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Arturur's Confrontation (Novelette) (FINISHED)

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Arturur's Confrontation (Novelette) (FINISHED)

Post by RabidFox » Mon May 23, 2016 1:46 pm

Arturur's Confrontation


This is a novelette told in a series of short stories that take place on a planet much like Earth. It occurs during an era with both Victorian and modern elements. All characters are daemons: Humanoid people with pointy ears, fangs, claws, and commonly spiky hair. All of the stories tie together to form one single, interconnecting story.


(IN PROGRESS)


Pronunciations

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


Previous in the Series

The Language of Arturur

Next in the Series

Abner's Shadows


Complete List of Books in the Doctor Arturur Series

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Re: Arturur's Confrontation (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Thu May 26, 2016 5:39 pm

The Breakdown


Arturur had lived in the shadow of his uncle, Asterterkin, for many years. He had tried to please him, but he was a hard man to satisfy. He never thought that Arturur was a fool or an idiot or ignorant, however, his high standards had strained the young man as far as they could. Asterterkin was like that. He was tough, big, and tough. Tough, tough, tough. Asterterkin may have had a weak heart, but he was certainly universes stronger than Arturur. And all that toughness weighed down on the doctor.

Asterterkin would paint his hands red and stare at his palms over the sink. He would just stare and stare and stare. Only God knew what he was thinking. Or at least, that was how Arturur felt. Everyone else really knew.

"It's so far away from you." Was what he was told again and again. "You're not going to get it."

And Arturur's uncle was indeed a huge obstacle to his happiness. Asterterkin never thought he was doing him wrong, yet he would push both himself and Arturur to the maximum. Many thought of Asterterkin as the idiot that he hypocritically despised.

And now Arturur was there in the forest, deep, deep in the forest. Alone. By himself. Only his thoughts could entertain him.

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Re: Arturur's Confrontation (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Fri May 27, 2016 10:25 am

Goodbye


The forest reminded Arturur of a story that Asterterkin had used to tell him. It was a strange, terrifying story. Something that Arturur had never liked. The young doctor looked around himself and thought of the words describing the trees, describing the miniature world of the woodlands.

He was suddenly surrounded by a dark, bewildering place, his thoughts transforming everything around him. The branches were long and sinister and yet beautiful and full of youth. The grass went up his legs and the trees created small paths throughout the forest. Paths that could lead him to happiness or hell. He turned around, taking in the sunlit view. Rays of light penetrated the canopies above and fell sweetly on the grassy grounds, but it was a sweetness that could not be sated.

His eyes filled with frustration, his mouth bending into a frown. What was so wonderful about a horrifying forest? Why had it interested Asterterkin so much? And even more confusing... why had his uncle thought this was a good bedtime story?

The birds sung in the leaves, their songs tainted with the visions of the past. A place of overwhelming aggression and power hunger. A world that Arturur wanted nothing to do with. Everything in his mind that could have been associated with a forest... all of it would spin around in his head until finally mixed with these stories from his childhood.

And then he closed his eyes and wished it all away. For the last time in his life, he was filled with thirst, and then it was gone. Beautifully, wonderfully gone. He hadn't even expected it to leave, especially so suddenly. The white pixie reopened his eyes, his blue irises like sapphires amongst the trees.

He was done. A flitting image had ended it for him.

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Re: Arturur's Confrontation (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Sat May 28, 2016 3:23 pm

A Lack of Faith


Arturur believed that all of irrationality and insanity stemmed from a lack of confidence in one's self. He felt that all a person had to do was believe in themselves in that unbelievable way that people always frowned upon. According to him, if people could just let go of the concept of impossible, then happiness was a free reward. All happiness.

But people never listened to him at that point. They saw him as a young child that had still not learned how to fail. A man like Arturur, they believed, was not dangerous to himself, but, if nothing else, he was not submissive enough to societal norms. Without enough conformity, from their point of view, Arturur lived in a constant state of disappointment.

And Arturur was well aware of their opinions. He simply didn't agree with them.

So he had ran away to find himself on his own.

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Re: Arturur's Confrontation (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Tue May 31, 2016 11:14 am

The Signs You Read


Many times Arturur had been faced with a situation in which he did not know what to do. It wasn't the typical game of cat and mouse, and it wasn't just a difficult question. It was his life. He did not know how to approach someone and fly into a conversation. He did not always know what people meant when they smiled at him. The young doctor had struggled to come up with answers. He had tried to find ways around his problems. But life was different for Arturur. He always had something in his way.

As he walked through the forest, he felt like thoughts were the hardest things to have. His mind was jumbled and not on the right path. He was confused, annoyed, and, most of all, tired. Over the course of several years, Arturur had travelled from silence to speaking. It had been a long time since he had gone entire days without saying anything. But that did not mean that he was entirely happy about it. Some things were just easier unsaid.

Arturur walked and walked, and then stopped and gazed around him at everything. He was so lost. So, so lost. Suddenly, he wished that Abner was there. Or... Diego. He had still not met his father. It was taking its toll on him. Since he had been there in Sairenof, the capital town of Warren, he had mostly been around pixies. Even now, Arturur had no idea that one of the people that had watched him at Court was his father.

The world was such a confusing place for him. Every time he turned around, there was another issue that needed to be dealt with. But he would push it aside, unsure of how to handle anything. The obstacles kept stacking up and obscuring the path that he really wanted to take. Even his own words sounded like gibberish to him.

What was it?! What was it?! He didn't know! He couldn't figure it out! What was the solution to everything?!

Arturur sighed, then held his face in his hands.

"I wish that I was more like you." He said, meaning Abner.

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Re: Arturur's Confrontation (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:07 pm

Between Memories and the Present


Arturur was sitting on the ground, his back leaned against a tree. He looked around him, seeing nothing, and then sighed. His eyes fell to the earth. Some time passed.

"When it seems like things couldn't get worse, they transform into something horrible." He said to himself. "But when things seem like they couldn't get any better, something happens to make the world a more wonderful place." He was quiet, then, "I wonder what my world is turning into... It's hard on me to think about it, but everything does appear to be getting much, much better."

He looked up at the shadowy canopies. "I haven't seen Asterterkin and Davin in a long time. It's been ages since I have spent this much time away from them. But they are not to blame for everything, of course. For the most part, it's just this inherent instability inside of me. This innate problem that keeps taking me in circles. If only I had been like normal people, none of this would have ever happened. All I would have to say was that Asterterkin and Davin are more than just jerks... And that doesn't mean anything compared to what my mind has been through."

He thought of Craig. "This is also the first time I've spent so much time away from Craig. I'm not used to being without him. Pixies or not, they wanted to get to know me without my uncle's overwhelming influence. I can't say that I blame them. Craig really is quite loud and protective.

"I don't want to think about Asterterkin and Davin any more. It's been easy to push Davin out of my memory, despite that he's the worst of the two, but Asterterkin, every once in a while, comes back to haunt me... He has always pushed me forward even when I don't want to get any closer to his idea of 'perfection'. He's always kinda kicked me around or, in other words, been way too rough with me. He just actually kicks with his leg too. He doesn't hit me with it. He just acts like I need to get going, like I need to continue whatever it is that he's wanting me to do. It's his way of encouragement. To be physically intimidating rather than physically abusive.

"He doesn't insult me, at least he doesn't feel that way. But he does say some rather frightening things. It's not that I feel like he's going to hurt me. It's that what he has to say is so scary. He's always wanted to desensitise me to really horrible stuff, but, if anything, he just makes me more afraid of it. It makes him angry too, but he blames other people. I'm too 'perfect' in his eyes to be guilty of anything."

Arturur stared off into the trees. "Perfect... perfect... What does that really mean? Do I really need to count so many things and think so hard about different topics and reach just quite that far... to be perfect? That's what he has always said. That I need to go ahead and push farther since it's so easy for me to push beyond normal limits anyway. If I'm going to be a genius, he says, then I need to go ahead and go for the best. But I get tired of it, and he doesn't understand why. He has a really hard time not putting himself in my shoes. It's made him think that he can instruct me in ways that he really can't. All this 'empathy' is so deeply entwined in myth. It's not what he thinks.

"I wonder... Father...? What would he say if he could hear me now? What is he like?" Arturur suddenly felt overwhelmed.

He stood up, then resumed walking amongst the trees.

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Re: Arturur's Confrontation (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:18 am

Success and Failure


Rays of light illuminated the trail through the woodlands. Arturur walked it, one step at a time. "We were very young." He started, speaking only to himself. "I was the youngest. And Rayon couldn't take it. He couldn't handle me." There was quiet, then, "I made him feel weak...

"He had never met someone like me before. In the beginning, it was all fine. But, as I grew up, things changed. I was very bright for my age and already I was quite educated. I spent even my youngest years learning and reading books and studying very hard. I was to one day become a King, though, everyone knew that day was hundreds of years away. Yet what better could they do but to prepare me now? It was in my blood, they said. I needed to start as early as possible.

"They could not predict the challenge that would appear between me and Rayon. He is the father of the King of the Peasants, Jamal. However, you have to question which one is really in charge. Jamal is not a fighter and Rayon is. Rayon has always taken on anything, he has always been determined to crush whatever obstacle is in his way, and, no, he would never crush me, but he would stop me. Not even I could stand up to him, not then or now. It's always been too much for his precious ego.

"I was full of fire. Craig said that I was pure of heart and that would not ever come to an end. Feeling embarrassed, I meekly accepted his praise. Rayon had no problem with that. It was just who I am. But then that day came when he started to lose control of himself. He learned many things from me, and one of those things was a before unheard of level of sensitivity. I had been better than him that way. It still didn't bother him. But what did was that I disagreed with him too much, and he began to fear that my power would lead people away from his more questionable ideas and replace that gap with mine. He had always had the upper hand, and the idea of a child superseding him was completely unacceptable to him.

"That or anyone. Rayon had always been in charge. And he was used to it."

Arturur paused for a moment. Then he continued to walk.

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Re: Arturur's Confrontation (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:28 pm

Clarification


"As I think about it more and more, I find that people are far more correct than I ever imagined." Said Arturur, still by himself. "I used to think that I was the smartest and the best. I used to think that people couldn't match me in intellect. But then I lived inside of my head, and I couldn't see what was happening in the world around me. It challenged me, brought me outside of myself, and showed me things I never thought possible.

"I was also unhappy about it. I didn't like feeling so alone. I didn't want to be the smartest. I didn't want to be the best. That's just how things were for me. I wanted to take joy in having people to look up to. I wanted to have fun learning, and striving for better grades, and reaching out into my community for a dream. And now I can do that. Now I can see what was so impossible for me before. And I am happier now. There are still walls to climb, and there are still more horizons to see, but I have come into the world and it is full of beautiful possibilities.

"I remember when I was very little, and Craig would sit with me very patiently and teach me things. He wanted me to have the best life I could have. He struggled to make sense to me and he never gave up on me. I haven't seen him in a while, but then neither of us have ever been here before. He wants to be with me. That's all that matters. As dramatic as things get, I always know that he's just not allowed to be with me right now. He would break through the wall to get to me if it were possible. He's my uncle.

"I look at the trees right now, and I wonder who else has seen them this way before. Is it a similar process or is there some kind of uniqueness to it? Am I living as myself or am I taking the journey that many others have taken before me? So many questions, but few of them painful any more. It's nice. It's really nice.

"While I still need more... it's really nice."

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Re: Arturur's Confrontation (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:10 pm

The Epitome of War


"The biggest confrontation is probably silence itself." Said Arturur. "Silence eats away at the mind when everything else has failed. You can be the strongest, toughest person in the whole world, and only be conquered once the curtain has fallen over the stage. The quiet... the unnerving stillness of a looming sun or an eerie moon... can be the end of someone.

"My whole life... building up to this moment. It's difficult for me to see past the veil of mystery that so often hides the world from me. Surrounded by people, but still feeling so alone. Thoughts, ideas, actions... places unseen. Voices unheard... There can be nothing harder to defeat than emptiness. It weighs down on my soul, on any man's soul, and it crushes what remains in the heart.

"Uncertainty is terrifying. A large void unexplored stops even the most diligent marchers. No solider skilled enough to break past the wall. I am here by myself. I am without anyone else. But what I fear the most is that when I finally do return, the world will fill up with the conversations and mutterings of people that still don't understand. I reach my hand into the black blanket of my own mind, and I seek out the light left in my own memories. I seek an end to pain, fear, and the troubling unknown.

"Craig would tell me that everything is going to be fine. But he's not here. I'm doing this without him. I'm struggling without him. No one to turn to that can tell me what to do. People that are just getting to know me. A time seemingly without end. Pushing fiercely against the mountains, desperate to survive. A world I don't want to go back to. Newness must claim me. Freshness must guide me. I must find some way to continue. But I'm so tired now and the fall is about to happen. I'm about to collapse. I'm about to faint. No weakness worse in this world than 'If'.

"Yes, everything will be fine. Yet how long does it take to get there? What do I experience in the meantime?"

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Re: Arturur's Confrontation (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:55 am

Crazy People


"Craig used to be so strong." Started Arturur. "He could stand up against anything, no matter how hard. He was full of optimism and there was nothing that he couldn't accomplish. Craig was full of light.

"It's strange how the cynical nature of people can affect one person. An entire civilization can weigh down on the ideas of someone, no matter how truthful, and can warp their thoughts to match their own. It's not conformity. It's the lack of it. That's how things were in Wendell.

"People were very open minded and didn't feel like even the slightest things should be suppressed. Nothing terrible, just the normal things you don't want people doing. Like being crazy." Arturur made a disturbed face. "They encouraged insanity amongst people and I've always known that is wrong. They've always felt like they can control it and channel it for the good of the person. There's so many towns where people would gape in shock at such an idea, but then Rayon is who he is. The leader of such a strange and forceful people.

"I watched Davin fall to pieces because they wouldn't admit one thing about how he was right. It didn't matter if they believed so or not. The people of Wendell were determined to destroy his reputation. They felt bad about it, but they claimed that there was an intense need to change things. To rally against him. A golden teacher. A highly successful, greatly respected man. That was the kind of person that they made insane. Eventually, Davin even agreed with them.

"It never had to happen." Arturur paused during his walk and looked up at the canopies like he had many times that day. "It was ridiculous."

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Re: Arturur's Confrontation (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:33 pm

The Way It Was


"I used to like to read dictionaries and encyclopaedias." Arturur thought out loud to himself. "I would read an encyclopaedia all day, from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep. I really did. I know it sounds hard to believe, but I had trouble entertaining myself. I thought so literally, I couldn't even do the most basic mental tasks. Everything ran together until it was too hard for me to understand. So I read. And read. And read. It was an escape from boredom for me. It also boosted my pride.

"And I would read stories all day too. I would wake up, and read stories and encyclopaedias. I would use the dictionary all day long so that I could understand all the words that were being used, and I honestly just enjoyed reading it. I had fun thinking about all the different ways you could use words. Some of them sounded very poetic and I was excited to be able to put them all together into a masterful pattern.

"I was very drawn to history. I wanted to know about every little thing from the attire from different periods to the architecture to the political atmosphere to the available technology. And no information was ever enough. Pencils, paper, cars, houses, spoons, plates, portraits, paintings, and so on and so forth. At times, I'd even pick up a history book from the library.

"You know, I once checked out a book on old ships and the history of common people sailing across the ocean to a new land.

"Was it all in vain?"

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Re: Arturur's Confrontation (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:23 pm

Me


Arturur grabbed his head, frustrated. "I... need Abner. I need... Abner." He growled to himself. "I need Craig."

He looked all around him, surrounded by towering trees and thick grass.

"One... two... three... four... five!" He exclaimed, remembering something that Asterterkin had told him. "Does it all really begin and end with you?" He asked the air, referring to his uncle. "Can I not make decisions without you helping me...? You know, you suffocate me sometimes, and make me feel like I can't do anything without you. But that's not true. There's lots of people... lots of people around me. I can think too, Asterterkin. I can think too. I have a mind of my own.

"Let it be known that I never once helped myself. I reached out into the world. I tried my hardest. I asked all the right questions. I learned everything I could. I reached out and I tried to grab Craig's hand. I asked for help. I asked for any kind of help at all. And I did everything in my power that I could do.

"But I never once helped myself. I don't want to be the person who never lets go. I want to be the person who is never let go.

"There's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with being myself. We all are ourselves. We all have different ways of thinking and acting. That's what I was told to do. That's what I knew anyway. Stay out of it! That's what they would say. You're not that kind of person. And there was a time that I didn't listen and I tried to help people anyway. I tried to help myself.

"But that's silly, they would say. Don't do that. That's not who you are.

"And I don't."

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Re: Arturur's Confrontation (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:53 pm

Always Looking Up


"It all needs to stop..." Said Arturur, halting his walk. "I don't need to do anything. I don't need to say anything. All I need is to go back home... It's all done now. There's nothing more to do." And he became silent.

Looking up at the light coming through the trees, as he had done over and over on his long walk through the forest, he felt himself relaxing. How many times had he looked up? How many times had he looked down at his shoes? It was countless, endless, infinite. The confused wanders around and keeps revisiting the same spots and doing the same things. They do not know how to win.

"I live in a castle with lots of nobles and I'm a pixie surrounded by many other pixies. This is where I'm supposed to be. Not Wendell. I was raised there, but I was raised to be one of them.

"It confuses people how I make any sense. I'm a doctor, I'm a psychologist, I'm a priest, I'm a teacher, and so on and so on. They don't understand my faceted personality. They don't understand how I can even begin to work. My mind puzzles them.

"But I feel torn between many things and this is how a Prince is raised... when it's me. Warren has been missing its leader. I've been missing my subjects.

"Life is going to become extremely easy extremely soon. I will just... give in. Do what they want. I'm tired of fighting them so hard. I will just... accept who I am. I'm royalty. I'm the Prince of Alastair.

"I'm Diego's son.

"And I will meet Diego. I will meet my father."

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Re: Arturur's Confrontation (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:46 pm

The Music


"Once upon a time, I was a very quiet person." Started Arturur. "I almost never described what I was feeling. I never used words like 'angry' or 'happy'. I never even changed my expression. I was a very flat person. I did not show emotions, even when they were overwhelming. I can't tell you how many times I felt like I was going to burst into tears or go into a rage and there was no visible cue made by me at all.

"I wouldn't smile. I wouldn't frown. I wouldn't even so much as sigh.

"I didn't know how. It was a maze for me. I didn't understand how to show emotion. It didn't matter if I wanted to or not. I felt like my words were jumbled and confusing, and I felt like my emotions were no different. I had an extremely difficult time learning my own native tongue, and I found myself drawing more and more into my mind. There was a brief time when I was a little affectionate, but that eventually disappeared.

"My writing reflected my inability to talk like a normal person. Even with an edit button, I failed to express myself. I was always very stiff and inflexible. I always followed the same rules. And those rules got more and more strict, more and more strict, and I couldn't follow my own rules. So I would forgo even the simplest sentences, the most basic greetings, telling stories, and playing games. I just couldn't do it. It's not that I didn't want to connect with people. It's that my mind was a puzzle that I couldn't navigate. And I didn't understand other people either, even less than myself. Far less.

"Over time, I was pushed and pushed and pushed to open my mouth. To show some kind of emotion. I was forced. I was forced to act as normal as I could understand the word. It made me angry. I didn't want to be like others. And then, over more time, it actually made me experience relief.

"It took what felt like countless ages to get here. To get to the point where I could actually cry, if only in writing and stories, and to reach that point where I was left with countless questions on just what was laying dormant in my soul."

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Re: Arturur's Confrontation (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:47 pm

Completion


"I've finally decided to give it all up." Said Arturur. "I've finally decided to just... stop... I'm not going to argue with the pixies any more. I'm going to just do what they want. I'm not going to argue with anyone any more. I'm going to just... give in.

"It's been a long time since I first came here. It's been very hard for me too. These people aren't like those in Wendell. They think... like me. They act... like me. They're like me. What's the point in arguing with them? I can't change their world. Not like I've been acting. But I can change it in a different way.

"I'm tired. I'm so tired. Maybe that will clear up better if I no longer throw myself against the walls of society. Maybe I should just start sitting and waiting. Something is approaching. Something wonderful. It's been too long. Nothing can halt the progression of time. I will change. Everyone will change. And then we'll reach that day where we've found ourselves and we don't need to change any more.

"But things are fine now. They really are."

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