Born different.

‘You can only be born different.’
.
That is the only constant thought that hoards his mind.
Shivering in the cold January night, he pulls the coat tighter and hastens towards the building.
It is old, cracking, and breaking at its seams, left uninhabited for years. The nameplate is crusted with dust, remains of a name peeking from behind.

Professor TaeJun.

He once interviewed the professor, an incredible genius of their time, back when his articles painted the front pages of their magazine, and every word leaving his pen was filled with passion and brilliance.
Days that were now long forgotten.

“I’m this close, Tom” Professor had held up his hand, fingers pinched, a mere millimeter between them. “To achieve the key to the warping of dimensions.” Tom had clicked his pen and scribbled down the quote.
“You say that there is a condition?”
The professor smiled, the sparkle never leaving his warm gaze, “Not a condition, I would say, but a parallel.” He cocked his head to the side, his wispy strands of grey hair catching the shimmer of the sun. “After all, a man can only be born different once.” The professor had a certain way with his words. Staring into his hazel gaze, Tom, for a second, sees his reflection. An enthusiastic, passionate gaze, that perhaps in another dimension would’ve been his.

Sighing, he shakes his head. Those days of glory were long past. The professor had gone missing shortly afterward. After seven years, the search for him was closed, proclaiming him dead.
On the other hand, the glory of Tom’s literary career had remained for a year, before a single accusation had broken the castle, built of his blood and tears.

Now he lived as the worker bound to lower his head, and turn his gaze away, wincing at the sharp and hateful comments hurled towards him.
The last chance to redeem himself, the editor had said so here he was.
Reaching the door, he creaks it open. There is nothing left but dust and desolation.

The machines that had once gleamed were soulless.

walks towards the glass wall. From its murky planes, he can see life bustling across the market. It is a glamorous view, and hidden in the desolation of the building, looking at the heart of the city beating across the thin sheath of glass, his heart flutters, and he reaches out. His fingers barely graze it when the room lights up.
He whirls around, facing the capsule-reactor. It is beeping, and on its upper rim, words appear,

“You can only be born different.”

Something lodges at his throat.
The centre bursts into colours, whirling inexplicably into one another. On the panorama, syllables materialise.
“Beware of the condition.”

His hand moves forward.
“Say,” a voice speaks,
He halts, his heart palpating. His vision narrows until it is just him, this anomaly, and a voice whispering into his head,
Say what you want to be.”

Suddenly, his mind is focusing on his life. A tumultuous four decades. Forty years of self-loathing, forty years of incompetence, of defeat.
Tears well up and with a gasp, he reaches into the hole.
There is a coldness that sweeps him, and for a moment the only thing he hears is his own voice, “A man who has everything” until he vanishes into the bliss of unconsciousness.


When he wakes, the room is unfamiliar.
There is a vitality in his body that he hasn’t felt in a long time, a warmth in his chest that makes him smile.
He walks to the mirror. The face staring back at him is not his own.
It is chiseled, regal, handsome. The dashing sculpture of a man written in lores of Old.
There is another consciousness that seeps into his own, an onslaught of memories that surprises him, and he runs out, throwing open the oak doors to a beginning he once dreamt of.


You can only be born different.
He is now sure.
In this life, he is Diarmuid-uia-Diahibne. A warrior, a Knight, a noble.
In this life he has perfection and love.
In this life he has GrĂ¡inne.
Her sapphire gaze glitters at him, lips curling into a smile and he grazes his fingers through her soft locks, staring ahead towards the lawns, relishing in the joyous voices of his children.
In this life, he had triumphed over every obstacle.
Here he was born a charmer, to be everything that others couldn’t be.
Everything others desired, everything they admired.

He led a life of heroism, of the feats cemented in their books. He had led a life of victory, a life of love, and now he felt complete.
Whole.
Warm.
He smiles, drawing his love in for an embrace, relishing in the warmth he now knows.


In this life, he thought that he is a diamond; pure, crystal, unbreakable. Yet he remains a glass. In the sun mesmerising, yet fragile and with a single slip of the hand, shattering.
It wasn’t supposed to end like this. He is in pain. His every breath is a torment.
Fionn, his friend, his king, smirks, and steps towards the river.
That man has the power, Diarmuid knows, to heal a man with water that is drunk from his palm.

Above him the portal appears, the one he had seen years before. It is vibrant, gleaming.
No one gives it a look, no one can see it. From it a paper appears,
“Beware of the condition”
The words echo in his mind, deafening.

The papers falls towards him, catching the glare of the sun.
“A man who has everything,” his wish resounds.
His hand trembles, crawling forwards.
The paper crumples in his palm, and the words, black and admonishing, covered by the red misery of his blood, appear before his eyes.
A man who has everything, yet has nothing.

This was the portal’s condition.

He withers, gasping and shaking. His eyes are desperate looking at his companion, at Fionn, at the water that trickles through his hands, and the smirk that lines his satisfied face.

He pleads, he whimpers, yet there is no mercy that is dawned on him.
In the end, there is only a tear that runs down his face, and the cold hand of death grips his chest.
Why is it? He wonders at the brink of his consciousness, that he once ran towards everything when every man in this world is fated to leave with nothing.


The End.

Fly

“It’s simple,”

Zelzrynth cocks his head, a gentle curve of his long neck. He chest rumbles, flames blazing beneath his ribs. His scales glitter, shimmering in the fire that burned beneath.

Vahaelon, his master, his companion, laughs at his agitation, a guffaw that seems to echo. His grey orbs twinkle. There is a merry innocence, a spark of such contrast with his burly body.

He points upto the sky, upto the grey depth; to the bleak and dreary hollowness, promising punishment for those that rise against it.

“We’ll fly.”

It’s not that simple, he knows this, to fly against this delicate balance. It will be a plight of resistance, of retribution, trying to break their years of suffering. It can never be simple, such tasks. Call it history, or call it the price of success, but these tasks, they never end pretty.

Still, he sees the cock of his master’s head, the easy smile that overtakes his features. He knows that Vahaelon is aware, and he doesn’t know whether his perpetual quietude is a sign of courage or insanity.

The moment his wings flap against the winds, with the weight of Vahaelon against his back and the cold waft tumbling through his scales, he concludes that it must be courage.


In the end, he is nothing but a creature, an animal bound to the fate of his master. They were awarded with grace, his race, they were awarded with wisdom, and a strength to crumble the soil beneath their claws.

It doesn’t matter, he realises, as another gurgle draws his breath away. They were awarded with strength and wisdom, yet there is not a single bone in his limp body that will move to his command. Perhaps that is why they say that they were rewarded. The heavens knew when to take back their blessings.

There is a finger that inches into his periphery, hair that trickle the soft flesh of his chest. It is twisted, the hand, broken, shattered, and yet it stands, pointing towards the sky.

“It’s okay Zelzrynth.”

There is a rumble in his chest. He is listening, quiet, bated.

They were given wisdom, his race, they were given foresight. That is why he knows, he knows when a man is speaking his last.

He wants to quieten him, if only it means he can inhale another breath. If only, on his enormous body, he can feel the heat, the life in his master’s body for another moment.

If it had been a novel, a legend of olden times, they would’ve had that moment. Perhaps they would’ve even lived. But reality shatters that delicate expectation. Life is callous, cruel at every instance, and while leaving a man’s body, it doesn’t wait for his tirades.

He waits for another word, another sound. It is a long bit filed with roars and cries, yells and blazes, filled with the agony that came with the war, but in his little bubble, there is just him and a body, on his chest, turning cold and slack.
If he closes his eyes, he can pretend, just for a moment, that he sees the grey, the twinkle of those orbs and that he hears a loud guffaw.

He shivers and grunts, and in the end raises his wing, pointing his sharp claws towards the sky.

It is grey again, dark and admonishing.

He closes his eyes. If he concentrates hard enough, he can hear it, the baritone of his master, he can see the small smile accompanying his every word.

“It’s simple, We’ll fly.”

It’s not that simple, he murmurs. They rose and they were beaten. The roared but they were silenced.
They tried to fly against the sinful heavens, but they were thrown listlessly to the hard ground.

It was not simple, he had always known. But there was no tale that followed the insignificant and no hero has ever risen without any sacrifice.

It wasn’t either, folly or might. In end, he realises, bravery was always tinted with a tinge of insanity.


The End.

A/N: If it’s not obvious, the story is about a Dragon and his master.

Clan of Hyuuga

The cold-blooded clan was what they labeled them but what they never realised was that it was the cost of their existence.

The Hyuuga were hailed as the masters of Byakugan. They were born with the untainted brilliance to perceive but what people forgot was that they were also born with the ability to feel.

Humans strive on the instincts to survive and it was their instinct that sealed their fragility beneath voracious stone.
Because from the beginning of life, no material force has let the purity survive. It is the feat of the world to taint the virtue of a man with the turmoil of the times.

In consequence, no hyuuga had lived with the delicacy of the heart and still lived with the orbs that hadn’t been defiled by the malevolence they saw.

Chain of Virtue

A short story told in first person narrative. (It may or may not be based on a teensy instance of my life.)

The sun was setting in the hues of purple, the sky shifting towards the starry dark of the night. The air was filled with the hum of the ‘Azan‘ and our car rolled to a stop at the large doors of the mosque whose bulb flickered menacingly in the dark, swarmed with a horde of mosquitoes dancing around the dim flicker.

Tired after a day of work, my mother sighed as we stepped onto the paved sidewalk seeing the car, that carried my grandfather, roll into the gates and vanish from the sight. Looking at the address written on the paper, of the wife of the Qazi who had once known our family, my mom held my hand. The heat of the July day was melting into the cool of the night and my mother, with a small look about her, at the isolated road took to the dark alley at the back of a magnificent house.

What a contrast was presented on the first view! Behind the patrician mansion, we came to the alley reserved for the plebeians. The trenches on the road were filled to the brim, their murky depths emanating foul stench that made me cling to my mother’s shirt.

The house we stopped at bore an old wooden door, ragged to its end and the walls of the house were cracking blocks of cement. With a moment’s hesitation, a knock resounded in the dark alley. The doors opened to reveal a woman covered in a scarf. The words (that my grandfather was saying his prayers just around the corner and we needed a space ourselves) were barely out of my mother’s mouth before, with a bare hint of surprise, she ushered us into the rooms. What should’ve been a satisfactory abode, was a shabby quarter bearing a tiny room and an even smaller kitchen. All for the family of the ‘Qaari‘ who led every prayer for the many ranks of people behind him. Yet, even in the run-down conditions, the home was furnished with warmth and the joyously flushed faces of the Lady and her small daughter made us relax into our seats.

Without any hesitation, we were allowed to pray and a sweet ‘Sherbet‘ was served whose cool, tangy essence made the heat of the day melt away. The conversation with the lady, who although was shy and demure was also amiable and had an elegance to her mannerisms that not many possessed.
We were taking up our things, about to leave when out of nowhere the question arose, “Are you acquainted with my husband?”.

My mother turned to her with a furrow in her brow, and a question at the tip of her tongue, “You don’t know who we are?”
With the same smile, she shook her head, her gaze falling down to her hands folded on her lap.
“Yet you let us in?” my mother’s words were now filled with an indecipherable hesitancy.
“How could I refuse someone who came to my door asking for assistance?”
Was the answer we received as the lady’s face bloomed into a smile that was no longer only demure but held a sweetness that seemed to shine from beneath.

It might’ve been a small instance, a few words or even foolishness in the eyes of some but that day, standing there as a small child of six who was growing up in a country caught in the crossfire of powers, where the peace of mind was nonexistent and where every man, even those with whom you associated love and compassion, was a stranger whom you couldn’t trust, she became a woman stronger than most I’ve ever seen.

In the end, the strength that we always measure in the grand gestures; in the thickness of the muscles or in the deepness of the pockets some people still measured their strength in the goodness that was inherent in a man’s soul.

What that woman did that day, was not just an act of kindness. To let people who are strangers to you feel comfortable and welcome while not a grand gesture, is surely a beauty that not many can contain. But what she’ll perhaps never know is that she made a small child, who would’ve grown with a mind catering towards only their needs, realise what the true essence of courage was and now as I type these words on the paper, I can’t deny that that small child whose days revolved around her own self grew into a person whose only mission in life became a struggle to hold upright the virtue of humanity.

They say that a single act of kindness can start a chain of beauty that can lend fiery compassion to the cold and stoic man of the twenty-first century, and that moment was a reflection of that truth.


A/N: Do you realise what I wanted to say, Cuz I sure don’t, lol :’)

Freak.

They throw him against the wall. Punch him, pummel him. Until his world is tinted, coated in a haze of colours. Until his eyes darken, and his shaking limbs fade to the bliss of unconsciousness.

Weak they label him. A coward. A freak.

There is a darkness they’re still blind to.

The screams of pain that he is now deaf to. There are bruises and slashes that he has learnt to ignore. There are broken noses, there is a damaged face, a damaged body that he’s learnt to cure.

But still, they’re right, he thinks, as he wipes a hand over the face wet with his own tears. He was a coward who bowed in the face of his own destruction. A weakling who couldn’t even protect the fragile tendrils of his heart.

Hero

What is the most heroic life?

They ask him, expecting some animated response. He is a writer, a man behind the greatest of the comics and so he smiles,

‘He is that character that rushes to help the person that struggles. The person that smiles, so that his own darkness doesn’t effect the others, the one that laughs so his own tears don’t mellow their hearts. He’s the one who lives, and lives with a love that is contagious. He’s the one that loves, and loves with a heart that is pure. Who is not willing to compromise, not when it comes to the joy of others. The one that hopes that beneath every smile, there is an even happier heart that follows.’

They stare, the oblivious heads coked. An old man, they call him, with ideas too unrealistic for life.

But what they never realise is that his heroes were never loved for the powers they boasted, they were only hailed for love that their meagre hearts possessed.

A Quick Reminder.


Not every moment of your life demands strength and courage, and that not every person in this world demands perfection. There are some that just want to know you, those that love you despite the tears, the failures, the imperfections. Those that embrace the broken pieces of your heart.

It is in those ‘Some’ that true joy of life is found.

Curse of Hatred

The Curse of Hatred was what they labeled it. But what they never realised was that it was the cost of their love.

No sharingan developed without the desire to protect and no desire ever stemmed without the roots of love.

It was pure in its execution this simple compassion. The world had never let the pure survive, the heart that had once blossomed was dripping with blood.

It was then that the tomoe began to churn.

Did you ever…?

Has there been a minute now, with all the anxiety riding your brain, and the heaviness weighing down your shoulders that you looked at something? Truly, for a fraction, gazed at it?
A still scene, so normal in its actuality that its serenity makes you stumble to a stop. That, perhaps, your gaze takes in the dew resting on the leaves. It shines there, does so every morning and in all the long hours of the night, but for once in that chilly January morning, you just see it. The glimmer catches your eye, draws you from your periphery, and you turn your face, an inquisitive little instance in your busy life.
For a moment you halt, and take in a breath. It is cold, it should’ve been stifling, but it’s pure, filtered calmness takes you by surprise. You breathe in, yet again, just to take in the serenity? That for a moment, you feel that the peace around you, the quietude, an order that prevails even in the calm breeze filtering through the leaves, was truly the intent of this world.

Did you perhaps smile at the colours, their bursting vividness filling your gaze? Or you scooted down a moment, caressing with a soft finger the velvet of the nature. That, perhaps, for a second, you closed your eyes to take in its fragrance. Letting the perfume trickle your nose, making you giggle.
Tell me did you ever take a moment to shake away your worries. For a moment it was you, smiling, content in the warm embrace of the ancient mother.
That for a moment you let the breeze ruffle your hair, you let the strands caress your face.
Tell me Amigo, that even for a moment, did you ever let the winds call you to their abandon?

The Snakes Fly.

Prologue.

In hindsight, all phenomenal moments in our life start with something insignificant. Something, that looking back on we don’t immediately recognise as the cause of the disruption. It’s fleeting; a passing word, a shallow smile, a small delay and somehow they end up setting in motion changes that shape someone as a person, the changes that become the focal of one’s latter life.

Her story begins with a piece of ribbon.
‘They had been warned,’ she thought, her frail body failing at the last moment. She tumbled to the ground, the mud cloaking her torn dress, and her bruises aching with their freshness. She holds back a choke, and rubbing a pale, cold hand over her drenched hair stumbles to her feet. Behind her the forest is quiet. It is stifling and ominous. It raises the hair on her back, and makes her heart platter in a frenzy.
A twig snaps somewhere. The rain had stopped to a light drizzle, so she hears it clearly. She gathers her skirts and rushes forward; heaving and battered but still desperate enough to continue.
She stumbles to an end. From the bleary vision she makes out the well, and it is a moment of insanity, perhaps the desperation had clouded her judgment and she cuts her hand on the stub of a rock.
The blood pools in her palm and she looks behind. It is a look that seems admonishing for a moment, a look that wanted the predetor to realise the significance of her latter action, and then despite the heaviness of her heart and the hesitation of her mind, she squeezes her blood into the well. It vanishes in front of her gaze. She closes her eyes, and with a quivering lip she shouts the words, “I will,” her voice cracks. There is a fuzz in her brain, she can suddenly not fathom anything. There is another crack behind, closer. She squeezes her palm and screams with all her might, “I will die when the snakes fly!”
There is a crackle of lightning, as if the heavens themselves have cemented the oath. As if her pact has been written in cold blood. A spark illuminates the dark crevices of the night, and there are two orbs that fill her hysterical vision.
The last thing she remembers is a blade sinking in her stomach, the warmth pooling her insides, and a wetness that blurs her eyes, but most importantly a red hot flash of pain that takes her with it.

They say that all fictional stories begin with something grand, or at least they lead to something phenomenal. This story however begins with muddy boots, drenched dresses, and words spoken too loud in moments of hysteresis.


To be continued…

A/N: It’ll be a 8 part story.