The Rise and Fall of the Ta Ta : Short Story
The Ta-Ta had always been shrouded in legend. Some said he came at night, his gifts in the form of a secret elixir which he would spit down folks’ throats. Others said he wasn’t a he at all but a she, and still others were afraid, and said that any talk of any Ta Ta was to-be, ta-boo. It didn’t matter what they said. The Ta Ta knew who he was, and he definitely wasn’t a she, but that, my friend, is not the point of this story.
The Ta Ta lived in a cave - generally, and he was a raggedy fellow - mostly. To him the earth wasn’t to be hidden away like some mad, old aunt. It lived and breathed! In fact, it was just as much a part of the Ta Ta as the Ta Ta was a part of himself. In fact, quite often his feathers would be so caked in dust and dirt, that you really couldn’t tell which was which and who was who… Which suited the Ta Ta to a tee-tee, because the Ta Ta represented… Unity.
Unfortunately, the Ta Ta had become troubled. You see, the Ta Ta was a proud Ta Ta, but the people were a fickle people, and although it was true that the dirt he spat down throats could hardly warrant the title ‘elixir,’ spit it down throats he did, and that particular state of ecstatic unification that followed, was a profound and sacred gift to humanity and bore them much fruit. But herein lay the problem: There was no dirt under the finger nails of modern man. Mother Earth had all but been forgotten, and, of late, humanity had been refusing to swallow.
“What is a Ta Ta to do do?” The shunned soil had left a bitter taste in his mouth and, sitting on the floor of his little cave, the Ta Ta complained grievously. “These new people are not of the earth. They’re light as feathers.” He thought and thought hard, and became frightened for the answer was clear as day and dark as night: They had a new god.
“I must find this god’s muse,” the Ta Ta declared. “I must pluck her feathers bare so the people forget her as they’ve forgotten me. Peck, peck, peck, he gathered his soil, then, with throbbing dark wings, he cocked his head, and, though it be day, for he did come at night, he took to the skies.
It didn’t take him long to find his prey. Her wings they spanned the heavens and burned like fire. The Ta Ta began to seethe. No wonder his people had forgotten their place! He was shabby as rags and filthy too. He’d been a foolish Ta Ta, yet… He was a cunning soul and she was light and he was dark. So, preening his feathers, he flew higher and higher towards the Phoenix.
“Well, well,” he said as he flew alongside her. The Phoenix turned, stole a look inside his strangely hued eyes and, smiled. The Ta Ta smiled back, for over the years he had proudly honed and polished his skills, and many a time, even those who were, in every other respect, respectable, had fallen prey to his advances.
“Pray! What brings you to the heavens, my Raven?” The Ta Ta looked at her menacingly before replying, “Prey?” The Phoenix only giggled.
“Oh sweet Raven,” the Phoenix’s wings blazed mighty, “No croak will lay me down on heath soft as butter. I’m older than you, and wiser too, for the sun was begot before the earth began, and so it will go on after the earth has gone.”
“I see you’ve been working hard.” As he spoke, the Ta Ta looked down to where vast valleys pricked as mere goosebumps. “Oh yes,” the Phoenix answered. “The people love the sun. You are…” She turned once again towards him, eyes brimming with fire. “The Ta Ta. Am I not right?” At this, the Ta Ta turned away, for what he was starting to realise, was that the Phoenix was attractive, really very attractive indeedy. As he thought this, he felt the soil in his mouth begin to get hot.
“You wish to fly with me?” The Phoenix spoke again. The Ta Ta turned back, determined to be fierce, but her smile was a basket of moonbeams and he was bathing in her crimson-gold glow. He felt… light. “I think,” he therefore replied, “That if you would let me, then the Ta Ta would very much like to-to.”
They flew, higher and higher, but as they did, the soil in the Ta Ta’s mouth burned brighter and brighter, the Earth beneath, shrunk smaller and smaller and the sun above became bigger and bigger and bigger… ‘Oh dear,’ thought the Ta Ta. He had to think fast. ‘I know,’ he decided. ‘I must kiss the Phoenix, make her know the power of the dirt I carry, then together we might return to the soil as one…
Without warning, the Ta Ta therefore spread his formidable wings and swooped on the Phoenix’s back, but before he’d even opened his mouth to deliver his gift, the Phoenix turned, a ball of fire to his heart of soil. “Shoo Raven, shoo!” She cried. “Don’t you know? A union that’s formed of the earth and the sun is taboo!” The Ta Ta shrunk away, only to realise his advances had come too late and he’d been tricked, and though he was smitten by unrequited lust for the sun, and so he would be forever more, his wings became as fire. Plummeting down, down, down, back towards his mother, his feathers burnt to dust.
Follow me: (https://steemit.com/@girlwithoutwings)