Abyss & Apex : Third Quarter 2006 : Berthold the Bastard by Elizabeth Barrette

Berthold the Bastard

Elizabeth Barrette



He always worked alone,
They told us, and that’s how
We found him — alone.
The currents stirred around us
As we brushed the soft silt
Of the lakebed off his enchanted
Armor, and bared the bright sword
Called Bastard’s Revenge.
Cat-girl and centaur, werebear
And shapeshifter, we set our hands
Around the rim of the satin-finished
Shield and lifted it off his lap.
His bones shone like pearls,
And tiny vermillion fishes
Swam through his ribcage.
The Dragon of Deep Naba was
Nowhere to be seen, but we knew
It was out there in the blue beyond.
Our hands trembled on the treasure
That had not protected this hero.
We had work to do, though, so we
Swam back to our boat and
Stowed the artifacts we’d found.
We gave a salute to him,
Berthold the Bastard, and then
We set off to slay the sea serpent




Elizabeth Barrette writes: I have over 260 poems published in over 65 markets. My recent poetry credits include “Shaman Song” in the Grey School of Wizardry Website and “a light intangible” in Chiaroscuro. My current dayjob is Managing Editor for PanGaia magazine, which occasionally prints speculative fiction and poetry. A more detailed writer’s bio is available upon request, or on my personal Website.

Story © 2006 Elizabeth Barrette. All other content copyright © 2006 ByrenLee Press 


Copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted.


Art Director: Bonnie Brunish

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