No man could ever match Taven's speed. He couldn't be seen when he ran. It was unnatural. Unearthly. He had never been overtaken. You can not outrun something you can't see. Not even the animals could. Not the hare, not the horse, not the cheetah. He was the fastest.
He was respected for it, feared for it, worshiped for it. The people loved him, he wasn't proud like the others. He loved them back. They would chant his name at the end of every battle. For they knew, without Taven they wouldn't have won. The tiny kingdom of Arith knew he was their strongest warrior. They had been able to defend themselves these last ten years wholly because of Taven.
Children would imitate him. Racing was the most common sport in the kingdom. Every child wanted to be as fast as Taven. They idolized him.
Girls would try to woo him. They would wait out on the streets for him to pass. He was irresistible, even the married woman secretly harbored a soft spot for Taven. They loved him.
Even though Taven didn't have a rank in the army, the commanding officers too treated him with utmost regard. They respected him.
It was customary for King Halio to gift Taven at the end of a battle. He was rich. Maybe even the richest in Arith. But no one complained. They all loved him. He was given a lot of benefits, the chief of them being freedom. He was free to do as he pleased. In turn he could be called for battle at a moments notice. This agreement had worked for the last ten years.
They required his aid this time too. Arithrian scouts had spotted the armies of The Alliance marching towards Arith. They would reach in two days. It would be the biggest war Arith had ever fought. The combined force of three nations against one small kingdom. They would rely entirely on Taven. They trusted him, they knew he'd win this one for them. The man with the magical feet never failed them.
Messengers were sent to find Taven. He would have to be informed of the war. The messengers were excited to be given this important job. Each wanted to be the first to find Taven. It was a prestige issue. The messengers would erobe remembered.
But they never found Taven. He wasn't anywhere in Arith.
The Arithrian hero, had failed them when he was most needed.
And thus the kingdom of Arith fell.
An exerpt from The Fall of the Weavers by Drowan Trott.
This is a universal truth. You know it, I know it. So let's skip that bit where you act outraged and come up with an argument.
If you're an optimist, someone who believes in the strength and courage of the human race, then let me break your belief into tiny little pieces.
We crave what hurts us.
All of us. Our entire lives spent crawling on our hands and knees, searching for relief in cruelty and misery.
People are idiots, not because they lack the sense to know they crave for a fire to burn their hands, but because they disguise this need under labels to deceive themselves.
Alcoholism, drug use, smoking. Examples that come readily to mind.
And now in your mind,with each of these images, you associate to a worn-out junkie, shivering in the cold, life broken and wasted.
This is what society has done. In the eyes of the world, addiction is only the domain of the weak, the poor and the powerless. They could never succumb to it. They possess willpower, they have ideals they stand by.
You're all bloody wrong.
What of love then?
People's lives are spent wandering in between achievements and failures, looking for love.
The world lauds the concept of love. It commercializes on it. Profits are made from the rush of estrogen to our brains. A whole industry revolving around a single gland. But what does love ever get you?
For a few months there is the feeling of bliss. That rush of "love" returning whenever you see your partner.
And then it fades. Some trace of it will remain, if you're lucky. But eventually, implacably, as sure and definite as the death of a star.
It will disappear.
To be replaced by a sense of obligation. Where there was once devotion to your relationship, there is now duty to maintain what you spent so long a time forging. You are no longer a lover in love, you are a janitor sweeping and dusting the walls. A captain trying to keep his ship afloat, not knowing he's headed for an inevitable glacier.
Regardless, it is not the failing of love that I use to illustrate my point, but the result of it's failure. Shock, Denial, Anger, Sorrow, Acceptance. The cycle of reactions after the bridge is burnt.
Reactions from this point on differ. Some, in fear of ever falling prey to the soul-wrenching agony they had to suffer, vow off love. To them, it is nothing more than the wheel to the mouse. A pointless exercise to keep them occupied, while they go about the business of living. A lie they perpetuate to themselves. For with being human comes the need to find love. It would be easier to live without a heart than to tear love from your being.
Some march forth with renewed vigor. Determined to find their soulmates, they dive once again into the murky waters, hoping to find gold at the bottom. Only to drown before they can emerge to the surface.
What every hapless Knight in search of his damsel-in-distress or Princess in search of her Prince Charming fails to realize is, that no matter how many times the love is thwarted by the Evil Dragon, they will eventually continue upon their quest. Only to have pain inflicted upon them once again.
I pose to you a question now.
Why is this?
Human instinct is to learn. To understand. To Grow. If we could learn that fire burns. why can we not abstain from love?
Do not sing me songs of love great and fair. Recite not to me ballads of kings and queens. I know the answer to this question. It is time for you to know it as well.
We crave love not for pleasure of love, but for the pleasure of misery.
It is in misery that we revel. In cruelty and times of despair that the human spirit breaks through. Only through the gray light of sorrow can the sun be seen to have any relevance at all.
You may be skeptical, you may choose to not believe. It is your choice. Remain unknowing, unwilling to admit the truth to yourself.
It is human nature to seek out pain.
That is the way of this life. Short as it is.
We crave it. Just as much as every heroin addict craves his next hit, shivering in the cold, tossing back and forth, weeping and sniffling.
When a coin is flipped, there are two outcomes. Heads, or tails.
An equal chance of two completely different outcomes taking place.
Unfortunately, reality bears little to no resemblance to a coin. For every action, there are a million probable outcomes, a billion consequences for each outcome.
And no I'm not talking about whether you choose to drink tea in the morning instead of coffee because that one friend of yours told you to.
I speak of real decisions. Things that make a difference.
I'm sure you've wondered.
What would have happened if you had made that one phone call to someone you'd loved and wronged? Would they be beside you right now? An indelible part of your life. A place where they belonged.
Or would they?
I seem to digress, but the point I seek to make is this.
What would have happened if Jesus Christ, Proclaimed Lord and Savior of the Faithful Masses, had never been born? Unimaginable. Intolerable. I must be burnt at the stake for even thinking of such a thing.
But in the mean time, let us be hypothetical.
It's fair to say that in such a case, Christianity would have never come into creation. And that Judaism would be the dominant religion in modern times. A reasonable assumption. For with no one to crucify, the Jews would have never been cast into the light of murderers and traitors that they had to suffer for centuries.
With no one to prosecute, Hitler would have never been anything but a painter. Perhaps a shoddy one at that. And not someone who shook the world to it's roots.
The Crusades would have never happened. There would have never been anything for armies to march across the world to rape, pillage and murder,
No purifying the Earth from the "scourge" of the Muslims in his name.
And leading into Modern Day, no demonizing of the Islamic nation. No reason for terrorism. No 9/11. No Saddam Hussein. No Osama Bin Laden.
If the Church had never existed, Galileo would have never been strung up for the simple desire of wanting the world to know the truth.
The list goes on. With no bit and bridle placed on science's progress, the world might have been a better place. We'll never know.
No Church, Catholic or Protestant. Another wall torn down.
Think on it yourself. There are so many ways the world would have been changed, but for the birth of one man.
Reality bears no resemblance to a coin. But every once in a million tosses, the coin follows a third outcome.
It falls on it's edge.
With every waking hour, people foretell of The Rapture.
Perhaps, somewhere in this slew of infinite possible universes that we call reality, the one we inhabit is that one coin? Think on it.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I in no way intend to insult the followers of the Christian Religion by suggesting that the Church not existing would have made this world a better place. What I DO say is, that the world would be different. For better or for worse, we shall never know.
She was used to a world that radiated tranquility and peace. A world where the ground was a carpet of green grass, soft mud and slippery moss; where the air was fresh and felt like nectar in her lungs; where the trees were tall and evergreen. In her world there was always a sense of home, of being right where you belong.
This world was all grey.
Storm clouds hung low in a slate grey sky and seemed to press down on her, making her gasp for air. It was bitingly cold and despite her warm coat, she shivered. The wind blew in sharp gusts, with a force like she had never experienced and cause her brown, beady eyes to water. An acrid smell hung in the air and every breath she took burned her lungs. She coughed and spluttered and her head throbbed. She was miserable and sick to her core.
Yet, she kept on walking. She could not bring herself to rest in this place, with its menacing grey structures that loomed above her and seem to jeer at her helplessness.
Under a flickering streetlight, in a pool of blood, lay a man. His sandy hair was turning red and his clothes were soaked in blood.
It was like a scene from a murder-mystery play with bad lighting. It was like he was a little red island in a dark grey sea.
He lay with his back to her so she went over and nudged him, gently at first and then with more force. He rolled onto his back and she saw his terror-stricken, glazed eyes. Glistening red wounds covered his torso.
She froze, filled with horror but unable to take her eyes off the macabre scene. She wanted to run, but couldn’t feel her legs. She wanted to scream but only a squeak came out. She was young, innocent and naive; the gruesome sight seemed more like a nightmare than reality.
At that moment the wind died down and all was silent for a while. And then came the sound of dogs, howling with all their might. Fear tore at her heart and she ran, as fast as her slender legs could carry her, away from the dead man.
In a street corner, under another flickering lamp, stood a man and a woman. He wore dark clothes that enabled him to blend right into the grey surroundings. The woman wore a short skirt, fishnets and boots- the hallmarks of her profession. They were having an argument and their angry words were the only sound to be heard in the otherwise quiet street.
Feet aching, she came to a stop near them, unable to take another step. The man noticed her first and commented on her beauty. He did not have a pleasant face and the lack of light made him look even more sinister. And with all the war paint on her face, the woman did not look friendly or comforting.
Grinning maliciously the man lunged at her but she leaped aside in time. The man hit the ground but was unharmed. He sat up and looked around with a dazed expression on his face. She looked to the woman to see if she would help but the woman appeared unconcerned. Panic-stricken she turned on her heel and ran. In her haste she stumbled over a pile of garbage and then cut her belly on a piece of sharp metal. Bleeding profusely, she dragged herself over to some cardboard boxes a good distance from the man and the woman. She sat down and leaned her head against the boxes, her heart pounding and her breath coming out in shallow gasps. She was hurt, terrified and confused. Thankfully, the man seemed to have forgotten about her. He did not pursue her.
In an attempt to comfort herself, she closed her eyes and imagined herself back at home. She imagined herself lying on the soft, green grass under a crystal blue sky, with the sun warming up her entire body.
Her body relaxed, her breathing stabilised and she drifted off into a deep sleep....
A medical student walked briskly down the street; he did not like this part of town and had only taken this route as it was the fastest way to get home.
He saw her sitting in the midst of the cardboard boxes, covered in blood, her eyes shut. He walked over to her, kneeled down and felt her pulse. It beat faintly, indicating that she had only moments left to live. Her wound was deep and she had lost a lot of blood. She would die before they could reach a hospital.
‘Poor thing’, he thought and shook his head in remorse. And as life slowly ebbed out of her he wondered, ‘How did a deer end up in the south side of the city when the forest was in the north?’