Announcements: January 2024 Copyfraud Attack » Finding Universes to Join (and making yours more visible!) » Guide To Universes On RPG » Member Shoutout Thread » Starter Locations & Prompts for Newcomers » RPG Chat — the official app » USERNAME CHANGES » Suggestions & Requests: THE MASTER THREAD »

Latest Discussions: With Chat currently offline... An alternative » Adapa Adapa's for adapa » To the Rich Men North of Richmond » Shake Senora » Good Morning RPG! » Ramblings of a Madman: American History Unkempt » Site Revitalization » Map Making Resources » Lost Poetry » Wishes » Ring of Invisibility » Seeking Roleplayer for Rumple/Mr. Gold from Once Upon a Time » Some political parody for these trying times » What dinosaur are you? » So, I have an Etsy » Train Poetry I » Joker » D&D Alignment Chart: How To Get A Theorem Named After You » Dungeon23 : Creative Challenge » Returning User - Is it dead? »

Players Wanted: JoJo or Mha roleplay » Seeking long-term rp partners for MxM » [MxF] Ruining Beauty / Beauty x Bastard » Minecraft Rp Help Wanted » CALL FOR WITNESSES: The Public v Zosimos » Social Immortal: A Vampire Only Soiree [The Multiverse] » XENOMORPH EDM TOUR Feat. Synthe Gridd: Get Your Tickets! » Aishna: Tower of Desire » Looking for fellow RPGers/Characters » looking for a RP partner (ABO/BL) » Looking for a long term roleplay partner » Explore the World of Boruto with Our Roleplaying Group on FB » More Jedi, Sith, and Imperials needed! » Role-player's Wanted » OSR Armchair Warrior looking for Kin » Friday the 13th Fun, Anyone? » Writers Wanted! » Long term partner to play an older male wanted » DEAD! » Looking for new RP Buddy(s)! »

Snippet #373094

located in Life, a part of Almost an Allegory, one of the many universes on RPG.

Life

The container of experiences that a living creature goes through, whether asleep or awake.

Setting

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

Footnotes

Add Footnote »

0.25 INK

“You keep saying that like it has some sort of meaning,” Kylun huffs, swiping the gritty back of his hand across across his damp brow and managing to shift a few beads of grime from one patch of skin to another.

Their destination starkly ascends from blocky schorl roots without the nuisance of urban sprawl, and each towering edifice after the next twists darkly skyward, but fails, perhaps necessarily, to grasp the luminance so readily at hand. Not even the loftiest of the jaggy pinnacles reflects the vibrant noon sky. Instead, the building tops scowl a furious scarlet; like a deep, enduring sunburn, unquenchable by rain or a cool midsummer breeze. True to their defiance, not even a one possesses a portal permitting the inhabitants the luxury of acknowledging the outside, the Nature that the City holds as an aberration, boasting novelties, distant in memory and in meaning, such as flowers, streams, or trees.

‘Little wonder Charlotte fled this place,’ Prisoner deduces, recalling her vision and bitterly suspecting, ‘if she isn’t merely a horrid, splendid daydream.’

Having seen its silhouette countless times, Prisoner adjusts his scenery to glower irritably and impotently at his own feet. Mud almost entirely coats his tawny boots, making them even more difficult to discern through the high meadow grass swaying temperamentally against his thighs. Within hours, all the lushness will diminish to a field of mud, blood rags, and excrement. All for the sake of a camp site. In the end, it will be as horrific as the city. An unpleasant thought, pushing him back upon his conversation with Kylun, into which he mutters, “I only wish it did.”

“Wish what you like,” Kylun observes, his humor returning, “but when the sky fire dances on the ground, you’ll be charging into your first battle. If you survive, you’ll finally be able to call yourself a man.”

“A man?” Prisoner considers, both words wet with the poison of overwhelming skepticism. He briefly glances up at the bronze archway of the world, reminding himself of the season. The boundary of the atmosphere resembles molten metal churning in a kiln.

Kylun leans near enough to Prisoner for the stink of their perspiration to mingle, then snaps his neck from the nearing colorful throng to the bleak outline of the city. Its sheer black walls devour the blaze of day. Tossing up an arm, he squeezes Prisoner’s shoulder, pulls him into half an embrace, and confides, “Runaway and traitor you may be, but still you’re one of us. Do you honestly think I’d let you miss out on the most important day of your life?”

“No, I imagine not,” Prisoner relents, suddenly aware he is recoiling from the unexpected touch. Angry with himself for reacting, he decides it is not the sweaty contact grasping around his shoulders that is so repulsive, but the pretense of a paternal bond intrinsic in the gesture.

“You’ll be bound to a brother in blood, but before that, we’ll bind you to him with chains for a day in order for you both to get to know one another,” explains Kylun, dropping his arm back to his side and stepping forward.

“I know what’s involved,” Prisoner manages, despite his weariness precipitating the coming ordeal by crushing a sigh out of his chest. It is going to be a humiliating nuisance. As though being stripped, shackled to another boy, and run about in an indecent public spectacle is, through abasement, an obvious foundation for trust, intimacy, and camaraderie. Flushing, he wards off the memory of a real friend—with whom he had recklessly experimented and confided without the precurse of some hollow rite. Pulling his face up, he focuses back on the towers ahead of him until his blush subsides, and, with near indifference, demands, “Just … who is it?”

“My son, Cada!” Kylun exclaims proudly, thumping his chest. He had been anticipating that question. A warm smile softens his usual gruff demeanor, although that does not last long, and he impetuously catches Prisoner by the wrist and drags him down toward hectic swarm of bodies.

The transition from a pristine field to a senseless winepress of humanity, dense to the degree that the uninitiated cannot act without accidentally fondling a passerby or blushing at some meaningless intersection of moving flesh, awakens Prisoner’s claustrophobia. He shuts his ears to the din of shouting voices, ignores the rude bludgeoning of strange shoulders, and trudges obediently in Kylun’s wake. In a vague sense, he aware of the business around him, including pairs and sometimes trios of laughing young men stumbling along in their loincloths, bound at their biceps, hips, and ankles, with their cheeks red from the hot, eager embarrassment of youth and their shoulders red from the blaze of day. Soon, the oppression manifests as a comfort, an enemy with which he is familiar and need not fight; an abuse to gratefully accept. The merchant-clatter of tins and clank of jewelers’ beads reminds him that this is more than a crude attempt to revitalize the Savage’s philosophy of freedom through the destruction of reason and elevation of base emotions, but a unquenchable thirst for tribalism, kinship, and openness. How odd that such values die unexpectedly in the face of civility.

“Cada!” Kylun shouts, disrupting Prisoner from his trance in tandem with the alarming liberation of his arm, which hitherto had been jerked mercilessly forward through the crowd for the past several minutes.

Focusing his mind on the verisimilitude, he sees Kylun scooping up a woman and assaulting her with more spittle than kisses while navigating his fingers underneath the hem of her billowing sunflower skirt. A moan vibrates the saliva clinging to her parting lips, and then she reels back and abruptly slaps Kylun across the face.

“Your wife?” Prisoner inquires.

“One of ‘em,” comes the breathy response, the sharp sound of another slap close behind. Refusing to relinquish his prize, Kylun assaults the woman again, going so far as to mount her dress around her hips and expose his activities for all who care to see. Two fingers twist up and vanish into the hag before Prisoner has the sense to look away, acutely aware that he is the only one with the decency to undertake the effort.

For some reason, in the midst of hoots, jeers, and applause, Prisoner assumes he should register disgust.

“Cada! There you are!” pants the lecherous father, and Prisoner observes a stout, tan youth torn from the crowd and into a chest-shattering, threefold embrace, jostling his burdens of a pack, a stout club with spikes protruding crudely forth, and a small bar-piercing above his left eye.

“Greetings, Kylun!” responds the lad, once free, ostensibly immune—if not delighting in, judging from the devious curl of his lips—to the affection between his father and what Prisoner imagines must be the mother.

“Lad, this here is Prisoner. You two are to become brothers in blood, war, and all other things that stir a young man’s blood!” bellows Kylun, his hand lingering on his offspring’s shoulder.

“Prisoner?” wonders Cada, black coals where his eyes should be burning into Prisoner from beneath equally dark eyebrows, “why does he go by that?”

Finally, Kylun unhands his woman, who reluctantly slides away and goes back to her business of withdrawing and assembling a series of poles and pelts in a wagon nearby; no doubt the makings of a shelter of some sort. Momentarily, she produces several heavy shackles and flings them at her mate.

They hit Kylun square in the chest, just as he is preparing to answer. Stooping down, he plucks them from the dirt, cursing her temperament just loudly enough to convince himself she cannot hear, then recollects himself and explains, “If he would go by something on his own, we wouldn’t—but, suffice it to say, he is a bold traitor—a runaway—but one with no will of his own. You couldn’t ask for a better fool to stand by your side.”

“Unbelievable,” mutters Cada, crossing his arms over his broad chest and propping his rear against the wagon wheel.

“Don’t question me, boy!” shouts Kylun, raising his arm threateningly, his throat pulsing with anger. Then for some reason, he stops, perhaps thinking better of the idea, and settles for throwing the chains at his son, which hit the boy in the chest, slide down, and resonate with another clank-thud upon the newly-made road. His rage now a threat, Kylun orders, “Now both of you strip, put those on, and finish setting up camp. They’ll come off this time tomorrow, and then you’ll be on your hunt.”

Unblinkingly, Cada shrugs his shoulders, and his pack slides down atop the wagon.

“You, too,” Kylun reminds Prisoner.