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

Names are powerful things....

When he thought back to that day, he remembered it as summer. The truth could have been the complete opposite, but he liked to think of it as summer. It made the memories warmer.

He had been only fourteen when he had been “hired”. That’s what the master called it. He had first heard the master’s cruel voice when his name had been Sosi, and he had been afraid. Now, he had no name, It had taken that from him. It was a monster, Nomen Fur, and It had taken his name. The master had brought Sosi to the cavern. Atop the entrance was written “Aut vincere aut mori!” a warning to all who entered. Beneath it, written in a dark paint, was “Absit omen!”

“Get in there, Corpus Vile!” The master always called him Corpus Vile, a worthless title, but the only one Sosi had. He slowly walked into the cavern, feeling the temperature drop drastically. He shivered, not from the cold, but from fear, for he could hear something moving deeper in the cavern. Regardless, he knew of the danger of turning back, and so, he continued on.

“Speak the name of he who goes there.” A voice called. Sosi knew enough not to obey.

“I am a lonely traveler, looking for rest.” Sosi replied.

“I can give you rest, if I only knew your name.”

“Perhaps if I knew your name, I would not be so wary of giving you mine.”

“Nomen Fur.” The voice replied, seemingly closer.

“Not your title, your name.” Sosi said nervously.

“Very few have pursued such an aim.”

“I do, so please, tell me your name.”

“You dare demand such a thing from me!” The voice snapped, coming into the dim light. Sosi gulped. Nomen Fur appeared to be a cross between a corpse and a large insect. But Its eyes were the most fascinating by far. Devoid of all color, they seemed hypnotic.

“Talis forma!” Sosi whispered. Nomen Fur smiled, a disturbing sight.

“Yes. Stare into my eyes. What did you say your name was?” Nomen Fur whispered.

“Sosi.” The boy replied, dazed. Nomen Fur laughed.

“Thank you, boy. Oh! My name is….” It leaned forward, its sour breath filling the boy’s nostrils. Nomen Fur whispered into the boy’s ear Its name. The boy stood petrified for a moment, suspended by the power of Nomen Fur’s voice. It was neither male nor female, neither young nor old. It just was. Then, as the creature slithered back into the darkness, the boy seemed to awaken from a dream. He had no name.

Years passed, and the boy became a man. Although he could recall his name, no one seemed able to call him by it. He was worthless, for one’s name defines one. One day, however, the man remembered something. The man remembered Nomen Fur’s name. Over the next fortnight, he planned. Finally, the time for action came.

He stood before the cavern, its now familiar warnings somehow comforting the man. Taking a deep breath, he walked in. Immediately, he heard Nomen Fur crawling toward him.

“You again? What do you want?”

“I have a name for you. Would you like to hear it?” The man was careful not to betray his goal with his voice. Nomen Fur smiled, and so, the man spoke the creature’s name. Up hearing it, the creature shrieked.

“How dare you? You use my magic against me?”

“I will give you your name back, if you do the same.” The creature growled, and fell silent. It seemed to be pondering a great deal. The man stood nervously, worried that the creature would never agree.

“Fine.” The creature said at last. And so, Sosi left, and came to me. He told me Nomen Fur’s name. Strangely enough, I find myself incapable of writing or even speaking it. It is as though Sosi took the name from me.

Submitted: July 02, 2007

© Copyright 2020 Andlat. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:




:) That's a wonderful story focused on the power a name can hold despite being only a word. It's an interesting concept to consider really. It's very thoroughly explored in a short story that does not attempt to carry the concept beyond it's reach.

Mon, September 7th, 2009 8:20pm


It was my purpose to examine the power of names and I am glad that you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!

Tue, September 8th, 2009 7:10am

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