The Overlords: I

Fiction By Kathleen // 3/21/2011

 

‘’ He’s dead, Liadan! Dead. Our father was too old. They slowly wore him down, and there was nothing I could do! Nothing! Not even give our honored father a proper burial! Do you hear me, Liadan?’’ Liadan, Gethin’s younger sister, did not answer Gethin, instead she went to fetch some cloth, some water and a remedy of her mother’s. As she went her long auburn hair flowed behind her.

   She soon came back. She watched the violent flames flicker across Gethin’s dark brown eyes. His face had an unnatural pallor to it. He would have looked like a ghost, if he did not look so awfully human. His face was smudged with dirt and grime from working in the garrod mines. His thick, inky hair wove itself into an oily, knotted tangle. A wide, bloody gash cut his left cheek. It would scar. It would scar badly.      

  '' What happened?’’ asked Liadan softly, fearfully, as she began to dab his ashen face. ‘

    ’He’s down there, Liadan,’’ whispered Gethin, his eyes gathering the momentum of a forest fire. ‘’ Too worn to continue another day. Down there, with all the disease, the filth, the endless drudgery . . .’’ She watched the fear, the sorrow flash across his face, only to be replaced bitter fury. ‘’ Curse them! Curse the Overlords!’’ cried Gethin. She watched it all spill out of him. It seemed as if it almost too much for his slender looking body to contain.

   ‘'Peace, Gethin,’’ she said, ‘’ Let it be.’’ as if the words ‘’ Gethin’’ and’’peace’’ were not severely at odds with each other.

   ‘’Peace’’ spat Gethin, ‘’ Do you understand? I tried to escape during working hours, so I could bury father’s body here, upon land, beneath the sky. It seemed my time was too valuable for them to spare. And this, this, is how I was repaid .’’ Gethin smiled bitterly, and traced the edge of his bloody gash with his grimy fingernails.

    ‘’ Don’t do that! It needs to stay clean!’’ Liadan lifted the wet cloth to his face, and began to dab on some of her mother’s ointment. It could do much against small cut, and bruises. She only hoped that it might have some power here. Gethin left it alone, but frowned.

   ''Why should I, why should any of us care about cleanliness when our world has long since fallen apart? We are being trodden upon . .’’

   Liadan interrupted him, and said, ‘’ We must take care. Be patient and hope for some better times to come.’’ Her voice was soft, calm, but this time it had an oddly insistent tone. Gethin sighed in frustration.

   ‘’ Are you blind, girl? Can’t you see?’’ His mind came back to his recent memories of confrontation with one of the Overlords.

   Gethin works beside his father in the mines, the gloomy, shadowed mines, filled with disease and death. Suddenly he falls to the ground his hammer beside him. It is cruel, tyrannical to have him down here, thinks Gethin. He is too feeble to be constantly laboring down here in the empty darkness, in the caves with the stench of the dead.

   Gethin kneels beside him, trying to grasp his hand, trying to pick him up. Gethin is frantic. He knows that the Overlords can’t see him like this. They will do something awful to punish him for not working! His father mumbles ‘’ Gethin’’

   ‘’Come, Father. You need to get up.’’

    His eyes gaze around and and it seems that he cannot hear Gethin’s words. ‘’ Tell her, tell your mother..’’ he begins, his voice wavering, then stops. His closes his eyes. No, he can’t be, he can’t be, thinks Gethin. But he is. Gethin’s father is dead. Gethin feels a shiver go through him, as he touches his father’s skin. It is cold. Gethin shakes him, but he does not wake.

   My father is dead, but I will not leave him here, thinks Gethin. I will bury him above, on the earth. Gethin picks up his body and hopes that he will not run into one of the Overlords. Gethin passes through one dark tunnel and into another, carrying his father’s body, and seeking the opening. He passes by those too old, and those too young, to be working in the mines, serving evil masters who know no want.

    An Overlord has seen Gethin and he is stopped. He looks like a strong burly man, but Gethin knows what he really is. He grins, his sister eyes fixed upon Gethin. ‘’ Hey boy! What do you think you’re doing? The day’s not over yet, and you’re not dead yet.’’ He laughs. Gethin frowns. An Overlord joke. I’m not going to lie, thinks Gethin. He decides to stand up. ‘

   ’ Maybe I’m not but my father is. I’m going to take him to the surface, bury him clean, if I have to fight you to do it!’’ A noise comes out of the Overlord’s mouth somewhere between a laugh, and a roar. ‘

    ’ You’re the funniest thing I’ve seen all day. Now get back to work. You can leave him there.’’ The Overlord seems to think that Gethin is a joke, but Gethin isn’t a joke, and neither is his father’s death.

   ’ I will take him,’’ says Gethin, looking into the Overlords brilliant green eyes challenging him.

   ‘’ Don’t try me,’’ says the Overlord, his hands morphing into sharp tiger’s claws. ‘’ We need your time. It would take far too long to bury him. Let him rot. Now go and scat!’’ Gethin tries to race past him, to bring his father to green grounds, but the Overlord catches Gethin. ‘’ I really don’t think you understand,’’ he says. With a bare fist Gethin tries to hit him, but misses. ‘’ Ones like you need to be taught submission, that we are the masters.'' Before Gethin turns away, one of his talons cuts across his cheekbone, leaving a bloody searing pain. ‘’ Go!’’ he roars at him. Gethin leaves, back to caves, abandoning his father.

   Gethin’s mind snapped back to the present, to the small thatched cottage in which he lived, and to his sister. ‘’ We are being trodden like the lowliest, and meanest of insects. We give no defense, but allow them to rob us of all we hold dear. No amount of patience will relieve us of the darkness in which we, and those in lands near us live. There must be heroes!’’

  ‘’ I am no hero,’’ said Liadan tersely.

 ‘’ You could be one, Liadan, starting in small ways..’’ Gethin began. Liadan cut him off.

   ‘'You don’t understand, Gethin. I’m not like you. I don’t have your passion. I don’t want to rebel. I don’t wan’t to get hurt.’’ Her eyes drifted down to Gethin’s gash.

   ‘’ Do you like the way we live?’’ asked Gethin. Liadan gave no answer.

   ‘’ I know you don’t. It needs to change.’’

Comments

This is a fascinating

This is a fascinating beginning.

Anna | Tue, 03/22/2011

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Riveting.

I see this in my head while I read it. That's my favorite kind of writing. :) 

Kyleigh | Wed, 03/23/2011

I agree with Anna and

I agree with Anna and Kyleigh :) This is really good. There are a few spots that need to be polished up a bit, but overall it's great! I hope you can become a monthly writer. You could email James and ask him =D Write more!

Laura Elizabeth | Sun, 03/27/2011

*************************************************
The best stories are those that are focused, unassuming, and self-confident enough to trust the reader to figure things out. --

http://lauraeandrews.blogspot.com/2014/05/dont-tell-me-hes-smart.html

Thank you

Thank so much for all your thoughts. It has really encouraged me.  

Kathleen | Fri, 06/10/2011

Good beginning! :)

Thanks for reading, "It's Not That Simple." Got to finish this first chapter--marvelous. I especially liked the flashback. That was really entertaining...but poor Gethin. The following was funny:

‘'Peace, Gethin,’’ she said, ‘’ Let it be.’’ as if the words ‘’ Gethin’’ and’’peace’’ were not severely at odds with each other.

Ha! :)

Madeline | Thu, 06/16/2011

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

Navigation

User login

Please read this before creating a new account.