Of Gods and Men: Franco

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Franco, left ostracized by his former peers, lives in a cottage a few paces away from the village. Through their hatred he began to hate himself with the coming years.
To them, he isn't normal.
He isn't human.

Submitted: October 22, 2012

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Submitted: October 22, 2012

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In a dimly lit room, a fog of dusk permeates within the abode. A solitary mahogany window allows a small glimpse of light through. Within the middle of the room lies the silhouette of a figure—a male—illuminated by the natural light encompassing it. He reaches towards an old book containing various aged scraps of texts. Upon carefully examining it, he reads. “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.” The author of the piece, Mohandas Ghandi, was not familiar to him. Judging by the age of the passage, it was a man from a time of old. “The Old-Kin; wise they were, though foolhardy and destructive at the same time,” he said, lamenting on the script, allowing himself a brief moment of respite. After returning back to reality from his minute reverie, he pockets the article. Taking a few steps towards the exit, he stops just a few paces away from the door. As if he was reluctant to enter back into the world outside.

Taking his first step onto the leaf-covered dirt, he takes a look around. A goliath forest of green, red and yellow encompasses the area around him. It is autumn. Gales of whispers assail his ears; it is from the trees itself. He ignores them. After all, it is this gift that has left him hated, abhorred, and ostracized by his peers. To them, he is God-kith. A mortal blessed by a God, or Goddess. Though, in reality, he isn’t. He is only shadowed, a being who is under minor influence of such deities. He was blessed, or cursed by Mielikki, Goddess of the hunt, forest, and healing; through her influence, he was involuntarily given the ability to commune with nature. He was given the feat of hearing the voices of trees, animals, and other nature-y things.

The villagers who learned of this despised him, to them, he was not human anymore. He was a monster. So he was left alone, by his lonesome in a small log-house situated fifty paces from his village. It is due to their hatred that he despised himself, for what he is—what he had become.

Twitch. Stopping in his tracks, he surveys the area. Endless foliage saturates the dirt before him. Twitch. “To my left—”Instantaneously he reaches for his belt, grabbing a maple handle attached to one of his throwing axes. In a matter of seconds—through the extension of his arm—the axe is sent flying. A Thud!—is heard, and a squeal followed soon after. Upon reaching the underbrush in which the unknown creature was last heard, he sees the deceased hog before him; a trail of blood coalesces into a crimson puddle, lacquering the surrounding grass with a coat of viscous velvet. Pulling out the throwing axe, he wipes the blood away with a scrap of cloth. Once clean; he situates it back to his waist. He lifts the animal; placing most of the weight on his right shoulder. Permitting the head to droop down behind him; brushing against his shoulder blade. “Well, at least I have something for the village, that is, if they accept it,” he chuckles as he treks his way towards the village site; a faint line of smog emanates from little protrusions from the villagers shacks in the distance. Walking towards the village market, a dozen eyes are beset upon him. The pressure of their gaze increases his ever present anxiety.

“Look at’m, that monster, what’s Franco doin’ here?” Scoffs a villager, pointing his stubby fingers at the God-kith—Franco, spitting at the ground as the hunter walks past him. More villagers follow suit. Their hatred for him stems from the fact that he is ‘cursed’ by a God—Mielikki. To them, he is not human anymore. He is their friend no longer. He is more beast—a monster, than a man. “Tinks he’s better than all o’ us! We’ll show ‘im.”

A village merchant walks up to Franco, pushing him aside as provocation. Spitting at him, he says, “Git outta here ya fiend, your kind are not welcome in this town!” He goes in for a jab at Franco’s face. Only to be parried in return; his face landing onto the manure stained ground beneath him.

“Ya see that? That monster jus’ attacked Sammy! Ya best git out of here, y’all only bring trouble!”

Placing the wild hog onto the dirt, Franco bellows “Here’s your food for the day! Come! Take it, all of you ungrateful bastards! See what the monster’s got you for your dinner—unless you’re afraid of a little compassion from a so called demon!” He spits on the floor in disgust at their abhorrence of him, surveying the scene he sees the surrounding crowd closing in on him. With no other option, he trails back to the outskirts of the village, cursing with every step.

Dissuaded by his encounter with the village, he wallows around the grove. Upon resting on a well-sized rock, he opens the old tome, reading another passage. It is from another of the old-kin, Albert Einstein. “Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds.” He chuckles, “Small indeed.” He laments on how he wished none of this had happened to him. Wishing that things were back to what they used to be: Normal.

Franco rests on the boulder for what seems like hours, unmoving within his state of melancholy. He takes this minor period of respite to ponder about his thoughts. A faint chirping of birds is heard over yonder; small breezes of wind intriguing his palate as he smells the fragrance of the autumn leaves gliding past him. Other than that, all is quiet. He is alone, and for once he is at peace. A rustle of branches is heard a few paces away, something catches his attention—a Crow perched on a small ash tree to his left, its gaze fixated upon the human before it. The sight of the obsidian bird unsettles him. Is it watching me?

Eek!

A faint scream is heard in the distance, within the confines of the village. He ignores it. They’re in danger? No, forget it. They don’t need me, I heard what they said. I’m a monster, how could I possibly help them? Barrages of whispers once again assail his ears. It is the trees—pleading for his aid in defending the village. He diverts his attention back at the tree where the Crow was once perched. It’s gone. His suspicion is delayed as a feminine voice gains prominence over the dissonance of the talking trees.

It is a voice of power.

“Franco, it is I, Mielikki. Though they may not see it, I have given you power, the power to protect your comrades—even at the lack of their behest. You are their guardian. Though you are not my aspect, I am watching over you, guiding you; giving you strength when yours is lost…”

She is right. I am no monster; I am their protector, even though they may not see it that way. I have been lead on a trail of self-doubt due to being victimized by their words. Through their hatred, I hated myself. Hating what I am, hating what I was. He hops off the boulder, bracing himself as he gets back onto his feet. I believed that I was what they believed me to be, a demon. They were wrong. Now, I realize who I am, and I accept it, even if they are unable to. They cannot tell me what I am; only I have the ability to judge myself. With axes in hand, and nature at his side, Franco rushes towards the village, ready to face anything, and determined to save the men who despise him. Through his self-acceptance he will prove them wrong. He will show them what he really is. He will show them that he still is human. And, that he is still to be trusted

That he is still a friend.


© Copyright 2020 Mordecai. All rights reserved.

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