Myth

Back and now being written much better, this story follows Will Winters who is the owner of a small bar in New York City. The bar is run by Will and his roommate, Solomon. A looming threat is coming back with a vengeance, will Will and his friends be ready?

(I appreciate any and all constructive criticism!)
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12. The Coniferous Forests


The Coniferous Forests

A loud scream echoed throughout the woods of northern Canada. A scream that drew in all sorts of woodland creatures to see what was wrong. All the creatures knew what was happening, it happened often, a Floric was giving birth.

The woman Floric, Iratei, was laying on a moss patch in a clearing and screaming, By the time any of the other Florics had arrived, the baby had already been born. His green skin glistened in the morning sun, on his head, a flower had just bloomed. Every Floric had one, his was dark blue with bright pink speckles here and there. He was oddly not crying, just looking up at the strange figures that surrounded his mother and himself. 

His mother was holding him, the other Florics approached calmly,

"Do you need anything, dear?" one asked, kneeling down next to her. "Why did you run away from the village, Iratei?" She seemed feeble, like she was about to pass out. 

"No, I'm fine," she tried to stand but fell down, which shocked everyone. The Floric caught her before she fully fell, thankfully, she didn't drop her child who was sleeping in her arms. He thought it might be dead but then he saw it's slow steady breathing and was relieved.

"Miss, please don't try to stand, we need some supplies!" the Floric yelled to the others. They took off their leather bags and started pulling out glass bottles and various things wrapped in dried leaves.

"No, I'm not going to be on this world much longer, I can feel myself slipping away already. Hino, listen," she moved his head with her hand, making him look into her eyes. "Please take him, take my little Robur," she said, she was delusional but he could tell she was serious. She laid down fully onto the moss, the Floric that was tending to her watched as she went still. The flower on her head closed into a bud and so did her eyes. Her body immediately turned brown like a dead leaf and turned to dust, like all Florics did when they died. 

The Floric, Hino, looked down at the baby he was holding. Little Robur, he didn't even know that she was dead, he just looked up to him with his bright yellow eyes that were full of wonder and Hino's eyes started to tear up. This child was beautiful and made Hino feel warm in his time of sadness.

"All right, let's head back to the village, we've done all we can do." Hino said to the others, sounding completely defeated. Everyone packed up their things and slung their bags over their shoulders. They all had an air of sadness and remorse around them as they walked away back to the village.

***

They all reached the village just as the sun was setting, little Robur slept calmly in Hino's arms, he held him gently and made sure he stayed warm with a cloth from his bag. 

When they entered the village, Waci, a village elder, approached them.

"Is this the little one then?" he whispered, looking at the child in the blanket.

"Yes, little Robur, Iratei named him that before she..." he trailed off. "Iratei didn't make it, Waci, she's dead."

Waci looked down, sadly. "Everyone, you can all head home, except you, Hino." 

Everyone else walked on into the village's front gates without saying a word. Once they were out of sight, Waci began to speak quietly.

"As I expected, she was always feeble, I knew she would never survive. She should've just not had the child," Waci said, somewhat coldly. 

"She was too strong willed to do that and you know it, she could've never hurt something that hadn't even taken it's first breath in the world." Hino said in a normal angry tone, his eyes were tearing up.

Hino's tone was enough to wake Robur who started crying and screaming,

"No no, Robur, it's okay, shhhhh," he said, calmly rocking the fussy child. Hino's rocking seemed to do the trick as Robur was asleep once again. Waci watched this and sighed,

"You're right, I'm sorry," Waci said, "we will start the ritual tomorrow, Hino, you and Robur should go get some rest." 

Hino got a good grip on Robur and walked home, the streets were dimly lit with oil-lit streetlamps giving everything around them a bouncy shadow. 

Robur began to stir again and Hino calmly started humming a lullaby, then began to start softly singing.

Over the mountains, through the forest
You will find a race called Florics
With eyes of yellow, teeth of mint
You will never hear us lament

As the sun sets, you will find
Not a soldier out of line
And as the old saying goes,
"A good warrior just knows."

Hino's calm singing seemingly made Robur calm and sleepy again which made Hino happy.

When he arrived at his empty house, he put in a makeshift crib made of a mattress, some pillows and some blankets. He knew it wasn't much and probably wasn't up to par with child safety codes, but it would do the trick for right now.

He went to the kitchen and made some formula, put it in a glass bottle, tested it on his arm like he had seen other parents do, and walked over to Robur who was starting to stir again.

Robur looked up at him curiously, Hino picked him up in a blanket, sat down, and slowly gave him the bottle to drink. Robur happily accepted the formula and slowly drank it, sucking on the top of the bottle as his eyes slowly closed.

Soon, he stopped sucking on the bottle and Hino took it away from him. Hino put the blanket over his shoulder and tried to burp him, gently tapping on his back. Robur burped a few small times which Hino took as a sign to stop. 

Hino started going through all the procedures of what to do with a baby, he changed his diaper, bathed him, clothed him, gave him a pacifier, and swaddled him. 

Robur didn't really cry much, which Hino didn't expect. He expected Robur to be a non-stop screaming nightmare as all the baby books had described. That simply wasn't the case. 

He seemed content when Hino finally let him rest and sleep, Robur fell asleep quickly and Hino passed out on his couch after working so hard. Hino would be Robur's new father, he loved him already even though he was the reason for his wife's death, he didn't blame him. His wife didn't even seem to care that she was leaving them as she died which was the hardest blow.

***

Hino woke up early the next morning to Robur crying and screaming, he got up quickly and rushed over to Robur. He checked his diaper which was soiled, Hino removed his current one and grabbed a new one from a shelf nearby along with baby wipes and baby powder.

Hino changed Robur's diaper, picked him up and rocked him. He still cried but calmed down somewhat,  Hino placed him down and went to make more formula, Hino put on the tv to a cute human children's show which seemingly caught Robur's attention immediately. Even though he was barely a day old, he already was becoming like his father.

Hino brought the formula to Robur and fed him again, he quickly finished the bottle and Hino burped him again.

There was a knock at the door as Hino started watching the tv show with Robur, he put him back in his makeshift crib and moved over to the door. 

When he opened it, Waci was on the other side,

"Hello, Hino, are you ready for the ritual?" Waci said, looking past him to Robur. "I'll also get you a crib for the tyke, that one won't last long."

"It's just something I threw together, probably not the safest..." Waci chuckled. "And yes, I think we're ready." 

Hino walked over, picked him up from his "crib", and carried him over to Waci who took him into his arms, Waci looked down at the child who seemed curious of the new person, he reached up and tried to grab Waci's brownish beard.

"Curious little Robur, we're going to make you an official Floric," Waci said in a calm tone. "Okay, let's go," 

Hino and Waci walked along the stone sidewalks to the center of town where many people were already gathered. In the center of town, a stone platform sat, it looked like a sacrificial altar but it definitely wasn't. Waci climbed the stairs to the altar and placed Robur on the platform. He said a few words in the old language which Hino had heard many times before. The jist of it was, "I bless this soul to remain pure as it was when you left your parent's womb." 

Waci shook his staff over Robur who was still being curious, not making a sound at all. Waci dipped his thumb and pinkie finger into a cup of tree sap. He dotted two blobs of sap onto his forehead, one big and one small, which made Robur giggle.

"Oh, a little happy are we?" Waci said with a slight smile, he began to chant again which ended abruptly and he raised Robur slightly into the air above the platform which made a few of the people in the crowd gasp. Hino knew they had seen it many times before but even to him it was shocking every single time. Even though Waci was incredibly careful with the ritual, there was always a chance he could drop him. He handed Robur to Hino who took him into his arms.

"As you know, you are to leave the sap on for an hour and then gently wipe it off with a cloth dipped in warm rosewater. After that, Robur will be a full Floric!" Waci exclaimed to the crowd, everyone clapped and Hino walked off the altar.

"Thank you, Waci, will do," Hino said and left amid the applause from the small audience. He headed back home with Robur in his arm, the tree sap was already hardening and blessing him with the old guardian's blessings.

Hino felt at peace with his child in his arms and watched as the flower on Robur's head finally bloomed once again for the first time since he was born. The light blue and magenta combined into a lovely six-petaled flower that looked like a hibiscus and smelled lovely but sickly sweet. Hino was in awe by this, smiled, and giggled slightly at his son, his full-fledged Floric son, Robur.

 

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