Short stories

The Last Oath

“First comes duty, second comes duty and the third, is duty as well,” the firmness in her voice echoed behind his head. Yet he knew that behind that robust and sturdiness laid a feeling of uncertainty – so many suppressed emotions and unsaid feelings.

He gave a slight nod, fist on his chest and recited “In the Mother of all beings, in morality we do not discern, in justice we do not decree, only in the equity of humanity do we seek to achieve. By the name of the Palladiums, I, Calle of Yerlua, swear to honor this oath.”

He laid the hilt of his sword against his forehead, with an eagle pommel resting on it.

“Forgive my sins,”

The golden bell of Aedos was ringing – it was midday, the time when men stopped their laboring for ale and lasses get their ears busy with other lasses tales. The town was buzzing with life with Aedos mandatory midday break, folks were busy meddling into their own rackets and leisure, which meant it was time for Calle to begin.

He was standing on one of the taller buildings in town, watching the hundreds of people ramble across the streets – sifting through every single person. The stark contrast of Aedos to Yerlua never fails to amaze him, the folks of Aedos seem to be able to make merry from almost anything. They are from the South to begin with, where the sun shines upon them almost all year long, they have to be happy.

A white-bearded man, clothed in violet silk tunic with a lion branded staff entered the town square. With a gentle smile on his wrinkled face, he was greeting the villagers as he limped across the township. Children were singing songs about him, and women were giving flowers to him. He is the mayor of Aedos, Louis Mayhard. The Mayhards are one of the most influential and popular families in the South of Argen, their reputation of generosity and kindness spreads throughout the land.

Calle has been watching him ever since he came to the township, his eyes combing over the people near to the mayor. He slid down the side of the wall, dropping onto one of the alleys near the town center, hastily maneuvering past people before he ended up behind the mayor.

“No,” he whispered.

His right arm between a dagger – with an eagle pommel on it- and the back of the mayor. Calle’s gaze locked onto a pair of hazel eyes, from a woman with long dark raven hair. His arm was burning – she pushed the dagger deeper- her jaws tightening, and eyes burning with so much anger and hatred that he’d never seen before. Yet he still held onto her wrist – for a brief moment, he thought he saw a tinge of sorrow amongst all the rage in her eyes. Her grip loosened as she pulled out the dagger, Calle thought he saw a teardrop rolled down her cheek – no it couldn’t be.

Hearing a shift in footsteps, Calle quickly pulled her towards him, putting a kiss on her lips; she tried to pull away for that brief moment until she knew what was going on, she gave in. The mayor watched the loving pair before cheering out “Love and rejoice, my fellow Aedons!”, before turning away from the pair.

“You… why did you stopped me, then save me -” she paused, lips pursing, “and now, only after so many years,” she paced along the edge of the porch, with a frown visibly arched upon her brows.

“I didn’t want you to have any regrets -”

“to live with pain and agony every day of your life,” his voice turning unusually soft.

A span of silence caught in between them.

He felt a warm touch to his right arm, as she tied a cloth on his dagger wound.

“Don’t be so stupid the next time, your arm’s going to waste one day if you’re always taking the shield for people.” The initial rage in her tone vanishing with every word she speaks.

As she was tying the last knot, Calle placed his palm on hers.

“We don’t have to live like this, Leiya. We can go back to how we were, just let go of all your pain. The past is what it is but we can live our future the way we want it. We can make it all better.”

Her eyes riveted into his, her gaze was still fierce and strong. Yet he could feel her fingers loosen up – it was like her heart and head were playing the tug of war. He knew he had to say it now.

“Leiya, I know I swear an oath to the Palladiums, but I will give it up without a second thought if it were needed to save you. Before I am a man for the Palladium, I am your man, Leiya Vansworth. I am yours before I am anyone’s.”

The words that he had kept with him for 15 years, he finally dared say out. It wasn’t how he pictured them to come, they always came out different whenever he tried to practice saying them; but he was glad this time it fully conveys his innermost feelings, although it certainly felt abit dramatic.

Yet these were the words that had kept them apart for 5 moons; the silence that estranged them for so many uncountable days. He just couldn’t waste all those years anymore.

2 moons back when he almost died from an infected wound while on a mission, he promised to find her and tell her everything that he felt once he recovered. He spent 3 moons searching for her around Argen, getting bits of tales of a raven haired woman with hazel eyes traveling across the country – so many false trails and excessive hoping- until he finally heard from Vineis that Leiya took a job to deal with the Mayor of Aedos. He knew she was gathering her sources and finding the man behind her family’s murder, the only person he couldn’t guess was behind it was the kindest Mayor of Argen.

“Can you really take back a woman with so much pain and blood on her hands?” her eyes began welling up, even as the intensity of her glare still held on.

This was the first time he had ever seen her with tears, a woman who could kill so swiftly without batting an eyelid; the woman who singlehandedly won 5 straight fights against big burly men; the woman who always won him at sword fights since they were children.

He stood up and pushed her body towards his,

“I, Calle of Yerlua, will always take Leiya Vansworth, as long as she is willing to take me. This I swear an oath to.”

Then, he saw it. Her eyes were no longer the shade of fiery hazel, they were shining with the brilliance of joy and serenity – something that he hadn’t seen in 15 long years.

That is when he knew, that duty isn’t his first, second or third. It once was, but it never will be again.

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Poetry, Positivity / Motivational, Short stories

The Meaning (of life)

White piece

Blank sheet

Empty canvas

waiting to be dirtied

in the name of art;

The theme this week
was “Meaning”;

She wasn’t too sure

what to fill in

this time it was vague

unlike the previous weeks;

Yet maybe it was just what an artist

needed

letting the colors

of her mind flow

without supervision;

Meaning of art?

Meaning of mankind?

Meaning of life?

She wasn’t yet sure

which one speaks

to her in her

palette of pastels;

She wasn’t even sure of

the meaning of her own;

She is an artist

meanings to her

are temporary

and flow like fluid;

Whenever she starts

painting a new piece

a new meaning lives

and dies immediately

when she’s finished;

Face in her hands

Wet hair disheveled

Eye bags sagged;

It’s been 3 days since

and 3 days remaining

to nail this final painting;

The last of her hurdle

the last piece she needs

to join the ranks of prominent artists;

Just one

last painting;

Then she suddenly recalls

her first painting

when she was fifteen;

Her mother’s

face dotted with drops of bittersweet;

It was their first

family trip overseas;

A mother’s guilt towards

her child for not being able to give

her more than what she wishes to give;

Her second painting

was a week after;

both she and her mother

sitting under a blanket of stars

eyes crinkled

beaming;

It was the best moment

of their entire trip;

Her third painting

was a blend of pastel hues

on a human body

with budding flowers

etched all over it;

It was her first time

in love

and a truly fairy tale feeling;

Her fourth painting

was dusky and grim

a lone figure

in absolute darkness

gated away from civilization;

It was that one time

when she felt most alone

and misunderstood

when her dreams were drowned

and looked down by so many

that even she herself

stopped believing in her own dreams;

Her eyes were dewy

cheeks rounded

an unconscious grin emerged;

She knew

what the meaning of life

was for her;

She raised an arm

and a plethora of colours

poured over the canvas

like how the notion

actualizes in her head;

The meaning of life

lies in people

and dreams;

We make memories

with those who warm our hearts

and make history

with dreams that

set our hearts burning

wild and free.

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Love, Short stories

Out Of Love

“Mich!”

He turned instantly – palms sweating, pulse racing.

Did she see me?

This is going to be awkward

Do I say hi?

Does she still remember me?

Urgh of course she does! What am I thinking?

A dozen of presumptuous thoughts flooding his mind. After all, this woman was the one he wanted to spend his entire life with at a point in time. The thought of seeing her again 4 years later was making him tense and jittery. He wasn’t sure what he was afraid of – or maybe he did.

Long black waves fall along her sides, with round amber eyes that he had always found so beautiful. Her smile was the same – slightly upturned and dimpled at both ends. Her smile was one of the most precious things to him, because she wasn’t the kind of woman who laughed easily. So back then, he would frequently crack crude silly jokes just to let that rare gem surface; he loved making her happy.

She was standing there, chit chatting with a guy – who is very handsome and seems nice. Probably the guy that she was on a date with at the restaurant just a few minutes ago, he saw them and tried to leave as stealthily as he could, he didn’t want her to notice him.

I hope he is good to you.

No, I hope he treats you even better than I do.

He stood there, subsequently and unknowingly admiring her. It was probably about 10 minutes since he stood there, yet it felt like time had paused momentarily for him. He remembered how he used to look at her while she was asleep – she was a late riser – so he would just lay by her side and admire her for awhile before getting out of bed. Moments like that always reminded him of how lucky and blessed he was; he had his best friend and the most amazing woman on Earth beside him.

He was unconsciously grinning to himself, lost in thought among all the beautiful memories he had with her.

“Kris?”

An oddly warm familiar voice suddenly struck him. He was so engrossed that he failed to notice that her conversation had ended and she was now staring straight at him.

The hair behind his neck stood, his palms were now clammy and his heart rate was a little over the top.

What happened to the plan of avoiding her!

Trying to be as composed as he can, he suavely blurted out a hi. It certainly got rather awkward and uneasy at the start, with all the courteous starters they were having. But things got smoother in no time, they were smiling and laughing – and she wasn’t one to express joy so effortlessly.

“You know, I’ve always loved that smile of yours. Are you smiling more these days?”      He chuckled.

“Haven’t found anyone who could make me laugh as much like you did,” she grinned.

It was probably a joke, yet it said so much about what they once had. Two people who were genuinely in love with the other from head to toe, from the surface to within. Two people who promised to spend their lives together, until the brutality of reality comes knocking. Two people who once swore to love each other for an eternity – they probably still do.

“Michelle… I just want you to know that I have, and will always love you even though we’re not together anymore. The promise that I once made, will always stay valid.” He finally summed up enough courage to say.

It wasn’t a call for reconciliation, he just wanted to let her know that he will always be there for her if she needs him.

That ever dazzling gem on her face lit up – a smile broader than any he had ever seen- and she gave a slight nod before hugging him.

He pulled her closer, he missed having her so close. Though he knew this would be the last time he will ever have her in his arms.

There are going to be some people or maybe just one person in our lives that no matter how hard we try, we would never be able to fall out of love with.

And for him,

she was that one person.

She will always be in his prayers, her name will always send a tingle down his spine and her smile will always be one of his favourite things in the world. She will always be tucked in a corner of his heart.

You don’t need to be with her forever just to love her forever. You just love her for how long your heart tells you to, and somehow it says forever.

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Love, Short stories

Regent of the Night

The round, aerial belle of the sky shone it graces upon the vast fields that stretched across the hills and forests.

 She was at her pinnacle, the brightest and roundest.

The night too was at its zenith – the entire landscape resembled an ethereal Eden.

But it wasn’t the one that stole his focus that night.

His view cast upon a svelte figure at the peak of the hill.

She wasn’t very tall but stood lofty amongst the barren hilltop, against the iridescence of the moonlight.

She swayed gently, her arms synchronous with the slight movements of her feet. Her eyes were closed, as if she was moving to the rhythm within her – or to the silent hummings the night whispered in her ear.

She was clothed in a long, cream dress that hugged loosely over her frame – looking as pure and alluring as the night sky. She was still dancing slowly to the natural rhythm, but a slight grin now laid on her composed face; her eyes still fastened.

His eyes moved with every motion she made, with every sway she took his heart thumped a little harder.

The shade of moonlight shone on her, illuminating her even further amidst the bare field. It was as if she was one with the celestial night, and the centrepiece of it.

She opened her eyes – the captivating openings that could speak a thousand words to him.

It was sorrow; it was forlornness; it was longing.

He could sense every tinge of emotions that radiated from her gaze.

A tear fell onto his cheek, as his eyes took abode in hers.

She stopped – her smile widening, seemingly to give him assurance.

Her eyes softened, glimmering.

Then, she vanished into thin air.

His heart sank as he choked the screams of her name.

He pulled out an arm, reaching towards the one that settled among the clusters of stars. He closed his sodden eyes, swaying to the music buzzing in his ears.

The music of the night – the music from the moon.

He knew he couldn’t see her again – until the moon illuminates at her brightest and the night was once again surreal.

Remember me as she who danced under the brightest light of the night, always.

Those were her last words to him.

The last words of the one who became the regent of the night.

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Love, Short stories

A starry night

I gazed towards the sky – a copious of twinkles painted across the pitch black.

The sky was beautiful, wasn’t she?

A piece of vacuous sheet – barren and dull.

Yet the tiny, seemingly trivial specks lit it up so elegantly that my eyes couldn’t help but rivet themselves on her.

I felt a nuzzle against my chest – a warm familiar touch to my skin.

A head of messy, black tresses sprawled across my shirt. Bits of freckles planted across her cheeks, and nose – which was a little buttoned. Her lips were a little too thin, and pale. Her eyelashes were a little too short – too short for a woman.

That was how she described herself.

But I saw her differently.

She had a magnificent mane of raven black locks. The freckles that dotted her skin complemented her eyes, she had a cute nose – if one could describe a nose this way. Her lips were vehement, when touched they would send a warm tingle down my skin. Her eyelashes fluttered like the wings of a butterfly.

She was beautiful, she just couldn’t see it.

But I could.

Like how I saw the beauty of the stellar night sky.

She was that night sky. She could only see the pitch dark, yet not the stars that glittered on it – she couldn’t see the parts of her that dazzled so brilliantly.

But I was the man on Earth, a man who could see everything from down below. I saw a piece of obscurity dabbed with radiance – a perfect complement of the two.

She couldn’t see it.

 But she was my starry night sky.

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Love, Short stories

Fate

She took the downward escalator,

and he took the one upwards.

Yet their eyes didn’t meet, for a burly stranger stood in their way.

They stood a few shoulders away from one another just this New Year’s Eve at the Times Square.

And then too, were they both unaware of the presence of the other.

Their gaze almost met once, on a Friday evening, and a coincidental Valentine’s day.

A sudden bellow from a side alley made her divert her route.

Fate was pulling them apart.

Yet how polar things were just months back.

She hopped onto a train at the last minute, feeling immensely lucky how she’d managed to get a ticket and make it in time for the train before it left.

What she didn’t know was that she would get more than just luck that day, she found her muse – he sat right beside her.

They learned that they were from the same college, she majored in English while he in Literature.

They exchanged humour, engaged in colloquy and converse from politics to Shakespeare. They had hit it off so well; a day passed like an hour.

“Hope to see you again,” he gave her a quick hug before they parted ways.

He chided himself when he realised he had forgotten to ask for her number.

What he didn’t know was that Fate already had plans for the pair.

It was New year’s Eve; Times Square was bustling, it was almost improbable to even twitch a muscle. He felt a nudge on his shoulder and that was the beginning of a beautiful affair – what Fate had in store for the pair.

He was her lover, her muse, and she was his.

The months they spent together were periods of euphoria, yet they didn’t last.

For Fate took a turn in her stance.

Fate cut short their fortuitous meetings and drafted misunderstandings in their fateful occurrences.

“Sarah!”

He turned back, anxious yet excited – was it her?

But it wasn’t; it was her no more.

She didn’t appear coincidentally any longer, for Fate wouldn’t allow her to.

Wistfully, she was walking along the corner of the street, just a dozen steps away from him.

He stood there – back facing her – immersed in poignant regret and longing. Totally unaware of the manifestation of his longing just mere steps away.

While she too, passed him unknowingly,  with a tinge of yearning hidden in her.

Fate had pulled them together once, yet now it pulled them apart.

Fate is fickle; Fate is capricious.

Fate was their double-edged sword.

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Lovers in another time, Short stories

Lovers in another time II: An Unexpected Encounter

(This is a short story sequel to another one of my short stories: Lovers in another time. I have this whole backstory in mind about how to progress with this plot of Edith and Ellard, therefore I’ll probably be writing a few short stories about this story. Hope you fiction lovers out there will enjoy it! 🙂 )

He averted his gaze, straightened his back and fiddled with the handle of his mug.

“Ouch! Shi-” He mumbled, then quickly rubbed his sore thumb against his earlobes.

He was trying to act ‘normal’, to avoid things from getting more awkward than it already can, yet this happened.

“Idiot!” He cursed inside.

He looked up – absentmindedly – and his eyes stared straight into hers.

He could sense sadness in her eyes, or maybe more than that- anguish, longing, anything associated with sadness bared in her eyes. Her gaze seemingly able to tell a million words, it was like she was speaking to him through her eyes. Her brows were softened, making her ocular even more melancholy than they already were. She had olive eyes, yet they were a really light shade of green-blue, they could almost pose off as grey – at first glance, one might mistake them for grey. But he could see the tinges of green in there, after all, she had been focused on him and nothing else for the past 15 minutes.

He was trying hard to avoid her scrutiny, her eyes were so riveted on him that it was getting more than just uncomfortable. He wanted to just get up and leave, but something was pulling him to stay.

Something about her, there was something about her that intrigued him.

She gave off a sense of familiarity, some sort of warmth and fervency rippled throughout him. But he was sure he didn’t know her.

An ex-crush? Or an ex- fling?

No, it couldn’t be. He couldn’t be that senile not to know who he was infatuated with before, neither did he got so drunk before as to not know who he laid with.

He clasped his fingers together abruptly.

“Alright, Elliot, you just grow some balls and approach her, maybe we have met somewhere before.” He picked up the mug and gulp down the remaining coffee, before unintentionally banging it down on the table – anxiety or apprehension, he couldn’t tell.

“Hey, I realised that you’ve been looking at me for quite some time. Do we know each other? Or is there something on my face?” He was trying to hide that jitters underneath that composed suaveness.

For a second, he saw her slightly taken aback, her eyes widened before anguish returned into them.

“Shit was I too straightforward?”   

“I’m Elliot by the way, how about you?” He extended his arm, trying to dissolve the awkwardness that was escalating too far- he could imagine himself just turning around and running out of the door.

“Hi, I am Edith. Nice to meet you, Ellar-” She bit her lip.

“Elliot, I mean.” She took his hand and gave a warm soft smile – he didn’t imagine someone that looked so sad could give off such a beautiful smile.

Her palms were cold, and soft and it was somewhat lightening to the tension between them when he took her palm.

“Edith? That name sounds really familiar.” He pondered.

Unconsciously, he squeezed her palm a little, and his fingers caressed hers.

She returned with a short squeeze before letting go.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to. I just uh-” He grew red, and rubbed his head – he was all over the place.

Her red, neither thick nor thin – just about right- lips curved up, giving way to the dimples that illuminated her smile even further.

She was a beautiful, comely lady, and exuded much grace and charm – maybe it was the way she talked and sat. He was rather captivated by her, despite all the gawkiness. And it wasn’t just her good looks that caught his eye, it was something in her – fervour, yearning, comfort, he felt so much when he touched her.

He felt like he had known her for ages.

She felt familiar, not only by feelings but her face as well.

Her olive eyes, he had seen them somewhere before.

“Do you want to go for a walk? Hyde Park is just around the corner,” he extended his arm, hoping she would take it – he felt rather silly with that, acting all knightly and gentlemanly all of a sudden.

She nodded, and unexpectantly took his arm and got up.

“Thank you, Elliot.” She voiced gently.

He was pleased, he saw the anguish in her eyes diluting. He was glad that he could take away that agony from such a beautiful soul, her eyes were even more mesmerising now without that dolour.

She pulled her hair tie, and a flood of dark red locks flowed on her shoulders.

He gaped.

It all came to him now.

“Edith?”

She turned, and the mess of cardinal locks flung backwards.

She was from his dreams.

She was his lover who died in his dreams.

She was Edith, the Edith, that he swore to love forever.

But why was she here, in London, when that dream seemed to transpire centuries ago?

And Edelyn?

Wasn’t Edelyn supposed to be his reincarnated lover?

“Ellard, what is the matter?” She touched his forearm.

Ellard?

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