The Loneliest Traid

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  • Published: 2 Apr 2017
  • Updated: 13 May 2017
  • Status: Complete
Love and death and war and Gods and blood and magic and dancing and rest and revenge and kings and fate.
Don't worry, within these three stories you'll know yourself,
And I will put you back together again.

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3. Heroes

In a place far away, where the sun never reached and the clouds never lifted.  It was here that he was born.  Named after a warrior, Chene, the son of a wicked tribesman.  His name came from a soldier who died for their world, and it was the last words to slip from his mother’s lips as he rolled from her limp arms.  The child lay for two moons in her blood, crying to the hidden stars as they watched, helpless - or at least unwilling to try.  The child was found by witches and raised as one of the parentless, in a house of timber and ash, his work fruitless and never ending.  They beat the child for his father’s crimes, his hunt against the magic kind.  The child cried, knowing nothing of what his life was meant to be before he was carried away with the scent of his mother’s love and rot still thick in his lungs, knowing not of the clan leader he would have become if the fates hadn’t turned.  When he lay in his bed of straw and stared to the skies he let prayers die on his lips, the Gods watching and uncaring, the tide of his life carried him further and further away from the man he should have been.  

When he was old enough, he was sent away with all he had collected on his back.  Jars of liquor to keep him warm, three gold coins, and the symbol of his tribe still on a pendant around his throat.  He walked alone, for the first time in seventeen years, his legs weak with eternal fatigue and his mouth dry with the silence he had been locked in for all this time.  He walked for twelve more moons, stopping only for hours at a time, finishing off all of what he had been given and finally stopping a poor man.  But even the poorest of us have stories to find.  He stopped, and looked to the world above him.  For once, he could see the constellations, the suns that set like the yawning mouths of the ocean, waves of ruby and amber.  He felt the burn of his tears across his scarred face, and he fell to his knees.  It was the first time the dust had been lifted, and Chene watched as the Gods finally caught a glimpse of the ragged, deranged man who would one day become a hero.  He didn’t speak to them, the Gods who never listened.  Instead he let go of his pendant and stood again, never stopping for more than a night.  He walked until his legs grew strong, and his eyes grew wide.  The scars covered him like the petals, no one sure where his skin grew clean and uncut by thorns.  He felt the ocean water bless him like the hands of a guardian, as he finally reached a new home, and it was here that our warrior could finally find rest, and where his story began, in the magical city of light where the Gods did not look for the sin that lined its cobbled streets.  Here, Chene would find out who he was meant to become, training jinn magic under who would take in such a lost boy, and here he would learn what it meant to die living up to the hero's name that had lived on through him, and he would meet death with new eyes looking down on him, the eyes of the love he always deserved.

    But stories are a funny thing, and some are the background noise to a greater novella.  Unfortunately, Chene’s life is one of these, one that lays the path to a great summary of a land that we may never see.  This is not his tale, he is simply the beginning of something much larger than an orphan boy who grew to fight wars better than the mindless Gods themselves.  This story is better suited to begin up in the skies, with another boy, with skin once as clear and clean as snow, but now as frozen over as that of our hero.  This boy was a God himself, one of nightmares, perhaps the loneliest of them too.  His name was Samhain, and he was forever bound to sleep so that the land below could be free of the darkness that slunk out from the darkness.  Draped in clouds, or maybe tied by them, he rested so that he could live through all of the horrors that, without his sacrifice, others would wake to each night.  He gave his life so that mortals slept sound, but what no one knew was that although he could survive the torture of the monsters that plagued the mind of those on their planet, he was indescribably, indubitably lonely - as who could love a sleeping God who lived with such demons?  And even as he saw lives break apart before his eyes, knowing that the same people would wake knowing it had all been fantasy, he wished for nothing more than a chance to love as they did.  He had no one, that lonely God, no one to dream for, and no one dreaming for him or all that he did.  He was sent no prayers, no candles, no salams, so he lived in this castle of binds, as soft and as suffocating as mist, and he waited for the world to notice him, knowing that it never would.

    Loneliness is an odd thing.  Tell me, how can you be lonely knowing you have ground beneath your feet, that if you never stop walking you too can find some place to call home?  Or is it that you don’t know if the nightmares you face will be worth the embrace of what the Gods have planned for you, the person waiting at the end of the light, the bed which fates have laid for you for all your trouble?  Is it not a funny thing, to be lonely, when you are never truly alone?

    There is one more story I must bother you with, but it is not one I can’t describe with keeping my words fair, forgive me.  Personal demons and bias take up chapters, not pages.  For this fact, I apologise, you must read on.  It is the tale of a plight, two girls with respective curses.  One, a troll, who cried her life away hidden from the world, shielding her face and by mistake, her great heart.  The other, a bloodsucker, a baobhan sith who could found expertise in broken hearts.  A girl so beautiful she drew soldiers from their posts and struck their souls with hellfire, their throats with sharp fangs, their last sight always her flowing black hair, and her pouring opal eyes.  In another life, these two were always great friends, but it is not the case here, I am afraid.  And yet how can I summarize the lives of two whose existences were already shortened by the fear that took them hold?  To tell you that they were not but the cruel and the ugly would take away so many days of joy and dance that they had in their time, that without our writings, would go lost in age.

    Yes, loneliness is a very strange thing indeed, but there is light to be shed here.  There is a song, you see.  Crafted by the Gods of love and harmony, a piece of music so sweet that the listener will not be alone a day in their lives.  This piece is called Philotes’ Ballad, and the scripture of which can only be found in the mountains, behind the grand city without a name, a place between the west and eastern sea, between two of the greatest wars known to that land.  No one has found the music yet, and why would they need to?  Who can be lonely when the world is so full of wonderous things?  

And this is where our story begins, with the first change of time for our lonely heroes.  This turn in fates took the name of Gomez, the son of an elven noble, and the first one in the world who would save Chene’s soul.

Loneliness is a dark beast, with coiled fingers and nails like knives, that burrows deep down and eats your lungs as they flood with hope, and your heart as it beats again.  It takes what love you find in the sun or the sand and whispers the secret to you, a murmur that you have known all your life.  It tells you that you, no matter how joyous you seem, you will spend those few final moments alone and abandoned.  The monster will take your mind next, and lead you to the edge of all things that were or will ever be, and you will jump, if only to feel the Gods watch you as you fall.  At least then, someone will be watching, at least then you will not be alone.  

But you never really were, were you?  Not with that beast inside you.  With that animal, you always have a friend, and that friend is the evil which grabs ahold of your thoughts and tears you to bits so that you are never without again.  

    Tell me, would you let your soul be taken by fire just to feel warm again?  Drown your lungs so that you know feeling, scream so that you can use words at least once more?

    Would you die, just to make sure the Gods get one last look at you?  

Or kill, even?

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