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The Sons of Thunder

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The Sons of Thunder

Imagine you had the power to move mountains, to divide a gushing river with a wave of the hand. Imagine you could see into the future and walk in the spirit realm, where all the secrets of life on Earth have been hidden—the cures for plagues, the unseen actions behind wars, and the reasons behind broken relationships. Imagine you could see the causes of people’s pain from visions or dreams. Imagine that all the leaders of the world had a spiritual counterpart that, if removed, would change the very course of leadership and history.All these themes are covered in the spiritual fantasy series, The Sons of Thunder.

The first book, The Son of Nepal, is about the inner conflicts of a young man who embarks on a difficult journey across China to find the Great Spirit. His challenging quest is rewarded with an almighty power, a thirst for knowledge, a greater mission, and an unusual friendship.

The second book, Let the Earth Tremble, will be out mid-summer. It’s set over a thousand years before The Son of Nepal.

The Great One has descended and demolished the city of Atlantis. The god of the temple, Poseidon, and a multitude of high-ranking spirits break free from their sculptures of worship to escape the Great One’s wrath. They flee to the great lands of the East where they endeavour to rebuild their mighty kingdom. As a result of their presence, wars break out in the mortal realm of ancient China.

Unbeknown to the people, a foreign spirit of famine, the Majabuta, who resides within a charm, is given as a gift to a peasant woman during the Qin Dynasty. The spirit conquers the whole of China in the spirit realm, granting a favourable advantage in war for the mortal king. The favour of the Majabuta rests with the Qin Dynasty, but there is a cost.

A little peasant girl befriends a sullen, unfriendly old man who sits all day and night under a paulownia tree in her village. Soon, however, she discovers that he is more than just some old man, and her journey towards greatness and enlightenment begins.

Copyright © J.J Sylvester 2016

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Book 1-The Son of Nepal-Prologue

 

“State your case, Aliqxis!”

“Master, you promised that you will keep my people from harm. You promised me!”

“And have I not spared your people for the sake of that which was promised?”

“Wicked people have increased in the land, and Teki will have the case he needs to chasten the lands of Asia. The good will pay for the deeds of the unjust—unless something is done.”

“What is it that you are asking of me, Aliqxis?”

“Send one of the two sons that you promised to me and my people a thousand years ago. Send him that they may restore balance, or Teki will destroy my beloved people.”

“You have asked much of me.”

“Forgive me, my Master.”

“I have weighed the heart of a youngling in the lands to the south, one with your blood flowing through him. He will be the one, but he is not yet ready.”

“Master, if nothing is done soon, we will lose them all: men, women, and our children. Will you forfeit all for the sake of one?”

“Very well, Aliqxis, I shall hasten his destiny. I shall go into the land and afflict the youngling with a burden for the sake of your people. He will become a man of great sorrow and pain, at your request.”

“Yes, Master, this is the way it has to be.”

 

 

 

It was a fair morning as usual. A woman stood in the river washing her clothes with her little boy. From the sides of her eyes, she caught the ambling movement of the old traveller, the same one who visited two years ago. He wore a hat so wide that it sheltered the basket he carried on his back.

“You again!” said the woman.

“Oh?” reciprocated a deep tone. The old traveller chuckled, “How is the boy treating you?”

“He’s getting on well. We were just washing our clothes together. He seems to enjoy helping me—don’t you, son?” The little boy nodded, and the old traveller closed in and laughed, extending his arm to ruffle the boy’s hair.

“See, I told you he would settle down.”

The woman stood on the balls of her feet and angled herself to peep over his shoulder. “So, what have you got in the basket?”

“Someone special. She’s here to meet your little one.”

“So that’s it, you have brought me another child.”

As he was about to remove the basket from his back, the old man paused, “A blind girl. You do not want her?”

“Oh no, no! I will take care of her and treat her as my very own. The poor thing, where did you find her?”

“On a roadside, far from here—abandoned, of course. Plucked this little flower up from the ground and threw her into the basket of beans. We’ve been travelling companions for many weeks now.”

The woman expressed a confused demeanour. “But she’s such a pretty child, isn’t she? Why would . . .” She extended her hands to embrace the child. “Just give her to me. Me and Johannan will take good care of her, won’t we, Johannan?” The little boy smiled and nodded with enthusiasm.

“He seems quite excited about having a new playmate.”

“What is the child’s name?” said the woman.

“I’ve grown accustomed to the name Ayushi.” The traveller kneeled down to take the girl out of the basket. “Say hello, little Ayushi. This woman will be taking care of you from now on.” Ayushi gripped onto his forearms and remained quiet. The traveller chuckled, “Err, perhaps she needs more time. The two children are quite the set, they have some kind of special bond. You may not understand this, but it was the will of the heavens to bring her here. You three belong together for some reason of fate.”

“The will of the heavens? I’ve never heard of such things before,” said the woman.

“Yes, as soon as I picked her up, the wind began to blow in the direction of this village. You have to see it to understand: the grass, the trees, everything bending and pointing in this direction. And the moment I got here, it stopped.”

The woman repaid him with her most delightful smile, “Well, I will raise them as my very own. You can be sure of that, old traveller.”

The man’s wide sedge hat tilted up towards the sky. “I know you long for a family, but these two children are very different; they will not be like brother and sister. I can sense it—it seems to be the will of the heavens.”

“Let’s get her out of the basket. Come, Johannan, come and introduce yourself to Ayushi.”

Johannan walked over and took hold of Ayushi’s hand, and they both giggled. The woman clasped her hands in admiration. “Wonderful! They like each other.”

The old traveller swivelled to face them and caressed his bearded chin. “Perhaps she doesn’t need much time at all.”

The nearby trees began to clatter; the rapid movements of the woman’s eyes exposed that she was surprised. “That’s a very strong gust of wind. We don’t get winds like that round here.”

“See! Did I not tell you?” The man pointed to the sky. “It is the will of the heavens. The sky is rejoicing that you are finally together. It could well be that the heavens have been waiting for this day to come.” He wagged his finger at her, “Great fortune I predict.”

He hoisted his basket onto his back. “Well, that’s my job done then. I shall be off.”

The woman laughed, “Just like that. You are a very mysterious old man.”

Visit The Son of Nepal

 

Copyright © J.J Sylvester 2016

 

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Book 2-Let the Earth Tremble-Prologue

 

On that terrible day, the visitors of the city saw a man, a man like no other. No king on Earth was adorned in such splendour. His skin had a soft glow as if its defining lines were smudged with white chalk. He was visiting one of the temples. As he ascended up the stairway, the gleaming ends of his cloak waved, simulating the movement of a pendulum. His hair was sky blue and extended past the arch of his back, the penetrating sunlight in-between its strands made his hair comparable to glints on burnished silver.

“Sagara!” echoed a clean, regal voice, resounding through in the sanctuary.

A gravelly tone resonated from within the muscular sculpture of Poseidon.

“My Lord Teki. Have you come to observe the labour of my hands? The tillers have called it the great city of the gods. They call it Atlantis.”

The rings of Teki’s pupils ignited as he slashed the air with a swing of his hand. “Enough! This great city is about to fall. I have come to station you to a land in the East.”

A guttural grumble came from the crafted image, the sounds of fine dust being pressed and scraped against the smooth floor. A stumble upon words as shock gripped its bearer: “Atlantis… Destroyed? But, how?”

Teki raised his voice, speaking with haste. “Who is strong enough to oppose the Gods?”

 

A fine white powder fell to the floor as a hairline fracture ripped down the face of the statue. “Impossible! The Great One? H-he is here… In Atlantis?”

Teki clawed his hand in frustration, a wave of energy flowed down his body, and his hair began to illuminate. “He has been seen walking the lands of the mortals not far from here. It will not be long. Summon the other gods at once and depart.”

Another crack formed at the wheel of the statue’s chariot and crept up to join the fracture on the face. “I cannot fathom why the Great One would visit the lands of the Earth. Why would he come to Atlantis? It has taken my worshippers years to build this city.”

Teki clenched his fists. The skin on his nose wrinkled as his upper lip lifted to display his radiant white teeth. “You have been counselled against drawing his attention by the other lords. The people here have initiated too many wars and, so, you have slanted the scales of justice.”

“But even that does not warrant a visit from him,” said Sagara.

“Either way, if you all are here when he arrives, you are aware of the consequences.”

“The Great One is not a man that he should take a stroll. Something is misplaced. We must find out what the purpose is for his visit, or he could just appear anywhere in the world and abolish all our kingdoms. What of Olympus?”

“We will find out, but for now, go to the East. There is a vast land there, and it is revealed in the Everplanes that the tillers are destined to become a great nation. I will visit the temple and take the Warden of Atlantis, so that you may subdue your new land with famine.” A spinning wheel of fire materialised above Teki’s head.

An aura of smoke started to hover from the sculpture. “Your crown has manifested!”

Teki scowled at his hands. The Crown of the Origins was an uncontrollable part of his being that always appeared when the Great One was nearby. “He is already here!” said Teki, lifting the tone of his voice. “Make haste!”

 A ferocious wind interrupted them, forcing itself upon the land, and the din of screaming people followed almost instantly. Teki wasted no more time and departed for the temple.

On that day, there were reports from mortal eyewitnesses on the outskirts of the city. They said that the man of splendour crowned with fire journeyed into the temple and acquired the precious Jewel of Atlantis.

The animals in the city could sense something that no man or woman could detect. It was instinct, an undetectable event that triggered them, and the beasts stampeded out of the city into the surrounding hills.Those wise enough to escape only did so by following the beasts.

They say the statues of Atlantis crumbled and came to life that day. The skins of rock cracked and shelled like thin walls of struck slate. Colossal glowing men broke free, and their images disintegrated into the atmosphere.

The priests of the temples shouted to the people, “We are doomed, even the Gods are fleeing!” The sky was almost as orange as liquefied rock, and cinders swirled up into the receiving firmament. A dense heat was rising from the ground, and Atlantis became hidden within a barricade of heat shimmer.

To the west, three shrouded men walking in a flawless triangular formation approached the gates and nonchalantly sauntered through the commotion into the city’s centre. They were no taller than six feet. They stood in the centre of the city in all its terror and removed their shrouds. They had the faces of young men—mid-thirties, immaculate skin—with blank expressions. Their long frost-white hair whipped, exposing the presence and strength of the wind.

The man furthest to the left was well built and had golden eyes that burned like a trail of shooting stars. His extensive sideburns dropped to the inner part of his shoulders, his skin was as fair as ivory, and he had features that resembled the peoples of Europe. The man in the middle had a slim physique with strong Asian features. His eyes were green like emeralds, and the glints on their surface moved as though the winds of the Earth were bound within them. The third man had blue-violet eyes that moved like the great oceans of the world, and his skin was more of a walnut brown and resembled those in the land of Africa. Their skin suddenly ignited into an animated shimmer.

“Atlantis!” the man with the green eyes spoke. His mouth barely parted, but his penetrating voice surrounded the city and subdued the wind. The atmosphere calmed, and the people paused to listen to the three strangers. “What is this thing that you have done?”

The golden-eyed figure lifted his head and continued as the green-eyed man finished, his tone raucous. “I have surveyed the Earth and have found no land that offends me more than Atlantis!”

The last man stepped forward. “Why does justice call to me from the wilderness, and why does the blood of the lands testify against you? Why does the heavens accuse you of misdeeds?” His strident tone was different but just as frightening.

The people were bewildered; these men looked and spoke strangely. The city was not aware of what was taking place, who these men were, or what they had come for.

“For this thing. I will wipe you off the Earth, and it will be as if you have never been!” thundered all three men at once.

The man with the emerald eyes blew into the air, and a typhoon spun from the breath that escaped his lips. The man with eyes of gold stared into the sky and beckoned the stars to fall to the Earth. Not long after, a small spark twinkled and shattered across the ether as an army of comets followed to breach the land. Boulders of celestial fires reduced the temples and the homes to ashes and rubble. The third man fell to one knee, using the sides of his hand to part the dust on the ground before him. The land suddenly quivered and ripped far apart. The blackened fissures gurgled as the waters of the deep climbed to fill the cracks. The man scowled at the waters and tall geysers. Like the pointed fingers of accusation, the geysers randomly burst from the grounds and thrusted against the sky. With a gesture of the hand, he beckoned the waters, and they began to swallow the terrain. The land tilted, and the people shouted words of distress. Across the land, legs were spread wide apart as the people endeavoured to balance themselves, but the land continued to shift here and there, and they fell to the ground.

Surrounding nations far away witnessed the diadem of destruction above the waters of where Atlantis once was.

By sundown, the land of Atlantis was no more, just a wide ocean of beating waves that reflected the celestial majesty of the shimmering aurora.

Visit, Let the Earth Tremble

Copyright © J.J Sylvester 2016

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A Book Review: The Son of Nepal by J.J Sylvester

A book review by diane Cheng.

Diane Cheng

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The Sons of Thunder | soburinmuhandae@gmail.com | Read

First of all, I love how this book talks a lot about the supernatural being and heaven. I don’t really feel like this is a fantasy book, but more of a biblical with a twist of romance, because I somehow saw Moses through Johannan when he became a Judge, and I saw Adam and Eve on Johannan and Ayushi’s destiny.

You know what, there are actually a lot of things that you will see in this first book, yeah, there is a second book which I am hoping to read as well. Then book three is in the making. I truly believe that the Muhandae in this story is God while Soburin is Jesus Christs, and Johannan is one of his disciples. This is what I think, but do let me know what you think when you read the book. But the…

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The Spirits

 

In the world of The Sons of Thunder, spirits play a very active role. These invisible entities appear in the Everplanes, which is, in effect, the spirit world of Earth.

Spirits affect the everyday lives of the people—from causing destruction to reuniting loved ones. The spirits speak with divine voices undetectable by the human ear, so their voices are perceived as thoughts. It is with these thoughts that the mortal kingdoms rise and fall, heroes are made, lovers are reunited, and great fortunes are discovered. It is also these thoughts that can drive a person to madness, cause a mother to desert her child, and lead a man to enslave a nation.

The three types of spirits are: the watchers, the whisps, and the Jinns. The watchers are servants of the Soburin and the Muhandae. The many types of watchers include warriors, wardens and messengers. They preserve the order of things and develop life. The watchers are divided into classes according to their power and authority: the Announcers, the Origins, the Monarch Princes, and the Congregation of Irdis.

The Jinns are the spiritual kings of the Earth and rule nations from behind the scenes. They have manifested in many ways during the course of history, one of which can be traced back to the Gods of Olympus. In the second book of The Sons of Thunder series, Let the Earth Tremble, there is a penalty for the Jinns’ unseen politics, and the Great One descends to destroy Atlantis.

 

The Jinns are divided into different classes according to their power and authority: the High Jinns, the God Beasts, and the Jinns. The whisps rank lower and have less power than the Jinns, doing their bidding. Their behaviour is very different from the Jinns’: they tend to behave more like human beings—or perhaps human beings behave more like them. The whisps are the counsellors of the earthly kingdoms and keep everyday people under control. They sometimes take the forms of mythical creatures. The spirits operate from different spiritual kingdoms, which dictate their effects on the destinies of man.

The Son of Nepal

Copyright © J.J Sylvester 2016

 

Majestics

In the world of Sons of Thunder, a lost power has been rediscovered. It is a power greater than magic. The power is called Majestics and allows the user to freeze raging rivers, still earthquakes, and command the heavens, performing godlike deeds. Majestics are spiritual contracts that override the laws of nature. The contracts are made with the Soburin and the Muhandae, a supreme and complex entity that agrees to perform the godlike wonders.

There are four categories in which the powers manifest:

 The Majestics of the Elements, The Majestics of the Mind, The Majestics of Wonders, and The Majestics of Power.

In the Sons of Thunder, selected humans are granted specific Majestics, giving them authority and power over the elements, nature, and plagues.

Here is an excerpt from The Son of Nepal where the hero demonstrates the Majestic of Water for the first time.

 

The riverbanks were mostly hills crowned with an abundance of greenery, and its floors were covered in a sheet of coarse browns from the fallen leaves. He arrived at a clearing on the bank and scanned around for anything that was out of the ordinary. The surging force of the rapids and the midday glare of the sun were all he could see.

But, in that very moment, after all the searching, Johannan witnessed something astounding. It was something he had never heard of or seen before.

He saw a ghostly image of himself pacing to the edge of the river and stamping its foot against the waters. He couldn’t grasp what it meant, so he kept observing. The image started again and continued to do so: walking from where he was, stamping, and then disappearing.

Hours went past, and Johannan continued to watch this image repeating itself. His hair colour hadn’t changed back, which he knew meant the Master was still present. He sat down on the ground, rubbing his forehead. Why doesn’t he show himself? Where could he be?

The sun was beginning to descend when an idea presented itself to Johannan—things were beginning to come together in his head.

The conversation those fishermen were having, and the image. Perhaps they were linked, maybe he should mimic the image.

He got up to his feet and began to shamble closer to the edge of the bank. It displayed threatening surges of thunderous waters. He wondered why he was doing this; it didn’t seem to make sense putting his life at risk—one misplaced step, and the currents could sweep him away. But, it could also mean that the image was an instruction of what he must do next.

Johannan lifted his foot and stamped it against the shallowest part of the river. As soon as it collided with the riverbed, the earth shuddered. The waters detonated, freeing a screeching wind that forged the liquid into two serrated walls of ice. Pema and Rinzen with eyes wide open were silent and petrified.

The mighty rapids were now divided into two parts that exposed a bouldered pathway of secrets all the way to the opposite side of the river. The shimmering walls claimed their dominion further up. The noise of swirling liquids accumulating was like a dying wail as the crackles of forming ice subdued its movement.

 

Visions are a common occurrence among the main characters in The Sons of Thunder. In this scene, Johannan is prompted by a vision of himself to activate the Majestics. The Sons of Thunder is a series of novellas based on different fates—the cords of destiny—that will soon weave together and save the world.

The Son of Nepal

Copyright © J.J Sylvester 2016

The Watchers

Watchers are spirits that inhabit the celestial kingdom of Irdis. They are under the rule of the Soburin and the Muhandae. They occasionally visit Earth to perform their duties.Some watchers have the power to move mountains or travel at light speed, others have access to hidden knowledge. Here are some of the watchers that appear in the series so far:

 

The Congregation of Irdis

These are lower-ranking watchers under the rule and direction of a Monarch Prince.

 

Aneo

Aneo is a watcher under Prince Tanar from the clan of educators. He is six feet tall with sky-blue hair. He is exceedingly wise, speaks concisely, and tends to disappear as soon as the attention is elsewhere, He will also appear unexpectedly. Aneo enjoys cooking and is seen feeding Johannan, Pema, and Rinzen in the wilderness. He makes his first appearance in book one, The Son of Nepal.

 

Eelis

Eelis is a watcher under Prince Tanar from the clan of educators. He is remarkably knowledgeable and is very curious about human beings and their behaviour. Eelis delights in teaching the hidden secrets of the world to Aliqxis. He adores her but believes she acts without thinking. Eelis taught Aliqxis how to read and write. He is thought to be the most down-to-earth of all the watchers in the story so far because of his laughter.

 

 

The Monarch Princes

There are twelve Monarch Princes in The Sons of Thunder. They are the rulers of the Congregation of Irdis and are divided into four divisions: war, strategy, service, and scholar. Some Monarch Princes undergo change when the Muhandae empowers them. This is known as the exalted state.

 

Zion

Zion, of the war division, is the first Prince of Irdis and the most formidable.

Zion is a heavily armed, seven-foot-tall militant warrior on horseback.  He is solely responsible for the destruction of numerous kingdoms. He is, by far, the most feared of the twelve. Most of his adversaries surrender or retreat before battle. Zion makes his first appearance in the second book, Let the Earth Tremble.

 

Mihai

Mihai the mighty, of the war division, is the second prince, and he is the strongest of all the Monarchs Princes. He is a nine-foot-tall giant spirit capable of levelling mountains and parting rivers with his titanic strength. Prince Mihai can take down armies of opposing spirits with just his sword. He makes his first appearance in Let the Earth Tremble.

 

Tivara

Tivara the quick, of the war division, is the third prince and is established as the fastest of all the princes. He is able to cross lands almost instantly and uses speed as a weapon during combat. Prince Tivara makes his first appearance in Let the Earth Tremble, in a confrontation with Poseidon.

 

Sheel

Prince Sheel, of the service division, is the warden and carer of nature. He is a shepherd at heart and cares for nature from the spirit realm, guiding beasts through the voice of instinct. Prince Sheel makes his first appearance in Let the Earth Tremble.

 

 

The Origins

Origins rank higher than the Monarch Princes. There are a total of eight Origins, who protect the world through law. Each Origin represents their own field in higher court cases.

 

Jeemah

Jeemah, the Origin of War, is one of the deadliest warriors in the entire universe. He possesses a fighting prowess much superior to all the Monarch Princes. He is the guardian of the secret knowledge of destruction. In the highest courts of the universe, he has gained the upper hand in the case against Teki, the Origin of Evil, who petitioned to disclose the secret knowledge of advanced weaponry in the form of explosives to mankind in early history. Jeemah fears that if the knowledge is revealed too soon, mankind will destroy itself before fulfilling its potential. Jeemah makes his first appearance in The Son of Nepal.

 

Bijali

Bijali, the Magistrate of Disaster, is the protector of Earth against natural disasters. Bijali has defeated Teki’s numerous petitions to wipe parts of the world with natural disasters. The cases in which he was defeated by Teki have brought about hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and earthquakes. Bijali makes his first appearance in Let the Earth Tremble.

 

Bentara

Bentara, the Origin of Life, is responsible for life on Earth and has won many cases against Teki, preventing disease and plague. Bentara makes his first appearance in Let the Earth Tremble.

 

 

The Chief Announcers

The Chief Announcers are the highest-ranking watchers in The Sons of Thunder.

 

 Vestnesis

Vestnesis always appears before judgment. He is also a Judge. He makes his appearance twice in The Son of Nepal—but only once is his appearance made obvious.

Copyright © J.J Sylvester 2016

The Everplanes

The Everplanes is a spirit world where spiritual entities coexist with mortal man. It has its vast continents, deserts, and seas, its grand mountains, animals, and kingdoms. Mostly, the Everplanes mirrors its tangible counterpart, Earth. Events that take place in the Everplanes have a rippling effect on events in the mortal realm.

It is from here that destinies, difficulties, and luck are assigned to each human being. If someone could discern the spirit realm, they would perceive most things before they happen.

The Everplanes is also where the forces of magic operate and are used to manipulate the spirit realm to alter fates.

As an example, lush farmlands that stretch as far as the eye can see in the mortal realm appear as just a humble miniature garden in the same location of the Everplanes. This garden in the Everplanes is the mark of the true potential of those farmlands in the mortal realm.

Some things in the Everplanes are like seeds, smaller than their mortal equivalent.

For example, if a farmer is fortunate enough to build a farm in the same location as a healthy shrub exists in the Everplanes, his farmland will consist of fertile soil. With a little hard work, the lands will yield a good crop, and that farmer can take care of his family with a minimal amount of effort.

However, if that shrub was cut down by a mischievous wandering spirit in the Everplanes, the farm would suffer from drought, famine, or some other destructive force. Even though the majority of mankind are blind to the Everplanes, some people have developed an ability to see into it. If they see a celestial shrub or a spiritual tree, in the mortal farmland, they can successfully predict good fortune.

This connection is not limited to farmlands; it also exists for kingdoms. Whatever happens in the great kingdoms of the Everplanes has an effect on the mortal realm. In the second book, Let the Earth Tremble, which is set in 225 BC in the Qin Dynasty, the Gobi Desert is called Han-Hal in the mortal realm the Gobi Desert in the Everplanes. This is a sign that Han-Hal will become the Gobi Desert in the future, unless an event, such as war, alters the spirit realm. The Gobi Desert appears larger than its mortal counterpart. This is a sign that through war, natural disaster, or some other means the mortal realm will extend its borders in the future.

In The Sons of Thunder, this connection is what man has come to call fate.

 

Copyright © J.J Sylvester 2016

Prequel-The Son of Nepal-Ayushi 1445

Ayushi at 17

The sun was at its zenith in the great land of Nepal. It was a hot day. The crying of a young child carried across the plains of nature, and the heavens shrilled as it took notice of the blind child and of the brother and his sister, who carried her.

“Leave her here, someone will find her,” said the young man .

“What if no one does? Most people don’t want her—she’s a girl and she’s blind ,” said his sister, shading her eyes. “She really needs us. She could die out here in the hot sun. Doesn’t this bother you?”

“Of course it does, but she will die if we take her back. We have tried everyone, and no one wants her. Let’s leave her under this tree, she will be alright.”

“Will she?” The girl dropped her gaze as the air of disappointment surrounded her.

“We cannot keep her; we are not her parents. It’s just another mouth to feed, and father will not be happy if we return with her.”

His sister lowered the crying child under the shade of the tree. “She’s beautiful,” she said, admiring the child, who extended her hands to be picked up. The girl stood straight, covering her racing heart with her hands. “She loves us.”
Her brother sighed, “Come on, let’s go. You will get us into trouble if you let yourself get too attached.” He turned to walk away.

“Wait!” said his sister, holding out her hand. “I just want to say goodbye to little Ayushi.”

His head jerked back in a knock of surprise. “You what?” he said, raising his voice. “You gave her a name! Your name, why?” He covered his mouth and dipped his head slightly. “Never mind, just say your goodbyes and let’s go. This is a sure sign we are going to get into trouble if we aren’t already. I have to go and help father with his work, and you don’t want to be the reason for me being late again.”

Years of hard labour in the fields with her father had made her a stranger to tears, but her eyes welled up as the little girl giggled. “Goodbye, little Ayushi,” she sobbed. “May the heavens take good care of you, and may you fulfil your destiny.” She turned with her head bowed and ambled away.

“Take me, take me,” said the child stretching her hand to be hoisted up.

The girl stopped. There was evidence of her thoughts wrestling against her as she attempted to turn around. She dipped her head and a whimper escaped her lips.
There was a formidable conflict within her, a moment where she wanted to take the child and run away, but she knew that wouldn’t end well. She had seen it all happen before. This was the type of inner struggle that gave hope, that made her believe if there was a one-in-a-million chance it would work out, she could take the chance and succeed—

“Come on!” shouted her brother. Sensing his agitation, the inner battle was won and the victor decided. She left the child under the tree to join him.

The child remained there for hours. She called for Ayushi , but there was no response, just the echo of the wilderness throwing her words back at her. Her voice became brittle and hoarse, and she cried. She was hungry, it was a pain that Ayushi made sure she had never felt, but Ayushi was gone, and it was only a matter of time before it got worse.

A cool gale descended from the mountains and blew against the child, and it began to drizzle. She wrapped her arms around herself as she felt the droplets of water settling against the sides of her face. She knew from the sound of her surroundings that the voices of people and those that could take care of her were far away. She sobbed, a feeling of rejection formed into a discomfort in her throat. She didn’t know, the feeling was called rejection, because no one had taught her how to identify this emotion she had come to hate . All she understood, instinctively, was that Ayushi could make that feeling go away.

The loud hiss of clattering trees induced a panic, her heart pounded. The wind was climbing in strength. She shivered.

A warm hand reached from out of nowhere and wiped away her tears. Being blind meant she was remarkably sensitive to the sounds around her. She would hear the footsteps of smaller animals, sounds that would have escaped those with sight. But she hadn’t heard anyone approach her.

“Ayushi!” she cried out, sobbing in relief. She stretched out her hands to be hoisted up, and a hold not quite what she expected reached out to receive her grip. She intuited the potential of great strength within the hands. It had to be the hands of a man, but he held her gently, the way Ayushi would. She felt relief and peace, sensations she treasured. Feelings were her way of seeing the world, and right at that moment it was a beautiful view.

As soon as the man lifted her, the winds behaved quite peculiarly. A small population of Himalayan monals flapped their wings in protest, as the flow of the gale suddenly came to a stop and altered its course to blow constantly in another direction. The grass, the trees, and the shrubs were bending and pointing the same way. There was a honeyed scent of rose oils gently distributed by the wind. The man lifted his nose to the heavens to inhale the aroma.

“Ahh, the heavens rejoice. He is revealing the way,” said a deep voice. It was profound and powerful, but the child sensed comfort and benevolence in its sound that most children would have missed, and it brought a feeling of safety. Normally when she heard such a tone, it meant that she wouldn’t go hungry or grow cold from being left outside.

“Here, little one, you must eat,” said the man. He fed her broken pieces of paratha, the same type of bread Ayushi made and gave to her when she was cooking during the day. “Drink now,” he said as he gave her some water that he carried in water skins. He lifted his head to observe the direction of the wind.

“The heavens have set us on a path,” he said, then wrapped a blanket around her. “You have a great destiny ahead of you, young one.”
He lifted her into a basket of beans that he carried strapped onto his back. It felt more comfortable than the hard surface under the tree. She was right—it was the voice of kindness and comfort. The lump in her throat was subsiding. It was a welcomed sensation.

“Do you have a name, child?”

For a moment she couldn’t think of how to respond, she had never been called a name before today, but Ayushi had called her by her own name before she departed.

“Ayushi,” she replied. She wasn’t sure if the man would accept this as her name, seeing that it belonged to someone else. She waited for a sound that would give her an idea on how he felt about this.

“Ahh, what a splendid name,” he said.

She smiled, his voice was reassuring, she couldn’t detect the tone of fear she normally could perceive in Ayushi’s words. Usually, fear started out as a low tone she could just about hear, but after a while it would grow louder, which meant she would soon be stripped of the comfort she was experiencing.

“I shall take good care of you, little Ayushi. We must deliver you to the destiny that awaits you. The heavens have a purpose for you, and it must be urgently fulfilled.”

The constant gale blew, and the basket rocked as the man ambled across the alpine meadow. The man journeyed nonstop, and after some time, Ayushi fell asleep. An evening rain descended from the mountains onto the lower lands of Nepal. As the shrilling gusts continued to thrust, little Ayushi sat in the basket under the covering and secrecy of his wide sedge hat. The waters trickled down the hat and poured onto the ground. Apart from the odd raindrop that would hit her on the cheek, she was completely dry. The man hummed a guttural tone she found soothing. She was finally safe and moving towards her fate.

Find out Ayushi’s fate

 

Copyright © J.J Sylvester 2016

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