"The Dreams of the Common People" (click)
This is a serious WIP. I have 25,000 words written with an additional 40,000 words of notes & research information.
I hate "Prologues" but this story demands one: For three-hundred years, no one has ventured into the remote and long forgotten corner of the Earth known as: The Common Land. The inhabitants of this lonely place have never given thought to crossing over the rugged mountain pass into the surrounding lands. They had no reason to, until the Hooded Accusers arrive. The Common Landers must now await their rescue from a boy named, Darby and Achilles, (a tortoise with three legs) that up to now, they have only had Common Dreams about.
These Common People have lived out their lives on a cultural island separate from the other people-groups of the known world.
In a previous enlightened time, this enchanted place functioned well and the people prospered. The order of things in the beginning, both seen and unseen, allowed good and evil to co-exist. Neither force dominated the other because of a truce established between the Maker of Good and the Demon One.
The atmosphere of this balanced society changed one day when a powerful, brutal, and arrogant enemy, known as The Hooded Accusers, (the spoilers of dreams) galloped across the impassable borders into the Common Land. They brought with them an invisible and oppressive force, which soon turned the peaceful Common People into tormented men and women, who began plotting against each other, using their emotional powers of envy, jealousy and deceit. The Common Land children were spared from this unending season of evil until they reached an age of accountability.
The grieving populace endured constant visions and voices of suffering in what became an infected, malignant and decaying world.
The peace loving Common Landers had long ago given up their thoughts and hopes of escaping from their brutal emotional captivity and mental persecution of the Demon One, except when they dreamed, they were given hope that one day, a boy, "The Sacred One" would rescue them from their captivity. This is that boy's story.
His name is Darby. His best friend is a 300 year old three-legged tortoise named Achilles.
Short (out of context- rough draft -unformatted) excerpt #1:
The voice was a combination of everyone the tortoise had ever known, it was full of: nuances, dialects, tones, patterns, rythms and expressions. Darbey was so mesmerized, he thought he could be content to just listen to the tortoise’s voice forever and never move again from this spot. Finally he was able to focus on a single sentence that Achilles had been repeating.
“Darbey, you are the one I have been waiting for my whole life, you are the Hero who will realize the dreams of the Common People.”
He was the hero, but he didn’t feel any different but he somehow knew he had everything he would need to began his journey.
He asked Achilles. “Where are we going and how do we get there?”
Achilles answered. “Only you know the answers, you have to ride on my back and the mark of the arrow will to guide you to that place. On our way there I will tell you everything you need to know about the challenges that lay ahead.
Darbey propped open the habitats wide gate, saddled up Achilles, tied the leather bag to one side of the custom made saddle along with a bag of food for both of them. He mounted his ride and the two began their trip to the far country where danger awaited them. He held the shell up to his ear and began to learn.
“You are the chosen one, no Hero before you has even imagined the dangers you will face; if you decide not to face them, I will understand and I will continue to live, but if you choose to fight the forces of evil and win, then I will die. The choice is yours to make, it is a life or death decision and you must choose wisely, and you should know, there is only one right choice. Remember what the journal said of the the true Hero to come, He will fear no evil, and that will be his protection.”
Do not be sad, the cost is always high when someone frees his people from bondage.
They arrived after more than several long days of
travel. Achilles had moved much faster than Darbey had ever seen, requiring him at times to hold on tightly to the saddle horn to keep from falling off. Darbey dismounted his and untied the leather bag. A great hero would easily choose to go into battle not knowing the dangers and not fearing his own possible death but Darbey was still not sure about the correct choice.
He had been given the Hero title but he felt he was still the same young child inside. He tried to rationalize that the 25 journals were just a myth and this was just simple magic and maybe he was still just dreaming of becoming a hero.
—END FIRST EXCERPT—
Short (out of context- rough draft -unformatted) excerpt #2:
If you form an alliance with us we would be willing to give you great amounts of gold and silver for your knowledge as well as the power to rule over parts of our kingdom. There are secret oaths, pledges and once lost knowledge we will reveal to you that will give you the power to conjure up anything you wish at will. You will have control over all common men and will be allowed to worship at the altar of our most high king. (end chapter 4)
Darby looked into the dark shadows of her soul and then into her death filled eyes and began to speak not to the idealized external self but to the real person inside. Darby cast an odd light onto the woman; similar to the sun shining on a shadow.
He spoke with great authority. “I have quietly listened to your words and have looked into your darkness, but I refuse to listen to its droning sound.
It is now your turn to listen to my voice. I speak words directly to your dark spirit. What I say, hopefully will reveal some bits of truth for you to ponder.
I can recognize your darkness and I command your inner spirit of noise to be still. I command my words to go down deep inside you so I may transmit only feelings to you. I will speak of familiar things but in a way you have never heard before. There will be no tricks or subterfuge within my language on this day. I am unashamed to seek the freedom of my people, even if I must die. I have forgotten all that came behind me in my journey here. I focus now only on what is ahead of me. My only purpose is to draw the good ones from the evil ones.
She listened to the boy speak, she had no choice.
“I have traveled far from where I was born in the wounded Common Land. A divine light has continued to burn in obscurity throughout the ages. It contains the deeds and sufferings of my people
I am not a prophet nor can I dream and see what lies in the future but I do have the ability to see around obstacles in my path - but not of the solid kind. You are as a sightless man. Without light, there is no need for an eye and pure light will never dawn on your darkness. Unknown to your kingdom, there is a source of light, not that far away, that can rescue you. You have unknowingly failed to see you have been caught up in the futile digging of dry wells.
As you can see, you have soberly discovered with your savage attacks, that I did not surrender to your soldiers, even though there were many things that could harm me and cause me to stumble. But it is when I stumble that I find treasure. I am blinded to your evil and so I can easily see into your darkness with clear sightedness. You have failed to understand the hidden nuances of the messages written on the walls around you. The words, written in the blood of the common people, were written in such large letters that you failed to see them and read them.
I have seen things that you never imagined in your worst nightmares. This place you inhabit, unaware to you, is haunted by archetypes of various sorts of evil and they have, unknown to you, forced you into a continual confrontation with all things good and pure. Zealots, all of you, are following and being absorbed by a counterfeit truth. You appease and worship with abandon someone you call Asmodius, whose real name is so vile, it has never been spoken out loud. You are this demons advocate.
The woman let out a out painful laugh as in disbelief
as Darby continued speaking. “This ancient serpent you revere is the invisible and faceless king of the demons and master of the blinding light of lies. He commands the evil born out of the will of fallen angels. I consider him to be the only true enemy of the common people. I am here to let you hear the truth, see the truth and know the truth.
An anonymous voice called out from the shadows. “Small boy, who is noisy with words, I am not afraid to fight you to the death. I fear not you or your invisible army. You have weaknesses of your own that you are not aware of. You are more similar to us than you realize.
Darby called out to the man. “You sir, a voice without a name, are a coward. You will not show your face to me, a young unarmed boy. There is a difference between us, so simple, you cannot see it. You eat short rice and I eat long rice. The analogy was understood by the many listening in the shadows. The weave and pattern of your life and culture is radically different from mine. We live in broken worlds of opposite extremes. Unknowingly, you have been squeezed into an evil and legalistic shaped mold. Your heart is a hollow shaped cavity. You are my enemy only because our principle beliefs conflict with one another. You do everything that the creator of this world hates. Your words are empty of any light, residing in the dark. You love the very things that enslave you. You have a supreme confidence in your own flesh.”
A different voice spoke. My name is Phasian. I am commander of the farthest reaches of the place you has come from. Of all those assembled here, I have traveled over the land, the farthest distance to be here. From up high, I have observed nothing that would cause you to come here today. You should be careful of those that you falsely accuse, there may be things in your past that will cause your death.
Darby recognized the soldier’s name from the journal. This was a powerful figure, who traveled only by the air, and was full of deceptions and misdirection’s.
Darby looked towards the dome and saw the floating source of the voice and shouted, “Your own atrocities are hidden along the ancient paths you travel but soon, very soon, they will come to light. Without redemption, the walls between us will remain as high and impassable as the highest snow covered mountain range. Those who live in your shadow, know not courage. They may follow you into battle, but they engage in a struggle which they or you cannot win. Even the least of you know the end of your kingdom was prophesized 100’s of years ago. My stature as a small one, in the presence of giants, does not depress my ability to overcome these same giants. But this does not come my way freely. I still have to work, with mind as well as body, and suffer, and hope, and possibly die for what I believe in. I acknowledge my weaknesses for I am a man, void of perfection, but all my bents and faults serve one purpose, because I, unlike you, are a redeemed man.
A hooded figure, whose face was hidden stepped forward and addressed Darby in an uncivilized manner.
The giant’s hands gestured wildly into the empty air while he stomped his oversized iron boots.
He spat at the boy and bellowed out. “My name is Belion, this great castle has always been my home, I know nothing different than this. I do not exist as an individual in this world and for this reason, I blindly follow blindly my master, to the death. To me you are the arrogant one. What makes you superior us. Is the vessel that pumps your blood, so much more larger than mine? Do you breathe in more air than I?
The giant belched. “Can you lift boulders above your head, ten times your weight.”
The giant laughed as spittle flew towards Darby. “I am sure my broadsword weighs twice as much as you.”
Darby paused, before responding to Belions many questions. “A small mud and straw hut is greater than your castle.”
“The vessel, known as the heart, is the same size in all men yet it contains many different things. Dragons and angels, poisonous beasts and the morning light, found and lost treasure, lions and lambs. Noise and silence, and sadness and joy. Faith and doubt live together as well, for doubt is but a seed which leads to faith in the creator. Of these many things, which do you feed and which do you starve?”
Belion responded to the boys comments. “I have read your journal at length, I am not a stupid man as you presume. You are the one who is a fool. A fool bound by your own immaturity and ignorance.”
Darby replied. “If you think me to be a fool, why then can I not think you to be a fool - also? He who is shackled by the chains of death, can at any point call out for the key of truth that can free him forever and deliver a sudden relief from his misery. To deny this truth is the ultimate ignorance or immaturity.
Belion spoke in an even voice. Your own people follow rules and have duties and have their own morality tales, as well as guilt when they do wrong. How different are these Common People from my people?
Darby did not have to think of an adequate answer.
“All of those things you speak of are true except for one thing. These things have given us a glimpse of a country where they do not dwell on these things, instead they seek a goodness that will someday be reflected in their lives. Just as a mirror reflects light, it fails to reflect darkness, because darkness is but the absence of light. In the end, the common people they will not even look upon this goodness alone for they will be too busy looking at the source from which it comes. It will be on that day that they exchange their rags for white robes.”
Belion stepped back into the shadows without responding.
A single rolling laughter erupted from behind a pillar and filled the great hall.
Darbey asked, “And may I ask the hidden one why he laughs?”
The voice from the dark responded. “I personally have killed scores of your people, and while they are dying, I stand over them and mock them and laugh loudly so my taunting sounds are the last they hear as they pass into nothingness.
Darbys voice became solemn. “You do not know that to laugh at the death of a single Common Person - is to risk appearing the fool. You abhor an honest man who would weep for the dead and risk appearing sentimental. A courageous man loves, not kills another man, and risks not being loved in return. To live on this part of earth every day is to risk dying, to believe in something good, is to risk failure.
The hidden voice was not deterred with the answer and became harsher and mocking in tone towards the young man standing in the light.
“I hate the light, that is why I will not expose myself to you. I avoid the light of the moon as well. I kill only at night and I delight with each death. I prefer the dark, it has been good to me and has always been good to my ancestors. What weak words of beguilement do you have for me now. The ugly laughter began again.
Darby waited for it to die away. “You hate the sun and moon because you secretly fear being watched when you make an innocent kill. Somewhere inside you, hidden deep beyond where your laughter is born, you know what you do is vile. This is why you prefer the darkness and sleep in an abode deep within the secret caves of this castle.
The laugh turned to a groan and as it died away, a heavily armed man stepped forward. His protective garments radiated light, signifying a minion of high rank.
—END EXCERPT #2—
. . . REMEMBER -THIS WILL BE YOUR ONLY WARNING:
The Common Land is only one of eight lands that encircle the Hub of ETERNAL TRANQUILITY - ruled by the ancient forefathers of ACHILLES! There are many more tales of woe to be told, many more songs to be sung and many more prayers to be said for those that will be taken hostage, at some point in their lives by the RECKLESS Demon One.