The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 12

Lipmon woke the next day shivering in the early morning cold. There was no part of him that didn’t ache, and though adrenaline and anxiety had kept his appetite moderate the day before, now it engulfed his stomach. He pulled the dirt and leaves that kept him warm closer against him and rolled back in forth in agony as the light of the rising sun moved deeper into the valley.

His first priority was to find some food for himself, some roots and berries at the very least. It’d be nice if he could trap an animal, but he didn’t have the skill or energy for it. Actually, the first priority was to get up and get his addled body in motion. He discovered that the hardest thing of all was simply getting up.

The thing that consoled him as he struggled to stand was the thought that it was him, of all people in Still Creek-forr, who had survived. A perverse fantasy had gone through his mind during those long minutes of trying to persuade himself to move. He imagined that all the townspeople had seen him fleeing from the town, the sole escapee, before they died and that a total a reevaluation of Lipmon occurred in their mind in that moment: instead of thinking of him, as they normally did, as the least among all the citizens of Still Creek-forr, they saw him as their salvation and savior. If they ever thought someone would save them, they would assume it’d be one of their leading citizens, like Elden the priest or Dinosis the merchant. Lipmon would probably be the last person they would expect. Thus, the source of this perverse fantasy: to see the hope across their face just before they died, to see their image of him transform from reclusive failure to emissary of vengeance in those final seconds of life. Though he suspected that none had observed him on his clandestine escape, he thought that perhaps they were observing and supporting him from the afterlife and that they would know, when he succeeded, that he was solely responsible for their vengeance being fulfilled. This alone got him to rise, finally, from his reclining position.

When Lipmon was younger he’d courted almost every available female without success. He’d proposed marriage to every girl he could, only excluding the ones that were already engaged or married. He was consistent and persistent, following his first “No,” with a new courtship of another woman, which was always followed by an even more deferential marriage proposal and another “No.” Dispirited and depressed, courtship was eventually avoided entirely, and he proposed to still-available girl after girl without the foreplay of courtship, undaunted though increasingly resentful. He’d asked every girl he could at least once, many more than once. The girls wouldn’t even take him in the absence of other available men. One girl, Liss, he asked many time, as she struggled to find a partner just as much as him, but she calmly refused him again and again. Liss got impregnated by an unknown man (it was believed to be Elden, the priest) immediately at the beginning of the next Madrus, which he found even more insulting. She would rather bear the shame and scorn of an adulterous child than marry him. And most of the townspeople even looked favorably on her choice, sympathizing with her plight.

As Lipmon recollected these events, he wanted every girl who’d refused his proposal to see him as their solitary remainder. He wanted Liss to see him walking away, surviving, while she was dying. This was the sum of his impetus—his role as savior of the town, his ability to be the one that they all rejected who ultimately brought the vengeance they were impotent to exact. It was an impetus to keep going and collect food so that he might live.

In Still Creek-forr he’d had the worst, least desirable work assignments in the village, like fertilizer detail and trash collection, so he should have been inured to unpleasant chores. Collecting food when one’s entire anatomy is in pain was nothing compared to those chores he told himself.

As soon as he actually finally looked for food, he found it, since he was rather experienced in food gathering. And though as he ate it, it did not satisfy, it at least gave him strength, to march uphill across Sling Pass, and look upon the next great valley he had to cross.

<-- Go to Part 11         Go to Part 13 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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