Searching For The Warlock by Andrew Scott
Part I – The Discovery
Ever since the discovery of the growth
that has been expanding on my neck
my thoughts have been defeating me
about the cause or what it even is.
At first I thought it was a small infection
caused by an abnormal bug
that was received while hunting in the woods.
However the bubbles started to form
and I could never find a small bite
in the swelling of my skin.
Now it has gotten harder to hide from the family.
Fur cloaks are guarding from all other eyes
from seeing or discovering my reddened growth.
Soon though, I worry, their curious eyes
will peek and see the soiled skin.
I have heard from other’s whispers
about a warlock with mystical powers
that lives in the dense forest,
four territories northeast
from where I am standing now.
This is the man I must go to.
Part II – Territory Fear
It is mid-morning of the fourth day
of this unexplainable week.
I am checking the harnesses
of my trusty Belgium Clydesdale.
She would be my only company
on the lonely, long journey.
I did not tell the family
where I was going
or why I had to travel.
There was no need to have them worry
more than they would be
knowing that I would be out here alone.
The three sons were to take care
of the true head of the family.
The first steps are very familiar.
I have been here all of my life.
My steed knows the steps to take
without my guidance.
There is a small comfort in that
as my thoughts are not all that clear.
They are full of mixed feelings and confusion.
I am full of fear of the unknown.
I cannot hep but think
about what the result may be
if this spreading skin disease
may be the reason
for my last walk on this land
or it may give me a full resurrection
to the world around me.
As I leave this territory
of my only homeland
there are so many fears
about what may lay ahead of me
or even what is behind me.
Part III – Territory Wasteland
As I left the familiar trails
and started the steps never taken before
I hoped I would not get lost.
I came to a clearing that had been hidden
on the other side of a vast forest lining.
My first steps were cautious
in what was dusty, flat terrain
that looked so lifeless.
Such a difference, there were no trees
as far as the eyes could see.
What looked to be old grass
was actually short and burnt ground.
With every step I did not see
built homes or barns
like that were built back home.
There were not any dwellers.
I did not feel hidden eyes.
The air was dry and empty
of any type of energy.
The lack of moisture
was creating a throb
in the cracking skin
on my open neck.
The blandness could be hypnotizing
if I was not lost in random thoughts.
The straight line made the travel
through this territory much faster.
Before knowing the time had past
my horse stepped onto a new trail
made up of rocky mud.
It was at that exact moment
that the realization came to me.
Each new place
would or could be completely different
from what I was used to
and I may not be ready
for all I was to experience.
Part IV – Territory Muddy Soil
My pace was slowed
as soon as the trail turned
into muddy rocks.
Some places were deeper than others
as I certainly had to guide
my faithful friend through
those sticky parts.
Though navigating as harder
it was nice to see trees again.
The ones here were so much
taller and greener
than the ones back home.
I am missing my family.
Wonder if they were
doing the same while I was away.
After two nights of staring at the sky
I came across a village
that seemed to be covered
in a hard, straight down rain.
Their homes were made of
the mud and rock
that I have been traveling.
Some of them looked
as though constant patching
and rebuilding would be needed.
The farmers were out plowing the fields
as that should happen during
this spring time of the year.
The fields are different from my village.
Where my fields are rich with soil,
the ones I was looking at
were rich in rock and mud.
I had no idea how any growth
would occur on such a field.
The oxen plow stumbled with each step.
The night time really is the hardest time.
Trying to sleep under the tall trees
that act as a fountain
for the sheets of rain.
The echo keeps my eyes half open.
After these nights of no sleep
a new territory
will be a welcome sight.
Part V – Territory Cold Mirage
After sunrise, it only took
a few strides to leave the trees
and the cool, wet rain.
The rain turned into white flakes.
It was cold to the touch
and my exposed skin
started to tingle and become cool.
I took the wrap from around my neck
and placed it around my ears
to attempt to get the feeling back
into the tips of them.
It is the first time in days
I am thinking of my expanding lump
as there is pain in taking the wrap off.
A piece of skin stayed with the cloth
and a yellow liquid starts to leak out.
With the cool air, it actually starts to sooth.
The reminder started a thought
as to why I hid it from my family
and the pride that was allowing that.
I am the head of the house
and they would not see weakness.
I had plenty of time to think
in this cold wilderness.
Even my steps were slower here.
Whispers of voices startled
me awake from a slumber.
I must have fallen asleep
as my steed continued our path.
My blurry eyes spied another human.
I blinked to clear my sleep
so I would know my mind
was not playing tricks.
I realize I am no longer outside
as my head and mind focus.
I see four pairs of eyes staring at me.
I am covered in animal furs
that are so warm.
I am not even questioning
how I arrived here.
I try to get up and move along
however my hospitable hosts
were not going to let me leave
without a full belly.
Finally I am able to continue
on this little journey.
I did look behind me
to ensure I was not in a cold mirage.
Part VI – Territory Heat Stroke
the path did turn from
melted, slush snow
to the hardest, cracked dirt.
The heat is what hit me first.
All the sudden my breath was shorter.
I am in another place
where there is nothing.
A burnt wasteland of embers.
The trees were black stained,
the wood splintered without life.
My eyes may have been playing tricks
but I am sure that random flames
are attached to anything that looked alive.
Even the sky looks like it is charred.
The sun is hidden behind dark, red clouds.
My four legged friend started to walk backward
while letting out low snarls.
I can tell that she is frightened
and will not move forward.
I dismounted her and am preparing to walk
knowing that she will be close by
for the time we would be traveling back.
Old friends are there when needed
and my steed is that.
Stripping out of anything extra
of clothing I have on
due to the unbearable heat.
I start taking steps forward.
My skin feels like it is on fire.
The eyes on my face will not stop watering
however I will press on.
I know I have too.
The sweat pouring from me
is making me weak.
Almost so weak
I almost missed what I am looking for.
There it is,
The shelter I am seeking.
A shack with burning embers
surrounding it as a moat.
My pace quickens
to where I am losing breath again
until the door is in front of me.
I knock and wait
until the door opens.
Part VII – Territory Unknown
The person that came to the door
is not what I expected at all.
I had heard stories before
about the medicine man
and how the appearance of him
would cause your feet not to move
out of the fear he brought.
The person I was seeing
was nothing like that.
He is a pleasant man
who ushers me in right away
like he knew I was on a journey
to see him for healing.
H guides me by the arm
to the center of a bare room.
The medicine man laid me down
and moved my arms to an outstretched position.
The Warlock spread a dusty ash
all over my tense body
and made my mind let go.
I did not feel anything different
until my eyes started to see swirls.
There are gusts of air that are
making images that are hypnotizing.
Sweat is pouring out of me
as the fires that are combining
with the air battles with floating water.
the forces of nature are taking over.
I feel nothing in my body.
I have no idea of time.
Shaking, the hallucination stops.
Disoriented, I am weak but strong.
I get up and see the Warlock
as he is staring at me.
My hand goes to my neck
as it is lighter than before.
I cannot stop the tears.
It is gone.
I can go home now, healed
and comfort them in my return.
I offer all I can to the magician
and his head shakes no.
He will not take anything.
I am in disbelief as I leave.
A stranger gave life to me.
Shared a gift so effortlessly.
A new world has just opened for me.
June 28, 2016
© Andrew Scott – Just a Maritime Boy 2016
Andrew Scott is a native of Fredericton, NB. During his time as an active poet, Andrew Scott has taken the time to speak in front of a classrooms, judge poetry competitions as well as published worldwide in such publications as The Art of Being Human, Battered Shadows and The Broken Ones. His books, Snake With A Flower, The Phoenix Has Risen, The Path and The Storm Is Coming are available now.