By Ted Hogeman
A note from the author:
Originally published in the Winter 2010 Nushtcho, a newsletter by and for Peace Corps Volunteers in Ukraine. During breaks while cooped up in my house, I had a lot of time to think and come up with story ideas. I was also still getting used to Ukraine that winter, and somehow got it into my head that some of the nearby town names sounded more like the names of epic monsters than places people lived. Thus, Krasnodon (a town in the south of Luhansk Oblast) vs Bilozerka (Kherson Oblast), came into being.
Of Ancient Ones, the legends tell
Of creatures forged in Ancient Hell
Hidden from the eyes of men
Until the Beasts shall rise again
From under Earth, came such a one
Awakened mighty Krasnodon
Blotting out the sun, wings spread wide
Lesser creatures fled, in scampering tide
To the South, the tides fiercely leapt
From the Beast of Black Sea depths
Off its sides, sea water poured
As Bilozerka strode ashore
Oh, fearsome skull! Oh poison breath!
Visage of Prehistoric death!
Oh tentacle, and tooth, and claw,
Finned terror with a gaping maw!
In a field of sunflowers, they battled
Until the crust itself was rattled
Like a storm, their blood rained down
And seeped into the very ground
Thus it's said, by tellers of the tale,
That those who every day, without fail
Consume the seeds of such sun-flowers
Will gain a portion of Ancient Powers.