Friday, April 15, 2011

FICTION:The Hunter and the Monster by E.D Martin

Lord Maximilian scowled at the mighty hunter. "You know our laws."

"But I know where its lair is. If I could just take a small band with me, I could prove it. Then we could form a plan and with a large army, we could destroy the monster once and for all."

"It is too dangerous. If the monster is aggravated, it will attack us all."

"But if we destroy the monster-"

"No," roared Maximilian. "I forbid you."

Crius turned and left the council chambers. Outside he was met by his good friend Albacore.

"So, are we going to slay the monster?"

"No." Crius shook his head. "Maximilian forbid it."

Albacore grinned. "That's never stopped you before."


"And what's the worst that could happen?"

"Imprisonment? Banishment? I'd bring the wrath of the monster down upon us all?"

"The wrath of the monster already falls upon us. Unexpectedly it invades our lands and kills our innocent brothers and sisters, while at other times it leaves us in peace. It's impossible to understand its motives, and foolish to think it rational."

"True, but to anger it further...."

"Think what would happen if you succeeded. Glory, riches, not to mention we would be able to live in peace. You would be a hero, Crius."Crius thought for a moment. "You're right, Albacore. We'll meet tonight to devise a plan. Let the others know."

That night, Crius, Albacore, and four others grouped in a darkened corner, away from the usual haunts of their fellow citizens.

Crius addressed them. "Brothers, for too long we've been at the mercy of that foul monster. I propose we end its reign, once and for all."

"But didn't Maximilian forbid you from tracking it?" asked Jermaine. "We put ourselves in jeopardy just by meeting with you."

"Yes, he did, but the survival of our people is at stake. That monster is unpredictable, and we shouldn't have to live in fear. We who can do something, must!"

"Yes, but-"

"Halt!" shouted a voice.

Crius looked up. He was boxed in by guards, with Lord Maximilian in the center.

"Crius, you will destroy our way of life, our careful balance, if you continue. You were warned. By the power given me by our people, I hereby banish you from our lands, effective immediately!"

"But.... This is a mistake. You know it is. I can destroy the monster."

"You are dead to us, Crius," said Maximilian. "Do what you will, and may the gods have mercy on your soul."

"Crius, you must repent," begged Jermaine. "If you are banished from our lands, you will be unable to receive the death rituals that will lead you to the afterlife."

"No," said Crius. "I would give up my soul to rid us of the monster."

"Let me go with." Albacore stepped to his friend's side. "Together, we can slay the monster."

"I appreciate it, my friend, but you have a family here. This is something I must do alone." And with that, Crius pushed past the crowd and headed away from all that he knew and loved.

Crius knew that the trip would be long, filled with peril, but he pushed onward. He crossed the wastelands, sticking to any cover he could find in order to avoid the predators that lived there: spiders that rivaled him in size, worms that could swallow him whole. When he reached the edge, he stopped and gazed around. He'd never been this far before. Ahead of him stretched a flat massive expanse, a land surrounded by high mountains that stretched to the heavens.

He took a final look back towards his homeland. "By all the gods, by my fathers and their fathers before them, I swear on all that is sacred that I will find the monster and slay it, or die trying." And with that, he continued his journey.

For days and days he crossed the flatlands. Several times he saw a fierce beast, four-legged and furry, swinging a long hair-covered tail. Each time he lay down and curled up as best he could, praying that it wouldn't notice him. Each time the beast passed.

Once he saw the monster. Although it was a fair distance from him, the earth still shook in its wake. The monster roamed the prairie freely, it seemed. Crius chuckled to himself. Of course it did; there were no predators big enough to challenge it. Then he paused, thinking. Perhaps the monster had grown complacent. Could he use that to his advantage?

Finally he reached the distant mountains, flat sheets that would take effort to climb. In a gap between them he could see another vast expanse stretching before him, and in the distance, on a large flat-topped mountain, he could make out the monster, fast asleep. Now was his chance.

Crius moved as quickly as he could to the monster’s lair. The mountain edge was slippery, but he held on tight and finally made it to the top. Once there he stopped and gazed down at the monster. It was hideous, with pale skin and limbs - too few, in Crius’s opinion - splayed in every direction. He wished that Albacore was beside him, to lend him strength. Now that he was this close, he realized that his skills, any weapon he might use, would be ineffective against a creature this large. He would need his people’s help.The monster stirred. There was nowhere to hide, so quickly Crius curled into a ball, hoping that the beast would overlook him. The monster sat up and with a yell squashed the poor little rolypoly pillbug flat.

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