First Draft and quick edit. Junk or trash? Junk I can work with, the trash has to go.
|For your consideration, a random fragment from a rusty, unfinished project. I've got lots and lots of words; a merry circus of unloved, unruly characters vying for the lead and a temperamental plot. Grammar and Punctuation were last seen drinking in the kitchen. Posted here for your amusement and thoughts.|
When writing a draft, I throw everything in the Bouillabaisse and let it simmer until forgotten. I'm pretty good at picking out the bones but always appreciate some help. Please let me know if you find something promising or worth keeping. And thanks for slogging thru the swamp with me.
There is definitely someone there.
Odd. I don't hear anything.
Of course you don't! We're deaf!
Oh, right, I'd forgotten.
So say something. Set the thing at ease.
You're the poet.
I have something in mind
Oh, by the many Gods!
Not another story.
All intelligent beings are captivated by my stories
"Please... abide ye here awhile, and I will wax poetic concerning the unlikely victories of fools such as I.
The last of my people. Abandoned... Antiquated... Like this empty monastery that is my home. Let us wander down to the water and sit upon the shore. There I will tell my tale of wonder and glory."
So... You are an explorer. Yes? Would you like to hear more?
Hiding? No need. Come out. Come out from the trees and into the light. Breathe the Free Air again. You have come so far. Will you not take the last few steps?
Have no fear. Evil does not dwell here despite my reputation..
Unless... you have brought it with you.
I know you can hear me.
Hmm. This time.
There is definitely someone here.
Look about you! Here is the sacred lake, the last Temple, and the last Paladin. I pray that it is all you were seeking and that I am all you hoped for. Just look at the mountains! Magnificent! Yes? Have you nothing to say?
So there you are. Please, just another step forward, let me see all of you.
A biped. Curious.
Can you Fly?
Are you hiding a pair of wings?
No? no. Of course not.
What am I thinking?
Good, yes. It's alright. You can stay there.
Just stand. There. Just there. Good dog.
Damn it... wrong word. Good Lad. Yes, that's it.
Oh, sorry, Was I mumbling?
umm... Yes. I do that at times to buy some time.
What I meant to say was: There's a good Lad. Not dog,
Dragon. Me? You heard that, did you? No. Never had the balls for that sort of thing. But my great uncle was a Dragon.
He was! Fire and Wings.
Met him once; I did. Locked in a combat to the death with his brother... my grandfather.
You're not smiling.
Well, it's true anyway.
Oh, I see. Heh, I understand now. It appears we are well-matched! You cannot speak, and I cannot listen. Amusing.
Am I saying "yes" and "no" too often?
Even so, I suspect we will understand each other well enough.
Ah... So that is why you did not answer me. I'm deaf. I'd forgotten.
I... I am thinking that it is a surprise to find you here.
Hmm... Unless... of course, I should be expecting you?
No? no. Yea, I don't recall sending any invitations.
Nothing finds a way into this valley accidentally or without permission;
still, here you are.
Neither by design nor chance.
Another story for another time.
Perhaps when we are better acquainted
and our conversation is not so limited.
Oh. Not to worry, I am glad for your company. Good to have someone to talk to on a summer's day such as this. It has been a very long time since I have spoken to another... hmm, what's your word...
Careful now. Get this right.
Well, someone like you.
Right, let me have a closer look. Ah. Wait. Just a moment... I am remembering. Once, indeed, yes. Once I knew the people who crafted the gear you wear... But they are not your people. No. You have traveled far, even farther than that. Hmm-hmm. The most advanced stone age technology I have ever seen. Fur, leather, braid, a bit of cloth, stone and bone. Those people do not give such gifts as these lightly. But you did not lose everything; that small blade, high carbon steel, folded and forged many times... your woodland friends did not give you that.
What? What is it?
Stop waving your hands about. Slow down.
What word? Oh. Technology? No. Not Magic.
That word means... err...well, it means the way things are made.
NO. NO. no. Not sinful. May the many gods save me.
It is not one of your words. It just came to mind.
I meant no insult to your benefactors.
Worry not. We shall get better at this.
A moment. I cannot read your face so quickly. Let me think. No... be still. Let me guess.
Am I not all you wanted me to be? Impressive snowy beard, piercing blue eyes, pale skin.
Hmm... Look, I have all my teeth.
The robes then? Perhaps yellow is not your color. I have a set in grey with a matching pointy hat and a staff. I could go fetch... no.
Ah! My bare feet? There are places where naked toes are not considered polite.
You are in search of an Old Wizard? Am I not old enough? Ancient.. I've been called, yet hale and hearty. Strong as a knarled and twisted live oak. Timeless. A Timelord! A Jedi Master!
Yes? no. sigh.
Well, it was quite a compliment coming from a Druid.
No. There isn't any such thing as a "Timelord". That was just a moment of inspiration. However, I do know a Jedi Master. Fine gentleman that one and a great cook.
Patience. Patience. You only just got here and it is not like I get many visitors. All this... ah, what do you say, "small talk," does not come easily to me. Remaining in one dialect is hard enough.
I ASSURE YOU. I do understand good manners, it's a universal concept found among all intelligent species. I am striving to set you at ease by engaging in casual conversation This is the way of your people is it not.
Believe me, it is not my nature to be charming and you should be honored that I am making the effort.
Alright. Alright. Well, You are right.
We should know each other better. Here, allow me to save us some time. Oh, by the gods! If I were "really" hungry I would have eaten you by now.
No. That didn't come out right.
Ah, lets try this. "Bear but a touch of my hand there, and you shall be upheld in more than this"
Come. Yes. Closer. Come near.
You're scared of me,
But you should not.
Take my hand.
You are safe,as safe as ever you were in your mother's arms.
LOOK AT ME.
No more words.
Think not with your words.
Hold my eyes in your eyes.
Be with me.
See the unseen world.
The sun, the stars, all-
everything, everywhere, everyone,
wheels about us.
Yet we remain
Feel the grasp of my hand. Breathe as I breathe. Know what I know...
I am not one of you, and still, we are the same.
I was born in this place and I will die here.
Yet, I did not begin here nor will I end here.
I am the last, yet not alone.
Believe. See the work that is before you as the One has given you the wisdom to finish what you have begun.
Know. I have grown and become wise in the company of your kind and would be nowhere else.
Breathe... just breathe...slow your heart.
There... Better... Yes? Perhaps, I'm not so frightening after all. Am I?
What is wrong? You are shaking. What is it!?
No, I can't read your mind, at least not in the way you mean.
Oh. no.no.no. What have I done? What are you protecting?
Not again. Please. I cannot lose another one.
Nay, nay! Do not leave. Come back!
Wait. Master your fear!
Fathers, Hear me now.
There you are. Ah, Good. That is a good place. Just there.
The forest stands before you
disappear into it if you wish.
I can not stop you.
And I will not try.
But, please. Listen.
I only wanted to... em, what did I want?
My intent was good... no... that's not it either.
What I'm trying to say is: I hoped that you would put away that mask of courage you wear. You wear it well and have been very brave, but there is much more to you than that.
Take the moment. Pull yourself together.
It's been ages since you last hurt someone accidentally.
And this one is still breathing.
I wanted to believe that connecting with you as I once did with my brethren would save many words. Oftentimes I hate words, they never seem to say what you want them to. Now I have made things worse.
The ways of the Paladin can be... intimate.
Especially, for those with something to hide.
Someone like you.
Motivated by love and loyalty.
I have misjudged you. I fear I have grown blind as well as deaf. You have secrets to protect. Terrible secrets. I had no right to put you to such a trial, but I did not expect one so young to have a soul so burdened. No. no. I am not referring to your years, You just seem... I do not know. Free. A mystery to me, you are. And I have not said that of anyone in... well, I was a boy then.
I know only that which you wanted me to know.
Your thoughts are yours and yours alone, unknowable to any but you.
To be alone in this way is woven into the fabric of your being.
It is the way of your people. To live alone even in the company of those who love you.
To die alone.
Cursed and blessed. A gift if you possess the will to use it in the life you have been given.
So. Even so.
I should have foreseen this.
Magic does exist which can rip all the secrets from its victim.
To know such things is not permitted to one such as you.
But you know it, nonetheless.
And that frightens you.
As it should.
...All of my best days... All my strength.
Fighting those who would wield such power.
I never did find the man I wished to be, but all my friends were.
I have paid...
And you have paid... I know. It has not been in vain.
I'm not what you were hoping to find.
I am sorry.
Yet I still have these words to give.
If you stumble I. Lean upon me
Should you fall... I will carry you.
And should you fail me I will ask only that you try again.
Please. Turn around. Let me see your face one last time.
Ah...It's just... just as well. You shouldn't be here.
Why are you here?