Adventure Fantasy Latinx

Alexander trudged across the flat desert. Guided only by twilight, he was startled when he heard a call not far from him on his left.


Alexander flinched and turned to find a large, vibrant tree there; under it a man was waving at him with both arms. Unsure how he had missed the tree, he turned to greet the man.

“Hello,” he returned. “I am Alexander.”

“Alexander,” the man repeated thoughtfully.

“What is your name?” Alexander asked.

“Oh, I go by many names,” the man said mysteriously, “but you may call me Ezuwë. Tell me, what brings you to my kingdom?” he gestured to the desert with a flourish.

Alexander looked around at the reddish desert, lit only by the hiding sun. ‘A kingdom of dead things,’ Alexander chided to himself, noting several skeletal carcasses strewn all about.

“Yes, yes, mine is an unwanted kingdom at first glance,” Ezuwë said. “Perhaps it is what you do not see that makes it worth having.” The man eyed Alexander curiously for another moment before pressing again, “So, why are you here?”

Alexander could only muster a single word, the name of all his troubles: “Fïrador.”

“Ah,” said Ezuwë. “A villain?”

Alexander stared at the man incredulously. “Well, yes.”

“Ah, yes,” said Ezuwë, “plenty of those for lifetimes to come.”

“Yeah, well if I fail, there won’t be anymore lifetimes to come,” Alexander shot back more harshly than he meant.

The man continued to gaze intently at Alexander. Ezuwë appeared only a few years older than the twenty-seven year-old. Alexander wondered if this interaction could possibly lead to anything useful.

Ezuwë spoke: “If your troubles lie in your villain, what is it you hoped to accomplish out here?”

Alexander turned to look out at the orange desert. A lizard scurried from one rack to another. ‘That’s funny. There were no signs of life before.’ “I don’t know,” he answered. “Maybe inspiration?” He sighed. “Maybe escape.”

“Escape!” scoffed Ezuwë whimsically. “No one escapes Destiny, dear boy.”

What did this man know of Alexander’s Destiny? He didn’t even know who Fïrador was.

“He cannot be defeated!” Alexander pleaded. “He is invincible. It is only a matter of time before he succeeds in his endeavors to destroy the world. This time, I fear I have no strength against him. He has stolen my power. My connection to the Storm is lost. All hope is lost.”

Ezuwë stepped past Alexander and looked to the East. Fïrador was there. Somewhere far to the East. “Hmm,” Ezuwë thought. “It seems Fïrador is marching boldly toward his Destiny. Villains do, you know. They see the harsh truths of the world. They only lack the answers.

“He seems to have an answer to me,” Alexander muttered.

“Ha! Yes, indeed! But is it the right answer?”

“If it was, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

Ezuwë looked back at Alexander. “You seem to think your answer is right.”

“The only question I am answering is whether Fïrador should be stopped. I’m not trying to determine the Fate of the world.”

“Then why do you carry its weight on your shoulders?”

“I have a responsibility. I had a connection to one of the most powerful magics in the world, and it was prophesied to be the only thing that could kill Fïrador. It was our only chance at stopping him... and I let him take it from me.”

“The way I see it,” sighed Ezuwë, “there’s only one thing left to do. Fail or succeed, live or die, you should face him. What’s the difference if you die fighting him rather than dying unknown out here? Either way, death comes just the same. But if you succeed....” He let the words hang in the air.

“If I succeed,” said Alexander, “would it finally end? No. Fïrador would still live. I would be locked in an eternal struggle with him, at least until I die of old age, if not by his sword. Is there no end to his madness? Even if I could kill him, how long before another villain takes his place? I am certain his spirit would never rest, endlessly seeking out ways to return and vanquish us all.”

The desert turned blue.

“Now you are starting to see the truth,” said Ezuwë.

“Then I must be a villain,” Alexander quipped.

“Indeed. What else do you call a man bent on killing another?”

Alexander hadn’t thought of it that way. After all these years, after all those battles, after everything he’d learned, he never stopped to think of himself as the bad guy even if he was only the bad guy to a sociopathic villain. Seven years of vowing Fïrador’s demise for causing the destruction of his family and home. But did that really matter?

“Then, there really is no end, is there?” asked Alexander.

Ezuwë turned to him. “Have you asked him?”

“Fïrador doesn’t reason. He is the definition of a goal, not the seeker of one. He is not motivated by anything except the evil within. He is an eternal force.”

Is he?” replied Ezuwë. “But you haven’t asked?”

Alexander thought silently but finally gave the inevitable answer: “No.”

“It seems to me that a man so hateful and so focused must have a reason for being so. Wouldn’t you agree?”

The man’s logic was undeniable. As far as Alexander knew, no one had ever asked Fïrador why he chose evil. He knew he’d never asked. “But would it make a difference?”

“Didn’t it for you?”

“Forgive me, Ezuwë, but I don’t think knowing why Fïrador is a madman will make any difference in the end.”

“It could make all the difference!” Ezuwë interjected. “If you know the why, maybe it will turn out he can be reasoned with after all. And if he can be reasoned with, then maybe he can put an end to his own madness. Isn’t that what you want? Isn’t that what you seek? To end the madness? To end the evil, once and for all? Isn’t that worth fighting for?”

The desert began to brighten and over the peaks of distant mountains, a thin sliver of bright yellow sliced the earth from the sky. Alexander was momentarily blinded, but then his vision began to clear. Yet what lay before him was not a desert, after all. It was a vast garden, a meadow peppered with trees, everything of such lush, vivid colors. Suddenly, much more than his surroundings began to make sense.

Could it be that Fïrador set out to fight against an evil of his own? And if he succeeded, maybe he gave up more along the way than he could choose? What if he went so far that he believed there was no more turning back? But what brings back the ones who believed they had gone too far?

Alexander was at a loss for words. After a moment, Ezuwë spoke: “you are forgiven.”

Alexander looked at him, baffled. “What?”

“You asked me to forgive you,” Ezuwë said plainly. “You are forgiven.”

And the sun rose above the mountains, beginning, proudly, a new day.

“But I’m afraid you are no longer welcome in my kingdom. This place is for the lost, and it seems you have found the way,” Ezuwë said, gesturing down the Eastern path Alexander took to arrive there. The garden parted perfectly to guide Alexander back from whence he came.

Not fully knowing why, but somehow deep within understanding everything, Alexander smiled and started on his way. He waved to Ezuwë and said graciously, “thank you!” Not far down the path, he turned once more to gaze at Ezuwë. The man was gone, but his wisdom remained.

Villains were only as bad as their past deeds. But if those deeds could be erased, would they still be villains? Was Fïrador a villain by nature? Or did he make choices that ultimately led him down a path he feared to turn back from? How could anyone forgive a man who committed so many atrocities, even if he committed them hoping to make a better future?

Alexander had no answers. But now, he had the questions. Maybe, they were all he needed.

November 12, 2022 03:27

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Andrew Lukonis
20:15 Nov 21, 2022

Hi Isaiah! I'm starting a podcast and looking for short fantasy stories to help people fall asleep. I came across your story, The Desert of Truth, and thought it would make a great episode. Would you allow me to read your story on my podcast? I will provide full accreditation to you as the author and include a link your author page on reedsy. I look forward to hearing back. Thanks!


Isaiah Ramos
16:33 Nov 28, 2022

Haha! Um, thanks? Yeah, I suppose you could use my story for your podcast to put people to sleep. Thanks for reaching out.


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Brendan Thome
08:54 Nov 20, 2022

Is Ezuwë supposed to be God?


Isaiah Ramos
16:33 Nov 28, 2022

Only if you need him to be.


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