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The Scorched Minds

The Scorched Minds (A Short Fantasy Story)

The god of a distant universe felt his time in this place was ending and he wanted only the best for his subjects. For aeons, he had been looking over them, teaching them the ways of this universe and providing them with an appreciation of all the elements within it. It was his greatest desire to see them grow in the best of ways.

“Come here, my loyal subjects.” He announced, floating down from the light in the sky and covering the world in his splendorous aura. “For my time to depart is coming, and I want to entrust a gift to each of you.”

They all gathered around. All they knew was the protection of their god and nothing else. He sensed their fear.

“You need not concern yourselves, my dear ones.” He reassured. “For in my departure, I will provide you with the ample means to continue on.”

Everyone nodded in glee. They felt reassured and couldn’t wait to hear what the god would provide.

“You have all learnt well from me, and with almost everything in this universe.” He continued, “I will either give you the ability to learn to work with any element within my creation or the ability to absorb its power for your own purpose.”

“As we want power like yours to be without reliance or weakness, we will take the power to absorb my divine.” Said Pyroc, one leader within the group.

“Does he speak for everyone?” The God questioned.

“He does not.” Elan, a good-natured leader of another group, stated. “We will work with what you have provided, my divine, and we have much to still learn about your glorious creations.”

Pyroc scoffed at the notion. “You can have the ability to absorb all that you need. Why waste time learning more when you can just take from it?”

“Now, now, thus, I have provided the choice.” The god calmed any potential quarrel. “It is the nature of the person what they choose and what will be once they live with it.”

With that, the god provided all his subjects with the powers they chose before bidding them farewell and disappearing into the light in the sky.

Years passed, and the choices of the group were clear. Those with Pyroc absorbed the waters, vegetation, minerals and energies that all the eyes could see. They grew into giants compared to the surrounding others. Towering over all they occupied.

Those with Elan saw the impending trajectory of such ways. Soon everything would disappear, with nothing left for anyone to consume.

“We need to go where Pyroc’s clan cannot.” He proposed while speaking with others similar to his. “We must continue our lives behind the surface of this world and learn all we can of the divine’s creations.”

With that, Elan’s people disappeared from the surface, never to be seen by the others again.

That is until one fateful day…

The absorption of all things on the surface, as Elan predicted, finally happened. There were no trees, rivers, lakes, minerals, or vegetation left. For what Pyroc’s people absorbed, they selfishly did not learn to replace.

“Pyroc, there is nothing left.” One of his followers complained. “What are we to absorb now?”

“What we should have done from the start.” Pyroc said, pointing at the enormous light in the sky, “Absorb the very elements that he came from. We can take all of them and add them to our own.”

With that, Pyroc and his followers flew to the light in the sky and pushed their hands to absorb it. For a moment, they felt more powerful than ever before; they believed themselves to become Gods.

“My friends, let us take more.” Pyroc rallied them on. “We will bring back everything with this power and we will rule over those who foolishly did not align with us.”

Suddenly, the light in the sky released a flash of energy. Scorching them with its power and pushing them back down to the surface. They had consumed too much, and the light was defending its power.

As if with a mind of its own, it heated the surface of the ground, making it blazing hot to everyone.

Pyroc and his followers burnt in pain and screamed for help.

“Elan, the light betrays us!” Pyroc shouted to the ground. He knew those below could hear him. “Save us from this torment!”

Elan heard their cries and, using minerals and a blessed staff from the underground, ascended and create a force-field above ground. He saw the gruesome sight of Pyroc’s people burning.

“I’m sorry Pyroc, your clansmen are too big to fit through our entrances and the surface has hardened to the point we cannot open it further,” Elan admitted. “I will comfort you in this time.”

Elan raised his staff and willed cool winds from the underground onto Pyroc and the other giants. This stopped the pain, but Pyroc felt the life force draining from him still.

“Thank you…” the leader said, reaching out to Elan before collapsing onto the surface with a final breath.

The light in the sun stabilised. However, it completed its damage on the entire surface.

“And thus I have presented the choice to all that I left them with, whatever they choose.” The god’s voice came from nowhere. “What have you learned?”

It was clear what he was implying. While Elan and his people had life, it would differ from what they knew before.

“We have learned well divinity.” Elan bowed.

Elan knew had he reasoned with Pyroc years before and showed him the power of what his people could do, he may not have flown to the light in the sky and decimated the surface.

And perhaps in his last moments, Pyroc thought, had he absorbed knowledge and appreciation for the elements rather than just selfishly consume them, that he and his clansmen may have escaped their ultimate demise.

“We need each other to survive in these harsh conditions,” Elan said with humility, knowing what came next. “I hope we can learn from our mistakes and become better.”

***

The moral of the story is good things come to those who work together and know that your choice isn’t always the only right one. For without such attributes, all we may leave is a destroyed world.


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