Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Home is where the heart is.

ìWow! Look at the buildings. This place is growing before our very eyes. This is a new city?î Selu asked finding it hard to believe that a city of this size sprung up over night.
ìYes, it seems that the oil business has been very good to this area. With as many people moving into the territory that there is, it won't be long before they are petitioning for statehood.î Nick replied.
ìGreed drives men to do the strangest things. Most of these people came here for cheap land, yet their land sets untended as they race after the lure of easy money.î Talon said with a shake of his head.
ìThey never seem to be satisfied with the gifts that they have been given. Where will they turn when they realize that no one is working the land any more? Who will help them when they don't have enough food to feed all of the people who fled to the cities to make it rich?î Selu added with a sigh.
ìNot everyone has forsaken their land. In fact, I dare say the majority of the people are still working hard to make their land prosperous enough to support those who do move to the city. They know that there is money to be made by hard work as well as luck. Do you think that my homeland, or all of Europe for that matter, is made up of entirely rolling farms?î Nick asked, a sound of exasperation in his voice.
ìOf course not, but they have had centuries to find a balance. We are trying to rush into the modern world before the groundwork has been properly laid.î
ìNo, it isn't. It is merely following in the footsteps of Europe. In fact, there are cities there that would dwarf anything that you could imagine. To become a ëcivilizedí society, you have to progress. Part of that progress is the development of two types of people: Those that harvest the land and those that harvest the mind.î

ìShame on you, Nick!î Selu chastised sharply. ìYou think that just because someone chooses to grow crops that they do not exercise their minds? Talon and I both were taught to live, not just off of the land, but also as a part of it. Do you think us ignorant as well?î
ìYou misunderstand me, Selu.î Nick quickly intervened. ìI was not suggesting that farmers were ignorant. I was merely saying that the things that they are interested in learning, for the most part, are things that will help them accomplish their goals, a bountiful harvest. In the cities, one is more free to pursue the arts, or attend a university to study science, philosophy, or any of a hundred topics that are of no interest to a man that wants to grow a good crop or raise cattle for that matter. This does not make them ignorant.î
ìI understand what you are saying. In all fairness, I still think that man should not be stamped with an everlasting title based on how he supports himself and his family. Why can't he be both a painter and a farmer?î
ìOk, but that goes back to my original statement. If he lives near a city he or she for that matter, has a better chance of finding his niche in life. If he is brought up in the middle of a thousand acres, four days ride from the nearest town, he is not likely to do anything other than take over his father's farm.î Nick replied with a patient shake of his head.
ìOk, but all that I am saying is...î Selu began.
ìSelu! Can we please just drop the subject? I am starving and at the rate you two are going, it will be daylight before we even walk into town.î Talon interrupted with a laugh.

They joined his laughter and agreed to start the hunt. As the trio walked up the riverbank, Talon was impressed that mortal men could build such a city so quickly. The air was filled with the sounds of the city; the clip-clop of horses riding on the streets, the bay of dogs as they darted in and out of the people walking up and down the sidewalks. The air smelled of food and spirits, though the hour was getting late.

As they pressed through the crowds on the busy streets, Talon began to wonder if a city this size could hide beings like themselves. There is obviously a very busy nightlife, so they would not appear suspicious while roaming the streets at night.

They finally found a tavern that was not overly crowded. The group made their way to the table and ordered three glasses of scotch. A quick scan of the peopleís thoughts revealed that there were several potential meals in the room. There was a gentleman sitting at the table next to them that had taken off work early today to surprise his wife, his business had been booming and he had been working at his shop nearly around the clock for several months. He had finally generated enough profit from it that he could hire some help. He stopped by one of the street vendors and purchased a bouquet of flowers. As he approached the house, he thought to himself. Someday we will fill this house with the sound of childrenís laughter. The thought of it made him smile. He opened the door and found himself alone in the front room. He could hear movement upstairs.
ìAh, she must be cleaning the bedroom.î He thought aloud as he looked at the ceiling.

He ascended the stairs quietly, hoping to startle her. As he gently pushed open the bedroom door, he couldnít believe his eyes. His wife of less than a year was kneeling on the bed, gripping the headboard with both hands while some strapping young Indian lad was taking her from behind. He had a hand full of her hair, which he dropped when he heard the man began to sob. They both scrambled off of the bed and began to throw on clothes. The man just sank to the floor in disbelief, the bouquet of flowers still clasped tightly in his hand. All of his hard work had been for her. So that he could lavish his love with anything that she wanted. How could she do this to him? He didnít even try to stop her as she ran out after her lover. What was the point? It could never be the same again. His life was ruined. Forever changed, by a soulless whore that claimed to give him unconditional love.

ìWow! Did you catch that?î Selu asked quietly, obviously listening to the thoughts of the same gentleman.
ìYes, I did. The poor bugger Worked himself to the bone for love. Only to find out that the woman he loves is nothing more than a common whore.î Nick replied, shaking his head in disgust.
ìMaterial gains arenít all that a woman needs to keep her happy, Nick. If he would have spent a little more time with her maybe she wouldnít have felt the need to stray.î
ìYou canít honestly be defending that woman, Selu. If she really loved him, she would have waited for him. She would have realized that the only reason that he was gone so much so that he could provide her with a good life. You can tell yourself that material possessions donít matter, but we both know better. If he went broke it would only be a matter of time before she was looking for someone that could take care of her in the manner that she feels like she needs to be taken care of.î Talon declared amazed that she those words had come from her lips.
ìButÖî Selu began with a look of concern on her face.
ìBut nothing! Do you mean to tell me that when I went on hunting trips for weeks at a time, that you were searching for comfort in the arms of someone else?î He asked, perhaps a bit to sharply.
ìOf course not, Talon. I love you more than life itself. I would never do anything to hurt you like that.î She quickly replied, with a shake of her head.
ìMy point exactly. If you love someone, you would do anything in your power not to hurt them. So she was obviously an adulterous whore, who had no concern for the mental well-being of her husband.î Talon stated as he smacked the table for emphasis.

No one could hear their conversation, but everyone heard him smack the table. All heads momentarily turned towards them. After a moment, everyone returned their attention to what they were doing. Almost everyone that is, the gentleman sitting at the table next to them was still staring at Talon. He suddenly stood up and walked over to their table.

ìI know the feeling friend. You are obviously agitated and sometimes the sound of your hand smacking something unyielding is enough to clear the anger from your mind or at least enough to accomplish the task at hand.î He told Talon, as he stood beside him.

They all exchanged glances, wondering if he understood, what the task at hand meant for him. Nick gave Talon a wink and Selu had to suppress a chuckle. Nick reached over and pulled out the vacant chair that was nearest him.

ìWould you care to join us friend?î Nick asked with a smile. ìAt least until your friends arrive.î
ìI am alone this evening. Thank you for the offer; I would appreciate the company.î He answered before taking the chair.
ìMy name is Sam Bernard. I own a curiosity shop a few blocks from here, Bernardís Import Goods.î He said as he looked into his drink.
ìWhat sort of wares do you offer there?î Selu asked, as her curiosity was piqued at the idea of someplace new to shop.
ìOh, a variety of things really. I have silken robes from China, small statues from Greece, stuffed animals from Africa. Just about anything you could imagine and a few things you canít.î He said as he smiled for the first time since his ill-timed discovery.

As the conversation continued, his spirits seemed to lift a little with each laugh that he was able to induce in any one of the trio. Within an hour they had not only decided that they were not going to feed on him, they actually found themselves growing rather fond of him. Selu promised that she would visit his shop soon. Nick and Talon both assured him that there were far better women in the world than the one that he lost. Women that would appreciate a man like him. The group finally had to excuse themselves; they did have a limited time to feed after all. Talon had a feeling that they would see Sam Bernard again.

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