Of Heirs

Eight day of the The Month of Resz, 4011th year of the Solune Standard calendar.

Monarchy is a touchy subject for some. It is not for me. Corporations have begun to appear in the Lussa and Djeb realms, and they are quite similar to what I have in my Kingdom. I have been around since the foundation of this nation, I, in fact, founded it myself. Very few of my citizens question or take issue with my rule.

Soon, I will be announcing my stepping down, I will be announcing my heir. I have spent three centuries considering all the options. I have made many conclusions. The gravity of my conclusions are not to be questioned by those who have not been considering their own subjects for at least a century. By this measure, most of the people in the Solune Kingdom are unfit to veto with my decision, and I doubt that they will. My considerations are thus:

  1. If wisdom increases with age, than mortals, especially those with mundane life expectancies, are too unwise to rule. On average.
  2. Those who have eclipsed adulthood are unfit to rule. Their brains have finished developing and they will therefore never truly adjust. Thus, a ruler should ascend before her mind is made, that she may develop with the people and for the people.
  3. She must not use violence except as a last resort. A ruler should lead by example and inspire respect. Only brutes lead with fear, and brutes are overthrown, always.
  4. The people must come to respect their leader. Respect is not the same as like. She must be someone whom no one us hateful when following, someone with drive.
  5. My one weakness is a lack of progress. I am extremely old fashioned. We have not stagnated, but we are close, especially compared to the Djeb, the Lussa, the Metch, their science, trade, and industry. Our next leader must be progressively minded. Youth is particularly inclined to such ways of thought.
  6. Finally, it would be best if the heir is not one of my own children. This might cause jealousy, or suspicion of favouritism among my followers and peers. It might be misconstrued as a norm.

I have a shortlist in mind, and yet, only one person stands out… She fits all but one point. No, if I follow my whim, my kingdom may fall, just as the Djeb had. And yet, she is the most qualified by my measure.

But, is leadership to be chosen by a check-list? We will have to see.

Daniel Triumph.

Unhelpful Signs (Solune Academy)

Finch was walking down the halls after his day’s classes. His girlfriend was working late that night, so he intended to go to the collage’s library and study. He exited the Biology and Neurostudies building and breathed in the dusk air. The grass was never cut, but the path that cut through it was kept clear. He strode down wide cobbled lane.

Finch had always wondered why the university buildings were so close together and mismatched. They didn’t line up at all, and in some places they were so close together that they cut into the path. Usually, though, the space was just large enough for Finch to lie across, the path bordered by a few inches of grown lawn on either side.

Finch walked to the only four storey building on campus. The library was attached to the Mathematics and Physics building, as it tended to be the quietest one. Finch entered. The library was carpeted for sound absorption, and carpet was hard to clean, so the janitors had requested that there be a rule. No outdoor footwear in the library!

He took of his shoes, glancing at the “take off your footwear” sign. He made a double take. There was never a no footwear sign before. He remembered bringing Alice in one day, and she had to borrow indoor shoes because her bare feet were considered outdoor footwear. They had already considered this loophole, and so the sign said, “no outdoor footwear in the library.” Finch re-read the sign.

It said, “take off your foot.” There was an iconograph of a foot made up of the words, “Remove your feet! Remove your feet!” repeated over and over, and margined into a foot. Finch blinked, like, five times in a row.

“What?”

Finch shook his head. Whatever. He put his bag back on, placed his shoes on the doormat, and went up the stairs. He studied for a couple of sixths, reading a Natural Studies textbook. Even after specializing, Finch enjoyed reading about the broader subjects. When the sun began to set, Finch stood and packed his things, looking towards the stairs. He saw another sign.

He rubbed his eyes.

He took his bag and then walked to the sign.

He read aloud, “in case of fire, do not go upstairs.”

What?

At this point, he became more curious. Who was making these? Were they everywhere? Finch went downstairs and pulled his shoes on, exiting the library. He decided to check out the nearest building, Economics and Politics.

He found another sign, “capitalism is just a dictatorship pretending to be democracy.” He wasn’t sure if that one was a joke or not.

Mr. Rhye exited the building as he re-read the sign. He said, “Finch, did not classes end hours ago?”

Finch turned, “yes Mr. Rhye.”

“Class is over, I’m just Drake right now.”

Sorry, Drake. I was studying, but look.”

Finch pointed to the sign. nodded.

“That’s an interesting perspective. Did you make that sign?”

“No! There are weird signs all over the place, do you know why?”

Drake was perplexed, “no, but Janna might. She’s just gathering the confederation draft.”

Finch knew about Janna. She was the King, but she had started spending a lot of time at the university shortly after her most recent public announcement.

Janna Rhye strode out of the building and immediately noticed Finch.

She announced, “Finch, classes are over. Why are you here?”

“The… the signs.”

He feebly pointed.

Janna said, “I made that. Isn’t it clever? I wanted to put it above the door, but the school didn’t like that, so threatened them. Now it’s here, beside the door. A compromise.” She sighed.

“Right… What about the ones in the library?”

“Hmm?”

“I can show you…”

“Sure. Drake, take my scrolls. And for heaven’s sake don’t drop them, this is future law in the making!”

Drake obliged, and Finch led them to the library. He noticed that Drake followed him, taking the path, but that Janna tromped right through the tall grass. Apparently she didn’t take orders from anyone, not even the ground.

Finch showed them the foot sign. Drake raised an eyebrow, but Janna looked blank. They went upstairs and Finch pointed at the support wall between the staircases.

Drake read, “in case of fire, do not go upstairs.” He said, “well, that’s not technically wrong…”

Finch felt the sign, “look, it’s metal and everything. Who made these?”

“Finch, I have no idea.”

Janna said nothing.

They exited, and walked towards the north, exiting the campus. Then, Finch saw another sign.

“Do not enter.” He said.

“What, is there a problem with a ‘do not enter’ sign?” Janna asked.

“Yeah, look! There’s no door, this is just a wall. How can you enter a wall!”

Janna whimpered.

“What!” Finch turned to face her.

Janna burst out laughing, “It was me! I made those signs!”

Drake put his palm into his face, “I should have known. You didn’t say anything this whole time!”

Janna wiped her eyes, “yeah. They have the royal seal, so if the school tries to take them down I can remove their hands.” She began to laugh again, mirthful.

Finch stared until she was done.

“What?”

Finch put his hands on his hips, “I can’t believe you’re using you powers for evil.”

Drake looked at him. Janna looked at him. Then, he began to laugh. Then they all shared a laugh.

“Is there any more?” Finch asked.

Janna put her hands on his shoulders. Even though he was done growing, she was a full two heads taller than him.

“Son, there are many, many more. You probably won’t find them all even after you graduate.”

Daniel Triumph.

See? I told you this would be a fun series!

If you want, you can help me out on Patreon, https://www.patreon.com/DanielTriumph

The Wavering World

… .

When Janna finally woke up, she felt a numb pain in her forearm. She looked to her right and remembered what was going on. She was stuck to the tree, a branch jutting out from the space between the two bones in her arm. She was in a hole, a lush bright brown hole of dirt, moss, grass, and the tree. The tree who’s branch was intruding on her arm’s wellbeing.

She knew her sister was there with her, but everything was so blurry. She was in an uncanny and wavering world. Off in the distance, it seemed, a hazy figure moved with purpose. Then, it stopped all of a sudden.

It spoke with the voice of a feminine man, or perhaps a deep woman.

“Ah, the King is awake.”

The voice touched her ears, but seemed to skip all the formalities of her nerves and go straight to her mind. It was a warm feeling. This person, who was not at all her sister, was very easy to listen to.

“You have lost four ounces. You use ounces, correct? No? I apologize. You have lost two-hundredths of a stone. Oh, no stone either?” The person looked away, a glowing blur, “twelve percent of your blood is here, shared with me in the ground. I thank you, dear, I have taken what I require.”

It was definitely a woman, but her voice was deep, deeper even than Natasha’s, who spoke low due to the immense height of her trachea. Janna blinked and tried to focus, but nothing worked.

“You have fluid in your eyes, focusing will not help, dear. Look, I will show you.”

Then Janna felt a spined tongue lash out softly and clean her eyes. Yes, it was so large a tongue that it cleaned both eyes at once.

Janna blinked again, and focused, and this time it worked. Before her a lioness stood, grinning smugly as cats do.

“You will be fine,” the creature growled, licking Janna’s arm, “but this will forever be the weaker for it. In certain distant timelines you lose a lot more blood, so perhaps you might consider how close you are now to joining me and my company.”

The lioness looked to the sky as she said “company,” and then became a blur once more. Janna blinked, and between instances, the cat, Mother Nature, disappeared.

“She’s gone catatonic. Oh good, the bleeding has slowed. From being catatonic.”

It was the deep feminine voice of Natasha.

“But it still hasn’t stopped. And I didn’t find anything.”

There was a great sigh. She was blurred but Janna, who was entirely unable to move or act, could see what she was doing. She came into focus, but only slightly.

Janna watched her older sister as the young woman closed her eyes and, taking a bone razor from about her neck, cut neatly across her inner wrist. A small but deep vivisection. Natasha violently tore a tendon and then noticed Janna’s open eyes.

“This is all I could find. There are no vines around. Do not look at me so, this is the vestigial tendon, it does nothing.”

Even as Natasha said this she realized that she had pulled the wrong one and no longer had control of her pinky finger. She inhaled sharp regret, swore, and then continued regardless. She wasn’t going to go pulling out any more, but she still had what she needed.

Natasha tied the artery closed, then cut the dead tendon and wrapped it around the forearm near the elbow. Then she removed Janna from the tree and lifted her. Janna at this point was a lot smaller than her sister. She had yet to hit puberty, while her sister had just finished with it.

Natasha held Janna close, facing away, and then sat against the tree with Janna in her lap. They stared up out of the hole. Natasha embraced her little sister, and Janna, who had begun to shiver and turn blue, was grateful for the warmth.

Natasha held the wound tight. She had slowed the blood flow a lot, but it seemed not enough. An hour passed. The wound stopped bleeding. Natasha studied it and after another hour she removed the tendon that bound the artery. The now healed tube did not reopen after blood flow returned at full force.

“Oh, thank the spirits.”

Minutes passed, and Natasha removed the other tendon as well. She no longer had to apply pressure either.

She realized that Janna had been sleeping for a long time. Good. Natasha lay back and rested, but did not sleep. Her wound also healed, although she would not notice the regrown pinky tendon for some time.

Not a moment later, Chloe, the youngest of the family, jumped to the mouth of the fissure. She always ran with a sort of bound, prancing about with her tongue sticking out at the corner of her round face. Natasha looked up and saw her.

“I got mum! And also, Kain and dad and Zealott too!”

Only then did Natasha sleep.

Daniel Triumph.

Gathering All of the Evidence [ROUGH DRAFT]

Evidence

This is a compilation of the first draft of the Evidence series.

Evidence is a novella, only 20 000 words long. This is the first draft, a simple copy of all the chapters that I’ve released individually over since May 28. This is almost word for word what you would find in the Table of Contents. If you want to read the final draft, you will have to wait for the editing process to be completed, right now there is no ETA. Otherwise, feel free to enjoy this heavily flawed first draft. I apologize for any grammar or logic mistakes, as this is the first draft, and it is entirely unedited and not at all proofread. Apologies.

One day, this will be fully drafted and finally self-published.

Finally, to hear the two songs that inspired it all, follow the YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpcDQGdwlGU, and then, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMcUxONgcsE.

You may download this manuscript: Gathering All of the Evidence

Gathering All of the Evidence

The First Draft

By Daniel Triumph


© 2017 Daniel Triumph, Canada.

Digitally published August 16, 2017 on danieltriumph.com and as a .pdf file.

Some rights reserved.

Continue reading “Gathering All of the Evidence [ROUGH DRAFT]”

Evidence

Previously, Table of Contents

Before he spoke, before he gave Janna her sentence, Kain called Natasha up. Janna assumed that this was so that they could discuss some form of law, as Natasha knew more about the exact laws of the Kingdom than anyone else in the room.

Then, Natasha sat down.

“You are sentenced to two years, with a potential for coarctatio in…”

Kain looked at Natasha, as if searching for answers. Natasha just shook her head, as if to say there was nothing she could do.

Kain’s eyebrows furrowed, and he said, “Eight months.”

Janna’s eyes widened. Eight months? She could be out, highly constricted, but free for the birth of her child.

She stood and bowed, then exited, followed by Drake, then Chance, then Chloe and Natasha.

 

Outside Janna leaned back and stared into the sky. Maybe all this wouldn’t be so bad. As she pulled her arm up to block out the sun, someone grabbed it.

“You are quite aware that this coarctatio is only to apply if you are absolutely clean of action during your incarceration.” Natasha stated.

She was handling Janna with force, locking her arms together. Janna turned, looking over her shoulder. She could see Drake being shackled by Alice. They were lead to the hotel-like prison. Janna continued to stare up at the sky as she walked, looking and feeling utterly condemned, relying solely on Natasha to guide her through the city.

“Is there hope of mourning?”

Natasha almost stopped moving, “No.”

It was an unusual phrase, but it had a very specific meaning. Their oldest sister, Jealousy had said it one day, when she was seven or eight, or possibly even as old as eleven. She had blinked, and suddenly looked somehow more mature, and then she said it.

“There is hope of mourning.”

No one else had been there, but two years later, on the exact date that this subtle but meaningful event had occurred, Jealousy blinked again, and looked somehow younger. This was moments after their mother had died, of natural causes.

Janna shook her head. She wasn’t going to think on the details of how her father had gone through to revive and stabilize Gwenhime, not now. Since then, it had become an ill omen, whenever Jealousy said those words. Usually of death, but occasionally of something far more sublime.

 

Natasha lead Janna into her room, and removed the cuffs. She stood on the threshold.

“Avoid confrontation in the coming months. Report to a guard if anything happens. I know this may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done,” Janna noticed that her sister was being entirely sincere, “But for the sake of yourself and your child, you must be entirely passive.”

Janna grabbed her sister’s hands and stared into her eyes. Natasha simply raised an eyebrow. They stared at each other for many moments, and then Janna fell into her sister. Janna did not shed a tear, but simply embraced Natasha. After a moment, Natasha returned the gesture.

“You have a couple of sixths to rest before the ceremony,” Natasha said in hushed tones.

She did not lock the door from the outside, and as she exited, Alice strode in. Again she was dragging Drake behind her as though she had forgotten about his existence.

Janna ran to the bed, stripped and leapt in. Drake rubbed his wrists, and followed, standing at the edge of the bed.

Alice became very bashful, and ran out the door, locking it from inside. They were not locked in, it was not yet time. The rest of the world was locked out.

Well, Evidence is finally over. It seems not a lot of people followed the series, but to be honest I don’t think it was that great. But! This is just the first draft. With most works of fiction, the first draft is awful, and so it is here.

That’s it. There may be a part two, but far in the future. It will start, of course, with Janna’s ceremony, and end with Janna choosing to continue her search for Zealott a few years later, in the company of her daughter and Drake.

The second draft will likely be released in three 6000 word parts.

Daniel Triumph.

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P.S. Check out the Table of Contents for more.