Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Zerfall - Mastered

There were chattering and murmurs coming from the double doors leading to the dining room of the mansion. One of the female servants stopped pushing the trolley to stop and straighten a cup and brush down her dress. She pulled a stray hair out of her face and was about to open the door when she heard a voice behind her, which caused her to jump. She looked around and was surprised to see a man in a fine, crisp colonel uniform completed with every adornment and award given to colonels. “Excuse me?”. She had been busy preparing herself that she had not heard what he had said.
“Would you mind me getting the door? I am late to my meeting and imagine how embarrassing it would be for the coffee servant to enter and I did nothing to help? As the colonel and head of this station, it is my duty to continue in gentlemanly acts.” She remained expressionless for a few moments, unable to comprehend his tone behind what he had said. Was he being cold, rude and manipulative, or was he just the type to state a matter of fact and was acting with her as his equal? He remained to wait for some sort of response, it seemed and she nodded, seeing no reason to decline the offer.
The man opened the door and allowed her to enter first. He walked over to the head of the table, as every sombre, serious official stood. The servant began placing down her coffee cups, starting with the head. To the man’s right, was a man in lieutenant’s uniform, with his nametag claiming his name to be “Lovecraft”. He held a seemingly bemused face, most likely because the colonel was late, and addressed the man, “So, our high and honourable Colonel Xavier Norris finally came meet with us?”
Colonel Xavier smirked and said, “Well, I was hoping to meet all that boring and dull stuff. You know I can’t stand meetings. Nothing interesting ever happens, Lovecraft.”
Colonel Xavier was given his coffee and turned to his front. He looked at all the men who sat at this table. They were the men brave enough to enter take the hardest position anyone had from the East Union Empire: guarding a captured country. They had all came to this country because they were assured that they would be given extra troops within time. However the EUE not only refused extra troops but stopped all communications from the surviving soldiers. The EUE was to forget that there was ever any military camp within this small, insignificant country. Colonel Xavier took another sip.
He allowed the men to talk for a while, mingling and calming nerves. He did not catch what they were saying and nor did he care. Finally he stood up and all the chatter stopped. The meeting was to commence again. Colonel Xavier cleared his throat and began reciting the typical procedure of all military EUE meetings. “By the name of our Empire, these lands shall be protected with our ever-giving devotion. Defeat is not an option. Cowardice is not permissible. Our heart and body shall remain strong as the strength of our Great Lion. All Hail East Union Empire!” He said this in a flat and bored voice. He sat down. The men sat down. Lovecraft raised his eyebrows at the Colonel.
“Is that not too sacrilegious to speak the words of commencement at a meeting such as this, Colonel? After all, our plan is rather cowardice.
“Lieutenant Lovecraft, if our plan is cowardice then perhaps it ought to change? I am not any more fond of cowardice than the Great Lion is. Of course I do not agree with him on much more points other than that of war.” Colonel Xavier arched his eyebrows at Lovecraft, who looked exasperated at the colonel.
“Of course, sir. I do know how you feel. I still believe it wrong to use those words here, especially if the country-folk hear it.”


Colonel Xavier entered the kitchen silently. He pulled a bag out of his pocket. The bag held a powder. He opened a cupboard and took out a tin box at the very back. He opened it up and place the bag in the tin box. He looked around and placed the tin back. He walked over and took some bread and left the kitchen.


Lovecraft opened the door to the Colonel’s balcony. Colonel Xavier was staring out into the mountainous forest. Lovecraft walked forward, a bottle of vodka in his hand. He asked, “Enjoying to view?” Colonel Xavier nodded.
“The wolves call. The moon does not shine. The wind whistles silently behind every tree and rustles the leaves behind your back.” Colonel Xavier looked at his lieutenant. “The bravest and stupidest of the country-folk do not dare enter the forest. Even our own men, when in battle, would do everything but enter those mountains. Why do you think that is?” Lovecraft had nothing to say and, so he sipped his vodka. “It is no fairytale. What is out there is real and it is powerful. The whole of East Union Empire could not take it down. That, whatever it is, is truly beautiful.” Lovecraft stayed silent but looked to his colonel. His eyes shown with eagerness. He radiated cruel happiness.


Two maids were preparing the coffee when the head of the maids, Isra, relieved them. “Have rest, you will need it”, she had told them. All she really wanted to do was be alone with the coffee. As soon as they were gone, she went into the cupboard and took out a tin box from the back. She distributed the powder into each cup and pushed the trolley out of the kitchen and down the hall. She knocked on the door. Colonel Xavier appeared where the door was once closed. He held the door open as she entered. She gave a nod and said, “Thank you, colonel.” He nodded back and sat down.
Lovecraft looked to Colonel Xavier as he was handed his coffee. “What do you believe we should do, if not run away? I tell you, there are not many options.” Lovecraft took a sip. A raven cawed outside. The Colonel smiled as he took his coffee. He tilted his head at Lovecraft and looked outside.
Lovecraft gave him a puzzled look and turned around as he sipped his coffee. He furrowed his brow and stared at the trees in horror. There were many young men donning their EUE uniforms hanging. All of the foot soldiers left were hanging; all of the soldiers were dead.
The Colonel smiled eerily, his eyes shining. “What odd fruit the trees of these parts grow, Lovecraft. This country ceases to amaze me.” Lovecraft turned back to the Colonel.
“What do you mean by this? What has this accomplished?” he said in awe.
“By this? Oh, just a means of disposal. I did not need them. I have my own squadron now, Lovecraft. None of the old EUE men are needed and nor are they wanted.” To the left of them, one of the men began to gag. He stumbled out of his chair and threw up on the carpet. He tried to gag again but fell, twitching. The rest of the men began to gag. Lovecraft took out his pistol and aimed it at the Colonel, who was still smiling.
Lovecraft stumbled forward as he pulled the trigger. There was a loud bang and Lovecraft’s pistol was in Isra’s hand. The bullet had entered the ceiling missing its mark completely. Lovecraft managed to say “Monster!” before he fell to the ground, dead. The Colonel arched his eyebrows and moved his foot away from Lovecraft. He looked outside. A raven cawed out as more flocked to the odd tree-fruits.
The Colonel stood up and walked forward. He stared out at the ravens momentarily before spinning around quickly. Isra followed him. The Colonel kept walking until he was facing the start of the forest. Isra had taken off her peasant’s dress and was now wearing tight pants and shirt. She stood to the right of the Colonel. He turned towards the woman next to him. She was his second-in-command. Her name was Yamin; Isra was the name she took from a missing maid. The Colonel looked past the opening through the trees and to the wide expanse of forbidden forests and mountains. Behind him stood the trees with odd fruit and a manor of poisoned coffee left out for foolish rats.

“Zerfall is a beautiful thing, Yamin. Decay is, after all, the basis of war.”

A/N: The three astericks are the breaks. Originally I had some fancy squiggle, butblogger cannot handle it too well.

It might seem a little rushed, I hope not, though. I wrote this at the beginning of September but kept re-writing it. Each one was relatively different from each other, so I put in subtitles. This is the final and fourth one. There was the original, visited, re-visited and then mastered. This one is much less detailed in other people other than Lovecraft, Isra/Yamin and Xavier.

The names all meant something, so it was a little hard to throw them all away. Lovecraft was the most random of all. The name was from the author. I just like the name, I think. It could have reflection or some sort of meaning, but I really didn't intend. I just couldn't think up a grand and wonderful name. (Sorry to disappoint, HAHA).

Isra means 'riches' and is Arabic (depends were you get the information, I suppose. I just looked it up on which put it as 'riches', but I was originally told that it meant 'peace'). Xavier means 'new house' and is Spanish. Yamin means 'right hand' and is Hebrew.

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