Thursday, October 31, 2013

Flash Fiction 2: Nella Breg Olm

Happy Halloween! Er well I guess technically that was yesterday.
Halloween is one of my Favorite holidays. So naturally I've put off doing much for it this year because I've been rather busy with work. I even waited until tonight to write the following flash fiction, while handing out candy to the few Trick or Treaters that were brave enough to venture to my house.

What follows is a short piece featureing a character I haven't shared a lot from online. Her name is Use Lied and she's not from Earth. She's the main character in a NANOWRIMO story I started a few years ago that I've since been in the process pf rewriting. Writing wise I've invested the most thought into it and Paragon Ketch. I may post snippets here from that project, like this, to test the waters. How much of Use's world can I get away showing you? I really like mythology and fables so this takes from those a bit. I don't remember exactly when I first came up with the Fable of Nel but the story's been in my head awhile. I'm a little worried I lifted it from an actual fable. If I did and your recognize it let me know what I stole from. :s

I've been busy with comic work on a comic that should be going live soon that is a tie in to Charby the Vampirate. You can find out more at

I hope to participate in NANOWRIMO this month but I may not succeed. Still going to update this regularly, even if it winds up being something I scribbled down quickly in the minutes before I'm set to update...that or in the wee hours of the morning as is now. ;)

Please enjoy today's piece of Flash Fiction while I contemplate whether or not I have too much on my plate for my own good. 




by Sarah Elkins

     The closest thing we have on Sevet to Halloween is called Nella Breg Olm, where offering are made to placate the Goddess of Misfortune, Nel. Food, drink, sometimes money are left out on a plate at the top of a pole, usually placed in one's yard. If they do not have a yard a smaller pole on a balcony or outside a window is used. If the offering is gone in the morning Nel has smiled on your house and you will be largely strife free for the year. If the offering is not taken Nel has smiled on your house a menacing smile and delights in the troubles she will bring you. Nel is known as "The Smiling Goddess" for she sees humor in all things. Woe be to the one to make that Goddess frown.

     What happens to the food? The Offerings?
     Some say Nel herself takes them. Others say they are stolen by beggars and homeless urchins. Still others believe they are stolen and taken to Earth.
     You can no simply take something from Sevet to Earth like that. That is why a Razor's cloths are made of our own hair and our blade is fashioned from the bones of those who came before us.
     Of all the Gods and Goddesses, Nel is the most understanding of the plight of beggars and street urchins so I don't think she would frown on one taking her offerings to survive. I suspect that was the ritual's true purpose. Considering one of the most well known Fables of Nel, tricking people into helping the poor through fear sounds like Nel.
     The Fable goes like this. One time in the distant past the Goddess Nel decided to retire to a small cottage with a small farm not far from a village and live in peace. The nearby villagers distrusted the stranger yet took advantage of her generosity and kindness. They returned regularly during the summer and fall until they had taken all the food she had saved, ever grain she had stored for the next year's fields and even some of her tools with which she would have sewed the new crop.
Winter was on the way and the Villagers arrived wanting more.
     She had none.
     "I have given all I had. I have nothing to grow, no tools. All I have is this hovel and the soil."
     "But won't you starve along with us?"
     "No." Was all she said.
     "Why not? What are you hiding?!"
     "I hide nothing. I give freely. All peoples and things are equal in my eyes."
     The villagers were enraged.
     They killed her and fled. Later, overcome by hunger they returned to her cabin to collect her body and make it into a stew but they found the small home empty. Then the villagers began to fight among themselves, sure one of their number had returned and made off with the body. That winter they killed one another and became cannibals.
     When the winter stretched on, long and cold unyielding the remaining villagers, lips stained with the blood of their fellows cried out, "Why have we been given this calamity!? What God have we offended so? To force us to such extremes?"
     It was then that Nel returned and appeared before the villagers, in the humble guise she held when they had slain her.
     "You?! This is a curse wrought on us for killing you!?"
     "No." Was all she said.
     "What then? This is for taking all your food?"
     "No." Was all she said.
     "Your tools?"
     "No." Was all she said.
     "If this is not about your belongings, or food, or life then what? Why force us to eat our fellows?"
     "You have thought of no one but yourselves. Doing so brings woe unto yourself. But now you are helping your fellows survive by serving a noble purpose."
     "You monster."
     "You never once inquired as to my name, for you care not for anyone but yourself. Even now."
     "Who the Hym Rekgr are you?!"
     "Nel." Was all she said as she revealed her true form. Her glistening horned helmet that obscured her eyes, four wings, tail and ever changing manic hair.
     The villagers fell to their knees, "We didn't know! Forgive us!"
     "Nor did you care. I give freely to all, some simply take more than others."
     I guess that's one reasons Nel is one of my favorite Goddesses. It's also why I figure the purpose of the offerings is to give to those in need. Why the plates are put on giant poles is a bit beyond me, maybe to keep the food and money away from varmints. 


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