The Eye's of Asul

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


On the night the moon is at its fullest and brightest, a boy ventures to the mountains searching for the monsters and hunters he has heard stories about. Upon reaching the highest point of the
mountain, he meets a man nearing the end of his life. Curious, the boy tries to talk to him and discovers the man has glowing red eyes. After looking into the man's eyes he takes a look at his
surroundings and discovers his vision has changed. The boy takes a look at the field below him. A field of black and white eye flowers cover the ground and the man begins to call him 'Asul'.


The sky was a dark blue the night the boy took a stroll outside. Most nights are pitch black, but the stars shone brightly these next few weeks. No one knew the reason, but every time around this year, the night would be it's brightest and beautifulest. The moon was the biggest it has ever been. Almost taunting the boy to come find it for himself.

The boy took to the mountains to see the stars and the moon. His parents always forbade their children from climbing the mountains. Old tales of monsters and hunters made the mountains dangerous to those who were not equipped. But the boy has been to the mountains many times. More times alone than with his siblings. The boy found it easier if not faster to climb on his own. His siblings took too long to travel up the rigid rocks, so he found it more fun to climb alone.

Every time he climbed, he imagined himself finding the monsters his parents warned him about. He even hoped of finding the men and women who hunted the monsters, to watch them in action. But he never found either of them. He would try as many times as possible, be as quiet as possible, but each time he climbed the mountains, he would find nothing. He was alone up in the mountains.

Tonight was different for the boy. He believed the monsters came from the moon and jumped down to this world and landed on the mountain. So the boy would climb to the highest point and wait for the monsters to jump down from the moon.

When the boy reached the highest point, he looked up at the sky filled with stars. He was mesmerized by the number of stars in the sky. Never before has he seen so many in one night. Stars as vast as the ocean. Nebulas colouring the dark. Then swallowing the darkness whole.

Then the boy heard a noise. It was faint, but he heard it. Closing his eyes, the boy focused his hearing, waiting for another noise to come. And it did. It was a cough. Someone or something was with him. The boy's heart was raising. He believed he would finally find his monster. Again the boy closed his eyes and focused. He removed all the familiar noises from the mountain he knew of. The wind blowing on the grass and tree's, the night bugs talking to one another, all these noises he removed and focused on hearing the cough again. And he heard it.

Chasing the cough it lead him to the area with the biggest tree on the mountain. There, leaning on the tree was a man. A Hunter! The boy thought to himself. Running towards him, the boy began seeing the Hunter clearer and clearer. He was lying down leaning his back on the tree, his breathing was faster than normal. Maybe he was chased by a monster? The boy wondered. But when the boy reached the man, he could tell it was much worse than he thought.

He was bleeding, a lot. The boy stopped running towards the man and wondered if he should get help. Or maybe he himself could patch him up. Maybe it wasn't so bad as he thought. But before he could decide the man spoke.

"I know." The man said. "I'm dying." The man was looking in the boy's direction. "It's ok, I want this." The boy slowly moved closer to the man. He could tell there was too much blood. The boy was helpless.

"Was it the monsters?" The boy asked

"Monsters?"

"My parents said that Monsters and Hunters live in the mountains." He told the man. "Are you a hunter? Did the monsters get you?"

The man began to laugh but couldn't. Instead, he began to cough and held his stomach in pain. The boy moved closer to the man, but the man held up his hand towards the boy. "Monsters, huh? I guess you can call them monsters." The man looked towards the boy. "Come closer." He told the boy.

The boy moved closer, much closer. He could see his grizzled face. His dark brown hair. The most peculiar thing was that a blindfold covered his eyes.

"Are you blind?" The boy asked.

The man smiled. "In a way." The man took a deep breath at looked towards the sky. "Tell me, what do you see?"

"What do I see?"

"Up There." The man motioned his head towards the sky. "What do you see?."

The boy looked up and took note of everything he saw in the sky. "Stars mostly." The boy replied. "The Moon."

"Is that all?" The man asked.

"Is there more?" The boy replied.

With his hand on his wound, the man began breathing harder. The boy moved closer with concern but again the man held out his hand holding him back. "Boy." the man began. "There is so much more."

"Like what?" the boy asked. "What do you see?"

The man turned his head in the direction of the boy with his blindfold still on. "Monsters." The man said. "Monsters everywhere."

"So they're real?" The boy asked with enthusiasm. The man nodded his head. "They come from the sky then? Just like I thought? And the hunters? They exist too?" The boy got closer to the man with excitement in his eyes.

The light of the moon began to shine down on them. Slowly, the shadows disappeared, and the boy saw the man's face. Scars and blood all over. Where he thought the man was blindfolded turned out to be a bandage. For the boy could see dried up blood running down the man's eyes. The man was still breathing heavy, but he replied to the boy.

"No. No hunters." The boy was shocked to hear this. He believed in the old stories of monsters living in the mountains and honourable hunters slew them to keep the people safe. Looking down the cliff the man pointed further below. "Monsters did this to me," he said. "Monsters down there."

The boy walked to the edge of the cliff and looked in the direction of where the man was pointing. He saw nothing. Nothing but vast fields, trees blowing in the night and man-made roads leading to his home. The boy looked back at the man confused. He didn't understand what he meant. But seeing the man now, he knew he wasn't part of this world much longer. Curiosity came over the boy and so he asked a question.

"You're not scared?" The boy asked. "Scared of dying?"

With a grin on his face, the man slowly raised one of his hands to the back of his head. "Boy." The man began. "Take a look at what I see and tell me if death is the thing to fear." The man pulled out one of the threads and his bandage came loose. Scared, the boy instantly closed his eyes and hid his face from the man's vision. "Look at me and tell me where the monsters are."

Slowly, the boy began to reveal his face to the man again. This is what I wanted the boy thought to himself I wanted to find what made this place forbidden to me. To my family and friends. So then in a quick succession, the boy removed his hands from his face, opened his eyes and looked right into the man's eyes. What he saw, was something he never expected to see.

Breathing even harder the man had red eyes. But they were glowing. Glowing so brightly the boy thought it was the moon's light playing tricks. But when the moon's light moved beyond the man's face, his red eyes still stared right at the boy. The Iris glowed a bright red while his pupils and scleras remained black and white, respectively. The boy was at a loss for words. Was the man the monster he was always looking for? Or was he a hunter? The boy found himself getting closer to the man. He couldn't help himself. He was too curious about how the man's eyes were able to glow so bright.

Staring deeply, the boy saw something in the man's eyes. It happened in an instant but he saw something move. So much like he did when he heard the man cough, the boy focused on the man's bright red eyes. Though they were bright, the boy's own eyes weren't hurt by the light being projected out of the man's eyes. The boy took away all other sights. He took away the night, the stars, the moon, the grass, the trees. All of it he removed from his sight and focused on the man's eyes. And he saw it again. Looking as deep as he could, he could see other specs of light. It was like looking at the stars. Some moving across the man's eyes like a shooting star, others like lighting striking each star. The boy was amazed. He could stare at the man's eyes forever.

Just as the boy was trying to understand what was happening inside the man's eyes, something touched his face. Confused, the boy brought back his sight to the world around him. He saw the man breathing even deeper, heavier. The man's eyes, still bright red were taking shape. Sadness. The man was crying. The boy looked to where he felt something touching his face and saw the man's hand against his cheek. The boy instantly grabbed the man's hand and felt coldness. He's really dying. He thought to himself. He's scared. When the boy looked back at the man's face, he was still crying. But it looked like the man wanted to say something. That's when the boy noticed it. The darkness that was surrounding him and the man.

This wasn't the same darkness of the night. There was no light. But how can I see? The boy wondered. The boy didn't feel the stars or the moon's brightness. The grass was black. Pitch black. He looked at the sky and saw things he never saw before. A mix of black and red clouds intertwined with one another. The stars were gone. The moon was gone. No light protruded from the red and black clouds. It was as if everything was like a painting. The red and black clouds moved and mixed with one another in the sky. The boy pushed away the man's hand and moved closer to the cliff. At the bottom, he saw flowers. Hundreds and hundreds of black and white flowers.

"I've found you." The man said reaching out to the boy.

The boy turned around and saw the same flowers around the man. Looking at them closer, as with everything else he has seen so far, they weren't regular flowers. The flowers stems and petals were all black. In the middle a white circle and in the center of the circle another smaller black circle. They have eyes the boy thought. But the eyes themselves didn't move. The flowers just swayed back and forth.

The boy felt a tug on his leg. Looking down, he saw the man still crying. "All these years." The man said. "All these years alone. I've finally found you." The boy was too confused. Searching the man's eyes again, he saw his reflection. It took him a couple times, but he noticed it. His eyes were glowing red too.

Needing confirmation, he looked around for something, anything that can help him know better. Searching his clothes, the boy finally decided to rip off a piece of his fabric. Ripping a piece of white from the collar of his shirt, the boy looked at it and held it close. He saw it. Red being absorbed into the white fabric. The boy looked at the sky again and noticed something. At the edge of the cliff where he saw the flowers with eyes, he saw the clouds moving apart. The flowers swayed more violently, and he began to hear a noise. To the boy, it sounded like something was rattling. Almost like hundreds of jars filled with seeds rattling one after another.

As the clouds began to disperse, the boy could slowly begin to see something. A flower in the sky. A really big flower, as big as the moon. It had many thin petals around it. Almost like eyelashes. The petals were shaking violently. Was this where the noise was coming from? He wondered.

The boy was not afraid of this. This is what he wanted. He knew something was in the mountains. He searched for it to be monsters and hunters for a long time. He never expected this. But he was too curious to step away from any of this. So he continued to watch the clouds separate where the flower was.

A long stem was beginning to show itself near the bottom. The flowers on the ground swayed more and more rapidly. The boy looked higher, to where he saw the petals shaking. He saw the flower's center. But it was all black.

"Asul." The man said. "My Asul." All the flowers on the ground stopped swaying. The boy looked back at the man. Still clutching his one hand on the boy. The rattling stopped. The boy looked at the huge flower in the sky and noticed a small white line, at the center another black dot.

The boy looked around and noticed all the flowers moved in unison. Like a tree growing towards the sun, all the flowers in the field, and those around him, now pointed to the huge flower. Their eyes directly looking at it. Slowly, the boy could hear the rattling again. This time it was closer. The boy looked at the flowers around him and one by one each of their petals shook violently. The white line on the huge flower started getting bigger. As the line became more and more of a circle, more and more of the flowers shook and made the rattling noise.

It's waking up the boy thought. The more the huge flowers eye opened, the more the flowers in the field shook. Are they waking it? As the flower in the sky's eye continued to wake its petals too shook as it did before. The rattling became more and more violent. Slowly, the center of the huge flower formed an eye. Once the eye was wide open all the shaking and rattling the flowers on the ground made stopped. They went back to their swaying back and forth with no sense of direction.

The thin petals on the huge flower started forming together to make massive petals. They looked as if they were swirling around the flower. Like the sun the boy thought. The huge flower did not sway back and forth like the other flowers. Instead, it stayed still. Only its petals moved.

Then the boy noticed the black circle in the center. It was moving. Like a ball being hit from wall to wall, the eye looked like it was searching for something. It was moving frantically. Wanting to find what it was searching for. Then it laid its eye on the boy. The boy stared right at the flower in the sky, wondering if something was going to happen. Nothing did. The flowers on the ground continued to sway, and the flower in the sky just stared at the boy.

The boy turned to the man who was still clutching at the boy's leg. Taking the man's hand the boy knelt down beside the man. He was still bleeding.

"All my life..." The man started. "I would look up to the sky and see no stars and no moon. I wondered if I was crazy for not seeing what everyone else saw." The man looked up to the sky. "But now I see it. It's beautiful." The boy looked up to the sky and only saw the black and red clouds along with the flower in the sky. But he can see the stars? He wondered. Did we switch? Needing confirmation the boy asked the man.

"You can see them? The stars? The moon? The sky?" The man nodded. "How?" The boy asked.

"They said that when I find you, that I would see things differently." The man said. "That when I found my Asul, that the darkness and the monsters I saw would disappear." The man began to smile. "I'm glad. So very glad I took a chance." The man started to search for something in one of the pockets of his shirt. "To lie and foolishly serve a man. To be attacked by those who served him. To find you. Here, now. I should have never lied."

"How can I get them back?" The boy asked. "How can I get back the stars and the moon?" The man looked into the boy's eyes and noticed his eyes were glowing red.

"How did you?" The man asked.

"I looked into your eyes." The boy replied. "I looked into your eyes and took everything away. Then when I brought them back, the moon, the stars, the sky all of it was gone."

As the man began to speak, he began to cough once again more violently than last time. The boy could tell the man didn't have much time left. That whatever strength the man had left, he wanted to save.

The man looked up at the boy with a smile, it was one of reassurance. It's ok is what the boy took from that look. There was confidence in the man's eyes that the boy didn't see before. "Listen, you know what's happening to me. But before that, I need you to do something."

The boy knelt down beside the man looking at his wound. The blood spreading, his clothes more wet with his blood. The man pushed his hands onto the boy's chest. "I need you to free me." The boy's hand reached for the man and that's when the boy felt it. The man handed him a small knife. The boy looked at it curiously. Dull on both sides, a wooden hilt, and a pointed tip. The boy looked back at the man who was looking at the boy's eyes directly. There was a slight smile on the man's face. A sense of comfort.

"I-I Can't-" Before the boy could finish, the man grabbed the boy's wrist holding the knife.

"Please." The man said, "Only you can free me." The man then looked passed the boy looking towards the flower in the sky. The boy also turned to it. The flowers eye was staring intently at the two of them. Its iris almost shivering. The man forced the boy's hand to the side of his neck. His gaze back to the boy. Instantly, the boy pulled away from the man's neck. The man being too weak to keep it there.

The boy returned his stare into the iris of the flower. Maybe he could find something in it? Something that can help him understand? So the boy again took away all he could from his sight and stared intently at the eye. Then the boy felt something he never did before.

A mix of emotions swelled into the boy's heart. What was this? How can I feel this? He asked himself. Many times before, whenever he took away from his senses, all he could receive back was whatever it was he was focusing on accomplishing. If he needed to jump higher, he would remove all his strength and placed it in his legs. If he wanted to taste the oranges in his mom's mixed cake, he would remove all other tastes and focus entirely on the oranges. Never before had received another sense in return.

But staring deeply into the flowers eye was different. So many emotions were coming out of it. Memories began to resurface into the boy. Moments in time that caused him to feel certain emotions. The time when he won the sword competition at his school, the death of his father, the time his mother made him a shirt for school, the moment when his grandfather whipped a slave for stealing. The boy had enough and returned his sight.

A part of him hoped that if he removed his sight and focused on something else, the stars and the moon would return. But no, he still saw the flower in the sky. He still saw the red and black clouds mixing together. He still saw the dying man with glowing red eyes. In the instant that he looked at the man, he remembered the last emotion he felt before returning his sight; pity.

He looked at the man who was still holding the boy's wrist. Still hoping he would free the man. But he was dying anyway, so why would it matter? Was it out of pity that the man would let the boy kill him? To let him experience death? No, that couldn't be it. Then why?

"Asul." The man said. The boy looked at the man's face and still saw that comforting smile. "How I wish I could have followed you." The man continued. "How I wish I could have found you. Looking at you now I could see. I could see the monsters being vanquished by you. I could see your mask being torn to shreds and just see you. You for everything you are." Tears started to flow down the boy's face. Why? It was like the boy knew who this man was. But how?

The boy tried to speak, but the tears kept flowing. Any sound he made was just noise, sadness. Why? His hands were shaking. Why? He knew why. He knew why he was crying. He knew why his hand was shaking. He just didn't understand. His body already decided. And with every inch of him, he tried to stop it. His body wanted to kill this man. Why? He tried to take away everything. His body was fighting against him, so he tried to take away his strength. He didn't want to listen to the man anymore, so he tried to remove his hearing. He didn't want to see this world ever again, so he tried to remove his sight. But none of it was working. Why?

The man could see the pain and confusion inside the boy. For him, reading emotions was as simple as looking at a colour. He could tell when someone was uncertain, when they were happy or even when they were lying. It was all too easy for him. For the man, all he needed to do was say a few more words, and he'd be free. Not because he wanted freedom, but because it's what he always wanted to say when he met his Asul. So the man spoke more. And the boy cried more.

"Before I saw you," The man continued. "I was ready to end it all. I was ready for them to kill me. I waited for it to happen. And when they failed, I was ready to end it myself. I was tired of lying like everyone else. Then I saw you, and everything made sense." The man put his hand on the boy's cheek. "Asul, what we are feeling now can't end here." The boy's eyes light up a little. The man could see a sense of hope glimmering out of the boy. "We can't break the cycle. A Pual must always find its Asul."

Cyle? The boy wondered. The man was saying words the boy couldn't understand. But a few of them stuck with the boy. "Can't. Break. Cycle" The boy said nearly crying as he said each word. His arm slowly going back to the man's neck."Always. Find. Asul." It took every ounce of strength the boy had to say those words while he continued to fight against his own body. The man nodded in approval. The boy could feel the knife move up and down as the man nodded.

The boy still didn't understand. He didn't want to. He wanted to find a reason, any reason to stop all this. But one emotion remained inside him when he looked at the flower in the sky. One emotion that swelled from within the boy. That when those six words he spoke, raised higher and higher inside of the boy. The first emotion he felt when he took away his sight when looking at the flower in the sky; admiration. Why? He would do anything for this man, and the man would have done anything for him. He knew this. Why? So he decided to free the man. Why?

The boy needed a moment to collect his thoughts. But all of this was happening too fast. The boy began to start heaving. He began to focus on those six words. Can't. Break. Cycle. Always. Find. Asul. He said to himself over and over again. And just as he started breathing his deepest breath, he pushed the knife as quickly as he could into the side of the man's neck.

The man's eyes lit up. His body shot upward. The boy's gaze never left the man's face, and as soon as he felt the knife go deep enough, he quickly pulled it out. Letting blood seep out of the wound. The boy held the man's head in his hands and just watched. He didn't know for how long, but he just watched. Watched as the man tried to breathe. Watched as the man's body shook. Watched as the man, with all his strength mouthed the words "Thank you" and "Asul".

Time went by and the boy continued to watch as the man's eyes slowly close. The boy saw the light of the man's eyes disappear, and to his surprise, the iris and pupils disappeared as well. All that remained was the whites of the man's scleras. More time passed and the man's body began to feel cold. All the warmth was removed. So the boy got up and began to walk away. Towards home.

It took the boy a while to notice but his sight reverted back. The boy saw the moon, the stars, the grass and the night sky. He wasn't sure when it happened but he also got the piece of fabric to check on his eyes. No light was being absorbed. Everything was back to normal. Why? The boy thought to himself.

No, not everything was back to normal. Climbing down the mountain and walking back home, things didn't seem right to the boy. He wasn't sure how, but everything felt off. The trees didn't sway the way they once did. The animals didn't interact with one another the way he remembered. The moon wasn't as big as it once was or ever had been. Even people seemed a bit off from what they were before.

The boy would start asking a question involving just about anything. "Why was the sky blue? Why do we have slaves in our city? What makes them different from us? What makes me different from you? Why do we kill? Why do we love?" All these he asked to anybody who would talk to him. He wasn't the same from before. He knew this. He just didn't know why.

Time would pass and the boy would get older, smarter, stronger. All the while still asking these questions without getting a proper answer. He would even go to different bookstores, libraries and ask scholars everywhere he went searching for answers to these questions. He also asked about the words 'Asul' and 'Pual' to which no one knew a thing about. So the boy, nearly a man now decided to one day head overseas traveling distant lands, to search for the flower in the sky, to find answers to his questions. Most of all he wanted to find these Pual and Asul's. All the while remembering those six words; Can't. Break. Cycle. Always. Find. Asul. He would say to himself over and over again.

Thousands, if not millions would die in his search.

 


Submitted: April 08, 2018

© Copyright 2023 Chris Almeda. All rights reserved.

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