Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Short (long) Story

Today I was bored and had nothing to do, so I set up at my mom's computer and started writing. I had an idea I'd start (another!) fantasy story. As it ends up it is a rather pointless, odd sort of short story. I like the way it reads, and it's not much good for anything else, so I thought I'd post it. :)

PS I realized after I'd finished it that "Faramere" is almost identical to "Faramir" from Lord of the Rings. Seriously! I really wasn't copying! O_O The name sort of just popped into my head when I was trying to pick a name for the world. I can't believe I actually spelled it almost exactly the same too, because I have never read the Lord of the Rings. Anyway... I'm just going to leave it the way it is -- I can't think of anything else! :(

Miss Sickle's Story

The front of the house appeared normal enough, with a little flower garden and a gravel path going to the door. Through the curtains in the front windows the shadow of a little boy and and old woman could be seen. Madeleine Terner frowned. Dylan had promised to be home early, to help her clean the house before their parents got home. When he didn't come home at four thirty Madeleine had cleaned the house herself. "Ever since the old women moved into St. Laurence a few months ago, Dylan has been over here for hours helping her with her garden." Maddie thought resentfully. "What does he like about her so much?" Personally, Madeleine found the old woman creepy, with her low, whispering voice and deep blue eyes that seemed to stare right into your very soul. Walking to up to the weatherbeaten door Madeleine knocked loudly. Soon enough it was opened, and the little bent, aged woman stood grinning up at her through large, cracked glasses.

“Madeleine, my dear, what took you so long? We’ve been waiting. Come in.” She said. Feeling a little discomfited, Maddie stepped in.

“Miss Sickle, I came for Dylan…”

“Yes, yes, Dylan. Much wisdom that boy holds in his head. This way.” The elderly woman led Maddie through a short, dimly lit hallway. The old pictures that lined the walls were of stern, forbidding old men and women, who looked down their crooked noses at her through gloomy, scowling eyes and seemed to whisper as she passed. The peeling, faded flowery brown wall paper, shelves filled with dusty & cracked leather bound books, and the dim light provided only by candle sticks gave the house a lonely, secret air to it, making all who entered quiet and subdued. Soon they reached a door, and Miss Sickles pushed it open, exclaiming, “Your sister is here now, Dylan.” Despite Maddie’s protestations, soon the old woman had her seated in an old, musty arm chair, in her hands a hot glass of hot chocolate despite the warm weather and in arm’s reach, a plate of ginger snaps. In the hearth a fire was roaring, the only light of the room. Maddie was stifling.

“Now that we are all here we can start.” The woman grinned.

“Excuse me,” Madeleine began.

“Hush, hush Madeleine Ceara Terner. We have much to talk about.” Taking a cookie, the old woman began before Madeleine could say a word. “Faramere, Madeleine, is a world, not so faraway as some people would like you to think. Once upon a time, the unicorns ran free in it, with the centaurs and talking beasts and singing elves. People could be happy there like in no other place, and Peace reigned. But no good thing lasts forever, as the saying goes. From the universal happiness and harmony, rose a monster, called the Orc. No one ever knew where he came from – some thought he was a mix between giants and dwarfs, for he was tall like the giants but strong and brave – fierce – like the dwarfs. Soon there were many Orcs, for they seemed to multiply in a different way than most. They wanted power, and to obtain it they would do anything. First, they pillaged villages, took food, and shelter when and where they wanted it. But at one town, some of the villagers decided to defend themselves. They fought the Orcs, yet they were weak and untrained, and several of them died in the attempt. Still the Orcs decided that they needed to make an example to the people, to subdue them, and show them who the masters were. For this example they choose a remote, isolated little village called Dallán, which means Blind. When the Orcs arrived, many of the men were out hunting. The Orcs massacred the place, slaughtering women and children, the elderly and sick. When the men arrived home that night, the town was afire and their families were dead.

“One young man, Cathaír, which means ‘Battle Lord’, had just been married to a beautiful young woman with flowing golden hair, whose name was Aoibheann, which is said as Eevyin, and means ‘Beauty Radiant’. Sweet and lovely, the most beautiful girl in the village, that day she had begged him to stay home from the hunt. She told him she felt danger in the air, but Cathaír laughed at her and said that no danger would come to her, for the people of Dallán were naïve and trustful – blind – and knew not that danger lurked in the world and would harm them if it could but get to them.

“When Cathaír arrived at the village his heart screamed in terrible agony, and he swore to avenge the Beauty Radiant, by the blood of his father Cathal, ‘Strong in Battle’.

“Cathaír raised an army, for many were willing to fight, and trained them as killers. Thus battle raged, and many innocent were killed for the sins of others. More and many came to fight from many countries, for the example of Dallán had not suppressed but strengthened the people. But even after the Orcs were long defeated the battle still raged, for people no longer knew Peace, and fought because of the need to fight, for with the birth of the Orcs came the birth of Hate and Envy.

“But Love and Hope had not yet died, and they sent two children – two children to vanquish Hate. The children were from another world, no less lost and sorrowful, for Hate had entered their home as well. No, it was not that they were better then the people of Faramere, or stronger. But Love knew them, and so entrusted them with the mission.

“The two children were called Awnya and Darwan.

“And so the two children began their quest. Awnya knew that they must overcome Hate in the hearts of men, from which it derives its power. But this could not be achieved easily; men clung to their hate, and so did not relinquish it. Many challenges did the two children face, for Darwan succumbed to Hate. But Awnya held onto Hope, and Trust and Love guided her path. She went to a small village called Deaglán, meaning ‘Full of Goodness’. Some of the people of Deaglán knew Love, and made friends with Hope and Trust; others only new Hunger and Want, and Anger. Hate gripped their hearts. But Awnya did not give up, for she saw Hope. She fed the poor with Love, and rested the weary with Hope. To those who were deprived she gave Trust, and Joy entered all their hearts. Awnya knew that she was fulfilling the Mission. She had only needed to show Love to one person, and others began to obtain it.” The old woman closed her eyes and smiled peacefully. Madeleine, who had sat enchanted throughout this narrative, who had seen it unroll before her eyes, was still in Faramere, with Cathaír, the Orcs, Awnya, and Love.

“Miss Sickle, have you finished?” Dylan whispered, breaking the silence.

“There is no more to tell.” The old lady said simply.

“But what about Darwan – did Awnya ever completely vanquish Hate? Did––”

“Darwan died in battle, dressed in Hate’s robe. No, Awyna never defeated Hate completely. But the point, little Dylan, is that she tried. She succeeded, though she didn’t extinguish Hate entirely. He lurks in dark corners still, waiting for the time when he may be unleashed again. But Awnya – though ever so slowly – made Faramere a place where Hope was a living, thriving thing, where Love was known and Trust was willingly given. Anger and Sorrow are now part of Faramere too, for it is impossible to live without them when you first let them enter. Envy and Poverty walk the land too. But, my children, the world is far better a place now, because one little girl tried.”

Caddie Woodlawn

It's a strange thing, but somehow we expect more of girls than of boys. It is the sisters and wives and mothers, you know, Caddie, who keep the world sweet and beautiful. What a rough world it would be if there were only men and boys in it, doing things in their rough way! A woman's task is to teach them gentleness and courtesy and love and kindness. It's a big task, too, Caddie - harder than cutting trees or building mills or damming rivers. It takes nerve and courage and patience, but good women have those things. They have them just as much as the men who build bridges and carve roads through the wilderness. A woman's work is something fine and noble to grow up to, and it is just as improtant as a man's. But no man could ever do it so well. I don't want you to be the silly, affected person with fine clothes and manners whom folks sometimes call a lady. No, that is not what I want for you, my little girl. I want you to be a woman with a wise and understanding heart, healthy in body and honest in mind.

(from Caddie Woodlawn)