‘Pin-Pointed’ – A Short Story
This short story is also an excerpt from a future book. However haunting it may be, I hope you enjoy this foray into darker fantasy.
A cold, moonlit sky rains snowflakes in the electrically-charged air. The frigid breeze permeates the pines which stand like mighty green stakes hammered into the frozen ground. “The Frost Ninjas have begun their pursuit,” Roy bitterly refrained, bag-in-hand. “They want my Aurora, the Royal Knights, and will not retreat until it is retrieved.” The lad was on the run, but paused momentarily to breathe.
He could not stop for long, since he knew the Ninjas know not fear. Only the glory of absolute conquest do they obnoxiously cheer. The Ice King has made certain that his Ranks are strong. In their training, Roy recalled in flash-step (as a Ninja he once was), the Royal Knights would navigate the Regretful Wilderness as a fiercely-disciplined group.
“They were my comrades, my friends,” Roy lamented, repentant. “But everything changed when It came. The Aurora reveals the inner luster of man and beast,” he wept. “It is the compass that guides our people westward from the East.”
“It is a prismatic light that sets ablaze in color the speckled, starry, and otherwise shadowy night.” Roy remembered the Equinox, the night when cosmic energy radiated through his veins. “The Aurora shows what we are really like behind our skin-deep desire to please others.”
A gaseous curtain of fog rippled downhill. “That thin veil is all I that I need to shield myself from fright,” Roy felt a second wind overtake him. “No more will I be haunted by that light!” he yelled to the green-and-violet clouds above.
It was the night when the Colors of the Equinox sought refuge within Roy’s body. Two years had passed since the Aurora had thawed Roy’s withered core and imbued him with new life.
“I was loved by those closest to me until that night,” he cried as he remembered them. “Then, tragedy struck almost two winters ago to this day. I miserably failed a simple training exercise. If I had not collapsed into that icy-narrow crevasse, I would be a Royal Knight – a Frost Ninja”.
“Unfortunately,” Roy recalled, “a glacier and I became one, its icicles crashed from the walls until I became a frozen husk, an empty shell. At least a week passed before they found me.”
“The Shamans approached timorously from the mountains. ‘Is this the boy that went missing?’ I heard dazedly, from almost outside of myself.” Noah tried to remember again, “The Shaman King must have known me, since he summoned my loved ones from our village on the Plains.”
“‘Is this our boy?’ they teared from fear of the inevitable.
‘Yes’, the Shaman King replied.
‘He’s almost gone, but we have one more chance to bring him back to us,’” Roy bitterly refrained. “Two years ago, almost to this very day, the Shaman uttered the unthinkable – Forced Rebirth.”
“The Colors of the Equinox were upon us on this grim anniversary, when I was revived from the dead. I did not ask for respite from desertion, but the Aurora bestowed upon me Its grace. Only this could return me to my place, or so I thought…”
A second wind, a renewed quintessence, differentiated me from my comrades,” Roy gathered his conscience in memory. “I saw Its luster so clearly that Ordinary turned Dark. The Aurora had left its mark.”
Forced Rebirth is a forbidden art, often unsuccessful at that. It often corrupts those it saves. “I must have been the odd man out,” Roy clenched a stone from the tundra below, “because I was not corrupted. Every bond I share, in my stead, erodes beyond repair.”
“For this reason I am wanted, hunted. I will live my life on the run until I earn my keep. My life is borrowed time, so I cannot sleep.”
Roy said with eerie bliss, “The Aurora is my compass, guiding the second life to which I was unduly appointed. It is only a matter of time until I find my True North, my compass anointed – ‘Pin-Pointed.’”
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