Dylan Sheppard

An Intangible Evil

I

"Some time ago, it was

In our land of turmoil and war

That the two kings of men whom had once fought as friends

Struck out in open hostility.

Unprovoked it was not,

For the men loved power in all its' glory.

They had come to the River of Ricto

To find a diamond in the rough.

A gem, they had heard, would bring them great power,

But instead it only brought misery and death.

For the power they never found,

Caused a feud among the men.

In their frustration of lacking the power

They blamed one another

And fought to the death for all.

The king of Ayinma, Faylir was his name,

Destroyed his long time friend,

And now bitter enemy.

In the midst of all Faylir's glory,

He stood victoriously against death,

But the tale of victory he did not tell,

Whilst he lay dying upon the field.

And in return, he stays in death,

To hunt for the power he never found,

And haunt all those who would strike

Against him."

"But it is only a myth!" contested the governor.

"Yes, but which part?" asked the poet. A long time had elapsed since there existed a court in which kings laughed. Thus the poet, a jester in his heart, went about spreading the tale of their ruin in hopes of reviving courage in one noble soul to find the power, and claim the throne as a proven king. Upon accomplishment of this valiant quest, the jester would be called upon by the new king to once again fill the halls with laughter, rather than turmoil.

"It is all a myth!" shouted one of the townsfolk, agitated by the man's incredulous tale.

"Yes!" agreed the mob which had gathered to hear the tale. While they had enjoyed the tale, they now followed in suit of the prior man's agitation.

"If it is only a myth," began the jester, "then why have you all come and listened?"

"Enough of your babbling and riddling questions!" stormed the governor, "Leave this town at once and rid us of your turmoil."

With this statement, the mob dispersed, leaving the jester standing upon the gallows with a look of distaste. "Oh well," he muttered, "on to the next city I suppose." As he lifted his head from his sulking, however, he beheld a small boy staring up at him with a look of utmost admiration.

"I believe you," he said quietly. The jester did not hear him and continued packing up his props which he had strewn about him on the wooden platform. The boy repeated his statement, slightly louder. The jester looked up at the boy again.

"Well children are gullible; I would not expect you to understand your actions. Courageous your actions may be at heart, you are only trying to contradict your elders."

"No!" the boy said quickly, "I believe you because I know it's true somewhere inside me."

"Well then," the jester responded, trying to rid himself of the foolish child, "at least I convinced one person in this forsaken town. Now run along and go play with your friends." Assuming the boy had left, the jester continued putting things into his knapsack, but when he turned around to step off the gallows, the child still stood in the spot he had last been.

"Did you not hear me?" the jester inquired, "I said go on. I need not a child for a companion. You should go enjoy the rest of today with your friends." Hoping the boy would leave now, the jester surveyed his surroundings, attempting to determine which direction to go. The city surrounded him in all directions, and when he had decided to head north, the boy suddenly responded to his statement.

"I don't have any," the boy whispered quietly.

"No friends eh…? What about siblings, you have those don't you?"

The boy shook his head sadly, and finished the thought the jester nearly asked, "I don't have a family either. Nobody," he paused, retracting a few tears, "knows where they went."

The jester looked deeply moved by the boy's story, but then a thought struck him. What if it was a fake story, an attempt to make some pity money for his family? "So then how do you get around here, where do you get food and clothing?" At once he almost regretted the question, as it brought tears to the boy's eyes, causing him to sniffle even more.

"There are some people in this town," began the boy talking much more advanced than any the jester had seen his age, "that are more generous than others. They let me stay in their houses," he gulped, "but clearly they don't want me as a permanent resident."

"That's awful," the jester said louder than he intended. To follow what had appeared to be sympathy, the jester asked, "So what do you want from me?"

"I just want a dad," the boy replied emotionally.

"Well now," the jester began, ignoring what he knew the boy had meant, "I'm sure there is somebody in this town that feels the same way I do about you. There has to be somebody that can take you…" he stopped projecting his reality of falsehood upon the boy, knowing that his incessant chattering sounded ridiculously childish.

"No!" interjected the boy, "I want you to be my d..daa...dad."

"I...I...I'm sorry," continued the jester, now stuttering himself, "I just can't do that. I have places to go, people to try to convince, and I can not have you hindering my advancement." The boy seemed close to tears again, after choking them back following his proposal. "However," the jester continued, "I suppose you could tag along with me for a while. Maybe someone will be more willing in another town." The boy smiled for the first time the jester had seen, for this seemed as much a yes as he was going to get.