I want to go ahead and apologize for the length of this post because I don’t have time to go back and edit it to a more manageable/bite-sized length. Also, because of school and work, as well as a new writing project that came up, the posts of my book will slow even further. This may be the last post for a long time until I finish school for the year and figure out a schedule for my other project. Anyway, I really hope that you enjoy this one and don’t worry, I will finish the book.
Chapter 3: Part 1
The sudden voice from behind pulled Wrath out of his reverie, tearing the old feeling out of his chest.
“What if I told you they were no longer here?”
Wrath turned slowly, trying to keep from exploding at the man in front of his family.
“I beg your pardon?” A nasty smile spread slowly over his features.
The man repeated himself without a skip, “What if I told you they were no longer here?”
“I still don’t understand your meaning.” Wrath felt his anger flair back up, warming his stomach and quickening his breath.
“Just look.” The man gestured.
Wrath did not want to, but he felt the glow in his stomach turn cold and become a dull throb. Slowly he turned back, trying to keep the smile on his face.
His smile turned into a snarl when he turned. Nothing. He saw nothing! His family had disappeared!
Wrath whipped back around and lashed out at where the man stood. He curled his fingers ever so slightly to make an imitation of a claw, ready to gouge the man’s eyes out. But instead of feeling skin gather under his nails, his hand flew through thin air. That did not stop Wrath’s attack, however, and instead he carried on his momentum and swung his sword with the other hand in an attempt to severe the neck of the man. Still, Wrath felt no impact of any sort and was forced to stop in shock, not quite sure what was happening. The man stood calmly, smiling and holding his hands behind his back.
“Oh this is fun! I knew I had picked a good one!” Wrath was further surprised by a tone in the man’s voice that he thought sounded giddy with excitement. The man laughed.
“What did you do with my family?” Wrath demanded.
“What do you mean?” The man splayed his hands and shrugged his shoulders in an exaggerated manner, acting the perfect innocent.
“Where are they?” He bit off each word, making each a separate statement.
“I didn’t do anything to them, and I haven’t the slightest notion as to where they could possibly be.” The man shrugged again. “Honest!”
Wrath was not pleased and he gripped his sword even more tightly. “They were there. You and I both saw them. Heard them. Where are they?”
The man smiled and put on a face that screamed of a mock sympathy. It was infuriating.
“Where are they? Tell me or I’ll gut you right here on my floors!” Wrath’s voice was thick with hate.
“Aye? And how did that work for you just a moment ago? Honestly Wrath, what on earth do you think is going on here?” The face of mock sympathy became angry. “Don’t you see what has happened to the world out there? How can you talk of building walls for a society that no longer exists? How can you be standing here inside with your family while the society that you were suppose to help is outside tearing itself apart. Come to think of it, there is no more society, just creatures. Well, human, but more creature than not, all given into desire. What about helping them?”
Wrath stood, letting the man talk, still not trusting, but becoming confused once again. How did this man know about the argument that he and Randyl had? What did he mean by society being ruined? He obviously still had a home here, with his family. The man continued.
“This society has been long dead. You are the last. You and I, actually. Leave behind these fantasies and I can give you real death. Real peace. An end. No longer will memories like this haunt you. Don’t you want that? You told me earlier that you did. Would you give it up for something as feeble as memories like this?” The man stopped speaking, giving Wrath a chance to answer.
Wrath thought. And instead of the calm that the man was no doubt expecting of Wrath, he instead felt his anger coming back in waves.
“How can you say that? How can you say that my family is not important, that everyone I used to know is now dead? I’m trying my best to stay alive, to make a bad situation into a good one. I know that there are monsters out there, but I refuse to believe that everyone is dead. I talked with Randyl. We are still working on the wall. Just a part of the city was invaded by the creatures that walked the forest around the city and we were working on that!” Wrath fought tears. “How can you say any of this?”
“Memories, Wrath. That’s all these are. The wall was left unfinished hundreds of years ago. Your society is no longer there and those people that you talk to? You are imagining them.”
“How can you say that?” Wrath was shouting now, tears streamed down his face.
“Wrath.” The man tried to get his attention, but Wrath was not listening. All the pain, frustration, fear and helplessness that he had been feeling for years was suddenly becoming too much for him. His breath became short and his vision faded. There was nothing fair in this world left. Everything was being taken away from him, and there was nothing that he could do.
Then everything went dark. Time passed as he tried to reason with himself, with the way that things were. Wrath felt cold again. So cold that he felt that even had he been sitting in the middle of a blazing fire could his bones be warm again. Nothing in the world could dispel the cold and deep sorrow that permeated his soul in that moment. It was all becoming too much. He wanted to die. This man promised death…but at what cost?
Still, the voice was with him; faint but ever present. “Wrath. All is not lost. You can still join your family, but you must do something. Your family has been gone for a long time. What you have been seeing was your mind coping-”
“Then why did you not leave me to my fantasy?Let me cope, don’t tear it all away.” Wrath interrupted, his voice bitter.
“Because there is a plan.” The voice said.
“I never volunteered.”
“No. But you were chosen. And I beg you to comply with your calling. There is no one else who can do what I am asking.” The voice said, pleading.
Wrath was silent for a while, then, “Convince me since I see no reason.”
“The only reason you need is my word.” The voice said, “However, if you seek more than my word, know that you would die eventually if you kept up this fairy tale that you try to live. A single person in a world of creatures that once use to be family, friends, merchants, kings, princes, paupers, writers, singers, beggars, men, women and children cannot stand alone and live. For you are alone. If you do not act, the world will plunge into oblivion. The exception is that the souls that are in the animate and dead bodies, your soul, will remain. The god that created you would leave and you would be left conscious and aware and alone.” The voice seemed to run out of reasons, but instead finished, “ If anything, I know and you have said, you do not wish that upon yourself. That is why you have fought. That is why you have not thrown yourself on your sword. I am merely pushing you along on the journey that you were suppose to do yourself.”
“Why me?” Wrath asked.
“Why? Every being has a right to self-preservation and you are a part of that plan to it. Do not ask again, push the question out of your mind. It has been asked by every being in existence, all for different reasons. Don’t ask, just do you calling. The answers will come.”
“Fine. You have convinced me, even if it is for self-preservation. I do not understand, but I am beginning to realize that understanding will not come by sitting here.” Wrath said, “I think that I am ready. I do ask, though, to not ask me to give up any memories of my family. Those are the only things that keep me from giving in.”
“I understand.” The voice said.
“I am curious, though.” Wrath began, “Do you have a name?”
“You ask for something that is never freely given.” The voice paused, “But for you, for the sake of trust, I will give it to you. It is Relance. Not my true name, but close to it. I do not give you my real name for fear that it would kill you.”
Odd though it seemed to think that a name would kill a person, Wrath thought that he could understand why Relance would say such a thing. A feeling of immense ecstasy shook his limbs, making him shudder violently. In a flash, it disappeared. The feeling lasting only as long as it took for the name to pass over the tongue. Had a true name been spoken, Wrath would surely quit existence.
“Relance.” Wrath whispered, musing, again feeling the warm shudder, though his tongue seemed unable to say the name with sufficient grace and power, thus making the effect weaker.
The dark that shadowed Wrath’s eyes faded and Wrath saw the man’s face in front of his own. Instead of lashing out to hurt the man, Wrath only said, “Thank you.”
The man named Relance smiled.