Consign To Oblivion

Consign To Oblivion

A Chapter by IsoRoku
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This tale finds itself between different times in an unknown space. A british sailor and british soldier find themselves stranded in a medievelesque nowhere, only to be engulfed in mystery.

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Like a drowsing sunbather, the captain lay facedown in the sand. A uniform, customary for a man of his rank, is worn loosely around him. A uniform that was once a great symbol of pride and honor is now nothing more than a wet tattered piece of cloth, near destroyed by an unforgiving sea. The state of his uniform is a reminder of his agonizing shame. As a captain he had been trained to tame the wild seas. But, rather than being tamed this sea fought mercilessly, leaving this captain in ruin. An astringer would be in a similar situation if he were to be attacked by his own hawk or a rock climber if he were to give into the pull of gravity and hurtle towards the ground.

            The captain hasn’t always been so lame and hapless. In his prime, he had been described as a strapping and burly man. Those who had the courage to fix their wandering gaze upon him could only describe him as such. He had a raw essence about him, an essence akin to that of an elephant; a grand beast who stalks the wilds brandishing his sharp tusks behind a fearfully strong body. He has killed men. Though true, it is wise to notice that there are more to elephants than their tusks.

 He still holds true to his stalwart appearance, but he lacks the radiance that he had once had, subjugated by the time that has cruelly been propped upon him. His voice is deeper his eyes are weaker and his heart has sunken ever further into his chest.

            The captain is naturally a very proud man, and contrary to what others might observe, he finds that time has not detracted from his youthful energy but rather made him ever wiser. He is educated, and to a great extent. There has not been a day in his salty life that he had not furthered his knowledge. Naturally, not all can be as knowledgeable, and he is keenly aware. Having explored many schools of thought, he believes firmly in Social Darwinism, and he chooses not to mingle with lower class citizens for they are “fundamentally not worth the time”.

            Yes, unquestionably intelligent, the captain has never stopped to reflect upon how he brandishes the sheen of his mind. He displays it as proudly as a veteran would do with his bronze. His intelligence and in many ways his arrogance has led him to be a leader of men. He knows of the great peculiarity of man, the fact that they have their own agendas and lives, but for some reason or another are willing to follow him to the end of the world and back. Perhaps his fellow sea fairing companions did. He is an authority; an irreproachable leader of men, he is not one to admit defeat easily. This is, even though he understands the meaning of defeat to its entirety. He has dreams of living without defeat. Yet here he is; the great captain is facedown in the sand wearing his once important navy uniform shredded by the sea of his command.

            The beach seems to stretch on endlessly. The sand is black and fine grained. Later in the day this sand warms to become intensely hot, enough to cook a beached fish, if such a thing were to happen. Unlike most beaches, this one is completely level, until it reaches the water were it makes a perfect and steady decline into what some would call an abyss. Trees border the entire beach, from beginning to end, wherever those two points lie. The trees dip forward slightly, towards the beach, as if to get away from the thick grove further inland. The days are always dry and hot, seemingly inhospitable for any plant life. No foliage grows on the beach, but the trees oddly seem to flourish in this adverse environment. A world ruled by an all-seeing sun.

The sun has always been a kind friend to a sailor. The sun is to man as glasses are to the blind. It enhances a sailor’s mobility; without the sun’s energy, the wind would see no reason to move. Not only does the sun bring movement and sight, but its lifting eternal candescence captures and moves every person of this world that it looks so brightly upon, instilling a sense of being into every man, woman and child. The sun’s confidence beats back the night and holds the day. For countless eons it has been looked at as a god. Today the sun seems anxious and a little out of place. It’s early in the morning and the sun is already exerting itself. It’s trying its hardest, but its hardest may not be enough. It’s pushing the boundaries of night earlier than has ever before. However, in high time its grand embers finally peak over the horizon to touch the lonesome face of a stranded man. A thick glow encases this man in a golden sheen. The sun has pressed itself but is far from done with its task.  The sun needs to bring this man back. The man is not dead, so the sun’s task may seem trivial to any spectators, but that is surely a lapse in judgment. *It’s not that the sun wants to wake him, the sun needs to wake him and it needs to do so soon.

The Captain’s breathing increases to what would seem to him a subtle moan. To absent observers however, this moan is loud and desperate enough that it may as well be a cry for help. His disorientation adds to his struggle to gain consciousness. Stranded on a barren beach he is unfortunately without recollection of past events. He can remember some sort of boat, but the name of the vessel escapes him. He reaches behind himself and grabs the back of his neck, as if to quell some unknown pain. His other hand slides beneath his chest gripping into the vast amount of miniscule black pearls. He pushes up using his arm as some crude human lever allowing him to role onto his back, giving his sandy breaches the opportunity to rejoice in the sun. His eyelids slide slowly open to reveal his hazelnut eyes, giving the weary captain direct sight of the sky. In his confusion “Where are the clouds?” escapes from his mouth in a low murmur.

He slowly slips out of his peculiar delirium and gradually sits up, trailing his arms along the sand like a demented ragdoll enchanted by the light of the early-morning sun. The sun and the captain are survivors alike. Together they have recently risen like cosmic dominoes. As he finds his seat, he can see the sun has cleared the horizon; a morning to break the night. And with the sun’s success comes the sun’s victory cry, a grand orange spectacle dancing over the waters and into the horizon, grander than that the captain has ever seen.

As he looks upon this wondrous spectacle, he can almost hear the sun calling to him “go look”. Even in all of his self-evident repentance he looks upon what the sun is urgently trying to point out using its impossible amount of fingers. The sun whispers close enough to his face that its warm breath presses against him. It whispers a name, reminding him what he had successfully forgotten; the name Lucia. At least that was what was printed on the solid wood board five feet away from him. The sea discarded it along with the rest of the ship, chewing it up and spitting it out; like some spoiled child would do with greens.

To the captain’s dismay, the wreckage is lacking sailors; even deceased bodies of sailors were nowhere to be found. He would seem to have been stranded in solitude.  With none left in his command, he is without the company of men and far more importantly the work of men. He does feel vague warmth when thinking about his crew, there is something about those men. But as his mind wanders to find a more specific description, he finds himself lost. The captain couldn’t identify any name of a man who inhabited his doomed craft, but honestly he could not remember his own damned name. He continued to struggle through his absence of memory, frantically trying to sort out anything that he could remember. He grips the same spot behind his head, cradling it tight. He shuts his eyes. He found that he could remember the name of states, the principals of nautical travel and even the chronological list of England’s monarchs. He was able to recall the studies of his previous life, but for the life of him he could not remember anything vaguely personal. He did however feel the weight of a revolver on his hip, his single worldly possession.

The whole ordeal leaves the captains mouth slightly open for a moment revealing a sudden moment of weakness in the solid structure of his jaw. He soon gains control of this renegade expression by hardening his features doggedly. He grabs the revolver from its fitted compartment on his waist and passes it from hand to hand. He sees that the piece had gained a light dusting of rust and was without ammunition but was intricate in design and was definitely capable of working

He rolls over his waterlogged legs and stakes them into the ground, pushing his way up to his feet. He fixes what’s left of his jacket, and wipes his pants in an ill-fated attempt to remove sand and dirt. He then turns to what he believes to be due north and strides down the beach. His strides are the hard walk of a military man. He blocks the suns rays by cupping his hand above his eyes; there is no need for its interference. He desperately looks through the debris to find any supplies of value, but only passes the shards of Lucia.

            Not once does he look behind him in the hours he walks down the beach. He was lucky to find a barrel of fresh water, which he helped himself eagerly to. He dragged the barrel up near the trees leaving it as a place marker. After some unmeasured amount of time he decided to turn around, only to see that he left no footprints. He looked down only to see a wave wash over his feet. So enraptured in his search for resources he had forgotten that he had been walking in the waves.

            The sun was high in the sky and the captain decided it was time to search for food. He sat down on the roots of a mangrove tree with a stone and a stick in hand. With violent strokes he carves a point into the tip of stick. He made sure to find a waterlogged piece making sure that it would be well weighted and fully capable of sinking itself into the sea. He strips down to ensure the freshness of his single pair of clothing then enters the sea, knee deep, to look through its crystalline veil for a finned morsel. The seas cold strikes up his body through his spine like no other.

            It did not take long for the captain to drop his spear. He did not drop his spear in the sight of any fish but rather for there weren’t any fish. He thrust his spear into the sea out of spite. Not only did the sea omit his men; it omitted the sea life he so needs to sustain him. Not even the most basic plant life was present to embellish the bare sand he was forced to tread.  He looks to the trees as if he is to find some hope among them.

            *The smoke fills his eyes; it would seem to be a mile inland. He inhales as if to fill his body with the smokes essence and ploddingly walks towards it as a priest would walk towards an altar. His speed increases incrementally as if the smokes meaning was slowly being processed in his brain. He takes a brief pause to dress doing so without looking down; he instead stares straight into the woods.

            The captain runs through the strange woods in a thoughtless haste. He pushes to and fro between the countless trunks and branches that block his way. The forest obstructs all sight of the sun, but glows in the eerie incandescence of lit leaves.  The trees blur into a brown and green fog on either sides of the captain. He chases the ghostly image of the rising smoke in his head, all he can think about is that smoke.

 His hysteria soon stops as his foot catches a root and he hits the solid ground. The ground isn’t forgiving. His weight plunges into a tangle of wood, leaving the front side of his body thoroughly bruised. He grapples his way up hoping to get a look at what stopped his ascent towards the smoke. He looks down and sees the wood that had barraged his body a second earlier, but rather than a cluster of roots in a patch of dirt he sees that the roots expand throughout the forest. The tangle of roots is so completely dense that it melds into a weave of some kind, almost like a cloth. The complex patterns and systems of the roots lead him to see something even more peculiar. He counts branches and draws patterns out in his mind but can’t refute that all the trees look indistinguishably alike; a crude single piece puzzle.

            The strange attributes of the forest entrance him. They feed his mind with a simple joy. They intertwine perfectly in a fractal chorus of shape and beauty. He can hear their simple song echo through the immensity of the forest. He realizes that needs to have understanding of this world just as he does of this forest. He feels so incredibly lost, left with the burden of lacking a past. But, maybe being without a past to be faithful to in this new world is a generous gift.  A grin soon grows on his face. The idea of a new world is what makes the captain reach for his pistol, gripping it tightly enough to entrench rust in his fingerprints. He places it on his lap and removes his jacket from his back. He tears a wad of tattered cloth off the back of it and grips it tightly in his left hand. He then reaches back for his single possession and polishes.



© 2013 IsoRoku


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Added on January 3, 2013
Last Updated on January 3, 2013
Tags: Science Fiction, Brilliance, 56, Steampunk


Author

IsoRoku
IsoRoku

NY



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The most important thing to know about me as a reader/ writer is that I love enigmatic fiction. Be it H.P Lovecraft or Neal Stephanson I can't get enough of the confusion. I find utter confusion t.. more..

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