I was looking at the moon tonight and–because I can’t help myself–began to channel a bit of Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan. REH spun some pretty big yarns about his fictional barbarian character in a series of short stories and a few novels, but Hollywood still hasn’t managed to capture Conan’s spirit, even in their latest big-budget take on the Cimmerian’s adventures.
Here’s my tribute to Howard’s writing, sparked by the ruddy curve of the moon set against a backdrop of dark sky and stars:
Far overhead, the waxing moon was the color of ancient ivory stained with blood–a thick tusk limned in darkness, as if some unimaginably vast beast had struck at the sky and become entangled in its folds. What kind of beast the man did not know, nor care; he knew the moon in all its guises, from narrow silver scimitar to the fullness of the warrior’s shield. Still, his hand tightened on the hilt of the great blade that lay across his knees and he wondered, idly, if it were possible to strike off the head of the unseen creature above him so could he free the mighty fang from its socket in the skull as a token of his sword-wielding skill.