|The Blade Society
Author: Lullaby Payne PM
When a child witnesses the death of one they love, they are granted a certain magic. The Blade Society is the safe harbor for people of this kind, founded to help the orphans find their soulmate and work together to understand the truth.Rated: Fiction M - English - Tragedy/Romance - Chapters: 3 - Words: 8,504 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 01-28-08 - Published: 01-27-08 - id: 2468429
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The voices of the townspeople frightened me. I was huddled in a corner, the thin, once white rags surrounding me like snakes. A woman spat at my feet while her daughter stuck out her tongue. At least I'm not to be beaten, I thought mildly. No one wants to touch a Magicked One.
It was true. I had killed my own mother. But I still had Piko. He would never leave me.
"Rane, I suggest you stop squirming. They'll have to go home sometime."
His voice was the most comforting thing I had heard in days. I looked over at him, my eyes not yet fully swollen shut, and smiled with a bloody mouth. "I think you're right."
I ached to reach out and touch him. The boy that had sheltered me through the whole thing with my mother. His shaggy golden hair, those intimidating blue eyes, those big, warm, strong hands. I was thirteen, naïve, and desperate. Piko had been my sanctuary.
"If you have something to say, demon, then say it!" Selcy, the old herbs woman, was blind and skeptical. She was a sorceress, with the charms and potions that she spent her life on, worshipping the god of earth with immense faith. But this was to justice--this was religion gone wrong. The blinding traits of it had come to haunt me.
I met her milky white eyes, unfazed and angry. She knew nothing of my pain, of the torturous deeds that I had been forced to do. She was an ignorant old fool.
I stood rapidly. The crowd backed away, fierce whispered floating like a wave through the crowd. Small, sharp features tensed, I cleared my throat and prepared my speech.
"Do any of you know the circumstances in which you are acting against? Do any one you realize what has happened to me?"
I closed my eyes and remembered.
"A year ago, I was living with my mother, father and brother. We were you're ideal family, the kind of people that spent their days doing anything they could to help the unfortunate. Well, Father and Brother decided to go and support the Demming army in their war with Kim. They wouldn't join it, only provide any aid that they could.
"So my mother and I were left with our small cottage on the edge of town, with the citizens at our sides. Mother began to miss Father terribly, and she found keeping the cottage--and the whole town--by herself. So I decided to take Father's place and collect the wood, butcher the animals, and protect the village. And everything seemed fine. But then the plague hit…
"People died. Daughter after daughter, son after son, died in that long, dreadful month. My mother and I were overwhelmed. Our house became the hospital, and we two seemed to be the only ones immune. We were alone, but still together.
"One night… all grew silent. The coughs and wheezes stopped. There was no more vomiting blood, no more rotting flesh… all was well. But… as I came downstairs to rejoice with our healed people… they were all dead. They had not been healed. They had died. Every last one of them. Mother and I… we found ourselves the sole survivors of the village, not a clue of what to do now. She didn't want to walk through the clumps of bodies everywhere. She didn't want to see the lifeless faces of our friends the people that she had grown up with. So I decided to, once again, take the place of my father and clear the bodies away.
"So that's what I did. I dragged all the bodies out, one by one, dug their graves, and set them in. It took many hours, and I am still sore from the experience, but… I did it. I felt more like a man than ever before.
"When I returned to the house… it was dark. I decided that Mother must have already been asleep, and decided against waking her, so I gently walked upstairs and collapsed on the bed, and into deep slumber.
"I do not know how long I had slept. But by the time I awoke, night had fully settled, and it was very dark. But I felt hot breath on my neck, and I was naked. My mother was atop me, her breasts against my chest, her hands… reaching… and… I had done my job. I had convinced my mother that I was a worthy replacement of my father. Mother… she… she raped me."
There were gasps against the crowd. They were all confused as complete silence took it's charge. They were speechless. But, what could they say, when they had just found out that their hated "demon child" had been raped, by his own mother? When he had seen everyone he had ever known die.
Even Piko knew not what to do. He stared dumbly at the ground, eyes blank with worry, thumbs attacking each other in awkwardness. I ached to reach out, to touch him, to have him hold me as he had before. He was only a few feet to my right… and yet… so far way.
Old Selcy dropped her head for a few moments. I could hear her quick breath as she thought over what she had just heard, trying to digest it. She raised her head and met my gaze with sorrow.
"I am sorry, child. Please forgive me."
The crowd stood in shock. Selcy was a harsh woman. They stared as the turned and walked away, not towards her cabin, but to the edge of down, pulling her cloak around her as she disappeared into the forest. The forest that no one had ever gone in or come out of.
Slowly, the people returned to their houses. Every last one of them evaporated from the streets as quickly as they had gathered. No one wanted to feel sorry for me, I knew that very well. And yet everybody, somehow, did.
As the last of them closed their doors, faces inhumanly sensitive--I was so, so grateful that the people of Demming could be so sentimental--Piko stood and knelt before me, large eyes staring up into my own.
"Is Selcy's curse, Rane, still upon you?"
Ah, the curse. The last burden upon my shoulders that had yet to be resolved. Selcy, you see, was a witch woman. In her anger upon my actions, or what had been believed, as had I wandered through the town with blood crusted to my skin and eyes lifeless, she had cast a curse upon my heart. With each time I slept, I would lose another portion of my memory, until finally I lost it all. All, that is, except for the murdering of my mother, which I had mindlessly told about upon my arrival in Selcy's town.
I shook my head, eyes closed in pain. "Of course, Piko. She… she branded my neck."
There was a pause as Piko thought.
"Do you know, Rane, that there is a cure?"
"There is? Oh, Piko, thank God! What is it?"
As Piko clenched his fists, I knew it was one that neither of us would appreciate. But I never would have guessed what I heard that day. Never would I have though it be something so painful, so severe. "My mother was Selcy's apprentice---mother, she… she loved this curse, loved the severity of it's harshness. She told me of it, Rane--all about it. She told me every detail, how to cure it, just before she sacrificed herself to cure my father, who ran off afterwards. Rane, love is a chemical. It is directed at one specific person, sometimes more. I do not know how you feel of me, but I do know that I love you. I love you with all of my being, and ten times more, after what I heard tonight. Rane, because I feel for you so strongly, I am the cure. You must devour my heart, and you will be cured."
I bit down on my lip. Blood spilled from the wound. For some reason, I could not speak. I clenched my eyes tight and shook my head with all the force that I could handle.
"Stop it, Rane. I order you. You cannot die. I will not let you. I demand that you stay alive, for me, for the memory of your family. You are the last of Demming. Carry on their spirits, Rane. Please. For the magic."
"No! Piko, please no--I can't. Let Demming be damned, I will not do that to you!"
Piko shook his head. He closed his own eyes as tears slid down his cheeks, his hands curling against his chest. He shook with sobs. "Please, Rane. If you die, I will kill myself. Either way I will die. I… I never had a family. If you don't live, what will happen to my memory? I don't want to disappear from the world. One way or another, I'm going to die, but I don't want to disappear.
"Please, Rane, don't make me disappear."
And with those words, my heart broke. I could never refuse to a request so broken and hopeless. I sobbed, curling closer to him, burying my face in my dear friend's cloaks. He held me. He knew how much I was hurting. He was hurting just as much.
But it had to be done.
I sat as he kissed me for the last time, as he gazed at me for the last time, as he took his dagger and stabbed it through his heart, vibrant, comforting eyes growing cold and lifeless, a gaze that I had seen before. I sat and watched his body for a few hours, completely numb, until the birds began to circle. Until night fell.
And then I started eating.
"We have a guest!"
"Who is he?"
"Where's he from?"
The commotion slid across the bustling city like wildfire. I had never seen anything like it. People of all shapes and sizes and colors were about walking. The Reptile people, the Feline people, the Lupin--there were so many people. And yet they all noticed when someone knew walked into town. Well, t leats when someone within their view came in. People smiled and greeted me, shopkeepers offered me food and drink and clothing--all for, of course, a "once in a lifetime price!"
But what caught my eye were the young boys sitting on the big brick wall that surrounded the water fountain, scavenging for any coins dropped into the pure blue liquid. They were all poor but, nevertheless, smiling and laughing and having fun.
They were tan and tall and strong, while I was short and pale and auburn-haired and frail. I instantly scooted farther from them, intimidated by their happiness , despite the pain and loss that I saw in their eyes. One, a raven-haired, caught my gaze and grinned. I shuddered as he hopped from the wall and trotted over to me, pushing through the crowd gently. No, no, that wouldn't do. I pressed against a smiling, beefy old lady as she purchased her good, sinking past and towards the thin line of plants that sat randomly in the city. But the raven-haired knew this town and it's ways well, and caught up with me.
"What, I'm not that ugly, am I?" He cooed happily. I raised an eyebrow, sighing.
"Then what's wrong?"
"You're so… happy."
"Yes, very. Why?"
"…Okay, well, over time, that will change."
"No, it won't."
"Huh. What's that mark on the back of you're neck…?"
I leapt away, tumbling into a bush, hands scraping against the rock and drawing blood. "Don't touch that!" I screamed.
The man stood in shock, he shook his head holding out a hand to help me up. "Come on, I'm sorry. You look hungry. Can I get you some food?"
I stared at his hand, brow wrinkled in confusion. He was so much like Piko.
I could not refuse.
He hoisted me up easily, commenting under his breath about how ridiculously light I was. I ignored him, instead walking towards the wild mob of people. "Where do you live?" I demanded irritably,
"Um…" he stepped up to flank me, shielding his eyes against the sun, and pointed to a calmer, smaller part of the kingdom. "That way. The poor part of Frining. We're… well, we're poor, but not crazy. Yet. Come on."
As I walked with him, I found that this man--Hiro, he said his name was--enjoyed hearing his voice quite a bit. He babbled about various subjects--his neighbor's children, his friends, how he had been feeding a lost wolf puppy for the last few days.
And I listened. For once in my life, I honestly cared. And I wished so badly that I was not already broken, so that this strong, kind man could be the one to do the honors, to be the one to change my life entirely.
No. Those feelings would not do. I had given my life for Piko, that day in Demming.
I do not honestly know what death means. Whether it is a person, a place, or an act. I do not know if death implies to the soul leaving one's body or an eternal unconscious state. Death is the unknown territory, like the sky above us, like the deep ground below our feet.
But I do know that I am not the boy that I had once been. I do know that Rane, the kind, sensitive, insightful child, is dead. So how am I breathing now? Easy. I created another me. Another Rane, like a flame, being passed on and on, along a long line of mistakes and successes. As long as I'm still breathing, I'll be alright. I'll keep walking until both my legs are broken, and then I'll crawl.
Many changes will be made along the way. That is inevitable. I will not be the same person when my life is ended as I am now. Nothing is forever, and humanity is the greatest example of that.