“Now class today we are going to study Vietnam,

A war in which no one won.”

Oh great another boring lesson I thought as I shut my eyes,

Soon I drifted, back in time before I even realized.

It wasn’t the fact I didn’t like history,

But over the years I learned so much it was no longer a mystery.

It was such a beautiful day outside not too cool nor too hot,

Oh how I wish I were in a fantasyland that time forgot.

“Our valiant soldiers sought only peace,

But in the USA there was rioting in the streets.”

I looked around where was I?

Then I screamed as bombs burst in the sky.

I ran and ran in which direction I did not know,

Would I land in the arms of friend or foe?

My heart beat so fast, I was gasping for breath,

But onward I ran for fear of death.

A massive green vine lined the jungle floor,

I stumbled falling, falling, time held no meaning as I landed in front of a door.

It was so beautiful here so peaceful and quiet,

The day had disappeared and I could see numerous stars in the sky.

I was undecided as I grasped the handle,

Opening it slowly I spied a lit candle.

“Hello,” I shouted is anyone at home?”

Through the echoes that answered I realized I was alone.

I had in my mind to reach the candle, maybe do some exploring,

Only two steps had I moved till I heard the snakes warning.

So awesome in size huge and green,

Red shiny eyes the biggest I had ever seen.

It wasn’t a Cobra though it displayed a huge hood,

Why hadn’t it struck? It was so close I knew it could.

It had rattles upon its thickened tail,

My heart thumped wildly as I watched this vision from hell.

It opened its mouth razor sharp fangs glistening,

But instead of the bite I expected it started hissing.

I looked around and more of these snakes came in sight,

Over and over I expected them too bite.

I was too terrified to even let go with a scream,

Somebody please awaken me from this nightmarish dream.

There had to be at least twelve all together,

And my curiosity had sealed my fate forever.

The room was covered now I had nowhere to go,

As if on cue they all moved to the side and I spotted another door in the candles glow.

Red shiny eyes stared throughout the room,

And one false move would seal my doom.

Then a voice echoed though it was hard to understand,

But it sounded like it said they were mine to command.

“We have waited for you the one that can rescue our Lady,

Save her from harm, for she is but a baby.”

“The secret lies in the other room, but we cannot help,

This puzzle must be solved all by yourself.”

But it was the master snake, whose voice had spoke,

And it occurred to me that someone was playing a joke.

“If you cannot help then how can you be under my command,” was my request,

Only in this room can we help, we can give you clear passage,” he confessed.

“Any other their fate is sealed for we can keep them out,”

“In that respect you have nothing to worry about.”

“Take the candle for we have no need of it’s light”

“We can see in the darkest of night.

But beware once you enter the door to the other domain,

Until you return here our memory will not remain.”

“Look around before you enter, what would you take with thee?

Look, look, survey this room very carefully.”

Suddenly a bright light lit the whole room,

And a harp in the corner began to play a tune.

It was small in size and it had a strap with which to carry,

It was adorned with a rainbow of colors and the emblem of a fairy.

She was so beautiful with golden hair to her feet,

Diamonds replaced her eyes and an emeralds heart beat.

I picked it up and strapped it on my shoulder,

And for some reason I felt so much bolder.

Suddenly my skin began to take on a glow,

It was if I was covered by a bright halo.

Time was wasting I seemed to think I was ready,

Until I heard the master snake laughing so steady.

“No milady you best look some more,

Be really sure before you head through the door.”

A silver goblet rolled towards me from a table in the center,

And as I picked it up the master snake said,” Now you may enter.”

“Lady please be careful we are all depending on you,

Release our little lady from the spell of doom.”

I took a deep breath and slowly opened the door,

“What’s this?” I thought, nothing but a bare room with old wooden boards.

I stepped farther in and the door slammed behind,

Startled I jumped, and as I looked around no door could I find.

Banshees wail a terror to behold,

As it caught on a current of wind my blood ran cold.

I could hear the sound of many wolves as they howled at the moon,

And the echoes of a witch woman as she foresaw my doom.

The light had faded from the harp and the goblet filled with crimson blood,

The master snake had tricked me and my tears began to flood.

“Let me out, let me out release me, from this cold,

Please save me, please don’t let her steal my soul,”

A child’s voice but from which direction did it come?

It was so cold in here my body ached and my fingers were numb.

All my light had gone why did the harp desert me now?

I tried to throw it down but it held tight somehow.

I had to get out of here before I was unable to move at all,

Slowly, step-by-step I moved, then I began to fall.

Over and over spinning round and round,

And when I landed I hid cold hard ground.

I took a step forward and began to slide down a hill,

Down, down, down, and though I tried to stop it pulled me against my will.

Voices, laughing, screaming, shouting, coming from the insane,

And from, well I guess it was a ceiling, came blood drops of rain.

They spattered against the floor, crimson red blood,

I was slipping and sliding as I tried to run.

A noise to my right a wolf, fanged teeth bared,

Then to the left, and then they were everywhere.

Blood dripped from their razor sharp fangs,

And their red eyes glowed as snakes crawled through their manes.

They flapped their hoods and spit a white liquid venom,

As they opened their mouths I heard the child’s voice in them.

“Help me, help me, please release me from this cold,

Please, please, don’t let them steal my soul.”

They pounced on me but as I went down, the harp played a magical tune,

And somehow, somewhere, I entered another room.

It was filled with gold, pile upon pile, everywhere that could be seen,

So much treasure here light shone from the gleam.

In the center a cup a golden band with a rolled up note in the midst,

And in the distance the sound of the master snakes hiss.

    “Choose wisely lady, which will you choose?

Which will save the child, and which will bring her doom?”

Only you have the answer the key to save her soul,

Her life or death only you have total control.

The goblet throbbed a heartbeat of blood,

And the harp began to play a tune of love.

Sometime in the past I had heard that song,

The harp began to glow as I hummed along.

“Choose, choose, choose already,” a chant began,

I had already decided and I reached out my hand.

Should I choose wrong I would seal the child’s fate,

As I held my hand over each pile of gold I felt an immense hate.

No, the gold wasn’t the answer it had the power of greed,

I touched the note in the cup and I heard the child weep.

Had I chosen wrong? Nay I couldn’t have for the note uncurled,

And in the center of the room a vision of a small girl.

She was frozen in ice and it was hard to make her features,

And though I tried to touch her I could not reach her.

The note, perhaps it held the clue,

Perhaps if I read it would tell me what to do.

“My dearest love it is time for me to go,

Oh if only I could stay to watch our little one grow.

I can feel her heartbeat and the way she kicks inside,

If only I could stay just one more sunrise.”

“This war in which we face is not of my choice,

Though I must fight, I will always remember your voice.”

They way you tell me you love me, and you will forever wait,

Soon my love I shall return you are my fate.”

That’s it that was all there was to the note?

No help, no clues, that’s all he wrote?

Suddenly I could hear his scream as bombs fell from the sky,

And I could hear him call her name right before he died.

I heard her screams as she sensed his death,

In the middle of childbirth she died as her child gained breath.

She had willed her child’s soul to be with her lover for eternity,

Her child must have a name before her soul would be free.

“Starsfire, starsfire, kept running through my mind,

Though I sought other names that was the one I really tried.

The ice began to thaw, the harp continued to play its love song,

And the goblet filled with sweet nectar that it held all along.

The blood in the goblet would forever remain a mystery,

But when I looked again I was in class once again learning history.

Man what a dream it felt good to be back in class again,

But on my desk I was shocked to find a note wrapped in a gold band.

“Little girl, honey what’s wrong,” the teacher turned to see,

In the doorway stood a small child and she was looking straight at me.

She came to me held out her hand; in it lay a small harp,

“Thank you, this is for you, from the bottom of my heart.”

The class was astonished for before our very eyes,

The harp played a tune and the little girl twinkled as she was transported to the sky.

She’s at peace now that her soul has been reclaimed,

And she seems to love Starsfire her newly given name.

© Cynthia Clark

6/1/2002 11:36:46 PM


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