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Lobotomizer
03-07-2012, 06:41 AM
Crackpot story I decided to try. I have no plot in mind, and so will think of it as I go along.

Part 1

Ever since I was born, I had always lived in the town of Perce, otherwise known as the City of Despair, and they were right about its state. Perce had been a city of commerce for many years, founded long ago by traders who were simply looking to build a trading outpost. Now, it is overshadowed by Fairwell, a growing city whose advances in technology allowed traders more convenience and ease in trading, leaving Perce to be nothing but a former shell of what it used to be. Everyone here lived on scraps in return for their hard work, and even if they wanted to leave for a better life, none of them had the supplies for a journey to the next town, and even if they did, who would hire a ragged and starving male for work?

Thanks to this, we formed a tight community, helping each other whenever we were in trouble. The more literate and richer of us dealt with the politics and building of new facilities, improving our daily lives in place of the practically non-existent government, and the rest of us were either farmers, or builders, with a small minority being shop owners and the like. Life was not exactly peachy, but we get along, and that was really all that mattered.

As usual, I was running some errands for my family, like the other children. Our farming tools broke recently, and they had been sent to Gered for repairs, which I was supposed to collect today. It wasn’t too hard to find, since I used to visit him to listen to his war stories a long way back. Until now, I still have no idea if he was telling the truth, but at least it passed time. Opening the rusty doors of his house, the sight of Gered, calm and smiling despite his age made me feel a sense of cheeriness too. Being one of the few who actually had a great amount of schooling, I respected him more than most of my elders.

“Ah...Mystia...come to collect yer parents’ tools, eh?” He asked, an eyebrow raised.

“Yes!” I nodded vigorously.

“Well, I’m sure I put it somewhere...just a moment!” He chuckled and stepped to the back of his workshop, cautiously stepping over the equipment and tools splayed over the ground.

After a moment of rummaging through the metal, he shouted triumphantly, “found it!” and ambled over to me, tools in each arm. Sure enough, they bore the familiar markings that was etched on them to identify its owners. Since we all worked on a big plot for farming, many felt that such a system was essential in case anything was mixed up.

“Thank you...” I hurriedly took them from his hands, worried that he might not have the strength to hold them for long. They were unfounded, of course, but I did it nonetheless.

“There’s no need to be this eager, why don’t you take a seat and listen to one of my stories eh? I think it’s been a long time since you did,” He said with a slight chuckle, relaxing on his favourite wood chair.

“Well...father might get angry if I stay out too late...” I murmured, torn between going back early, or listening to Gered.

“Hahah, I’m sure Burtan won’t be offended knowing his child is with me,” he smiled. Leaning back, he continued, “Since we’ve been talking about my past all the time, why don’t I tell you something new? About something in the present?”

My ears perked up as he said that. It was a rare thing for him to say, and that made me more intrigued, “Well, okay...” I placed the tools on an open area on the ground and sat on a stool, waiting for him to begin. He grinned, knowing that I was just as excited as he was.

“Well then...where to begin?” He pondered, humming to himself.

“As you may know, our town, and many other places are collectively known as the Kingdom of Aracia,” He started.

“You were a soldier right? You told me all the time,”

Gered beamed, proud that I had remembered, “That’s right! I’m glad you remember. But this isn’t about me, it’s about the Kingdom itself.”

I was puzzled. Come to think of it, I never really knew what the world outside our town was like. Education wasn’t really our first priority here, so most of what I learnt was about tending the fields, building, essential skills basically, and knowing that, my interest was piqued further.

“What about the Kingdom?” I asked, begging him to go on.

“Well, I don’t think you know much about this, so I’ll try explain it the best I can. A kingdom, you see, works entirely different compared to here. You see, A kingdom is far more bigger, consisting of many towns and villages, as I have told you, and while we talk about issues together, a kingdom is ruled by a single man, a King.”

I frowned, trying to wrap my mind this new concept. It was difficult because I have never heard of another system apart from ours. Everyone voted for every issue, and that was the way things worked here. To imagine a different way of governing a place, was near impossible for me.

“But to fix every problem every country has...the King would have been very busy...” I mused.

Gered waved a finger at me, “The King doesn’t fully govern all the countries, you see. He can create laws, perhaps solve really big problems, but he has people working under him, and they take up most of the burden, ensuring that laws are upheld, rules are enforced, and give orders to soldiers when there are crises.”

“But I don’t see anyone of the sort here...doesn’t everyone work for each other?”

Gered shook his head in disbelief, “Don’t your parents tell you anything at all? Unbelievable!” I looked at him nervously as he gave a deep sigh, but to my relief, he carried on, “The man who was put in charge of our city was a greedy fool, charging high rent for land, and he was corrupt as well, doing favours for people for money in return, so it was really us, the poor, who suffered the most. Five years ago, Faren started a rebellion that ended up with the death of that man.”

“Faren... do you mean Faren Harwell?” I asked. Faren Harwell was the talk of the town for a long time, regularly referenced by many people, but I have never understood why he was that important.

“Yes, Faren Harwell was a man to be respected. He was intelligent, and knew his way with people, so many counted on him to lead them to fight back, and they did. But...” He trailed off, furrowing his eyebrows.

‘But...?”

“He left shortly after the rebellion, saying that he didn’t want us to be held responsible for it. No one knows where he went, but since none of the authorities have bothered to check on us, I suppose he might be still out there protecting us,” Gered gave another sigh.

“I see...”

“Well!” Gered stood up suddenly, “no use thinking about the past. The present is what we only have, right? I think that’s enough for today, we don’t want Burtan to scold you know, do we?”

“Okay, thank you for fixing our tools,” I bowed to him, but he waved it off dismissively.

“What are you saying? It’s just a simple hobby I took a liking to,” He gave a toothy grin and bade me goodbye. With nothing else left to do, I headed back home to deliver the tools. While I knew my parents would have been finished with the farming and not need them today, they were very particular about how long I stayed outside.