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Author: Lindsey Phillips
Title: A Story
Type of Work: short story (unfinished)
Source: CMv1 #78

Copyright 2002 Lindsey Phillips


PART ONE (of 2)

An obscured view of a quiet waterfall leads you to a small cave, where the good friend sits. At first glance he is nothing but a boulder, or perhaps a mound of weeds, or to the imaginary mind, a small dragon bent on destruction of your lucky peanuts. But he was neither. The youthful spirit likes to sit there, to watch the world go by. There is only peace at Speel Falls, as there is only war in the High North and the Deep South.
He remembers - hush - you can almost hear his quiet call. The call of a lonely Atisia who has lost it all. For freedom, for this bird of servitude, is the utmost torture. It is all Mavracci can do to bear the days and the nights down by Buga-_Mocha. An era of happiness has since long gone by. His words brought him to the island of Tymle, far away from the land of Stupidity where customs provide many a child with humorous tales. But this was not Stupidity. It was Home, or could have been.

I come from a long line of Atisias, perhaps. And perhaps my name is Mavracci. And maybe, on a winter's night, after I was learned to fly, I glided slowly over the gray and dismal camps of the Enemy, for whom I owed my job. To peer down from a cloudy altitude in December upon the blue hats of soldiers and the dark rooftops of their quarters brought no joy to my heart in those days, and it was all I could do to observe those pitiful comrades from afar. They marched slowly, as those with no purpose, all hope lost. Or perhaps they never had hope? Naynoo, especially this colony, did not allow it. Only the hope of dominating the surrounding country, in Shibi and Toorman, or maybe even O'Phyla, was permitted, perhaps.
And yet they continue to this day! O enduring Enemy! It is hopeless!
The King, our Oun ii Tiil, has an army of ten soldiers. However, they have never lost a battle. The Naynoo leader has no followers, only slaves. Perhaps it so happened that upon seeing the king and his few men (Tevriu, Marginor, Hast, Ferranij, Lithu, Forgen, Gurin, Rruintus, Kelwar, and Fredan, First Son) the poor soldiers would run and beg for safety - not from us Eridians, but from their own generals! It is a sight to see, but only for grown men. And how the king shows pity on the Naynooian folk! How much time and gold has he spent building them a sanctuary from their masters? And no curse comes forth from his mouth, though he may possess the power to cast one. Freedom, for Naynoo, is joy without end.
Not so for the Atisias. We live and die to serve, to gain gratitude from our masters, and despise and freedom granted. The worst this you can tell an Atisia is you command them not to accept commands anymore… and they might not accept it.
But I, Mavracci, was the exception.
Perhaps I was young then, not quite ready to serve the King. But it was a time for war, and those that perhaps wouldn't have been of any aid were recruited anyway. I learned to use my vision and hearing to spy on them, to view their movements. An attack by the Enemy was imminent. Yet Erid would prevail, somehow. The sheer size of Erid was overpowering to the Naynoo kind.
Closer and closer I glided, until my claw-like legs scraped the flat shingled rooftops of meeting halls, cafeterias, and living quarters. Over one I heard the commanding voice of a general. In another I heard the pleading voice of grown men before they were locked up in small rooms. If I flew on the ground, however, I heard something different. It was the crying of women. The poor women, locked under the earth all their lives, counted as inferior beings. How I hated the Enemy! It was sad that the majority of the Enemy didn't want to be so and it was sad they had not the courage to do something about it.
One spy did once. His name was Kyle; Kyle the Croissant to be exact. He ran away and founded Kylefornia, a state for escaped Naynooians. However, those lucky few had to endure the Underground Canal, an underwater river, to reach the place.
It was soaring near the ground that was my undoing. I knew that it was dangerous, but I did it anyway, just to find a way to help those poor people under the earth. As I got ready to rise, someone grabbed me from behind. I let out a cry of dismay, hoping for a nearby answer, but none came. I was captured.
They took me into one of the dull gray rooms and shoved me into a cage. Had this happened to anyone before me? If so, the captives were either dead or in another building. And yet cages lined the walls, as if they were meant for foolish Atisias such as me.
The men dressed in blue wanted to torture me then and there, but the Naynoo General would not have it, not until I was questioned.
"Tsar! Mxouih jure qjuyio?!" He pointed a large stick at me. I did not understand what he was saying (except for the tsar part).
"Fatt! Llldasyuren! Kxessh hamagu feuris liqj!" He began to yell at me. I wanted to scream, 'I don't speak you language, you dumb hocho gotburrisam!' But I doubted it would improve the situation. Oh, how I wished I had some lucky peanuts!
If I had spoken their language at the time, perhaps the conversation would have gone somewhat as this (less the swearing):

GENERAL: Speak to me, and tell me who it is that you serve, you idiotic bird!
MAVRACCI: Kir! Ghunirth y tessa jji!
GENERAL: Why don't they teach these confrugled spies our language?
ASSISTANT: Well, so they don't reveal anything.
GENERAL: Oh, banana. Go on, Juristanyokiixurestangialitaneous; send Furistallistensiouhxxxxis out to be beheaded.
ASSISTANT: Noooo!
MAVRACCI: Whazzit?
GENERAL: Well, we can't use him. Set him free…

Gish… I knew that word! It meant freedom. Did he mean to set me free? Then I was lost. To set me free would not be sending me back to my Master, to my family, no… I would be exiled. This was terrible. I let out a screech of terror for what might have been the fiftieth time, and they brought my cage out.
The Naynooian who would be setting me free spoke Common Tongue, which I understood. He didn't speak it well, however. He was obviously an ambassador of some sort.
"Git in the cage, birdie. Don' talk none or I'll have to take yer back. Now now, whassa madder? I'm settin' you free, yeh should be happy. Well, I don' aim to go beck there, no sir, I don'. You can jus' peck my eyes out, fer all I care. Not goin' beck." This sort of talk went on until we were well out of the way, perhaps past the Very Hard Place to Cross.
"Well, Mister Birdie, go'one an' git out." I didn't. The not-so-bright fellow reached in and made me.
"Yer free, lil' birdie." I was ruined.

Perhaps that soldier didn't go back to torture and pain. Perhaps he found the Underground Canal and is free, as I am. But I hate to use the word free, or any word that starts with an f, for that matter, even though that means I can't say "fieri" and "fadoj". Or Eerf.
Maybe I'll travel to Stupidity. Life there is just as rotten as mine is. I might have an encounter with Richard Nancy Stoopid himself! Farewell, Listeners of Story! Farewell! Unless you aren't worthy of faring well.

Teca ont Atisia allnihil tsar
'With the Atisia, not a thing is certain'
~ Oun ii Tiil, proverb number 'unknown' ~

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PART TWO

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