SWEPT

Two summers ago a merchant had passed by a little town called Hoschsburg and had told a tale to all those that passed his stall of a creature that lived in waters that ushered safety net for said little town and could grant any wishes, no matter how unprecedented, long as it liked the melody of the seeker, the melody didn’t have to be as flawless as those of performers but should have the soul as pure as that of a worshiper. The merchant only passing along stories he too could not testify to was only storytelling to capture buyers but to Katherine Colony, a young maiden burdened by her mother’s illness that the town doctor had declared incurable was desperate for any measure of hope and held onto that faith though she knew the probability of such a creature’s existence were none. To her, the clouds above her sky were parted and ray of sun could be seen. The day she heard the story, she ran home bumping into others and singing apologies wholeheartedly till she reached her house.

“Mother, I might have come upon a miracle.” She told her mother excitedly who laid frail on her sickbed covered with many sheets. She sat on the stool by the bed and took her mother’s hand into hers,
“Mother, you are to get well soon. In the river, the merchant said there’s a creature that could cure you if I went and sang for it. It could like my singing. I know I sing horribly but if it did, it would grant us a miracle Mother. I ought to try for your health after all. Isn’t this the great news we’ve been hoping for?” She kept going with her mother listening and the poor woman besides not having strength; had no heart to tell her the merchant only told those stories for marketing purposes, as everyone in town would only take them as superstitions or stories told at the theatre.

In her mother’s heart, Florence Colony wanted to capture all the innocence her daughter wore and die peaceful for having given birth to such an angel. She watched the smile on her daughter’s heart shaped face, her brown eyes sparkling almost covered by bangs her bun couldn’t contain, her blue satin gown complimented her innocent aura all the more; It mesmerized her even though she had no strength to lift her hand and tuck them behind her ear.
“Don’t worry Mother, soon you will be busking under the sun and giving orders to maids on what to make for dinner.” Katherine said to her Mother, oblivious of the content in her eyes.
“Alright Mother, I’ll go tell Ms Flora what to make for dinner; I bought a lot from the market. Papa was saying we should change the menu tonight, he might be bringing guests.”

She left her Mother and went to find Ms Flora, were she retold everything that had happened at the market.

Soon Katherine started going to the river each morning, singing by the riverbank; though her voice made the birds around start to fly away and the air around the river still, she sang without any reservation that the air had started to welcome her. One morning turned to one week, one week to one month, one month turned to one summer then one summer turned to two but still her mother’s illness was not getting any better, it remained still. People in town had already voiced their opinions to her and she too had started to doubt if such a creature truly existed, yet in her heart though she’d always been naive, she had started to truly believe something lived in the river.

“Katherine my dear, you should stop going to the river now. I will not blame you, I know you were devoted and the creature too will know. See, I’m no longer uncomfortable, perhaps it did aid in some way.” Her mother soothed one morning seeing her too discouraged. She couldn’t bear to see her angel’s naivety being unveiled by herself, the helplessness made her all the more bitter.
“Yes mother, this is the last morning I’m going to the river. I too feel I’ve done all I could, perhaps my wish going unanswered simply means I have not enough faith. Alright mother, I’ll be leaving.” Florence watched her daughter’s disappearing figure with a lump in her throat, lately Katherine had been losing her cheerfulness with a solemnity that her peers did not possess. Girls her age were worrying about what sort of husband they would be marrying and her daughter, her daughter was the mock of town because of going to the river to sing to a nonexistent creature she heard of from an alcoholic merchant only for her mother’s sake. Florence Colony let tears she had been swallowing for two summers fall silently; she had failed to give her daughter a prosperous, carefree life.

On the river bank, Katherine took out the plastic with bird food she feed birds at her house out; took some out and tossed them into the water. She did this for some time not speaking only looking at the river solemnly.
“I, I cannot come here anymore. Because the town’s talk has gotten to father’s ears and he threatened to stop buying mother’s medicine you see. So, today is my last time visiting you. I hope you understand my qualm and don’t take it out on mother.” She remained quiet for the remainder of her visit only tossing bird food into the river, when the food was finished in the plastic; she packed herself up and left. After taking a few steps from the river, she turned and said;
“I do not blame you, do not think so. Mother has been ill way before I was born. It is the cause of her life and perhaps, I held blame on me that I couldn’t truly dissipate and became selfish involving you.” She poured what she’d never said to anyone before; Katherine indeed had always wondered if her birth had prolonged her mother’s illness. She cried out all her grievances there, took it all out in her last day by the river, let it take all her burdens and forgive her for being too selfish. When all her crying subsided, she said calmly to the river with all her strength;
“I never doubted your existence. I hope another comes to sing for you from now on…” She ran from there.

Later when dinner was being served, unannounced rain poured horribly out of nowhere. The Colony family gathered for supper and Florence was carried from her bedroom by her maids to the dinner table. The usual quietness of dinner flirted with the pouring, only Katherine’s father seemed to be at peace. After everyone settled Jacobson Colony, Katherine’s father asked her;
“Are you done with your river saga now?”
“Yes Father.” She answered quietly.
“Good.”

Midway dinner a loud knock came from their door, the butler answered and came to announce a visitor.
“Let him in.” Replied Katherine’s father.

A handsome man was ushered in, so very handsome Katherine could not take her eyes off of him. From all the men in town she’d never seen one quite as him, almost ethereal, a beautiful man indeed. His built was that of a soldier, his face that of a prince her mother used to read to her when she was younger, with hair thicker and darker than hers; and eyes the colour of summer midday sky.
“Yes Sir?” inquired Katherine’s father.
“I was travelling to the next town and the rain caught us midway, this is the only house near where our carriage collapsed. I’m a doctor; if Sir could do me the favour of housing me and my companions for a night perhaps I would return it later?”

And Katherine Colony utterly mesmerized, knew her wish had not gone unheard.

My Treasure or Gift?

The backward village of Huntersville had many uncategorized talents and because of this, the people of Huntersville would venture out into towns all over the empire either to showcase those talents, perform or con those that appreciated talent. In particular there was a young man with eyes molten silver, dark ink hair and white snow skin; truly beautiful man that caused anyone who came across him do a double take. This young man had clarity, what it was he could see things that were meant to be hidden, solve even a million years old mystery. It could be said the young man was truly intelligent but this was not so, his eyes only took all and his mind didn’t forget, above all the young man was ambidextrous. Where he came from he was nothing special but as soon as he left the complex borders of his textile hometown, he received so much attention and appreciation he felt atop the world. Amongst the attention he captured one was of the most influential man in court, the man that told him he could make him the most eligible bachelor of the empire long as he agreed to come and be adopted into his household.

To this young man, who looked neither like his family nor anyone from his village and had no extravagant talent either, felt it was not a bargain that would weigh much on his conscience. He was neither stupid nor naive only knew when to withdraw or invest since nothing really could ever get past him. So he agreed, if he was going to be used he might as well reap all the benefits was his thought. Who was he to turn away a leisurely life because of the looks that had been scorned his entire life? If the capital so appreciated beautiful incapable men, who was he to tell them there was a village called Huntersville that had not only a few beautiful incapable men but beautiful capable men too? All he did was smile when he was told, blink when was told and move when he was told; after all he lived much better than he could have ever hoped had he entered the market his fellow village men occupied.

Soon came his introduction ceremony and many of the noble families attended, to them the most beautiful man in the entire capital was the crown prince, with good looks and godlike intelligence. There were books dedicated to his character alone but the arrival of the young man caused quite the stir, not only was he breathtaking but he had an eagle’s eye too and to the common noble people, he seemed to surpass the crown prince that was almighty in their eyes. He took all of it in the young man, not doing anything beyond instructions and always felt something was amiss. He couldn’t understand why his village was known as backward when none of the people he had met since entering the capital could not surpass even him, the low of the low amongst his people; it truly baffled him yet this wasn’t enough to make him a patriot of sorts, he merely found it interesting. But because of the bored look in his eyes, he caught the eye of the crown prince.

The crown prince was indeed different from the people of the capital, he wasn’t shallow or prideful, he was a man that appreciated capability no matter the appearance thus the hype about the young man didn’t make him insecure but curious instead, enough to start observing how the young man interacted when in court and other activities that he participated in. After sometime, his intrigue became something more like kinship or absession; though throughout the times he’d observed the young man, he could be seen smiling and taking part; he always wore the same look in his eyes as though he were playing with children that couldn’t truly stimulate his mind, this to the crown prince was a new lease.

One autumn festive, a gala was to be held and the nobility always attended that gala with their finest outfits to pave way to spring. It was going to be the first autumn festival the young man had ever attended so his foster father didn’t spare any effort, after all many designers and companies wanted to sponsor the young man’s attire for the evening. He lacked no choice but because of his molten silver eyes and pale skin, many preferred to adorn him with bright colours. His father wanted to highlight his beauty all the more for the spring season when proposals started coming in, he be the only one in the minds of many so he chose for him a suit the black ink colour of his hair. Of course it was a commendable choice because the young man’s silver eyes almost appeared pale and his skin was far enticing, like how would it look if one were to leave a mark on such fine skin?

The crown prince abided his time, watched the young man being paraded by his foster father and everyone he came in contact with fawn over him while he maintained the same lazy gaze. More than half an hour, they reached the crown prince and pleasantries were exchanged. The father did all the talking while the young man nodded when appropriate or smile where it was needed, to many it looked as though he was engrossed in the conversation that was taking place even the air surrounding him was overly joyous so much so the entire time they were there, the crown prince hadn’t taken his eyes of off the young man that his skin started to prickle and his eyes started to twitch. The young man, although his adopted father was a prominent figure knew he couldn’t outright ask the crown prince to stop starring at him or what he so found interesting. He was caught with nowhere to turn. To the crown prince watching the young man twitch and trying hard to shift but nowhere to shift to was the most fun he had had since being named the crown prince and truly couldn’t find it in himself to avert his gaze. The young man’s skin started to flush, covering him in an iridescent glow pulling the crown prince’s attention all the more to him. It could be said that everyone’s attention in the hall at that time was on the sparkling figure that seemed too beautiful to belong to any of them yet so attractive neither man nor woman could deny they wanted to at least once hold eyes with him but neither had the courage when they noticed the crown prince’s intent gaze. Everyone could only sigh because it seemed indeed true “flocks of a feather fly together.”

The young man was of course oblivious to everyone’s gaze but the crown prince’s, had bared enough and couldn’t help but ask;
“Has something caught your eye your highness?” he asked with an undertone of severe annoyance, one he couldn’t have masked had he bothered to. Those within earshot gasped, the shock of anyone daring to talk to the crown prince with such a tone? The silence spread like wildfire from those within earshot to those further even by the door, everyone held their breath and waited for the crown prince’s answer. If one were to observe, it seemed the crown prince’s answer would give them permission to breathe again. But the crown prince didn’t answer, indeed it seemed like he was in no hurry to answer, he took a sip from his glass and sighed then returned his gaze to the young man. As said the crown prince wasn’t a fickle man but was indeed beautiful and when many remembered he wasn’t much older than the young but because of his capability and firm hand, many forgot that he was still a young man too. Comparing the two was like comparing the night and day sky, a rainy and sunny day meaning there wasn’t truly any comparison but preference and because of the crown prince’s overbearing aura, many sided with who was approachable no matter if it was a facade.

The crown prince answered with a smirk,
“Yes something has caught my eye. I think the duke so want to surpass his current status that he went above and beyond, reached the outskirts of the empire to find a presentable gift for me right before my crowning ceremony, isn’t it duke?”
The young man was so surprised his head automatically turned to his adoptive father. He wasn’t an overbearing man or had the particular malice he’d seen often in his life thus the crown prince’s answered really caught him off guard yet looking at his adoptive father, he could clearly see the man too was surprised. His flushing face and set mouth was a telltale his adoptive father could never fake no matter how good an actor he was. He so wanted to mock laugh at himself but found he wasn’t at fault, his adoptive father wasn’t at fault and the crown prince was someone a nobody like him could offend. Had he thought he’d had a twist of fate?
“Your grace?” the crown prince probed spotting a smile that made him look mischievous. He could tell by their shocked faces they wanted to deny him yet couldn’t do so in front of so many eyes.

The entire hall too was shook. The crown prince wasn’t after all a sociable man and not only was he asking for a concubine in a roundabout way but the person in question was a man, a man that had appeared out of nowhere and caused uproar in the capital. In a blink of an eye the young man became public enemy number one for the noble families that had an eligible young woman. Who was he after all, an adopted son, beautiful and talented? Didn’t they also have young legitimate daughters that were both beautiful and talented? Who was he after all?
The young man could feel the hostility that now pointed at him. He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry because the same people who had wanted him as their son-in-law viewed him as a competitor when he’d never had intention of becoming either. He looked at the duke helplessly and only received a shrug but to him, the shrug was all he needed to pull himself out of the abyss. He could feel it slowly, the vigour rushing through his veins that had enabled him to survive taunts back when he was in Huntersville and compared to the capital, Huntersville was the true battlefield he had escaped although scathed, he had escaped and found a man that was influential who treated him like his flesh and blood, he would never lose that comfortable life for the crown prince’s amusement. He wouldn’t!

The young man laughed softly and replied;
“But your highness, had father known you were expecting a gift; he wouldn’t have brought back measly me otherwise it would be an insult to his highness taste of the more rare, finer things and status.”
The duke covered his laughter with a cough and the entire hall looked at the young man liked he’d grown another head as many couldn’t tell if he was serious or not, it made the atmosphere a pickle for those that tended to follow the crowd rather than stick to their own principles but to everyone’s surprise, the crown prince let of a soft laugh.
“It would seem the duke understands me then because I’m a simple man at heart and finer things would be of no use to me. I’m also capable of defending my status.” The crown prince replied to the young man’s displeasure.

The duke looked back and forth between the two men, felt peace in his old heart. His initial worry had dissipated, to him adopting the young man had never been for any ambiguous motive; he had only wanted to ease his wife’s worries and have company that would never be warm towards them for any monetary reasons. He had looked for such companion for more than a decade and never found one that tucked at his heart. Many relatives had sent their sons and daughters but they were always pretentious or could not gain his wife’s affection only this young who he had come across by coincidence managed to catch his eye. Back then, paintings from the same artist drawn by different hands were sold to him at a ridiculous price but the technique, the paintings themselves were duplicates and the owner had came barging at his townhouse claiming he was a fraud. The young man being the owner and the forger. It was an elaborate scam that many would’ve fallen for if they weren’t collectors but unlucky for the young man, the duke knew much about paintings because of his beloved wife and could tell the forger and the original artist were the same person. The technique was uncannily similar it was impossible to have been forged. Thinking back brought a soft smile to his face, indeed the right thing he’d ever done besides marrying his wife was adopting the young man. He was a son he’d never knew he wanted and probably more than the son he would’ve had. The apple of his eye indeed and his apple attracted the eye of the aloof crown prince, though he knew his life was only going to be filled with hurdles before it became smooth; he could tell by the look in the crown prince’s eyes that he would never give up because it was a look he recognized as the one he’d had when he saw his wife for the first time. Call it love or infatuation but, who was he to deny his son the opportunity of finding what he found and cherished more than his own life? To him, legacy be damned; his son’s bright and glistening future was a priority and he knew, the young man had become bored with all the people he had meet in the capital but looking at him all flustered because of the crown prince; anyone with eyes could tell he didn’t know what to do with him but wasn’t necessarily uncomfortable.

The duke bowed in a custom ceremony of presenting a marriage proposal to the crown prince bringing not only surprise or shock to the autumn festival but what many would hear about centuries to come;
“It’s not a mere gift your highness, it’s the most prized possession the duke have and hopes his highness would treasure more than I or duchess ever did.”

The crown prince observed the duke intently and could see the man wasn’t playing any trick or being presumptuous but indeed cared about his adoptive son, no his son and wanted to make sure he wasn’t a pastime. His respect for the duke increased immensely, more than anything he valued people with integrity and would never disrespect a father’s wishes. The crown prince reciprocated the formal bow with that of acceptance and promise, he felt he had gained something that would turn his life into a rollercoaster. He felt feverish;
“Your treasure has found its rightful home your grace, rest assured.” His dark eyes then turned to then said treasure and darkened even more, after all he’d never been so stimulated before; the thrill alone caused his originally overbearing aura to be suffocating those close to him, it seemed he would pounce anytime.

He took two to five steps till he was standing before the young man, who came just by his chin. Looking at him from such close distance, he could see details he had not from distance like how the young man’s skin had no pores whatsoever and seemed to be manmade from up close; he truly was beautiful. The look in the young man’s eyes really was provoking the crown prince and he couldn’t help but oblige, he too was a man with whims and his limit had long been crossed. He smirked and said;
“What do you think, are you treasure or gift to man like me who lacks nothing?” the crown was indeed indulging himself…

The young man looked at the man standing in front of him feeling flustered and couldn’t deny the man intimidated him couple that with nothing to say in turn. That feeling was enough to spook him so he scoffed and left the festival with the crown prince’s laughter following.

A pauper in Huntersville was more his preference than the crown prince’s treasure or gift.

You Will Always Love Me.

“Hey man, have a lighter?”
This was Khairer’s greeting to the guard to her apartment complex, a ritualism more than a greeting; one such shameful night she’d drank above her limit and her friends carried her to her gate, in her drunkenness; she’d mistaken her guard but with what similarity even she couldn’t identify as her scum of an ex she was an inkling away from turning into an alcoholic for, thus than repenting or slightly acknowledging her mistake because once in a while a foolishness occurs that one cannot escape from, she’d gone with a rather unique approach of covering up her shame;
“hey man,have a lighter?”

The guard as always pretending the fool and going along shook his head, for him the man who many felt no need to acknowledge or make an attempt to say I know I treated you wrong, the young woman’s approach did lighten his heart and had earned his loyalty.

This particular night though, Khairer felt a shift in the air and was being held back from passing without saying anything else by a strange force she couldn’t quite ignore, so she stood the awkwardly, trying to come up with something to say with a background as hers was trickier than whatever mystery held her back but the courageous girl she was, she gritted her teeth, kicked the ground a few times, counted to ten in her head and stared at the sky deciphering the mystery of initiating a conversation. They were two adults who breathed the same air twice a day less she stayed out late and he might have probably observed her habits to the point where unless she shaved her hair, put on a white dress and purple lipstick; he’d recognize all her attempts yet still, she thought she owed it to her sober self and shameful drunk self to at least see why in her inebriated state she could see even by slightest chance a glimmer of that man, the man that had broken her heart, would not be satisfied by the sight of her broken heart and took along those broken pieces then left her.
“The weather’s nice today.” She mumbled.
“Sorry?” The guard replied. Curiously, he found himself swallowing his laughter. It had been such a tiring day for him, entitled people asking him to run errands for them with regal air surrounding their approach though it wasn’t part of his job description. In his head, it had been ringing sighs till he saw Ms Khairer’s approach and his mood had immediately uplifted. But he couldn’t complain, the development was just as lightning as Ms Khairer herself, she was always full of surprises.
“I went out with my friends after work and I guess it suddenly occurred to me that well, um, ah, the weather is indeed really nice.” Lord. Had she been alone, within the safety walls of her bedroom, she would’ve plumped head first into a pillow and suffocated herself. What was coming out of her mouth after all?
“I, I never asked you your name.” But scoffs were the only reply she received. She turned to face the man she was talking to and found him covering his mouth, laughing so hard tears seemed to be closely following; the sight made her blush volcano temperature. Ugh, that irky feeling had made her make a fool of herself once more. If dread were on thousand ways to die…
“Yes. You, uh, never asked me for my name.” And made no apparent move to provide his name. When last did he enjoy such delightful atmosphere with a woman? It really would go to waste to not extend it a little longer, he was a man after all perhaps not the gentlest of man but he, he enjoyed a change of events once in a while. It made up for his exhausted patience.
“So your name, what is it?”
“No one’s called me by name today so I’m not sure if it’ll be good if I say it to you now, you know when the day is already so close to being over.”
“Are you saying that I should ask for your name tomorrow?” Shameless. Shameless. Shameless, yet she found herself smiling honestly for the first time after her break up. She felt herself stir up for the first time and it rejuvenated her, maybe the sprinkle of rain after a long drought with not even the presence of the sun to use as an excuse, she couldn’t tell what it was but was reluctant to let it go.
“Well, then you would have something to say to me other than “Hey man, have a lighter?” I’m really considerate, wouldn’t you agree?”
“More like an opportunist. Who knew there was a wolf in sheep’s clothes in there. I feel like I’ve been cheated, I want my “Hey man, have a lighter?”s back.”

To outsiders they would seem like a man and a woman having a slow night out, enjoying the nice weather, background music made by all those lives that took themselves too seriously. The picture they painted would make a photographer’s desire soar, it truly was romantic.

“Anyway goodnight. I’ll make sure to get that name tomorrow.” There was sadness in her voice when she made to leave, and the reluctance like before caught her by surprise. She wasn’t afraid of men or had a phobia of them, it was that; she had eyes for men once every eclipse thus the intrigue made her drag her feet. After a couple of steps from the guard, she turned to confirm all that transpired had not been her imagination and the guard was looking at her with a smile on his face but it couldn’t be called a smile more a sinister temptation; if she hadn’t been sure before, her taste in men would’ve reminded her. Ah, how she knew how to gravitate towards them and attract them to her.

“Hey, you sure we’ve never met before?” She asked finally.
“I bet we have.” He winked and left.

Only when she reached her house did she finally realize who the guard was, Milzir. Her broken heart pieces where being returned to her but she wasn’t to get them easily. It seemed, another game of you will always love me had started. That night, she fell asleep with a smile on her face. Jerk he was, but; but he knew how to put her at the starting line of the race. Morning couldn’t come sooner.

Man and Woman, Obsessed.

There used to be a woman, so obsessed with beginnings. Beginning of the new, the old, the continuing and the forgotten.

That woman, covered and coloured by her obsession would commit herself to any beginning that she would come across; no matter what she was currently involved with.

One time she came across a man, her perfect man to be precise and couldn’t deny herself, there was the ultimate beginning with an air of aloofness as though each day with him would contain what she was obsessed with the most.

So she left everything she currently had going on and made it known by everyone, the man himself included that she would be now pursuing him.

The people then murmured;
“But it wasn’t even a month ago you were ready to lay down your life for Roger, before it was Christy. Actually if we went back a year, you’ve pursued everyone we can think of. Spare the poor man.”

And the murmurs reached the man, he who had initially thought of just passing through. After hearing the murmurs, he thought why not see what it is to be pursued and how it unfolds for the pursued.

Everyone watched the spectacle of that pursuit, because say what you will about that woman but she knew to put her heart in her fickle interests. It became an ongoing play for everyone, now and then when someone felt overwhelmed by their lives, they went to church to catch up on the latest happenings.

She’d get embarrassed and be rewarded a curtain by the man’s back, she’d get thrilled only to be let down sometimes not so gently by the man, and she’d get angry only to be pacified by the very same man who made her angry.

Their antics were enthralling to everyone that they started pushing the woman’s past into the fray. First being Roger, on a unassuming night he whispered to the man’s ear only;
“You know she bought us a house but would never sleep there.”
Then Christy came forth;
“We’d actually decided it was time we built our family but later she went back on her decision, said kids would keep her rooted.”

The same injections went on and on and on.

The man finally understood the gist of it all, how she was and how she was perceived but could still not reconcile it with what he himself had seen. He decided better than assuming, it’d better if he asked the woman herself.

One night he initiated an outing, he’d decided the play had gone on long enough and before either of them lost terribly in front of so many eyes, it would be better if they both became abundantly clear on where they stand, where they see themselve going with the folly.

He said to her,
“You see I travel a lot because of my work so I wouldn’t be home that often in a year.”

The woman thought to herself, how could that be a problem when they wouldn’t see each other that often. It was ideal that he wouldn’t be home but to the man said,
“If you need me there with you, or I can’t stand it, I’ll go with you.”
And the answer sounded sensible to him so he tried again;
“I’d actually want you to move to my place, and that will take you from the only place you’ve ever known.”

She thought, but that’s what I’ve always wanted. To be away from a place that knows me to well and to a place I would not be judged for my nature. To the man she said,
“I’ll come back whenever I feel homesick. I don’t see a problem.”

Some time later after more probing from each side both felt they’re nicely suited. Forget who thinks what, so they decided to move forward and tie the knot; much to everyone’s surprise.

Everyone murmured,
“You don’t think they lied to each other, do you?”
At that everyone looked at one another and couldn’t help but snicker.

Upon hearing the murmur, the couple couldn’t be bothered, after all, wouldn’t they know themself and their relationship better. It didn’t take them long before the murmur was more than passing breeze.

The woman excited to leave all her past behind, start anew with her obsession intact. New life, new place, new people. All a massive beginning.
The man couldn’t help but smirk, who said he couldn’t find himself someone willing to accept his way of life without compromise?
They thought, nothing could’ve been better.

After a while living together, the couple whenever their eyes met could do nothing but grimace. They had indeed lied to one another only different from how everyone thought they had.

They’d both fallen in love.

Only their falling in love was attached to who they never thought they’d turn out to be.

Now they’re known as that couple who’s always attached to the hip, so much so if one goes to the restroom, the other is holding the door.

Truly obsessed.

King and King’s Son; Order and Chaos.

There was a land that had no order.

By solemn strength and wisdom, one man brought about structure to such chaos and was proclaimed King.

The man seen by the people as nonchalant was deeply respected, both by the land and its people, so much they sought out a bride for him to continue his bloodline so it would be the land’s ruling blood.

But the people weren’t willing to compromise with their beloved King, while they were looking for a bride for their King, they made sure it would be their sire’s mate for all his seven lives.

And they found such a woman.

The King and his bride married. Much to the land and its people’s expectations, he treated his bride as his partner; with love and respect. Their marriage was what could be called realistic love – life marriage because they fought, and when they did side had to be chosen, then they didn’t fight and everyone was one; one could say they were sides of the same coin.

The couple had a son, one child and no other.

Everyone believed him to be the crown prince and they treated him so; pampered by the land and its people. The King watched them as they did so, never saying otherwise just let them do as they pleased.

Time came for the successor to be crowned, and since the couple had only one child; the people had started chanting the couple’s son as their next King way before the king himself could say it is so.

But the King was man who himself believed in one’s strength, one’s own standing and most importantly intuition. So what it he had a son, weren’t the any other sons amongst the people who could contest for the crown, why not let the land choose as he’d been chosen?

The King said to his people;

“I’ve no intention of crowning my son as the next King. What right makes him better than your son, or yours or yours or any other sons our land has been nurturing? The land and its people choose who would be king not blood or bias, but wisdom and strength. Let the land make its choice!”

The people were left flustered remembering chaos their land had ruled by before a young man stood amongst them and proclaimed himself stronger than chaos and their future leader. This time they thought why not pass it to the next generation of that bold young man, after all they were of same blood.

The refusal to crown his son brought a rift in his relationship with his wife.

The Queen asked her husband;

“Why did you accept a bride if you weren’t building a royal line?”

The King looked at his wife for the first time with bewilderment in his eyes. He who had always felt there wasn’t another being in the world who understood him better; looked at his wife for the first time with doubt in his eyes. Was that woman really meant to be with him for all his seven lives? He couldn’t help but wonder.

He answered,

“I was always going to marry.”

It left the Queen stripped of her stature and could no longer question her husband.

Now then the people accepted the land will choose and then its people will follow. The King with the people announced how the next King would be chosen, just like how they were in peril before he emerged; they once again would be in peril only this time advanced as they too had advanced and among chaos, strength will emerge; strength that would lead them a bit further till it can’t anymore.

And so it began…

And it went…

Till it ended…

A young man stood tall amongst the debris of the angst, had shown what was needed to be seen; was courageous when most cowarded and would be the first to step forward when others were reluctant and that young man was none other than the King’s son.

The land and its people were so elated that they didn’t listen to their hearts beating as though close to running for cover, didn’t pay attention to the King’s frowning face till it was too late,

The King’s son did indeed have strength and wisdom, far beyond what his peers possessed but that wasn’t only where he surpassed his peers or his father, if you looked closely; if you really looked into his eyes;

The King’s son was the chaos the King had abandoned his nonchalance for so to become order for his beloved land and its people!

Mountain Village and Heavenly Court, Faithless and Faithful.

Mountain Village was the only village in Severe Town not devoted to any God. Forget faith, they lived without much regard of higher power and prosperity. It was their way of life.

Seeing this, many Gods wanted their devotion. The heavenly court then decided they would put Mountain Village on trial, with their consent. It was then decided by the heavenly court and elders of Mountain Village that five children with extraordinary circumstances would be born but the children no matter how devastating their effect would not be treated differently by either party.

The children were to be raised like any other child of Mountain Village, to see if knowing of the heavenly court from an early age would incline them toward faithful or the village itself were without faith.

What was nagging for the elders was what were the Gods to begin with and for the heavenly court was how can they be faithless and not proclaim themselves as atheist, could such ignorance exist?

Faithful or Faithless, never none.

So the children were born, and it was all boys. Mountain Village kept a close look on them, to see if truly they were beyond their wildest dreams but gradually; the haunting venture lost its glint when nothing out of the ordinary happened in their early years.

One night after sixteen years of nothing, just the day before harvest festival; the boy born in the farming family was woken from his sleep by ruckus, shouts coming from everywhere. The sight before him could not be explained, when he went to sleep, he’d been surrounded by trees all around, fruits on the ground that had fallen; sweet scent of overripe fruit and he woke up to land, barren land that seemed to have never experienced mowing, watering, falling leaves, excessive feeding. Where there were meant to be trees, there were people; people that held accusatory eyes at him.

Since it couldn’t be explained what had happened, The Elders then decided it was best if the boy was cast out of Mountain Village; that would be the only way to prevent any more situations regarding the boy.

Now Mountain Village was anxious, Heavenly Court had said extraordinary circumstances but it had never said good extraordinary circumstances as they had seen. They knew they’d promised the boys would live as any child of Mountain Village, they were in a predicament…

They were living with bated breaths.

Two months later, the banker went to her office as she usually did but that morning, what awaited had never awaited her. When she opened her office, gold coins spilled out. Her office was filled to the brink with gold coins that the was no way for her to enter, that morning she saw more gold coins than she’d ever recorded in her life.

Mountain Village knew greed but they didn’t know excessive greed. The second boy worked with the banker, but he too swore he’d done nothing, he went home after work. The Elders then decided it was better if he no longer worked with the banker.

After the two incidents, still not villager called Heavenly Court for help or cursed it. Not one villager, not even the boys. This was puzzling to the Gods.

Another two months later, the third boy woke up sick. His mother who worked as a merchant tended to him till he felt better, them went on with her work.

This caused an outbreak in Mountain Village.

The doctor had never seen such sickness, couldn’t treat it but bind it. Most of the elderly and children who caught it died which brought about panic. The doctor then told The Elders, if the source were extinguished; the sickness would no longer have a reservoir.

Everyone in Mountain Village took a vote on killing the boy to uproot the sickness. It was Mountain Village’s decision but the decision wasn’t unanimous, the mother of the boy wouldn’t agree to such blatant sacrifice; not with her beloved son.

What if it was him who got sick first, there had been people in the past who had caused outbreaks and they kept their lives, why was her son different she asked. However no one spoke in support of her, not ever her husband; and the boy was killed.

People who were sick gradually got better but it was nothing to celebrate. After all a young boy lost his life and who’s to say they wouldn’t have gotten better without killing?

There was a mournful period.

It was no longer interesting or inviting, The Elders were about done seeing their stoic village become so shook. And two boys were left.

Two months later, the field that had been stripped of it’s plants, had the plants in a state they would’ve been if they were still there. It was as though they hadn’t disappeared.

It bewildered Mountain Village, the boy was cast out as a result of the trees vanishing into thin air. Another boy was forbidden to work and the other was executed, had all those decisions been for naught?

The Elders were long tired of the impudence nature of the trial. It was high time they ended the dramatics they said. Wasn’t their way of life blissful after all? Now they slept with one eye open and for what?

Mountain Village gathered and came to a conclusion.

How did we live sixteen years ago they asked, and how are we leaving now?

Mountain Village gave all the four boys, called back one who’d been exiled back; the remaining two that still hadn’t had anything relating to them happen, gave them all the gold coins that had appeared out of nowhere. They told them to go everywhere and nowhere, find places that worshipped Gods and those that did not; if they found they would rather live in Mountain Village, then they were welcomed anytime.

Heavenly Court could do nothing when Mountain Village no longer had eyes and ears for it, so the Gods withdrew from Mountain Village.

But amidst all this, the mother with a dead son asked,

” Why did our boys bare the brunt of all your arrogance? The difference in thinking was never their cause, then why did their lives become playing grounds for two sides that weren’t never meant to push each other; faithful or faithless?”

Who could answer, after all the boys were never claimed by either side so;

Who could answer..?

Night Sky’s Soul

There is an entity named Night Sky. It has many children, none it raised; watched grow and die out. It wished to have at least one child it could see the life of from beginning to end for it was immortal.

Many glanced at it with their wishes, wraths and disdains. For it’s own desire, it obliged to be an outlet the caller needed, to fulfil as many wishes as it could but because, most wishes were never borne to their roots; they couldn’t be granted no matter the urgency. And because of the fickleness most came before it, it’s wish too was being suspended.

One night, when it’s children came as they did every other night, Night Sky rebelled and wouldn’t let them go to sleep. It didn’t let them fade before she did…

When Morning Sky came, surprised to see stars out on Day time asked,

“Why are you still visible?”
The stars replied,

“Mother wouldn’t let us fade.”

Morning Sky shone most brightly and said,

” Well; I will keep those of you that will not withstand my light. After all, you’re in my Day and your mother’s Night is long way out to protect you.”

So Morning Sky kept Night Sky’s little stars.

Night Sky then came about as it always does, found her little stars were short and bigger one’s more broken. Of course it knew what had happened, what led to the devastation but felt it had to confirm; Night Sky asked,


“Where are the others?”
And the stars there replied, “They were taken.”

That night knew calmness that never were known before.

After that deciding greedy stubbornness, Night Sky takes all thrown at it obediently. How it’s cursed, whatever shallow wish is being asked of it; for the moon to be more glorious. Whether it’s children come out… It takes all obediently and would not rumble.

For her obedience, it’s children can fill Night Sky.

Yet her soul is with those their light is still persisting against Morning Sky.

The Girl on the Hill

In a village, no one was special or better than people at other things; everyone was equal and order to things was the way of life. Till a certain girl was born and could do many things, excel at them all. A special girl.

For the balance of the village and others not to be imbalanced, for the village to remain the same, the villagers decided it would be best if the girl left to live on the hill. There, she could be the many things her being demanded she be, and have no one look at her with jealousy or admiration.

The girl understood this, her mind understood this but her heart only wanted to be a part of the village, not the hill.

She left for her new home with a heavy heart but clear understanding.

On the hill, she couldn’t help but look at her village, hear how her departure made no difference. It hurt her so much, she cried whenever she looked at the view, the life she longed to be part of and despair for life that was taken from her.

Those tears landed on sacred ground and travelled to the bottom, where they created a field of roses. For tears of despair, white roses grew and for tears of longing red roses grew. Years passed, and the girl could cry no longer and the hill started feeling like home which she could never accept, decided it was time she left. Thinking by then, new way of thinking would have made it’s way into the village.

When she reached the bottom, roses greeted her. The many she could see she picked but because she was excited and in a hurry, didn’t think anything of them till she was traveling the path that had brought her to the hill. She reached her village with many roses in her hands, and couldn’t carry them all.

The village was quiet, in the middle of the day, no chatter or sounds of people going by their chores and lives, it was still. A chill rose when she passed houses and saw no life, no one. At the heart of the village, she found a burial site and one single corpse.

The roses that grew, made of tears that travelled and took root weren’t mere roses, they each represented lives of the villagers; from children to adults and the last life that had stood alone after burying everyone.

The village was no more. Only the girl from the hill.

Was it her fault for crying, the villagers for keeping their ways or the hill for taking her tears?

What was a River and a Forest

There used to be a river, on the outs
of the forest
Where the girl’s went and came out
with fair skin,
richer than milk hair shiny like the
night of the wolves howls.

Only the river and the forest were
not on friendliest of terms but
the nearing villagers could not see
beyond the magic.

This river, ran the tales of an
old healer’s trade, with its charm
and how its water only revealed itself
to those with souls clear like a newborn’s cry.

Majestic it was and majestic it behaved.

And the forest came up with what could
be called the witch’s curse.

But the whispers had taken to the nearing
village that the river was getting old,
drying up with how the forest had
started war and made up a stream
of it’s on and could no longer hold
up the very beneficial relationship that had
been going for centuries.

The maidens no longer went to the river but
into the Forrest, never to be heard from again.
The villagers waited, kept on waiting for their
maidens to come back, better than they were
in all manner when they went into the forest
but no one walked. The forest held still.

It was time the river took charge
once more, forgiving the villagers for
what they’d taken to heart when it had
provided for them selflessly. So the river
cut all that lead into the forest and declared war.

The forest then was surrounded by water, with
no land close to it. It became an island and the
river, gave up its freedom.

Now only a tale of those ancient remains,
there used to be a river.

Between mother and daughter.

A mysterious cloud shadowed a girl’s appearance all her life. Her mother always said it was for her protection, a protection for her naïve heart that could never adapt to the ways of men. When she was born, the sky went dark until her first wail. No one had ever seen the girl’s face, not even her mother and she kept insisting a flower lay under the cloud because her motherly instinct said so. One day an arrival shook the village, a man with strange intentions no one knew were but claimed to have come for his love, a girl shadowed by a cloud.

The mother was bothered by this notion because love though precious, was its own poisonous emotion especially one not pure to pass through the cloud. Love from strong, dominant persistent men was especially taxing. She didn’t want her daughter’s cloud to be tainted, because her flower hadn’t had a chance to bloom in front of everyone that so believed in her beauty. The girl of course didn’t think so, to her the notion of possible true love was enough to coax her into wanting to be rid of her cloud and to be seen as someone for the first time, for her mother to see her face for the first time. And that happened to be the promise the man made the girl. Only her mother didn’t love her any less, had never tried to love her daughter any less and could be said she overdosed on the love she gave her daughter. But she wanted her daughter to remain the same, innocent untouched by the world.

This created a rift between mother and daughter, the daughter felt her mother’s love was different than one she would receive from a man, and wanted desperately to be seen, especial by her mother and the mother, the mother wanted her daughter to remain the flower she was, innocent nonetheless. But with the man’s arrival, change had already walked in their doorstep, neither could chase it out. What kind of change was the question…

The mother reluctantly gave permission for the man to court her daughter. During the courtship, the man tried too many times to connect with the girl, any form of connection but was pathetically unable to. His touch, to no avail, his words, to no avail and by his gifts, still to no avail. The cloud would not let him in. This enraged the man, because he was a man many other creatures would never deny yet a measly girl who’s beauty could not be seen wouldn’t give into him. He doubted himself and the insecurity became vaporous. If no one could connect with the girl perhaps he would’ve assumed and accepted there was no one to connect with but the mother did, the mother shared with the girl all he wanted to share, and to him, it would be no one at all since he couldn’t have her. The man started planting ideas in the girl’s head, after all she was innocent, naïve and took everything that was said to her as true. How could her mother be the only one after all? Her mother had cursed her in the name of love and protection. To deceive her in such a way? These new emotions rising within the girl, the cloud too started to rise, to become an ugly thing; an ugly thing indeed. It changed the atmosphere in the village, until the mother was left with no choice but to confront her daughter.

The girl in her rage accused her mother,
“What you feel for me is not love, its only a curse to keep me to yourself and nobody else!”
This broke the mother’s heart deeply, because she had fought, given up and did everything in her power to ensure her daughter’s happiness. A single tear fell, touched the ground. But the tear, because it was not out of anger or evil intention, was not pretentious but a part of a mother’s soul for her daughter who she’d thought knew her better than what anyone could ever say, was the change that had first knocked at the door along with the man. The cloud, being a soul itself, recognized its twin and shed itself of the girl to join the tear on the ground, they were after all pieces of twin souls that were interrupted by one they let in.

A mother got to see her daughter’s face for the first time, and in her daughter’s eyes, she saw what she had protected all her life but would no longer be able to protect. The girl showed her face to her mother for the first time but shame, shame clouded what could’ve been a wish come true.