I'm not submitting parts of these in order. This is the beginning of chapter 18, I'll give chapter one later.
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Don't ask why I've chosen to do it this way, it's just something I do.
* * * * *Taj’Nar, modern day.* * * * *
They were on their horses, winding through trees. This was not a joyride for Gareth. Tamel was still easy, but anticipating the uniting of his family. Gareth had never had a family, and was not questioning his decisions now.
Then again, he thought, a family would have meant he would have not been a part of any of this. There were good and bad things about that long since potential reality, and the comedy in these ideals were enough to distract him until he arrived.
Tamel reared on the mane of his horse, which called to the trees. There were no birds to flutter away at the cacophony; they had long since flown away. Gareth dismounted as well, counting the bodies they saw.
There was no activity where they were. This area of battle was still, and there was a smile on the face of Tamel when he saw that none of the bodies were human. There was a dead warkruk and a heaving fox. Tamel broke its skull ending the suffering it waited through.
“Follow the trail,” Tamel said. Gareth nodded. There was only one route which the battle followed, and Tamel couldn’t see far down it as the trees blocked his vision. They walked through as it continued.
Alas, none of the bodies were human. It had been a relief, but as it continued for several lengths, it was suspicious.
“We cannot be fighting a battle this well,” Gareth spoke his mind. Tamel agreed grudgingly.
“I know,” was all he said.
“What could it be?”
“I’m not sure,” he said again. Tamel was distracted, looking for something that Gareth was not aware of.
“Let me help you search,” Gareth said, “what is it you look for?”
“My son is fighting,” Tamel muttered, jumping into the branches of a low tree. “The trail continues that way,” Tamel pointed to the left of Gareth. He couldn’t see it.
They walked for more lengths until they found a human body; but it wasn’t a dead one. His eyes were shut as he was propped against a tree. When Tamel and Gareth entered the small clearing, his vision shot open, and he smiled.
“Tamel,” said the man. Gareth was silent. “Where have you been?”
“I was in Eurin, but I can explain later. Listen. Do you know where my son is? Were you in his force?”
“Ah, fine lad. Gazelle, right?” He asked, Tamel nodded in agreement. “He led us, actually. Fine job, but I believe he pressed onward.”
“And why are you alone?”
“Dying,” said the man with a laugh. Tamel rushed forward.
“Where are you hurt?”
“It’s too late for me, Tamel. Don’t worry, I’m just another man of many. Your son is still alive, I believe. Go that way,” the main pointed further north, “and you should find him,” as he spoke, Tamel surveyed him. He stepped back, scared.
“You aren’t hurt…” He said, looking into the eyes of his old friend.
“Bodily? No, Tamel. My life simply ends now,” he said. Both other men were confused and nervous; something wasn’t right.
“What’s wrong with him?” Gareth whispered. “Do you think?” They both eyed the man.
“What are you talking about?” Tamel asked.
“When you have stared death in the face and denied it, you feel something very strange,” when the man didn’t continue, Gareth continued.
“What is it you feel?” He asked in all seriousness. The man laughed heartily, smiling right at Gareth.
“It’s funny, actually. You feel like dying,” he said, pulling a knife from underneath his tunic. With a flash, he drove it into himself, dead with a pained smile upon his face. Gareth and Tamel could not move for too many reasons to name.
“That is what I can do,” said a now familiar voice. Gareth lurched into awareness and scanned the area again.
“I’ve heard it before!” Gareth yelled. Tamel was still entranced. “Who are you?”
“I don’t answer the questions my enemies ask…I end their need to question at all.” The trees began to quiver and rustle as leaves slowly fell to Gareth’s feet.
“It’s him, we have to go to the mountains,” Tamel said.
“Your family…” Gareth reminded him. Tamel shook his head, he knew something Gareth didn’t.
“In this instance, I’m the bearer of bad news,” the voice began again. It was speaking to Gareth as his instincts told him Tamel knew what was coming next. Gareth was frightened, unaware.
“Did they die honorably?” Tamel asked, his face was stern as tears streamed down his cheeks. The voice laughed.
“You would expect me to say yes. Your wife was killed peacefully; and your son was with me not long ago.” Tamel fainted, Gareth was simply stunned. “I don’t need to finish?” it joked.
“We know where you are,” Gareth shook from his mouth.
“Come and find me, then.”
Gareth nodded, and sneered. He was not the same anymore. He had seen and heard too much for any man to see or hear. Tamel had taken it the hardest; it was his family after all.
For his entire life Gareth had been the man of logic and problem solving. He’d done everything he could to keep organized, and it had always been the right way to go. There was too much happening now, too many things he didn’t understand; too many things he couldn’t organize.
When he tried to think of his next move there was nothing. When he tried to sort out what he knew from what was in question nothing came to him. All he could do was fall to the ground and curl his legs into his chest. He stared outwards, into the angry trees and into the confusion and pain that surrounded him.
He laughed and shrugged his shoulders. He could remember who he was or what he stood for. He couldn’t remember what he was in the forest for, and he couldn’t remember what had happened from the beginning of his adventures to now.
He remembered some old figures briefly. He remembered Gra’k, the old dwarf who had never been seen after the end of The Drought. He remembered Eldin in his old life and his one under the possession of Elda. Then, suddenly, he learned something.
He had cared enough for other people in his life. It was time for somebody else to save him.
If you want to be a writer, pack up and go home. If you want to write, welcome aboard.