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Mire
June 21st, 2005, 05:40 PM
A Sea Not Blue

Prologue
"And I float on the sea..."

The traveling bard strummed a final note on his minute harp, hazel eyes staring out among an enraptured crowd. A voice so stunning and remarkable, eyes that wove the tale of life and death and in between, but there was no applause to be heard. What really captured this performer's audience however was a single undertone in his deep songs, laments of the lack thereof, was a sharp hollow. What ricocheting sense was this that beyond that talent and a smirk was only gray? How did such a person come into being? Was it a tale of romance? Possibly, but it wasnt entirely. A fable of a lost power? Maybe, but beneath there was more. A veil was drawn over this character that seemed to make him distant from every other in the room, as if he knew something more, but always something less. The crowd stared deeply trying to pierce the entertainer's stoic silence, but to no avail. Without the lightest footnote, the bard drew himself up and proceeded towards the door of the inn where I was seated nearby.

I was as captured as all but he saw something in my eyes as they passed over his. As he pushed open the door to the pit-a-pat of rain on the window, with the deftest of movements, a black book found itself settled in my lap. It was plain with yellowed pages that echoed the bard's own hints of age in his pale blond hair, and the very presence of it felt like a weight. I hoped the bard might have lost some of his burden this day, but little did I know what tragedy and woe had fallen into my lap. I was fated to learn the secrets of the greatest melancholy... one without it.

===

Spreading the word of a tome in this day is not an easy task. It has taken my lifetime to try and encompass my small part of the world with the Bard's tale, one that he just couldn't bare to write in earnest as he would any other. The very task of writing this story has left me hollow, but much less so than that man long ago on the stormy night in the inn, one that is now long dead and alone in isolated in an eternal purgatory of gray or with hope he could finally find his lover. In truth, I know this to be a lie despite how much it aches to know such a thing.

He will live on in agony for eternity, a legend where death does not mean peace. Where he goes is not hell, nor heaven, but far worse that the former. He is a lonely banshee that drifts among the willows and blows a screeching gust of wind in day after day to chill the bones of the farmer. That man himself was neither Summer nor the dread of Winter, but Autumn. His life was that that was always dying but never in complete death and silence, sometimes cold but never in warmth.

I think about that bard and know that I would have passed him day after day and that later finding he lived nearby knew I had seen him more than once, though my mind forbid me to recognize him that night in the inn. Something in humanity allows us to embrace both good and evil, but in neutrality and apathy we are repulsed. We ignore those around us that ignore us, and we think not of the lust of greed of the mercenary or the assassin's own internal political warfare, but are hard-pressed to cal them evil without giving the chance to see what they really are inside. We see only extremes, black and white, but my job as the writer of this all too true story is to teach you of the intermediary. When we come to the crossroad in the woods we see one path broad and enticing, the very path of evil, and so many of us are seduced by its charm. Another narrower path lies ridden with bramble but if we have the foresight through the work we might see that this path is the very one that leads to welcome and love. What is definitely worse and never better than either is not a path at all. Some of us are condemned to wander through the wicked wood with no place to camp, and I too see myself almost as the Bard in telling this tale, but knowing that I will find an end. This story, however, is one in which the final word is only the beginning.

Herein lies an elaborate weave of a man, a war, a romance, a quest for power, and the nonfiction of infinity. You would do well to beware.

Prologue Part II
Independence - A Lie
And to reminisce

His hand strayed to the bars on the window, stroking them and their reflection of the only light affectionately. The cell was dark and dank, and he hadn't eaten in days. Lachrymose Ire put his cracked face to his tiny square of a window and stared into the empty void. Beyond the darkness lie only more blackness, but deep below if he painfully tilted his chin he could see the glimmer on the fountain, dazzling by day but only an eye sore by this night light.

If they had intended to break him they were certainly getting close. Deprived of sword he was nothing, a shallow contestant of his former self. As he pondered Laq reached out into the midair as to snatch an imaginary scimitar, swaying his hand to and fro and chuckling softly to himself. What horror was this? It had been so long since he had seen the battlefield, so long and too long. When would he break? Could he last much longer? In these months he had tested his will far more than any battlefield with their countless interrogations and tortures, resisting day after day was wearing him down, and his spiritual support was failing. What truth was there to the existence of god when he couldn't save his greatest mortal do-gooder, the winter soldier?

It was hard even this day accepting that title, the title of the greatest swordsman and bowman and a mage at that. What wasn't he now? What was he missing? Somehow a feeling in his gut was still empty, that little space nothing filled. Love he thought he had reached, but that had been so long ago now, now he just felt like a shell. A shell of a great man, but was he even a man this day? He had answered why he had been captured those months ago, but would the storyteller ever answer to his void? For years he had worked for the right of the real good people, for nice was so much different than good. His people were the true children of god, the intuitive thinkers and individuals that strove to improve an already dying world, a world that only prophesized more destruction and death. Laq wasn't good, nor bad, nor nice... simply right. He would decide what was right, what was good and he had thought no one would ever say different.

He chuckled again a little to himself, a hollow lifeless chortle. Lachrymose the crusader! Lachrymose the chosen one! The titles were self-proclaimed, but the presence was real. All of it, all of it, had been crushed. A lover dead or as dead as she could be to him, and the lifeblood of warfare for peace taken from him, leaving little but spite to live on. For he was enlightened enough to know that nothing would exist without opposites. He had strived to create, but his striving did nothing to prevent his own strife! Here he sat and realized his mistake in finality, and how he could never recover from it. Changing the world was impossible unless you could make the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly yourself. It had been the philosophy that evil would always win first, and so it was what he still thought when he had first come here, but that was lies... lies he had told himself and proclaimed to the world.

Brooding here the great Ire realized, he was not on the edge of breaking, but he had shattered long ago. Why wish for fairy tales when the one thing you wish for is something you should never have, and when the in between is both the answer and the demise. It was more than "like yesterday," his past was the preparation in which he would come to terms with the decisions of the moment. For over the journey he had learned the people that live by the moment live many less moments in truth. If only he could go back to those days when war was a dream and peace the reward, when ambition was abound and he wanted greatness, before the ruin, the despair, the lust for power becoming devastation. "I had it all! I couldn't save her! I couldn't save me!" He was screaming from the depths of a glass soul, the poetry of his words slackened by the spittle dribbling from his lower lip. A heap now, but to analyze was to never know. He had already made the choice, now was to live the consequence. If only, if only, was all he could cry to the wind this day. But he knew "if only" was as much a fairy tale as change. As father was like son, so was yesterday like today.

[END Prologue]


Constructive criticism that does not deplore my extreme verbiage and lack of correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, or the ilk is welcomed.

Note - To anyone curious: when I dubbed Lachrymose the "winter" soldier even though it might have seemed an accurate description of a cold personality, it was actually a reference to his undying devotion in rain or shine. Not that anyone cares...