Part One: Our Little Hero Drops In
Old Man Gama enjoyed his early morning strolls almost as much as the big breakfast he had when he got home, the walk made him so hungry. After thirty years of living in the same cottage, he had come to single-handedly trample and form a footpath through the woodlands that surrounded his house. He would walk this selfsame circuit twice a day; once at dawn and again at dusk.
He didn't know what it was he liked about the woods so much, after thirty years he'd have thought anyone would tire from the same old views…but, then again, that was it, really. It never was the 'same old view.' Good old Mother Nature always had something to make or change in those woods, day-in, day-out.
As he walked through the wilderness on the day our story takes off, he could plainly see that today was no exception; his rough brown robes brushed against the ferns and daffodils as he made his way along the trail at what he considered a leisurely pace. As he paused to lean against a sturdy elm, his ears could make out the tap-tap-tap of a woodpecker, far above, working at what it did best. There was also fur caught in the bark of the tree from where some sort of animal – a bear, if he was any judge – had used the rough surface as a scratching post.
Bald save for two tufts of fluffy, greying hair around his ears, Old Gama often found that if he remained motionless for up to five minutes, all manner of bird would fly down and alight on his head. There had also once been a squirrel that had somehow mistaken his shiny tanned dome as a large nut, but soon found out that, once bitten, it got very angry and chased it up the nearest tree. Gama loved animals, but only as far as he could tolerate their simplicity.
As he walked along the trickling stream he had seen dry up and flood over throughout the years, Old Man Gama was sure that today, something special was going to happen, something unique that he was yet to experience. Kicking a pebble into the water, he watched as it rolled under the surface as he wondered just what it could be that someone as old and as experienced as himself would find surprising and new.
Luckily enough he was soon to find out, as further down the stream came a terrible sound as something heavy crashed through the treetops, apparently hitting ever branch on the way down before coming to land in a bush with a loud rustling that disturbed any wildlife deaf enough to have missed its fall. Chipmunks and mice, magpies and robins, all scurried or flew away from the source of all this commotion as Gama simply looked on with a dry smirk.
How do I do it? He thought with an odd sense of pride as he picked up his pace, eager to discover what had upset the delicate balance of his routine.
Upon reaching the general area the disturbance had taken place, the Old Man was genuinely shocked to hear the distinct sounds of a person; surely no one human could've survived such a fall, or even the force that had sent them falling from such a height in the first place!
His curiosity at a new high, Gama bent down to pull the bushes aside, ignoring the brambles and nettles that stung and cut into his rough, gnarled hands. Sure enough, lying in a crumpled heap in a crater of bush and twig was a human boy, no older than his own grandson, and yet half as tall. Clothed in nothing but a pair of denim shorts, that alone would have made him contrast drastically from the greens he lay amongst had it not been for his hair. Bright red, it was, and spiked like bloody thorns in an unruly fashion.
"And just what have we got here..?" Gama murmured as he watched the fallen figure moan and squirm in his struggle to regain consciousness. For the life of him, he couldn't remember from that day on just why he had poked the little boy with his twisted walking cane, but it had an alarming effect on the lad.
"Uhh…HUH? WAAAUGH!" up like a jack-in-the-box he sprung with no sign of his recent injuries save for the odd scratch or bruise. Had Gama arrived right now, he'd have sworn that this boy before him couldn't possibly have just fallen some forty feet through treetop and flora. "Buh-buh-back off, old man! I'm warning you!"
"Whoa, easy there, sonny, I'm not going to hurt you – "
"Sure, that's what the last guy said," the boy retorted scathingly before catching himself, surprised, then frowning at something only he seemed to notice. "Uhh…anyway, get back!"
"Okay, okay…but you mind telling me what a young boy like you is doing crashing through my woods, let alone how you survived?" Gama snapped, already tired of this boy's bratty behaviour, whether he was scared or not.
At this, the little boy craned his neck upwards and looked at the vertical trail of destruction he had left behind in his speedy descent. Instead of the open-mouthed shock and awe he had been expecting, Gama was gobsmacked to see the lad merely scratch the back of his head…and look worried.
"Gee, did I really do all that to your woods? I'm sorry, I'll pay you for it."
"How can you pay to repair – you know what, never mind. What's your name, boy?"
"I dunno," the boy shrugged, looking back down to his grubby denim shorts. "Why am I half-naked? Did you – "
"NO, I DID NOT, AND STOP CHANGING THE SUBJECT!!!" bawled Gama, appalled that the impudent tyke would even dare to accuse him of such slander, when all he was trying to do was help someone in need (in need of a spanking, if you ask me). "You…arrived like that, and again, what's your name?"
"D'uh…I…don't…knooow. But tell me," he added, apparently unaware that his habit was highly aggravating to the old man, "did you ask again because you're deaf, or because you're senile? Huh? Huh?"
"Why you runty little…FEEL MY CANE!!!"
"Hmm, it is a bit rough, isn't it?" the boy replied calmly, glancing down at the stick. "Maybe you should sand it down, or something – "
"GET OFF MY CANE!!! You were supposed to stand still and get hit by it, not leap up and stand on it! Wait, stand on what?" blinking back the red rage that enshrouded his eyes, Old Man Gama looked at the boy and gulped. "How-how-how…"
"HOW!" replied the boy, raising his left hand in salute and pulling a face with the other.
"How are you doing that? And how come you're as light as a feather? Last time I checked I could hardly lift my teacup, let alone a half-pint kid – "
"WHO YOU CALLIN' HALF-PINT, GRAMPS?!"
If Gama hadn't seen it with his own eyes, he wouldn't have believed it; the boy leapt once again, this time into a roundhouse kick that would've landed squarely across Gama's temple…would've being the operative word here/ For, somehow, the young boy managed to pause and catch himself in mid-air, mere inches away from the Old Man's face.
"Wait, I can't hit old – WAAAUGH! OOFF!" the boy finished as, amazing as he might be, it seemed that he still had to abide to the laws of gravity, plummeting back to earth with a jarring thump.
"Good thing, too," Gama nodded sagely, turning to leave the strange boy to his own devices. "Because if you did, I'd have had no choice but to kick your midget ass all over my woods!"
"RRRAARGH!!! I'M NO MIDGET, WRINKLE-BUTT – Whoa! Whoooa!"
When the boy finally skidded to a halt some five feet ahead of Gama and had picked himself out of the trench he had made for himself, he dusted himself down and glared daggers at the Old Man.
"Hey, no fair, you ducked!" he accused, red-faced.
"Ahhh, but would you have stopped yourself in time again if I hadn't?"
"I dunno…but that ain't the point, and you know it! Old people are slow, everyone knows that!"
"Everyone except this old-timer, it would seem," Gama grinned, finally starting to warm to the boy. "You hungry, kid? When was the last time you ate?"
"I dunno – "
"You say that a lot, y'know?" growled Gama impatiently.
" – but, boy, am I! Where's the grub?! Is it that fish? GIMMEGIMMEGIMME!"
There was a soft, barely audible splash as the boy half-dived, half-bellyflopped into the stream, his wiry little fingers grasping wildly at a small salmon who had no intention of being anyone's breakfast, lunch or dinner.
"Very nice, kid…but I was thinking more along the lines of something cooked and not flapping about?"
"Awww," reluctantly, the boy spat out the salmon he had been holding gently between his teeth and attempted to spin-dry himself. "Whooa, hee-hee!"
"If you honestly can't remember your name – and, honestly, after a fall like that, I can hardly blame you – then I think I shall call you…Chinwan!"
"Chinwan…?Chin…wan," the little boy tried the new name curiously. "Chinwan! Chinwan! Chinwan-chinwan-CHINWAAAAN!!! Hey, I like it!"
"I thought you might," Old Man Gama croaked, cringing painfully, his delicate ears ringing. "Shame the same couldn't be said for the wildlife that used to live here a few seconds ago…"
"Okay, that's enough…and was that a belch?"
"Yep! Pretty cool, huh?" the newly-appointed Chinwan beamed ecstatically.
"Good grief…" What have you landed yourself with this time, Gama, you old fool?
END OF PART ONE
NEXT TIME, IN "THE LEGEND OF CHINWAN" – Chinwan eats! A new player is introduced, and the worst kind of suspicion falls upon Chinwan!
CHINWAN – Suspicion?! What have I done now?
GAMA – They probably heard your belch all the way to Tayou Town and think it's the roar of a dragon!
CHINWAN – Wow, you really think I can burp that loud?
GAMA – Sighs Kids…
A/N: Thanks for taking the time to read this, the first part in my new "Legend of Chinwan" story! As you can probably tell, it's much more funny and less serious than "The Immortal Saga," but that doesn't make it any less important to me, I still appreciate reviews! In return, I'll review something of yours (tell me if you have a specific story you'd like reviewed, other wise I'll just let Chinwan choose it by playing Pin The Tail on The iMac XD).
Until next time!