The Swan

Just as Futura had foretold, there was an old woman near to the shore, filling brass goblets with water from the lake. She had wrapped her elderly body in repeated folds of white clothing, observing the black swan as it descended hastily.

Futura’s visions had been accurate. Two children splashed and played by the lake in a manner that thrilled her heart to observe. It was as if she was recalling suppressed memories of playing with her brother in summer Nordic waters. There were no other people about and that was worth noting. Some cattle sat lazily on the shores. A peaceful vista dominated the surrounds. Birds enlivened onshore trees with chattering as they prepared to settle for the oncoming desert night.

Jasmin had descended next to a mesmerizing and beautiful bloom; she extended her human feet to the bottom of the lake; clothed in her heavy monk’s gown she walked laboriously in knee-deep wters towards the old woman.

The elder had seen the black swan descend and touch water; she had observed the bird metamorphose into a human.

“Paramhansa,” she whispered to herself with incredulity, her aged and weakened vision sparkling with renewed sight, her mind alert to an overwhelming event. Aspects of ancient prophecies were materializing before her eyes. She felt astounded and highly privileged.

“I thought she was just a legend!” She possessed fragmented knowledge of the event though Devaji, her old friend and mentor, would have detailed explanations.

The sun was fading; the dull of a warm desert evening announced an arrival. Jasmin struggled in her heavy and soaked clothing to reach land. The children stopped playing. They did not know how she happened to appear.

“Who is that?” asked one of them with undisguised curiosity.

“Paramhansa,” said the old woman in hushed tones. “She is a spiritual soul, who has gone beyond being a human and is loved dearly by the Creator God, Brahma. She travels as Paramhansa, a holy swan and is never out of Brahma’s sight.”


An Excerpt

In my travels, I have encountered peoples of varying cultures and beliefs… to discover that humans, to varying degrees, are not much different to one another. 

In the very early hours of the morning, as the mist cleared and diluted light filtered through grey clouds, they heard voices. Two men walked sluggishly in the direction of the cave. The young woman,invisible to the intruders, observed intently from the shelter of the rocky enclosure. Hastily, they covered the remains of the fire, as that would reveal the presence of Jasmin.

Surprisingly, the men were clothes in garments that were not usual in winter or barren, rocky and snow covered lands. Instead of heavy animal fur that should have covered their bodies, they wore clothing tailored for a religious sect. On their feet, they wore heavy leather boots that were more suitable for seafaring purposes rather than icy terrain. Long disheveled hair and heavy beards dominated their heads and faces making unrecognizable. Their hands were rough and bare. In appearances, they seemed different to the characters the young women had encountered and Lindisfarne though aspects of their personalities were familiar. Jasmin and her companions had to ascertain that the identities were their targets and not some innocents who resembled the murderers at the monastery.

The others were not visible to human eyes; Jasmin did not enjoy the luxury of invisibility! She was dressed in black clothing and the cave was yet dark. Daylight had not entered the enclosure. She hid inside. Out of caution, her companions physically lifted her with ease and pinned her to the ceiling where she remained out of sight.

The men entered the enclosure. They carried the carcasses of small animals on their backs and shoulders and stayed briefly to arrange their killings. The two mostly made grunting sounds as they knelt down and arranged their hunt. They conversed in few words and gestures, mostly in connection with the activity.

They had hunting and other weapons strapped to their sides.

Having arranged and tied the carcasses for easier handling, they walked out of the enclosure. Both men appeared in reasonably good spirits. They conducted their homeward journey lazily towards the dwelling.

Her friends lowered Jasmin to the floor of the cave. Together, they observed the men as they departed. They all looked at Futura and she nodded at them. The men were in disguise by changing their clothing and physical appearance. Not dressed as warriors they appeared as forest dwellers who had recently occupied their surroundings. Their intense search had not been futile. he two men were the targets they had so keenly hunted.

An impending fate loomed ahead, one that the men could not have imagined in their wildest dreams. Futura conjured up disturbing images. She considered it prudent not to discss them in the presence of Hamus’ sister. However, she shuddered as images and visions floated past her inner sight. Emotions overwhelmed her and Ynghildr held Futura up by her shoulders.

“If they are who we think they are, then, we have arrived in time,” hissed Jasmin viciously.

Futura nodded acknowledgment.

“They will perish, though not as simply as they might wish for,” determined Jasmin. “However, we must be absolutely certain.”

“I will follow them to gain more information,” announced Ulva decisively. “They will not see my animal self nor suspect my human nature if they did,” she assured the others.

As the others observed in some anticipation, Ulva metamorphosed into her namesake and transformed into a stealthy wolf. The others nodded in acknowledgement. They were invigorated with powers that were not within the range of human capabilities.

A New Teen Trilogy

The market is dominated with teenage romances between regular teen girls and mythical creatures. The most dominant, of course, is Twilight. But this is quickly being followed by other similar tales. But what do these books really teach young teenagers?

The Swan, the Demon, and the Warrior was written with courage in defiance of popular critical analysis. The book engulfs the concepts of justice, hope, and existence of powers beyond human understanding. And aren’t these valuable lessons to teach our children, the young who will one day be in control of our countries?

This book is not some dragons versus unicorn story, with characters enmeshed in romanticized surroundings and happy endings in glorious sunsets.

It is the story of family love and the devotion of a sister to her murdered sibling that stretches beyond imaginable time.

Today’s teenagers must learn important lessons. They must learn about love; love beyond the mindless adoration of mythical creatures in Twilight. The love of family; sisters, brothers, and parents. Teenagers must learn about hope. Life beats you down, but that doesn’t mean it’s over. And teens must learn about destiny. We are all meant for something. The journey to discovering your destiny is just as important as your destiny itself.

The Swan, the Demon, and the Warrior

SwanCoverThe phantom was not an intruder who had vanquished Nash and his bandits! The figure was not a mysterious man, disguised in a gown with a cowl but an unusual, beautiful and powerful girl. She had personified all that was gracious, wonderful and compassionate about womanhood.

Yet, she was an enigmatic and terrifying figure who practiced violent justice.

“Those who ascend mountains seeking pleasure must know, that peaks can be treacherous,” said Jasmin quietly. “These lecherous men heinously soared to dizzying heights. They have fallen to perilous depths.”

Flames flickered in her eyes as the blood of wicked men dripped from her incredible sword!