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A Hope in the Coming Darkness

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posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 03:08 AM

(background music)

He awoke on the sixth day. It took my horse the better part of four of them to return to Lathlor forest. All of those days as my horse and I trotted on with the human behind us, he lay unconscious, in a delirium. Speaking in his sleep things no waking mouth dare repeat. Reliving horrors too sad to write on parchment.

We were safe now. Out of reach of the hands that would try and silence Jaenax, and cut off his bloodline.

When he awoke a soft wind was blowing through the green and red leaves of the forest. As he opened his eyes and adjusted them to the light he looked at me in bewilderment. Then slowly, but surely he sat up.

“Easy, my son,” I told him. “Go easy, you still have a serious wound on your head and in your side.” He hesitated and then reached for a bandage wrapped around his head. Then he looked to me again as he sat at the edge of the bed and groaned in pain.

“So it wasn't just a nightmare,” he said it more to himself than me to assure himself that what transpired was real.

Then he got up and went to the window to look out. The vista that lay before the human took his breath away and he almost staggered back. He looked down and realized that we were not on the ground. In fact we were high in the luweylan trees. And this one towered above the rest.

Sprawling out from our vantage point spread a vast vista of trees towering much larger than the oak and the pine from the forests he was familiar with in the west.

“Is this the fabled forest of the Hidden Ones? It is real?”

I nodded to him and stood up and took my place at his side and put a gentle hand on his back. “How fare you, son of Kronar?”

He couldn't find the words to answer me, too lost in his own sorrow. He started to sob uncontrollably as memories started to return to his waking mind. I took him into my arms as a mother would a son and stroked his long blonde hair.

“They’re gone,” he managed to say at last.

I put a finger to his chin and raised it to meet him in the eyes. “I am sorry for your loss, my young one. It was a horrible fate that befell them, but know that you are still alive. And your heart will mend with time.”

I could see the aching in in his eyes, hear the pain in his lament. My heart went out to him, and a tear came to my eye and I began to weep with him.

He looked up behind me and to the wall.

“What is that?” he asked and I turned and looked where he pointed. There on the wall a ray of sun passing through the window reflected off the portrait of Kronar.

“What are you doing with a portrait of me?” he asked and recoiled instinctively. “Who are you, and why have I come here.”

And he was correct the portrait on the wall did indeed have the uncanny appearance of Jaenax. I looked to it and then to him and closed my eyes, and memories from all those years before came flooding in.

“It is best left for another time,” I told him, but he was insistent.

“Tell me, who are you? What are you? And what are you doing with a portrait of me hanging on your wall?”

I bid the young man take a seat at the edge of the bed and sat down in the rocking chair in front of it where I had been silently waiting for him to awake. I looked to the portrait again and then to him and sighed as I began to relate the story:

“It was a morning like any other morning, nigh on a thousand years ago. A luian, that is what we are called, was on the seashore and saw a sail on the horizon. As the vessel it was attached to came closer it was apparent that it was of an origin we did not know. So a boat was sent out to investigate this strange arrival. There we found four men and three women. They were all barely hanging on to life. Skin parched by the journey across the ocean under a harsh and unrelenting sun. Lips parted from the lack of water, their skin sticking to themselves from the lack of food. All were unconscious…

“They’re still alive Elandra,” my father told me. “Quick, fetch me the water flask.” I walked over a makeshift wooden plank we put between the two boats and grabbed the flask and returned with haste. I knelt next to one of the men and holding his head in my lap poured a few drops of water onto his lips. Then his foot jerked, then an arm. Then his eyelids opened.

I stopped speaking for a moment as the memory of looking into Kronar’s eyes came flooding back into my mind, from all those years ago and I sighed. As I related the story it kindled feelings as yet undying in me, as real as the day we first met.

“Go on, what happened next, who were these people, these strangers?”

“I let him drink a few more drops of water but then took the flask away from him….”

“Is this heaven?” His voice was rasp, barely audible.

“No,” I said shaking my head. “This is the land of Taris to which you have traveled.”

“My companions?”

“They are alive,” I said smiling to him.

“The man although he was so worn out, on the verge of death, had a charm about him. A simplicity in his eyes, a rugged handsomeness that stole my heart the instant I met him.

“We took them ashore and nurtured them back to health. One of the women did not survive. Our existence on the continent of Taris had long gone on without the knowledge of humankind. But your story was a sad one, your plight pitiful. We learned that far on the other side of the sea existed the race of man in misery and pain. Drought, famine, natural disasters, war, hatred, and harsh rulers dominated over your race.

“Four men, all brothers, and their wives, decided, one day, to make a boat and leave that land, to leave the misery and look for a better life. With their children they would sail on the water to beyond the horizon to the unknown and perhaps find a better life elsewhere. Or perhaps they would only find what was already awaiting them.

“All of their children died during the voyage. And they were on the verge of death when we found them. But they made it. They made it to the new land they so hoped and dreamed of. And we took them in as our own and formed a close bond with you, with humankind. Even allowing you to marry among us…”

“You love him don’t you?” Jorthen, my father asked me. Kronar’s wife and child had passed on during the perilous voyage at sea. And I could tell that I sparked a feeling in him, was filling a void that had been left in their passing. And he had filled my heart with more than he could ever imagine.

I turned from my father to look at a fading sun, felt the wind caress my skin. “He’s a good man, appa.”

“I know,” he replied, “I know,” and he took me into his arms and looked out into the distance as if spying on him and sighed.

“Soon afterward there was a great wedding banquet and I was wed to Kronar. The first marriage between a luian and a human. I brought happiness back to his life, and he kindled a warmth and joy in me that I will never forget.

"To seal this bond between the two races my father, Jorthen, had a great blade named Xelo forged. It was made from the ore of a material that lay only deep within the mines of Taris. The purpose of that sword was kept hidden from your ancestors Jaenax, all those years past. But my father knew that one day it would determine the fate of all the lives in the land of Taris.”

edit on 13-11-2013 by Broom because: (no reason given)

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edit on 11/14/2013 by tothetenthpower because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 03:17 AM

As I spoke of Xelo Jaenax instinctively looked around the room until his eyes came to rest on the hilt of his sword that lay against the wall. Then look back to me with wonder.

“With that sword,” I said now nodding toward Jaenax’s sword against the wall, “was sealed the acceptance of mankind, and Jorthen became your adopted father. That sword, and a kiss," I said and lifted a finger instinctively to my lips, as I recalled that kiss from so long ago.

“Our lives were simple and full of happiness and bliss. I remember how we would walk under the glistening tress at dusk, and lay in a meadow and count the stars that appeared on a moonless night in the heavens above.

“Kornar bore me two children in time, a son and a daughter. And he forgot the land of his birth, and forgot of the miseries that once plagued his waking hours.

“But then…” I stopped suddenly and took a gulp as the emotion of that moment of realization came flooding in. I look to Jaenax, whom I almost mistook for Kronar and saw he was eager to hear the tale continue. “Then something happened that we never expected. You see dear Jaenax, the humans began to age. I did not understand what was happening. I could not grasp with my mind the change that started to slowly take hold of my beloved husband. ‘Why do your hands and your face wrinkle? Why does the hair fall from your head? Why is its color turning to white? Why is your sight diminishing?' I would ask him.

“It was then that we realized that the human race grew old and eventually died. Upon this realization I ran away to hide in the embrace of our forest. There I came to grips of the reality which had befallen us. I was to eventually lose my love to death. There was no stopping it. Days past, perhaps a week or more. When I returned I had resigned myself to the fate that awaited him. And I did so without complaint.

“I always had a smile from then on. I was strong for my husband. Yet I could see the pain in his eyes as he realized that we did not age. We did not die. And he knew that one day he would be an old man, and I would still be in my youth, as full of vigor as ever.

“Then that day came, it came so quick, my son, it came so quick. And then he was gone. Like the dry grass that was once green but withers away in a moment during a summer heat and drifts off with the wind. And with him I lost a piece of my heart

“I thought our marriage was an eternal one, but the day came when my father helped me bury my husband.

“Then it was that we gathered the humans together and called a great meeting. It was decided that humankind would no longer be allowed to forge marriage alliances with the luian. We took them outside the boundaries of our domain…

“This sword will always be the symbol of the alliance between human and luian,” Jorthen, my father told Kronar’s son, our son, at the edge of the forest. “Pass it down to your future generations. And go with our blessings.”

Kronar the Second bowed low to my father, the lord of the forest and wept bitterly. He was leaving his home and his family, the only one he knew. I too shed tears at the parting of my child."

I stood up and walked to the wall, and looked upon the portrait. There Kronar stood, holding my hand, rose pedals falling at our sides, smiles on our faces. And there on his side hung Xelo the blade in its sheath.

“Xelo,” Jaenax whispered as he looked to the sword on Kronar’s side.

“Darkness stirs in the world, my son,” I said looking to him. And you, descendant of Kronar, and my descendant, are the key to the survival of all life in Taris.

“It all started five thousand years ago. My father’s brother, Salorn grew a covetess heart. You see we live free. We have no ruler among ourselves. But he wanted to dominant us. So he invented lies and accused my father of treachery, all the while planning treachery himself. Then something happened that never happened to our kind.

“Salorn struck out and killed several luian who dared to stand up to him. And many who had already become corrupt in their hearts sided with Salorn and they plotted to enslave us and put those of us to death who wanted to continue with the freedom we were accustomed to.

“But Jorthen took counsel with a creature deep within the mountains and learned of a device that would fool Salorn’s stratagem. And he rose up and with him a band of valiant warriors opposed to the tyranny that was unfolding upon our race and they captured Salorn and his evil minions. And banished them to the frozen wastelands of the north.

“And there he has been ever since, for five millennium plotting and scheming his escape from the barriers that have kept him trapped there. We hoped that this day would never arrive, but alas it is upon us, as a pouring downpour on a man just before harvest.”

“Those, things, those creatures...”

“Maluian. They were once luian, but they have been warped and twisted. They were once a free people as we, they were perfect, untainted. But once they turned their backs on freedom they lost that perfection.

“They have now been slowly seeping southward in their escape from their prison to the north. They are looking for the sword Xelo. That is why they came for you. That is why they killed your wife and your son.

“And that is not all. They are assembling a large army and are soon to march upon the forest.”

“The luian. Maluian. Xelo. Kronar, THE Kronar is my ancestor? All of this is too much kind lady,” Jaenax said and looked me in the eyes and held out a hand to my shoulder.

I stopped rocking in the chair and put my hand upon his. “Everything will be fine my dear Jaenax. The winds of war are sweeping the lands of Taris once again. And soon blood will be spilled. More blood than has ever been spilled before. But a peace will emerge from the ashes. And as surely as Kronar’s heart forgot of the sorrow that he once tasted in that far off land. So too after the destruction of Salorn a peace will reign in the land. And you will eventually come to find peace and happiness once again.”

We stood up then as the sun was going down and walked to the window and opened it and walked outside to stand on the balcony. A wind stirred up again in the trees flowing through my long blonde hair and blowing it back. I looked to the man beside me and took his hand in mine.

“The war of the ages is upon us Jaenax. You must be courageous and strong. For in you lies the destiny of the people.”

Then I looked to him and saw the mix of sadness and confusion in his eyes, along with the weight of learning so much in so short a time. And as I saw him look into the distance in pensive meditation I recalled standing by the banks of a river, next to my Kronar, all those centuries past. And a tear came to my eye again.

“The tear? For whom do you shed it?”

“For all the good in this world that has been, and will soon be tarnished by the evil of Salorn.”
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edit on 13-11-2013 by Broom because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 03:19 AM
This time the man Jaenax with a renewed countenance turned to me and grabbed hold my shoulders and smiled. “Have no fear my dear lady. I know not of whom you are, or where we are going. But one thing I will assure you of. We will stop those who slaughtered my family. And we will purge this land of all the evil that you say now descends upon it. If we have to unite the people of the five kingdoms we will do so. And we will not back down, and we will not give quarter, we will not take respite, until all those that threaten this freedom are vanquished.”

As he spoke I saw the power of humankind, the tenacity within them. And the beauty of their resolve. I turned to look out into the world and into the darkness, and the coming of the blackness of the long awaited twilight, and sighed. That is when I knew, after five thousand years, that our champion had finally arrived...
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posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 05:28 AM
There is no way im gonna read that much text without knowing what it is about.

So please tell me what is this thread about??

posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 05:38 AM
reply to post by Annunak1

Lol. It's for the short-story contest. Check out the short-story forum for information:

posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 05:48 AM
you related to tolkien? that was good. i like your language usage and the rhythm of it. have you noticed that writing can have a cadence to it?

posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 06:51 AM
reply to post by Broom

Ahh yea i see haha. Well good luck 2 you and the other writers!

posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 09:06 AM
Reading this was such a treat. It has a LOTR-esque feel to it, which I enjoyed.

Thanks for sharing!

posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 09:51 AM
Did you take your inspiration from Logan's Run as well?

posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 02:14 PM

you related to tolkien? that was good. i like your language usage and the rhythm of it. have you noticed that writing can have a cadence to it?

Agreed, and it can be calming, or it can be jarring and unsettling no? And thank you for the comment.
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posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 02:21 PM

Did you take your inspiration from Logan's Run as well?

No. Have never heard of it. But it sounds like something I would like if you think there was inspiration from it.

This is actually a fantasy world that has been in my mind for many years. I actually once wrote a story about it that was about 100,000 words long. And then at another time wrote another story about it that is about 50,000 words long.

So the world, its people, and such are all fleshed out in my mind. That probably gives to the complexity of the short story.

I even have a map of it, and a glossary of people and places and things, hehe. Here is the map:

What I had never tried before is to write from a first person perspective. Also from the perspective of a non-human, the rules to this competition gave me the impetus to try it. And for some reason, I wrote from the first-person persective of a luian woman. Haha, I never thought I'd do that.

edit on 13-11-2013 by Broom because: (no reason given)

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