The Visitor in Stathmore Town

Submitted into Contest #96 in response to: Start your story with the arrival of a strange visitor in a small town.... view prompt

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Adventure Fantasy

The sound of footsteps reverberated in the air. Whispers echoed in the area as the villagers gossiped around. Who is he? What is that? Why did he come to our town? The stranger pays no heed to their stares. He continues walking, his golden eyes staring straight ahead as if he cannot see everyone else. He has a large scar cutting across his right eyebrow and down his cheek. A little bit of stubble is on his chin, making his old face look even older. The wind teases him, gently sweeping his blue hair out of place.

The people gaze at the items he is carrying. Why is he carrying a frying pan in his hands? Children shudder as they gaze at his feet – no, those are not feet. Those… totipalmate – webbed feet like that of a ducks’. A large iguana walks alongside the man, its green scales gleaming underneath the glowing sunlight.

Yulian watches quietly as the stranger walks to his father’s house. Does father know this man? Why haven’t I heard him mention this? Yulian wonders. He hears the people around him whisper about the man.

“Is he even human?” “Where is he from?” “He must be the Devil’s subordinate!” Yulian sends a glare at the person who said so. It’s Mrs. White, the number one gossiper of Stathmore Town.

Stathmore is a small town located between the land of the elves and humans, so seeing elves and fairies are normal – but seeing a man with totipalmate instead of normal feet was shocking enough, not to mention the fact that he had golden eyes.

Yulian ignored the people’s stares and headed home, his thoughts in a whirl. Wait – Yulian is hit with a sudden thought. What if the stranger is going to kill his father?! Yulian’s face contorts and he rushes back home, running as if he was racing against the wind.

Yulian sees the front door and stops right in front. Leaning forward, he presses his ear gently to the door. Yulian hears the sound of his mother sobbing. “Please, Sir Gogor,” it’s his father, “Don’t take away my son.”

Yulian’s heart clenched. Who is this Gogor?

“He’s our only child…” His mother pleads.

He felt his hands sweat profusely.

A man’s raspy voice is heard from inside – Yulian knows it’s not his father. Is it ‘Gogor’? Yes, it must be.

“You know that I’ll take what I want, and you can’t stop me, right?”

Yulian’s stomach churned uneasily.

“But…”

“Oh shut it. Do you think I don’t know that you’re keeping Yulian here not because you love him? Yulian isn’t even your real son, right?” ‘Gogor’ scoffs.

Yulian felt his heart drop to the pit of his stomach. What?

“What are you talking about? H-he’s definitely our son…”

“No. You found Yulian when he was a baby, abandoned on the roadside. Youand I know you’ll only raise him until he turns 20. That’s a year from now, right? Well, now I’ve come to take him with me like what we agreed to.”

Yulian felt a lump in his throat; shock enveloping his senses.

“You’re really a rotten demon!” Yulian’s father hissed. “Fine! Take that brat away, and don’t come looking for me ever again!”

“Ohohoho, my pleasure.”

The information he received was too overwhelming, Yulian had to grab the door frame to stop himself from falling. He heard footsteps from the house. The person inside was getting nearer. He had to move – but his legs just wouldn’t obey him. He was still reeling from the shock, the helplessness and disappointment that he felt.

The door was suddenly opened, and the strange visitor – ‘Gogor’ emerged. “You heard what your parents said, right? Come on, boy, let’s go,” the man said. Yulian glance at the man, his large scar seemed to glare at him. Yulian looked at down, his heart was thumping in fear, and yet… he felt trepidation. Why?

Yulian turned to look at his father, but the latter only turned his head away in shame. Yulian sent a pleading look to his mother, who was sobbing. “Mother, I…” Someone grabbed his hand. It was ‘Gogor’.

“Come with me, Yulian.”

“No, I – “

“I understand that it’s hard for you, but I will explain things in due time. I am Gogor, as you may have heard. Please come with me.”

“Just go with him,” his mother whispered.

Yulian, still quite stunned, nodded.

Gogor took Yulian’s hand and walked away from the village. Like before, Gogor was bombarded with piercing stares – but this time, everyone stared at Yulian too. Yulian felt awkward, but he obediently followed Gogor. The two walked out of the town gates, leaving the rest of the townspeople with gossip and speculation hanging from the tip of their tongues.

The strange visitor in Stathmore Town had come and gone just like that – and nothing had changed for anyone – except for Yulian.

Gogor had led Yulian to the foot of a mountain – one that was near the territory of the elves. Yulian observed the man in front of him quietly, thinking about everything he had gone through in just a few hours. Finally, he could not take it anymore and broke the silence.

“Uhm, Sir?” Yulian asked tentatively. He still did not know whether Gogor was his friend or foe. If worst comes to worst, he would make a run for it.

Gogor stopped walking and turned around. “Please, just call me Teacher,” his raspy voice sounded.

“Teacher? You’re going to teach me?” What will you teach me? Yulian almost blurted out his next question but held it in.

“Yes. Right, I should give you a proper introduction. My name is Sir Gogor Pavinsky, and I’m the last of the Golden Eyed Tribe – well, maybe not anymore.”

“Golden Eyed Tribe? How come I’ve never heard of that?” Yulian muttered.

“Well, my tribe was massacred 20 years ago – I survived, and I need you to continue on the legacy of our tribe,” Gogor answered patiently. He sat down on the grass and gestured for Yulian to do the same.

Yulian stole a glance at Gogor’s eyes – yes, they were definitely golden. Wait…

“Did you say ‘our’ tribe?” Yulian gaped at Gogor in disbelief.

“You did not hear it wrongly, boy – you’re one of us.”

“B-but… how?! I don’t even have golden eyes – and I don’t have feet like you…” Yulian’s voice lowered at the end of his sentence.

Gogor smiled. “Your father was the chief of our tribe. He foresaw the massacre would happen and hid you in advance. He made sure that when you were a baby, you drank a potion – yes, horrid green slimy stuff – to disguise your hair color.”

Gogor looked at the distance and, as if in a trance, continued his story. “We all laughed at him, y’know… Thought the chief was being paranoid. Massacre? No way, Golden Eyed Tribe wouldn’t be wiped out that quickly.”

Gogor sighed, his melancholy making Yulian’s nose sour.

“Anyway, after what happened that day, I tried looking for you. I knew the chief had hidden you away somewhere, so I began my search. It was only several years ago, when I found you by accident.”

Gogor smiles wistfully, recalling the past.

“It was a rainy, gloomy night. I was a stranger in the town – yes, Stathmore Town. I knocked on your father’s house and asked to stay for the night, but he… Your father was afraid of me, he wouldn’t let me stay. I got upset, so I threatened him. Told your father I would curse him if he wouldn’t let me stay. It worked – somehow. Your father was afraid of me.

“Inside his house, I saw you – and then I knew, I had found you. I have to admit, I used some foul tricks to make your father promise to give you to me… I waited until you got bigger – didn’t want to alert our enemies, you see. But now, I’m ready…So here we are now, Yulian. I’m just an old man hoping my tribe won’t vanish from this world.”

“Yulian, you will help me, right? I’ll be sure to teach you everything I know – and maybe, just maybe, our tribe will rise again.” Gogor’s eyes are filled with hope, a flicker of light that seems to glow even when all is lost.

Yulian still has his doubts – who can trust a stranger?

Many questions are swirling in his head: How did Gogor escape the massacre? Why was his tribe massacred? What was his father – his real father, like? Why did Gogor have totipalmates instead of feet?

He wants to know more. He wants to help this poor old man, who looks so sad – and he definitely wants to learn a lot. Answers can come later – he was sure that Gogor would tell him in due time.

“Alright, S-sir… no, Teacher. I’ll follow you starting from today.”

June 04, 2021 02:52

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