Story Twenty Four – Luminous


ok… There are some deaths in this one, but I have no idea where Aaron is going with it… Frankly, I’m worried for his sanity.

When young, all North City dwellers learned of the history of our world. It was required schooling. From the first days we can fully understand speech rooms of children stood at attention of the storytellers who teach the past. Each day, the legacies became increasingly more difficult. Through this discourse we learned how to live, we learned what was expected and how to worship.

Time began over thirty thousand years before my birth. Before that day which god chose as his arrival in existence, there was nothingness. This was a concept that was difficult for me to grasp. Nothingness is not nothing. Nothingness was something that resembled a lacking. The last remnants of nothingness, I was told, is the cold empty feeling the bad children have when they are first taken from their parents and, above all, when they question the power of god and his servants.

In that rampant, still sadness before the first clock ticked its first tock the creator arrived. In a flash of unseen light and unheard vibrations, he stepped upon the land, life springing from his footfalls. He raised his castle, the Grand Trodnum without a single movement, combining minerals from the soil, leaving nothing to waste.

Then came the first cities, small and unimposing versions of what they would be extrapolated to. God created the platforms to keep great gardens from the dust and scorching heat of the ground.

In his loneliness he created the first people, night-skinned and beautiful manifestations to till the soil. It was taught that we were made as reflections of his perfection. Having seen the lord’s body, I could not imagine being linked to him in any way. It brought a kind of sense, though. A question all non-believers wrestled with was; if we were like him, why were we not closer to his power?

One child from each city, little more than forests and jungles then, he took four of the most faithful and brought them to the Grand Trodnum. They held his audience in the highest court where they were questioned and put through tests of righteousness. Each, through their own greatness, were granted titles of leadership among the cities. They were the Chancellors. A single believer, the Chancellor of the north, was a remarkably courageous and intelligent child. The title was granted to her, as I now know her to be a woman, of High Chancellor.

For millennia the cities were allowed to grow and prosper. Under the watchful eyes of the lord, there was no chance of tragedy or catastrophe.

War came from our own greed. Some cities saw the abundance of the others and, ignoring their own plentiful resources and the Chancellors’ oppositions, extended a violent hand to attack their brothers. West became a great empire, reigning over its three siblings. The lord saw it and grew angry. He ordered the Chancellors to attack the west and subdue it back to its place. It was allowed to continue the practices of martial discipline but rule was given only to the Chancellor of the west and there it had remained.

While god was aware of the demons from without our tiny world, he tested the people against them without revealing the enemy until the last moment. Creatures known as Uranlyn climbed the plateaus and attacked mercilessly. They were flesh eaters, disgusting things who ingested the bodies of other sentient creatures. Because of this evil, they were large and powerful and well trained in the methods of killing. Many of our people perished.

We had failed and the lord had been debating within himself whether to allow our annihilation or to step in. At the end, it was his love and not his sense of justice which prevailed. The Chancellors, immortal and powerful beyond all measure, used their enchanted weapons to rend the monsters to the dust which spawned them.

A decree was made for the cities to have a large and powerful standing army at all times. We were to learn to protect ourselves. We were to learn to be autonomous. God was as our father, giving us the insights to grow and become more than the children we were.

The west was the land of soldiers and warriors. Their original sin was expunged and greed turned to a desire to guard and protect. The city of blades and armor became the center of our hopes for the future. In turn, each city began to specialize and detach themselves from the monotony of the previous generalizations. The South became a land of smiths, descending from their city every day to collect materials they would use to create wonderfully ornate wares. Easterners were the sources of knowledge, from them came the great speakers and teachers that continued the links of knowledge. Without them, we would be lost. North City, my home, my lovely forest of buildings and brush, a perfect combination of nature and artifice, raised architects and botanists. A story from the North said that the Easts maintain, the Wests destroy and while Souths build from metal and stone, we create life with both the buildings that shelter and the plants which sustain. As an apprentice in botany I felt closer to the lord, until I saw its face.

When I woke from my spell, I was alone in a large bed chamber. I continued to have trouble breathing. The warmth in my chest could not be cooled even though the water I found in a pitcher on a small table was the most refreshing I’d ever drank.

When I stood, I felt different. My hands didn’t fall to the same point on my legs as they had before I slipped into unconsciousness. It was a minute different, the width of a fingernail. My elbows were still at the bottom of my ribcage so I deduced it had to have been my forearms or hands. They were longer.

I searched for a mirror or some reflective surface but found none. My mind flipped through the questions of what could have also been different and why did I change so quickly.

Coming closer to a wall in my quest to find material in which I could see myself, I discovered a light source. It was soft and orange. It moved as I did and always stayed in the center of my vision. I brought my hands close to my face, close to my eyes. They were pulsating in a brighter version of the same glow.


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About Aaron Shively

I have been working as a freelance writer and artist for the last decade. In that time, I've done everything from ghostwriting to toy design and everything in between. I am currently working on a novel series called 'Myth' which has held my attention for the past sixteen years. I have spent my time developing the world, character and story and am now ready to funnel all the preliminary material into the manuscript of the first installment, 'of Men and Monsters' Bookmark & Share

Posted on 05/24/2011, in Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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