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Arturur's Classroom (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

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RabidFox
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Arturur's Classroom (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

Post by RabidFox » Sat May 12, 2018 8:44 pm

Arturur's Classroom


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 damons: Humanoid people with pointy ears, fangs, claws, and commonly spiky hair.

Part of the Doctor Arturur series. Arturur's Classroom is a side story. It is set some time after the events of The War of Nobles.



(IN PROGRESS)


Pronunciations

Damon (DAY-MUHN)
Alysius (UH-LEE-SEE-UHS)
Arturur (AR-CHUR-ER)
Ashimi (UH-SHEE-MEE)
Asterterkin (AHS-TER-TER-KIN)
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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RabidFox
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Re: Arturur's Classroom (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

Post by RabidFox » Sat May 12, 2018 8:47 pm

Table of Contents

Part One: Calvin

To be continued...


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RabidFox
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Re: Arturur's Classroom (Novella) (IN PROGRESS)

Post by RabidFox » Wed May 16, 2018 5:06 pm

It was quiet. Eight people had assembled in the classroom, seven of them at desks, and one of them at the front. It was quiet. But everyone had a burning curiosity in their eyes, including the teacher. It was quiet. And Arturur was particularly still.

Then that quietness was broken by the loud mouth of none other than the troublemaking Seth.

"Why are we here again?" He demanded, annoyed. "We've tried this before. It didn't work."

Maximum height, with short, thin spikes of black hair. Seth was as irritating as ever. He had the look of boredom all over his face, however, that didn't stop him from always having something to say. It wouldn't have been so bad if the man had not lacked any semblance of tact.

Arturur barely moved his lips, slightly changing them into a slightly more noticeable frown.

"I don't care about all your complaining." He said, without trying to hide his dissatisfaction. "If all you're going to do is give me a hard way, you might as well leave. You know that you don't have to be here. So if this is so horrible for you, why in the hell did you come?"

"I want to see the Prince, of course." Seth replied, sarcastically.

"Get out." Demanded the white pixie.

"Okay, okay." Seth immediately decided to forfeit. "I'll keep my mouth shut... You have the floor." He smiled, gesturing his hand to indicate that he would not interrupt.

Arturur stared at him for a moment, and then continued. "Today, we will be starting off by talking about Calvin. Now this isn't going to be a long series of classes. This will be just one class, but it will be more than long enough to get my points across..." He paused for a moment. "Don't worry. I'm not really into this either. So don't take offence if you think I'm being too serious or don't respect your feelings about being here. I have no idea why anyone thinks this is a good idea. Just don't give me any trouble about it, and we'll be fine."

Seated at the desks were Abner, Dende, Jethro, Seth, Val, Calvin, and Yagrius. Every one of Arturur's new students were silent, and Seth was genuinely trying to at least be polite. The fact that Arturur was so intimidating was also not lost upon them.

The doctor pointed with his hand at Calvin. "Come here, Calvin." He instructed, in a calm, collected voice.

Calvin stood. Short black hair, dressed in a fine, black suit like always. He walked to the front of the room, taking his place by Arturur, facing the small group of young men.

Arturur placed his hands behind his back, giving off the impression of a rigid, commanding officer. Abner always noticed it when he did that, and he did it often. But Abner didn't understand why Arturur behaved like a complete soldier all the time. It could make him laugh, however, it was also sad and bewildering. Even the soldiers that Abner had known all his life were not like Arturur, who had a back like a wooden board.

"I'm going to be explaining the basics of Calvin's personality." Started the doctor. "Our families want us to... well... bond. We all just met each other not too long ago, and it's been years between us. While months have indeed passed, that is hardly enough time for us to really get to know each other. There's so much to say, and there's so much to explain. We've lived in different worlds all of our lives, and it's time to... close the gaps... Our parents, our grandparents, and really just everyone, not just our blood relatives... feel like it would be best if I began this process in the deep, complicated way that it needs to be done. Distractions have kept us from truly learning about all the people around us."

Seth rolled his eyes, but Arturur didn't notice. The white pixie was too wrapped up in his task.

"Now... let us begin." Arturur remained as he was: Strict, emotionless, and with that ever mysterious manner about him that kept himself shrouded in darkness. "Calvin is obsessed with books. He is obsessed with the library. He wants to simply disappear in the aisles, always working behind the scenes, carefully concentrating on the world inside of a story. I don't think of it as cowardice, though, that may be a good word to use at first. He is afraid, indeed he is, of all of you. There's a deep suspicion inside of him that none of our new... friends... will be eager to put up with him. But I know for a fact that if any of us are going to start a fight..." Arturur momentarily looked at Seth. "it's going to be this wild jackass over here that thinks it's funny to hurt people's feelings."

Seth raised an eyebrow, a frown appearing on his face. But Arturur felt like he really honestly didn't care. Seth seemed to be too mean to take anything personally.

"I want you all to know that Calvin is really, deep down, a tremendously wonderful, good man." Resumed Arturur. "He is very responsible, and you can't find a better person to organize your books. You can't find better advice on life and religion either. And you can't find a better friend with the ability to take charge and assume the leadership role when things get too tough. Calvin won't push you around, not really, but he will always be there for you.

"You may be misunderstanding me right now. You may think that what I'm saying is simply nice things that I would say about anyone..." He paused for a moment. "That is not true, because I think that Yagrius, for example, is one of the worst people you can put up with. But I'm ready—Perfectly ready—to change that to our loveable Seth over here." Arturur glared in his direction, remembering all the foolishness that he had forced him to endure during the War of Nobles.

"Calvin is a truly loyal and trustworthy companion. I could not feel more safe knowing that he has my back. If something terrible is about to occur, without failure, he will come to your aid, and you might not feel much better because of it, but you will at least always know that things don't have to be as hard.

"However, that doesn't mean that he's perfect." Arturur changed his tone, but the change was difficult to read. "He's also quick to anger, like the rest of you... like me... and he can be way too eager for a fight. He has a passion for arguing and yet genuinely thinking that he's simply debating. He can be downright nasty, and his mouth is difficult to manage. Sometimes, I think about a nice, big boat floating on the water far away, with him on it, completely happy and in no hurry to return home."

Seth laughed. So did Abner and Val.

"And this is where I change course a bit." Said Arturur, equally as calm as before. "As an example of Calvin's problems, he needs to come to terms with his ferocious attitude about the bible. We all take bible school seriously, and so does he, but he takes it too far. It's not that he's exhausting himself by helping people beyond what is considered healthy, but instead that he is far too judgemental. He thinks that he knows everything there is to know when it comes to that book, and I have had to sit through some really tiring times when he was trying his hardest to convert me to his personal ideas..." There was some silence, then, "But I don't want to turn this into a study of religion.

"What I want to do is talk to you all about Calvin's particular issues and how psychology can be used to adjust his behaviour. Change what actually needs to be changed, and not simply what you may find frustrating about him. This is not about just getting along. This is something deeper and more complicated than that. Ultimately, this is about how his actions affect everyone and everything around him."

"What do you mean?" Interrupted Seth, despite that he had promised not to. "This isn't some... emotion thing, is it? Where we all sit around while you tell us what the older people want us to do? About how we should... grow as individuals and talk about our feelings and... cry and help each other and share advice on how to alter our behaviour?

"Because I am definitely not doing that." He asserted, aggressively.

Abner and Val laughed, but it was not clear to Arturur if they were making fun of him or if they just found Seth amusing.

"It's not like that. Not exactly." Answered Arturur, trying to keep his cool—How dare Seth insult his intelligence!

"Not exactly?" Seth was not happy with that response. "I don't really want to do this."

"I can assure you that I am not trying to turn this into some kind of crying and hugging session." Arturur's anger was showing. A lot. He was momentarily silent, attempting to prevent himself from revealing just how much that had really enraged him. "I'm a psychologist. You're a psychologist. We're all psychologists. The whole fucking country is psychologists. Don't pretend that you don't enjoy doing psychology... And stop testing the waters with me!"

Abner found that really intimidating—Arturur was a very intimidating man. But Val kinda lost the point, and Seth's face had twisted into anger himself. Seth didn't like Arturur much. Not yet. He knew that eventually he would find common ground with him, but at the moment that wasn't happening. The noblemen from Wendell appeared to deeply respect Arturur and what he was saying. Seth didn't understand why they didn't get mad themselves. They actually knew the young doctor. Shouldn't it bother them? The way that he was acting?

"Now... if we may continue." Arturur glared at Seth, and then refocused his attention on the group as a whole.

"Simply put, Calvin needs to focus on his actions more and how they affect those around him. He needs to find more colour in his creative works. More of his emotions. That would give him a foothold into the minds of other people by understanding the depths of himself to a greater extent. See, he thinks too flatly when it comes to his own personal feelings, whether he is acting them out or creating something from them that is artistic. This causes him to have trouble interacting with others. Technically, he sees himself doing things amazingly more clearly then Dende, Jethro, and Yagrius, yet, unlike them, he can not apply his activities to his inner world. Using a rigidly imagined map only gets his thoughts so far. Therefore the setting of his mind is very dark and full of hazards, resulting in a blindness that affects his relationships, both with others and his own personal relationship with himself. Basically, he can see his actions with impressive clarity, but he cannot actually focus on them in order to absorb the details of his surroundings.

"Art is what I would suggest to fix this particular problem. I don't suggest that for everyone. Yagrius, for example, needs to get away from artistic expression—It fucks him up. There is nothing more irritating than having Yagrius brainwash your team with completely irrelevant mathematics. He is notorious for totally derailing projects, be them artistic or not.

"But Calvin, on the other hand, is really good at making instructional material in a mesmerizingly alluring and creative way. It's just too flat when it comes to that last, final touch that is so very exclusive to him in its complete lack of personal emotion. It doesn't have enough of his deepest feelings in it. At some point, Calvin just gets really defensive and argumentative, and this can ruin any project, with him trying his hardest to hide what's really in his heart. We give him any kind of important task, artistic or otherwise, and then, eventually, he always comes up with a debate for your debate, and won't work with the other team members. He commonly ends up asserting himself as a leader that doesn't want to truly lead, and good luck trying to get him to understand that. He's just totally blind to the way he starts treating people, and he pushes people away, as far as he can push. And so that makes things really hard on him, he gets really lost, and then, in a burst of frustration, Calvin can easily quit entirely.

"When he is in control of himself, he is definitely the guy that you want to help you out. It doesn't matter what it is. For example, he's great at making very literal artwork that can add all kinds of value to a group project. It has a very special, unique feel to it that you just don't see from anyone else. It's a rare quality indeed.

"However, his art is a double edged sword. It lacks subjectivity. It screams objectivity. He intentionally leaves out his heart, feeling like it would only destroy all the hard work that went into the art. It doesn't matter if it's something he's doing alone or if he's part of a group activity. Calvin is particularly blind in this area, unable to see the effects, positive or negative, on himself and others.

"So why do I suggest art to battle these glaring problems...? It's actually quite simple. Calvin is extremely resistant to accepting help. The world outside of his mind is scary to him. It's ferociously brainwashing, and he is terrified of losing something core to his personality that would recreate him into, what he sees as, another mindlessly submissive member of society.

"Therefore, he needs to be reached in the only way that he can be reached. Through his own personal beliefs and theories about the world around him. Things that he normally guards with his life. To touch that with one's opinions is to burn him and injure him. It only further distresses him. This is why you must let Calvin open his own doors. It is necessary to let him explore his mind through extremely subjective processes that he has always rejected. While most people can see my point, at the same time, they do not see any kind of usable methods in forcing him to more deeply analyse his problem areas. And what I suggest is usually seen as being too stressful and not worth the potential damages. Of course, I don't see it as being capable of what they think, otherwise I would not consider it to be a good idea."

Arturur closed his eyes, trying to relax. He willed himself to remain calm, to concentrate. There was a brief silence, then he reopened his eyes.

"Now we are going to talk about an outline of Calvin's major problem areas. To begin this, I will start thus: We all have trouble with overly technical thinking, but Calvin has a very special type of literal thinking that is not shared with the rest of us. As a group, all of us have very black and white thoughts about everything. However, Calvin centres on certain concepts and ideas that don't have a place in our lives except through him. You can compare any of us to an endless atlas. Calvin is that and a thesaurus.

"Initially, you may become confused. You may wonder... but aren't we all comparable to a thesaurus? Not really. Not when it really comes down to it. For example, I am extremely rigid, so a thesaurus is something that easily comes to mind when people think of me and how I talk and the way I organize information. I always use words specifically, and I try to only have one descriptive adjective for each, individual thing. But I am not perfect in this endeavour. I may be extremely literal, but my vocabulary is very small. By having a small collection of words, I am able to talk in an unrivalled pattern of clarity. I do not have many words for many different things. I have a few words, and always use my vocabulary in an effectively direct manner, a tendency of mine that makes me... Well... amazingly easy to understand. I use this ability as a psychologist, a teacher, and a priest. I am a very powerful voice that promotes comprehension of even the most complex subjects amongst even the most ordinary of people.

"But I am ultimately not the best comparison to a thesaurus, in the most literal definition of the word. No, that is Calvin. Calvin is the best comparison to a thesaurus. None of us even begin to have the insanely complete understanding of each and every individual word in each and every individual way, according to the most rigid interpretation of the dictionary... While this can be a good thing, this ability comes with its consequences... Namely, social agitation, experienced in a great way by both himself and those around him. It can make him unbearable at times. How do we explain even the simplest concepts to a man that is so lost in the dictionary that everyone around him is like a collection of mere adjectives? He is unintentionally the rudest, nastiest person on Alastair. He has created an all new field of technical thinking all his own.

"Need to find something that's been lost like a duck in the ocean? Ask Calvin. Need a forged exam paper on the subconsciousness of repetitive button mashing? Ask Calvin. Need advice on how to apply trigonometry to everyday life? Ask Calvin.

"When I get bored of levelling up my video game characters, I turn off the game. When Yagrius gets bored of levelling up video game characters, he gets Calvin to do it for him. When I can not come up with the answer to a burning psychological question, I take a break. When Jethro can not come up with the answer to a burning psychological question, he engages Calvin in conversation. When I'm lost and don't know what to do next, I think of something else. When Dende is lost and doesn't know what to do next, he consults Calvin.

"This is a problem. It's fine most of the time, but it always becomes a problem eventually. Calvin is wasting his life if all he ever does are redundant tasks that serve no purpose other than fuelling him with new technical ideology. Something must be done. Somehow he needs to be stopped. I've known him all his life, and yet I have never been able to fix this. It's not because I don't know how. It's because other people will not listen to me. They believe that I'm too extreme in my opinions, and they don't want to take a chance. But how is this behaviour ever going to be corrected if it is not approached in a different way?

"I am tired of being challenged by fellow psychologists, and I am tired of watching Calvin withdraw from anything that is emotionally stimulating. He does these things becomes they are not satisfying. He believes that satisfaction comes from completion, so he misses out on all the things that don't end in a high score. He will play a pinball machine forever, and never move onto something else until his name is at the top. Then he becomes satisfied, and because he is never satisfied by classical activity, he firmly believes that he can not enjoy anything that doesn't give him a rush. In other words, he is addicted to his own idea of psychological improvement.

Arturur took a long pause, then, "My suggestions are met with hostility. People find me too eager to prove what they see as a primitive approach. They misinterpret my energetic drive as veiled feelings of rebellion, a perceived attack against the integrity of my career decisions, as well as my personal psychological condition. I have attempted many times to assure them that they are not understanding me correctly, but all of these attempts have been in vain. There is an almost barbaric amount force aimed at preventing me from carrying out what they see as highly experimental psychology. Not so much for others as for myself. I am told again and again that my psyche is extremely fragile, whereas Calvin would simply feel a little ill if I was allowed to work with him in the way that I seek. On one hand, they raise me to be perfect. On the other hand, they worry that I will break if I am permitted to use skills that are considered too raw.

"Calvin lives behind walls. He's been very comfortable that way ever since he was very young. I have always tried to find a method for bringing him out into the light, but he refuses to move from this safe and uneventful refuge. He's not able to see the worth in 'coming out to play', and he takes his studies more seriously than I do. How can someone ever have fun if all they do is hide in a book? To this day, he stills acts like a frightened child. His adult life has been spent living in the same private sanctuary. This sanctuary is just as much mental as it is physical.

"I want the freedom to create a project for battling this reclusive nature. But I need assistance. It is not something that anyone wants to give me. In fact, they flat out refuse to even let me work with my own people for such a cause. Wendell has always been in charge of the region where I've spent my life, but the decision to hold me back belongs to everyone that I've ever known. Even peasants feel that I should be kept from playing out my full deck of cards. Normally, one would think they would agree with me, and once you come to know what peasants are really like, you will wonder the same thing. It doesn't matter if you ultimately choose their side. There is no doubt in my mind that you will still think to yourselves that their behaviour doesn't make sense. All of these details are important, because they affect Calvin equally. Afterall, it takes a village to raise a child.

"The first place that I want to take him is the library. I want to walk with him through the halls of books and I want to start randomly pointing them out. I want to choose completely random books, and I want to sit down with him and I want us to read them together. Do you know that people fight this one simple act with unimaginable ferocity? They are utterly convinced that even the most simple and harmless of activities are going to permanently damage his psychology. And not just his, but mine too. They accuse me of being too autistic to see the problems that such a thing would surely cause. There's no percentage of possibility in their mind. There is only one-hundred percent certainty.

"The power of randomness can be very destructive. I know this very well. In a way, my job is all about taking random numbers and restructuring them into productive, useful tools for doing psychology. So when everybody starts doubting me, despite placing me at the top of administration, I become extremely frustrated. I have never known how to explain to them why this is a good thing. But then... for the majority of my life... I have been pretty much mute..." A flash of pain appeared on Arturur's face. Just a flash. And it was hidden once more.

"I know what I'm doing. But that isn't enough. I have to learn how to prove this. I have to learn how to prove more than I have ever had the power to do. Not long ago, I was met with a great challenge. Overcoming it had always seemed impossible to everyone I knew. However, this is different. This is not the same kind of challenge. This is not based on the same kind of information. While there was always this legend in the back of people's minds that I could somehow truly win that horrible war, no one has ever thought that I can do what I am now trying to accomplish. Perhaps I even look foolish to you, but I'm still getting to know you all and I don't really understand what your words mean yet. I will. But right now... I am doing everything in my power to find myself, and to free myself from all the things that have ever held me back...

"And if the only way to do that is by fighting you... I won't... Because this is a new world now. And in this world, we may talk of what is in our heads, but none of us should ever again pick up a sword."

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