So, I came across this awesome blog a last week. It is called Terrible Minds by Chuck Wendig. I’m pretty sure many of you have heard of him. His blog is epic. Every week, I saw, he puts up challenges for his followers. This week’s challenge was a Flash Fiction challenge. We had to choose 5 characters out of the given list of 150 and write a 1500 word story with them. The characters that I chose were:
- The slothful, unheroic teacher.
- The fear-ridden, short-tempered theologian.
- The unathletic, boastful gigolo who belongs to a secret organisation
- The athletic, tired, arrogant bounty hunter with no hope.
- The laid-back champion who hates children.
Using them, I wrote this piece. Leave a comment (Seriously, the comment box works….. try it out.)
The Tragedy of Haraki
He lay there in his arms. Entangled after a passionate lovemaking that was charged by the hour. He needed that pleasure to recede the pain that was a residue of his previous mission.
Haraki, the most infamous bounty hunter of the Kingdom had, for the first time in his eighty-seven years of bloodshed business, fucked up. The mission was simple: Kill Lord Liphun. Unfortunately, Haraki had murdered the wrong target; he had murdered Lord Liphun’s daughter. To make matters worse, she was his only daughter. Liphun’s goons would be looking for him all over the Kingdom. He had to leave. His uncalled exile was staring him in the face with an evil grin.
Gigi put his hand around Haraki and said, “Haraki, are you still worried about Liphun?”
Haraki looked at Gigi with weary eyes. Gigi was a male whore who had been Haraki’s son’s best friend since they were young. His son, Hiro had followed his father’s footsteps into bounty hunting. He died with an arrow through his mouth. From that very day, when Haraki saw his son’s headless body exhibited as a sign of warning by the Khimota Clan, the most notorious bandits of the Kingdom, Haraki had vowed to avenge his son. After the loss of his son, he had found refuge in his Gigi’s arms; Gigi, a male whore who lived a comfortable life at the Toad’s Inn.
Haraki’s choice of passion was unknown to most except Gigi. And Gigi, not many knew, was part of the Royal Birds Association. The King, after growing threat of terrorist attacks, had planted many and more agents across the lands to spy and covertly maintain peace. Gigi had been responsible for many unexplainable deaths in the Kingdom. Many of those deaths were because he was weak. He could not run or escape, giving him only one choice, to kill. Haraki, on the other hand, chose to kill over running away. But this time, he had no choice but to run.
“Haraki,” said Gigi with his soft soothing voice, “Don’t worry. I have spoken to Master Yema. He will meet you today at the Inn tonight. He will help you leave the Kingdom. Maybe you can find more work in the Southlands.”
Haraki lifted himself off the bed and walked over to the pitcher with sour ale, “Thank you Gigi. I have no words to express my gratitude.”
Gigi got up and put on his whore’s robes, “No need to thank me yet Haraki. Wait till the job is done.”
Gigi left without getting paid. Haraki stayed in his solitude as the morning sun crossed from East to West, setting the day to dusk. All day Haraki had spent studying the maps of the Kingdom to see how he could escape to the Southlands. Along with those thoughts came thoughts of Lord Liphun.
Liphun was a Lord who had come to the Kingdom from the northern frontiers. Haraki was uncertain when he was offered to kill the man; he had no knowledge of the man’s roots. All Haraki knew of Liphun was that after the Charcoal War of the Northern Frontier, Lord Liphun had risen to fame for his heroic feat. Haraki had no idea as to what the man even looked like. He should have refused. But the bounty offered was far too hefty to ignore. It was a bad move from the veteran that he was.
He dressed himself and went down to a room that Gigi had asked him to visit at dusk. He knocked on the door as he reached the locked room. A big well-built man opened the door. Behind him sat an Old man in a bed while another small man sitting next to him spoke of something that seemed to interest him a lot.
“…And when the Scholar Tenal studied the specimens that were found at Klie Springs, they gave exact evidence of the beliefs of the Wolf God of Wereim are in fact wonders of note. The patterns of growth of plants and…”
“Wait a minute Hoshan,” said the Old man with ghostly white hair, “I believe the man we were looking for has arrived.”
“I was reaching the most intriguing part of the find!!” said an exasperated Hoshan.
“Haraki?” asked the Old man, “I am Master Yema. This is my friend, Hoshan. Hoshan here is a scholar who is an expert in theology.”
“Theology?” asked a tired Haraki, “I have abandoned the faith. No god has ever helped me. Only this,” he tapped his greatsword.
“You don’t believe in Gods?” said a startled Hoshan.
“I don’t,” said Haraki, “I also believe that by studying God, you are wasting your time. Learn to use a sword and maybe you will do better. Look at your…”
“DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO KAFIR!!!” yelled Hoshan, “YOU BETTER NOT PISS ME OFF!!! ELSE YOU WILL…”
The Big man cupped Hoshan’s mouth, “Excuse our friend here. He has a bad temper, especially when you insult his work.” He left the man alone who cussed Haraki more. The third man seemed to be made of better worth, “My name is Roland, it is nice to meet you Haraki. I have heard tales of your feats. I believe this is the first time you have fucked up in a long career.”
“Roland here is a champion of Reek’s Ring of Blood. He works for our organization.” Master Yema explained.
“I’m sorry for being frank, but I am in a bit of a bad situation.”
“We know,” said Master Yema, “And you have no clue how evil your sin has been.”
“He killed Liphun’s daughter!” said Roland, “If I were him I would have done the same.”
“I believe you never have had children of your own,” said Haraki, “If you did, you would understand the pain. I have lost a son. I can imagine the horror that Liphun must be going through.”
“I may have fathered bastards out of whores,” said Roland, “But I don’t want any children. I hate the look of them. They’re sick and helpless. They’re no good in our dog-eat….”
“You killed a child?” whispered Hoshan alarmingly, “That is the worst of sins! You will be punished.” Hoshan had a genuine look of horror in his eyes. Haraki realized that Gods were not only his profession but also his passion.
“Haraki,” said Master Yema sitting up on his bed. He looked at Haraki lazily and said, “Do you know who Lord Liphun is?”
Haraki shook his head.
“Lord Liphun is your son.”
A wave passed through Haraki’s spine that shook his mind and threw him out of breath, “Hiro?” He whispered his dead son’s name with a look of disbelief, “You’re lying! I saw his dead body.”
“You saw a headless body. Did you care to examine it?” asked Master Yema.
Haraki was so moved by his son’s death that he could not bring himself to see the dead body that hung from a tree, for more than a few moments.
“The real Lord Liphun’s body hung from the tree that you saw. Hiro is part of our Association. It was his mission to infiltrate the Northern Frontier. He killed a lesser lord named Liphun, assumed his self and won glory for the adopted name. No one knows of this secret other than some members of the Association.”
Terror and horror laughed at Haraki as the magnitude of his crime began to unveil itself.
“You…” stammered Hoshan, “You have killed your own? Kin slayer!!! KIN SLAYER!!!”
Tears welled up in Haraki’s eyes as Lord Yema explained the details of Hiro’s mission. He explained how Hiro had progressed over the years. But all Haraki could think of was that his son was alive. It pricked him that his son had not once cared to inform him. What made the situation worse was that he had finally caught his son’s attention by killing his own granddaughter.
As thoughts churned in his head, loud shouts began to echo from the Inn below.
A cowardly Hoshan said with a terrified voice, “Is that…”
“That must be Liphun,” said Roland, “Doesn’t he know that the man he is looking to murder is his own father?”
Master Yema shook his head lazily, “I don’t think so. Roland, take care of him.”
“NO!!” yelled Haraki, “I don’t want any harm to fall on my son.”
“I won’t kill him! Don’t worry!”
“No,” said Haraki stubbornly, “I want to see my son.”
The men in the room tried to stop the Bounty hunter but they failed to keep him in. Even the Champion proved unequal to Haraki’s strength.
The weight on Haraki’s heart made his steps heavy as he walked towards the Inn. He could hear Hiro’s voice scream, “WHERE IS THE KILLER? BRING HIM OUT HERE NOW!!! I DEMAND IT!!!”
Haraki presented himself with open arms and a heavy heart. Hiro looked at his father. Tears welled up as father and son looked at each other after ages. Time had changed their appearance, but they were yet the same. Swords were drawn, ready to spill blood on the Inn’s unclean floor. A son who was supposed to be dead. A father who had killed his own granddaughter. It is absurd how Fate laughs at us. Even the darkest and most evil of stories have complexities that only Fate and Time could understand. Haraki and Hiro looked at each other for the last time. One of them would be dead. The Gods’ sacred rules were neglected on that night that saw one of Fate’s most cruel canards.