Forums » Pantheon Fan Fiction

The Loss.

    • 100 posts
    November 18, 2017 9:09 AM PST

    "Why do we die?" whispered the boy as he stared into the flames of the fire
    "This is about your father?"
    "No...yes....I don't know, but why?" he asked again, the hurt and the pain evident in his breaking voice.  The Old Man sat looking into the night, wondering how to tackle such an issue without confusing the boy.  His many years sat heavily on his shoulders at this moment, a mantle of age and experience, yet he felt helpless in the face of such a heartfelt question.
    “First let me explain that what you are feeling is natural.  Some of your thinking may not be rational, but it is natural, anger towards your father, guilt, shame....” the boy started to shake his head, by the light of the fire the tracks of his tears glistened on his face.  His slight frame was shaking from holding in grief and The Old Man could see him warring with all these uncertain and alien feelings.
    “It's normal to cry, it is again natural”
    “It's weak!” replied the boy
    “There was nothing you could do to stop what happened, no matter how people felt about your father or yourself, they would not have intervened, for fear of retaliation. Should people have attacked when they were carrying spades, against swords?”
    “I could have tried!!” the boy shot back
    “To what end?  Nothing would have changed except two people would have died instead of one.”
    “But something, I should have done something...”
    “You saved your father the pain of seeing you taken by staying your hand.” the boy sat shaking his head, holding back sobs.
    “Do you remember the first time your father took you to work with him, how proud he was to watch you.  To see the man you would one day become, that would of all been undone by that one action.  Think about that.” suggested The Old Man.
    “I don't want to....” choked out the boy and then like a damn breaking as he was assailed by memories of his fathers laughter and strong hands, he sobbed harder, tears fell freely from his eyes as he wrapped his arms around his knees and rocked in place, all his hurt and pain for the world to see.  The Old Man stood and slowly wrapped his cloak around the boy's shoulders then sat next to him and slowly, quietly started to sing.
    “He is done, but only here.
     You will feel him by you always near.
      In the darkest night, he will quell your fear
     You will feel him by you always near.
     His light has moved on to a brighter place
     His eyes look upon that radiant face...” the tune was slow and melancholy but the words instilled a hope in the boy, a longing for his father. His sobs slowly subsided and he looked up into The Old Man's face.
    The boy looked over the fire at the strange old man, for all his life he had been around and still he was only known as "The Old Man".  The fact he was old was nothing short of amazing, the lines in his face, his white hair, all testified that he had seen many years beyond his allotted time.  There was a peace about him, an aura of tranquillity, that encouraged trust and honesty to those around him.

    "Sleep child. Tomorrow will be a hard day." the Old Man said as he walked from the clearing.

    The darkness was complete, the subtle sounds of the forest night surrounded The Old Man.  Movements and rustles in the undergrowth, the lonely sound of a wolf in the distance, wind rubbing leaves together in a muted whisper as if the trees were communing.  He settled himself down cross-legged in a pose that indicated he was waiting, eyes unfocused he let his mind drift through the forest.  Touching upon the many lives that intermingled, testing their senses, instilling a watchfulness and purpose upon them, they would be his eyes and ears while he waited. A red deer stag entered the clearing, its reddish-brown coat flecked with silver and the mane around its neck silver in entirety.  Its majestic movement suggested its antlers were a crown, it moved and stood next to The Old Man, ears moving and picking up the slightest sound, nostrils flaring to test the air.  Now it stood like a sentinel, unmoving and focused.

    The Old Man raised an eyebrow as he looked towards the undergrowth
    “Rake, please stop skulking” a slight, lean figure walked forward into the clearing seeming to materialise from the night.
    “I was not skulking.  I was staying stealthily hidden while I assessed the area!” replied the approaching figure and added in a hurt tone
    “I don't skulk....”
    “You could have fooled me.  Though to be honest at the moment it's a rather good impression of sulking.  Can you skulk and sulk simultaneously Rake?” chuckled The Old Man
    “How on earth have lived so long, Pygellus?”
    “Well it helps that I sleep with one eye open when you are around” he replied with a voice brimming with mirth, and with that The Old Man stood and hugged the sulking skulker warmly.  The Old Man was always fascinated by the way Rake moved, even the most mundane of tasks became a languid dance with Rake.  Once an observer made the ill-advised comment that he moved like a lady dancer, that observation was made only once though.  The sight of said observer floating in the canal the next day stopped further speculation quite abruptly.

    • 813 posts
    November 18, 2017 10:29 PM PST

    Well done, Jazznblues. Your character development is grand.  I grieve for the boy, am curious about The Old Man, and in just a few lines feel like I know Rake well.  Bravo, thank you for sharing.

    • 100 posts
    November 19, 2017 3:54 AM PST

    Thank you, Kumu, for your kind words.

    This is my first attempt at fiction. Figured I would put it out there for any feedback.

    This post was edited by Jazznblues at November 19, 2017 9:09 AM PST
    • 273 posts
    November 19, 2017 5:57 PM PST
    Well written jazznblues! Keep it up! Look forward to the next
    • 4530 posts
    November 20, 2017 6:13 AM PST

    Good job!


    • 315 posts
    November 22, 2017 4:01 PM PST

    Jazz, if this is your first attempt at fiction, then I would say you need to continue.

    I enjoyed the read.

    • Moderator
    • 9257 posts
    November 27, 2017 3:45 PM PST

    Love the story!

    • 203 posts
    December 26, 2017 6:42 AM PST

    Very well done!

    • 44 posts
    March 29, 2018 10:05 PM PDT

    very well done... it made me want to know more 


    • 100 posts
    January 23, 2021 1:10 PM PST

    I totally forgot about this. Glad to see it still here. Thank you, for all the kind words.

    • 212 posts
    February 8, 2021 9:24 AM PST

    I had never read this til you bumped it Jazz.  Where's the rest????? I wanna know who the Old Man is and why Rake is skulking?

    • 100 posts
    February 15, 2021 7:31 AM PST

    There are Loss 2,3 and 4. It was never finished though as life stepped in and made the title extremely relevant to me.

    I never intended to bump it. I was just pleased that it was still here.

    • 212 posts
    March 17, 2021 11:14 AM PDT

    Glad you did. I'll read the rest of them now that I know they're there.  Hopefully we will get a story called "Restored" from you one day, one that's equally as relevant :)