Sethra Pt.6

When she awoke, Alas found herself nose to snout with a big, fat pig.

An ugly creature whose wrinkled skin hung over its eyes, whiskers on its chin and drool

dangling from its lower lip as it stupidly chewed the apple cores that littered the cart that

Alas found herself in. Before she could blink the sleep from her eyes, another apple core

flew from somewhere near the front of the cart, landing squarely on Alas’ head. Wresting

with the blanket of hay, she flailed madly trying to get to her feet.


“Hey there are people in this pig pile” she shouted. “watch were you are throwing those



“Oh, you are awake. Finally.” came a familiar silky voice.


Alas recognized her as the angry gypsy from the night before. Her hand reached to her

throat and she froze, shocked. Then, that horrible nightmare hadn’t been a nightmare at

all, she thought to herself.

Tracing her fingers across the jeweled choker, she asked in a far off voice, “where am I?”

“in a pig pile,” for the first time, Alas heard joy in the gypsy’s voice.

Alas made a face, “well, where are we going?” the gypsy didn’t answer. As if Alas wasn’t

even there, she began to hum to herself. Giving up, Alas sunk back into the heap of straw

where she had awoken. The pig, whom Alas had dubbed, Oinkers, was a cuddler. The two

spent their day being jostled in the back of the cart. Together, they ignored the gypsy and

in turn she ignored them.



Sethra pt. 5

Sethra – Official Sethra page

Raising itself, the snake stopped within an inch of Alas’ face. She could see two long fangs

glinting as it’s tongue brushed against her chin and cheeks, smelling her. Alas kept still,

trying not to let a tremble of dread show as the serpent’s body landed heavily on her

forearm. Snakes were not slimy and slippery creatures as Alas had thought but were dry,

warm and muscular.  Hands clenched tightly at her sides, muscles spasming, knuckles

white. Any moment, the creature could decide to sink its fangs into her, inject its deadly

venom, and Alastair would be dead. A lot of horrible things had happened in her short life,

she had been left alone and defenseless very young. After everything she had managed to

survive, Alas didn’t want to die, but couldn’t help but wonder if the venom would hurt or

perhaps she would simply fall asleep and never wake up. By now, the snake was coiling

about her arm, reaching the upper part of her shoulder. She felt every muscle of the

creature as it curiously wrapped itself around her. the cool scales felt strange and good

against her skin.


So intent on the snake, Alas had forgotten about the old woman who sat watching with her

coal black eyes sparkling. With a large silver needle in hand, she stabbed in Alas’

direction, causing her to jerk back in surprise. Instantly there was chaos as the viper slid

around Alas’ throat, squeezing violently. In response, Alas threw her body to the wood

floor boards, her hands scratching at the snake’s scales. Instinct flooded her body, turning

Alas into a senseless beast, desperate for survival. Her body bucked and bent as she used

every muscle in an attempt to remove the creature from around her neck. The snaked

hissed, its jaws opened wide and then sank its fangs into the delicate flesh of Alas’ throat.


This was how she was to die? Alas thought, before she could accomplish anything she had

set out to do?


Excruciating pain burned through her as the venom hit her blood stream. The poison

created visions in her mind. Alastair thought she saw a bright light glowing from the

snake’s tail as it rattled in front her. It was a fantastic blue, filling up the snake, like

pouring water in a glass.Light pressed itself into every dark crevice of the room. Laughter

of the old woman danced through her head. Alas was surrounded by many faces, old and

young, hidden in the smoke. They peered at her curiously, not saying a word. Spots began

to fill the room, red, yellow, black. they danced like beautiful flowers as the room spun

faster and faster. The pain was gone now. She pressed her hand to her throat and there

was no snake, only a silver choker with large stones resting cool against her skin.


If dieing was this beautiful of a dream, Alas wonder what the after life would be like. The

room spun so fast now that Alas fell back, slamming her head hard against the floor. the

last thing she saw was the old woman with the many faces dancing around her, fading into

the mists, her throaty laughter eerily bouncing throughout Alas’ subconscious.



To be continued….


Sethra pt. 4

Sethra – blog page

-previous Sethra post




Alas could feel the beating of her heart thrum through her body as she struggled to

maintain a calm demeanor.

Alastair had always been uncommonly good with animals. When otters played in the

shallows near her home, they swam up to her. She would play games with them, as if one

of their own. The other village children would try to join in too, only to receive bites and

hisses from the wild creatures. Somewhere along the line, they had associated Alas with

the wild creatures she had kept for company, shunning her from their normal child

games. Alas hadn’t minded much, she much preferred running with the deer at the edge

of the forest, singing with the birds and pretending they were telling her tales of far off

places, and greeting the horses as they came into town with soft velvety nose kisses. If she

lacked for human companionship, she had many relatives that worked and lived in the

village. Mostly, she found company with an old sea witch who lived above her bait shop.

All the good fishermen who came into town went to the sea witches house for the best



The sea witch had taught her all about the animals of the land and sea, shared their

secrets and wisdom with the young Alastair. A snake, however, Alas had only heard about

in fairy tales. They didn’t come so far north,it was too cold for them. The sea witch had

referred to them as the creatures that guarded the unknown.


Long moments passed. Alas knew that a wild animal rarely attacked without provocation,

but this didn’t seem like a normal animal. Its scales were white, like the diamonds on the

outside of the case with speckles of green and red around its collar. Its eyes though, were

the strangest blue, it struck Alastair as looking unnatural.


The serpent blinked, beginning to twist and turn. As it uncoiled, its gaze never left her

own. Its hood, had fanned out, showing off markings that looked strangely like large eyes.

Her heart fluttered as heat began to crawl up her neck. Some kind of intense

connection was forming and true to the myth of the snake, the reason remained a mystery

to her. The only question she could think of was, would she be alive long enough to find






Sethra Pt. 3


Through the drenched air, an outline began to unfold itself. Its shoulders drew back, its

spine straightened. A ghostly profile rose from the smoke, directing its attention toward

the room’s invader. Unable to stop from walking forward, Alas felt as if her will was lost to

the smoke.


She came face to face with “grandmother”. The old lady had milky blue windows for eyes,

a huge porous nose that drooped and a body that appeared so decrepit and weak as she

sucked on a long hose and released its contents into the air around them.


The old gypsy sat nearly motionless as its sightless eyes drifted lazily, staring over Alas’s

shoulder. Her long stretched earlobes wobbled as she cocked her head in silence. It was a

moment before her grating voice assaulted the silence, “Sit down Alastair Sowelu Perth”


Alas did more than sit; she fell to the ground in shock. How could this gypsy know who she

was? No one had addressed her by her full name since she had been a child. Even if she

was not blind the old gypsy would not have been able to see Alas and couldn’t have

recognized her since Alas had never met a gypsy before today. It must be gypsy magic.


“that’s right,” rasped the old gypsy, “I know who you are. I’ve waited twenty five years for

this day, longer that you have been alive by the looks of you,” a crooked sneaky smile

made its way across her face; showing off her lack of teeth  and numerous laugh lines that

etched her face, “to tell the truth, I was beginning to think you would not show yourself,

that perhaps the path you were meant to take had been broken.”


“The path?” Alas echoed dumbly. It was all she could think of to say, hypnotized as she

was by that front tooth that Alas was sure would fall from the old gypsy’s gums any

moment. However, it only swayed with each breath.


The old gypsy continued her explanation, “the path, if broken is hard to find again.

Somehow yours was broken but it must have been a very strong path if you still found you

way here. If this path had truly been broken, the balance of this world could have changed;

possibly for the worst.” the gypsy cackled as if she had told some great joke that Alas

should have gotten.  Alas wasn’t sure what the gypsy meant.


Alas let the words soak in as she tried to make sense of it, “what does this have to do with



The cone’s eyes seemed to sharpen and stare right at Alas, staring somewhere past just

her face. It felt as if a gaping hole had been bored into her head. Coldness swam through

Alas’ veins, the chilling grip shook her spine.


The old gypsy leaned forward, her breath smelling of mint, lavender and sweet tobacco,

“exactly” then rolled back on her pillows laughing hysterically. Every hair on the back of

Alas’ neck stood up, tingling. This old gypsy was seriously dangerous, she could feel it.


The old gypsy reached behind her massive stack of pillows and took out a hand carved

chest. Alas made note of the diamonds and rubies that laid in the intricate border, amazed

by their beauty. What really caught her attention though were not the priceless gems but

the fact that the border seemed to be moving, almost slithering, as if it were alive.  In fat,

as Alas stared, she realized it was a depiction of a snake. The rubies and diamonds

represented the skin, but there were only two large sapphires that she suspected were

eyes. The delicate hand painted silver outline shimmered with every movement, making

the snake look alive. Alas was entranced. She didn’t realize she had been reaching her

hand out to stroke the beautiful gems until the old gypsy grabbed Alas’ wrist with

surprising strength.


The old gypsy held her firmly, “the snake” her words were slow and careful, “has always

been a protector of my people and to anyone who shows no fear of it”


Her voice seemed stern, as if a warning. Then she let go of Alas’ wrist and lay back

amongst her pillows. Although startled by the old gypsy’s behavior, Alas only nodded and

looked back at the chest in anticipation. Her heart beat rapidly, she wanted to open it so

bad but something in her made her wait for the old gypsy to let her continue.


After a long silence the gypsy sighed, releasing more of her smoke into the air, “smart

lass, ” she gave a toothless grin, “you will do nicely”. Then she waved her hand to signal

Alas could go ahead.


Alas’ head felt foggy but she still felt the excitement as she threw open the lid. She was

only a bit surprised to find a living snake curled up and waiting. It was a viper, a very

deadly snake. It looked up, eyeing the human who had disturbed its slumber. Not braking

eyes contact, Alas froze, not wanting to startle it any more.



Sethra pt. 2


Sethra Pt. 1


Terror ripped down Alas’ spine, her eyes flung open with the abruptness of a rabbit finding

itself in a fox den. Sensation crept up her forearms, itching beneath the rosy surface of

skin. Her shoulders rose with her hands, preparing for an attack. Gaze wide and seeking,

Alas waited anxiously for the person to make their move. Acting instinctively, she shuffled

so that the barrel was between her and the gypsy. Eyes glancing, toward the railing, she

prepared to jump from the rolling caravan.


Standing eerily still, the gypsy watched with flint like eyes the very shade of death’s cloak.

Her black hair was twisted into long braids, carefully arranged along the crown of her head

and woven with a purple cloth that wrapped around her head. A matching piece of

material was entwined into a single thicker braid that dangled down to the small of her

back. Besides the vibrant purple of the cloth, the gypsy wore only black from jaw to toe.

This person was the most color challenged gypsy Alas could never have imagined.


Under the pressure of the gypsy’s silence, Alas itched more than ever to jump the rail and

take off running. She was about to give in when the gypsy once again spoke. The gypsy’s

lip curled in distaste, turning away from Alas, “I know who you are Lo’ilo”


Alastair had heard this phrase only a few times before, the term made her suck in her

breath a little. It was a phrase of the Nornavi people that when translated from their old,

broken language, meant “blue eyes”. It was rare to have anything other than brown or

black eyes in this part of the world. “Lo’ilo” was used to call someone a stranger or

someone who doesn’t belong.


The gypsy had disappeared down a corridor and now Alas stood idle on the caravan’s

porch. What should she do next? If she ran, she still had no where to go. Perhaps the

gypsies weren’t as bad as the stories suggested. Maybe she could finally get a ride to some

sort of civilization and start a real life again.


The flint like eyes appeared once again through the doorframe, “jeez, don’t be so slow. Are

you coming or what?”


Alas closed her fist so tight that her nails dug into her palm, nope this wasn’t a dream.

This was really happening. For the first time in years she would have to interact with

people again and possibly dangerous gypsies no less. Her muscles tense, she slowly

followed the gypsy into the cramped corridor. Keeping a palm against one wall, Alas

followed slowly behind; much to the gypsies frustration. It was difficult to walk down a

hallway that made you feel like you were a jumping bean in wood box. It was strange, the

wagon had not seemed so large from the outside.  Was it perhaps some kind of gypsy

magic? On the other hand, it could just be good decorating.


Finally, they came to the end of the hallway and the disgruntled escort had stopped and

stood waiting in front of an elaborately carved door, designed with carvings of magical

symbols and fantastic beasts. Epic battles of armored men carrying mighty swords, winged

beasts carrying off maidens and dark shadows dragging children into deep wells were

portrayed with beautiful delicate paints. Some of the stories Alas recognized, while others

seemed completely foreign to her.  The beauty struck Alas with wonder.


Leaning against the wall with  a stillness that was meant to impress, the gypsy was getting

impatient, “Go in Alastair, grandmother has been waiting for you” This gypsy’s pure

dislike for Alas was, to say the very least, annoying. Still, Alas saw no advantage to letting

the other girl know she was bothered by her. Instead she turned on her beaming smile as

brightly as possible, her cheeks stretched unnaturally as she smiled till it hurt just a little.

try as she might, her display would not warm her eyes.


Alas wondered how the gypsy had known her name, she didn’t even go by her full name,

not that she had known anyone to call her either for quite some time. However, she didn’t

want the gypsy to think she had been affected so she answered smoothly, “I prefer Alas”


“Whatever,” the gypsy drawled and with an elaborate roll of her eyes, began to examine

her nails.


When Alas turned the knob to the decorated door, tendrils of smoke leaked out of the

creases, seeming to grab at her arms, legs, face, and hair. It was drawing her into the have

filled room that stank with multiple layers of incense and other foreign flavors. So thick

was the smoke that Alas had to squint to make out the shapes of tables and chairs.

Breathing in, her lungs filled with smoke, stretching her insides. Alas was very aware of

her esophagus, cradling her throat, she spiraled into a coughing fit that lasted several

minutes. Alas gasped, wishing for the clean curling winds that leapt throughout the leaves

across the meadows.


A low sigh filled the room and more of the dreaded smoke filled the room. Alas only then

remembered there was someone else waiting for her in the room. Someone who knew who

Alas was and had known she would be coming, even if Alas had not known herself.


To be continued…

-L.P. Gelseth






Sethra Pt. 1


Alastair was lost.

Plants bled together before her as if the world was stained in watercolor. When she turned

around to retrace her footsteps, there did not seem to be a path to follow. Her eyes could

not grab hold of any markers that would lead her back to her camp. Alastair was standing

in a sea of green, completely directionless.


Hours passed as she wandered the green forest. Panic began to bubble in her stomach but

it wasn’t until daylight disappeared before she gave into her fear. Feeling the bight of

defeat, she fell to the dirt, pulling her legs up against her chest. Face pushed into grass

stained knees, she asked herself, how could she have been so foolish? Hot tears filled her

eyes, blurring her vision. Alastair almost didn’t see the softly lit wagons that passed on a

winding road at the bottom of the hill. Leaping to her feet she charged down the slope

dodging trees and jumping rocks in an attempt to catch the bobbing caravan.


It wasn’t long before Alastair was within throwing distance of the wagon. Stumbling along

the dusty path, she ran along side of it at a full sprint. Her lungs were heaving coupled

with the straining muscles of her chest, calves and thighs. Blood pounded in her ears with

a force that felt as if it could split her skull. Alastair felt a cold crisp air caressing the sheen

of sweat that covered her skin. Lights flickered in her vision, her lungs felt as if they were

being shredded by each intake of air, could she even make it? Or would she pass out? That

would be deadly out here in this jungle.


The world seemed to shrink to just the pain of her body screaming at her and the back of

the moving cart. If she didn’t make it, there would be no one to look for her, no one to save

her from the monsters that lurked in the night. This caravan was her best chance of

surviving the night. In a last burst of strength, Alastair flung herself forward. Her hands

missed the railing but caught an old tattered blanket that decorated the cart. Lifting one

fist over the other, Alastair pulled herself across the rotting wood railing and landed hard

on the floorboards. Splinters bit into her skin, the world spun, her head ached, then the

world went dark.


It wasn’t clear to Alastair exactly how long she had been out cold. It was still dark when

she found herself lying among sacks of food. Having not been discovered, she scrambled

further behind a wall of barrels. Alastair held her breath between twisted lungs as the

minutes stretched on.


Peeking from her hiding space, she scanned the area. Eyes had been carved or drawn with

chalk over almost every surface. Shiny stones, animal bone and feathers decorated the

edges of the roof, catching the first rays of morning light. Alastair cursed under her

breath, everyone knew the types who rode in these kinds of caravans, gypsies. Perhaps she

would have had more luck in the jungle after all. Pushing herself up so that she could see

over the rim, she was very aware of her cheek scratching against the rough surface.


All was quiet. digging through the sacks of food, she found a bag of almonds and apples,

gobbling down as much as she could. When the time came to run, she wouldn’t be able to

carry anything with her and who knew how long it would be before she ate again. Her

body, was pulling her into sleep again, it felt like ages since she had gotten real rest.

Dragging the old blanket over her, she made herself comfortable in the small dark nook.


As soon as she closed her eyes, a shadow covered her in the darkness. A smokey voice

whispered across Alastair’s skin like furry spider legs, so slow and careful, “What are you



To be continued…