The Centaur Stories Picture

Greek mythology, all twisted around. Access it by downloading! I'm sorry you have to download it :c You can another copy below!

Few animals popped in for fun.

-E




Centaurs. It is the word that fills my mind, except it doesn’t quite capture these animals, the beasts set in front of me. From the sleek elegance in their slim, fine-boned legs, the muscles lining their backs, the pride in their faces, they are so much more than any story, any legend. They spin around me, bodies of fine silken gold and cream, black so deep it becomes sparkling navy blue, glowing burnished chestnut, iron gray dappled snow white. Eyes of warm brown and crystal blue, human bodies encased in leather like odd beetles, their equine hides equipped with dangerously glittering swords and arrows, and not to forget the blue handprints and painted symbols bright and vivid against the simplicity of their coats.

Tonight these warriors laugh and dance, drink their spiced, fermented wines and tell their stories, as is their culture. But first comes ribbons, they tie it around their hands and their heavy bodies move, hooves stepping in intricate patterns unknown to I, and they whisper words unknown to me, and the musky scent of magic appears on the sweet mint air, heavy and thick. Silence falls, and all the beasts of the forest quiet, as the drummers begin on their pulled, tan-hide drums, the steady thump enveloping the forest until the trees are quivering and the birds are singing as one, the wolves are howling and the bears are growling, the deer call their rutting calls even though it is summer, the foxes and coyotes yip.

All of this quiets when the drummers abruptly, unexpectedly, stop.

Hvesta, Chieftess of them, approaches me with kindness but solemness in her eyes, and with such elegance and poise these simple words cannot express, she turns, and her pale soft lips open, parting to call out in the voice of liquid song, “come creatures, come for the time of stories now!”

They come, the small fawn stepping beside doe, stags jewel-eyed and wolves growling softly as one. A bear comes, and another, awkwardly stepping about each other. The lithe-footed fox and swift antelope, oh and the birds coming to flock. Oedipus, the great hunter, steps forth, his beard grizzled, filled with stray silver hairs not found upon his liquid obsidian coat. “Let me tell you the story, the hunt of the fantastical beasts!” He trumpets, rearing with all the grace in the world, his hooves thudding upon the earth. Around him the centaurs echo his cries, and I, so small and so dwarfed by their massive bodies, am just a ghost, unable to connect with these wonderful creatures however hard I may strive.

“Once not so long ago, not only did the unicorn leap and the chimera dance, but the Chiron ran fleet-footed and the Berk as well, a thousand other great monsters. But four in particular were sought after, four prized and four hunted by only the most reckless youngsters and seasoned warriors; the Zork, the Azi, the Poa, and the Yuan. We know these names, and we recoil instinctively, more than we remember them.

“It was the veteran warrior Perseus who first braved the winter of 102, the most bitterly fierce winter to this day, with the cold that stiffened all. Even the hot-blooded satyrs and ram-heads could not gather the energy to run and fly over the woodlands, and so, lethargic, they began to waste away. Our ancestors lost the will to survive, all but Perseus. ‘We must find the Zork, and hunt the beast down until he falls under our swords’, the great man said, but the others, lost in their wandering, deprived minds, said nothing and offered nothing.

“Knowing nothing good would come of this laziness, the bay-horsed youngster galloped off, filled with all items of battle he could carry. He sought out the magnificent unicorns, the tellers of fables, and they whispered to him of the silver snakes, sons of the monster himself. Off he went again, quickening his pace, and soon the forest was cloaked by the serpents, children of the beast. They hissed and thrashed upon their branches, eyes hard, and soon the great sound of coils rustling over leaves could be heard throughout the forest. Alas! It was the great Zork, the body of a monstrous snake and the upper body of a woman. She stood bare-breasted with snakes coiling about her pale porcelain skin, and when she smiled she was so beautiful, despite the sinister curves of her viper body, that a man would be ensnared in her gaze, and so with age would turn to stone.

Perseus shrieked and galloped forward, caught off-guard by the monster’s beauty. He wielded the sword, and with a single stroke and closed eyes, cut off her head. And so the first of the four was slayed, even as her children leapt forward to wrap themselves along his skin. The warrior screamed and flailed, but nothing would dislodge them, and slowly they formed an armor, a reward for his bravery, except for the smallest of them all, golden in scales, who slipped into his leather saddle bag and stayed there, to become his companion for eternity.

“It was this small snake who hissed to him of another animal, one that could better his family even more. For the Zork was but a pretty prize, far from what he expected. He needed thick cloaks and warm skins for his herd, and so he cantered on to another land, a land most different from the deep colors of the woods. The Azis, the sparkling-plumed creatures, were to be found.

“They flocked about him with bright, curious eyes, chittering and squabbling, not looking quite so ferocious at all until Perseus reached out to snatch one up. In an instant, they leapt upon him, pecking and clawing ferociously, until he fled, wondering of these strange creatures. They looked like small dogs, with bright wings, covering in soft sparkling feathers in all the colors of the rainbows, and so he pondered this in curiosity on the sun-struck prairies. At long last, he came to conclusion. For if there was one thing he had noticed, it was their love of themselves. So he found a mirror, but a small pocket one, and raised it to the sky, flashing it back and forth as if a beckon. None came. Mystified, he set it down, and stamped upon it with his hooves in frustration. Immediately they came! He stomped and paraded the entire way, and so bought the affection of the Azis. It seemed they liked music.

“The Poa was a fierce beast, an odd but deadly mixture of jaguar, wolf, snake, and sheep; when it roared it sent the animals running far and wide, and it was said poison dripped from those fangs and sizzled the ground. Indeed it was a hideous monster, so disgusting that to look upon it was to become paralyzed through its ugliness. But it was a jealous, vain, vindictive character as well. As Perseus came towards it, shooting arrow after arrow, eyes slitted to avoid the lethargy-inducing power of its hideousy, the Azis still running behind it, he defeated it unintentionally by beauty- it shrieked and cowered, and so he slayed it swiftly. And then he turned and vomited terribly, disgusted by the monster.

“Inside the Poa when he skinned it and brought its hide around his back, he found a tarnished golden coin, a mystifying artifact left by an unknown centaur- presumably eaten. Encoded within it was a riddle, and upon solving it with the help of the small golden snake, he set off the Yuan. Of all the creatures, the Yuan was the most peaceful, unicorn-like in build but with the mane of a lion and the snubbed tail of a goat, two ram’s horns curling from behind its huge, donkey ears. A warm earth in color, he blended in well, and so Perseus stalked through the mountainous region it inhabited, searching for it in vain. At last he sighed and ready to admit defeat, turned away.

“Luckily for him, the wise creature approached, and spoke to him.

‘Son, you want me dead.’ Jaw dropping in astonishment, the warrior looked upon the talking monster in awe.

‘A-ah yes,’ He stuttered.

‘Take me now, and swiftly. I know it is for your family.’

“Perhaps the deer was not serious, but Perseus stabbed him through the heart in an instant, but things only grew stranger. Flying from his back came the golden snake, who spun around on gilded coils. ‘You kill in cold blood,’ he hissed softly. ‘No! Only for my family!’

“But the snake was gone and the warrior returned home, troubled.

“One week later, he was dead, and his desecendents, too, continued to die after him, until his bloodline no longer remained. But he had saved him family from death in the cold, with the skin of the Yuan and the armor of the snakes, and not to forgot the dead guardian, the Poa.”

The hunter fell silent, and my lips quiver uncertainly. Then I step forward, shuffling the pages of my journal kept in this strange, strange world, and begin to tell the story.

“It all began with the…”

Hands On
Three Fates
The Centaur Stories
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Tsumetai Kokoro Application - Naoki Katsukawa