Fantasy Fiction posted May 30, 2014 Chapters:  ...13 14 -15- 15... 

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When Disneyland Was Not Enough...

A chapter in the book The Trining


by Jay Squires

Chapter Fifteen
Part 2

I started to take the direct approach and tell him I had been just entertaining his family then, but this time it was the truth.  But, the truth was even more farfetched than the fiction.  "I—I'd probably compliment you on your storytelling abilities," I admitted, "but, if you persisted in your need to convince me of the truth of it, and you had been truthful with me about every other thing, I think I would try very hard to suspend judgment."  I took a deep breath.  "Especially, Brother, if you told me that the whole structure of everything worthwhile I believed about you would collapse if I couldn't accept an even more difficult truth, then, yes, I think I would try very, very hard to believe."

*     *     *
 "I think I told you before, Doctrex," he said, locking his eyes on mine, "I do not use the word Brother lightly.  From the moment we shook hands I felt a kinship with you—enough so, you'll recall, I asked you with complete confidence to watch over my family while I went off to fight in the Far Northern Province.  I won't say your story about you and Axtilla and—and, let's call it what it is—Kojutake aren't pushing my beliefs about as far as they're prepared to go…"  He paused and smiled.  "like the membrane and the flying Pomnot, but you are my Brother."

"Yes, Klasco, but—"

"You are my Brother.  And, just as I would for the rest of my family, I would lay my life down for you.  And as my Brother, if you feel the same, you would lay down your life for me!

"I would, Klasco.  We were proving that in the tavern.  Yet, you must be reminded, it is a Brotherhood based on lies!  I've already told you I was a fraud.  I wasn't an adventurer, at least not on your plane.  I —"

"Then tell me, man, where are you from?  You've been taking two steps toward answering it, and then three steps back from it."

"Just a short while before I met you, I was with Axtilla.  There had been a lull in the Kojutake activity and she had gotten very drowsy—so suddenly I knew it was trancelike.  I held her head cradled against my chest until she fell asleep.  I laid her on her side by the log.  You see, there was a voice I kept hearing, periodically, behind me.  It was pleading for help.  'Help me,' it said, in a very thin child's voice.  I squinted my eyes, peering down the hill, but not seeing her.  I heard it again, 'Please, sir, help me,' she said and I followed her voice.  She was hanging from her knees from what appeared to be a rupture in the membrane.  The sulfurous yellow fog was behind her, and I assumed the Pomnots were, too."

Klasco eyed me suspiciously.

I took a deep breath and rubbed the back of my hand across my lips.  "I knew I would not forgive myself if I didn't try to save the little girl.  Since she was hanging about—oh, what!—about fifteen paces out where the hill descended, so I had to plan my leap very carefully.  I would have only one chance.  I explained my plan to her and told her if I approached anywhere close to her, she was to reach out and grab whatever she could of my body."

I kept my eyes away from him, but I could hear his breathing, heavy, labored.

"I'll spare you the details of my leap except to say I started a good deal up the hill and raced down to the log that Axtilla was sleeping beside.  I launched off it and flew out over the descending hill toward her.  It was all pretty much a blur, but I knew I had a chance.  I didn't anticipate my height.  I thought I would reach her shoulder level, but instead I wrapped my arms around her thighs, just above her knees.  They remained anchored firmly to their source.  Under normal circumstances, they should have snapped like dry twigs, but there was nothing normal about the circumstances—or this little girl.  Instead, my momentum slowed slightly as her spindly legs swung out with me and I could feel her little hands clamping like vises onto each of my calves.  At that point there was no momentum.  I thought we were going to swing back together in the other direction, and then, without a sound, without an effort I felt myself being pulled up through and into what I thought would be the plane of Kojutake.  I don't know whether my eyes were closed against the horror of being torn to shreds by the Pomnots."

"Please …" I heard him say, but still I didn't look at him.

"When I opened my eyes I was looking down at your beautiful little Sarisa.  As much as I needed to ask her, my attention was drawn away to the green meadows, the groves of trees and the blazing sun.  It was unlike the plane I had been on, and certainly unlike Kojutake which we somehow slipped right past.  Then I looked back at the one whose intervention brought about the miracle.  I stared and all I could think to ask her was, 'Why?'  And, she told me in her charming little voice, 'You are sad.  We can play.'"

"How could you do this to me, Doctrex?" he said, his voice raspy.  I looked over at him.  With glassy eyes he added in a voice that broke: "Oh, Doctrex, I was prepared to—to accept anything you told me as a reasonable explanation as to how you got here.  You could have convinced me you had hand-to-hand battle with the Pomnot and he threw you all the way from Kojutake to here.  Or the mythical god Kyre, himself—I don't know—called you here—I could be made to believe that!  I'm that stupid, I guess, Doctrex.  You have the power to make me believe that Kyre called you here to destroy Glnot Rhuether."

I tried to say something, but he jabbed his forefinger so close to my face I had to pull back.
"No," he shouted, his lips trembling, "You won't interrupt.  I won't have you weave another story and win me with your words.  You've gone too far this time, Doctrex.  How could you do this to me?  How could you use my Sarisa as a cheap character in your lie?"

"You're asking me all these questions," I managed to squeeze in, "and won't—"

"Shut your mouth!  Fraud!  Traitor!  So Klea was right.  She knew in her heart that you were a fraud and she knew you were out to hurt us.  She just didn't know how.  But she was prepared to expose you before you had a chance.  You have betrayed us all, Doctrex.  To think I was very nearly begging you to look after my family while I was off to war.  To think I called you Brother!"

I felt physically ill.  "May I?" I asked in a voice that shocked me with its timidity.

He didn't answer.
"I would never hurt you, Klasco, and I would never hurt your family.  Someday the truth of this will come out.  I don't know when and I don't know how."

He sniffed and I could see his jaw muscles bouncing, but I went on.

“At first you won't want to accept it because it has magic in it that is unbelievable to you—would be unbelievable to any person—was unbelievable to me!  The difference is it happened to me.  The difference is that everything that has happened to me since I woke up on the shore with no identity has been unbelievable, has had magic in it.  This was just one more thing."  I paused and was surprised that he didn't jump in with more invective.

"I want to tell you just one more thing, and, if you will let me finish it I will get off the wagon and you'll never see me again.  Fair enough?  I will go on to the Far Northern Provinces because I need to find Glnot Rhuether before Axtilla does, but you won't have to pretend you're my Brother.  Will you let me finish?"

He didn't say anything.  He seemed emotionally depleted.

"When you do discover the truth of this it will probably come from the mouth of your Sarisa … Now please, let me finish.  When she tells you what she did and you are tempted to disbelieve her, remember she is an innocent child.  She gains nothing by lying.  Listen to her.  Have her take you to the place where—please, Klasco—I don't know what you'll find.  I just know she was going to take me back to that place after we played.  I was going to try to go through the opening myself so I could return to Axtilla.  But then Metra came looking for her.  The three of us went to your cottage, and you know the rest.  Be gentle with Sarisa when she tells you.  She'll probably be frightened because she knew she was disobeying you and Metra when she breached the opening.

“So if you'll pull over to the side of the road I'll get out.  Oh, and one last thing, Klasco, above all be gentle with yourself and know that if it were reversed I would be doing what you are, with probably less forbearance.  Now, you may pull over."

He did nothing to slow the crossans.  He stared impassively out over the fields to the right.
"And, I would ask that you point me toward the Northern Province."

He took a deep breath.  "It would be a waste of useful manpower," he said out of a vast, impervious silence.  "You have no provisions.  Alone you would perish.  Yet Kabeez needs you.  She has an army of weaklings and malcontents who will bolt at the first sign of resistance. The army needs leadership.  They need someone with a burning desire to confront Glnot Rhuether—and someone with the persuasive skills to transform the army of Kabeez into men with that same desire.

"You're not talking about me!"

"You don't love Kabeez, but you hate Glnot Rhuether more."

"I don't even know him!  I only know that he is a danger to Axtilla and she has the burning desire to confront him.  I must get to him first.

"To the Council, Doctrex, you must be a person with a passion to lead an army to destroy Glnot Rhuether and his men.  As my Brother, you came to me from the Far Southern Provinces because you heard there was a Kabeezan army and you would go to any end to enlist in it.  That is your lie.  I'm sure you can fill it with the necessary emotion."  He was again silent, still watching the fields to the right.

"Klasco..." I started.

He didn't wait for me to finish.  "This mission is far more important than our individual differences," he said.  "I shall also have to puff up the lie.  But, make no doubt about it, with the support of the Council and the army you will have your confrontation.  Without either there is no hope at all."

We fell into mutual silence.  Then, he pointed to a place where the road bent around the base of a hill.  "Just past there is the city of Kabeez."
*     *     *

  • Doctrex:  The name Axtilla gave to the man who woke up on the shoure of an alien land without memory or identity.
  • Axtilla:  The young lady who discovered the ailing man on the shore, brought him to health and then held him captive, certain he is Pondria.
  • Pondria:  According to the Tablets of Kyre, he is the one who comes from the sea, to infiltrate the people of the Encloy, deceiving them with his language, setting them up to be destroyed by the Trining.
  • Pomnots:  (Pom = Dark not = Force)  Formerly on the plane below, these ancestors of the people of the Encloy were drawn up to the Kojutake during the Bining's 30 days of darkness.  Fierce, living for their appetites, they are not above killing each other to satisfy their insatiable hunger.
  • Glnot Rhuether:  According to Axtilla, the name of the dark entity who is destined to empower the lodging [the Trining] on their plane.
  • Klasco Braanz: Husband to Metra and father to Sarisa and Klea.
  • Metra Braanz: Wife to Klasco and mother to Sarisa and Klea
  • Sarisa Braanz: Klasco's and Metra's youngest daughter.
  • Klea Braanz: Klasco's and Metra's eldest daughter
  • Giln Profue: One of the three who helped Doctrex & Klasco in the Tavern Brawl.
  • Sheleck Profue: One of the three who helped Doctrex & Klasco in the Tavern Brawl & was stabbed.
  • Zurn: Intellectually challenged, Giln and Sheleck are watching out for him.
  • Kyreans:  According to Kabeezan Myth, a people who lived 5,000 years ago (1,000 D’s) who were ultimately destroyed by Glnot Rhuether and the Dark Force
  • Crossans: They are similar to horses, but broader in the chest and sloping down to smaller haunches than horses.
  • Trining: A code word used by the enemies in the Far Northern Province marking the beginning of the all-out assault by Glnot Rhuether on the other provinces.
  • Kunsin: The magic that Pondria possessed.
  • Kojutake: In the provinces it is the afterlife.
  • Prevaluate: In the provinces, it is where you go just after you die, where you measure yourself to find out whether you will go to Kojutake

NOTE: Reluctantly, but at the request of many Fanstorians, I am including a Glossary of Characters and Terms. I trust the reader who measures his/her interest by the length of the "scanning bar" will keep in mind the space that list takes up.
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