Dodo shuts his eyes, squeezing them tight because he cannot bare to witness his own crucification. All he can do now is hope it ends quickly.
However, even in his extreme state of despair, he ponders the nuances of his circumstances. Particularly, he is puzzled by the sensation of feeling heavier as he gets closer to the beast as if his blood and bones and feathers were being replaced with lead. This heaviness must mean he’s falling faster too, which is good because it means before long, he won’t be here to care any more. Given what he knows about his fate, all he can do is lament miserably:
“If there be a God… let this be over soon.”
But something isn’t adding up, and Dodo soon realizes he’s not falling faster at all. Rather, he is slowing down—perhaps this is so the beast can enjoy his torture all the more. Slower and slower he descends as if e…v…e…r…y…t…h…i…n…g w … e … r … e a … b … o … u … t t … o s … t … o … p
With a terror-stricken heart, he anticipates how his feathers and flesh will be torn from his body in slow motion when he finally crashes into the net strung up to catch him.
Unable to stop, he cries out in anguish:
“Why… why… why … Why me!“
He keeps his eyes shut tight, but he cannot dispel the terrible image of himself crucified to the net. And this makes every bone and muscle in his body tense as he braces for impact.
But, it doesn’t come.
Instead, he hits the net and bounces like a rubber ball sent back into the vacuous black. He opens his eyes wide. Joy and jubilation surge through his body, making him shout triumphantly:
“Whoo Hoo… whoo hoo… I’m flying… I’m flying…“
But, he’s not really flying—rather he’s summersaulting end over end through the endless void. But, at least, he’s heading away from the beast! As he gains altitude, he sees the radiant light net below him shining vividly against the blackness of the void. It seems to be like some kind of membrane covering the beast—almost like the surface of a drum.
Then, a fantastic sight bursts forth and unfolds below him! Brilliant spheres of light, each one a different color, streak across the net and rush to the edges. Dodo watches transfixed as two glittering red-orange balls dazzle like fairies as they race to opposite edges.
Two dirty brown cat’s eyes streak under him, crossing in the center, and race to opposite sides glistening as they drip golden-white sparks onto the rainbow lattice.
Two blue glowing globes rush across the light lattice, shining so brightly Dodo thinks he will go blind. But, he cannot tear his eyes away from the radiant blue suns as they zoom to the top and bottom of the rainbow net.
Yellow, gold, green, red, blue, brown orbs streak and flash as they criss cross the net over the beast. Once each spherical light settles along the edge of the net, it begins to dim. To Dodo’s amazement, inside each is a man or a woman with a drum and dressed in fantastic garb that span many times and places. These are the drummers who keep the beat for the chanters that wove the rainbow net so nothing can fall down into the event horizon where nothing can ever come back with nothing more than their voices. The drummers also keep Dodo’s life beat, which is his heart beat. Indeed, they are the keepers of the beat of his fate. And now, they are beating out his destiny. Thanks to DJ, Dodo now understands the terrifying chant he was certain spelled his doom is an ancient Merseburg Incantation. One of only a few ancient chants that survived the long slow colonization of Europe’s native tribes by two powerful forces that won by simply assimilating them into their unrelenting stream of progress: the Roman Empire and Medieval Western Christendom. This frightening chant is pre-Christian, meaning pagan, descending from Old High German literature. It is one of a small collection of incantations that survived—believed to have been recorded by a 10th century cleric who was possibly living in the abbey of Fulda. He wrote them on blank pages of a liturgical book, which made its way through time to the library at Merseburg. The spells and charms encoded in the recorded chants probably date back to a much earlier period than when they were written. Back to a time long before the first Romans meet the first pagan Germans…a time extending all the way back to ancient, antediluvian Germanic tribes.
Suddenly the terrifying phrase the chanters have been repeating over and over and over…hang the animals…stops. And, their voices rise magnificently and include women that blend into a harmonious, beautiful volley that transfix Dodo in its elegant sound and tone expressing something marvelous, Dodo is sure of this, as it goes like this:
Sôse benrenkî, sôse bluotrenkî, sôse lidirenkî;
Like bone-sprain, so blood-sprain, so joint-sprain:
Ben zi bena, bluot zi bluoda,
Bone to bone, blood to blood,
Id zi gelidin, sôse gelîmida sîn
joints to joints, so may they be mended
Alu Is Urki
May it be of help
Dodo knows without a doubt this chant is of help—wondrous help! He understands now they are fighting for him. They do this by using their voices and drum beats as weapons for in this realm where he has found himself, voice and drum beats are powerful conduits of the soul that open inner portals, which unleash energies that are being channeled and directed to intervene and save him! These are ancient vocal warriors who have fought many battles before, vanquishing terrible beasts that lurk inside the dark recesses of the unexamined soul. Dodo is certain, with their help, he will be saved. But, he also feels his upward momentum is slowing dramatically, and this worries him a lot. He cranes his neck as he summersaults through the void trying to watch what the brilliant, shining drummers lining the edges of the net will do next. Dodo is certain they are acting like tension rods on a gigantic drum to help the chanters pull the surface tight in order to affect pitch and tone and timbre. They must be trying to find the right tension that will bounce him free of the beast lurking beneath the rainbow net.
But, the chanters and drummers do not start singing again, and now Dodo’s upward momentum has completely ceased. He dangles suspended in the void for he has not escaped the gravity of the beast. He does not know how long he can simply hang here before being pulled back down towards the beast or when the drummers will start a new song. As the silence continues, a terrible chill runs down his spine, triggering a million thoughts that clog his brain and make his body tense.
“Does this mean,” Dodo thinks uneasily, “I’m going to fall back into the beast, passing right through the rainbow net because it is unfortified by the chanters’ chants?”
Paralyzed again with fear and anguish, Dodo is ready to give up for the last time. But, just then, a brilliant light appears like a blazing rainbow sun dropping bits of red, orange, blue, brown, yellow, and purple as it zigs and zags across the net before coming to rest beside DJ. As the cocoon of light fades, a man dressed in fantastic garb appears. Feathers and bells adorn his jacket and a hat fringed with long bangles cover his eyes. Two mighty antlers rise from his head attached to his hat. These have been sculpted into long, narrow branched horns with circles mounted in the tips that have an ancient pagan symbol carved inside. Dodo knows this man is the rune reader… a seer into the future of possible events.
A lone chime sounds—singular, beautiful, and chilling inside the dark void. Then, the rune reader begins to chant in a half whisper–half growl–half groan that is slow and measured as Dodo dangles suspended in space above them all. It is as if time does not matter as the rune reader recites his enchanted charm:
Where the trees are endless
Forest titans fall to rest
A bed is made for the queen
Mushrooms gather in circles
Where bears walk
Dereliction houses dark spirits
A comet falls deep into darkness
Stones rise in circles
Stones Rise in Circles — Art by Bébé
Where drums roar
Drums Roar — Art-Gif by Bébé
Water wispers vibrating
People dance under the moon
People Dance in Circles — Art by Bébé
Bone to Rune
Skull to Dust
Ice melts the thoughts of the gods
Roots promises blossom”
Dodo falls in circles…
to the beast…
Special Thanks to Artists and Translators
(1) First Song: Hamrer Hippyer
Hamrer Hippyer Translator: Birmm (made on Fri, 16/02/2018)
For the last episode in the Dodo series, see: The Divine Dodo — Hanga Dýra Mingja