Wednesday, April 14, 2010


It was a crisp cool autumn night in the village of Gettins as the moon crested over the peaks of Mount Vehska onto the lands below. Mist crept down from the mountain through the rolling hills and into the village like a vast ghostly lake overfilling its bounds. Colourful lanterns were hung about the village as if to stem the tide yet their light was nearly engulfed before cutting through. Laughter cut through the fog, the laughter of children, running and playing in the streets, an unusual site in the village of Gettins. But tonight was the night of the Harvest when even the most grizzled herder and stoic woodsman would celebrate the bounties of the gods. Man would sit in each other’s companies and regale each other with outlandish tales of their ancestor’s tales. Children would sometimes gather, but would more often than not run with wild abandonment, for there were few times in a child’s life in Gettins that wasn’t free of work and toil.

For one child in the village there was never a moment that wasn’t full of anguish and terror.

Jonah Evanstree lived as a shadow, remaining as silent and as invisible as the night. He lived with his grandfather, an ill tempered old herder of goats, a rude ignorant old man filled with loathing and spite. At least this is what the villagers thought, but Jonah knew the truth. Doran Evanstree was a monster.

Jonah never knew his father, only to here that he was probably the son of some demon spawn, a foul creature. His mother died during child birth, a “slut witch” who got what she deserved. And Jonah? According to his grandfather was the grand Demon himself and it was his grandfather’s duty to eternally punish him.

As long as he could remember his life was a routine of misery. Brutally hard work with little rest and little food usually followed by hours of beatings and degrading tirades by his grandfather. The hours turned into days, the days into weeks and the weeks into years. For Jonas the only respite was when he slept. For why would one dream when they lived an eternal nightmare?
Eight long years passed as Jonah turned into a pitiful creature of fear and self hatred. Doran became more unhinged as the years passed, his darkness working through him like a venom, the last of his humanity eroded away by the copious spirits he engulfed every night. It was a mixed blessing for Jonas, sometimes his grandfather would forget all about him and collapse in the hearth of his disgusting hovel. But sometimes he would remember, and the last bit of humanity, the last bit of restraint, was forgotten. The beatings that Jonas received at these times would leave him in a ruined heap for a week at a time, sometimes he would pray to the gods to take him. It was during one of these times that his prayers were answered, albeit from the most unlikely of sources...

Jonas was lying under his bed, nursing what he was sure was a broken arm, whimpering begging for deaths. His heart was dark with hatred, not of his grandfather, the fear he felt would not allow it. He hated himself, he hated his existence. In a moment of darkness he called upon the demon powers his grandfather swore he was from to take his life... and from the darkness came an answer...

“Oy! Carful whatcha wish for laddy! Ya never know whose listen!”

Jonas’ head jerked, smacking into the top of his bed his eyes rolled back in pain, when they came into focus again he was staring into the eyes of a rat. He nearly screamed in terror, but lacking the strength it came out as a painful wheeze.
“Easy there laddy! Ricker is a trained battle rat! He’ll chew yer eyes out if he thinks your trouble... “ Jonas’ eyes were drawn up to the curious figure up top of the rat. It was a tiny creature perhaps 2 inches tall made of twigs and mud, it’s eyes were two small dark black pebbles. It wore a tiny black cloak and appeared to carry a miniature rapier at its side. The stick creature patted the side of the rat he rode on. “Easy there Ricker... this here he’s the reason they sent us out of the Mists, though he looks like no prince to me... “ Ricker approached Jonas again, the little creature on its back taking it all in. “Though looks can be deceiving...” the little creature smiled, it’s mouth full of smaller white triangular rocks... “now get out from under there son of Wodak. We have things to discuss.”

Jonas, his strength very slowly returning was stunned... “I... I... I...”

“By the Lady’s Breeches!!!” The stick creature cursed poking Jonas with his rapier, “are ye truly a daft child! Hrmph!” as it kicked it’s tiny foot, replete with miniature leather riding boots, into Jonas’ side. “I don’t believe it! If your father could see ya now... he is not gonna like this one bit!”

“My father... he, he’s a demon...”

“A WHAT!!!” the tree creature squealed “OY... get out from under there boy. We need to discuss your future. There are things coming... horrible things. And beautiful things as well. Yours is the hand of a shaper... “ for a moment the creature’s tone softened and even in his damaged state Jonas could sense its cavernous sorrow, “and your time is short. Now get up.. we have things to discuss...”

But alas that is a conversation for another day.

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