Monday, May 17, 2010

Short stories

I - The Aging

Once came a man  who had experienced the most beautiful thing in the world. It was his intention to place the experience within on the sensory stones - magical devices which held feelings and memories for an eternity, leaving them for others to partake of.

But he thought about it: wouldn't it being shared dilute the experience? So he held it to himself, precious thing that it was, and aged with the memory. But as he aged, the memory became tarnished and beaten, and he could no longer recall the glory of the experience.

II - The Execution

Once, a murderer roamed the streets, a black-hearted man by the name of Kossacs. He had been blessed by his fiend mother so that no one could strike him with an intent to harm or they themselves would die. He revelled in his blessing, using it to start fights and murder anyone who crossed his path.

During one of his murderous rages, he was captured by the Harmonium Order with nets and brought before the Guvners. The trial was short, final, yet Kossacs laughed at the proceedings, knowing that no one among them could harm him without dying horribly. At the final day of his trial, he was proclaimed guilty and sentenced to death.

Kossacs's sentence proclaimed by the Guvners was this: 'Confinement for thrice thirty days, during which time you shall give up your life, be declared dead, and your body removed when all signs of life cease.' Kossacs laughed and dared any of them to try and harm him, yet the court was silent.

The Harmonium lead Kossacs to their prison and locked him in a dark, empty cell. There was no cot, no lights, and the only door was a steel grate in the ceiling.

As they lowered him into the cell, the Harmonium told him, "In the corner of your cell will you find a chalice. It holds poison. Your death will be swift."

"Aren't you going to execute me?" Kossacs snarled at the guard.

"No one shall lay a hand on you with intent to harm," came the Harmonium's reply.

"Then I spit on your cowardice!" Kossacs laughed, feeling for the chalice in the darkness, then hurling it at the wall and shattering it. Its poison dripped from the walls and dried, until it was no more. "Come then - you will have to try and kill me now."

But there was no response from the grate in the ceiling. It was then that Kossacs noticed the cell had no cot. No lights. And no food and water. All that remained was the chattered chalice, the poison gone. And for the first time, Kossacs knew the icy touch of death's approach.

In thrice thirty days, the grate opened, and Kossacs's body, now cold, was taken from the cell. It had given up its life, and the execution had been carried out.

III - Three Wishes

An elderly man was sitting alone on a dark path. He wasn't certain of which direction to go, and he'd forgotten both where he was travelling to and who he was. He'd sat down for a moment to rest his weary legs, and suddenly looked up to see an elderly woman before him. She grinned toothlessly and with a cackle, spoke, "Now your third wish. What will it be?"

"Third wish?" The man was baffled. "How can it be a third wish if I haven't had a first and second wish?"

"You've had two wishes already," the hag said, "but your second wish was for me to return everything to the way it was before you had made your first wish. That's why you remember nothing; because everything is the way it was before you made any wishes." She cackled at the poor man. "So it is that you have one wish left."

"All right," said the man, "I don't believe this, but there's no harm in wishing. I wish to know who I am."

"Funny," said the old woman as she granted his wish and disappeared forever. "That was your first wish."

IV - The Parched Land

Once, a large village was struck by a terrible drought. A farmer journeyed to the Worshipping Stone, and again implored it as to the cause of the drought. He asked the Stone why it did nothing when the fields were parched and dying, why the animals and the people suffered while the Stone did not a thing.

"Have we not given enough offerings?" the farmer asked, begging almost upon his hands and needs. But the Stone did not respond; it merely sat, and cast its shadow.

(image credit: l2ebis @ deviantART)

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