Life

Ugh. Days late! To my defense, the weather is nice outside, and my bow and arrows begged me to shoot. :3 *excuses*

A-Z April Fantasy Flash Fiction, part 12. Character: Arancia.

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Life

New life is beautiful. The wonder, gratitude, and pure joy in the eyes of a newborn child are a miracle to behold. I remembered the birth of my younger brother; the entire family had been so touched that we cried and smiled at the same time, standing around my mother and this precious little gift.

A rebirth feels very much the same, if not even more powerful. To be torn from death’s dark claws, and be guided back to a new, stronger than human body, is the epitome of salvation, the greatest treasure that mankind through the ages always seeks.

It is no wonder then that the slain guards of Escaton castle were all beyond grateful for my touch. At first I had been hesitant; It had been very long ago since I had last done it, and I did not remember the details. As we arrived, my doubts flew away at once. These men had been prematurely robbed of their life by the most vile creatures mankind knew. The determination to undo this grave mistake of fate was all I needed, and so the scene of a tragedy transformed into one of a miracle.

Escaton, the Tower of Rocks, became known as the Tower of New Life, Canaeton. Legande was put in charge of the troops there, whose number grew by the day. Each new man, without exception, had been murdered in cold blood by those southern fiends. Each new man swore to use their newly aquied strength, and their miraculous second chance, to wipe out that scourge that plagued us once more. The immortal people of Súthenaira were the cause of most of the suffering in the known world, wise men had agreed; they spread nothing but war and violence, harboured monsters, and vehemently sabotaged any and all attempts at building a better world. They were no more than filth, a disease of the world that desperately called for healing.

We soon found out that even my miracle touch could not completely undo all the damage they caused; the body had to be intact, and the heart undamaged, and the death no more than a few days past, in order for the resurrection to happen. This was an unfortunate weakness, and it was agreed at once that it was to be kept completely secret, and nobody was to speak of it from now on, to anyone. The ‘Nairans, if they found out, would immediately react by making sure all the victims would be stabbed through the heart, or beheaded.

So life went on in the castle that now became the pinnacle of our people’s hope. We prepared for an offensive that would turn the tide at the front and lush our enemy further into retreat on their own mainland. Eventually, we hoped to take their capital, and remove their king. Of course, none of this directly concerned me. My mission was the miracle touch of Canaeton, the promise of returned life.

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Devilry

A-Z April Fantasy Flash Fiction, Part 4. Character: Arancia

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Devilry

Arancia was my name, though most of the time, I only heard it whispered behind my back, by faces twisted in disgust. In the streets of the rich district of Larōbe, capital city of Terenōr, I lived off alms of noblemen and merchants when they felt generous, and stolen purses when they didn’t.

I was not born into this plight, like the other urchins on the street. I was cast into it. After I brought someone back from the dead.

“What is this devilry?” They had cried, as they saw the man, a thief whom they had just executed, walk again, as if nothing had transpired in the last hours. Upon questioning, he had pointed to me, a little girl at the time, seven years old. I will never forget that day. It was the last time I saw my family, the last day anyone wanted me around. The guards locked me into a special prison for strange children, where I quickly lost count of time. After some years, they announced I was now too old to be babysat, and turned me loose. For several months now, I was learning to survive, with moderate success.

Today seemed like another, by now routine day of begging and pickpocketing, until I heard my name again.

“Arancia.”

Spoken loud and clear, with a calm, composed man’s voice, devoid of any hostility or contempt. He almost sounded caring, or at least friendly. I turned around.

The man stood some paces behind me. His posture and fine, blue coat identified him as nobility. The sun lent a lively glow to his chocolate brown skin, that was a smidge lighter than my own. His expression was just as pleasant as his voice, though behind the surface some kind of hidden sadness lingered. I looked into his deep, black eyes expectantly.

“You are Arancia right? You brought a criminal back to life nine years ago.” His warm voice mesmerised me. It had been ages since anyone spoke to me, especially with such kindness.

“Yes, it is me.” I replied, unable to tear my gaze from his eyes.

“I am High Ambassador Perandes. I convey the he royal crown’s utmost compliments, and would like to ask you to help your king.”

My king. The one who represented the rules and laws, that had thrust me into my life of misery. Anger and bitteness boiled in me at the thought, yet I forced myself to see reason. The king had not personally commanded any part of my grief. He probably did not even know I existed until now. This was not an insult, but a chance to better my fate. I accepted, and the High Ambassador led me away, towards the magnificent palace on the hill.

I was greeted with formality and respect by the staff of the royal court. They addressed me as “lady”. They gave me beautiful, colourful dresses of silk, a luxurious room, and fine food. It felt like a dream, yet I was fully awake, enjoying every touch, every luscious taste. Some hours later, as the darkness of the night crept over the sky, the servants scattered again and the High Ambassador appeared at my door.

“Lady Arancia, the king will see you now.”