“Ok.. there we go. Most of the area is sanitized. That’s the best we can do before whatever is approaching gets here. It’s time for us to do what we do best and disappear”. Aeronica softly whispered.
“Shhhhhh…. Our man is starting to awaken as well”. “I can feel his pulse starting to quicken and his senses are already starting to sharpen”. Said Magdalene
“Ladies, you’ll never believe who our first intercessor is coming this way. Take a look!” Said an unrecognized voice speaking very softly.
“Who or what is it Justine?” Said Magdalene.
“You’ll just have to see for yourself” mentioned this newest voice - Justine.
He could faintly hear the rustling of what must have been a nearby bush being quietly moved. How odd… how could his ears be that sensitive and hear that? He was noticeably starting to feel better and more rapidly than before. The pain was thankfully, slowly subsiding from his body.
“Oh no”. “Not him” “Of all the people on Hope…. You have got to be kidding?! Really?” said Aeronica with a tone trailing off in exasperation. “Ok… it is what it is Ladies”. “Let’s stop gawking.” “He’ll be far more alert and harder to stay hidden from by the second; so we’ll need to keep a much bigger distance so he doesn’t sense us”.
“Ok ok Aeronica we know” said Valeriana. “Can we at least monitor our man from afar?” “I want to keep an eye on him to ensure all of our hopes and dreams aren’t dashed forever due some unforeseen mishap!”
“Absolutely Valeriana!” “Sounds like you just volunteered to be on first watch!” “None of us can afford to lose him now”. “We will keep a close eye on this one, and for the first time in a few thousand years I give all of you permission to intervene; but only as necessary without violating the law, being seen, or captured - understood?”
- Silence –
“Great! Now let’s get started”. “This intercessor might just prove to be a blessing in disguise.” “Time to observe, but from afar!” Aeronica’s whispering voice trailed off.
“What do you think our hope’s name is”? Whispered Gloriana Rose in a hopeful tone.
“I don’t know Gloriana Rose’. We’ll have to listen in and find out when the intercessor awakes him; we’ll know more about him then”. Said Aeronica.
He had the uncanny feeling of being left alone… abandoned. He no longer heard those faint, soothing, melodic voices, nor was able to smell that beautiful scent hinting at perfumed almonds that calmed his soul. For several minutes, he waited… hearing nothing. He could feel a very faint breeze brushing across his face. Despite the pain wracking his body, he could actively feel his body slowly feeling better with each passing minute. The sensation he was currently feeling was difficult to describe, a feeling of awaking from a pleasant dream; but one where you want to fall asleep again to try to pick up where you left off. Also; there was a new sound. A very different, but not unpleasant, distant whistling sound was audibly getting closer and closer. After a few minutes, the whistling suddenly stopped.
He did the best to pry his eyes open; but damn, he felt as if his eyes had turned into oysters in both the way they smelled of the nearby frothy shore, and their reluctance to open. Currently this was a painful endeavor as much as he tried. Ever so slowly his eyelids began to yield to his will as a blurry vision started to register.
This new, other stranger, let out one final note of the song he was whistling to; but it didn’t fit in with the other notes. (More of a phewwwwwwwwww……. That trailed off)
The whistling man spoke first. “Lad…. Are you ok?” His voice sounded cautious.
The first words coming out of his mouth were more akin to a croaking sound. It still hurt to speak. His neck and vocal cords ached with the strain of wanting to talk and communicate but barely being able to do so. “I….I think so”. As life started to come back into focus for him; he was peering at an odd sight indeed. In front of him was a man of a short-ish nature (Somewhere around 4 ½’) of an indeterminate old age. He was sporting an extremely large well combed snow white beard that seemed to help disguise the fact that he had a rather largish nose. More oddly though was that he was wearing a rather intimidating outfit of sable-black matte plate mail accompanied by several other unidentifiable accoutrements. While the contrast of this short man’s brilliant white finely groomed hair was the antithesis of his armor; nothing stood out more so than his piercing, flinty gray, but not un-kind eyes. These were the kind of perceiving eyes that could gaze into one’s soul if one wasn’t careful.
The short-ish man spoke. “Well… you look like you’ve just been beaten up by a pack of Trolls!” “Sorry my boy! “That’s no way to start things off!” “Let me properly introduce myself. My name in these parts is Duskin” He appeared like he was about to say something else then suddenly stopped short, as if slightly distracted and started sniffing the air; abruptly interrupting the greeting ceremony.
The man wanted to reciprocate, and tried uttering a name but nothing came to mind. It was as if his vocal cords were disconnected from several parts of his brain. His head still ached severely and Duskin could visibly see that it pained the man to the core that he could not remember his name by way of wanting to reciprocate the introduction. Not wanting to draw attention to this man’s duress the short-ish man jumped in.
“Look… it doesn’t matter entirely to me what your name is; but I’ll tell you what. Why don’t we get you cleaned up some for starters? You seem harmless enough in your condition, your clothes are in tatters; and it looks like you’ve lost a lot of blood. You also look like you’ll be needing a ton of rest”. “How does that sound?” Said Duskin
The man responded “Thank you” “I…I hurt”. Which was an understatement to say the least, but he didn’t want to draw even more attention to his poor condition.
“Well… best I can tell is that it looks like you were robbed, beaten, and left for dead!” “Normally I’d say you look like one of them deserters who hasn’t answered the calling; but I can tell you’re not lying; and you don’t look like that type anyway”. “Say…. Let’s take you down to that beach and get you cleaned up some. I have a few things that might fit you as well in my pack”. “Besides… this is just a short detour from the road I was on before I got distracted by that meteorite that fell the from the sky a few hours back. “Perhaps you were checking it out as well and then got yerself ambushed!”
“I…I’m not sure” said the man.
“Well that… or perhaps you got caught too close to a possible impact and blast! That’d explain most of those bruises, scars, and wounds!” Said Duskin. He reached down, and for someone who appeared to be around their sixties this man was able to gently and easily draw him up. Duskin slowly walked them both down towards the beach.
Every bone in his body was stabbing him with pain; but ever so slowly, the more he moved it was slowly subsiding. It felt good to wash his body in the water and get more cleaned up. His mind drifted a bit to the dream he had before Duskin arrived but that memory seemed to already be fading. A shame he couldn’t remember more of the details he mused.
Duskin motioned him over. “Say Boy… we should probably hole up in that stand where I found you”. “It’ll provide a little bit of cover and that’s a good thing with all the prying eyes in the world”. When Duskin started inspecting the area he started nodding his head & mumbling a bit to himself. He pulled on his beard a few times in frustration and then circled back to where the man was sitting. “Boy… do you remember anything before I found you?”
This brought a look of immense frustration to his face. “No” is all he could get out shaking his head from side to side.
“Ok.. it’s settled then”.
“What is?” said the man
“Boy… whatever knocked you down…it addled your brain so hard that you seem to have lost at least some of your memory. “It’s the only explanation”. “Since I can’t go around calling you boy, or lad, I’m going to have to give you a name…..but… not until after dinner!” “I’ve traveled a long way and am starving!”. “Never good to make important decisions on an empty belly!”
Within the span of a half hour Duskin had cooked up an amazing expedient meal. Half of these foods the man didn’t even recognize but whatever it was it tasted amazing. During the meal Duskin asked him several probing questions. “What was the last thing you remember?” “Do you know where you came from or where you are?” “How old are you?” “Are you married? Any little ones?” Nothing seemed to jog his memory. Duskin produced a highly ornamented reflective small mirror and handed it over to him. He looked into the mirror and just felt both sad & agitated over the fact that he himself did not know a thing about either himself or his past. He stared into the mirror for a good ten minutes or so hoping for any clue to jog his memory. Any shred of a memory… Nothing. A feeling of extreme hopelessness started washing over him. As he looked into the mirror – the reflection staring back was of a man – somewhere in his early to mid-thirties. Dark hair with one or two strands of silver here and there. There was still some huge dried blood clotted areas ingrained deeply in the stubble of about a couple days’ worth of beard. He left it there.
At that moment… he put the mirror down. Stood up slowly and peered into the midnight sky. There were several small moons beginning to align and overlap.
Duskin sat quietly and observed him. Never once taking his eyes off of him. In that moment he spoke. “I believe I’ve come up with the perfect name for you… and it’s definitely not boy”. He cracked a slight grin.
The confused man looked over at Duskin sitting by the modest fire that cast a warm glow upon him, dully reflecting off his plate armor.
“I’m going to name you Jhost. It’s a rare and ancient Faire name and means the breaker of curses”. “I believe I’ve pieced together the puzzle and therefore your name is most fitting indeed”. “You my lad …I think you are the meteorite”. “I believe it was YOU who fell from the sky. It’d explain the crazy damage you sustained”. “Also…. I smell something on you that is frankly…. Well… frankly it’s impossible. However; not only did I smell the ever so slight fragrance of Faire, but here you are healing up like one!” “Yet there’s one small problem…” “You my dear Jhost are not a Faire”. “They were exterminated a few millennia (or…Ages ago) ago”. “So, this is a very big mystery indeed”.
“Jhost”, he liked the sound of that name. It seemed to oddly fit him well. He raced back over to where he’d put the mirror down in the grass. Snatched it up & peered back at his reflection. The blood clotted areas that he observed a few minutes prior were nearly gone and fading much more quickly than possible! How odd he thought..this doesn’t feel or seem normal. This startled him and he almost dropped the mirror. He handed it back to Duskin. “What are Faire”?
In the distance. Well out of normal human hearing range – Valeriana smiled broadly. She spoke to herself saying. “Jhost.. a perfect name!” “This is a great sign” “I can’t wait to let Aeronica & the others know”. Valeriana almost blew her cover as she felt the magic and possibility of Hope starting to sift back into her soul.
Even further in the distance, on a hill enveloped by tall reedy grasses, 2 smoky snouts slowly emerged, sniffing, white teeth glistening. The dark wizened eyes of one of the owners of these long snouted creatures peered at the other; observing both the Faire – just a stones throw below them; and further in the distance the disguised fire of Duskin and Jhost. Both started grinning at each other; and just like that without a sound or whisper faded instantly into the enveloping shadows of night.
Published by Matt Ployhar (Thought Ops LLC) www.thoughtops.com
January 1, 2018
First (Web) Edition
Jhost (tm) Series, and The world called Hope is Copyright © 2018 and TM 2018 by Matt Ployhar. All content posted to page copyright ©2017-present, and intellectual property of Thoughtops.com/Matt Ployhar. All Rights Reserved. No use or reproduction of characters or artwork permitted. This story & book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. Do not use, edit, re-upload, or redistribute any content in any way. Visitors may view content belonging to the author and nothing more. Any use in any way is strictly forbidden. All of these works are not public domain, never have been, and never will be. Do not use, re-upload, edit, etc. any text, image, or character. Artwork of Jhost uploaded to artist's portfolios share these rights and reservations.Any similarity between persons alive or dead is purely coincidental.
Online published in the United States of America
First Printing, 2018
Jhost™ is a primary character from my original fantasy fiction novel. Jhost is navigating his way in a world called Hope - he does not recollect. The story of Jhost has been around since 2003 and is only now being unveiled summer of 2018.
This 2nd Part of Chapter One was posted/blogged on 1/1/2018