Chapter 15

Chapter 15

A Chapter by Iron K. Tager
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The fifteenth chapter.

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You sure have gotten old haven’t you?  Someone like her would have barely made a scratch on you before,” Cara commented with a still worried smile.

“Oh?  Are you trying to imply something?” Soro joked with a raise brow.  “You’re older than I am.”

Cara chuckled silently.

“Yeah, I’m not as quick as I was, aren’t I?” he responded chucking.  “I guess that’s the price of growing old; all the more reason to pass it on; the shrine, that is.  But don’t count me out yet, I can still beat most just like I would back in my heyday.”

“Things were different back then, and are so different now.  There aren’t as many incidents for you go against for one thing,” she pointed out.

“We should be thankful for that,” he said, “the fewer incidents the better.”

“Well, no matter your age, you’re always so reckless,” Cara shook her head.

“I’ll always have a fire going,” he grinned at her.

            Cara leaned up against the white wall of the shrine near Soro, who was sitting on the edge of the veranda surrounding the shrine.  They were both looking out into the heavy rain, and the darkened sky as the day came closer to its conclusion.  She was smiling, the last bit of worry leaving her, and her arms were folded as she reflected on a few memories that came to mind.

She continued:  “We went through quite a lot.  Good times.”

“I’m still trying to bring myself to eating fish again,” Soro sighed.

Cara could not help but look away and try to sequester a laugh.  She waited until it was mostly gone before speaking.  “You can’t deny we had fun with some of those things.”

“We sure did,” he shrugged, “but what’s with this reminiscing all of a sudden?”

Cara thought for a moment.  “I don’t know.  Seeing that boy wanting to be a shrine priest, I guess it just reminded me of you a little.”

“But I never really wanted to be the shrine priest, you know,” Soro said ironically.

A thought occupied both of their minds at the same time.  Memories about the parts of the past flashed in each of their eyes, and they both looked out into the rain, feeling the sentimental wave of these thoughts as they washed over them.

“I guess I owe you,” Soro said, breaking the silence.

Cara giggled a little.  “‘You know, true friends don’t owe anything,’” she quoted, winking at him.   “Even if we did, I would still owe you a lot more.  Sometimes I’m amazed at how low you regard yourself.”

Soro laughed at her comment.  “All in all, it’s my own word against me,” he recalled.

“You set yourself up for it too easily,” she tried to hold back a giggle.

“Well, I manage to stay on top somehow,” he shrugged.

“But,” Cara interrupted the thought, “this is different.  Sure the support of the people is about the same as it was back then, but it’s still different.  There are bigger forces involved now, and people who are much, much stronger than most of what we faced.  Not just in power or strength.  It’s like when Gy-”

This time Soro interrupted her.  “Please; don’t remind me.”

There was a short silence.  “Sorry,” Cara looked away apologetically.

Soro looked at her and then back away.  “No.  No problem.  I’m sorry.”  He looked at a puddle that had formed on the ground not far from where his feet hanged.

“It’s ok,” Cara continued after she knew the time was right to start again, “but things have changed, and it’s much more complicated now.  I just don’t want you, or anyone else, to get hurt.”

They remained where they were, silent.  The rain was still falling steadily, and the sound of it hitting the shingles on the shrine and the leaves of the nearby trees filled the air.  The damp sky let out a small flash far off in the distance, and a barely audible crack of thunder came only a few seconds later.

Soro looked back up at the tree tops and drew in his breath to speak.  “But I have to do it,” he concluded.  “I can’t turn my back on this whole situation, and especially not on him.  I’ve already caused enough trouble for everyone because of my mistake, and for the sake of everyone, I will not repeat it.”

Soro shuffled his way to the left, still sitting down, until he reached a support for the shrine’s roof.  He turned to face and Cara as he put his back up against it and crossed his legs out in front of himself with a smile on his face.  She looked at him and smiled back.

Soro closed his eyes and wafted his hand in the air, as if dismissing something.  “If nothing else, I can just keep myself busy with it.  And who knows?  It might even be fun.”  His face took on a foolishly wide grin with determination as he laughed.

“It’s always that way, isn’t it?  Just don’t take it too lightly.”

“Of course,” Soro’s voice was imbued with confidence.

Cara nodded as she smiled at him.  She looked back out over the shrine’s yard and into the treetops as they sat in silence together. 

 

Why... do you think spirits and humans exist separately?” a young man asked a girl as he sat in an old-fashioned, wooden chair with red upholstery.  The walls were lined with book-cases that reached to the ceiling, filled with heavy books of varying dark and mid-ranged colors.  The floor was covered in a hard, flat rug of red and golden-brown textures and designs.

“Sir?” the girl inquired.

“Why do you think they... fight so much with so much in common?”  He drew in a breath that had a slight hissing sound to it as it passed through his lips.  “Why do you think such... similarities should give way to such minutiae details?”

After waiting for a while, the girl asked him.  “Sir, are you feeling well?”

“I’m only a... little light-headed is all,” he responded.

“You should drink more water.  You never seem to get enough,” she recommended worriedly.

He considered her statement, and then changed the subject.  “So, since you have returned, I believe I can see… results soon?”  He placed extra inflection upon his question.

“Yes sir,” she confirmed, “but there is something else...”

“Something... else?” He asked.

“Yes.” She confirmed again.  “It would seem Sano was attacking the shrine earlier today.”

“I know... I know,” he was speaking more calmly now.  “Sano was driven off, but at a cost of the flesh, though minor.  I have provided to her an expert deal that has kept my hand on the dealings of repetition information regarding since he arrived on the dark green hand of insolence unbeknownst.  She can handle what is prevalent in time, but I fear for empty lines and false shadows of what once are said; therefore, I will need you in leave for means of reconnaissance, and will remain indebted to your work.”

“Uhm... well... Thank you,” she said uneasily, not understanding most of what he was saying.  “If that is all that you will need me for, then I will go get your dinner started.”

“Yes, please.”  The young man returned to looking at a large book and tinkering with an odd set of magnifying glasses, coins, and sun-shaped metal pieces held up in a semi-sphere by lengths of metal.

The girl opened the large, metal door, which curved into a cone far above her head.  She stepped out into a stone hallway made of large bricks, and closed the door behind herself.  Silently, she stepped over to the side of the door and placed her back on wall, leaning up against it and looking down at the stone floor. 

‘I don’t get a word he says sometimes,’ she thought to herself.  ‘I really worry about him.  Things have been getting more confusing, and he’s been pushing himself too hard.’  She sighed and looked to her left at the metal door, and then she smiled.  “At least he’s happy, and that’s all I can really ask for.”

She pushed off the wall and continued to walk down the hallway. 

 

The afternoon hours had passed dull and slow, in part to the villagers being forced inside due to the heavily pouring rain.  As most of their time was spent lazed about in the shop, Lance, Lucia, and Jeremy decided to sit together and figure out how to play a game Lance had in the shop.  After many failed attempts, they gave up on the game, and slowly began to have idle conversation for what seemed to be the first time since they met.  The conversation started out with talk of interesting or odd people who enter the shop, then switched to travelers, and then finally on tall tales before they had to stop for dinner. 

A low, dark-wooded table sat in the center of the upstairs room, which separated Jeremy from Lance and Lucia.  All three of them were sitting cross-legged on floor pillows after finishing a silent dinner, which had almost become a custom at this point.  Jeremy was leaned back with his hands behind him, propping himself up and looking at where the ceiling and the wall across from him met.  Lance and Lucia were sitting against the thin wall behind them.  The dinner items had already been taken downstairs, and the three of them were silently listening to the rain hit the roof. 

“Hey, Jay,” Lucia called to Jeremy from the other side of the small room.  He looked down from the ceiling to her.  “You haven’t heard the tale about the girl who wove thread to enter heaven, have you?”  She instantly turned to Lance.  “Have you told him it yet?”  She has a smile across her face, excited.  “It’s one of my favorites!”

“No, I don’t think I have,” Jeremy looked at Lance and then back to Lucia.  “Is it anything like Rumpelstiltskin?”

They both looked at him blankly.  “I’ve never heard about that one,” Lucia said.

“Ah... I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.”  He shrugged and smiled.  “It’s were a girl is locked in a tower until she could spin straw into gold.”

“I haven’t heard any story called that,” Lance said.  “I guess the story sounds kind of similar if you think about it.  This is how it goes:”

Lucia turned to face Lance with enthusiasm.  “A very long time ago, a father and his daughter lived in a cottage near the ocean, and were part of a small village where everyone knew everyone’s name.  The father was a hard worker and the daughter helped him by sewing clothes and fixing tears.  One day, they got news of a festival being held for the gods in the sky, and that all the gods were attending.  This was wonderful news, because when the gods are happy, good things happen to the people.  Well, one day the sun god came to the people of this world and requested that the best tailors in the land make for him a cape worthy of his title.  In return, he promised a potion of immortality to whoever impressed him and won the challenge.”

“Well, the girl wanted to accept the challenge, but knew her abilities couldn’t impress a god, and that she would surely lose.  However, her father came down with a cold, which developed into a terrible illness, and she decided to win the potion to give to her father so he would not die.  She tried her best to make the perfect cape out of the only thing she had: wool.  She tried her best, but it was never good enough, and the time for the sun god to pick the best cape was close.  Just when she thought it was a lost cause, a woman in perfectly-made, almost godly clothes came through the village.  She found her way through, stopped at the girl’s house and, to the surprise of the girl, started to spin fiber on her wheel.”

Lance quickly picked up a cup that was sitting next to him on the ground and took a drink, and then cleared his throat before continuing.  “The woman wove a thread so perfect, that it looked nothing like any fiber the girl had seen before.  The woman told her that it was some kind of magical thread, and can only be woven by the best tailors.  She agreed, after much pleading, to teach the girl how to sew the magical thread to win the god’s challenge.  Over the last few days that were left, she learned how to weave the thread, and sewed it into a magnificently beautiful cape.  Then the time came for the sun god to choose.  After going through each and every cape he stopped at the girl’s and, stunned by its beauty, handed the potion over to her and took the cape.”

After a long pause, Jeremy spoke up.  “So, what happened after that?”

Lance shrugged his shoulders and smiled sheepishly.  “People come up with their own endings.  Some people say that she gave the potion to her father, some say her father died and she took the potion instead, and some say the woman that helped her took the potion as payment for teaching her how to weave the threads.  It’s up to you.”

“Sounds kind of dark on a few of those,” Jeremy commented with a sideways smile. 

“She definitely gave it to her dad,” Lucia asserted.

“Well, she did do it for him in the first place,” Jeremy commented.  “How long has it been around?”

“I wouldn’t know, as long as anyone can remember,” Lance responded, shrugging again.  After a long silence, he motioned Jeremy.  “Might as well go clean the dishes,” He suggested, standing up and walking towards the stairs.  Jeremy followed him downstairs, and Lucia went to a closet on the other side of the stairway and put away the pillows they were sitting on.

Lance got to the bottom of the stairs and walked into the kitchen, which was almost right across from it.  Jeremy followed him down, looking into the empty, dark shop.  A weird noise came from the shop, and Jeremy noticed a small, very faint green light coming from somewhere.  He stopped following Lance and walked into the shop part of the building to look around. 

“Is something wrong?” Lance called from the kitchen, with his head barely sticking out of the doorway.

“Nothing,” Jeremy called back as he stepped closer to what seemed like the source of the light.  There was an odd sensation inside him, which felt like something was churning; something lukewarm, odd.   He came to the dusty window on the right wall from the door and noticed the light was coming from outside, and was moving.  Jeremy quickly walked over to the door and opened it to the still steadily falling rain.  He looked outside; first to the right towards the window, then to the left.  The green light was moving, to his left, far off into the distance. 

He heard the noise again.  It almost sounded like a strange distortion of echoing words, none of which were understandable.

‘This feeling,’ Jeremy thought.  ‘Is it…?’

“Are you sure there’s nothing wrong?” Lance asked again, this time from standing in the hallway.

“I’m going out for a bit.” Jeremy called back to him.

“In this weather?”  Lance asked surprised.

“It’s only for a little bit!” Jeremy called as he jumped out into the rain and closed the door behind him.

Lance looked out at the closed door, and then down to its left.  ‘He forgot an umbrella...’ he thought to himself, sighing as he walked towards the door.  He stood still for a minute, and then raised his hand to the doorknob, only to have it fall back down to his side.  He turned around and went back to the kitchen to start on the dishes. 



© 2014 Iron K. Tager


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Added on January 21, 2014
Last Updated on January 21, 2014
Tags: Break Down the Unknown, chapter 15, 15, Jeremy, Cara, Soro, him, Lance, Lucia, Sun God, that feel, contraption


Author

Iron K. Tager
Iron K. Tager

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Hello! I'm not really that good of a writer at all, but I do enjoy writing. I tend to only write things when I feel like it, so sometimes I go long stretches without putting anything down. I wrote .. more..

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