[Story] Virtue of Silence

One of the ways that I like to flesh out my characters is to write little short stories about portions of their lives. There isn’t much plot to this as I’m using it as a way to get a feel for Solus and how I want to treat him for one of my novels: “The Iron Queen”.

The screams of excitement and joy ricocheted through the cobblestone streets which ran between picturesque stucco homes. Each yard was unique in decoration and opulence while maintaining a formality almost subdued in nature. 

Solus Haestus’ head jerked up from The Tennants of Temperance as four boys shot passed the low, iron rote gate. One of them slowed and stuck his head over the entrance. 

“Solus. You’re reading at a time like this?” 

The twelve year old boy felt a bit ashamed for a moment about the heavy volume on his lap but he gave a resigned shrug towards his schoolyard friend. 

“Father wants me to finish this.”

The gate creaked open and there was a moment of panic that made him swallow rapidly. His father was in the other part of the house preparing his sermon for the town center the next day. 

“Tenants of Temperance? You planning on becoming a Priest to the Virtue of Temperance?”

There was a bit of wry sarcasm in his voice but it did not matter. Solus nodded his head.

“Since Apet chose to become a soldier against Father’s wishes, I’m the last chance that one of his children to follow in his footsteps. I mean, the book is interesting.”

The last part of his words rang hollow in his mouth but he was resigned to the fact he was destined to be a priest. The Enclave of Temperance wasn’t a bad place and his father seemed to enjoy the work, spreading the tenets of caution and moderation to the working class of the capital. 

“So you don’t want to come play red horse with the others? Faith will be there. Her dad let her come play with us.”

There was a slight bit of hopefulness in his friend’s voice and an attempt at bribery with dangling his school crush in front of him. 

“I’ve got to finish this. Father wants me to finish a small piece on moderation in the conduct of business for tomorrow.”

The freckled kid gave an exaggerated sigh and threw up his hands. “Fine. I’ll see you at school.”

Skipping out of the yard and leading the gaggle of kids that had returned to find him, Solus felt even more lonely in the now silent yard. Even the bird who was keeping him company had flown away at the intrusion. 

“I’m proud of you son.”

The voice to his right caused him to start and almost drop the treasure book to the dusty walkway. 

Solus’ father, a tall, willowy man with graying black hair smiled down on him. He had been standing in the doorway masked by the slats that allowed the breeze through. 

He sat down by his son and put his arm around his shoulder. “I’m proud of you for remembering your responsibilities. Most children would have took off at the moment their friends came.”

“But I wanted to. I don’t feel very proud about it.”

“Giving into temptation to abandon your responsibilities goes against the core of moderation.”

“Yes, sir.”

Silence reigned for a moment and Karus Haestus took the book from his son. He patted him on the back. 

“You’ve earned a reward. Go play. You can finish the piece after dinner.”

Throwing his arms around his father in a big hug, Solus released him and took off after his friends.

-end-

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[Short Story] My Corner of the World

It had not taken Phasia long to get used to the unique sound the Icarus made as it moved through the void wrapped in a protective shell of real space. The FTL used warping technology that created a safe field inside while allowing the vessel to break the Einstein barrier of light speed.

Alone and in the lower aft section of the Tereshkova class command frigate, Phasia sat cross-legged on the steel-paneled floor staring out the large porthole that gave a view of the outside and the left pulse engine. They were presently cold having no need to run while traversing through warped space. She knew from experience they would be heated up when they got near exiting and that wouldn’t be for another two months.

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[Short Story] The Sun King and the Moon Queen

Written for my beloved wife Susanna, my Moon Queen. Without her, there would be no reason to get up in the morning.

Sun and the Moon togetherHave you not heard of the Sun King and the Moon Queen? How those two share horizons and love each other more than anything in the world? No? Sit down, get comfortable and I’ll tell you about them.

As long as we can remember, the Sun King and Moon Queen have been on opposite sides of the world. When the King was reigning over his subjects, he shone brightly upon the hardworking, the crops, and always talked the clouds into giving us their rain. He loved those below who looked up to him.

At night, the Moon Queen watched over us as they slept, safeguarding their livestock and showing her light upon those who meant harm to the people. For what the King provided in the day, the Queen kept protected at night.

Now, these two loved each other more than anything known. The stars still talk about how much the two love each other even when they do not see each other. Sometimes the King would get a glimpse of his lovely bride coming over the horizon and sometimes the Queen would sing out a note of fondness as the King dipped below the sky that divided them. Even though these moments were fleeting, the King would never despair that he did not have his Queen and the Queen knew that even those she missed him and they did not see each other, he still loved her more than anything.

Days, months, years would roll by with each waiting for that twilight moment to speak to each other, to whisper loving words across the sky before the other was taken to the other side of the world.

Doesn’t sound fair, does it? They did not think it was either, but they loved those upon the ground so much, they would sacrifice their time together to let them have food to eat and a safe bed to sleep in.

There are times though when the sky is able to hold them both. The Sun King and the Moon Queen are able to stay away from the edge of the air and to see each other. There loves becomes so powerful as they grow closer that the sky dims and the ground becomes patterned with flecks of light and dark mingled together. The world becomes quiet, enraptured in their love and breathless with anticipation.

When they meet, it is a meeting of fire and darkness, powerful love that fills the sky with burning fire while chilled and murmured with darkness. I mean, look now! See how the sun wraps his arms around his queen? Their love is eternal. Nothing can break them apart. No matter how long they stay alone, they will always meet each other in the sky and embrace filled with happiness and excitement to be able to converse once again.

You chuckle? Why? Cannot love last forever? The sun and the moon have met more times than we can count. They have looked over all of us together with loving eyes. Something you should take to heart, my good fellows, even apart, they are powerful and in love and there is nothing anyone can do to destroy that. They will always meet in the sky, and they will always love each other to the day the world ends.

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