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Asterterkin's Window (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

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Asterterkin's Window (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

Post by RabidFox » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:18 pm

Asterterkin's Window


This is a novella that takes place on a world much like Earth called Alastair. The setting has both Victorian and modern elements. All characters are daemons: Humanoid people with pointy ears, fangs, claws, and commonly spiky hair.

Part of the Doctor Arturur series. Asterterkin's Window is a side story. It is set twenty-nine years before the events of Arturur's Journey.



(IN PROGRESS)


Pronunciations

Daemon (DAY-MUHN)
Alysius (UH-LEE-SEE-UHS)
Arturur (AR-CHUR-ER)
Asterterkin (AHS-TER-TER-KIN)
Ishimi (UH-SHEE-MEE)
Osgulliov (AWS-GUHL-LEE-UHV)
Rayon (RAY-AWN)
Sasawich (SAW-SUH-WICH)
Yagrius (YAY-GREE-UHS)


Complete List of Books in the Doctor Arturur Series

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Re: Asterterkin's Window (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

Post by RabidFox » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:31 pm

He looked out the window. The rain was coming down very hard. You could hardly see, and the trees swayed back and forth in the wind. At times, the storm was so bad that the rain would fly almost totally sideways. But there was no fear. The world of Alastair was so protected by the gods that no one ever worried for their physical safety. People didn't get sick, they didn't get injured. There was no such thing as murder or even kidnapping. A utopia that had no beginning or ending.

Arturur was born when he was twenty-seven-years-old. His elder brother, Diego, had been thirty, being three years older than him. A man must be at least thirty-years-old before he could have a child, as a rule of the gods, and the mother had to be at least the same age as well. Diego and Ira then had their first and only son taken away from them, and given to the care of the child's three uncles. One could hardly call the two youngest suitable parental figures, but Craig, the eldest of the four brothers, was always there to transform the tides of fatherhood from inadequate to perfect.

But this man, as he looked outside his window, was not yet twenty-seven-years-old. He was twenty-five, two whole years before Arturur would be born in Sairenof, Warren. And he could not then imagine what a nephew would be like, that he could ever even function as an uncle. Oh yes, he wanted him. He knew of this child before his birth. The gods had ordained it. Yet he simply could not understand the relationship. What would happen? How would he change? Which thoughts were good and which thoughts were bad? He always believed that he would truly find himself only the moment that the child was born. Even if the boy was far away, somewhere inside him, he would change.

That was before any of them knew that they would be getting the child. The gods, of course, already knew this. But the gods would only speak to his parents of this troubling fact once the Prince was born and placed under a great and powerful communication stone. This was before Craig had realized that he had a reason for living.

The rain began to lighten up, easing out of torrential violence and falling more softly. The sound lost its roaring, becoming more and more gentle. The man, at his window, had, had enough. Asterterkin withdrew his hands from the glass pane, straightening himself up, and walking over to the couch. He lived with the King of the Peasants, the peaceful and wise Jamal, and his home was a luxurious palace. Little did the young man know that his true home was so extravagant that his current residence could not even begin to compare. It was impossible for him to imagine, his surroundings already so wealthy and perfect. He could never think of anything greater than this.

Leaning back into the plush cushions, Asterterkin's eyes rested on the high ceiling, decorated with masterful paintings by the gods. This was an instinctual building, which meant that the gods had created it with their amazing powers rather than by the hands of mortals. Afterall, it was the dwelling of the King of the Peasants. It wasn't just people from Warren that got to enjoy fine things.

Asterterkin was maximum height, with long blue hair that gathered together into thick spikes. His eyes as blue as any other daemon, his head wide up top and thinner along his long jawline. He had the look of a deep thinker, fitting for such a complex priest. It was like dreams lived in every careful etch of his face. He was most certainly a man of philosophy, always combing through all of his thoughts as far as he could find them. Definitely one that was endlessly concerned with the workings of the world, Asterterkin was famous for his advancements in psychology, and infamous for his unwillingness to conform. It all made him a very powerful mind, but what he couldn't fathom to let go of did not serve him and instead only made his life all the harder. He was set in his ways, stubbornly refusing to pay attention to his failing mental health.

He needed something to make him feel complete, to finish the unfinished sketch of his life. He needed a person that could understand him, that could make him at last in touch with the deepest part of his soul. And he knew who this was. He knew with the utmost certainty. Asterterkin was someone that would not have children of his own. But he knew that his elder brother, Diego, would have a son. And a child this strange man must have. Gratefully, he had been told that the Prince would have a special kind of thinking, a mind that could understand all people, a mind that could even understand his own brand of thoughts and feelings.

Arturur was all that he wanted. He could not have imagined a better fit. However, what he had not realized was that a sane child could never fit into his insanity. But he never really cared too much about that.

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Re: Asterterkin's Window (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

Post by RabidFox » Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:20 pm

##########

The Headmaster's Illness. Arturur's reason for coming to Wendell. While everyone knew that Diego's son would be the Last Prince, and that meant, of course, that he would also be the Jedediah and the Wexler, as well as the final Headmaster; what they had not known was that Arturur could possibly succumb to the illness. Most people thought he would be fine, being the only person that was capable of holding that position forever. There were some that suspected the illness, and there were even fewer that felt sure he could get it. But it was still such an unlikely thing. At least, according to what people understood about headmasters. Obviously, the Old Ones had reached a point in their lives many years ago that had made them feel certain that Arturur could fall prey to the mental decomposition, however, they were not allowed to tell young daemons about most of their knowledge. It was forbidden that they even speak to them, nevermind live among them. What they could say was all carefully scripted and there was never any room for questions.

So when everyone was finally told that the actual Headmaster could get a terrible illness just from being a Headmaster, it was a great shock. Everyone was stunned. His father and mother couldn't believe it. Grandpa Pooky no longer thought his Headmaster jokes were funny. And Asterterkin felt horribly guilty when that child was placed into his arms. It felt like such an evil burden; to deny Arturur's right to be raised by the King and Queen. To hold him instead. Asterterkin had cried for what felt like a lifetime.

All of that would happen two years later. For now, Asterterkin was still oblivious to this future turmoil.

He was sitting alone in one of the classrooms at their makeshift academy. No, it wasn't the real academy, the one in Warren that was said to be made of pure gold, figuratively of course. But it was all they had, and they could fathom no other. The people of Wendell had been working on this masterpiece even before they were all born. The Last Nobility, in the same vein as the Last Prince, was a large, impressive group of geniuses that would inhabit the castle of Vikram for the rest of eternity. It was that time, the time upon all people, that these men and women were being born into the world. As daemons changed their lives to fit their new statuses, and more and more of them were rising to the age of Guardians and the age of the Old; Alastair was filling up its ancient buildings in the area of Warren with their final inhabitants.

Once upon a time, people of lesser wealth lived in these holy places, but as they grew older, they passed these beautiful halls and rooms down the hierarchy to new youth that would then change places with them to watch over this fine, wonderful place in their stead. Eventually, all of these people had moved on, and now—In this present day—Warren was at last only home to its true natives. Yes, its people were still being born, however, it was no longer in the hands of regents.

And this was how it had all come to be. Asterterkin, a reject of his own society. Or at least, that was what he believed. That he was being treated most unfairly. One day, Arturur would stare him down with eyes full of burning rage, begging to know why he had been raised to fear his own. Asterterkin would have nothing to say to him that could change his mind, and the older man would blame everyone else for Arturur's anger. But the blue-haired man wouldn't be running away from the truth. Oh no. He genuinely believed all that was in his mind. There was no arguing with him. He just never learned. Like Arturur, he studied and studied, and like Arturur, he seemed to be stuck in a primitive state. But unlike Arturur, he was not a childish man, and unlike Arturur, he had no excuses for his behaviour. One could hardly blame a "toddler" for anything. Asterterkin was capable of shame. He was simply too insane to believe he should feel it.

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Re: Asterterkin's Window (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

Post by RabidFox » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:15 pm

##########

"It's squiggles." Said Craig, all the emotion drained from his face other than despair.

"It's logic." Demanded Asterterkin, frustrated.

Craig said nothing. He was a very tall, imposing figure normally. But to his little brother right then, Craig might as well have been as intimidating as a snow globe. A shock of flat, orange hair; two narrow, mocking eyes; a roundish head with a surprisingly angular jaw. Yes, normally he was quite ferocious and made fun of everyone. But those mocking eyes were not so mocking when it came to someone that he took care of.

"You have these special—" But Craig was violently interrupted.

"It is not feelings!" Growled the blue-haired man, his eyes burning with uncontrolled rage. "I do know what I am talking about!"

"But you're not a construction worker." Reminded his elder brother, gently. "Construction workers know things like that. You've never even met a construction worker... except for Abdullah and you're not supposed to listen to him. No one is."

"So... what? We're supposed to ignore everything about him?" Asterterkin clearly didn't understand. "He can't possibly be so poisonous!"

"Asterterkin..." Craig started, already having given up long ago. "we've been over this and over this."

"And you make no sense even now!" The priest refused to budge from his research. "I—"

"No!" Craig raised his hand, exhausted. "I can't listen to it right now. I'm too tired."

"Then who is going to listen to it?!" Asterterkin was very impatient.

"I think you need to rest." Ordered Craig, closing his own, sleepy eyes. "I need to rest too. Come on... let's get you to bed."

"O-o-oh no! Oh no, you don't!" Asterterkin raised his arm to shield himself. "You're not going to treat me like a child!"

"I'm not treating you like a child." Craig began to approach him and Asterterkin screamed. Regardless, Craig continued, having no remedy for the outcry. "But I am treating you like an irrational person, and, honestly, you're worse when you've not had enough rest."

The blue-haired man growled fiercely. "Stay away from me!" He was deeply embarrassed.

Craig grabbed his arm, forcibly, knowing that Asterterkin always had trouble resisting him specifically. His little brother did not want to fight him as usual. He felt like it would make him look even stupider.

"I'll just go on my own! Let me go!" He was feeling so idiotic.

"Fine." And Craig let go, believing him. "Come on. Let's go back to our room."

Asterterkin huffed with indignation. Wordlessly, he followed his brother out of the room and down the halls. Eventually, they reached the last hallway.

"Why do you let them pressure you into something you hate?" Asked Asterterkin, innocently.

"Because I have no choice." Admitted Craig, head hanging. He wasn't just upset about his brother. "I know... You don't understand. You expect me to just fight. But there's nothing I can do. Nothing."

"But... you could..." Asterterkin became unsure of how to explain himself.

"No, Asterterkin, there's no route left to take." Craig became a little irritated. "I don't want to argue about it. Now just let it go."

The priest obeyed. Calmly, he walked after Craig as they reached the door to their room. The xavier pixie opened the door, leading them inside. He pointed towards Asterterkin's bed.

"Go to sleep." He ordered, moving over to his own bed. "And please... just do it. I need to pass out. Really bad."

"I won't bother you." Assured Asterterkin, only slightly annoyed at this point.

The blue-haired man still felt stupid, but at least it was only Craig watching him. And Craig wasn't even paying much attention. He sighed, climbing into his bed. Like a child. Like a child. He would not live with this humiliation. He would get his revenge on these damn people. Not Craig. Craig was too kind and sincere. But everyone else. Everyone but him and Davin... No one made Davin go to sleep like this. But then Davin would have just simply kept raging. It effectively shut up Asterterkin. This all just bothered him so much, he would even dream about it from time to time. It was an unjustified thing to enforce. It was a slap in the face of his dignity.

"Craig..." He said, once he was finally under the covers. "Are you okay?"

There was silence. Neither man was watching the other.

"No." Came the sound of Craig's voice, finally.

Asterterkin felt like he needed a minute to think of a good thing to say. Then it hit him. "Are you going to put them in a puzzle box like you normally do?"

Craig laughed. It was short and a little sweet. "No... I would feel dumber than you right now."

Asterterkin smiled very big. "I think you should use your puzzle boxes more often."

"There's no point." Craig turned over, away from Asterterkin.

"But it really sends a message!" Insisted his little brother.

"Not the right one. Not if you use it too much." Replied Craig, getting comfortable. "Now go to sleep. I'm tired, Asterterkin. I really am... I need... to sleep."

The young priest decided to let Craig have his rest. But he didn't want to close his eyes himself. Or turn over like he was getting comfortable too. He merely stayed on his back, looking up at the ceiling, his arms folded over the covers. If someone had stuck their head in here, that's what they would have seen: Asterterkin in all his defiance, even when it was time to lie down. It was really silly, but he didn't see that. Another opportunity to feel shame that did not happen. Trying to talk sense into Asterterkin wasn't much different than trying to get Craig to give up his obsessive studies of abstractions. It wasn't going to have any effect.

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Re: Asterterkin's Window (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

Post by RabidFox » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:28 pm

##########

It was amazing how any child just stood there and looked up at the clouds and thought some silly thing that didn't mean anything special. A moment contained in their youth. A split second in his.

What told a child to act a certain way? What made them grow and reach for the sky? What made others not reach at all? It was always difficult to sit there at your desk, a collection of research papers spread out under your arms, as you simply sat there quietly, still, and your mind almost decorated with questions. A psychologist in every age wondered about this. It was a familiar place to be in any person's mind, but the doctor of psychology felt at home here. Perhaps without much guidance or even security, but home nonetheless.

A split second in his. A moment in his life. Asterterkin... a puzzle to all those who tried to help him. They remembered a little boy who was fascinated by science and mathematics and all kinds of advanced topics that little children just didn't think about. And if someone had dropped the notion in their thoughts, that pool will barely ripple before the kid charged into something else, flying off into the world of childhood. It was a colourful place full of distractions, and the questions that Asterterkin had asked while he was still so small... children just didn't have deep recollections like that or made intense analysis of such subjects. It was stunning what a kid could find entertaining and it was remarkable that their ideas could sometimes be so close to the wonderings of their adult counterparts. But this land that Asterterkin had inhabited in those normally simple days... He was strange.

But that hadn't mattered. Nobody could have ever imagined that this sweet little boy would ever grow up to be so violent and forceful and... just downright irrational. He had been so happy, so satisfied. He loved talking to grown up's and he loved following the rules. Sometimes, he did a bit too much snitching, yet that was really nothing. All kids did something, and snitching couldn't even be thought "something". It was so hard for anyone to pinpoint Asterterkin for anything. Adults almost wished they could find something to punish him about. It seemed a little sad that he never got to enjoy being in trouble. No, he never seemed like a little adult, however, he was always very much different from other children.

If you asked adult Asterterkin what his biggest problem with the world was, he would have told you that he had been a normal, innocent little boy, and that people had taken that away from him. It was in his teenage years that his mind finally started to fall apart, and that rottenness had infected every bit of him by the time he was twenty-one. He could no longer function as a normal person at all, and there was so much that people had to start doing for him. Twenty-five and this was still happening, without any visible cue that it could stop. And it never did, foreseeable or not. What exactly was wrong with him, people didn't even know. He was too young to make much sense, and his delusions were likewise too fresh to be understandable. All you ever really knew for sure was that Asterterkin had turned himself into his own parent, desperate to make his own rules and live according to his own finely combed morals.

He was definitely a priest, always looking out for everyone despite that he just as constantly felt persecuted. If someone had first met him, they couldn't have understood in any short length of time that he was both a tough son of a bitch and a soft, gentle soul of enviably high standards. You had to know him to comprehend such contradictions. You had to really know him.

When Craig looked at a photograph of his little brother when he was still a young kid, he cried, and he cried hard. So he never looked at such pictures. It was easier for everyone if he didn't. All the pixie wanted was peace for Asterterkin. He wanted him to feel better. He wanted him to live easily and normally again. Craig deeply missed those days when he could talk to him about anything and there was no fear of setting him off. He so strongly wanted to just say a magic word and it all be over with. Time had not made things easier. If anything, Asterterkin's condition simply worsened.

A new little boy would soon be there. His existence would make Craig feel complete, and the xavier pixie would throw away all of his "guitars". The boy would change Craig forever, and turn him fervently against his little brother. In ways, the pixie would cry harder, and, in other ways, his smiling would be too fulfilling for it to be dashed from his face—Even by the powerful and mighty Asterterkin, with all of his persuasion and sickness.

But Asterterkin would understand all of that. He would change too. This little boy would make him feel more protective than ever, and the priest would even take great pleasure in Craig's refusal to be pushed around by him any more; this towering young man who fought with everybody. However...

Asterterkin would still be Asterterkin. He would still believe what he was going to believe. He would still act how he was going to act. He would still speak his mind and speak it plainly, even for the young Arturur to hear. You didn't tear down a man like that and replace him with everything new and perfect. Everyone would change how they approached him, and they would become firm walls of absolute refusal. Oh yes, they would still be easy with him—There was no excuse in the world for ripping someone to pieces, and people couldn't even imagine such violence. But when it came to the new boy, well... the child would most definitely be surrounded by firm walls of absolute refusal. No one was raising this child in an improper manner. Society would never accept it, and, in that, the Prince would be surrounded with the utmost care, even if a silly, irrational lunatic inhabited the same home.

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Re: Asterterkin's Window (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

Post by RabidFox » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:39 pm

##########

Asterterkin was always very angry. He would shake with rage, even when it didn't make sense to those around him. They couldn't hear what they were saying wrong, they couldn't understand the way they were looking at him, they kept making associations that didn't click. But whatever they were doing, they were really doing it. It wasn't a delusion. Oh, sometimes it was. But nobody was that crazy. Nobody was crazy all the time.

The priest felt like there was a wall of accusations against him, and he was right. They were indeed accusations. He didn't simply think things. He did things. When others who shared his condition were simply confused, he was actually pushing the limits. That was why things were so bad with him. He was a genuine trouble maker, and a trouble maker who didn't always know when and how he was wrong. Asterterkin would envelop the world with his games. No one minded too much, though, he would cross the line at some point. It was just the way he was. People didn't hate it. Rather they found much of it as amusing as he did. However, there were instances when he simply needed to be punished. Encouragement was not a good thing at that point. Sometimes, people laughed anyway, prompting him to misbehave even more. Usually, nobody got too upset about the laughter. Usually, it was pretty much okay for people to do that.

Now if you asked Craig, he would tell you what he believed to be the total, real truth. Don't laugh at it. Ever. There was going to be something here and there that was completely irresistible, and Craig would admit that he laughed at that. But just don't cross the line, otherwise Asterterkin crossing the line was perfectly understandable and you couldn't punish him for it. That was Craig's worst nightmare. Trying to explain to his little brother that he shouldn't give into others' vices. Asterterkin was supposed to be cute. He was very weak afterall. So Craig trying to get him to understand that was very hard. Yet for the most part, Asterterkin was the same as any other man his age. He just couldn't control himself as well. He blew up a lot, he cursed when it was a really bad idea, and he threw fits over silly stuff. Sometimes, Craig felt like the only thing he was grateful for was that Asterterkin was not like Davin. Another Davin? No, they didn't need that.

So how did you tell Asterterkin that he had to live with the misconceptions and the mistakes and the occasional unintentionally mean joke? There was no getting the man to like it, of course. No one wanted to be laughed at and treated like they were inferior. Asterterkin knew that he was smart. But he also knew that he could be really ridiculous, and that it could be irresistible to people to say funny things about him. No, they were not trying to hurt him. They just needed to watch themselves sometimes. And when they didn't, Big Brother Craig was sure to make them remember.

A little boy. Around all of this nonsense. Craig could never imagine it. Why anyone would hand him Arturur. He didn't know the boy's name yet, and he usually referred to him as "Danny". It was a name that people commonly used for the Prince before he was born. Everyone knew he was coming soon. They had to have some way to talk about him. The coming of Arturur had been a legend for so long, and after two more years, that legend would finally transform itself into a helpless little child delivered to three completely baffled uncles. Craig would be so happy that he would find himself constantly looking in a mirror. What would the child think of this? What would the child think of that? Did he look creepy in this pose? Did he seem intimidating when he did this? A new world of running everything by a manual.

And Asterterkin would get in the fun too. He would start looking at himself in a mirror all the time. What would bother him was how Davin did it. It would be such a strange experience, finding all the little differences between him and their youngest brother. And the big differences as well. To Craig and Asterterkin, watching Davin would be like watching a horror show. "Oh no, you can't do that!" They would cry. "Oh no, that is definitely totally off!" And they would be shocked at how little Davin actually listened to them. It would be a long road.

But somehow they would all get through it, and Arturur would be a very happy little boy.

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Re: Asterterkin's Window (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

Post by RabidFox » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:27 pm

##########

Now there was usually nothing irrational about sprites and shadows. A sprite was a particular head type and this head type could only be male. They had long, thick spikes of light grey hair; with a wide head, including the jaw; narrow, searching eyes; and every sprite was a teacher with a face to match. And there was usually nothing irrational about sprites and shadows...

It had always irritated Asterterkin that Davin could do pretty much anything he wanted with such things. Even the most insane sprites did not have a type of insanity that included darkness. Davin had some problems with it, even some rather big problems. But it was never considered a major feature of his mental illness. Asterterkin, on the other hand, was seen as someone who needed to have such thoughts restrained. This felt hypocritical to Asterterkin, and he frequently asserted that he was too intelligent to have a real issue with the matter.

That was one of the things that made the priest felt especially over controlled. Controlled in a manner that he felt was completely unfair. How could something as common as shadows be so wrong for someone as clever as him? It was not a question in his mind despite that people often told him that he should ponder it rather than feel so certain, that he required a high degree of reflection on the subject. He hated it. It made him enraged. He hated it.

But then it was really the truth, it was. His mind would lurch into the darkness, desperately seeking every corner of every shadow. He felt that there was special knowledge to be found in such things. So did Davin, but then they always told him that Davin was right at that point. Oh, but never him. Never, ever him. Anything he could think about it... Well, it was definitely wrong.

Everyone knew it was the truth, but Asterterkin mocked what they called common sense as ignorant presumptions.

Probably what angered him the most about it was when people tried to forcibly extract the thoughts from his head. From his point of view, they used medicines that were too powerful, techniques that were too experimental, applied treatments in a reckless and inefficient way, and restricted his freedom much too generously. Really, they did that with everything, but darkness and shadows was simply one of his top annoyances.

Sometimes, he just wanted to punch someone in the head, however, that was impossible when every physical action could be controlled by the "magic" of the main computer. An invisible substance could come from any object, from any direction that could effectively restrain any person in any situation. It moved more than quickly enough to catch even the quickest reactions. No one was afraid of him. There was no reason. The mere concept of a person fearing another person was completely foreign in Alastair.

And so life moved on without interruption. People always felt safe, and the only thing that got in the way of progress was free will. Asterterkin didn't have to do anything they said, and they continued to struggle with his mind as each day passed. So much they had to force in, and this could only be done by overwhelming his logic. But, of course, such a task wasn't easy. He was a person afterall. It wasn't like they could just make him do whatever they wanted.

And so he remained angry, and he couldn't think well, and he could never fully succeed. It wasn't enough to pain him, and therefore he never learned his lessons. Nothing ever made him stop and wonder if he was really wrong afterall. He was infamous for his ability to argue without reason and still believe the same things. The only person worse than him was Davin.

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Re: Asterterkin's Window (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

Post by RabidFox » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:56 pm

##########

Asterterkin felt like Arturur would be over controlled, in much the same way as he was. He understood that the boy would not be insane, but he kept replaying one simple fact in his head: The Prince would share a part of his personality with every man; he would be a ruler of all people and how could all people be controlled by someone who did not understand them? He would also be Diego's junior, meaning that the boy would have many of his father's own characteristics. It was no secret that Asterterkin hated his elder brother, Diego, however, the priest did not care that Arturur would be a little copy of his father. It didn't bother him. There was nothing about the Prince that was supposed to really get to anyone, and that was something that the eager uncle-to-be did not argue over.

A boy that would share so much of his personality with him! It was a dream come true for Asterterkin. Some of his most treasured attributes would be shared with this mysterious Prince. Even Craig couldn't get in the way of that.

"You act like he's going to draw squiggles." Craig was never happy about his little brother's fantasies concerning Arturur. "He's going to be a normal little boy, except that he'll have autism and a lot of trouble speaking."

"Well, there you go!" Countered Asterterkin, excitedly. "People are going to suppress him. He'll be a Headmaster, a Jedidiah—"

"No one is going to suppress him. That is your own story telling." Insisted the xavier pixie.

"You can't possibly expect me to believe that he isn't going to be instantly crushed by society's need to whip him into shape?" Argued the priest, passionately.

"Anything people do to him he will need." But Craig wouldn't have any of it. "It's not like he's going to be delusional and out of touch with reality. He's not going to be like you, Asterterkin. He's going to be like his father."

"I hate his father." Hissed Asterterkin, turning away, his face filling with rage. "That man thinks he owns everything."

"That's because he does own everything." Reasoned Craig, trying to get Asterterkin to calm down even a little. "He's the King. Forever."

"You know what I'm talking about!" Growled the blue-haired man, focusing his eyes on Craig. "Don't pretend that you have no idea what angers me about that man!"

"You can't stand for him to even be so much as mentioned." Craig scoffed. "How do you expect anyone to take you seriously? You don't even know him!"

"He is the King!" Asterterkin shook fiercely. "I know what kind of man he is!"

"You think you know everything!" Exclaimed the doctor. "There's no amount of 'special knowledge' in the world that is going to make you see through walls!"

"I have researched it! I have—"

"That's enough!" Barked Craig, trying to intimidate him so that he would stop.

And Asterterkin did stop for a minute. There was a short silence, and Craig walked past him, knocking into his shoulder on purpose. The priest was momentarily angered by the gesture, but then remembered who he was dealing with, and swallowed his pride. His eldest brother was in charge. Not him.

"What's going to happen when he cries?" The priest asked, pathetically, submissively.

"All children cry, Asterterkin." Answered Craig, in a calm, quiet voice. "He will be the Headmaster. He will be the Jedidiah. He will be the Wexler. And so much more... It's his destiny to shed a few tears. But don't worry." Craig looked over his shoulder, but it was not far enough to actually see his little brother. "He may not be with us when he's finally born, but we can still help. We can help together. We can prevent as much suffering as possible." And then he turned fully around. "It's up to us too, you know, not just those that will be with him. However, we've still got to be apart of the overall team. We still have to work together with the people that will be raising him. We're all psychologists. We can do the research."

Asterterkin was enraged at the idea of working with Warren, of working with the King, of working with the Guardians when they showed themselves. He growled again, except this time without words. Then he spoke, his voice out of control. "I don't want them brain washing him!"

Craig looked at Asterterkin long and hard, then, "The only people who would ever brain wash him... is you and Davin."

Asterterkin's eyes flashed with hatred, feeling—For that brief moment—that Craig was his enemy. Then the feeling started to die down, shrinking inside him. Finally, it disappeared. Asterterkin lost his footing and started to fall.

"Asterterkin!" Cried Craig, instantly worried. He rushed to him. The priest had managed to fall into a sitting position. "Brother! Are you okay?!" He surrounded him with his arms, giving him a big hug. Then he moved back, so that he could see his face. The young priest's eyes were open. "Brother...?"

Asterterkin was silent for a few passing seconds. "I'm okay... I'm just... I felt something I've never wanted to feel, something I've never felt before."

"What is it, kid?" And then Craig stopped himself. Asterterkin didn't like being referred to as a kid. It was merely a memory from a simpler time. "I'm sorry... What is it, Brother?"

More silence. "I... I don't want to talk about it."

"But you fainted!" Exclaimed the doctor. "You need to talk about it!"

And even more silence. "I'll talk to you about it later."

"No!" Insisted Craig, refusing to back off. "Now!"

Asterterkin took some time to gather himself. "I thought... for a moment... just a moment... like you were like them."

Craig's expression turned into a deep, unhappy frown. "It's not like that, Little Brother." He hugged him again, but this time he didn't let go. "It's not like that at all... I'll never make you feel like that. I'll never make you feel like you can't stand my face."

But what Craig didn't understand was that Asterterkin would come to hate him. And it would all be over a little boy.

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Re: Asterterkin's Window (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

Post by RabidFox » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:43 am

##########

Craig had rarely fought harder with Asterterkin than on the day before the boy was to arrive. The priest was then vicious and protective, wildly defensive and refused to back off with his out of control ideas. His questionable ideas of raising Arturur. But even before that time finally came in their lives, twenty-five-year-old Asterterkin was continuing to break down and pieces of his mind just fell out of his head. It was like he was dying—Craig would call it nothing else, and mercilessly persecuted anyone who thought his little brother would be fine. The xavier pixie kept holding him, holding him tight. He kept begging the gods to give them help, but his cries were only allowed to reach so far as the walls around him. Nothing really penetrated that wall between him and his other worldly caretakers. Life was hard that way. You couldn't always get that right answer when you needed it the most. And, of course, there may not have even been a right answer.

The gods gave free will to all daemons that had not yet passed into the heavens, the ability to make mistakes and learn all things in time. The Old Ones, the Guardians... the reckless youth. Then there were the Angels, the spirits of the deceased, who would watch with tearful eyes as they saw their younger selves in Sasawich and Sullivan and Travis and Jeremiah and Craig and Diego and Asterterkin and Davin... and all the rest struggling with the hardships of growing up. But even their hands could not touch them. They could only watch in despair.

A parallel dimension where the wise retired from life. A place full of knowledge and hope for the future. A kingdom of great, unmatchable faith. This was the land of the Angels, and a world that was commanded by the Keepers, the official name given to all gods. This was where everyone would reside one day, and this was the world that would eventually collide with the world of the living, the two places at last merging together as one forever.

This magical place of hope was the last resort for Craig, and no one was answering.

He was alone.

Surrounded by caring, loving people, and he was still all alone.

Asterterkin was raging. He was filled to the brim and overflowing with disgust. He was so angry, so angry about everything. And, mostly, he was angry about Arturur.

"They're going to break him!" The priest cried, completely convinced of what he was saying. "They're going to shatter everything in him that's beautiful! Like me! Like me!"

"No, Asterterkin!" Craig struggled, trying to remain calm. "That's not true! He'll be fine!"

"You agree with them!" He persisted, his hands balled up into fists. "How can I listen to you? How can I trust you?!"

"You've always trusted me, Brother." Rationalized Craig, taking it easy and slow. "I've never done anything to you. You know that. I'm always careful with you and I always take my time."

"But you'll change!" Asterterkin didn't really believe that, but he couldn't help it—He was wild with emotions that he could not swallow. "Everything good about you... will disappear when that boy is born. You'll turn into a completely different person, you'll—"

"Nonsense!" Demanded Craig, holding his ground. "It's not like we're going to get the boy. Nothing around here needs to change. He's not coming here, Asterterkin, he's—"

"So what?!" Exclaimed the priest. "He will still need our help! And you will get in my way! You will!"

"It's not going to be like that!" Said Craig, quickly. "You are not thinking properly!"

"Don't push my concerns aside just because I have a little problem now and then!" Retorted Asterterkin, enraged at Craig's assertions. "I am not a fool!"

Craig almost screamed in frustration. "You're not stupid, Asterterkin, but you're not always right. You get in these moods where everything becomes so overwhelming that you attack all people around you. Even me! I'm always so good with you, and yet you will start yelling and cursing at me as if I was doing something wrong. You're not a bad man, Brother. There's no such thing. But you've still got to calm down and face reality!"

"Don't call me crazy!" Ordered the priest, ferociously. "I am not delusional about this!"

"But you are, Asterterkin. You are." Insisted Craig, flailing to find the right response.

"I am not!" The priest screamed, like Craig wished that he could.

Craig crossed his arms over his chest, closing his eyes, lowering his head, and letting loose a large, helpless sigh. "I give up. I give up... There's no getting through to you today... Now let's think of something else for you to do, okay? Something that can—"

"Do not talk to me about activities!" Asterterkin was even further enraged by the suggestion. "I am a grown man. I do not do colouring books!"

"Oh, don't be so ridiculous." Said Craig, frustrated beyond measure. "Nobody is asking you to use crayons. All I'm talking about is something to take your mind off of your problems."

"You think that..." Started the priest, accusingly. "but then you will turn around and give me some stupid thing to do and order me that I have to do it and there's no room for even so much as something different."

Craig gave him a long, hard look. His eyes were harsh and full of scathing criticism. "Let's not start making up a bunch of stuff. I don't do that to you. No one does that to you. You know that."

Asterterkin glared at his elder brother, and then spun around so that he was no longer facing him. "I have an important point to make, and you're telling me to sit down and pretend like nothing is going to happen. We must plan these things before the birth of the child becomes too near!"

"Plan what?!" Said Craig, throwing up his arms. Of course, he already well knew what Asterterkin was talking about. "He's a little kid! He's not a puzzle! We're not supposed to solve him. We're supposed to find ways of supporting him even when we're not there to help raise him."

"I think he will be miserable." And that was that. There was no reasoning with the priest on the matter.

"Then what the fuck ever." Craig was clearly exhausted. He walked away and found himself a chair to sit in. He did not face his little brother.

Some time passed. Asterterkin was standing with his back to him. "I will not allow for another person, especially this young child, to be crushed by the weight of a silly, stupid society that would hide the truth from him... They told you!" He pointed a finger in the air. "They told you that there will be a part of me in that boy! And that part of me will be real and tangible and capable of being harmed! I will not allow this, I will not!"

"Stop..." Said Craig, voice full of tiredness. "Just stop... Go do something."

"Do what?!" Exclaimed the priest, angered by Craig's intent to ignore him. "Put together a picture puzzle?" His voice dripped with sarcasm.

Craig said nothing, just as Asterterkin suspected that he might.

"Are you just going to pretend that I'm not speaking to you?" Demanded Asterterkin.

Again, Craig said nothing.

Finally, Asterterkin became so frustrated and annoyed that he stomped towards the door. Pausing in the door frame, he turned partially around and spoke to Craig again. "We'll talk more about this when you're not so touchy on the matter."

Craig scoffed, derisively. Asterterkin just growled to himself and left.

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Re: Asterterkin's Window (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

Post by RabidFox » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:22 pm

##########

Asterterkin was a scary man. As a teenager, he grew more and more twisted, giving into new, sick fantasies that deeply disturbed the people around him. He was obsessed with science, with how things worked. He was obsessed with the inner-workings of the mind, but in a way that you couldn't describe just any psychologist. This was different. This was terrifying. This was something that he was forbidden from ever showing to the boy that he would one day be raising.

It was a rule that he didn't respect, not when he was twenty-five and not when he became twenty-seven either. But how could you force your will on someone when everyone was watching? Even if that someone was a child? Arturur would come into their lives, and Craig would think that the boy was just fine, but one day... one sad, horrible day... he would realize that even with all the security cameras in the world... the young, fragile boy had, had the surprising intellect to detect the real, true source of his crazy uncle's beliefs. And Asterterkin would always back this up, would always tell them with great certainty that the little kid really did understand. They would think that such an outcome would be impossible, and therefore they would have the child raised around Asterterkin and Davin anyway. How could they ever predict that anyone... anyone with such grave disabilities... could be capable of understanding the jargon of two completely insane men?

They would learn that they had made a mistake. The secret would lie in Arturur's inability to speak and understand language like other people. And so they would never be aware that he was learning more and more and more about dark, sinister things that everyone would be so sure just flew over his head. If the gods could really believe that this child could understand something so stunning for his mental age, they would never leave the boy in Wendell's care, a place full of mad men. The other noble children wouldn't get it, and they would actually have some degree of strength. The only one would be the Prince, and this shocking reality wouldn't even become known until after the great War of Nobles had already begun.

Arturur... the silent hero. The young, impressive doctor that would never have a detectable reaction. He would not be a cruel, wicked kind of person. He would simply be too little, even in his adulthood, to comprehend the weight of what he would know. Oh, Asterterkin would just stand there and talk to him about it, and everyone around Asterterkin would be like "You can't possibly think he knows what you're talking about". And Asterterkin would laugh, completely positive that he did. And it would be proven in the future, that the disturbed priest and this innocent little man had really been having the conversations that the older man had asserted were taking place. All those people... all those normal, everyday people... there every moment of Arturur's life, always believing that he was too autistic to grasp the meaning of Asterterkin's and Davin's words. A mistake. A potentially deadly mistake.

Now people in Alastair never died before their natural time, but there was a such thing as psychological death! To overwhelm someone so powerfully, to break the gentle structure of a person's mind... this was psychological death! Arturur's family and friends would have to work together—As all of this terrifying nonsense would finally be coming to life in his oblivious mind—to make sure that the horror did not break him. They would have to make sure that he could survive.

But would he? And would Asterterkin and Davin learn their lessons?

Wendell would never predict that something that seemed so obvious to them could get so out of hand right before their eyes. They would all know that Arturur was very weak and incapable of fighting off the influence of others, and they would all know that the most you could really do to him was simply hurt him. You couldn't turn him into someone else. You couldn't turn him into a maniac. But that influence, it could still horrify him, and that influence could corner him into a wall, making him feel helpless as his imagination conjured the images of his uncles' sickness. And that influence could crush him with its might. Would this unexpected tragedy be brain washing? Of course, but it would be nothing that would cause the boy to think and act like a lunatic. It would be the kind of thing that could make him feel like there was no such thing as a safe haven. That his family and friends had failed him afterall. That there was nowhere to run, and that he was broken.

But they would not give up without a fight! They would not allow such a tiny, little minded person to be destroyed.

And Arturur would approach Asterterkin and Davin... and he would be angry. He would learn what it meant to not want to forgive someone, to want them to go away. And he would learn all too quickly and all too harshly that there really was a such thing as "bad people".

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Re: Asterterkin's Window (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

Post by RabidFox » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:03 pm

##########

There was this point in Asterterkin's life when Craig was absolutely sure that Asterterkin's insanity was not coming from something within, but from the corrupting influence of Davin. Now Davin was their youngest brother, and he had—Once upon a time—been a very stable man, with a perfect career and exceptionally vital health. It was not common that a person could be more well prepared and easy going than Davin. Oh, he had always had a temper, and he always would, but there was nothing sick about him at all. In fact, the world was stunned to learn when he finally did become ill. No one could believe it. This powerful, rational man... this clever, intelligent sprite... Of all the men in the world, fate couldn't have chosen a more unlikely person. Even the gods were stunned.

However, there was this frightening bit of evidence that Craig couldn't completely ignore. And that was that Davin became sick after Asterterkin. Davin's mind was strong until he was almost twenty. Asterterkin was three years older than him, as all siblings were always separated by no more or less than three years. So Asterterkin was about twenty-three, and he had been suffering from his condition since he was a teenager. Davin fell apart all at once. One moment, he was perfectly fine. The next moment, he was completely out of his mind. The trigger had been especially disturbing, and the Davin they had known was gone for seemingly ever. While his little brother was joining his ranks, Asterterkin still didn't like it at all. He didn't want Davin to be insane. He didn't want his little brother to have problems.

Almost overnight, the once gentle and kind man had turned into a violent, raving lunatic. His mind had collapsed, his knowledge had spilled over and became tangled in permanent knots. He had suddenly seen the truth, whatever that was, and he had thrown away his entire spotless reputation. The very symbol of Davin—His unshakable genius, his immaculate image—had suddenly cracked and was completely destroyed.

Davin had transformed from the loving, caring person that he had always been. He had become hateful, vengeful, full of rage, and twisted in ways that even Asterterkin could never equal. And it had all happened at once. There was no going back. Even the gods intervened. The Old Ones, the Guardians, and the Angels... they all stepped in.

But for the only purpose of confirming the unimaginable terror: Davin's extremely specific way of thinking had finally hit a wall, and he would never be the same. People had warned him that he must think more generally, that he was not built for the mind of a peasant. No one could have ever foreseen his horrifying fall from grace. No one could have ever known that it could split him in half. Yet it happened. It happened and there was nothing that anyone could have done about it. Even Asterterkin would have fought it. Better to feel connected to everyone than to suffer the reality of the priest's own wracked mind. It didn't matter if Astererkin felt he was right or not. He didn't want the breakable Davin to be consumed by his own illness. Let him gently come to the light. Not like this. Not like this.

And despite it all... Craig had a very special, unique insight. He believed that, as children, Davin had somehow infested Asterterkin with some sort of childhood symptoms of... Well, no one liked to call their sickness by name. They preferred to silently allude to it instead. But, yes... Craig had felt like he had, had his own special insight into knowledge. Expect Craig wasn't yet insane himself and he would never have problems that really mattered. Now Davin... Now that he was like this... it all made so much sense. Two years later and everyone could see it with sharp clarity. Everyone had already gone through the quick, rapid process of understanding Davin's new illness by its roots. It was the rest of his problems that they couldn't dig into. And it was so obvious to even young daemons that this was not a collection of disorientations that was going to just vanish any time soon. This was for the long run. And Craig had felt like this mess really had stemmed from something in Davin's youth that he had passed to Asterterkin like a virus.

How could sweet little Asterterkin ever become so deranged? Apparently, he had, had less resistance to the causes and symptoms than Davin, despite that Davin was crazier than Asterterkin—And by far. Davin had a strong character, even now, while Asterterkin's once confident and social nature had been in shambles for a very, very long time. Asterterkin was also a lot weaker than Davin, and greatly more influential.

Well, whatever the answer, Craig no longer thought that Davin was the source of Asterterkin's problems.

But one day a little boy would be born, and he would tell Craig that he needed to reassess his trust in himself.

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Re: Asterterkin's Window (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

Post by RabidFox » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:02 pm

##########

When you were sitting at a table, and the man across from you was arranging an assortment of items, and you had no idea what that particular arrangement was supposed to mean, you would think to yourself, how does that make any sense? But imagine that you kept staring at it, and you kept staring at it, and you kept staring at it, and finally you asked the man what it was supposed to mean. And he told you... isn't it obvious? And you thought to yourself... why would he say that?

Asterterkin regularly sat down with Craig, and the priest would have a collection of objects, and he would keep organizing them into wildly different patterns. He might have a red ball, two yellow sticks, and some coins. He might take these things and seemingly randomly put them together into what he called "Art". He was also offended by the term "Art", so you had to be careful. You had to make sure that you were sensitive to his interpretation of the world.

Well, Craig had looked at these things and he had studied them for many years. By now, he had a thorough understanding of the magical way that Asterterkin thought. The pixie knew that his little brother could not have possibly understood the magnitude of what he was doing. The priest had no idea that the objects and the arrangements were a mixture of broken thoughts. Everything... broken. It was sad. Here was this really smart guy, and he had, had everything going for him, and then one day, he turned into this. He became a mess. And it was sad. Very sad. Asterterkin had been the picture of health. He had been so normal. Intelligent, but always in touch with his age.

The table seemed to be on fire, the items cold as ice. Everything in such disorder, and all of it a desperate scream. Like there was always barbedwire there, randomly placed around a sloppy collection of things. Black and twisted wire. Something harmful, something dangerous. Special care for each and every item, and each and every placement, special care that could not be seen from others' point of view. If only Asterterkin could have that same insight into his problems, he wouldn't have problems. He would see what he was really doing, and that was nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. It was sad.

Special knowledge, unique insight... it wasn't worth it, and it wasn't what the young priest thought it was. He worshipped these "masterpieces" of his, without understanding what he had to sacrifice to be so out of touch. Everyone looked through his things, read his writings, hunted for anything that could become or was already a deranged piece of his mental puzzle. They just wanted to fix him. They wanted to make him better. And, sure, it wasn't fun to use the word "fix", but what were they supposed to do? Lie to themselves? He had to be fixed. There was something wrong with him. They knew it hurt his feelings, but it would be so much worse if they allowed him to believe that he was okay.

And he got mad, and there was no alternative, and they kept coming up with new ideas, and he would get even angrier and angrier. They were only people. They were not gods. And even the gods couldn't help or they would have... Craig... Craig... living in a world of darkness, wrapping himself around his little brother. Asterterkin's only connection to the real world. What if Craig wasn't there? What if he had never been there? What if Craig had been born just fine, just like everyone else? What if the gods had not known his fate, and had not placed him in Wendell as protection?

The pixie's life was full of questions. No, he was not crazy. He was not delusional. He didn't even get delirious when his responsibilities became too much to bear. Craig just didn't know what he wanted out of life. He had always been "Big Brother", the future "Uncle". All the time he had spent on this earth was for others. Was for Asterterkin and Davin. Was for the future Prince. When would he finally stop and simply live for himself? Everyone had to take time to rest. They couldn't take care of their family all the time. But Craig felt evil if he didn't keep trying and trying. One day, he was going to break. It was going to get the best of him. Arturur would be born, and sometime after that he would at last lose his mind. He always had to be the best at everything, and that included being a Brother... and that included being an Uncle.

Yes, they all needed his care. Yes, he was a damn good man. But he was going to crack. And it would push him to the edge. Now Arturur would never be hard to take care of. But Asterterkin? Davin? They would threaten the stability of a man who only wanted to protect his family. They would threaten Arturur, and Craig would not be able to take it any more. When other people would realize that neither man could do much to the Prince, Craig would take his fatherhood to the next step. He would demand that Asterterkin and Davin be removed from the boy's life, that Arturur be sent home. That there was no such thing as a Headmaster's Illness in this boy. But he would be muted, and then eventually he would agree with the majority, and Craig would lash out at himself. He would force himself too far, he would take his responsibilities too seriously, and the man would just... breakdown... He would never lose his kindness, and he would never be all that irrational in any way that really mattered. All except for his own need to have his father. That would be the only thing that really, truly... mattered... A broken heart. A shattered mind. Just one piece of him that couldn't find peace... The loss of his father in his heart. One of the greatest sources of madness in a man.

And Asterterkin would be the same. He would be sitting there across from Craig at the table, and he would be arranging his mess of disorganization. He would be building his life out of barbedwire. And he would never come any closer to seeing the strangeness and emptiness of what he was doing.

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