Welcome to my A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts.
This month I’ve challenged myself to not only do 26 blog posts in 30 days based on One Word Writing Prompts, but also to try to link them together into some kind of cohesive whole. I’d love to hear how you think I’m doing. If you want to start the story from the beginning, check out the Angel post from April 1.
Today’s One Word Writing Prompt:
The definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary via their on-line access (which I have through my University employer). Feel free to skip down to the story segment if you don’t share my fascination with words, definitions, and shades of meaning.
1. a. The skin of an animal, raw or dressed: more particularly applied to the skins of the larger beasts and such as may be tanned into leather.
b. In collocation with hair, esp. in phr. (in) hide and hair: wholly, entirely; neither hide nor hair: nothing whatever. (So Dutch huid en haar.)
2. a. The human skin. (Since 17th c. contemptuous or jocular.)
†b. In alliterative collocation with hue (colour, complexion, countenance). Obs.
c. Impudence, effrontery, ‘nerve’. (App. an elliptical use of ‘thick hide’.)
3. As a material for clothing, shoes, etc.
4. A whip made of a beast’s hide. Cf. cow-hide n. 3.
Obs. exc. Hist.
1. a. A measure of land in Old English times, continued also for some time after the Norman Conquest, varying in extent with the nature of the ground, etc.: primarily, the amount considered adequate for the support of one free family with its dependants; at an early date defined as being as much land as could be tilled with one plough in a year. See carucate n.
b. hide and gaine [ < Old French gaigne, gaingnearable land, ‘terre labourable’ (Godefroy)].
2. nonce-use. (Associated with hide n.1) As much land as could be measured by a thong cut out of a hide. (In quot. 1594 referring to the story of Dido’s purchase of the site of Carthage, Virg. Æn. I. 368.)
†I. 1. (In Middle English use.) The action or an act of hiding; concealment. Obs.
II. 2. (In modern use.) A hiding-place; a cache. Also attrib.
1. a. trans. To put or keep out of sight; to conceal intentionally from the view or notice of others; to conceal from discovery, to secrete. Freq. in phr. to hide away. Also const. up. (Cf. sense 2b.)
†b. To conceal so as to shield or protect. Obs.
c. to hide one’s face: (a) in Biblical language, to turn away or withdraw one’s eyes, take no heed. (Also to hide one’s ear, oneself.) (b) = sense 1d(b) below.
d. to hide one’s head: (a) to protect one’s head, to shelter oneself, take shelter; (b) to keep out of sight, keep from shame or discomfiture.
2. refl.and intr.
a. refl. To put or keep oneself out of sight, or to conceal oneself.
b. intr. To conceal oneself. Also with up.
c. to hide out: to go into hiding; to hide from the authorities. U.S.
3. trans. To keep (a fact or matter) from the knowledge or observation of others; to keep close or secret.
4. To keep from view (without implication of intention); to prevent from being seen; to obstruct the view of; to cover up.
1. trans. To remove the hide from; to flay. rare.
2. To beat the hide or skin of; to flog, thrash. (See also hiding n.2) slang or colloq.
trans. To fix the number of hides in (a piece of land).
Today’s Story Segment:
Uriel watched Evander as he settled more comfortably in his chair.
“When I was in the temple of Zeus I learned a great many things. I was able to interact with worshipers and those who served in other temples. The most interesting were the followers of Hermes who dabbled in alchemy. So when I grew older and left the service of the temple, I began to pursue alchemy myself in search of knowledge. And at first that’s all it was.”
Uriel knew about alchemy. It was usually pursued by men intent on wealth and power.
“I wasn’t interested in the typical pursuits of an alchemist though,” Evander said. “I had no desire for gold or other precious metals. I was interested in life itself. How did one prolong it and how long could it be prolonged? Apparently I was meddling a little too close to the Lord’s domain.”
The creating of life was the Lords domain alone. Uriel knew this to be truth. But Michael had called Evander a creator. That was not a word that an angel used lightly.
“And as you know, you can’t hide that kind of thing from the Lord, so he sent angels to see what I was up to. I believe I met at least three before they really understood what I was about and what it meant. And by that time it was too late, really. I’d managed to change my very nature, and had a formula that I believed would let me create others like myself.”
Uriel frowned. How could the Lord have not known what Evander was doing? The Lord know everything.
“While the Lord didn’t come down to speak with me directly, there is no mistaking a true messenger when he sends one. I was given a choice. The Lord would obliterate my formula from existence and cause me to cease being, or I could make a deal by entering into the contract Michael refers to. If I took the contract, I was allowed to create others like myself, but only with their willing participation, and only personally. I could never share my formula or methods with anyone. The rest of the contract you know.
“When the need is dire, aid will be provided. When the true enemy rises up, an alliance will be honored.”
“That was the exact wording?” Uriel asked. He’d heard of a contract like that before. One that was worded to be more than it seemed and benefit both parties more than assumed. It was supposed to be used by the benevolent to help those who acquiesced to their rule.
“Yes,” Evander replied. “Or near enough, since the original contract was made in Greek.”
“It does not specify a subject,” Uriel pointed out. That seemed important in this moment.
“What does that mean?” Rosario asked.
“It doesn’t specify which parties uphold which parts,” Uriel said.
“That is interesting,” Evander said, his words slow and contemplative. “I’d never really looked at it too closely before.”
“Does that mean we are bound to offer aid to any angel who might be in dire need?” Savino asked.
“Technically, yes, that is probably what it means,” Evander replied. “Why are you telling me this?” he asked Uriel.
“It felt important,” Uriel replied. His kind were as much ruled by emotion as they were rationality. Emotion was given by their creator. It was unwise to ignore such things.
Evander laughed. “I should expect answers like that from an angel, but they always surprise me.”