Quick Author's Note: Well, I really didn't mean for the first chapter to be this short, but the last line just seemed like a good way to wrap it up, and this first part is more of a prologue to the story than anything . . . so, I decided to end it here. (Well, that and I actually couldn't think of anything to write that wouldn't end up dragging on too long, or, well, anything at all *laughs*.)

This was written for a contests of sorts (no prize, though) that Centi (centi the yaoi hime), is doing . . . so the first part is actually the writing posted for that as a sort of prompt. You'll be able to tell when my writing starts, for example, there's a distinct change in tense . . . . Anyway, happy reading.

Oh, and Centi, I hope you don't mind that I proofread the part of the writing that is yours and modified it a bit to make more sense. If you do I can easily change it back to your original text, just let me know.

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The waves crash along the lake shore fluidly, rhythmically. Their soft hush creates a whisper, carried by the wind's invisible, slender fingers. A breeze brushes by me, placing delicate kisses along bared arms and lacing through free-flowing, golden tendrils of hair. The voice of the waves is quiet, one only I can hear. The language is strange, foreign, ancient. Though the words are not of a language I know, but instead a long forgotten one, it seems I can grasp what they are saying just by allowing them to pass through me. They call to me . . . drawing me dangerously close to a rocky shore two-hundred feet below me.

The wind shifts, growing slightly more violent and now slapping my face with gusts of air, warning me of some unknown threat. I ignore it, ignore the burning of my cheeks in the cold. Instead I revel in the unending beauty that surrounds me. The once calm waves are churning, one wave battling another until they finally come smashing together in a symphonic cymbal crash.

I listen to the orchestra of sounds nature creates awhile before I'm drawn back into the trance. The phantom voices return, without faces, without words. They transcend words. I had been part of them, and they me, for centuries. This sea, it was my home . . . where I belonged. In essence it was me . . . but all that changed so long ago in a mere instant. My fond curiosity of the world around me saw to that. In a few moments of heartache and pain, my destiny had come crashing down around me and had destroyed all that I once lived for. Something new remained and my definition of life was reinterpreted completely . . . all because of one mortal boy and the power he held deep within his heart.

The Way of the Lost

Chapter One - The Making of the God-Waif

"Ai sí lestrindthe
D'lu re draina steyvë,
Yo lan dranya lorrain.
Dai no relai zo nayramindir
Solistí fremn dy rin dolesti.
Solemnë di no losten
Ai solen."

The lovely voice died out softly, it's cadence carried to it's death by the gentle breeze. A young boy looked up at his mother, wondering why the soft melody ended. He tugged on the silk sleeve of her fine dress, asking his question with stormy, grey eyes. His eyes were like the soul of the sea itself, each foamy wave reflected there.

The young woman smiled down at him, squeezing his shoulder reassuringly and trying to hide the melancholy notes in her tone, "It is time, my son. We leave our world to find one much greater, where we can live forever without the interruption of mortals and all their troubles." Her smile was rather forced as her eyes flickered upon the land that had been her home for centuries, "It will be a good life, young one. Better than what we know now . . . ."

The boy smiled back at his mother, looking the part of a faerie in his boyish androgyny. Golden waves of hair framed his face, the bangs falling loose to brush his shoulders while the back was held aloft in a vibrant ponytail. His grey eyes were wide and curious, taking in the world around him. Though he was older than most mortals, he was young to his people and retained all the innocence of a human child.

He let go of his mother's hand when he saw the great boat, gasping in awe. It was a treasure fit for any king or emperor from bow to stern. Minute gold arabesque caressed expensive wood in the form of vines and other delicate designs. Everything was detailed to perfection, to the smallest degree. Nothing was forgotten by whatever master craftsman had shaped this ship. It was worth a king's ransom and far more. The boy's eyes widened as the boat's size grew the closer they came to it. He was finally able to discern its full size, realizing that it easily dwarfed any two human cities. In all his life he'd never been exposed to such a blatant display of wealth and it struck him quite dumb. His hands itched to touch it, to feel the shining glory that dazzled his eyes.

His mother did not have to urge him onto the great vessel, his curiosity pushing him forward with more insistence than her reassuring hand upon his back could have ever given. He explored the boat under her watchful eye, his hands reaching out to touch everything, his keen memory imprinting the sights, the sounds, the smells, tastes, and impressions of the activity around him. It was with boyish delight, expressed in the high-pitched giggles of a youth's timbre, that he made his observations.

His mother pulled him backwards with a simple demand as the boat jerked, men releasing the thick ropes that linked it to the shore, "Alanin, sit still!" Her voice was firm, impassive as the gaze she fixed upon the horizon, and allowed for no argument.

Still, the mandate she gave him was harsh for one with the body of such youthful childhood. He had energy in his limbs, energy in his mind, energy in the very blood that rushed through his veins! He was a whirlwind of energy, and holding it back was like trying to bar all the might of a hurricane. It was not long before he began to fidget, longing to slip to the edge of the sleek ship and look at the waters beneath them. It was a lure every bit as inevitable as the call of a siren, and Alanin was every bit as vulnerable as any mortal who met his death on the rocks of the singing beauties' isle domain.

So it was that he moved silently, with an agility borne of time, escaping his mother's notice. He smiled at her preoccupation, knowing that she became easily absorbed and distracted when there was something new to be seen. It was a trait that he had inherited from her, and it was that very characteristic that drove him to mischief. A few swift strides, his feet barely whispering along the varnished boards of the floor, and he stood at the stern of the ship. Behind him he watched as his homeland began to fade away, the last thing of familiarity to the young boy.

But he did not mourn, for, as all children, he possessed the queer sort of courage born from insatiable curiosity. He was able to ignore the pang of homesickness in favor of his appetite to know how, what, and why -the answers to so many questions! Right now he was occupied watching the white foam that crested the wake made by the large boat.

He soon found that if he climbed up on top of the railing his view of the splendor below him was enhanced. He had no trouble balancing, helped along by the lack of fear that was characteristic in childish naivety. So it was that the accident caught him quite off guard and, unprepared to deal with it, he was pitched forward quite soundly into the arms of the water he'd been watching with unconcealed admiration only moments before. It had only been a small twitch of the ship, but enough to tumble his somewhat skeptical balance. In his surprise his small mouth was a perfect imitation of the letter "O," as it filled with water when he was dunked beneath the surface.

He emerged a few moments later, spitting what liquid hadn't invaded his lungs back into the endless body of water he floated in. But he was too busy learning how to swim, and then experimenting with his newfound abilities, to notice as the ship slowly drifted out of hailing distance. No one had noticed the near drowning of one poor boy. It was far too late to call the ship back by the time he looked up and, only in the blunt reality of his situation, did the boy began to, for the first time in his life, become acquainted with the bitter mistress of despair.

His little heart sunk as he watched the little that remained of his family sail off into the horizon. He didn't begin to cry until he was truly alone, when even the sun had abandoned him to his fate, as if to say he deserved whatever punishment fate dealt him. He was a miserable creature, bobbing in the waters of the salt-water lake looking out into the open sea the glorious ark had journeyed to. He was almost overcome with the mad desire to swim after it, calling out until his throat was raw and voice sore, screaming for them to come back. His impulses were fleeting, though, as he gazed into the full moon.

The gentle night goddess had a calming effect upon the boy, even has he noted her pallid light embraced him with a tangible and infinite sadness. She emphasized with him, he somehow knew that to be true. She would never abandon him as her brother, who ruled the expanse of the skies during the before twilight, had done. He wiped away his drying tears, only then noticing how his body trembled in the cold waters. He knew he had to get back to the mainland, even as he didn't know why. Not knowing what else to do, but driven by instinctual desperation, the blonde youth began the long swim back to the familiar banks. His strokes were clumsy, slowing him down more often than not, but he somehow managed to reach the shore, dragging himself onto the cold earth with the last of his strength. He fell asleep hugging himself, seeking warmth that seemed to be denied him.

It was to a new and yet familiar world that the boy awoke. He blinked sleepily, unable to think ill of the world around him nor comprehend possible dangers that might lurk behind every shadow. He was the very incarnation of innocence, a golden god-child of perfection no mortal could ever hope to even shadow. He smiled, slowly sitting up as the realization hit him. He was a god-child. In this world which had now become his own he was god. Alanin was as much a part of this wild land as it was a part of him, they needed each other symbiotically. He would play the role of the god tending to his own little Garden of Eden-the idea drew him, calling out to his sould, it was . . . just right, he couldn't put the feeling into words. He couldn't say how he knew this, he only knew that he did. A sense of purpose slowly awoke in the boy, promising to mature and flower into great magnificence in the coming years.

He rose to his feet, brushing the dirt off his clothes. Alanin winced as he realized that, short of washing, none of his efforts would restore his clothing to their former immaculate state. Then it struck him that the plight of his clothes was somewhat befitting. What good would pristine clothes do when he was to live in the dirt, the rain, and the grass? He shed his dirty shirt, feeling the soft breath of the wind upon bare skin. He sighed, reveling in the pure sensation, this was how things should be. He left his shoes and socks behind with his shirt, not caring what happened to them. After all, he had no real need for them now.

The world was his own to rule as he saw fit. For once in his life he was truly free. There was no one to tell him to do otherwise than how he saw fit. He was young enough that in his inexperience he had yet to realize the weight of the responsibility that came with his newfound lawlessness. He had yet to comprehend that without the ideas of another he must come up with his own. Yes, he was his own ruler, but he must also come up with his own values and his own laws for the life that he was to lead.

Those matters wouldn't even begin to form in his mind for quite some time, though. Instead he had his own survival to tend to, and only his intuition to rely upon. But it is amazing just how far intuition can take someone when desperation requires it . . . .