Saturday, 11 March 2017 16:28

Fallen [Remastered]

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A man falling down to his would be demise A man falling down to his would be demise
 

It was quiet in the village, the crackling torch I held screamed in the dark night as I patrolled the lonely, empty streets. I remember when I first came to the village – It was a night like this one, strangely quiet, a fact which made the thunderous bolt of lightning more ominous. When I arrived, I could not remember anything about my past – save only one word. My name, the only clue to who I was and where I came from and no one could be bothered to remember how to say it, so they just called me Raelius, meaning “from the storm.”

I quickly learned their language – a tongue not so dissimilar from my own, but with noticeable differences. I joined the Guard and remembered my proficiency with blades and other weapons. I quickly gained ranks within the guard, progressing into the Honor Guard of the late Qoru, Kaelius, meaning “from the Light.” Later he allowed me to marry his youngest daughter, Joete. Ever since the Qoru died, life has not been the same in the village. Life carried on even if it was almost soulless.

My Patrol took me near the fields where I was first discovered. The many years since my arrival have left the field fallow for far too long. Somehow I think that the people fear this place as many avoid it entirely and I am often assigned this patrol ever since my dismissal from the Honor Guard. Tonight, at least, it gives me peace and solace to contemplate my existence. Perhaps I should accept my fate and live out my wisp of an existence here, among this people, or perhaps I am destined for more. My beloved Joete helped me see that before she died.

I stood there all night, planning to leave it all behind, since it no longer held any meaning for me. As the first rays of dawn crept into my weary eyes, I saw figures moving in the tree line. I approached, cautiously. I entered the forest and could see nothing; I took a look around and found a small object on the ground – clearly not from here by the looks of its polished metal and curious design. I knelt to pick it up and held it in my hands. It felt good in my hands. From what I could tell the part I held was some sort of handle. I tried figuring out what it could be used for, but I could not. I put it away in my bag – I would have to take this to our seer, the man who could tell us anything we wanted to know – except where I came from.

He claims to know where I came from, but he cannot, or will not tell me. I have asked him about it with increasing frequency ever since Joete passed. His reply is always the same “I cannot tell you, you must figure it out on your own. It is your destiny.” I turned to leave the forest, but as I stood up I heard a twig snap and before I could do anything a large piece of wood smashed against the right side of my face knocking me the ground. I crawled and made it just a few feet before the club-wielding man above me smashed the club over my head again. The dawning sun faded from view and the world turned dark. 

I woke to sounds of screaming and explosions. As I came to, I realized I was bound at the wrist and tied to a tree. My head ached, and I could barely keep my eyes open as I struggled to look around the small clearing of trees. A hooded man paced before me as I stirred. He wore a green-blue cloak that covered his entire body, fitting very loosely. His breathing slowed as he looked over and spoke in an ominously familiar voice, “We finally met at last Raphael, at long last.”

“Who are you?” I asked cringing at the pain in my head.

“That is not your concern,” the hooded man replied, “Nothing is as important as how long we have been searching for you.”

“We?”

“Do you think I would be able to find you on my own, in this godforsaken place?” He came over and knelt down to look into my eyes, he then grabbed my face and threw it aside as he continued “No, I needed help.”

More pain in my head sent me bending over, “What do you want from me?”

“You’ll see when we get there,” The hooded man said, getting to his feet and waving his arm to his side.

A small vortex of energy whirled around us and gathered in a rounded sphere which pulsed with energy.

“What is that?” I demanded to know.

“Your Destiny.” He approached me and untied me from the tree.

He grabbed hold of me and began guiding me towards the sphere. He threw me towards it. I tried to move, but to no avail. As I struggled despair clenched me tighter. I writhed in my bonds, struggling to get free of the typhoon of whatever power held me there, be it death, chaos, or desolation, or some unfamiliar dark force. I finally broke out of the shrinking sphere and I began to run, my legs stumbling beneath me.

“How is that possible?” A voice called out from somewhere behind me.

The trees went by in a blur, the clash of swords rang from the distance; everything seeming to slow down as I sent all my energy into each of my legs heading towards the edge of the forest.  My hands were still bound, but that hardly mattered now. The only thing that mattered was getting out of the forest and making it back to the village. I heard a noise, turned and saw three hooded figures chasing after me led by the man I had spoken with. As I ran I noticed that the forest that had surrounded my home was now the scene of a massive battle, the guard led a small army surrounded on all fronts. I wanted to help them; but the men were so close to me now.

“Stop him, stop him at all costs!” The lead man yelled.

Arrows whizzed by face as I ran at breakneck speed, one more clipped the top of my ear and I stumbled. Rolling forward to maintain my momentum and beginning to run once more my cloak flapped almost as if it were a flag. I breathed slowly to let the air reach my legs as they pounded footprints into the nearly silent chaos I was trying so desperately to escape. In what felt like hours I breached the line of trees marking the edge of the forest.  I realized too late where I was, as I ran right off the edge of the cliff; falling.

The three figures followed me down the cliff, remaining calm as they matched my descent. As they were falling they unsheathed their swords, curious swords they were though – made of some kind of material I had never seen. I reached beneath my waving cloak to unsheathe my blade. With my hands still tied together I could not draw it out fully, but I managed to uncover enough of the blade to slice through my bonds. I did slice into my hands though, but there was little pain.

By the time I had managed to withdraw my sword they had caught up to me. I slowed my descent by spreading my arms. The hooded figures reached me and I slashed out at the one wearing a gray hood, slicing his hand off.  I grabbed hold of him, stood on his belly and brought my knees to my chest; the remaining two figures held their distance. Hoods and cloaks waved wildly as we fell, even though the hoods were not covering their faces I could not make out the faces of my attackers. I pushed off against his belly; sending the handless man down and myself upwards.

Once my ascent had reached it extent, I landed on the man’s shoulder, the one who had tortured me, and the brown cloaked man standing next to him immediately struck out at me with his own blade. I kicked the blade away and sent him tumbling into the side of the cliff. I pushed off again, this time intending to flip over enough to kick the last guy in the stomach. Just as I pushed off he grabbed my ankle and swung me down so that I was looking up at him. I kicked him, and he let go. I slashed out with the blade, and he dodged. He grabbed me and brought me near, taking the blade from my hand; he stabbed with my own blade.

I saw what had happened, and I knew what to expect, but the pain did not register until the blade was ripped out of my belly, spilling my guts into the dawn streaked air. Blood spewed forth from the wound that the now hoodless, and still masked figure made with the blade I knew so well; the blade that would never fail. His mask was simple, a faceless covering made out of some material I did not recognize. It was almost beautiful; the way the mask hid his identity and made my enemy seem so nameless. I stretched forth my free hand letting the wind circle around me, wrapping my cloak around me. Time slowed as I fell; even the blood and the rain droplets sat frozen in air as I reached up removing the mask of my would-be killer.

“Before I die, tell me the name of the man who killed me,” I commanded softly.

“We share more than a face, Raphael, it is a cruel paradox of fate for us, we who come from the storm”

Time resumed, and as the realization slammed into me, so did my own blood and guts. There staring at me with a snarl of hatred and rage, mixed with sadness and regret was my own face. Just as his hands were covered with my blood so were mine – I slammed into the ground and the last thing I saw before my eyes closed was a flash of light.

To be continued…  

Read 977 times Last modified on Monday, 20 March 2017 17:30
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3 comments

  • Comment Link Marisa Monday, 15 May 2017 23:34 posted by Marisa

    Every time I read this I can't help but get super excited about what will come next for this. So much excitement and action. Almost like I was there.

  • Comment Link Thorhian Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:02 posted by Thorhian

    I like this story. Hopefully there will be more to come in "various" media as time goes by.

  • Comment Link Sebastien Sinclair Dalin Saturday, 18 March 2017 20:22 posted by Sebastien Sinclair Dalin

    Hey All, this piece is an update to an earlier piece I did a few years ago, be sure to check that out to link is here below:

    http://www.teenink.com/fiction/all/article/629162/Fallen/

    Comment and let me me know what you think!

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