A Plague of Giving


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Entree I

    My father, who was neither a learned man nor a man of position, but rather, an amateur writer, who found service to a great lord, could neither afford my education nor give to me his presence in the waking hours of the day. However, what he lacked in the light, he made up for in the darkness. He was enthused by books and words, a passion I never understood — until he showed me. My father would often bring books home, borrowed from his employer’s library, for me to practice reading; there were many books that the great lord owned — father once said that nearly fifty tomes were owned by the wealthy man. And father would spend many nights by my side, helping me to attain the privilege of reading, for upon the pages and within the text lies power untold. As a punishment for advancing my mind, father would rarely sleep more than a few hours a night, and then he would be off the next morning, to work for the great lord and sneak the books back to their original resting place.

    Simpler times.

    But now he lies dead, stuffed in a box of wood and buried beneath the ground. The holy man said a few words, something about a divine plan and wisdom of gods — father never believed, and neither do I. But the holy man seemed to believe, or at least he was good at pretending.

    My father’s patron was there — the great lord; he came to pay his respects and offer his condolences. But no words can bring him back. He offered me a position within his house, and I accepted, for I had no prospects going for me.

    After the funeral, the holy man gave me this empty book. He said that it would be good for me to write down my thoughts, but writing won’t bring him back.

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Entree II

    I’ve read Macheskov, the man who revolutionized modern thought by speaking critically of our leaders, and by holding the flame of skepticism to the gods. I’ve read the Iron Revelation from cover to cover; I’ve even read the writings of Antychus, the servant of the light, whose works were banned from the Iron Empire until recent years. I’ve read the works of Taltao, the first known writer, whose writings were transcribed on stone walls. I’ve read the legend of Fangholn, the hero who slew hydras and daemon wolves. I’ve read Palitav, the man who used love and fear to cripple a kingdom. And in all of my reading, I’ve found a common theme: death is not the end.

    I’ve scanned philosophy, religion, history, pseudo-historical accounts, and political discourse, and not one of these sources denies the prevailing notion of life after death. And if there is existence after the great dark, there must be a way to plummet the spirit back to the body, a forcing of the ethereal to return to the physical.

    There is nothing else my mind can think upon — there must be a way to bring father back. His spirit is swimming through the space between the living and the dead, and all I have to do is pull him back. Surely there is some bending of nature that I can use to bring him back to me. I will find the means to fulfill this purpose. Nothing can stop me finding the way.

    He must return to me — I am nothing without him.

    I can not leave him to rot in the ground; I will not! His body will be raised from the dirt, and I will be reunited with him. Death is not a final reality. I will find a way.

    There is nothing else my mind can think upon.

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Entree III

    How could the gods abandon me? My life has been a constant source of their pleasure, and they laugh at my pain. They have made my life a constant torment, and they have no mercy. If they take joy in cursing me, I will curse them back! I will become a disciple of Gnechev, who taught of the gods’ collective deaths; nothing would engender delight more than learning of their demise. I will abandon them, just as they have turned from me. Over and over again, the gods have spat on my existance, and I will not forgive their transgressions. For every time I went hungry, I will remember; for every time I was mocked, I will remember; for every time I walked through the streets with scorn-filled eyes tracking me, I will remember; and for my father’s death.

    There is no extent to what I imagine was the horrendous life-ending events that took their lives — they don’t deserve pity. They have looked upon me with contempt; these gods have taken too much time in their piety, ignoring the travesties of their making; they sit in the highest of heavens and plot my torment. I will never forget.

    There is no forgiveness for the gods, these beasts of divine orientation, these cruel masters.

    “The gods are dead, for they never were, and their existence was tied to mankind’s need to superimpose meaning onto chaos. Indeed, if there is such a thing as god, it is chaos, the natural state of humanity and the world.” — Gorrastaux Gnechev

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