by Happy Dragon
An allegory of the Bible; packed with meaning, action, and morals.
Reshan breathed in deep, filling his nostrils with the scents of the forest, and his sturdy 14 year old body with oxygen. He closed his eyes and felt the warm sun on his face, hearing the song of the birds happily calling to each other on the occasion of another beautiful day in July. Opening his eyes, Reshan leapt over the well known fallen log in his path, noticing for the billionth time the termite-chewed, moss-covered, hollow wood. He traversed this path often. It was his escape; from nannies that his obliged-to-care grandparents hired, from school, from chores, from noise. It was peaceful and serene, not to mention that it held infinite wonders and thrills in the form of life, under rocks, in holes, and just about everywhere. Reshan continued walking, but he retreated inside of his own thoughts, trusting his sub-conscience to do the work of keeping him on his way. He had had a normal week. School mostly took up his time. He had gotten good grades, as usual. He had taken up his free time with fun games, talking to friends, wondering what to do next. What to do next. Why did his life feel so empty, hollow as the log he had jumped over? What had he done with it, really? Eat. Sleep. Do school. Entertain himself. Was that all he was? Another brick in the wall? But what more was there?
Reshan's foot bumped against a rock, bringing his mind back to his surroundings. Where was he? He spun in a slow circle, scanning the forest around him. Just trees, brush, and buzzing insects. No sign of his or anybody else's house. How had he gotten off the path? His eyes stopped at a large... thing. Made out of sticks and branches, it looked like a land locked beaver dam. It was in the shape of a circular bowl, with a diameter of at least fifteen feet. The realization struck him: it was a nest of some sort, a huge nest. Piqued with curiosity, Reshan hurried forward to investigate. It seemed abandoned. The inside of the nest was clean; no sign of life or eggs. But the thing that captured his attention was in the very center of the nest.
Logically very out of place in the wilderness, but somehow seeming to fit in just fine, was an ancient, mysterious looking book. A book? Reshan thought, That makes no sense! But somehow, it did, and Reshan didn't know how. All he knew was that he had to have that book. He had to.
Warily Reshan stole into the giant nest. He couldn't help but feel that it was the perfect place for an ambush, some trap set up by a knifing bird the size of an elephant, but he had to have that book. He grabbed the book and leaped out of the nest as quickly and silently as possible, dropped to his knees, and opened the cover.
Reshan suddenly found himself in a new place. He felt weightless, and also as if he had just awoken from a deep sleep. Gradually his grogginess faded and his vision cleared. He was in a sort of limbo. Everything around him was a blurry... nothingness. There was no sky, no ground, no walls, nothing. His surroundings were bright and airy, though the sensation of being a weightless phantom in limbo was unnerving to say the least.
"Good afternoon," called a voice. The strong baritone rumble seemed to echo off of non-existent walls. Reshan spun in place. The man in front of him had straight black hair falling to his shoulders. His face was rough and battle scarred, but kind and strong. He wore a uniform of some kind and carried a walking stick. He was tall and strong, in his thirties, maybe. "My name is Selodiar. I am commander in chief of Nevaeh, my Father's kingdom."
A high ranker, then. Reshan had never heard of Nevaeh, or Selodiar, but somehow that didn't surprise him. "Hello," Reshan answered, disappointed when his voice didn't have the same rumbling echo that Selodiar's had. "My name is Reshan."
Selodiar's kind gaze searched him, seeming to analyze Reshan's every strength and weakness in the few seconds introductions took. "I will simply cut to the chase. There are rebels in a colony of my Father's. They must be stomped out. I want you to be a soldier. I will personally train you. You will receive much more than material rewards at the victory."
What's that supposed to mean? "Why me?" Reshan asked. "I'm just a kid."
Selodiar's eyes narrowed and a smile stretched his lips. "I think you will find that you are much more."
Reshan pondered a moment. He wanted adventure; always had. And rewards? But more than that, Reshan longed to have Selodiar train him; to improve; to be a soldier for the King of Nevaeh. His grandparents, who had adopted him as a matter of responsibility after his parents had died, would probably only be relieved. It was a no-brainer. He looked up at Selodiar, a decisive smile forming on his face. "I'll do it."