Search

The Sons of Thunder

Short stories/Excerpts/Audiobooks

Tag

J.J Sylvester

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

 

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

Featured post

Aliqxis

Sob2I was a little girl, aged seven, when I first met him. The old man with long, white hair who came to our village. No one knew who he was or where he came from. He used to sit under the old paulownia tree, nearer to the river, out of everyone’s way. I suppose it was his favourite spot to sit and watch the villagers hard at work. He didn’t enjoy talking and seemed quite irritable. He didn’t eat much, and he rarely moved from under the covering of the tree. The people of my village thought he was strange. I remember them believing he was a travelling monk on a pilgrimage.

It wasn’t long before we became friends. It happened the night my parents invited him into our home. I remember my father being anxious. He thought he was sullen, and, cautious of offending his guest, he hardly spoke that evening.

The old man loved my singing, and I loved to sing for him. I remember seeing the faces of my parents in a silent shock as he smiled for the first time. From that day, I sang to him daily and we became best friends. His name was Mr Mengi—or that is what I called him because I couldn’t say “Mr Menguisai” properly.

One day I found Mr Menguisai at the village entrance about to depart with three of his companions. My heart disintegrated. I remember thinking I wouldn’t have anyone to enjoy my singing, but as he left he made a promise to come back. That was, if he found what he was looking for….

I was fourteen when Mr Menguisai returned. My father had died the year before. My heart was bitter—I loved my father so much, we were always together, farming in the fields. A loosened boulder crushed him and some others during an earthquake. I remember the land quivering earlier that day, and when it ended, I thought nothing of it, ignorant that it took my beloved father away. His fellow workmates rushed to our home with the bad news later that day. They said his last words were to tell his daughter and her mouthy mother that he loved us and would continue to do so.

My mother couldn’t cope with the loss, and she began to drink more wine, staying at home most of the time in her dark room.

At night, all the nocturnal sounds, crickets chirping and winds wailing, were things I had never noticed before, but after his death my ears were unclogged. I remember he was the only one who had time for me—he and, of course, Mr Menguisai.

I still relive the taste of sour and dryness in my mouth. I lied to my mother and had not eaten for days. It wasn’t a hard thing to accomplish, seeing that most of the time she was barely sober. My strength was failing me, and it almost felt as if something was choking my throat, but I didn’t care. I stood by the river, singing that song I sang to Mr Menguisai that evening in my house. I remember the feeling on my face. It felt sticky and almost dry. I can remember feeling alone even when everyone was there. I couldn’t look at my mother because she reminded me of him—my father. I wished my father was still there with my mother enjoying one of their silly arguments and playfully mocking one another. The song was my only solace when that memory burned so fresh.

I remember the cold grip from a strong draft that morning and the dry leaves brushing past my face. I turned around and there was someone standing near, staring at me from the old white tree. He was shrouded, and his hat covered his eyes. My heart raced, could it be him? After all these years, he remembered me.
My tears seemed to have hardened in the wind as I ran towards him. It was Mr Menguisai, he had come back!

As I approached him, I slowed down. I thought maybe he didn’t feel the same way anymore, may that’s why he left me. But I was happy to be wrong. Mr Menguisai reached out and hugged me, the same way my father used to. He had missed me, and I felt joy once more.

“Mr Menguisai, you’ve returned!”

He chuckled, “Do you recall a time you couldn’t say my name properly?”

I laughed, his question had caused me to revisit my childhood.

Again, we were always together. I sang, and my mother joined in— when it pleased her. I remember brewing him some tea. He commented on how I made wonderful tea, like my father—except, no person in his correct mind was keen on my father’s tea, apart from my father himself. My father would have been happy to see him once more, though he was always silent around him.

It was the third quarter of the night. I couldn’t sleep because the noisy wind had caused small stones to beat against the sides of our house. Mr Menguisai was outside, standing by the river.
What I saw next was impossible. Were my eyes deceiving me? The river was cleaved into two parts to reveal a walkway; that I remember as clearly as our river water. Today , many years later, I know Mr Menguisai was not who the villagers and I thought he was. He was something greater. I can remember what he said to me by the river.

As he was about to walk through the pathway, I ran out and shouted his name. He turned around and smiled at me.

“Do you recall what happened at the village river after I departed, when you sang with the other younglings?”

I reminisced on what happened, the adults spoke about it for months. How could I have forgotten?
“The river turned from green to blue, and the adults said it was safe to drink from it, once more.”

“Well said,” he replied. “I purged the river as you sang.”

I was astonished, but in a weird way it all began to make sense.
I did as he told me, and that’s what happened but….

“H-how?” I stuttered.

“Never mind how,” he said, pointing his finger to the sky. “Cast your glance aloft, into the heavens, Aliqxis. Tell me, what do you see?”

I gazed up and saw a colourful vision across the sky. There where people doing marvellous things. I saw a man point to the sky, and fire fell down and consumed his enemies. I saw a child pick up a huge boulder that had landed on her mother. I saw a man turning water to ice by just touching it with the tip of his finger, and a woman who could see into the future when she sang.

“H-how is this all possible?” I said.

“These are my Ambassadors. Some have not been born yet. You, Aliqxis Juara, shall be my first, and when you call out to me like you did that day many years ago by the river, I will come to you.”

There was a sudden tremor in the ground. Mr Menguisai snatched my arm, “Make haste! Stamp the ground, Aliqxis!”

I did as he told me, and the tremor stopped. I gaped at my surroundings—I doubt I even knew what I was searching for.

“W-was that me?” I was lost in shock.

“Indeed. Today I shall bestow upon you the Majestic of the Earth. Sing to me and request anything concerning the Earth, and I will honour that.”

Visit, Let the Earth Tremble

 

Copyright © J.J Sylvester 2016

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑