Story Grounded Faith

Discussion in 'Winter Holiday Contest' started by Mercenary Lord, Dec 22, 2012.

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    The Grounded had no place in the holiday season, least of all Chalriin. They had turned their backs on Kluex, after all. They could not, in good faith, celebrate any form of celebration. No matter how they reveled, there was always a nagging voice in the back of their minds, and covert glares from the other guests- true believers. The other Avians would allow The Grounded back into their homes for one night only, as they believe Kluex would insist, but that did not mean they had to enjoy it. The true Avians even called the day Klexaas, in honor of their great deity.

    Chalriin was a guest of worst possible kind. He didn’t talk enough. Didn’t drink enough. A scholar, originally, he had been heavily influenced by his Apex and Human colleagues some weeks ago, during a religious study conducted for intellectual reasons. He had slowly come to the conclusion that Kluex either did not exist, or did not care about the Avians in the slightest. No measure of help had ever come down from the Aether to assist the weak or the pious. In Chalriin’s informed opinion, Kluex was not real. And so, he was Grounded. Cast off by his society. They completely ignored his accomplishments for the Avian race, scorned him totally, and threw him aside like an old doll.

    “Chal, do you want some more to drink?” Again, they asked. And called him by that infernal nickname. He was too old for nicknames, and far too intelligent for one.

    “I…I am quite content, my friend. Thank you for your generosity, but I have drunk my fill.” A smile touched his lips as the partygoer slunk away. No doubt they were trying to intoxicate him, so they might further embarrass one of The Grounded. Well, Chalriin decided, not this time. He stood, bowed deeply to the owner of the abode, and headed for the door.

    The same male who had proffered him a drink stood in front of it, along with three of his friends. All well-built, young, and with nasty looks on their faces. Chalriin sucked in his breath, and continued walking toward the door. Maybe they wouldn’t-

    “We don’t like your attitude, Chal.” The lead male gazed at him with a fiery haze in his eyes. Obviously drunk. Lovely. Nobody here would help him. Nobody else here was Grounded. He sighed, resigning himself to the pain that would likely follow.

    “I’m sorry." It's Chalriin, you numbskull. I have a full name, use it.

    “Not sorry enough, in my opinion.” The male lashed out, catching Chalriin by his beak. “Listen, you old hermit, we don’t want any trouble.” He said this in a voice that very much wanted trouble, and lots of it. The young male kicked open the door, dragging Chalriin toward it. He tossed the older Avian out, snickering. “So we’ll let you off easy this time. Don’t come back, Grounded filth." The door shut. So, the true opinions of the Avian race revealed themselves. Even Klexaas wasn't enough to be kind to the Grounded. They just put up a facade of mock friendship.

    Glaring at the oak entrance, Chalriin fluffed up his feathers, and left, steadily descending the wooden stairs built around the massive tree. He did not have a specific destination in mind, so he decided to wander off into the forest. No one would bother him there- the forest at night was Hell on Jhalyr. Dangerous, and easy to get lost in. Chalriin didn’t care, much. He was old enough that if he met his end, he would accept it easily.

    Besides, no one would miss him. Not really.

    “Ha! An’ yanno wha’ I tol’ er?” A rough and low voice echoed through the trees. “I tol’ tha’ broad dat she be’er have th’ house spick and spack when I go home. Tha’s wha’ I said, I did!” The words were nearly indecipherable.

    Chalriin was mystified. Who else would consciously march into the woods, at this time of the night? Unless perfectly prepared, they wouldn’t last the night. He walked toward the voice, now joined by others. They sounded different from Avians, with more bravado and passion. As Chalriin entered a small clearing, recently created, he spotted four humans settled around a fire. They saw him, too, and waved at him with grins on their faces.

    “Merry Christmas, Bird-man! Come on over here.” A different man spoke to him, a man with more composure. “No one deserves to be alone on a night like this!”

    Chalriin was not one for refusing kindness when it was offered to him. He got so little of it, after all. He took a seat.

    “Aye, m’friend!” The smallest man of the bunch apparently was the most boisterous. “Christmas is a time for celebratin’ th’ wonders o’ life!”

    Another man chimed in. “Truthfully, stranger, Christmas is an ancient holiday of the humans. It used to be about celebrating the death of a religious savior, but times have changed, quite a lot. Now it’s more about feasting and giving gifts to those you care about. It’s more like a party than it used to be.”

    Chalriin blinked. “Why tell me this?” It made little sense to tell a Grounded about such things. “I am banished." When they glanced at him with confused looks, he continued. "Grounded. A nonbeliever.”

    The seemingly intelligent man nodded. “That’s all right. I said Christmas used to be about religion. Now it’s more a celebration of life. You’re welcome to stay with us for the night- we don’t discriminate. And, don't worry, we've set up a pretty safe perimeter, for when we all go to sleep.” The man had obviously camped out in dangerous places before.

    Chalriin blinked. He had met few humans, mainly scientific colleagues, who rarely spoke, except to correct his mistakes, and vice versa. This new kindness would take some getting used to. “Thank you for your hospitality.”

    An unusual dream came to Chalriin that night. He sat in an invisible chair, with shifting visions and intense lights flashing all around. A sphere of immense brightness dominated his vision, and he could not look away. He felt as though his eyes were being seared clean through.

    Chalriin. My dear child. How sorrowful I feel, watching your life.

    “Who are you?” A basic question, but Chalriin was reduced to such by the mesmerizing light.

    I am no one, and yet…everyone. I am all that is. Quite confusing, I understand.

    Chalriin stared in wonder at the orb of light. There was only one thing this light could be, but Chalriin wasn't quite convinced. He was an Avian of science, after all.

    Your people’s perception of me, Chalriin, is but a small part of my true form. The humans also speak to me, and fight over my blessings. The Florans, well. There was a pause. They worship a darker side to me, one I would never hope exists. The Apex do not believe. They are far too intelligent. Poor souls, all of them, but I dare not assist.

    Chalriin had never considered what he would say to a deity, but now...a single question came to mind. “Why? Why do you let us fight and squabble over your light?” For the first time in many years, rage welled up inside of him. “I was banished from my people for not believing what they believed! Why would you let such acts occur?” He sensed no response, so he continued. "Even on Klexaas, the day my people are supposed to forget their differences! Even THEN." He was close to tears. For the first time in a decade, Chalriin was about to cry.

    I cannot interfere in the mortal world. I cannot grant everyone everything they wish. Chaos would ensue, and even more blood would be shed. I created you flawed, all of you. Although not my intentions, I was young. Inexperienced. I was, and am, both incredibly proud, and intensely ashamed. Your race, and the others, should not have to bear the consequences of my mistakes.

    Now, a real tear welled in Chalriin’s eyes. A god was apologizing to him. “I…I…”

    Do not worry. I have since composed myself. I do not assist the mortal world, in an effort to avoid even more pain, even more death. A few moments of silence. I leave you with this, dear Avian- believe in what you will, but know that I will always care for you, and every other being. Always. Klexaas. Christmas. They are all the different sides of the same pixel.

    Chalriin’s eyes snapped open, and he sat up so fast his head spun. The humans were up and about, whistling and singing and humming to themselves. A broad grin stretched Chalriin’s face, as much as a grin can stretch a beak, anyway. “Merry Christmas!”

    The men laughed. “Christmas is over, Birdman, but good morning to you, too.”

    Chalriin was almost giddy. It was sad, he reflected, how he had been living his life these past decades. He might be older than he was, but he still functioned perfectly. “Good morning, indeed! Thank you all for your hospitality, but I really must be going. I have…” He thought for a moment. “I have somewhere to be.” In truth, he had a conference to go to, but now Chalriin was finding that the stuffy atmosphere that was sure to greet him there was less than desirable. “It’s a planet or two away from here, so I really must leave now to get there on time.” Technically, he could make it with plenty of time, but finding an Avian pilot willing to ferry a Grounded was always difficult.

    The apparent leader of the bunch looked at him. “Well, Birdman, we’re headed off planet, as well. Need a lift?”

    Chalriin looked at the man. He smiled again, as best he could. “I would quite like that. Thank you.” The wild machinations continued in his mind. There was so much of himself to rethink, so much to revise, now that such a major part of his life had been changed so drastically.

    The man nodded thoughtfully. “What’s your name, stranger? Birdman won’t work for a long trip.”

    Chalriin’s wild mind halted, then, but only for a moment. A fierce light of happiness burned in his gaze as he refocused on the human’s face. “Chalri-" He stopped. No. He was far younger that he had lately been thinking, at least, in spirit. "

    Chal. My name is Chal.”
    ------------------------------------- a thing. Did I write it with little to no inspiration what so ever? Yes. Did I write it in less than two hours? Yes. Do I care? No. Enjoy it, or don't enjoy it...

    This is my completely written off the top of my head, unedited entry for the story section. Wheeeee~
    harnackam, Jonesy, Alucard I and 6 others like this.
  2. That is what you can come up with off the top of your head??? :eek:
    that story was great!
    I am not worthy... I am not worthy...
    Mercenary Lord likes this.
  3. More or less. I pulled this thing out of nowhere.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it.
  4. Nice little story, for something written in two hours. Little hints of this and that that made me grin :)

    And yes, I did read it this time.
  5. I'm glad you liked it, too. :)
    nababoo likes this.
  6. Sham

    Sham Spoony Bard

    Never mind, I found it!

    I spent a good deal more than two hours on my entry. You are clearly more efficient than I!
  7. More efficient, or perhaps less careful about my entry.

    Either way, thanks. :)
    nababoo likes this.
  8. Sham

    Sham Spoony Bard

    I enjoyed it! I only require perfection for my own works, it doesn't get in my way for the work of others. :)
  9. Less careful for me means not editing. I still type with the best of my ability. :)
    nababoo likes this.
  10. Sham

    Sham Spoony Bard

    Oh I didn't mean to imply that you don't. When I read the works of others I can simply enjoy them unless I have been specifically asked to review them, which is nice!
    nababoo likes this.
  11. I would ask or review, but seeing as I even know this isn't my best... I'll abstain.
  12. Sham

    Sham Spoony Bard

    I am far from an excellent writer, but if you ever need a hand looking over something I would be glad to give it my best!

    I took a literature course or two when I was at university. :badpokerface:
    Mercenary Lord likes this.
  13. Saltbeard

    Saltbeard Void-Bound Voyager

    Wow. That was pretty epic. I don't think I could ever make a story to compare with this! *Applause*
  14. Thanks, Saltbeard. Beard? Salty? Basalt? You need nickname.

    Somebody remind me to come back to this either tomorrow, or the day after- I'm thinking I'll make some revisions.
    nababoo likes this.
  15. Come back for them revisions.
    AstroBlast likes this.
  16. so my computer is dead, along with the story I was writing for the contest...
    But I shall write it again, if I must!
    *Furiously typing away, wasting time because I have no chance of winning*
  17. S'okay, that's the feeling I have when I read Garneac's story.
    AstroBlast likes this.
  18. Not mine? Fair enough.
    AstroBlast likes this.
  19. At least you made an entry :cry:
  20. I can work fast when I need to. That's one of my skills.

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