Claymore: A Modern Epic in Prose Part I

I

How it was that the City was made as it was and how Erusen, chosen by God, became imprisoned.

 

 

LONG AGO in ages past and forgotten, was a time when the world was all in chaos. Death was nigh at every doorstep, ready to take one’s life from the innocent. The guilty and treacherous fiends of this time were the ones who most deserved such ends, but Death had not come to any of them. The wicked were those that did endure and endure they did till the dawning of a new age, one that was to bring promise to all earth’s inhabitants. This new foundation was lead by a single man of good heart and value. To the populous he did affirm that there was hope to gain in days ahead and that fortune was smiling gladly at his new campaign and people took heartily to all he said and so did join him in effort to rid themselves of all woe befallen them. So it was that this man, hight called Seus, did gather all people to him and together gat the beginning of one of the darkest eras of our history. But Seus was not a bad man at all. Of love and charity he was and did good deeds courteously to others wither he could to any passing him. But in his good will and civility doth lie malice he knew not at the time which did so threaten all on earth unbeknownst to them. Nevertheless, the people of earth did celebrate their new golden age with valor and fervor and all possible happiness. There was much merriment and good fortune for all at this time and to commemorate all’s salvation they took it upon themselves to build a mighty city, one that none have ever achieved since the days of Rome. It would truly be a city second only to God’s holy one in Heaven.

            And so they did start to construct this great city in honor of Seus for at this time he had befallen ill and was to proclaim his successor for of many children he had gat anon with his wife. Though all earth looked to Seus as a their governing lord he told them he was no such person and asked them not to think of him as that. I am not a king of any land, he said unto them; nor do I hope to be remembered as such. I am but a poor and humble man who took it upon himself to bring back peace unto this world and so I did. If it be a city you wish to build to remember me then so be it. Do so finish your task at hand. And they did so, but in their service to their savior they did so scour the land of all its resources, pulling blocks of stone even from the slopes of the great height of Everest. At first they used the stone from around the perimeter of where the city was to end, but further they then looked and dug with such strength and zeal that could not have been matched by any other than Abraham and Christ. So confident they were that any who got into their way they removed by force without due consideration of moral. Thus was found that malice begotten of such kindness from Seus. Soon after Everest fell from the heights of the sky did they begin to ravage all the rest of the earth of its stone and wood that so many others not in service to Seus took defense of their homes and their land. Twas in this time that there were great battles not gat from hatred but from devotion to a being such as Seus was to all who built the City.

            Tis in this point in history that a man called Erusen was thus chosen by the Lord on high, father of our Christ, to bring about the beginning of the End as is read in Revelation by St. John; and Erusen did so abide to his God’s rule that to this man the Lord did so bestow to him a glorious sword never seen since the closing of Eden unto Adam and Eve: the Flaming Sword of the angels that did guard them gates to paradise long lost by Man since that fateful day. And the Lord gave it to him and spoke unto him His instructions. Young Erusen, He said; long has this known man Seus taken hold of good souls but not for spite. He loves all those of this earth dearly and would not have let his followers do such as they have to this earth, but to hinder them of their faults he cannot for ill he is and will not last to-fore three nights longer. Tis on the third he shall die naturally but of his son his work to him will bade. This son of his is wrong to take to his father’s task and should not have been the one chosen for it, but of men’s minds no power have I, so it is unto you that I bade you go to send to him mine message that I shall give you. To this city they build you must hitherto go and with you bring thy sword to smite the city down with it and destroy it making the sign of the cross. But though go ye to that city do not for spite slay Seus’ son nor nigh attempt for in that act thou shalt be punished my mine hand for it. And what punishment would thee give unto me? asked Erusen. Thou wilt know if thou disobey Me. And with that the Lord vanished from His image He did so take that Erusen had beheld at that time and with the Flaming Sword round his belt he did so set off for the City.

            When he came into the City he was greeted by many kind faces who did him good deeds of courtesy. He was offered free lodging and given all he could eat without charge. He was bathed and dressed in something other than his weary travel worn clothes. He was treated to so kindly that he had forgotten why it was he had gone to the City, but when the memory of the Lord appearing to him he could not bare it any longer and so left the City to dwell for a while within the woods alone and away from the prying eyes of those curious folk. When he had found himself alone he wept for woe at what he was to do upon God’s command. The tears were heavy that it stirred the birds from their sleep and his wails could be heard by many within the city limits and so drew forth a young woman of his age who had before given him as much kindness as she could to outdo all others there for in her heart there was woe that he had left. Twas in her mind that she would like to marry him for fond of him she was. When she did find him sitting on a stump of a tree she joined him there without him knowing for he was yet still weeping rightly hard. Then as she put her hand upon his shoulder he did start in surprise and gasped when he saw her sitting there beside him. What is it that you wish dear damsel? asked Erusen who did wipe away his tears from his face till it was dry but his eyes red with shame. I came to seek you, good Erusen, said she; for if you must truly know to you I bid my love for you have been with us so long that we have all grown accustomed to you; I more so. But twas only just one day ago that you left us all unawares of where you were going. And just but few hours past this night I heard you wailing sorrowfully bad and came here when none others would seemly do so. I thank you fair, good lady, said Erusen; I must say truthfully that to you I was so also drawn like you unto me, but I dare not tell you why I weep so; you would not deem it seemly as you find it of your act to visit me here. Oh for sooth! Why must you have come? Why hath God bade me to mine task? The young lady did not understand what it was the good young man was meaning in his words and so pressed in honesty upon her body why it was the good man weepeth so. You mustn’t ask me damsel, he said; you know not of the ill that brought me here, an ill brought on by your own people’s ill that hath been done unto this earth of which the Lord is rightly wroth. Pithily curb thy tougne and say no more; I shall not speak of my woe. And therewithal the lady fair left young Erusen alone one the stump he chose to weep upon and made her way back to the City, passing word to all she may where it was he had gone. Are ye privy to when he shall return? asked some. I know not when that day shall be for in so much inner strife he be that there is no telling when.

            On the morn of the next day Erusen did rise to find the image of the Lord before him as he had seen Him last before he took out on his journey. And He spoke unto him, quoth, Ye tally here too long young man for there was a task I set before you yet you have not done as I had bidden thee. What is it that so delays you my child? Oh good Lord on High, cried Erusen; long have I stayed within the limits of the City and when I did first arrive to good courtesy they took me in and healed me of my wounds and rid of my tattered clothes and bathed me kindly. Of feasts they gave me plenty and harbored to my every need. I spent my time in like manner for many days but all the while did I forget why it was Thou had sent me hither. When I did I fled to the long befallen woods to contemplate and weep for I know not why such woe must be brought unto such fine and goodly people. And the Lord didst sat beside young Erusen and touched him coolly and with mercy and said, Good soul I forgive you of your kind heart but the End is nigh at hand and Judgment Day at that, but to save these souls ye know the way I have prescribed upon all mankind. Therefore ye must this day make way for the task I’ve given you and to it follow till complete. When thou hath done so ye shall be needed yet again to help me break the seals of the Book of Life as is said in John’s last book before he did die. Heavenly Lord, spoke Erusen; I love one of these souls that liveth here in the City. I wish to win her love that I might be happy ever after and give life as you did Adam and my first mother, but were I to do thy bidding only woe and sorrow would I find there between our two hearts fair. Good child, sayeth God; I know these persons mean well for the one that leads them and that kindly they do and will so ever be till they do die. I know what tis you feel for I through you feel it too as I do through every living being both in tree, in shrew, an’ in Man for in everything I am therefore as ye know I am. But though these good people of virtue they be, tis not true that such persons as they are safe from misfortune. If good will they bestow upon he that they follow in such a manner as they have done they must certainly be ill willed to all others but those who come to them in good will as well. You have not in such a manner as you might wish and for that I am sorry but you I have chosen to fix them in their wrongs and to save the surface of this earth for tis the only one that there is, there isn’t any other. Without this earth there’d be not a place for your children to live peaceably if ever you do so gat them, so to this task you know you must heed and do so as I did so bid thee before ye left anon. And then when fell silent He did He so vanish as before and leaving Erusen to choose for himself.

            What else is there for me to do? Erusen did so ask his person. If I do not heed the Lord in his bidding then what kind of man be I? A vagabond I’d be if I so chose wrongly ‘gainst His will and to all other men I would in exile become. No one would take me if they knew I had dishonored God, therefore there is no other choice but to do as He has bid me; so unto the City I must go to destroy it for good or ill and to so forth begin His prophecy unto the Judgment of all souls. Thus did he stand as the sun rose high into noon and did so unsheathe his sword that it glinted in the light of the day. And so the sunlight did so ignite the flames within the core and the blade was thus bathed as it had been when Adam and Eve were cast out of paradise, only now in the hand of a man did it so burn where before the Archangel had done so. Marched he into the streets which were all about with chaos for there had been some quarrel there where Erusen had lodged in the days before. There was one man he did so approach to ask what had just befallen. Seus has died and his son has taken rule over us all, said this man; Twas not Seus’ will to be thought of as a king but now his son doth defile his memory. We must make way to the castle and so change his manner else we befall into tyranny. Will ye help us good sir? I cannot, said Erusen; for I have another task at hand begotten unto me by the Lord and I am sorry for what it is He bids me do. Why sayeth you so, sir, said the man. For I am to destroy thy city, replied Erusen. The man did not linger and seemed not to hear what it was that he said for the man with the mob did so take flight with toward the castle where smoke began to rise. Twas in the moment that Erusen was preparing for his task that an old woman came rushing to him waving her arms in strife and tears on her face that did so glint in the noon. He had memory of her as the one who had clothed him kindly in fair garments. Good maiden, he said; why do you fret so in this manner? Good sir, she said; tis the lady who had visited you but yesterday, quite lovingly did she take to you sir. The new Lord Hyrus hath just gone and slain all young women in his wake as self-named ruler! And she did go into a fit of weeping that she could no longer stand and fell onto her knees. Good Erusen did help her as she him and thither led her to a bench where she did sit weeping still, her face within her hands. At the words that she had spoken Erusen did become very wroth and made his way unto the castle to do battle with the Lord Hyrus.

            He stormed through the gate and courtyard, slaying men with his sword that did so flame and writhe and burn with such fury that none after threescore dead had fallen would dare meet him; and when he stood in the courtyard there with a ring of frightened men about him he did so cry forth with a voice that was not surely his. Hyrus, said he; be thou a coward to have done such a deed as murder fair women of your father’s city? How must he weep within the paradise of Heaven with the Lord for what you have done? I bid thee to meet me here and do battle with sword on foot as men at tourney often do till one of us are dead. I will have one fair maiden avenged before the sun doth set and you will abide me and meet me else I will be forced to come after ye and smite ye thither so! Then from above on high tower did the figure of Lord Hyrus appear and to Erusen did so speak thus; Good man, whoever ye be, twill be an honor to do you battle and smite thy corpse upon my soil that your blood would so wet the earth beneath your feet that flowers will spring after it be well and done with. I will meet with ye shortly and best ye be prepared for I be of marvelous deeds of arms as any man alive. And so Hyrus did come down from the tower as he so promised all dressed in armor and donned in wondrous helm that hath a horse’s main dyed red upon its crown. In his hand he held his mighty sword that did so gleam in the light of the sun that it blinded Erusen for but a moment, but it was that moment that Hyrus needed only for at that instant he leaped upon Erusen, swinging wide and strongly with hid blade, but Erusen did predict where that edge would travel and so dodged away without a scratch. But just after the first missed blow Hyrus took his blade’s momentum and bade it to his will, swinging it from being low to over his head where he threatened to cleave into Erusen’s skull, but Erusen his flaming brand did aloft upward and parried that blow that would have been his end and a clang rang out that split all’s ears who doth were nigh anon this fight. Erusen had not a care of what befell his ears for he heard not what it was that made Lord Hyrus cower so and took that moment unto himself to give back a blow for those besought before of his flesh and cleaved his smoldering steel into the flesh and bone at Hyrus’ shoulder. Then it was that Hyrus did so ignite and burn he did in agony that all who heard his cries did so weep that any should this pain be given. Twas as if the very fires of Hell had been unleashed upon this would-be tyrant. Then as Hyrus fell to the ground all ashes thus Erusen sheathed his sword and turned to all who watched, saying, Good citizens of this fair city a truth yet unheard by thy ears hath been suppressed by he who stands victorious before ye. You were all very kind unto me and for all your troubles I thank you greatly, but to deny that I bade ye all no ill will would be a lie and most unbeholden to God’s ears. In truth I have come hither only that the will of the Lord be done by my hands as He ascribed to me how it should be done. The task He set for me was to journey to your city and destroy it for tis your method of its construction that hath made him wroth and so devise its end. He has willed it so to be done for you have all the earth nearly ravaged. He no longer recognizes His creation and so makes this effort to prevent further harm to come of your good will. Be not wroth unto Him for he knoweth well that you all of good will are and is truly sore that such a fate He hast devised unto you; but I pray thee all, ask for His forgiveness that he may yet give it for I am short of heart and will to do what He hath bade me. Then upon his knees he did fall onto and looked up at the heavens saying, Oh God! Please release me of thy will for I wish not of it to be! I beg of you with all my heart. My love is dead and these people freed of tyranny and they know what tis I am to do, but I don’t wish to do it. I am sorry and sorrowful Lord that I hath failed thee in thy bidding; please forgive me and release me!

            Then in all the sky around the City a storm did draw together and spew out forth hot rain and red lightning and at all the towers and buildings these did strike and bring them down as all beheld this humble man, Erusen, upon the ground where he had slain Lord Hyrus in combat. Erusen, said the Lord from on high; Sorry am I that you hath been unable to carry out Mine will and wroth I am that such destruction doth plague my creation more that so distorts what all I did devise by thought alone. To you, Erusen, I am sorry but to my word I must abide and punishment shall be given for these persons must know that what they do is not kind and good but malicious and ill to all else who live upon this foundation as you know you are. Pity them yea, but heed their troubles nay as I had told you so before for as I see now ye hath slain the son of Seus as I instructed you not and ye did so out of vengeance and hatred. Therefore your fate shall be thus judged. I condemn thee, Erusen, to be imprisoned under the rubble of this city till your task you do fulfill again as thou shouldst have done before and afterwards Judgment Day prepare as I had bid thee as well; and in fire from the sword ye shall also be burned on your flesh in agony till your term be spent and the day of your release doth come. Fare the well good soul and heed the lesson of thy punishment. And from the sky such a bolt did cometh that struck the heart of the city and shook it all over and did so cause all structures there within to fall and topple till nothing no longer stood in that place; and as the last of building stones was cast upon the crumbled heap Erusen to his imprisonment dost contemplate as his flesh did burn as those damned souls of Hell did burn and there he waited till his release did come.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. John D. Antesberger III
    Jan 05, 2010 @ 23:08:34

    I intended this work, as anyone who has read classic literature would, in the style found during the medieval age especially in the works of Sir Thomas Malory who wrote Le Morte d’Arthur (The Death of Arthur for those who cant read French). I’ve always had a thing about fantasy and old epics, they seem to have suc ha magnetic pull to them that nobody can deny. Even my father, who never picks up a work of fiction, has read nearly all those old sagas and epics from the Iliad to Paradise Lost.

    I myself am the exact opposite of my father, which I find to be very fortunate for I dislike having to read nonfiction.

    Anyway… this epic of mine I think is original, I’ve never found anything that was similar to it in nature and hope this holds true. The idea of the story came to me last summer when I was outside supervising my younger sibilings in the yard where I eventually gound myself acting out the story aloud and swinging a stick around like a sword… and I’m 18 years old. 🙂 I hope that you all enjoy this and the others that will come for this is but the beginning of the cycle…

    enjoy.

    Reply

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