Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: The Scent of a Dream

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    6

    Post The Scent of a Dream

    Author's Note :
    Hello everyone. Nice of you to stop by. Thanks for that. I started this project as an experiment, merely wanting to write something involving one of my favourite shows. I was not truly serious about it, barely gave it any attention. But of late, I have found the true joy in writing a FanFic, looking at my characters evolve as they go through life. I hope to continue and finish this one, though it may take quite some time and toil.

    It is essentially a novel with Pokémon as the main characters in a world devoid of any human beings. The denizens of this world are intelligent and have a civilization and culture of their own similar to ours in a sense. I don't call them Pokémon in the story, as Pokémon calling themselves Pocket Monsters would be funny. The story has many folk tales assimilated from our own cultures. I won’t divulge any more information here, but there are journeys, trials, tribulations, pain, and friendships formed along the way. Oh and also many action packed scenes and some violence.

    Please Enjoy.

    P. S. Your valuable suggestions are always welcome. I would love it if you can point out any mistakes or grammatical errors I may have overlooked.

    This novel is not exclusive to this forum.

    (Disclaimer: This work is a non-profit fan fiction for Pokémon. I do not own Pokémon nor do I own any of the characters aside from the occasional original character that may or may not appear in this story. The property of Pokémon belongs to Game Freak, which in turn belongs to Nintendo. Please support the official works.)





    Silent Night


    The moon looked scary tonight. From her position atop the tree, she could see its circular shape sailing across the polished sky which was clear and transparent identical to the surface of a black diamond. The impish clouds were playing truant again or they might have been carried away by a wilful wind on the way to its winter abode above the mountains. She had never liked the moon; its presence always instilled a dreadful fear in her. But tonight she was exceptionally frightened.

    Fretfully shifting her gaze away from the sky, she directed it towards the valley; straining her eyes to get a better view of the landscape and maybe get an estimate of her pursuers' location. A deathly haunting stillness presided over the vale, which got augmented by the moon's eerie glow bouncing off the surface of the earth and painting everything it touched in a ghastly silver colour. The bare branches of the trees gleamed like the limbs of countless ethereal beings in its light, waiting in ambush for travellers.

    Visibility was poor since the night air was heavy with a grey fog and although it was a full moon, nothing could be seen past a minimal distance. After much effort, all she could make out was the dim shape of a forest towards the southern horizon. Feeling disappointed at not being able to track anything more, she carefully climbed down the tree using the vines growing on its trunk. However, she could somehow barely sense her destination to be beyond that forest and thus decided to start moving in that direction.

    The silent night soon resonated with the sound of rustling leaves disturbed by her petite figure dashing through the foliage, sometimes evading the moonlight by reflex. She avoided looking up at the sky, constantly fixating her gaze on the ground below or the path ahead. As she ran, momentary fragments of memories from her childhood flashed through her mind. She was quite mischievous during those days, whining and throwing tantrums often, essentially a spoiled brat. Every night before going to bed, it was customary for her to pester her mother for stories. Her mother being the kind soul she was, used to give in most of the times and narrate to her fables of mighty champions, wise sages and of savage demons that lurked in the night. Many of these stories involved the moon; legends of heroes rescuing damsels with its help, jealous princesses trying to steal its beauty and poets going mad in search of words to describe its magnificence. Yet those tales of its chivalry, compassion and wisdom could by no means erase her hatred towards the moon. Whenever she was in its vicinity, she felt a bizarre nervous sensation each time. Maybe for her, in her mind, it would forever be a grim glob of debauchery and desire. Foreboding and spreading gloom wherever it's sinister light fell upon.
    Though she knew it was not the time to be reminiscing old fantasies. She had to focus all of her conscience on only one thing at that moment. She had to run. Run as fast as her legs could take her.

    She was now sprinting through a vast grassland, with grass growing taller than her shoulders. This made her movement slower than before. Long hours of exertion had taken its toll on both her physique and psyche; she felt like her feet were tied to two massive boulders. Maybe her will was the only reason she could carry herself that far. Or was it the hope of survival. Tearing through the tall grass, she dashed; their long and sharp edges slicing mercilessly into her delicate skin akin to a million hungry daggers. She was wearing a ritual garb consisting of a white robe with long sleeves, tied around the belly with a floral red belt and pants also red in colour. Nevertheless, these clothes provided little to no resistance against the cruel sharpness of the grass; they ripped and slashed through her attire as if it was butter. Blood seeped from her wounds into her robe, dyeing it with the same colour as her pants. But she understood it would be too dangerous for her to stop and heal herself at that point in time. Her weary yet tenacious mind had already decided that she could rest all she wanted when she had evaded her pursuers. Except there was a tiny realization faintly knocking at her heart, which she chose to ignore. Her body was nearly at its limit and she might shortly succumb to the unbearable pain from the cuts and gashes and the numbness in her feeble legs.

    Before long, the grassland opened into a small path with huge trees on either side that led into a shadowy ominous forest. This was the one that she had seen earlier. Trees as tall as mountains stood before her, their girth so big that someone could build a house inside their trunks. Their dark green leaves got entwined together into a mesh over their lofty peaks, creating a thick canopy through which neither light nor rainwater could pass. Hence, the ground below was murky and damp, shrouded in a veil of shadows.

    Analyzing the situation for a moment, she thought if she moved through the trees instead of following the path then she might be able to lose her chasers. It was a reasonable strategy, the trees would block the field of vision of anyone pursuing her and their thick trunks will protect her from any direct attacks from behind. In addition to that, the night's shadows will conceal her form well. From time to time, she just had to check on the path and she could get out. Yet there was a dim awareness in her heart that such a method will not confuse the hounds of hell that were chasing her, known for their superior smelling ability. Even so, if there was a slight chance of success, she had to seize it.

    Straying from her previous course, she advanced through the tall trees keeping but a small distance from the trail. Wherever the eyes could follow, she could only see a darkness more than the night, pulling her into an unknown abyss. But her kind was endowed with two small red scales growing out of their head, which gave them enhanced psychic abilities. Owing to these, she had extremely good sensory perceptions which enabled her to comprehend the arrangement of the trees, allowing her to dart quickly between them.
    Soon she came upon a dense thicket of shrubs growing out of the mushy surface. Well enough for hiding her for a while, she presumed. Sitting down, her eyes inspected her figure, looking for damage. There were cuts all over; blood flowed from wounds on her fragile arms and shoulders. Her legs were at a limit too, fatigue from all the running had made them blue and swollen. But then again her kind was not made for physical exertion; they were creatures of intellect and spirituality rather than bulk.

    After pondering for a minute, she decided that she should at least try and heal her injuries a little. If she lost more blood, then she might lose consciousness and even die. Her energy was very low, so a way of stopping the blood should be enough for now. As to the numbness in her limbs she wondered if she could manage to treat it. Casting such a spell required time and hence there was a risk of getting caught. But she knew she had to take that risk.

    Stepping inside a small closure in the thicket, she sat on the ground with her legs crossed and brought her hands together. Then she clapped her palms whilst she closed her eyes. Next, she started concentrating her psyche on the tip of the fingers and silently started incanting an ancient spell. A weak pinkish glow started to form around her slight frame, which increased in luminosity slowly and slowly. In a little while after, the pinkish glow was its maximum intensity, chasing away the gloom around her and making her small figure shine similar to a candle. After that, she pulled her palms a little away from each other and the pink aura started to move towards her hands. It began accumulating inside the small gap between her palms, forming a small ball of light.

    Suddenly she opened her eyes, which had lost their original white colour and were now encased in a pink brilliance. With a swift motion, she opened her arms wide and whispered,

    “Heal Pulse”

    The orb of light burst out resembling a glass sphere flung into a rock, splintering into myriads of tiny particles and releasing waves of pink light energy which expanded outward. A warm soothing feeling rushed across her physique as her wounds began to close and her legs felt better. Almost immediately the pink light faded the same way it was conceived, plunging the whole area into darkness, the way it was before.

    Much relaxed, she stood up, to continue her journey forward. Moving out of the thicket, she stretched a little and prepared to sprint ahead. All of a sudden, when she looked up, she noticed hundreds of stars above her head. It was surprising since they were not there earlier since the trees did not allow light to seep through. However, what she observed afterwards rooted her to the spot with a cold chill racing down her spine. The stars were gradually getting larger and larger, evolving into balls of fire, menacing enough to engulf everything in its path in flames of hell. Mustering all courage, she dashed away in the direction opposite to her current location. But in her heart, she realized perhaps it was too late. With a noise like a roaring tsunami, the fireballs hit the forest surface, shaking the ground underneath, exploding on contact. The shockwave was so powerful that it lifted her body up into the air and tossed it into a nearby rock.
    Some time passed before she recovered from the concussion, her ears ringing and a pain akin to being stepped on surging through her form. She found it harder to breathe; little droplets of blood came out each time she exhaled. The whole area was now illuminated with a reddish glow, the shadows receding away and the flames trying to eat up the vegetation and the unsuspecting fauna under it. She understood she had to move quickly into the dark. With great effort, she managed to stand up with a groan and focusing all remaining power on her legs, propelled herself forward at breakneck speed. She did not have the courage to look back, but she could clearly hear the blood-curdling growls of her pursuers. Now that she was healed, she could move at a much faster rate, zigzagging amongst the trees. Suddenly without warning, a tree in front her was hit by a huge fireball and fell down making a sound similar to the battle cries of thousands of soldiers. She swiftly prevented herself from rushing into the blaze that ensued, though it had blocked her only way of escape. Soon it felt like she was surrounded by hundreds of beasts; she could perceive the soft steps made by their feet as they trotted towards her.

    In no time terrifying figures came into view, their eyes burning with fires of inferno and fumes discharged from their nostrils and mouth, whilst they howled their war-cries, “Houndoom”. Most of their horrifying visages' could not be seen, for they were the terrors of the night, their bodies painted by the maker in black shades of despair, their shapes blending perfectly into the night.

    Steadily, the beasts walked towards her, their flaming jaws eager to bury into her tender flesh. She understood that trying to flee was futile; she was barricaded from all sides and the beasts could kill her anytime they wanted. Almost fainting, she sank down on the cold ground on her knees, losing all hope and almost ready to accept her imminent death. Her face had become white similar to a sheet losing its colour while her eyes gazed restlessly onto the earth as if trying to pierce its rocky surface.

    Moments which seemed like eons passed while she lay there, listening to the beasts' breathing and steps, encircling her; trying to decide who gets to kill her and in what manner. Memories flooded across her mind, of her village, her home, her mother and her mission. A warm tear or two rolled down her cheeks; she felt so helpless, wishing there was someone who would come and rescue her. The journey till then had been terrible, so horrific that she didn't want to remember parts of it. Yet she had tried in all her capacity, to fulfil the quest that was assigned to her, dragging her catatonic body through hell. Unexpectedly, a sudden feeling of anger engrossed her. Why a frail being like her was entrusted a dangerous mission such as that. Why everyone in her village was depending on her. Why she had to die a premature death in such a desolate place.

    She was shaking violently now; her hands tightly rolled into fists. Surprisingly enough, an old and ancient spell taught by her mother when she was still a child, flickered across her brain. It was a trick that could not be done unless one had a pure and distinct mindset; she had given up after a few futile attempts. Her mother was furious at first; reminding her that it would come in handy someday and she had to learn it anyhow. She practiced it in secret for a while after that, not wanting to incur the wrath of her mother. Then one day, her mother saw her practicing hard and explained to her why it was so important for her people. Though she could not understand the words she had heard that day, she was able to perform a very weak version of the spell.

    If only she could execute it then she might be able to flee. But owing to the situation she was in, she questioned herself about the probability of success. In addition to that, she had never tried it after that one time. Nonetheless, she had to try; dodge reality and ascend to live another day. The hounds were getting closer and closer, from time to time howling a cry of victory. She bit her lower lip to steel her nerves.

    Gathering whatever energy, she felt was left in her; she stood up once again and closed her eyes. Exhaustion showed quite clearly on her face, veins popping out on her forehead and she was breathing erratically. She started chanting that ancient spell. This time, she placed her right hand in front of her head and left hand near her abdomen, with palms facing outside and fingers stretched on both hands. A white halo began to form around her, spiralling with a humming noise. The hunters realized that something was wrong and started prancing towards her. All of sudden, she opened her eyes and speedily traced a circle with her hands, moving them in clockwise direction and bringing them near her chest, interlocking the fingers and crying,

    “Teleport”

    The halo exploded, a torrent of white luminescence flooded the area, blinding her opponents. When the light was gone, she found herself on top of a small hillock overlooking the forest she was in. With no power left in her body, she fell down face up.

    The moon still glowed ominously, its revolting countenance giving an impression of a savage beast out on a hunt. But it did not scare her anymore. She had escaped certain death and a feeling of satisfaction replaced her fear. With a weak smile on her wry lips, she fell into a deep dreamless stupor.

    The night returned to its silent appearance again.

    Last edited by VamosSid; 24th March 2016 at 6:00 PM.
    Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    6

    Post

    Criminal



    "Oi Oz, look I found some pretty ones here," Raito yelled.

    His friend who was at the bottom of the hill looked up at him.

    "Wait. Let me check if they are edible", Oz replied sarcastically. "We don't want to sell anything like what you picked up last time."

    "Eh, it was not that bad as you say, man. They all just got a little hysterical after eating the mushrooms, that's all. The villagers should probably thank me for making them laugh," Raito responded with an annoyed looking face.

    "Well too good those were not poisonous or the one hysterical then would have been you".

    He slowly started scaling the hill to where his friend was, standing atop a big rock with cracks all over it. The two friends were collecting mushrooms and herbs to sell in the village market. Most of the time, they gathered and sold firewood and fruits found in the jungle surrounding their village, but once or twice a week they made their way to that rocky hilly area for amassing more valued materials. The road to that region was perilous and a long way from the village, however, they understood that with more toil came greater rewards.

    "Whatever buddy, it's not like they can kill me or anything." Raito chuckled and made a swish with his finger in the air. "I am great at escaping as you know."

    Oz who was already at his friend's location asked, "Yeah yeah, you are great. No, show me the place where you saw the mushrooms."

    Pointing at a big crack on the rock he was sitting on, Raito answered, "Over here."

    Directing his gaze to where Raito was indicating, Oz peered inside the crack. His friend was not wrong. In the lower corner of the crack, mushrooms were growing in abundance and they were not of the poisonous kind. Oz thought that if they could collect and sell those, it would be a huge profit. He beckoned Raito to come down and help him with the gathering. Raito descended with a big smile and "See I told you" look on his face. And together they began picking up the mushrooms from the crevice and stockpiling them in their baskets which lay at their feet.

    Oz who was the burly one, carried a Bokken on his back, held by a string through his neck and under his arms. He wore simple village clothes; a tattered shirt and pants woven from cotton fibre and shoes made of animal skin. Colourless and patched at various points, they showcased his poverty clearly to the onlooker. But the only thing uncanny about his attire was a mask shaped identical to a skull which he wore over his face, a permanent piece of his body. He never told anyone the reason behind it, and nobody wanted to delve further into such a matter. For as long as anyone could remember him, he had worn that mask. Something he wished to forget. Something he could forget no matter how much he tried. A dark memento of his horrifying past.

    While Oz was gloomy and knowledgeable, Raito was quirky and humorous. He was small framed and swift on his feet. Shorter in height than Oz, a tiny green leaf grew out his head, the symbol of his tribe's coherence with nature. For ages, they have lived as one with the environment, which in turn have bestowed them with miraculous gifts. He wore the same attire which was a bit decent in respect to Oz's, but to such amounts which could be deemed negligible.

    Both Raito and Oz were orphans, although Raito was nurtured by his Grandmother. Oz lived in a small thatched hut atop a hill near the village, his family home. They were close since childhood; two souls brought together by necessity and understanding.

    Poking with his wooden sword where their hands could not reach, soon all the mushrooms were gathered and they attached the baskets to their backs and started descending the hill. Their return journey would be exhausting; it was a long walk to the village. Nonetheless, they were happy for it was a good haul, worth hiking all that way there to pick stuff.

    The path through the rocky area soon ended in a small mountain stream. The village was a little distance away from and the stream passed by it. Thus, if they followed it they would reach their destination with ease. So they began walking beside it, talking about their daily lives and things they needed to do the next day. The clear translucent waters of the spring made a rhythmic sound as it flowed; at times lashing about an unruly rock and making an angry noise for disturbing the song. The cool breeze carried a sweet scent of summer as it danced as if to accompany the song. They could see many wild beasts flocking on the other side of the stream to quench their thirst and rest their fatigued bodies for a little while near the calm water surface. Nature was in perfect harmony with its guests, treating the passer-by with a sight to behold and cherish. One may wish to indulge forever in such a landscape, forgetting the world, his kin and even himself.

    All of a sudden, Raito screamed, nudging his friend with an elbow, "Look, man, look at that fish over there. I think it's a Goldeen. But the colour is a bit unnatural, don't you think? If we could catch it, we might be able to sell it for a lot to Chief. This should be easy for us."

    Oz looked at where his talkative friend was directing, and it was true. Cruising over the shallow waves of the stream, there was an enormous fish, flouncing, rolling its immense body and sailing over the waters majestically; occasionally shaking its long horn with dignity as if to showcase its nobility. However rather than the usual orange-red shade, it was golden. It was a shiny breed. Goldeens were called the queens of the rivers; though seeing one was not extremely rare, but very uncommon in those parts. Moreover, not many brag about seeing a shiny one in their lives.

    He knew they didn't have much time to lose if they wanted to ensnare the beautiful yet fast creature. Setting his basket on the ground, he speedily drew his Bokken, holding it in one hand.

    "Can you trap it?" He asked his friend who akin to him had placed his basket on the ground, his face beaming with anticipation.

    "Surely," Raito replied. "Look at what I can do."

    Straightening his body, Raito then observed the Goldeen carefully to lock on to its location and closed his eyes to concentrate. Then he crossed his arms. The small leaf on his head started to flicker violently as his body was slowly covered in a golden light. As the light grew brighter, he suddenly opened his arms wide. Three rings of rainbow coloured energy surrounded him, circling at high speeds making a whooshing sound as the air around him was being cut. The rings soon move outwards and positioned themselves near his chest creating a big ball of spiralling energy. Then he quickly opened his eyes and proceeded to fire the ball of light towards the unsuspecting fish, calling out in a small voice,

    "Extrasensory"

    When the creature was stuck, it shivered as if hit by lightning. The rings began to encircle it forming a cage above the water. Dazed by the attack, the Goldeen began to frolic madly and used its horn to break free to no avail.

    Seeing his part done, Raito looked at Oz signalling him to start his own. Without wasting any more time, Oz retracted his right foot behind his left and held out his Bokken out with his right hand. Next, he pulled back the hand holding the Bokken as far as he could and after writing an ancient symbol in the air with his left hand, threw the sword towards the caged Goldeen, as he whispered,

    "Boomerang"

    It flew with supersonic speed, slicing the surrounding winds in a silvery sweep and hit the cage of light at the centre. The cage burst, the rings exploded out scattering colours everywhere and creating golden ripples on the water surface. The fish, however, was glued to the sword, it made a perfect arc as it glided back towards Oz. He caught it using his right hand and the beast with his left. It was not completely dead yet, its gills were flaring a little as it gasped for the last bits of air. Happy with his work, he laid the prize on the ground so his friend could also observe it.

    "See brother, it was easy as I said," Raito spoke holding up his hand in a boosting pose. "Did you see my magnificent trick?"

    Before Oz could reply to his companion's remark, the river started to rise as if an explosion had set off on the river bed. A whizzing sound could be hard as the water seemed to part and a black silhouette shot out of it in the manner of an arrow and landed on the bank with a boom creating tremors, spewing dust everywhere. When the dust cleared, its full body came into view, to the horror of the two friends. A form twice the height of Oz and bulkier in proportion, its massive body coloured in orange with black stripes on its back, and puffed white caudal and pectoral fins with black spots. It had a huge horn on its forehead like the creature they had caught, it made a shrieking noise as the horn started spinning very fast, making countless rotations in the matter of a second. Nasty angry eyes glared at them, vengeance written all over its form.

    Out of the blue, without any warning, the beast jumped from its position and darted towards Raito. He jumped in the nick of time, except the fish continued on its trajectory, hitting an enormous boulder behind him and blasting it to bits. Not stopping a little bit, it continued its onslaught, afterwards dashing towards Oz similar to a ball fired from a mortar, spewing waves of destruction. He reacted swiftly to it and was saved by a hair's breadth.

    "I knew this might happen. Goldeens always travel in numbers with a Seaking as their leader," Oz cried to his friend as he continued dodging the fish.

    "Ughh, now is not the time to impart knowledge Oz. Do something or we will definitely meet our maker today," Raito bellowed.

    Oz knew his friend was right. If they did not act fast, the beast would surely kill them. It was using "Horn Drill" a skill that had huge power. The only reason they were able to avoid its assaults was because it was an attack fuelled by rage making it less accurate. They would die instantly though if one of those hit them.

    Setting his mind, he yelled, "Rai, can you draw his attention for a few moments? I may be able to get us out of this situation, I think."

    "I can try, but please hurry."

    Saying this, Raito opened both his hands wide. The leaf on his head started fluttering again as he focused. Strong winds began to blow around his body in a spiral motion, carrying with it twigs and leaves scattered nearby. Next, he brought his hands together in front his chest in a wide arc, yelling,

    "Leaf Storm"

    The foliage around his body was propelled towards the Seaking. Akin to a tornado it coiled as it progressed, blowing clouds of dust and rocks everywhere and making visibility poor. The instant it clashed with its target, the creature was hurled over and stopping its rampage. That did not seem to stop the creature, though, but on the contrary, it became more enraged and shot towards Raito with blinding velocity. Another twister gathered round Raito's body, as the previous one had disappeared and he continued hurling them one after another at the fish. Nevertheless, the beast continued its riot as it charged at Raito, making screeching noises.

    "Come on Oz, this will not hold him long," Raito shrieked as he laboured to keep the beast in check, breathless and with a panic stricken face.

    Oz firmly planted his feet on the ground as he looked at the fish. Its motions were made sluggish by the continuous bombardment from his friend making its movement more predictable. Closing his eyes, a bit, he clasped his sword with both hands at one end. A small breeze blew near his body upsetting the earth as his mind reached a state of tranquillity. Suddenly he opened his eyes and quickly dashed towards the beast with lightning speed. A blue aura emitted from his body, encasing his figure resembling a second skin. Next, he jumped, brought the sword over his head and with the agility of a swordsman stuck the fish's head as he came down and a word escaped his mouth,

    "Bone Slash"

    The creature's massive body was almost cut in half with a blue streak and it fell down, dyeing the ground red with its blood. With a deft movement to the right, Oz shook off the blood on his Bokken, before re-equipping it on his back. Feeling tired, he sat down on a nearby rock because such a strike took huge amounts energy to perform. A silent prayer escaped his lips, as he looked sadly at the beast's frame that had only attacked them seeking revenge for its partner. Two magnificent creatures killed, he felt like a criminal.

    Last edited by VamosSid; 23rd March 2016 at 8:17 AM.
    Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Dreamer


    The sun was setting over the distant peaks, sprinkling its vibrant hues everywhere. The wind which was blowing fiercely a while ago disturbing the petite green leaves had settled down, although its minute tracks could still be felt in the air. The two friends walked in tandem following the stream, glossy as a mirror. They carried the fishes tied to a pole which they slung over their shoulders. The beasts' bodies were concealed under a makeshift cover they made using some large leaves of aquatic plants found near the stream. Raito was walking in front, his steps cheerful, with the prospect of an extravagant reward and a good meal.

    Oz, who held the rear end of the pole, looked at his friend and smiled. Oz loved Raito's jovial personality. As for him, he moved with a droopy gait, his back hunched forward and gaze fixated on the rocky surface beneath. It was never easy for him to see another creature die; much less by his own hands. A strong feeling of hate and remorse hit him. What happened with the Goldeen was inevitable, it was situational and necessary, a relation shared by the hunter and the hunted. Such predatory characteristics were inserted into everyone by the maker; the stronger species preyed on the weaker one in order to survive. Even if they have evolved into a self-aware autonomous society consisting of beings capable utilizing resources in an optimized way, they were still bound by the basic fundamentals of nature. What lies in front of one is either food or a way of acquiring food, nothing else.

    But killing the Seaking was not a part of that process. It was merely trying to protect its flock like all do, a necessary part of existing in any social order. The frail ones survive by clustering in groups, each individual working tirelessly as a part of a bigger body and thus forming a symbiotic network. Oz knew it was needed at that moment of time to protect themselves from the assault of the great beast but still a part inside of him could not calm down. If only he could have in some way thought of a way to prevent it. He sighed silently.

    Soon the entrance to their village became visible. Raito had been bantering the whole way though Oz had heard little of what his friend said. Every now and then, he responded with an "hmph" or a "ya", but most of the time he chose to refrain from saying anything. A stony pathway led to the massive gateway of their village, a large gate made of wooden planks held together by giant trunks of sturdy wood from the nearby forest. An arc made of bamboo was mounted on top of it, decorated using ornamental flowers made from multi-coloured fabric and wooden effigies. The residents of the village of Sune lived peacefully beyond that gate.

    Raito's house was just a little distance away from the gate. They placed their bundles on the courtyard and Raito went inside to call out his Grandmother. Oz splashed a little water on his face and limbs from a pitcher near the well on one side of the courtyard. He felt dirty from the ravings of the day but he had no time to take a bath as the goods must be delivered fresh.
    "Oh, you guys had quite a haul today. Oz come inside and eat something," Granny came out with a smile on her beautiful face. That entrancing smile was always with her no matter the situation. She worked as a weaver, selling her handmade clothes once a week in the village market. Raito's parents had passed when he was a baby and Granny raised him like her own child, trying to fulfil most of his needs with her old wrinkly hands and never resting for so much as a moment. Although there were sleepless nights with their tummies aching with the sounds of hunger, that void was somehow filled up with her motherly love. Even though the leaf on her head was withering, she was always full of energy and lived each day as if it were her last. Oz owed a great debt to this family, he who was all alone in the wide world, only had them whom he could call his kin. Many a time had he been invited to live with them but he declined because he did not want to be a burden.

    After a quick meal, they decided it was time to go the house of the Head of the Village or Chief as he was called by the villagers. He was rich and kind; there was a chance that he might buy both the fishes. Placing the pole with the bundle again on their shoulders, they started their journey towards Chief's villa. The village of Sune was a small one and not many folks lived there. The houses were made either of wood or leaves with thatched hay roofs. A couple of these were decorated shabbily, but such ornamentation only enhanced the onlooker's pity as their gaze fell on the battered exteriors. The villagers tottered through their scruffy lives, showing but only a little remorse or grief. They were jolly good fellows, greeting as one passed by, always accompanied by a genial smile. Helping each other in times of peril was not kindness but an obligation. Days were hard from toiling under the sun, the nights harder with an empty stomach. In those times, there existed very thin line between happiness and sorrow. Everyone suffered almost equally, from the known miseries that are called life. Pain, hunger, poverty, diseases, death was in abundance and such circumstances brought them closer than blood. Why suffer alone when you can forget it together for a moment and pretend to be happy.

    In the evenings, the folks would gather around in the tavern stuffing their bellies with cheap ale and stale meat. From time to time, someone would take out a rusty banjo and start playing a cheesy old tune. One or two would gather around him and start singing ballads about long forgotten heroes and kings. Soon the whole place would become a cacophony of hoarse drunk voices, incomprehensible words and vulgar mutterings in between. As the night grew darker, they would disperse; staggering towards their home and still humming the tune.

    Oz and Raito paced towards their destination through the bustling village streets. His dwelling was considerably better than its counterparts in the village. Unlike them, it was entirely made of red bricks and had a tiled roof. Cypress and white cedar had been used for the doors and the arches while the frames were made from cheaper local pine. A huge courtyard welcomed the visitors; through it lay a small brick path with flower beds on either side. This abode had been in his family for many generations; it provided the dismal village a tinge of beauty.

    When they reached their destinations, they placed their load on the patio and requested for Chief. He was jovial being; young, thoughtful and considerate. Everyone respected him and he, in turn, cared a lot for his fellow villagers.

    "Gosh, what have you got under there?"

    Chief approached them, walking in a slow regal gait. He was wearing a blue yukata with white floral patterns and wooden sandals. The sleeves of the yukata were unbelievably long; they covered his hands completely, stretching beyond his fingers. A small green head protruded through the opening around the neck, harbouring a gentle face. A pair of black beady eyes with small white pupils peered at the bundle on the ground as if it could pierce the leafy shroud and see what's inside. Two yellow frills like appendixes extended on both sides his heads, which were connected by yellow lines to his yellow lips and rings of the same colour around his eyes. The frills occasionally quivered in weird motions as if they were trying to catch the minute vibrations in the environment.

    "Hey there Old-man, guess what we caught today," Raito smirked with a puffed out chest.

    "Now now, don't you go calling me an old man just because I am the chief here. I am about your age you know," He replied with a whiny voice on the verge of crying.

    "Yeah like hell you are. Grandma says you are as old as the village. You look ancient. Doesn't he Oz?"

    "Shut up," Oz retorted. "Chief, I am sorry for Raito's behaviour. He is very stupid."

    Chief looked up. Signs of tears were already forming at the corners of his eyes.

    "No worries Oz, I don't mind that much. You know I am just a kid with a huge responsibility."

    "Calling yourself a kid at your age is a bit idiotic though."

    "Sob, even Oz also thinks in that way. Have I become so aged and wrinkly," He raised a fist towards the heavens and screamed angrily. "Give me back my youth you brute"

    "Hah," Raito burst out laughing. "Yeah, yelling would make so much difference. Admit it Old-man, YOU ARE AN OLD MAN".

    Chief made a face similar to that of a kid who has been severely rebuked. He crouched on his knees with his back towards them and was soon encased in a dark gloomy aura. He also started making a "muu" sound while prodding the ground with one of his bony fingers.

    "Anyways Chief, we caught two big fishes today. We were wondering if you would like to buy them."

    With a swift motion, Oz removed the covering of the fishes. He still could not look at their dead bodies sprawled out on the ground. But his sight got diverted to the leaf which he had removed just and then holding in his hands. It was stained with dark red spots on its green body where blood from the beasts had caked and dried up. Oz threw away the leaf in disgust.
    Chief went closer to look at the dead Goldeen and Seaking. Their lifeless eyes were dyed red from the rays of the setting sun. He brought his palms together and muttered a silent prayer for the departed. Taking a glance at Oz, he could feel the guilt the child possessed. He walked up to Oz and patted him on the head.

    "Marvellous creatures indeed. Don't think too much about it boy. We do what we have to do to survive. I will take these two but I doubt my family would be able to finish them. Looks like we will have to call a few of our neighbours to join us for dinner tonight. How about it you guys? Won't you dine with me? Raito, can you go invite your Grandmother too," Chief said. His beady eyes gazed at them in a caring manner.

    "Ah, Grandma would be delighted. You staying bud?"

    Oz was staring at the sky deep in thought. The sun had already set beneath the horizon and the stars had come out, fumbling to match its radiance with their puny twinkling self. Nevertheless, the only heavenly body which could correspond to such was the bright silvery disc called the moon by many, which was playing hide and seek with the clouds at that moment. Though its light was weak compared to the sun, they carried a message of calmness delivered right to the heart. But was his heart calm, Oz thought.

    "Hmm. Oh, I can't stay. I apologize. I am going to take my leave now. Goodnight Chief, Raito," He replied awoken from his trance and slowly started walking away.

    He could hear Raito's loud voice after him, "What about your payment?"

    "You keep it for now. I am tired."

    Oz smiled back. A blank smile devoid of joy or sorrow. The smile of a dreamer.
    Last edited by VamosSid; 23rd March 2016 at 8:12 AM.
    Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Flames


    The dreams of tomorrow

    Washed up on a lonely shore

    A thousand years of regret

    Followed by a thousand more..
    .


    Oz woke up with a jerk. He was sweating profusely and his clothes stuck closely to his drenched body like a second skin. Tangled up to his neck was a sheet, which creased and coiled around him in the manner of a serpent. He felt a massive banging in his head and his throat felt dry. Kicking off the sheet, Oz got up from his bed and walked towards the water pitcher. His steps shuddered a little, he leaned against a wall to regain his composure. The night was cold but not so much; he did not understand why he had covered himself up in the first place.
    Pouring out some water into a cup, he took a long drink. The cold water rushed through his neck; cooling off his innards. He felt a little better. The heat and humidity in the room were agonizing so Oz decided to take a stroll outside. As soon as he stepped out, a chilly waft hit him, spreading all over his body similar to an icy mountain stream and refreshing him in the process.

    He again took a sip from the cup he had carried out with him. That dream again huh, Oz thought. A sudden urge to vomit came over him and he felt his stomach tied in a knot. Taking another sip, he tried to keep the bile from escaping his mouth. There was a spontaneous impulse of wanting to forget the things he dreamed about, even though he could not remember the dream to begin with. A repulsive sting attacked him just from thinking about it.

    Oz looked up. The night sky was clear without any trace of clouds and the stars sailed on it identical to numerous skiffs fishing on a great dark lake with a lantern hanging from their masts. A number of these grouped together in a cluster as if working in a team to get hold of the best catch. The ancients named these groups of stars Constellations, labelling them according to their shapes and assigning each with alluring legends. The stories were plentiful as were the stars they were based on. The sky was akin to a canvas to those of the past, their own form of theatre, with scenes unfolding every night as they gazed at its massive form. They would weave tales of love, faith and deceit, casting the stars as the actors, amusing themselves as they sat around a fire on a long wintery night. The constellations and the stars would reanimate themselves as heroes, villains, farmers, kings, monsters and princesses. After all the sky has no limit, as long as one can imagine.

    Oz turned his sight towards the south-west part of the sky. "Dialga" could be seen high above the horizon. Its counterpart and eternal foe "Palkia" had set moments ago in the northeast. Somewhere in the deep dark corners of the infinite, "Giratina" observed them both, hiding its hideous form in the obscurity.

    Oz drank from the cup again, exhaling white mist into the cold dank night air. Granny used to tell them stories about these constellations when they were kids. In those days, Oz used to spend most of his evenings at Raito's place. He wouldn't sleep there, but he would hang around till dinner time, helping Granny with household chores. Frequently they pestered him to dine with them and at times he did not have a choice but to succumb to their continuous nagging. It was not as if he hated those silly warm familial harassments. He just couldn't intrude too much upon their affections and hospitality. Yet that was maybe an excuse he concocted to conceal his own introversion.

    The gloom in his face soon turned into a smile as he remembered that period of his childhood. During the day, Oz and Raito would scavenge the nearby forests for firewood and herbs. Often these quests as they were dubbed by Raito would end up in him straying from the original objective and playing pranks on the villagers, at times even pulling Oz into it. He would get beaten up frequently, but that could by no means dampen Raito's spirit; he was quite a bouncy fellow, full of life. Never stopping to think for a moment and yet directionless. Just like a Hoppip in the wind.

    The evenings were more peaceful. Granny would apply a small amount of herbal remedy on the numerous cuts and bruises on Raito's body; time and again, a sarcastic remark would escape her lips. Raito would jeer at this and Oz would simply grin. As soon as this ordeal was over, she would light up the fireplace and set up some gruel on it to boil. Then she would bring out her loom and start weaving and soon a melody would float through the dainty little room of that small house. For a moment, that room would drift into another dimension, free from all the mishaps in the world.

    Almost every night Granny would tell the children stories of the past. Her narrative style was very enchanting, she knew where to stutter and where to pause for effect. Listening to her telling all those fables, one would certainly get captivated and temporarily lose themselves in her words.

    One of them was the myth of Dialga, Palkia and Giratina. It is said that long before the beginning of time, there was no earth, no sky and no seas. The world was a muddle of order and chaos, spreading for endless distances. Amidst this confusion, the Creator placed three eggs, one white, one black and the last one blue in colour. The eggs stayed in that state for millions and millions of years, until a tiny crack appeared on the black egg and Giratina was born. The baby Giratina as soon as he came out of the shell let out a tremendous roar which woke up his brothers sleeping inside the remaining two eggs. Soon they came out breaking their own shells and the three saw each other for the first time. The brothers stayed in that form for immeasurable periods of time, wondering and talking about why they existed and what was their purpose.

    In the end, they could no longer bear the silence and decided to take a voyage across the forlorn space, in hopes of finding answers. Innumerable epochs of time passed by as they travelled but they still couldn't find anything except for the chaotic blend of space and time.

    Suddenly at a particular juncture of time, Giratina had a realization. The universe had no ends, devoid of any matter. It was just similar to the inside of their eggs where they formed from nothingness. Maybe the Creator had placed them there to create life from that void, comparable to how he had created them. Upon having this realization, Giratina beckoned his brothers to come to him and told them his notion when they arrived. Dialga and Palkia immediately understood what he was trying to say and agreed to help in this regard.

    At first, Dialga distorted the space around them and created the earth. Palkia then made it rain for millennia and the nooks and crannies on the earth's surface were filled with water, forming the oceans. Giratina then blanketed the world with the sky and painted it with the sun, moon and the stars. He further went on to set the rules of nature, the changing of seasons and the transition from day to night. From the land thus formed, they sculpted the creatures and the trees which were henceforth to live on it, inhabiting the surface, the skies and the seas. Each was infused with a fire that burned inside their hearts, an immortal soul. In the very end, Giratina shed his own blood to fall on the earth and thus arose the Guardians, who were tasked with protecting the world and all those who dwelled upon it. When everything was completed, the three made abodes for themselves, from whence forth they could oversee and rule the matters of the world. Dialga made his palace on the peaks of a grand mountain, with steel spires and fiery volcanoes surrounding it. Palkia's dwelling was amid the raging seas, a castle made of ice and barricades of icicles, its tips sharper than the summer sun. Giratina left the world for his brothers to govern and decided to look after the souls of the departed, in a nether realm separated from the world by a dimensional wall.

    Peace and prosperity ruled supreme for a long period of time as the world grew in its cradle, nurtured by the Guardians and the Gods. Songs of harmony flowed through the heart of every individual who was alive; an ambience of concord enveloped them reminiscent of the fine chilly mist that rises on cold winter mornings. Greed, strife, avarice, malice was just but mere words yet to be discovered; for sins arose from the need of material possessions and in that world, need was staggered by satisfaction. Satisfaction of the soul.

    But destiny had something else planned. After eons of serenity, somehow a seed of discord was planted amongst the brothers. They were Gods no doubt, but they were still bound by the rules of that universe and emotions were a part of those rules.

    Soon the earth was enveloped in the scorching flames of war. The devastation and destruction that happened could never be gauged. For this was not a battle between mere mortals. It was a war of Gods.

    Palkia rose from his castle in the sea and encased the bodies of the living with armours of sheer cold, irrespective of their wishes; turning them into mindless beasts, forever ready to do his bidding. Dialga did the same, but his were armours of steel, constricting the bodies of the beings and making them involuntary slaves of his desire. When their armies clashed, it is said that the very fabrics of time and space were warped, sending out huge pulses of radiation all over the universe.

    Giratina merely waited and observed his two brothers fight it out, exhausting their army. When he saw that they were quite depleted, he summoned his denizens from the nether realm, his shadow force and attacked them both. The earth cried in extreme agony as the war of the gods continued, the existence of universe was in danger.

    In the end, the Creator couldn't bear to let the insanity to continue anymore. He appeared out of the blue, in his glorious form, extending his thousand arms in a regal manner and hurling meteors at the three brothers. The bombardment stopped them in their paths and sheathed their bodies in a molten lava prison from which they couldn't escape. The Creator decided that what they had done was beyond any sin and called upon the judgement on them. It destroyed their forms, scattering their bodies into millions of tiny pieces which drifted in the wind towards the sky. These particles then formed the constellations of Dialga, Palkia and Giratina, devoid of everything and only retaining the shapes from their past lives. In time, the earth healed herself from the wounds of the war; but deep within her bosom, she still carried the scars she received, a dark souvenir of the terrifying past.

    At the end of her narrative, Granny would always say that War begets pain and nothing more, even the stories of the past reminded us of that. In his heart Oz always felt that it was the ultimate truth. But the truth has many faces.

    Diverting his eyes, he turned them towards the shadow of the village below him. Most of it were covered in darkness apart from two or three tiny flickering lights which looked like a group of Volbeat performing their grand dance rituals.

    "So someone is having a late night celebration", He chuckled. "Well good for them."

    He guessed it was the Chief's house; they were going for a few rounds of ale after stuffing their tummies full with the exquisite meal. His own belly gurgled thinking of the fishes.

    "I should have accepted their invitation I guess," He whispered as if not to disturb the silence of the night.

    After declining the offer to dine with Chief's family, he had trotted quickly to his home atop the hill. His mood was low and not wanting to prepare any dinner, he found a bit of stale leftover bread. After eating that, he carried himself off to bed. He was tired, physically and mentally; although mental fatigue was a bit more emphasized than the physical one.

    It was not like he did not enjoy get-togethers, social gatherings etc. Who wouldn't? Everyone loves to eat and drink with their friends and colleagues, each morsel made sweeter by the smiles and laughs one could see on the faces of their companions. They said that one may drink from the bosoms of rivers flowing with Godly manna and still not quench his thirst if he had none to share it with.

    But it was not so easy for him. Not easy to look at families talking and sharing. Not easy to look at fathers swooning over their daughters, mothers boasting about their sons. Not easy to look at the hand of a parent feeding their children, a hand he could never obtain no matter how much he wished. He knew he was in a state of denial except he had no one who could pull him out of that bottomless pit he had thrown himself in.

    All of a sudden, Oz's sight got drawn towards the flickers of light again; an unnatural event was starting over there. The flickers which he had assumed to be lamplights, were starting to multiply. Now they could be seen all over the village outline as if the stars had fallen from the sky onto that particular region. Moreover, they were growing in size as well. Oz realized something was truly wrong with this whole scenario and after equipping his Bokken ran towards the village as fast as he could. Not sticking to the direct road, he slid down the hillside and jumped over ledges, tumbling and falling countless times. But he dared not stop for a nervous feeling in his gut was telling him to make his way without delay.

    The silhouette of the village was soon visible and he hastened his steps. Suddenly, he was thrown back by a deafening explosion, followed by a hot gush of wind. It became so blindingly bright that his eyes couldn't withstand the strain and the eyelids were closed by reflex. He tried to shield himself from the searing gusts by raising his hands in front of his body but they were so intense that at one time he fell down on his knees.

    Moments passed before the light from the explosion faded. Oz was crouching on the ground on his knees, holding both his hands above his ears. There was an unbearable ringing in them, his mind also shaken to the core. Slowly, he opened his eyes to look at his village. But he could not see anything. Everything was smouldered to the ground by the terrible explosion.

    All that he could see were the flames.
    Last edited by VamosSid; 23rd March 2016 at 8:17 AM.
    Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Mai


    "Gyahhhhhhhhhhhh!!"

    Mai's scream echoed across the valley as she tried to apply some balm on her wounds. She quickly put one hand over her mouth to stop herself from screaming again and continued applying the balm with her other hand. There were cuts and bruises all over her body. Also swellings here and there, a few even had thorns lodged in them. Moreover, she felt faint and weak, having no food for the last two days.

    Following her escape from her pursuers, she had found herself atop a hill overlooking a valley between two enormous mountains. A tiny river meandered through the valley, most of which was covered with dense forests. On one side of the valley, the land was riddled with small hillocks protruding from its surface like countless Diglett heads. Near this region, she could make out the silhouette of a village close to the river.

    The first thing Mai did after waking up was to pour all her vigour into scouting if there were any threat nearby. After a long search, her antennas couldn't detect any malicious intent in the neighbouring region. Deducing that she was a long distance away from the place she was last in; she concluded her assailants wouldn't be able to track her down so easily.

    It was high noon before she had enough strength to get back on her feet. With great effort, she succeeded in dragging herself to the river and then took a heartfelt drink. In the rays of the noon sun, Mai glanced at her frame. Wounds and gashes were innumerable; all over her build she could see contusions and lacerations, but blood had clotted in all of them and none was dripping. The river surface had a tantalizing effect on her, she felt invigorated and within her emerged a strong urge to submerge her body in the water. Shedding her clothes, Mai immersed herself bare-skin into the water, letting it freely flow over her figure. The part of the river where she was bathing was dyed in a deep crimson colour as the river water washed away the caked blood from her physique. Although the sun rays were blazing hot, the river was cold; she felt a soothing effect which healed her countenance. She floated on the river surface for quite some time, after which she got up and proceeded to wash her tattered clothes; which had become mere rags from the encounters of the previous night. Then she set her clothes on the verdant grassy bank to dry. Next, she found a nice little spot in the shade of an enormous tree and laid herself down, still naked. A serene breeze was blowing leisurely; it roamed over her shape in the manner of the river which zigzagged through the valley. It rose and fell with the contours of her form, enveloping her visage in a cold embrace. She slowly drifted into dreamland cuddling the cold embrace of the wind.

    Hours later, Mai woke up into the rays of the setting sun. Quickly she gathered her clothes which were dry and wore them hastily. The light was already dim and she determined it would be better if she could apply a little herbal remedy to her numerous abrasions. It was not necessary; as she could have just healed herself with a spell but she decided against it, wisely, to save her energy. Gathering her aura in the tip of her forefinger, she made a light source and proceeded to look for herbs in the forests nearby.

    It did not take long for her to find what she needed, thanks to her antennas. Sitting down near the river, she started mashing the herbs into a pasty form by crushing them in between two stones. Before long a sort of salve was ready which she started applying on her wounds.

    Mai had to muffle her frequent sobs and cries amidst this painful and stinging ordeal, the balm had a burning effect as soon as it touched the skin. She screamed at times, afterwards scanning nervously all around to see if anyone heard it. A strong fear that her pursuers might find her still lingered in her heart. Somehow she completed the affair and then tied small wraps over the larger lacerations with scraps of clothes she had salvaged from her ragged skirt. She also excruciatingly pulled out the thorns and applied the remedy on the swellings. Sighing slightly because there were no other options, she had to seal the out of reach cuts and bruises on her back with a little healing magic.

    When Mai was satisfied with her work, she decided that it was time to go salvage for food. The forest had numerous edible berry trees and she relished on some of these. When her tummy was full, she made up her mind to move towards the village she had seen earlier. It would be better for her if she could reach civilization soon, she thought.

    Steadily on the river bank, she walked in the direction of the village. The moonlight reflected from the river surface and brightened up everything in the vicinity. Sounds of the night filled up the air identical to the music from a marching band, the notes from a Chatot, the tunes of a Kricketot, the drumming of the Darumaka and even the distant howling of a pack of Poochyena and also the galloping of the fishes in the river. Now and then, she could make out glinting eyes, observing her from the shadows of a tree or a bush but then again those only amazed her rather than frighten. Every so often, she could spot groups of Chinchou clustering near the river surface, with their antenna bulbs flashing up in a rhythmic opera as if they were performing a light show in synchronization with the echoes of the night.

    Her trudging march finally led her to a small village with thatched roof huts and mud walls. The entryway to the village was marked by a colossal decorated gate though no sentries were posted at it. She entered feeling tense, walking slowly on the little stone path that lay therein. A foul stench hit her nostrils and she distorted her lips in disgust. After lingering so long in the wilderness, her nose had become accustomed to the fragrance of the forests. The smell of civilization attacked her like a Beedrill sting.

    It was dark inside the village. Though the light from the moon shone off the roofs of the village huts and visibility was good, there resided an undesirable darkness. No lamps or fires could be seen in those huts, so Mai assumed that the villagers were probably long asleep. She was confused as to where she should ask for help. As she walked through the silent road, she could perceive no signs of life amongst the shadows of the village.

    Suddenly her eyes fell on a distant lamplight gleaming at the end of the road. She began walking towards the source of this light, upping her pace. Reaching it, Mai could see it was a house much larger and better looking than its counterparts in the village, a villa of sorts. Hints of aristocracy and wealth could be witnessed from its tiled roof, brick walls and the huge courtyard that surrounded it. Carefully placing one foot before the other as if not to disturb the stones, she proceeded towards the large wooden gates that marked the entryway into the villa.

    As she came nearer she could hear voices coming from inside the house. Some kind of revelry seemed to be going on, sounds of laughter and utensils escaped into the night air through the minuscule cracks and pores in the walls.

    “So Raito,” Someone yelled at the top of their lungs as if to make sure the recipient heard them properly. “How was the food?”

    “It was the best Old-man. I ate like a Snorlax on a feeding day,” A jubilant cheery voice replied.

    “Sigh. There you go calling me Old-man again. I thought our dinner together would establish a sort of understanding between us, a camaraderie of similarly spirited individuals, a….”

    “Tsk. Shut up, you are making my head hurt,” Raito snorted angrily interrupting the speaker.

    “Raito,” This time a feminine voice rebuked; albeit calmly. “You should not talk to your elders like that. Apologise to Chief.”

    “Heh okay. Sorry Old-man My bad,” Raito’s reply seemed apathetic, “Though the bad annoying guy here is you,” Muttering the last part almost inaudibly.

    “It’s okay Granny. I know Raito didn’t mean it. Let me go get more wine.”

    After this, she heard steps walking away. The one called Raito was still grunting some inaudible words to himself maybe.

    Mai found the behaviours of these individuals to be quite amicable and warm and thus decided that she could trust them. She resolved to go up to the door and knock. She had not gone far when without warning, the whole atmosphere was filled up with a dark heavy miasma rendering everything invisible. Her nostrils were blocked by a foul disgusting odour resembling that originating from rotting carcasses and she was pressed to ground by an unknown dense force. She could not lift up her body however hard she tried, the dark was enveloping her frame in an iron blanket of shadows, confining it to the ground. A sudden panic started to materialize in her mind as she thought that it might be her pursuers who had caught up to her.

    Then again she knew she couldn’t give up. For the sake of everyone back home who had put their lives on the line so she could flee and were counting on her success for their salvation. She had to break away from whatever this thing was no matter what. But she needed a plan.

    The darkness was growing stronger by the minute and so was the stench. Teleporting out was not an option because during her last go at that spell, she was successful by means of sheer luck and resolve and she was not sure if she could do again with such a huge power surrounding her. Moreover, it drained her of all of her strength and so she couldn’t risk it again. However, there was another way she could attempt. Mai was aware of the fact that it was a bit reckless but she had to try.

    While recovering from her injuries earlier she was thinking of ideas which she could use if she were to fall in a situation like her peril from that night again. Though she was not able to formulate many of those, she thought of a rudimentary one which used much lesser amounts of energy; though it was twice as challenging. She determined it would be best if she goes forward with it.
    Focusing her mind, she switched off all her senses except the sixth whilst her body went limp as if dead. In this form of tranquillity, called the “Zen” mode, her awareness reached its maximum potential and she became able to detect everything nearby through her antennas. A silky green aura started to seep out her shape in tendrils, wrapping around her, spiralling similarly to threads in a loom. Gradually her whole shape was covered by this cocoon of energy as she prepared her spell.

    The mechanics behind this move called “Ally Switch” was that in battle it could switch the users position with an ally. It was very useful from a strategic point of view as the weak and injured soldiers could be replaced with fresh ones. Mai’s tribe who were terrible at physical confrontations used this spell to swap places with bulkier partners if they were in trouble. However, the problem here was that there were no allies or friends in her vicinity. She was not even sure of the positions of any individuals nearby; regardless she wouldn’t risk others’ lives for herself to escape anyways. Yet she had an idea that she thought might work.

    When in Zen mode, she could perceive all in her surroundings in a range of thirty feet; even the little rocks, pebbles and twigs. She sensed that the miasma had a limit of twenty feet, so all she had to do was to shift outside its border and she would regain control of her body. The move “Ally switch” have been known to work on the living yet she postulated it might also work on an inanimate object. With her psyche, she discovered a log which lay well outside the boundary of the darkness and put the ally mark on it needed for the switch. She said a silent prayer to the creator to bless her.

    Experts could cast it in a matter of seconds but Mai being a novice needed much longer. After some time, the cocoon solidified into a green chamber of polished diamond sparkling with a terrific shine. She realized it was the moment to cast the spell and steeling her grit she yelled with all her might,

    “Ally Switch”

    Her encasement burst with a brilliant explosion of light, though soundless. The next thing she knew; she had been transported to the position of the log she had marked earlier. So the technique worked, she thought. Almost immediately, an immense pain surged through her body tearing up her spirit into pieces, she had to hold her hands to her head to as if to shield it from blowing up from the inside. She writhed in agony, scrubbing the dirt with her head. The whites of her eyes became ghastly with red veins popping out while the pupils vanished. She coiled up in that manner and lay still for a lengthy period of time.

    When the pain subsided, Mai opened her eyes again and lifted her head to look listlessly at her surroundings like she was waking up from a dream. As her senses came back to her, she found herself in a nightmare of sorts. Everything around her was burning, houses, trees, hay carts. Hot plumes ravished the village, destroying all in its path. She could hear screams, villagers crying out for help as the huge flames gulped their abodes. She got up and ran towards the marketplace.

    But what she saw there was even more horrifying than this enactment of hell. Horrifying shadows were pulling out the villagers out of their homes and dragging them like bags of rice onto the streets. Some of them screamed in fear and anguish and kicked at their assailants in a blind fury; nonetheless, their attackers still carted their tattered bodies across the roads into the market-square, piling them up near a massive silhouette. A few of them didn’t stir at all, she assumed with grief that those might have been dead.

    A discourteous alarm encircled her mind, warning her she had to get away from this place by any means necessary. Her limbs were shaking from fright, the visages of those shadows reminded her of her own enemies. Yet she understood she had to move as fast as she could.

    Darting amongst the shades, Mai put her antennas to good use, as she stealthily made her way towards the forests. Many times, an aflame roof or a tree branch almost fell on her and she narrowly escaped injury. With massive effort and strategy, she, at last, reached a side of the village where the wall was burnt down and opened a route up into the mountains. Without delay, she dashed in that direction.

    Unexpectedly she saw a body of an individual sprawled out on the ground before her near the wall. He was a villager no doubt and yet something was strange about him. She noticed that he had a skull shaped mask on his face and was of a tribe she couldn’t recognise. On closer inspection she learnt that he was alive, just knocked out from the explosion maybe. There were bloody wounds on his whole figure and his attire of raggedy clothes was torn in various places. He also carried a Bokken on his back. Seeing his torn-up body made her empathic, she knew she couldn’t leave him alone to die out here or get captured by those monsters.

    Somehow pulling his legs using both arms, she dragged him towards the forest cover and then in the direction of the river. It was a substantial task; the guy was shorter but bulkier than her, he was maybe two times her weight. Yet by absolute willpower, she managed to reach the river. Next, she hid his body inside a bush and herself climbed a tree nearby, waiting for daybreak.

    As soon as the sun rose, she hastily scaled down the tree trunk and scanned the area for threat. When satisfied, she towed the body of the village guy near to the stream. He was still out cold. At first, she healed some his larger gashes. She tried to remove his mask to splash some water on his face but could not budge it however hard she tried. Thus without any other idea, she hauled his body to the water surface and held his head down underwater for a minute or two.

    This action had a nearly spontaneous effect as he jerked up his head out of the water and making her fall into the river. Trying to breathe, he moved his head around a little, making huge gulping sounds. After a while, he came to his senses and began looking around in confusion.

    When he saw Mai, quizzically watching him; he, at first, stared blankly at her trying to discern who she was and how did he get there. He tried to speak but only some gurgles came out of his mouth instead of words.

    After some time, his words became clearer.

    “Uhm ……. Who are you?”

    She smiled at him.

    “I am Mai.”
    Last edited by VamosSid; 23rd March 2016 at 8:15 AM.
    Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Why?

    Part I


    Oz felt like he was in a fragile dream. His massive headache had subsided but he could still feel some lingering after-effects on either side of his forehead. Confused and dazed, the only solace he could find was in the kind of his rescuer who was looking at him with a radiant face.

    “I am Mai. What is your name?”

    The girl spoke. She had slender green legs and white hands attached to a white body. Two red antenna-like appendages protruded from her green hair, they sort of gave the vibe of hairpins. Her outfit resembled those worn by Priestesses though now it was in a tattered condition. He assumed she must be from the psychic tribe, most likely from the Garde Clan, he had seen one like here doing divinations when he visited the town fair with Raito last year. And she was beautiful. His own stubby brown limbs and plump body seemed to be a contamination to the aura emitted by her beauty. He could not look up to face her.

    “Umm, Are you okay?” Does it hurt?” The girl asked inquisitively bringing her face closer to him.

    “I am fine”, Oz replied in grunts. “How did I get here?”

    “I carried you over to this place. You were injured pretty badly.”

    “Oh,” He stared at her again. The girl called Mai was not even half his size; he could only imagine the ordeals she must have gone through pulling his body so far. Embarrassment grasped his countenance and under his mask, his face had become red.

    “Err… Thank you,” Oz bowed his head with gratitude.

    “Eh, you don’t need to be so formal. It was my duty after all. I could not leave you there unattended. By the way, you still haven’t told me your name.”

    Mai’s smile had become more elaborate after his acknowledgment of her kindness. A slight tinge of blush also appeared on her white cheeks.

    “I am Oz. Nice to meet you,” He stood up and said bowing his head slightly. “I will forever be in your debt.”

    “You are welcome, Oz,” She returned his bow.

    “Were you ambushed outside the village?”

    “Ambushed…hmmm,” Oz tried recollecting the incidents of the previous night.

    He remembered rushing down from his home seeing the village ablaze and then getting thrown off by the massive explosion as he approached the wall.

    But after that his memories were hazy. Maybe he passed out from the shock.

    “I…. I don’t remember much. But what do you mean by ambushed? By whom?” He looked at Mai questioningly.

    “So you don’t know anything,” She glanced sideways towards the village. Oz could notice a slight change in her tone. It had become melancholic. “Maybe we should visit the village. If you can walk that is. I will explain on the way.”

    He got up and they started their journey in the direction of the village. As they walked, Mai explained to him in a sad voice the events that transpired the previous night. She withheld none of the information, telling him about the beastly attackers, how they enslaved the people and burnt their homes. As he kept listening, his gait slowly and slowly droopy and at last he came to halt, falling down on his knees, when she described the part about the town square. If one could look under his mask, his facial features had changed from an inquisitive look to that of a horrified one. His eyes had lost most of their colours; only the whites could be seen, his pupils had transformed into two tiny dots.

    Suddenly, a jolt of rage passed through his whole body. He got up and started running at breakneck speed towards the village. He had forgotten about everything, about the world, about his surroundings, even about Mai. Only one thing raced through his mind. Were Granny and Raito alright?

    Soon he reached the enormous gate, he could make out the silhouette of the outer wall. But what he saw afterwards was so horrific that he could not believe himself. He almost fainted and had to hold on to a trunk to keep himself steady. Slowly and slowly he started walking forward again.

    The whole scene reminded one of the carnage that follows after a ferocious cyclone. The wall had almost been obliterated into nothing, only some splinters hang on the gate, which was also half broken. Beyond that there was a field of emptiness; no houses, roads or anything could be seen. From the viewpoint of a passer-by, it was almost as if nothing stood there from the very beginning; only big concentric soot marks bore clues of what might have occurred there.

    Meanwhile, Mai had finally caught up to him, her face tensed from exertion. As soon as she saw the horrible landscape, she let out a scream and bolted towards the gate. She was using her sensory abilities in full force, trying to detect any signs of life among the rubble. But the more she tried, the lesser her hopes became. There was practically nothing standing in that location. The whole village had disappeared from existence, never to be seen again.

    Oz knelt beside a mound of soot, extended his hand and took some of it in his palms. He gazed mournfully at it, in his mind trying to discern whether it was the remains of a house, a tree or maybe some unfortunate villager. The wind which was blowing steadily for a while now, soon dispersed the soot away. But he did not move. Tears ran down from his eyes, trickling below his mask into his neck. And he sat there kneeling, still staring at the palm of his hand, his mind incapable of thoughts anymore.

    Time raced away in gallops like a Rapidash and soon it was evening. Oz had not moved from his initial position, not even stirred a little. His mind was lost in an unknown dimension of guilt and despair, sinking more and more by the hour.

    “Uhmm…. Maybe we should move away from here for now,” Oz felt a hand on his shoulders. He looked up to see it was Mai, he got a bit embarrassed for forgetting about her.

    “I know you are sad. But it’s getting dark and we should find shelter.”

    She spoke with a hesitating tone, and her face was a bit flustered. She constantly looked away, perhaps to not look at him straight in the eye. It was not her fault. Anyone would be agitated in a situation like this.

    Nodding his head, he said ok, too exhausted to say more.

    “We head towards a nearby village or town. Seek shelter there and perchance find out any information regarding what happened here. Can you guide us there?”

    “There is a village called Jan five miles in that direction, near the base of the hills. We can go ask there,” Oz replied monotonously, pointing south.

    “Okay. Let’s go then.”

    Oz took his time getting up. He was too tired to move or perhaps he did not want to move, he felt like Mai should have left him there to die or rot or whatever. However, he knew that by staying there, he was compromising her security. He could have told her the way and asked her to go Jan by herself, but that would be too dangerous as well. He had already lost everything he holds dear; he should not perhaps put his saviour at risk. Clutching his Bokken tightly, he started walking again, beckoning Mai to follow.

    To be continued……

    Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •