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Old 09-20-2006, 01:05 AM   #1
Ruden
Spiritwood Ranger
 
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada
Posts: 268
Default Helpless

He seemed almost as a child, small and frail, buried under the sheets of the bed in the Silverwood temple of Corellon. Faris had to lean over and put his cheek aganst his father's lips to feel his steady but shallow breaths. To look at him now, his face cold and pallid, he could barely be recognized as the man with vigor that was tavern keeper and ranger.

The words of the goddess' messenger played through his head, "His work is coming to a close and he shall be rewarded with a well earned rest."

"What kind of a final rest is this, living on the border of life and death, neither free to move bodily or free to move spiritually?, " the son of man and fae questioned the goddess. He did not expect an answer. He knew this was no work of the heavens. And he felt it was not even the work of the hells. Something or someone in the mortal realm had done this, though the reasoning was far beyond him.

"And they will pay for this," he swore silently to his father. He said it without rage, for his anger had long since past. It was with conviction, but with a hint of sadness. Vengence may come too late. A vengence that would be unsatiated, as it was with his mother. And his thoughts turned to her.

***

"And your father raised his enchanted bow and shot arrow after arrow into the armies of the wicked sultan sidhe. It was said he channeled the thorns of his forest home into the clouds so that they would rain down upon our enemies. It was his selfless aid that turned the tide of war to our favor. Alas, he was sent to us by the gods and the gods bid him back to his homeland."

The illusionary imagines of a lone ranger on a wall, firing arrows into a band of approaching riders winked out, and shadow of sadness crossed the beautifully tanned skin of the storyteller. Her large brown eyes fluttered away the pain and she looked to the young boy before her and curved her crimson lips into a smile. From her cross-legged positioned, she stood up showing her towering height, and proceeded to straighten out her long silken dress, just tight enough to reveal her toned curves. After combing her straight dark hair back into position behind her elven ears, she repositioned the sheath of her scimitar so it could be easily drawn. She was a beautiful, enchanting eshu and a deadly one at that.

"Have I satisfied you again with the tale of your father, my son?," she asked him pleasantly.

Sitting before her, his arms wrapped around his knees, he rocked forward and back, the excitment and wonder of her tale still enchanting him. He had her face and her smile, but his contrasting red hair and green eyes was certainly of one not of his mother's heritage. To all in the city he was a reminder of the aid of a mortal stranger that ended centuries of sidhe tyranny.

"Oh yes, ma ma! Thank you, thank you!," he exclaimed, standing and wrapping his arms around his mother's legs. "I'm going to fight the sidhe, just like you and father when I grow up!"

He ran around the garden gazebo they stood in, slashing with his imagined scimitar and firing his imagined enchanted bow, finally running off down a path toward other parts of the palace grounds.

"Should I watch my back from that one, Aminah?," said another female voice playfully.

Aminah turned from watching her cursading son, to face the young woman. She had similar elven ears, but nearly ivory skin and hair of spun gold. She too wore a dress of silk, but it sparkled with threads of silver and gold. For all her fair looks, rather then wilt from the hot desert sun, she drew it in and become ever more radiant.

"He knows the difference between our fair princess and the dark oppressors we fought in our past and my tales. And you know he adores your highness so much," she replied with same playful tone.

The princess giggled and nodded, "He is a sweet boy." Her voice grew more stern but still gentle. "You need to spend more time with him, Aminah. A boy needs his mother."

"My place is with you, your highness. At least until the day the remainder of the sultan's assassins are found and dealt with."

"That maybe a long time, Aminah."

The princess' guardian nodded in grim agreement. She turned away to hide her sadness, and looked down the path young Faris had ran.

***

Faris ran through the dusty market streets, parrying and counter attacking, with the troll and satyr childern of the streets. He insisted on being the hero in their great adventures, and the trolls became loyal followers and the satyrs played the sly villians or distressing damsels. His times in the market where only second to listening to his own mother's tales as his fondest.

The ogre of his latest adventure was a carpet merchant, who hollered and bandished a rug beater, as Faris charged through his finely crafted wares that hung from the ropes crossing the open-air tent. He attempted to stiffle his giggling as he hid among the carpets completely pretected from the eyes of the searching merchant. He heard the merchant mutter a curse, kick at the dust, and walk off, believing the boy had escaped. It had come as a complete surprise to the boy when the carpet to his back wrapped around him and carried him away. He tried to squirm out, the carpet stifling his cries, but his attempt was quickly averted by a blunt object hitting his head. Then the blackness came.

***

He awoke in a small tent whose walls were rippled and rumbled by a forceful wind outside. Only a bed roll and a small pack accompanied him in the small quarters, and the sound of the tent and the whine of the wind deafened him.

"Faris!," came a voice somehow piercing through the wind. "Faris!," it came again in a pleading yell.

"Mama," he mouthed silently.

He ran to the flaps of the tent, pushing one side open. The world was a haze of yellow-brown as sand was whipped up by the howling storm. The opening of the tent was placed purposely to the lee side of the prevailing winds and the tent itself was placed at the foot of a great dune. Had not this been the case, the tent would of surely collapsed in the storm.

"Faris!"

"Mama! I am here!," he screamed with all his might and ran away from the protection of the dune. He was immediately blasted by the blown sand and his eyes stung from the grit assaulting them. He squinted and put his arm before his eyes, peering occasioning over toward the direction of the voice.

"Faris?! I hear you! St..." It was definitely the voice of his mother, but the wind changed direction carrying it off.

"Mama!" His voice screamed to near frantic and he ran up another dune searching through the storm.

And there she was. She emerged from the sands at the peak of the dune in a long tan robe. A scarf and veil protecting her face from the stinging sands. She ran to him with her arms open for a protective embrace.

"Faris! Thank the gods I have found you! Where is the sidhe..." Her face of relief turned to a grimace of pain. She glanced down to see the bloody point of a sword sticking out from her chest.

Faris stopped in his tracks and taking in sand with a great inhale, releasing into a great sob, "MAMA?!"

From behind her, a figure in black robes pushed the woman from the blade and off to the side. All that was revealed was his eyes showing sick amusement.

"What a splendid job my little pawn," he congratulated.

Faris screamed and fought against the shifting sands up the dune toward the assassin, blinded in his rage.

And then the winds changed direction, blasting directly into the boy's face. With a mixture of tears and sand blurring his vision, and the wind unbalancing him, he tumbled backward down the face of the dune. The burning in his lungs overcame him, and he laid there as the the dunes advanced. Suffering in his pain and dispair, he prayed the gods would take him quicker then that horrid assassin's blade.

***

But instead the gods had sheltered him from the storm and the memories of that horrible day. He survived to the next day when Ghalib and Rahimat had found him. And for many years they would be his family, who would raise and teach him until the day his memories would return and he would go out to find his true father.

And he wept into the sheets over his true father. A presence shifted closer to him and laid a gentle arm over him. He looked up from the damp sheets, blinking away tears and swallowing the sobs. Never had he shown such emotion before Belle before, but she didn't look surprised or uncomfortable. Her own tears moisted her cheeks and she gave him a heartening smile.

They held each other through the night keeping watch over the elder ranger.
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