Category Archives: Remy’s Fourth Day

Fourth Day: The Emptiness (VIII – Epilogue)

Hey everyone!

So with the whole nationwide movement going on, I totally forgot that I was supposed to…. *DodgesBroom* oya make una no vex na! I’m sorry!

Okay. So on the 2nd of June 2011, we started a journey on my blog with Book One of Fourth Day by my best friend Remi Olutimayin. This book is actually meant to be a graphic novel, but Remi, being the lazy bum that most ridiculously intelligent people usually are (it’s not his fault. He just can’t bring himself to be bothered with some of these nuances), had kept it in the closet of his mind for too long. So I decided to let y’all read it. And now, we come to the end, not only of book one, but also of the intermittent story on The Emptiness.

No, Fourth Day isn’t over. This was just a beginning. We’re working together, and I know that somehow or the other, Fourth Day is gonna become the graphic novel that we want it to be. I don’t know if there’s gonna be more on my blog, I’ll have to let y’all know about that. I just hope y’all have enjoyed reading as much as Remi enjoyed writing and I enjoyed editing and posting. If this is the first time you’re seeing Fourth Day, you can go right to the beginning and catch up by clicking here.

So yeah… enjoy. We hope there’ll be more.

VIII

The generals of the enemy noticed the Emptiness in the midst of the skirmish. They asked each other who he was.

One of them spoke with a gravelly voice,”I believe he is the one who killed our scout. I don’t know who he is or why he’s joined with them. I just know that he’s a dangerous man. Even the Behemoths give him deference and a wide berth. It is something to note and be wary of.”

When the day grew long, also did the heat of the battle began to cool. The Emptiness then had the Behemoths retreat, leaving him alone in the valley craters made by their exertions. He then walked up to the Leviathan leading the enemy troop in the skirmish.

“When a snake is beheaded, the point of its life has been made.” He said as he approached him.

“Who is the snake? The Behemoths or you?” was their reply.

The Emptiness then caused a mound of earth to rise as a seat so he could rest on it. This took the Leviathan general by surprise. The Emptiness then did the same for him. The courtesy of the action gave the general no option but to accept the seat offered.

“I know the discontent growing among your numbers. Especially when we consider the truth about whose war you’re fighting. Discontent is the sign to a slave that he is not a slave. Do you agree?”

The general nodded briefly.

“I’m going to make an offer. It does not extend to your employers. You must listen and weigh my words without pride or haste.

“Lead your men out of this valley and out of their land. The Behemoths will return home. I will face those godless men and do what is needed of me. This world isn’t meant to be slaves to civilisations that are already living on borrowed time. The Atlanteans are too proud and narrow-minded to realise what the offer truly entails. They are committed to this course of action. It is because, sadly, they’ve been enslaved already. Their life-forms read differently. Their minds have been taken from suckling to the old. I have to destroy that civilization to save the rest of this world. That also includes you.”

“How would you do this and why?”

“’How’ is not your problem. Why? Let us just say…it is not in the power of the slave-masters to reverse the insults of their actions to me.”

The Leviathan general then did something that no one expected. He ordered a retreat. And they left their allies. The Behemoths did the same. The Emptiness then appeared before the Atlanteans.

As he looked at them, they knew that he could see their grip on the minds of the Atlanteans.

The Emptiness seemed to rise in the air as he said, “Not one of you will escape me. But it will be satisfying to watch you try…your women and children will perish. And your place in this world will not remember you. Your name will go unspoken and you will know that you cannot cheat death.”

It took him a day to hunt down and kill every last one of their leadership.

He then went into their armory and set off their water-driving bombs at different parts of the world. By the time he was done, the land of Atlantis sank under the weight of the water that was driven their way.

That Emptiness watched an entire civilization scream and drown in fear. Not a single nerve of his was stirred. He had left their weapons running indefinitely. His actions led to the displacement of a continent and one of the results was the great flood.

Epilogue

I asked him why he did not prevent the flood from happening. His reply will make it obvious to you why you’ve been protected from him.

“Why? Men were born to die from every cause under heaven and even above it. It means nothing to me. It came in its time. They died in their time. If God had not wanted it to happen, so many things would have been different.”

Anne trembled violently.

“Anne, drop your intellectual pride and ego in this matter. Let it go and move on. You will never see Richard again. You will never be able to speak of these things with anyone. You must never mention the Emptiness, not even to yourself.”

They were back in her home, but she did not understand how or notice the transition. She calmed down and took a seat.

Nedeseh looked at her door.

“It has been a long time since I’ve used a door. Keep that to your grave. As well as every other thing you’ve heard. The Emptiness wouldn’t mind about the book. It’s not him they are talking about.”

“This Emptiness? How will he know he has been spoken of?”

Nedeseh ran to her and ran her to the opposite side of the room. She watched in horror as her chair folded violenlty into itself as if an invisible beast was fitting it into its jaws.

“She asked a question.”, Nedeseh snapped to no one she could see.

There was a silent lightning storm the size of a man building in her small living room. The clouds billowed as if alive and a man who seemed more apathetic than cruel materialised before her eyes.

“This is why you were never an Emptiness, Nedeseh. She doesn’t think it is a matter worth the caution you gave her.”

She gave way to animal fear and shock as her chair folded back into reality.

“I knew you would save her.”

He looked at her at growled.

“Do you think I came because I was waiting for you to mention me? Foolish mortal! I heard you. I hear everything and I don’t care what you think you are. Nedeseh will not protect you next time. We agreed on that long ago. Caution your tongue, cut it out, adopt selective amnesia…I do not care, but I guard my name and identity as a thunder-head guards its center.”

Anne was suddenly alone in her home, and the only trace of what had just happened was the smell of ozone. Electrical discharges are a source of the fishy smell.

She developed a white streak in her hair and became less brittle. She settled down with her boss Joseph and he never understood how she could tolerate his brashness. How could she mention why and not risk his return?

What she could not have known was that the Council of the Half-Moon feared him to the point of preparing going to war against him.

But that is another story.

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Fourth Day: The Emptiness (VI-VII)

Happy New Year everyone. Catch up with the entire Fourth Day Book One by clicking here.

VI

For 13 years the Behemoths had battled these creatures and the Leviathans. In all that time, not once did they make progress in discouraging them from their labours to colonize the earth. The Leviathans hated the feeling of being used, but they too were also seduced by the promise of power. The Emptiness came out into the world of men; roused from his slumber and angered at the disrespect of these men, he decided to meet with the leadership of the Behemoths. He suddenly appeared before their leader. His true name cannot be mentioned for reasons that make your life and this world trivial, but the name that can be spoken by men is Triban. He was a powerfully built creature, more hippopotamus than man. He possessed the form of a great conqueror, but within he had the heart of a true king and not that of a usurper. Triban received the Emptiness with a wary eye, but within a minute of meeting him, it was obvious that he was speaking with a different sort of ‘man’, for the Emptiness did not genuflect before him. He looked the king in the eye and spoke directly.

“You will not win. Not with your present understanding of your enemy. I possess the key to their downfall. I am the Emptiness.”

“And how is it, pray tell, that you have come upon this key?” asked Triban.

“Their pride is their undoing. Their pride has a place with you, but not with me. They travel between places hidden between the hearts of the worlds. They listen in on your conversations, your battle plans, and counter accordingly. Their strength cannot match yours and as such, are unwilling to lose their numbers in open attrition, so they enlisted the services of the Leviathans. But their success does not depend on your defeat. They simply distract you. That’s why you are at a standstill. You fight, but are not enlisted, led, or empowered by any. Headless efforts alone cannot assure you of victory and should they decide to fight with you, they will continue till none of your race remains. None.

“Even the Atlanteans are allied to them by an enlightened fear.”

He let Triban digest this, and then continued.

“I will enlist you and will direct you. They have no counter for me. None. You and I have had no dealings before. But your father 12 generations before knew me. The world was young then, and he was wise enough for ‘his’ time. Are you wise enough for your own?”

Triban thought well before asking for an example, a demonstration to give him comfort in what he had just been told.

“I would not presume anything about you. It behooves me to ask for evidence.”

Emptiness nodded and then swung a fist violently into the naked air.

There was a loud crack that they all felt in their bones, followed by a brief flutter in the air and an almost human form suddenly fell to the floor. Life was struggling out of the body. Emptiness turned it over with a foot. He had caused mass cephalic-haemorrhaging. Every blood-vessel in its head had burst, making it look darkened and puffed. The Behemoths had never known the taste of fear before they saw that thing lying dead at the feet of their king.

Triban stood up and walked over to the dead form.

“It had been here the whole time. When it fails to report, they will take it seriously. And they will take the battle to you.”

The Behemoths now knew that the battle had never been theirs to win on their own. It had started and stalled, all of its own accord, and had awaited the Emptiness. Now he had come and things would be more decisive.

VII

These people I speak of have been forgotten by their place. Their lands no longer bear any signs of their ever being there. When I look at the Atlantic, I can see where their towers stood, where their people congregated, and where the battle that ended them took place.

It was the Emptiness that saved ‘most’ of humanity from an evil fate. When Leviathans and Behemoths fight, it is a disturbing thing to see. It isn’t like watching gladiators, or wild beasts. It is like suns trying to burn each other into submission. Men have no place in such affairs. No place.

It was a terrible thing to see. Mountains levelled at will, valleys birthed by violence, the sky darkened by clouds of dust rising from where hills once sat in repose.

The Emptiness chilled the Behemoths’ blood because he would literally stroll through the fights in plain sight, unmoved by the great feats of raw power…and he always had an amused look on his face, the way a child would enjoy his plan coming together as he had expected. He did not involve himself and he had to told Triban to expect as much.

But he interfered once. A Behemoth had been crippled by 3 Leviathans surrounding him. He was young for a Behemoth and it was obvious that he still didn’t know how to handle himself in battle.

That is not to say the lad could not fight. He had started with facing one and ended up with three opponents.

The Leviathan warrior is more crocodile than man. He is born with his armour and strengthens it by conditioning. The term ‘bouncing baby’ came from their culture. As soon as he is delivered, with his umbilical cord still attached, he is thrown to the bare ground. His scales harden by reflex and ride the impact. The scales sheer of the umbilical cord by defensive reflex. He will not cry out or seek comfort.

For the blade of a Behemoth to cut through, three blows have to be delivered as one, the young Behemoth had discovered how to deliver five as one blow. He made quick work with his skill, but sadly he wasn’t gifted with experience. More experienced warriors would have disguised their skill on the battle ground, but he drew attention to himself. Behemoths have a tough leather hide, not the hard scales of Leviathans, so he could and would take cuts, his hide would scar quickly locking the Leviathan blade in, and giving him time to kill his surprised opponent. He would then tear out the Leviathan sword and face a new opponent.

So when he had 4 blades locked in the hide of his back, he couldn’t focus well enough to face his new opponents.

He then proceeded to use the locked blades to attack them furiously. He suceeded to taking out one of the swords and cut down one of them, but the rest grabbed the hilts of their swords to pull him off balance. As one, the three cut past his hide into the bone of his shoulder. His cry was what led the Emptiness to glance in his direction.

The Emptiness had seen many Behemoths and Leviathans fall that day. But the Emptiness saw something else in him. He wasn’t a soldier, he wasn’t a warrior, but he had a burning desire to live. The Emptiness recognized the early signs of a giant who should not fall so easily and so he went into the scuffle.

When the Emptiness suddenly appeared to shield the young Behemoth, the Leviathans immediately knew that he wasn’t a Behemoth, but they didn’t know what he was doing there and they didn’t care. They should have.

The first lifted his fists together over his head and brought them down swiftly and with great violence to crush the Emptiness. The Emptiness walked into the blow and stopped it with his finger. The strain of the uncompleted action caused the Leviathan’s tendons to snap from his wrists to his back without as much as a dramatic pause. The Emptiness then punched the right side of theLeviathan’s chest and a bloody mass suddenly fell out of the left side and slid to the feet of the young Behemoth. It was the Leviathan’s heart. The Emptiness then turned to slap the next Leviathan with more violence than is expected of anyone his size. The Leviathan sank into the ground as all cerebral function he had stopped immediately. His heart too was flung at the feet of the young Behemoth. The third could not flee, his pride would not let him.

He lifted his sword and charged the Emptiness. The Emptiness drew out a blade of a single black diamond from the air and slashed out exact chunks of flesh from the Leviathan’s chest and limbs, dismissing his hard scales. He then reached into the cavity he had carved and brought out its heart.

He tossed it at the young Behemoth saying, “REMEMBER. I saved your life. What is your name?”

“Egista.”

He then put one of the hearts into the young Behemoth’s hands and said to him, “They would have done the same to you and worse. But I find genitalia irritating to handle. Take courage. I give this victory to you, Egista. Tell whatever story you wish about what just happened. The less said of me in this matter, the better I would feel.”

The Emptiness then turned and continued his leisurely stroll through the mayhem. Dead Leviathan blood dropped off his body to the earth, as if he was cleaning away evidence. Egista lay back until his shoulder healed, then he went back into the fight, more decisive, less flashy and obvious. He was no coward and he would live long.


Fourth Day: The Emptiness (IV-V)

Merry Christmas to everyone… and all that paparazzi… I’m loving “The Emptiness” so far, and I’m sure… oh damn. I’m talking too much. Oya, if you don’t know how we got here and you wanna get in on the Fourth Day experience, go catch up Book One by clicking here.

Now let’s get on with it.

IV

He frightens them. Not by any show of his power, but by the huge deference their elders show the ‘idea’ of him.

He has once had dealings with the Behemoths and Leviathans. The elders of both sides will never forget. They will always argue about the circumstances, but never about what it was that he did and how it cemented their fear of him.

It had to do with Atlantis. Specifically it had to do with certain allies of the Atlantean people.

The Atlanteans were known for their scientific and psychic prowess. They communicated with sentient beings from alternate dimensions, other worlds of a kind that live and die within the blink of a man’s eye, the age of the universe, the temperament of stars and the civilizations that depended on them, what language unifies all things sentient and non-sentient…in their arrogance they even believed they would unseat God. They did not consider that perhaps it was not they who invented these things; these rules, these perceived truths. They only met them, recognized them and employed them to their use.

One must remember that at the center of all histories is one truth.

They are at once both contextual and subjective, irrespective of any attempts at objectivity by the historian.

V

It so happened that they were building the early prototype of what men would later think of as the tower of Babel. It wasn’t a series of gates to the spiritual world or a challenge to God…it was something worse; something that would have damned the entire human race to a pseudo-immortal existence. Some things (which have no name that men can use or understand) had communicated with the Atlantean leadership from another end of the universe. This race had whispered a parasitic idea into their minds. They did not know it had been placed there. When I think about it, how could they? It took root because it requires the victims to be hungry for power. More likely victims than the human race are few, and those had ravaged their homes in terrible bids to enforce their rule on their own kind.

Their race was perishing and based on the psychic links they had made, the human race would have made excellent psycho-biological hosts. This promise of immortality was a trap that led to a servitude that would be invasive, long and cruel. Sadly these allies of the Atlanteans wanted to survive by any means. They did not care.

The Atlanteans had been seduced by the idea of immortality. All things are immortal in a form. If you doubt me, imagine fruit flies that live for a day. Think of creatures like mosquitoes that live for a fortnight. What do mosquitoes think of dogs, cats and other beasts that we outlive? And for all the medicine mankind has achieved to your point in time, no man has outlived a sea turtle. And yet, nothing survives the original source of life. These creatures wanted to cheat death at the expense of human life.

Unfortunately their downfall was as a result of serendipity. Some of them took probing the ‘hidden’ sides of the world, places that exist between what men see and where men fear to explore. They were observing their ‘new world’ and wandered to where the Emptiness chosen as his place of retreat, of rest, of solitude. He was not happy.

To make it worse, they were arrogant towards him. Their words were from a language you can have no idea of. He did not challenge them or let them know he was aware of their presence, but they made rude comments with words that would make any foul mouth feel sullied and very uncomfortable. They assumed he could neither see nor hear them.

He could do both…and he took offense as only an Emptiness can; with no room for redress. So then and there, he chose to make them an example. They were the example that the Behemoths and Leviathans have for as a good reason as any to be humble before his name.


Fourth Day: The Emptiness (I-III)

Compliments of the season people! I’d say”Christmas to y’all”, but that was yesterday so, let’s move on. Hope y’all had fun yesterday… did the kinds of things I would [or wouldn’t] do…

*Blah blah blah, plenty pleasantries, let’s stop now shall we?*

Anyways, since Book One of Fourth Day is over, Remi gave us a bit of a bonus. Here’s a little story about the Emptiness. Read and Enjoy.

Editor’s Note: Remember that Fourth Day is meant to be a series of graphic novels. So when you read, don’t imagine it as a regular novel, but more like a comic book without illustration. Okay? Okay.

The Emptiness and the Fall of Atlantis

I

It is amusing how every stage of human history is built on the corpses of its older, more rustic predecessors…and each society conveniently forgets this. The more extraordinary feats of past generations are glossed over in favor of shinier, flashier snippets of history. These great civilisations that were are weighed carelessly against ‘contemporary distractions’ by the under-qualified. Men still guess about Atlantis, lending uneven weight to the legends and facts. They assume that no one knows the truth, and so they construct fantastic yet baseless tales without fear of any challenge because they feel that everyone who was there is now long gone.

A lost story belongs to anyone with a wild enough imagination.

But their story isn’t lost…not in the most important way. Their first mistake is to assume Atlantis was a stand-alone nation that didn’t reach out to other civilizations. You need to understand that It wasn’t.

Once you accept this, you will understand better why they have been forgotten from living human memory. You will understand that the ambiguous fear of the Emptiness is far less than the fear he deserves.

II

Everyone assumes Atlantis was a great civilization. It was so much greater.

It stood powerful and proud, a bright beacon during the time of things you ‘read’ about, but consign to fantasy. Imagine, if you will, 6,000 years from your time and people think the internet was a fantasy. Sounds ridiculous? It should.

The same thing goes for unicorns, behemoths, leviathans, dragons, sons of angels and other creatures that walked the earth during the height of power of the people of Atlantis. There was a war that they started against the world. They had armies and weapons that are only believable to children because a child doesn’t hold on to his achievements in the fear that the past dwarfs them. To explain their war-machine, you need to forget the ‘toys’ you have. They had a weapon that would cause a drought without even a drop of radiation left in its wake. They intimidated fledgling civilisations this way. Whole rivers suddenly gone in a flash because they used a ‘Len-Midus’. Imagine a weapon as small as a purse in a lady’s handbag. It would be dropped at a key turn in a river bend and activated. The result would be an explosive agitation in two directions: up and down. Up would result in rarely seen terrible storm clouds because the river would be evaporating at a furious rate. Can you imagine how much water is held in a storm? Water, finally free to make men even smaller in its eyes. You need to remember that the world had never seen rain before this time. The clouds will grow before the eyes of men and terrify them as they would bulk up then take to the winds and migrate to the ends of the world.

The other effect would be a ‘softening’ of the river bed, turning it into a sieve. The holes would be large enough to redirect fish to the sub-terranean rivers, and then to the land of Atlantis. This led to forced migration and the weakening of the strength of human settlements.

Men and beasts can live a long while without food, but the same cannot be said of water. With no fish to eat or water to drink, wild beasts would sense where the nearest reserve of surface water was and would migrate in droves for survival.

The Len-Midus was always a warning shot; a disincentive to challenge the policies and commands of Atlantis. Even more terrible things sat in their armory, awaiting a heartless enough command to be issued.

No one could stand before Atlantis.

Atlantis lost … to a force of nature.

III

In those days, there were creatures that were sentient, savant and great in the use of their power and skill. Of these the most powerful of this kind were Behemoths and Leviathans. Behemoths had always been the more kind, benevolent and truly noble creatures of their kind. They had a kindness that could never be found in Leviathans, no matter how deep you reached into them. Armed with humility, Behemoths were ever aware that they were not alone and that their power, even though from of old, is a responsibility. The Leviathans had always hated them.

What kept the Behemoths strong was the fact that  the feeling was mutual… to the bone.

However, they possessed a similar dislike of the Emptiness, as the bearer has consistently cowed the pinnacle of every power. The bearer typically has no interest in anyone or anything. That makes it safe for all concerned…at least until something catches his attention.

Then he is at his most dangerous.

Strangely enough, no Behemoth had ever perished at his hands. The same cannot be said of the Leviathans. This is mostly attributed to Behemoths’ communal sense of humility. They only involve themselves in situations that they believe justice will eventually grant them victory.

But all too often, when the Emptiness is involved, the Behemoths are certain of 2 things:

1) That he has yet to be directly involved in injustice

2) Nothing they can do can ever discourage death from being death. They have the same regard for the Emptiness.


Fourth Day: Book One Epilogue

*ClearsThroat*

…And here we come to the end of Fourth Day, Book One. No, things don’t end here. I still have a few more things to give. But This is generally the end of Book One. If you’ve been waiting for it to end so you can read everything at once, well you can do that by clicking here.

Epilogue:

Anne French listened to the publishing team take apart Richard’s story with a cruelty that could only be born out of ignorance and a stiff mind.

The head of the wolf pack was her perennial foe, Joseph Kring. Joseph was well and widely read, widely travelled and well spoken. But he did not speak well of anything or anyone that had anything to do with that ‘petulant immature brat, Richard’.

“Anne, he most likely killed himself to guilt you into publishing this farce. I can’t even think of anything compelling in this dribble.”

Anne felt a growing heat rise from the pit of her stomach to the back of her eyes. Joseph could be caustic be default. He  got a phone call and he excused himself to receive it.

As he stepped out of the room, he stepped into his home. He dropped his phone and it struck him from his head, he looked up and he was staring at the naked sun from the middle of a desert.

He started to laugh as his sanity suddenly began to come apart at the seams. Nedeseh walked up to Joseph and started to laugh with him.

“Am I dreaming?”, Joseph asked.

“Depends… I don’t pinch, I slap…hard. Want to go for it?”

Joseph realized that he wasn’t dreaming at all.

“W-what is this? What’s going on?”

“You’re probably considering psychotropic drugs and an army of possibilities based on what you’ve read as an editor over the years. Do not bother. This is about a dying man’s wish. Let’s pretend you’ve just had a stroke and you’re in a coma…would you want to be remembered for murdering the dead? That is what you’re doing, you realize.”

Joseph calmed himself down.

“So…if I come out of this coma, stroke…condition, I can still make things right, yes?”

“Yes, you can. The real question is, will you?”

Joseph nodded mutely.

The thing about transitions for the untrained eye is a flash of tunnel vision followed by arrival. You can’t tell when you travelled or how. Joseph was back on his seat, in his office, staring through his glass wall at the meeting room. Anne was visibly fighting her tears, and he understood what harm he had done to her…to some degree.

Twice divorced, his alimony payments were an indicator of his insensitivity.

He walked back in, took in the meeting room and all its occupants in a glance.

“Fuck it. Do it. We will publish Richard’s last testament. No reason to keep him from smiling in the afterlife, is there?”

When Anne closed from work that evening, she decided to walk to the hotel that the Emptiness claimed to stay in. On arriving at the doors, she felt a slight tug at her sleeve. She turned to look into the face of a man in a metal-gray 3-piece suit. It was cut to fit his slim figure, his shirt was coal black and his head was bald.

His skin was young to the eye, but his touch was old and firm.

“Do not go upstairs to see him.”

She looked him in the eye and said,”I don’t know who or what you’re talking about. Kindly let go of my…”

“Richard is right in the middle of his return from his first death, Anne. He delayed it so he could speak with you to get the book published.”

She could not have known she was speaking with Nedeseh…but she had a strong and strange feeling that was correct.

“Your suspicions are correct, Anne. I am Nedeseh. You’re key to the idea and knowledge of us dropping deeper into the realm of the shared ignorance of men. What you read in his draft is not accurate. He, like every good student, just parroted what he was told. A true master will find out the truth for himself. You’re a master, Anne. Handling Richard might have seemed like drudgery, but no drudgery comes without mastery as a reward.

“I think you should sit down.”

Anne got herself a chair and seemed relatively composed about everything.

She was not. Her mind quaked at the thought of being so near someone who was more of a power and less of a person.

“You were misled in terms of the Emptiness, Anne. It was for your own good.”

She sat upright and leaned forward into Nedeseh’s personal space for a fraction of a second, then remembered who he was and drew back.

“The Emptiness they told you about has been gone for almost a millennium. The one who replaced him is actually more of an Emptiness in personality.

“You must know something of the power of a vacuum? At this stage of human society it is assumed that matter rushes to fill in a vacuum. The truth is that the vacuum, the emptiness, forces matter in and occupies the matter.”

Anne wrinkled her forehead and pursed her lips. He has gotten through to her without actually doing so.

“The Emptiness occupies everything. Wherever there’s space, he controls it. It is an element that was removed from the ‘understanding of men’ at a time that you might find difficult to envision. The Emptiness is not kind, friendly or anything like that ‘actor’ is.

“Richard was just being kind.”

He could tell she felt offended by the idea of deceit.

“The Emptiness has a ‘reputation’ all over the world as you know it and as you don’t. His reputation demands silence of his existence. Even when they want to refer to him…they don’t.”

She still didn’t feel she was being protected as much as her intelligence was being mocked.

“Taking things too personally will make for a hard road for you, Anne. I’ll do a small kindness.”

The room suddenly went silent and still, she looked about her and it was dark. She was about to panic, then she heard Nedeseh’s calming deep voice. He told her of a story about the last monumental Emptiness whose reputation was matched by the Emptiness who has been for the last 800 years.

Yes yes… that’s right. There’s more to come. 🙂


Fourth Day: Chapter Four (III)

So here’s the concluding section of Chapter IV. This bit winds down after now… but… you’ll find out tomorrow sha. Remember, if you don’t know what Fourth Day is about, relieve yourself from that burden by clicking here.

Enjoy.

III

Nedeseh never fell out with the impossible. The last things he did before he ‘became’ something a little more than man left everyone aware of him in no doubt that he would have made a powerful Emptiness.

He passed on Fire to the seed of the union between a Nupe princess and her Yoruba king and husband. The boy became a mighty warrior whose temper many liked to a terrible lightning storm. What his people didn’t reckon was that there was ‘true’ fire in him. When he passed on, Nedeseh returned to claim the fire from his fading life-light. The child was given many names in his ‘Oriki’, but the world knew him as Shango.

Nedeseh also declined becoming the Emptiness.

“This is how I mourn.”, he told the Emptiness and the Council of the half-moon.

By this time he had grown…older.

“And I have learned to mourn well.” he concluded before he disappeared. They searched for him, but he had gotten too skilled to be found anywhere in space…or time.


Fourth Day: Chapter Four (II)

Fourth Day continues from yesterday. Actually this is a bit late so I’m putting up another one later this morning. Catch up with the entire Fourth Day series by clicking here.

II

Unsure if it had to do with his meeting with Aiye, but he started to notice the little things when he would ‘run’. Unfamiliar colours flashed about him like tricks of light, emitted from things he could not trace…yet.

They were almost solid. He appeared just outside the Long-Shadow stronghold.

“Come in, boy”, eerily echoed from within the chambers.

He stepped in and the unearthly glow of their green flames filled the spaces, like luminous lichen lighting up in the wake of a school of whales.

He stood before their resting King. He was out of his corporeal form and transparent. At the moment, he was just another spirit tending to his own corpse, just as his guards were. It was hard to tell if he was facing Nedeseh or not, but his eyes were taking everything.

“Nedeseh, you may sit. This will take a while.”

“There is nothing to sit on, my lord.”

“There should be no secrets or lies between us, Nedeseh. I know what you did to Baru. Call out a seat from the earth beneath your feet. You have my permission.”

A crude clump of earth arose from the earth, then became a detailed stool with patterns of desert creatures adorning its legs.

“I see Amina is still on your mind. She is of man in a way that you can never return to. Why else do you think there have never been fathers and sons in the ranks of the Half-Moon council? Any child made of such a union would be an abomination…the first of which died in the great flood. I’ve been dead too long to be sensitive about such matters, Nedeseh. But I hope you trust that my intentions are in the right place.

“But you have questions for me.”

Nedeseh nodded.

“I’m an ancient corpse fighting under a self-imposed curse. I’m no sage. Aiye said you’d come to me with questions and I was not to discourage you from asking. I will not lie or hide any part of the truth from you. I’ve trusted you with my life, you should know that you can do the same with me.”

Nedeseh watched the king clean his corpse with great detail to attention.

He would look at a withered limb, then coax out a bit of dust and his flame would grow stronger.

“The less earth on my corpse, the stronger I become. The more earth, dust, well…had Baru’s back-up plan worked, I would have been freed from my curse, at the wrong time.”

“Is…there no place to keep yourselves that would be out of the reach of earth and dust?”

The guards stopped for a few seconds, then continued.

A large clump of clay dropped from the king’s corpse.

“Not without lifting the curse. We have to be in ‘this chamber’ or else we will perish. It is that simple actually.”

Nedeseh felt uncomfortable for his ignorant suggestion.

“Travelling through time. This is what you came to ask, was it not?”

Nedeseh bolted upright in surprise.

“You can, you know? Let’s try something.. By now you should have noticed the lights?”

“How did you…?”

“Why do you think I live here instead of resting with my fathers and those who have reigned after me? Nedeseh, you can think. So think? How else is this possible?”

“You…were you a…?”

“I mastered both light and shadow…then I was told I could only bear abominations. So I decided to stand in the place of those who would have been my seed. I cursed myself. I was eager to know, without understanding the costs. You have noticed the lights, yes?”

“I have.”

“But not where they come from. Not why they appear the way they do. Not what they mean. Not what they are saying.”

Nedeseh had a strange sensation that he had not felt since the last time he was…

“Curious. I’m…I’m curious.”

“Yes, you are…and I will help you get the answers that will guide your curiousity properly. Let’s start with the past. The immediate past. You’ve learned what it means to ‘run in a place’. I saw what you did to the 4 Elements in here. Do it again. Do it now.”

Nedeseh started. It was almost routine to him by now. The voice of the Long-Shadow king was cutting through the strain of his efforts.

“When you see a light…like seeing the sun through closed eyes…walk into it.”

He saw the light flicker strongly to his right so he ‘ran’ to it and suddenly he was standing before the 4 Elements when he had already left the chambers at that time. He stood where his illusion was, he tried to stretch his hand and he crashed through a swirl of colours that only the blind or the insane would find conforting.

It was the Long-Shadow guard who caught him.

He was in great pain.

“You’re lucky I was still in my spirit form. Many who have tried it have made the mistake of stepping outside the walls of reality and died their second and final deaths. You can see it is nothing more than ‘seeing’. You can’t engage the past, and only where ‘you’ stand as yourself with great enough power at any point, for example by ‘running in one place’ as you’ve discovered.

“That’s Aiye’s power. Wherever he stands, he stands with great power…but his case breaks a weak mind to something a little less than dust, a normal mind is turned to the gathering of a child’s after thoughts, a tough mind becomes that of a beast…wild or domesticated, that depends on the character or nature of the soul involved.”

“What is Aiye’s mind like?”

“Do you understand God?”, Aiye suddenly boomed from next to Nedeseh. Nedeseh reappeared in a defensive crouch in defence of the king.

Aiye let out a loud laugh that caused the green flame of the Long-Shadows to wane into a pale mint.

“Answer the question. Do you understand God?”

“No. Are you God? Sir?”

“I do not seek to be him. But I understand him better than a man just stepping into his final death.”

“What is your mind like, sir?”

“Your manners do not escape you as quickly as your sense of calm. A good balance in these paths you’ve started walking in.”

Nedeseh straightened up.

“Good. Everyone relax. My mind is not that of a man’s. No man would have the patience to stand on every surface of the earth in anticipation of travelling through time.”

“Is that what you did?”

“No. I stepped outside of time. The impossible has not yet made peace with you, but it has made peace with me.”

Nedeseh hated feeling like he was in the dark, like when he was in his first life.

Aiye looked at the king and said,”I know we agreed about him, but I still don’t think this is the perfect idea.”

“Aiye. Do not stand in the way of destiny. He will never be the Emptiness. Do not force things to take a different path.”

“I wish that so much for him. Being the Emptiness is so much easier than what I do now.”

“Take him to his first use of power as you will know it. It would be healthy for the both of you.”

Aiye motioned for Nedeseh to stand next to him.

The king whispered to Nedeseh from a distance but his spirit literally picked the words, the intention behind them.

“It is going to be alright. Everything will be fine. Of all things more than man, I pick you first, I respect you most and you will soon know why.”

He and Aiye travelled so far and so fast in time, he forgot what he wanted to ask the king.

They appeared where he first practised running on the spot. He stood where the illusion was and he saw himself hiding and waiting for anyone to fall for his trap. When Pandieh touched him, he was not expecting it, and when he turned, he saw himself.

Young, unaware of what was waiting for him, the possibilities that had already happened.

He winked by instinct. He now understood what it meant.

The king was right. He would be fine.

Just as he started to run he caught a glimpse of Aiye’s true form.

He saw his very self, perhaps 60 years removed from his now.

Aiye winked back at him.

Everything turned as still as stone. Aiye walked up to him.

“Time travel is not just precarious, it is scary.”

The world around Aiye literally vibrated from the power he was exuding. It was with an intensity that he could not understand from where he stood in time, experience and skill.

“When I…you…when we first met Amina, you jumped to where I had first stood to use my powers to the fullest. We cannot be the Emptiness because he has definition…we are nameless. Without any means for men to reckon with us.”

Nedeseh was too frightened to move.

“There is nothing to tell you that would calm you down now. I’ve practiced this moment for a while now…I’m still without the right words.”

Nedeseh got a grip on himself.

“Are you allowed to tell me everything?”

“And risk defeating the curiousity that led to me? That cannot happen.”

“So what next?”

“We become a little more than man.”

“Who else knows of this?”

“Only the king. The Emptiness of this era has his suspiscions, but my demanding respect from you threw him off.”

“How do you know? How sure are you that he is not here with us?”

“I exist outside the limits of ‘his’ power. You doubt me? What would have been the name of your first child with Amina?”

Nedeseh paused a while then spoke with an aged voice,”Ankono.”

Ankono rose from the earth.

Nedeseh didn’t even know that he was already crying.

“Father, there is so much we will tell you. Death is not what it seems to men. It never was. All of us are here.”

He saw the water-child pull herself together from the very water in the air.

“Nunwo…and Ife.”

The wind-child manifested himself as a cheeky but respectful wind that wrapped Nedeseh up in a powerful hug…for a whirlwind.

He put his arms around them when they became fully human in appearance.

“Is…is this the impossible I made peace with?”, he said to Aiye with eyes warm and wet.

“Well…you will find out.”