Coming of Age Fantasy

Shumesh woke up one morning in his family's farm. Uneasy, he stared at the sky, longing for an answer to an unasked question. Shumesh's home nation of Torsina was in a disagreement with Medara, a country to the east, and Shumesh wished there was a way to prevent the disagreement between nations from escalating into a full blown war.

Shumesh's Grandmother told him stories along time ago of a land across the southern sea where a Goddess who could grant any wish lived, but no one had ever found the Goddess, as the land was inhabited by monsters.

Shumesh and his mother and sister walked the Goats to graze in the meadow. As they stood under the shade of a tree, a little boy not that much older than Shumesh came running through the meadow like a mad man, a look of fear on his face.

"Young man, whatever is the matter?" asked Shumesh's mother.

"A small army...from Medara...with weapons...is coming this way...We have to flee to the seaside caves!" The boy said between deep breaths.

Shumesh, his mother and sister looked at each other with dread in their eyes. They took their Goats with them to the seaside caves to the southwest, where they could hide and wait out the men of Medara traveling through the village's path. At the caves were the rest of the village, including Shumesh's father. The villagers slept in the dank cold of the coastal structures which sheltered them.

"This has got to stop..." Shumesh's father thought.

His father and three other men went back with their hoes, pitchforks, saws and pickaxes back to the village to protect what was theirs.

The next morning, Shumesh's father was the only one who came back to the seaside caves. The four men killed 4 of the 7 or 8 soldiers, but the wheat miller and the carpenter paid with their lives for it. The remaining soldiers burned the village to the ground and went back to Medaran soil.

Shumesh decided that night when everyone was asleep to find a way to end the conflict once and for all. That night, he got into an empty boat at the beach and cast off, using the light of the full moon as his guide.

By dawn, Shumesh was halfway across the sea when a Whale had breached under his vessel, lifting it upwards.

"I'm sorry, sir. I didn't see your boat there!" said the Whale.

"That's alright. I'm going south, to the land of the goddess. Can you take me there?" asked Shumesh.

"Sure. I'm heading south myself, anyway!" the Whale answered.

So the Whale carried Shumesh the rest of the way until it reached the shallows. Shumesh treaded the shallows, got to the beach and waved goodbye to the Whale.

"Thank you, Whale! Don't be a stranger!" Shumesh said.

"You're welcome!" said the Whale.

When Shumesh traveled from the beach to the border of the forest, a Ram came out from the trees and looked at him.

"What brings you to this land, young lad?"

I seek the Goddess that lives in this land. My country is at war with another country. I wish for a way to bring about peace between the two nations" answered Shumesh.

"I shall take you to her. Hop on my back!" said the ram, kneeling down.

Shumesh rode the mountain goat across the trail in the cedar forest until they reached a path etched into the mountains. Shumesh walked the path. It took all day, but they crossed the path in the mountains to reach an empty castle when the Goddess of the land appeared before him.

"What brings you to my land, young lad?" asked the goddess.

"Fair Goddess, my country is at war with another country. I wish for a way to bring about peace between us." said Shumesh.

"Follow me..." said the Goddess.

Shumesh followed the Goddess to a garden at the back of the abandoned castle. She picked several peppers, olives, and peeled bark from a tree and put it in a basket.

"extract the oil from these olives, grind the peppers, onions and the bark together, and heat it with the olive oil to create a sauce that will make even the bitterest person happy." explained the Goddess, handing Shumesh the basket.

"I shall send you home on the back of a giant falcon, now."

A Giant Falcon swooped down, clutched Shumesh in his talons, and flew him back to the village. When the Falcon set Shumesh down, he examined the contents of the basket. He set aside one of the peppers and one of the olives so he could plant the seeds, then built a fire with which to cook.

He brushed the olives, and then ground the peppers, onions and tree bark together until everything blended together perfectly.

Shumesh dipped a piece of bread in the sauce, and upon tasting it, Shumesh felt a tremendous sense of joy and peace, like everything was right with the world and everyone was a friend to him.

"This gives me an idea..." Shumesh thought to himself.

Shumesh went to the village square and prepared rice for the Medarans. When the Medarans tried the sauce with the rice, they had a peaceful change of heart, they were so happy.

The Medarans brought the sauce to their kingdom's citizens, and the citizens upon tasting it, brought the sauce to their king to try. The Torsinians brought the sauce all around the country fo everyone to try. After everyone in both nations had a taste, the countries of Torsina and Medara never warred with each other again.

The Olive and Pepper plants that Shumesh planted from seeds ensured there would always be a steady supply of this miraculous sauce for both countries.

The months passed.

One evening, Shumesh was sitting at the dock, contemplating, when he saw the whale that helped him jump over the water in the horizon. He waved, smiling at the whale.

"Hello again, Whale!" Shumesh yelled.

"Hello again, Shumesh!" the whale replied.

July 03, 2021 00:16

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