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Faithless and True

By @Joyful17


Then came Graduation, the day when all the adolescents in Childhood, age twelve, were marched to the end of the border. There, they were pushed harshly into Finding-Way, the neighboring kingdom. The rulers were King Peer-Pressure and Queen Independent, and their influence was absolute. Suddenly the fields were crowded with shops called, “Friends”, “Pleasure”, and “Live NOW!”. Lights flashed disorientedly, as each entrepreneur vied for inhabitant’s attentions and affections. There was a dark side to the land too. An underworld with hazy smoke, broken signs, and empty souls. Doctors were on every corner, advertising for new stylish heads and brains. After all, who wanted to be seen as ‘different’? Why not think what was popular? Why not rip the person’s uniqueness from herself and replace it with thought patterns, interests, and ideas of the crowd?

Alarmed, Faithless grabbed True’s arm, He looked at her sternly and cautiously, considering how to proceed.

“It is easy to lose me in all these distractions. Hold tight to me, people will try and take you away,” He gently spoke, fingering with her hair. “This is a hard place.”

Things were complicated here, path and streets were twisted and sometimes had no end. She often felt alone, for she would be walking down an alley, look up, and True would be gone. Helpless, she would cry for Him, thinking she had been abandoned. Then out of nowhere, He would appear.

“Where did you go?” she would yell fiercely. “I was alone!”

“You weren’t alone,” he would confusingly reply as He slipped a piece of food in his mouth. “You simply failed to look beside you.”

Often times things would go erroneous, and no good would often come from these situations. But True would smile during these times and point out a Purpose in the distance, but most of the time she could not make out. It was about halfway through her time here, in the region of 18, that she met Flattery and Hoax. Both were instantly nice to her and promised to take her on better paths then True was leading her on recently. There had been too many valleys; they had traversed through too many days without the sun; so, she left True, not looking back. Had she, though, she would have seen the sadness and grief on His face. She would have seen his feet, moving to follow her.

For a long time, the “friends” journeyed together. Faithless was happy, content to be being told favorable lies. She went into many loud shops, partied and drank. She dated a boy named Cultured for a while. She experimented with philosophies in blackened shops and laughed loudly with her companions. She convinced herself she was happy while spending many nights drunkenly sobbing over the feast Worldly Pleasures.

The one thing she refused to do with her group was have surgery. No matter how many times her friends did it, or how popular it was, she wouldn’t. She was scared that the word, Home, would disappear if she did: that getting that new “brain” would erase that deep desire.

Things went excellent until they came upon the region of 20. A Challenge materialized. He was huge, with sharps claws of Pain, Despair, and Hopelessness. He roared, and his scales offered no weaknesses. The ground quaked violently, as the trio gawked skyward. Trembling, they anticipated their doom.

“There is only one way, I will not kill you,” Challenge screamed. “If you have with you, the food of Endurance, I will let you pass.”

Hopefully, Faithless looked at her friends who had vowed to protect her. Instead, she saw their empty shoes and sprinting backs.

“It looks like they don’t have it,” remarked Challenge slyly. “They don’t have Endurance, but do you?”

In a flash, that fateful day came back, and she fell to her knees.

“No! I don’t have it! How could I? It doesn’t exist and even if I did, I don’t even have the strength to carry it with me.” She sobbed. She had only heard of such a rich meal; she had thought it was legend.

He loomed near, ready to rip her soul and send her straight…straight where? Home, maybe? But what was home? She didn’t have time to wonder, wherever souls go, she would be there soon.

“But I have it.” Whispered a small voice. “Here Challenge. I have enough for the both of us.”

Behold, there stood True, smiling complacently at the beast. Grunting Challenge took and vanished behind the smoky fog. A roar of laugher came from the gloom.

“Where did you get it?” Bewildered Faithless asked. Her back was almost completely turned away from Him. She didn’t want to admit she had needed Him. Her thins arms crossed tightly around her, and her face drawn taut.

“I have always had it, and I always will.” Another impossibly perplexing statement.

There they stood, a distance of twenty feet between them. Time passed. Her indifference did not fade, but neither did His love. Slowly, He bridged the distance to her. He came all the way. His sandals crunched the charred gravel. His hair floated on His shoulders. Even though she was still scowling defensively, He wrapped His arms around her. That smell again. The scent of wood, dust, and what else? Home? The familiar ache grew into a lonesome wound until the tenderness of it was so much that she broke. Her soul bleeding, into His warmth.

“I…I… I want… I want…” She stammered slightly, not knowing how to pronounce the word.

“Home?” was the reply.

–And I believe it was the first account in the Land of Time, that such a word was spoken. In fact,

I don’t think that a word like that was ever spoken again.–

“You can’t go yet. We have more places to go, and things to see. But I promise you, I will take you there one day.”

The little flame inside roared to life, and just like in the woods, they stood close together, mist swirling them into oblivion.

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