Friday, May 4, 2007

The End of Direction – A short story

It hurts to set you free,
But you'll never follow me,
The end of laughter and soft lies,
The end of nights we tried to die,
but you were never a part of me”
The Doors – This is the End

At the edge of thought…she sat, once a priestess, now a hunter. The noble dragon that she had walked for a while was now gone, chased away by the seeming chains that she never wanted to put on him…she was once again alone. At the edge…everybody is alone…a meek consoling thought.

Walking on the hill, afar the sharp lightening tore the road apart; the priestess felt the sudden death wish. The shining white light, giving a sense of the ending… the dragon would laugh at her fears. She thought about it sometimes, his sudden coming, possessing and then he was gone…on some words. Poof.... vanished….Actually she wondered if he really liked her ever…

He was strange -the dragon, apparently noble, but manipulative. There was righteousness in soul, but cunning in spirit. In a world where creatures like him are hunted down, he knew how to use his wits; survival depended on it….and his had been through a strange life.

Once, the fires of hell had tied him chains. This is how he told the story. “Be warned,” he had begun, “the only way you can free yourself if you find the power to do so.” She would tinkle, “The power is within me,” He would look at her and then away, “No, the power has to be far greater and wiser.”

Long ago, in the forests of the damned, he had lain for a while and carelessly supped. The beauty of the forest had enchanted him. “I could not come out, and got in deeper and deeper,” he said.

The tormentors of the forest had finally tied his willing body in chains and for a while he did not wish to escape from. And that’s when had met the lady in the far away castle, “She simply had to crook a finger at me and I was there. I thought I loved her.”

Hearing this Priestess had laughed, “You noble dragon, you ran to a lady….don’t believe you.” He then showed her the tattoo of his first love, when he was still young, and they had once again laughed, as they lay together. The dragon did not speak about the lady in the castle much, but the one he had tattooed himself for-you could feel the love when he spoke of her. This tattooed, brokenhearted dragon was not the fierce image of a noble beast. But he never gave in to her, neither she had the beauty or power to crook a finger, or the pureness of soul to keep him.

Then he told her more of his story, “I was dragged deeper into the darkness, my nobility exchanged for a few bits of escapism, and the chain was pulled tighter around me. For a while I was a slave.”

Then one day, he found the power to escape, and he flew far. Vowing never to forget his lost freedom…he still wore a chain, on his arm, which at once was a signature of possession and freedom. She never asked him about his past, and he never said anything…you never forget the chains when you are free, but you really never want to talk about them.

The priestess looked once again, and this time she looked into her eyes. Black as coal, fathomless…and somewhere she saw the pain. But she could never ask him….dragons like to keep their distance.

She too had chains, but these were invisible, those that she tied around herself. Made of the ghost of the past, and unable to find the will to escape. A while she sat with her one master, uncomfortable in obedience. Long ago she had sworn allegiance to her master, never thinking that she’d wanted more.

Then in the depth of the night one day she had heard a screech, the dragon had come to her. He had watched for a while from a distance, and in his new freedom coveted her. Life had changed him, and the nobility, was scarred with the need for occasional warmth. He saw it in her, and so they walked for a while.

The dragon wounded by his past, gave up some of his nobility for that little comfort, so though he stayed, he also roamed. And she the serving priestess of another lord, had to let him go, she was not the dragon's, they were just walkers. In his wanderings, he found the world and gained power from it.

The priestess watched joyously as the noble dragon now had begun to spread wings, and went further. He roared fire and made the paths, and soon destiny was made, he even found a purer soul...and became hers. The priestess watched it all, and knew the days of wearied worshiping were drawing close, the dragon was someone else's, and she needed something more.

For the dragon drew away from the priestess. His path was strewn with wars, and so many maidens that he had manipulated to rescue and anyone who tried to make him theirs...he did not want them anymore. The priestess still walked for a while. Though he was now the pure one's. There was no point of jealousy; you can never claim what is not yours.

But now, he was gone, to be free. She watched him leave, as he politely told her, that he could no longer be of service. Hysterically the priestess asked him for his allegiance, "My world depends on you being there." But the dragon swore none, “All allegiance is of convenience. Let us go on separate paths.”

She did not want him to go, but there was very little she could do. The blame was hers, fallen, she suddenly wanted him to redeem her, tell her that she could have been special…but the dragon was not given to love or redemption…. The knights in the realm had wearied him, with their endless battles, some even challenged him to wars, and he had to fight on, simply to stay alive and free from his chains.

Then she became the hunter and set her across the course of freedom. The priestess gave up her chains and her deity. The lord summoned her, “The power to leave is not yours,” he said. She never said a world, but picked her meager arsenal and walked the broader path, telling her lord, "Walk with me as an equal and we can make a newer world." The future was scary, but the dragon had helped her find faith and she knew she could make it. Though he longer wanted to walk with her anymore.

1 comment:

Nikhil said...

Enchanting story. :)

Me finally read it, and LOVED it. Good fantasy posting indeed.