Short Story 6

I originally wrote this piece for a competition on Scribophile, I got a few good reviews which I have been reading over and over to refresh the original piece. I am yet to place it back on to the original platform due to not enough Karma points. So for now I will place it here for you all to enjoy.

The Scribe

It hasn’t always been this way a world dark and void of life, where oxygen is stale. Life wasn’t the way it is now; a desolate wasteland of cardboard boxes stacked upon each other in a garage. There was a time where I would travel; the sun shone bright, a heat that soothed the soul. Trees lined the path we journeyed, where birds would nest. Their song would warble glorious melodies. Days spent by the ocean’s cliff’s, listening to the echoing of waves crashing upon the bottom. A sound that still reverberated from a shell that lay near – a treasure from an adventure. Fields of grass were always a favorite, lying deep in the paddock; the smell of freshly cut grass and aromatic flora arousing my senses. But alas, those days are gone – distant memories. 

You see, I was the hero and the villain. A creator of lands, master of all things love, and war, controller of dragons and beasts. No human dared cross me. Highly favored by the most beautiful human, no-one dared cross me. The adventures we shared – flying on the backs of dragons, chasing the sun with lovers, and the one time we escaped the cold and damp dungeon, deep inside the Decapion’s Castle. Oh, the fun we had; I was blessed to have her in my life. Her parent’s lovers of Hindu mythology named her Chandra; to me, she was the moon.

Oh, please forgive me. How rude of me, I hadn’t noticed you there; I forgot how dark it is here. Who am I, you ask? I am Sebastion I am the tool you use to carve out your fantasies.  Bring me out of the darkness of this forgotten box; let your eyes feast upon my beauty. I am hand-crafted by a woodturner who made me look like my great ancestors. The gorgeous dip pens of old; I am a fountain pen. I was, created from, the burl of a black cherry tree. I believe I am the last remaining piece native to our region. My ribbon swirls are unique; the quarter-sawn cut created a dance of interlocked grained dark and light spirals. My creator finished my look with a combination of gold and gunmetal that ran right down to my sharp tip. Lines run horizontally across the start of my barrel. A ribbed grip that ebbs and flows into a smooth finish. My nib while; sharp-edged has just the right amount of flex for the writer. To create their world without their words bleeding out onto the paper under too much pressure. I am a gorgeous sight to see. But enough about me – oh, you want more?

My story did not start until my creator crafted me. But long before I was, shaped. I was a part of a tree; some would say I was the tree. But that is not the truth, see the tree I like to say is a family. We are all parts of an ever-growing community. You have the trunk, limbs, branches, and leaves. Oh, how their beauty exhibits after the summer months are gone. And you have me, the burl. An ugly, deformed growth that clings onto the trunk of a tree. It is truly a work of art that man can create something as beautiful as me from such an ugly part of a tree. The region in which the black cherry tree grew was known for those who would practice dark arts, as a young burl I would watch as the witches of Alemon would sing and dance wildly as the moon wandered through the night sky. On many nights a pot would sit just above a fiery pit fleeting flames would trace the outer shape and disappear. Shadows cast by the fire would bounce across wart ridden faces. Not every woman that came to the meetings had facial features containing more excrescence than an American toad. Some of the witches, their beauty was beyond words. 

I mentioned before I was young when I first encountered these fascinating people. Their conjurations, now lost from my memories, but the dances remain. Our fruits carefully pruned, the trees surrounding their campground well maintained, we were well cared for by the coven, unlike those poor rabbits who liked to play along the trunks. Once caught, they were skinned and boiled alive. I do remember when the witch trials of Salem started to affect the women of this coven. Their large gatherings dwindled, worried cries and protection chants would reign over the meetings. Leaks of betrayals, surfaced as members turned on each other to avoid the tower of flames that engulfed those caught. Those days were hard on us all we watched on, as our world changed. 

When we were nearing our hundredth birthday, a war broke out between the remaining Alemon witches and those of the nearby town. The sanctuary had been stumbled upon by a young child chasing a rabbit days before. Farmers with pitchforks, blacksmiths with axes, and men with swords bore down upon the grassy land. Curses flew through the air from both sides. Spells were bound and shot loosely through the battle area. A blast hit the trunk of my tree splintered wood sprayed from the force. A wound deep within. I still can see the blood-stained ground. The bodies slain from both sides the pain coursing through our vein and the deep red and orange sunset slowly fading as the last witch fell; a celebration cry from the town people rang through as the darkness of the night started to creep over.  

We survived the blast, but we were never the same again. No fruit grew, leaves were few and far between, and our trunk started leaning, more and more to the side as the tear increased. Years passed with the occasional hiker walking through we waited as the township expanded; trees that once flourished in the area cleared to make way for houses. Timber cut from the trees used for fires, building material, and craft.  I was lucky. A man picked me up out of a pile at the markets and took me. His wooden shed out the back became my new home.  The smell of burnt dust and sap filled the air. Dust particles floating like Autumn leaves before the season’s turn, glittered as rays of light bounced off of them through the window. 

Daylight and night passed over and over, the trees in view, of the window, cast their red, orange, brown, and yellow leaves to the ground, the shades of fall lining the earth’s floor as the trees merged into their winter survival mode. Tiny white mountains filled the branches where chipmunks and birds had sat weeks before. The heat from the sun, not enough to warm the floor, smoke fluttered up through the chimney attached to the main house. Embers glowing shooting out of the chute and throwing themselves into the cold breeze the occasional draft bringing deep and rich mellow tones with it an inviting and calming feeling, days grew shorter as the nights dragged on. Winter’s cold stare began to ease, White covered ground turned brown, puddles replaced the retreating snow, the local fauna returned to the trees, the high-pitched tones of the chipmunk returned as they played after their hibernation. After the flowers began to bloom, their colors, vibrant, splashing the rainbow across the bright green lawn. 

The man once again returned to the shed. Using a foot pedaled grinder and beautifully crafted hand tools, he molded and shaped my frame. Days would pass by as we worked together a friendship formed, his love for me grew more with every twist and turn. Watching him at work, he had a peaceful way with his movement the air filled with the sounds of his tools scraping, grinding and brushing, with the occasional smile when he perfected what he wanted to achieve. His brow always pointed as he focused on me, his hair a peppered mix of black, white and gray, and the hands that held me marked with freckles and lines. But nothing compared to his eyes. Hazel with a splash of vibrant red, the kind you would find in the leaves of the Scarlet Oaktree. One day he slipped and stumbled while using a wood carving knife, slicing his thumb. Blood seeped from the wound. Dripping onto my body and into my veins, that my friend is how I was born. 

Once the blood entered my veins, an electric explosion happened within. A sparkling surge volted within when the liquid mixed with the magic residue left from the witches’ enchantment, creating life. But that isn’t all I am or what I can do. When my masters write with me, I transform the world with their words. Kind of a sword dressed as a pen using magical ink to take you on any adventure you can dream. Where we; can escape the bonds of this Earth anywhere and anytime. To journey to the lands, my owners have created. Soon I was passed on to a little girl, the grand-daughter of my creator. He had made me for her to write out her imaginative stories she would tell him on her visits. Oh, how I long for the days past, where Chandra and I would venture to many different writing spots. The headlands that, overlooked the light and dark-colored ocean below with waves crashing against the rock cliff. The long and winding bike rides through the forest-lined paths only to stop for another story in the clearings. The basket attached to the handlebars would be where I would relax waiting for the next adventure, while Chandra wore dresses and hats that would match her feelings for that day.

I know those days are over. My moon has sailed on to her next adventure. Even in the darkness of this left behind scraped filled cardboard box, my friend, I have hope. I hope that you the spitting image of the girl I once knew. The grand-daughter will follow in her footsteps and release me from this forgotten pile of memories. Let us travel, let us search for new lands within your mind, and I will show you a world in which you are the creator and I, my lady I am your magical scribe.  

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