All content is (c) copyright 2006 Caryn LeMur

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THE LAST DAYS
OF A MAN
NAMED FIGHTER

A Chronicle
Of FadingEarth


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16.  BE~T

The ground shook.

It trembled.

Leviathan was coming.

"How can this be?" shouted Fighter to the Lion.

The wind blew.

Trees began to bend.

All of the elements began to flee his presence --
Leviathan was coming.

"Lion!" shouted Fighter above the screaming of the
wind.  "Lion!  What brings Leviathan here?"

"This youth within the sphere is chosen by the
living throne!" shouted back Lion.  "But he is also a
member of the ruling class of another plane.  
Though he is a young man here; he is a fully grown
man there.  And Leviathan wishes to consume their
government."

"Then I fight!" shouted Fighter, and he clapped his
hands, and the prayer-sword appeared.  And then
Fighter, his breastplate gleaming in the sun, stood
between the wind and the body within the sphere.

Dark clouds began to hide the sun.  Fighter's
breastplate reflected the churning purple clouds.

A sense of fear began to electrify the air.  Fighter's
skin on his forearms pricked up and the hair stood
on end.  

Leviathan was suddenly here.  Fighter's face felt
the sting of dirt kicked up by the wind, but he stood
his ground and did not even turn his head.

Leviathan's eyes lit with lightning.  Fighter's arms
hurt from the sting of rain mixed with hail, but he
began to raise his wrist-guarded hands.

Leviathan's voice laughed with evil thunder -- the
ozone of his breath pushed against the one man
that dared to stand!  But Fighter thrust his sword
into the air!

"I!" screamed Fighter, "I, even I, on the basis of all
that the Lion was and is and will be, I RESIST YOU!"

The wind stopped.

The trees straightened.

The sun melted every dark cloud.

Leviathan was gone.


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17.  RANS

"Good fight,” said the Lion.  "You were not
deceived nor frightened."

"I recalled your battle instructions, even written
within that book of ForeverPromises," said Fighter,
"Resist him and he will flee."

"Indeed," said the Lion, "When I created the
powers that we now call Leviathan, I created them
to flee before nothing.  Nothing, that is, but me.  
And since you are one of my tribesmen, Leviathan
is forced to flee from you."

"Do you not mean," said Fighter, "that Leviathan
flees because I am a Fighter?  Because I show no
one mercy?  I show not even mercy to my own
self?"

"No, I tell you the truth," laughed the Lion with a
smile, "Even the Nons that know me, with their
small prayer-goads can cause Leviathan to flee.  
And the Elfin, with their little prayer-daggers can
cause Leviathan to flee.  And you Fighters, with
your prayer-swords, can also cause him to flee."

"And what of the fourth tribe?" asked Fighter, "I
assume they have the largest weapon of prayer?"

"Good Fighter," replied the Lion, "They do not
need a pointed goad, or dagger, or sword -- they
are esteemed so highly that they are the weapon
itself.  They live a life of continuous prayer."

"Always fighting then?" asked Fighter.

"No," replied the Lion.  "To you, prayer is a battle
cry for a moment of glory.  To the fourth tribe,
prayer is breath that involves every moment of
life.  They are a living sword of prayer with every
breath, every thought, and every hope.  They are
not always 'fighting', they are always walking in
trust and victory.  They know mercy for their own
selves; and the give mercy freely to others."

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18.  FORM

"What is this noise!" shouted the young man within
the sphere of thorns.  "I say, no, I demand to be
released immediately!"

"Young fighter," replied the Lion, turning to face
the sphere of thorns, "It is good to see that you
released the fever.  Welcome back to the reality
that is truly real."

"I do not care what 'reality' this is!" replied the
young man, sitting up on the dirt.  "Aren't I a
man?  A great government official?  Am I not a
gifted speaker and negotiator?  Why am I not
being given the honor that is due to me!"

"He has, perhaps," whispered Fighter to the Lion,
"a small amount of pride?"

"Much more than most,” sighed the Lion.

"And who is this, that stands by the side of the
Lion?" demanded the young man, shaking a skinny
arm.

"I am called Fighter," replied Fighter, "And it has
been my privilege to watch over you."

"To watch over me?” said the one within the
thorns.  "Do you realize who I am?  To watch over
me?  What gall!  Someone of my caliber can most
certainly handle all the affairs of this world on my
own!  And how dare you stand so close to the Lion
-- such a position should be given to those who are
like me!"

"Young fighter," said the Lion, "You are welcome
to stand next to me."

"Indeed," added in Fighter, trying desperately
hard to control his own tongue, "Anyone who
dares to walk with the Lion, and to use his prayer-
sword, I consider a man.  Please join us."

The Lion blew white smoke from his mouth, and
the thorn sphere withdrew back into the ground
from which it had sprung.

"You are free,” said the Lion to the young man.  "I
ask you to join us."

"To the Fire-Lake with both of you!" shouted the
young man, "I sense my freedom now!"  He
staggered out of where the sphere had been,
clapped his hands, and a prayer-sword appeared.  

"Back away!" said the mouth of the youth, "Or I
shall surely pray against you, and the Lion shall do
as I bid!"  Then he swung the sword awkwardly
over his head, but his arms twisted across each
other, and the sword tumbled free and into the
ground in front of the youth.  But the youth,
looking confused and in another direction,
staggered forward, and promptly tripped over it.  
He fell face first upon the ground.

"Young fighter," said the Lion to the one upon the
ground, "Perhaps we should go and fight the
Serpent's Clan together.  You shall do very well
with me."

"Are you joking?" interrupted Fighter, finally losing
control of his tongue.  "This ‘boy’ cursed us both;
he drew out a sword against us; and tripped on his
face!  He is a hazard to us and a detriment to the
tribe of Fighters!"

"Fighter," replied the Lion, "I already heard you
speak the truth:  anyone who dares to walk with
the Lion and to use the sword -- he is no longer a
boy, but a man."

"Indeed!" shouted the youth, attempting to lift his
chest up from the ground.  "I am a man.  And
certainly, using this sword-thing will only require a
moment's effort.  And then I can return to more
important endeavors."

"He is not a man, he is an embarrassment!" said
Fighter, and he turned his back towards the youth,
crossed his arms over his breastplate, and looked
off into the distance in disgust.

But the Lion ignored Fighter and addressed the
youth, "What makes a man that follows me, is his
willingness to face the enemy with his sword.  
What makes a great man is his willingness to face
himself.  What makes a man like me, is that he
shows mercy."

"Get on with it!" said the youth, rubbing the sores
on his shoulder with filthy hands, "Surely there is
more to being a man than simple prayer.  What of
brilliance?"

"It matters not," replied the Lion.

"What of giftedness?" asked the youth.

"Those that are willing to admit their need to
another, and to pray together, are the most gifted
of all,” replied the Lion.

"But if prayer is so easy and so powerful," said the
youth, "Then only a fool would not do it."

"Well spoken!" said the Lion.  And then the Lion
added with a smile, "Then, young fighter, will you
choose to be a man or a fool?"

The youth paused.  And then a grin began to break
out across his dirt-spattered face, "I believe," he
said, "that I have trapped myself with my own
words."  He paused, and then added, "Forgive me
of my arrogance, Lion.  I would gladly learn to
pray.  I wish to be a man."

"Then receive the power,” said the Lion advancing
towards the youth that was before him.

And though Fighter's back was toward the youth,
he could suddenly sense raw power, like the
warming rays of the sun, tingling the hairs on the
back of his neck.  Fighter turned around.

And there, before the Lion stood not a youth, but a
man.  A giant of a man.  With a sword one-third
again as long and as heavy as the one worn by
Fighter.

A deep voice came out the youth-turned-to-man,
"Lion!  Forgive me!  Teach me to pray!"

"Lion!" said Fighter, "what have you created?"

"Have you never seen," said the Lion, "one to
whom I have given the gift of intercession?"

And then the Lion spoke to the huge man before
him, "I have given you a gift that others seldom
ask for and that few receive.  Use the gift well!   
Stir it up into a flame!  Run the gauntlet, my giant
fighter, run it well!  And fight with all your great
strength for the sake of the others!  You, who
once only thought of yourself, will now be
responsible for the welfare of many!"

And with that, the giant bowed down before the
Lion, arose, and walked down the path singing,
"He led my captivity into being a captive, and has
given gifts unto men!  To battle with joy!  To battle
with thanksgiving!"



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(c) copyright 2006 Caryn LeMur
The Last Days of a Man Named Fighter

Chapters 16 through 18