- Occult of Strigoikirk(The first)
- Occult of Strigoikirk(The Second)
- Occult of Strigoikirk(The Third)
- Occult of Strigoikirk(The Fourth)
- Occult of Strigoikirk(The Fifth)
- Occult of Strigoikirk(The Sixth)
- Occult of Strigoikirk(The Seventh)
- Occult of Strigoikirk(The Eight)
- Occult of Strigoikirk (The Ninth)
- Occult of Strigoikirk(The Tenth)
- Occult of Strigoikirk(Grand Finale)
“I see a cave there!” Aaron points towards a tiny opening, towards the right of their path. Asher, in the form of yak, takes a right and stops a few meters before the cave and turns back into his human form.
“We need to stop the war. Make peace. It isn’t possible if I speak to him. Only you can do it, brother. Though I haven’t spent much time with you or been with you throughout your life, at least I know that you are capable. Capable of making our people forgive our father and help him make sense.”
“Can I make that change, all by myself?”
“You can do wonders, brother. All the best.” Asher turns into a bat and rests on a nearby tree. With shaky legs and heavy breath, Aaron steps toward the cave.
“Hello?” His voice echoes in the darkness.
“Hello? Is anybody there?”
He hears a man coughing.
“Come. Come, Aaron.” The voice says pausing to cough. “I thought you wouldn’t find me at all. Guess my son reached you before my minions did.” He gives a hollow laugh.
“Oh yes, those 3 little ogres that scared your friends. I’m sorry they had to die, they weren’t even suppose to enter our world.” The cold words that fall on Aaron’s ears send a chill down his spine. It’s the feeling of hate that overshadows fear for this man. The murderer of my friends. He can feel his cheeks redden and his fists tighten. I’m their last hope. Aaron reminds himself and decides to let it go, for now.
“That is done now, let’s not bring up what we can’t change.” Aaron’s surprised to see how quick his father’s statement changed, it is as if he knows what is going in Aaron’s mind.
“Do you remember me, son?” Aaron hears footsteps.
“No, I don’t. But I know you now.” Aaron’s words are bitter, he cannot stand calling that person his father. The footsteps sound closer and as his father reaches near him, Aaron can see him. And when he does, his heart skips a beat.
The person in front of him is a dying man, one who can’t even walk straight. Aaron takes an involuntary step backwards, wondering how can a man like his father hold so much power. His father’s wrinkled face is covered with a crooked smile. Dressed in ragged clothes covering his skinny torso, his father walks closer to him.
“I’ve missed you so, so much, Aaron.” His father’s voice isn’t hollow anymore, it’s filled with hurt and love towards Aaron. It’s hard to believe that his father can be the cause of such chaos.
“I wish I could say the same.” Aaron lowers his eyes.
“Do you—? Are—? What did they tell you about me?” He can sense the amount of sadness laced in his father’s voice. “Why are you so far away, son? Come to me, let me touch you.” Aaron’s heart cannot resist the desperation in his father’s tone. Without any second thoughts he leaps towards his father. Before all this happened, even Aaron wished to meet his father some day.
He doesn’t hold back tears when he is wrapped in an awkward hug from his father. Aaron can feel the wrinkled skin of his father, holding loosely onto his brittle bones. Then he reminds what his father has done.
“Did my son or my wife treat you right?” The concern makes Aaron doubt the honesty of his father.
“Why would they not treat me right? They treated me like family. And you’re doing the same. What made you leave your family? It was because of you, that I had to be sent to live with humans. Why, father? I want all the answers.” Aaron is screaming.
“Oh, my boy. I’ll tell you everything. Sit.” The dying man leads Aaron’s way to a raised stone platform.
“They wouldn’t treat you right if they knew the truth about you.” Aaron is about to raise his voice again since he cannot stand being pitied but his father continues, “You wouldn’t want to be with them either. If you knew the truth.”
“What truth?” Aaron asks, irritated.
“When you were 6, we discovered a hybrid child amongst —”
“Amongst us. And I know what happened back then.”
“Ah, don’t you? That they found out about a hybrid kid and thus your mother sent you away? My child, the truth isn’t something any of them can handle.” His father shakes his head in despair.
“You are the hybrid child, son. My wife knew that but if she told anyone else, she might have to face the king’s judgement. And thus she took you in until the news came up. She only cared about her family and keeping it together, thus she sent you where you belonged. To your mother. A human. Unfortunately, your mother was killed in a car accident the night she found you at her home. Only I know that the accident wasn’t an accident, King Gerrard gave the orders to execute her.
He was the reason an innocent life was lost. I disclosed his truth to my brethren, they trusted me. But it wasn’t enough to prove his lie to our kingdom. He exploited his power and declared war against us. A lot of my brothers and sisters were killed, so I decided to do it all alone. I brought together these creatures and with their help defeated Gerrard. By now, there were many rumors about me. My son, Asher, believed them. He was the one to lead his army and defeat me. I’m proud of his bravery, but he is blinded by his mother. Her clever mind can control a lot more than dreams. She crowned our son as the new King. But it wasn’t enough to satisfy her.
She seeded hatred for me in Asher’s mind. Made it his prime objective to end my existence. Her insecurities weren’t because I had a kid with a mortal, they are because if the kingdom comes to know about your truth then she wouldn’t have the place that she currently holds.”
Aaron’s face is covered with tears. His heavy lungs won’t let a word escape his lips. It isn’t the first time when Aaron’s world has changed completely. This has turned something of a cycle in his life.
“I never wanted to fight them again. But now, she has called me for a fight and I won’t go down easily. I wanted to meet you one last time to tell you the truth. To believe me or not is something I’ll let you decide.” His father says as an endnote and starts to leave.
“Why don’t you live with me? We’ll leave all this behind and live alone.” Aaron manages to speak betwixt his sobs.
“This has gone too far, son.” Aaron can imagine his father’s regretful expression in the darkness.
“No, it hasn’t. We’ll vanish from here. We’ll let these people live how they want to and stay unfazed from them. It’ll be a utopia for me.” Aaron can hear his father laughing halfheartedly.
“Don’t you see me, son? I can’t live a day longer.” The little hope that was ignited for a second in his heart, burns out completely. “When I’ll go, I want to know that you’re safe and happy. Unlike now. Now, you live with a broken heart whose cries can be heard even when I’m miles away. I’ve watched you for all your life, son. And there’s nothing that I want for you, more than happiness. When I’m gone, I want you to know what I truly was. Don’t ever believe people like my wife who put you down, my child. Be with your friends who stood by your side ever since you entered this world. Lonzo, isn’t he? He’s on ground zero battling my ogre’s army alongside your brother. Don’t panic. He’s alright, yet.” His father says sensing the shock in his gasp.
“You have to stop this war.” Aaron shouts.
“I wish, I could.” He says and turns around.
“I know you can.” Echoes a voice coming from the mouth of the cave. Aaron recognizes it without a doubt, Asher.
“Welcome, Son. Such a pleasure meeting you.” His father sounds almost happy to meet Asher, but it isn’t the same with Aaron’s brother.
“Shut up, liar! Don’t you dare call me your son. You can brainwash that naïve kid but not me. Order your troops to fall back or I’ll end your miserable life.” Asher screams on top of his voice but Aaron can sense the tears welling up in his eyes.
“I am everything but a Liar, Asher. And you know it very well. Why—” Before his father can complete, the ground starts trembling and mist covers the room. Caer. Aaron mutters.
“ENOUGH! You cannot tell lies to my kids. I would never bear it.” She materializes between Aaron and his father. The dying sunlight, enters through the opening and ends at Asher’s feet.
“Asher! Aim the spear at this man’s heart!” Caer’s order sets a chain of dominos into motion. Aaron notices Asher picking up a wooden spear and his father spreading out his arms, ready to accept death. Arguing with himself on whom to believe, Aaron runs between the trajectory of the spear.
The spear damages his rib cage and pierces out of his back. Closely missing his father’s face. With a smile on his face he lands on the ground. In the dim light he sees three worried faces hovering above him. His mother holds his hand but he feels nothing. Asher screams at Aaron to stay conscious but he hears nothing. His father is crying in pain and then he sees nothing. With his last breath he mutters “Family.” and closes his eyes to sleep eternally.
Epilogue will be posted on next Saturday.
©The Honest Fabler
©Cover credits- Google Images