Friday, June 19, 2009

The Odyssey (The Red Ring Of Death)




I am marked with the red ring of death. My five comrades know I am mortally wounded, and beyond the healing my comrades can supply. The leader of my comrades, barely a young man, and my younger comrades, just boys, all of them, are disconsolate. But the leader of my comrades has rumor of a community of restorers that can give me new life. So my comrades enshroud me in a soft white covering, and then place me in a rugged caisson for the journey. It is said that this community of restorers resides five hundred or more leagues distant, far to the south, where it is ever warm, and even hot. My comrades do not know the way however. And even if my comrades did possess such knowledge, my comrades could not undertake such a journey. The masters of my comrades will not permit my comrades to forfeit training, the masters of my comrades not regarding my restoration as essential as do my comrades.


There is extant the brown travelers, a guild of professional conveyors, dressed all in brown, shod always with sturdy footwear, and the brown travelers offer to convey me south to
 the community of restorers. The recompense of the brown travelers for such a lengthy conveyance is great, but the community of restorers agrees to pay the recompense of the brown travelers, I being still young when marked with the red ring of death.


Thus an agreement is struck with a minor chieftain of the brown travelers. I will be delivered to the community of restorers, and returned by the brown travelers after my restoration. I am thus handed over to the minor chieftain for conveyance.


The leader of my comrades has learning enough to be able to conjure information concerning this journey from an oblong of glowing glass that is located in the dwelling place of my comrades. Each night the leader of my comrades conjures information concerning my journey, his tense face illuminated by the oblong of glowing glass. My comrades fret over the slow progress of my journey. The leader of my comrades attempts to assuage the concerns of my younger comrades, and occupy the attention of my younger comrades with games of strategy played with small carved figures on a patterned board of sixty four squares, alternating light and dark. This activity distracts my younger comrades but little, and the thoughts of my comrades come ever back to my restoration and return.


After a passage of some time, the passage of time seeming much longer to my comrades than to the masters of my comrades, the oblong of glowing glass finally tells of my restoration, and my handing back over to the brown travelers. Alas, it being the season of long nights and cold, my journey north is even less quick than my journey south. Exceptional accumulations of snow and ice hinder the advance of the brown travelers. These exceptional accumulations of snow and ice also prevent my comrades from attending training, and not being thus occupied, the thoughts of my comrades come ever back to my restoration and return.


After another passage of some time, the oblong of glowing glass tells of my imminent return. On the day of my imminent return, my comrades keep constant vigil for sign of the brown traveler, lest the brown traveler pass by the dwelling place of my comrades thinking it unattended. At all moments, one or more comrades survey the approach to the dwelling place of my comrades. Well after the evening meal, a brown traveler appears out of the darkness at the dwelling place of my comrades.


The brown traveler approaches the threshold of the dwelling place of my comrades, and returns me to my comrades. Though the duties of the brown traveler do not permit him to tarry long, the brown traveler regales my comrades with a small number of stories similar to mine, and gives counsel on ways to keep me well.


And then Ben, Andrew, Matthew, Sam and Daniel thanked the UPS delivery man, and ran to the basement to connect their refurbished Xbox 360 console.


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