing back to him in her holy pool. Tanashtra, the Avatara paused, turning her head but part way, waiting for his answer while she gazed over her shoulder.
“I..,” he began weakly.
“Why was my veil not guarded more strongly? What will I wear? Shall I go naked before the people when I bless them?” she repeated her question, adding more. Her long, golden hair was pulled up and shimmered in the sunlight blazing through her thin curtains as she turned her head away and poured water down her back. The man stared open-mouthed at the water washing down her smooth skin like a thirsty man transfixed by the first sight of an oasis in the desert.
Dugon was her chief guardsman at this, the Temple of Garasha, home to the Avatara, Goddess in the Body. He started to answer but she cut him off, “Do you wish your Goddess to go about unadorned?” Her voice was neither angry nor sad; indeed, the Avatara always spoke with the most even, alluring voice. But the question confused Dugon who stood dumbly, hand forgotten upon his sword hilt, gazing at the Avatara’s unashamed nakedness.
Tanashtra poured more water upon herself, waiting for his reply.
Dugon did not understand. The veil was her only raiment, covering her from head to ankle and all who saw the Avatara saw all of her beauty through the gossamer thin cloth.
“The guards – they thought nothing of the monk – he came to check the room…” Dugon stammered out his weak response, still staring, lusting for the Avatara’s beauty, her aroma clouding his mind.
“Come closer,” Tanashtra waved him forward and he did. “Closer,” she repeated softly.
Dugon stepped to the edge of the shallow pool, his mind distantly shouting a warning to him, his heart beat wildly with the thrill of her nearness. Her fragrance washed over the soldier as he swayed.
“Do you wish to see your Goddess unadorned?” continued Tanashtra. She turned, revealing herself to Dugon. “Do you wish to kiss your Goddess?” Her full lips pursed in slight enticement. He moaned, unable to speak, eyes wide, staring.
The Avatara reached up caressing his face. Dugon’s eyes closed in ecstasy. The pale hand slid down to his throat.
Warning screamed from a great distance in his thoughts.
A single scream erupted. The guards in the hallway jumped.
“Guards,” called the Avatara, her voice calm and melodious.
The men entered, finding their commander, Dugon, dead upon the floor, rigid, eyes staring.
“Dugon has given himself to become a message,” Tanashtra commented casually, “take him to the scribes and tell them I shall send my words shortly.”
The guardsmen hesitated gazing at the Avatara’s beauty as she continued her bathing. Fear struck them and they lowered their eyes, and then dragged Dugon’s body from the Avatara’s rooms while murmuring that she be blessed.
In moments her brown-robed chief monks padded through the gold-inlaid doors, eyes wide in lustful adoration but faces etched with fear. They knew they must find the one from among them who stole the Avatara’s veil; Sramsurash was a walking dead man.
The End of Part 1
About the Author
H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.
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