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My notes on whatever
Like I said, whatever. I'll get more elaborate when I have actually have something in here.
Nuri and the Missing Sun
Or
How Nuri Got his Favorite Fashion Statement

Nuri had been watching the sky for any changing colors heralding the dawn for nearly two hours before getting bored. The horizon was just as purple-blue as ever. He stood and brushed sand from the seat of his baggy cotton pants as he ambled back into the rude old shack they had spent the night in.

The door and shutters had long since fallen off their own leather hinges, letting the desert creep in unchecked. Rather than bemoan the shoddy structure, Akhim had swept the sand into a corner and covered it with a spare blanket for a makeshift mattress. Apparently it was an improvement over the stone floor because the boy was still fast asleep in his corner.

“Hey, Akhim.”

No answer.

“Akhim!”

The younger boy grumbled a bit, then sighed as he rolled over in his sleep.

Akhim!” Nuri kicked him in the shoulder.

Gyah! Wha? Wha' izz't?” The boy tried to simultaneously glower at his friend while rubbing sleep and shaggy black hair from his eyes. The effect was less intimidating than he'd probably hoped for.

“'S mornin',” Nuri explained simply.

“Wha? Ye get sand 'n yer head? Sun's nawt e'en up yet.”

Nuri shrugged. “Guess the sun fel' like sleepin' late this mornin'. Duz 't do tha' off'n?” Akhim was giving him a long, level stare. Like he usually did when Nuri asked a question he'd thought was perfectly reasonable. “Um, Akhim?”

“No, Nuri, the sun dun't sleep late off'n,” he sighed. “Never, akshully. Most ev'ryun else 'n the city are prob'lly panickin' 'bout now.” Akhim was reaching up with his hand so Nuri grabbed it and helped pull the boy to his feet.

“'S it tha' bigga deal then?”

Akhim shook his head, presumably in disbelief rather than as an answer because he muttered under his breath, “'Ardly 'ny comm'n senses 'n 'im. Jes' how could e'en sumthin' like that be knock'd outta 'is 'ead? Like the unly mem'ry 'e din't lose wuz 'ow t' walk.” Nuri heard this, though he had a hunch he wasn't supposed to, so he didn't say anything.

The one time Nuri had asked Akhim if he wanted him to leave, the smaller boy had smacked him in the head with the basket of day old bread they'd just stolen. That was followed by a vicious scolding about the two wasted loaves that had dropped into the street and been trampled by a merchant's camel.

Akhim was leaning against the door frame, frowning at the stubbornly dark horizon. “Dunno wha' coulda happ'n'd t' it. Ev'ryun's gonna 'ave their'wn ideas 'bout wha'sup,” he mused aloud. “Schol'rs 're gonna be goin' on 'n on 'bout wha'ever sy-un-tif-fic” he drew the word out with relish, “'splanation sound's mos' unbleev'ble. Temple priests'll each claim 's cuz their'un God's angry 'bout not havin' 'nuff sacrifices, 'r start pointin' fingers ev'rywhere else t' put th' blame. 'N there's gonna be lotsa crazies runnin' round sayin' it's the end o' the world.” Finally he turned back to Nuri with a shrug. “Fer ev'ryun else, they'll all jus' settle down 'ventully an' it'll be bizness as usual.”

“Oh...so wha'll we be doin'?”

“Bizness o' course! Bes' time t' scam sum'un 's when 'e can't thin' straight!”

* * *

Sometimes, Nuri had to wonder if he might have refused to help with Akhim's schemes if he'd had his own childhood memories to tip him off to the absurdity of some plans.

The boys were hiding in the storage room of one of the more respected theaters, rifling through chests of costumes and props. They found several suitable robes, or suitable according to Akhim, and were trying them on for size.

“No, Nuri, ye gotta wear these flashy lookin' gold'uns.”

“Eh? But ye're puttin' on the priest 'nes? 'An aren' they t' big fer ye?”

“Cuz ah'm yer numm'er 'ne worsh'per. Si' down so ah c'n wrap this 'round yer head.”

“Ha! Who'd ever wan' ye fer a worsh'per? 'Ny god 'd know ye'd walk 'way fr'm prayers wi' 'alf ther offerin's unner yer robe! An' mah ears feel uncomf't'ble under this scarf...”

“'M sure tha' iff'n there's a God of deceev'rs 'e'd beg me t' take 'is offerin's as a tok'n of 'is ad'mirashion.” Akhim loosened the red sash he'd artfully arranged around Nuri's head and neck to unobtrusively hide the large, feline-ish ears while still showing off the long golden hair. “Better?”

“Yep, 'an ah c'n still 'ear well enuff.”

Akhim grinned, “Well then, shall 'e go re'ssure yer panicken soon-t'-be-worsh'pers, Oh Reveer'd an' Respect'ble Sun God Nuri?”

Nuri kicked him in the shin with his new gold-braid trimmed sandals.

* * *

Maybe half an hour later, it was hard for Nuri to judge without being able to check the sun's progress, they were in one of the central plazas just inside the Street of Temples. The title was a misnomer; the “street” was actually a sizable portion of the city composed of numerous streets, avenues, and alleys. Each temple had it's own piece of territory staked out, and there were several other services here affiliated with the church. Charity inns for the poor, pilgrims, and travelers for example.

Akhim had chosen this spot, reasoning that the most desperate of the city dwellers would just throw themselves at the feet of any god offering salvation. Here the boys could catch these “lost lambs” before they found an actual temple that would bleed them dry.

“Mah Brothers and mah Sisters!” When he wanted to, Akhim could articulate his words almost as well as any priest. Lowborn speech patterns were an embarrassing way to ruin a perfectly good disguise after all. “Thah hour of Greatest Darkness and Despair 'as Arrived! We must Pray for Mercy to save our Poor World from thah Malice of Evil and Corrupt Ones.”

They were both standing on elevated pedestals that had recently held statues of various deities. Naturally Akhim insisted Nuri should stand on the taller one to “appear more awe inspiring,” but Nuri guessed the younger boy's legs were shaking under the long folds of his overly large priest robes. Which, he now noticed, were long enough to fall over Akhim's shorter pedestal. This effectively made the boy look much taller and older than his twelve years.

“Mah Dearest Brothers and Sisters, our City is truly Blessed, for a God of the Sun has Descended to Save all who Honor and Sacrifice in 'is Name!” Nuri imagined any real gods listening in would be having a good laugh at Akhim's affected pompousness rather than bothering to smite him for impudence. It was hard enough for him to maintain a somber expression while gravely inspecting the star studded sky above. “Mah Dear Fellow Man, this God has come to Look into our very Souls and judge if Mankind is Worthy of 'is Mercy!”

Without missing a beat, Nuri slowly lowered his eyes and scanned the crowd Akhim was drawing at their feet. He made eye contact with every person and held their gaze for a few seconds before moving on to the next. Many were left gasping or exclaiming to their neighbors that 'the God's eyes were the color of purest gold!'

His near gold complexion was striking enough in normal conditions, but most people dismissed him for having foreigner blood as long as his ears and tail were kept well hidden. But for once, with him decked out in golden robes and sashes, he was actually trying to get people to notice him.

It was uncomfortable at first, but the looks of hope and awe in their tear stained faces sent a thrill through him. For once, the fear wasn't directed at him.

Slowly, a smile spread across his face.

A hush fell on the murmuring cloud, because 'the Sun God has such a warm smile!', and then surged back to life in greater volume as they tried to push in closer. Trying to touch his robes for protection from the darkness and offer him gold for his favor.

Of course, having successfully drawn so much attention naturally drew even more attention, and eventually the priests of the nearest temples came to see where their cash cows were wandering off too. They weren't pleased to find them grazing in apparently greener pastures, under the stern yet benevolent eye of a figure that managed to gleam gold as the idols displayed on their altars.

“What's all this?” huffed a particularly short and “well-rounded” priest. Nuri had to struggle to keep his nose from wrinkling. The red faced man smelled strongly of incense, which Nuri always found himself sneezing at, and underneath was the reek of wine. Nobody else seemed to notice the second smell, but the combination made the not quite human boy feel a bit woozy. “How can you deceive these people in the name of false gods?”

He turned to speak to the people, “My children, you must not turn to false prophets for guidance in these troubled times. Look to the words of the Gods who care for us, who we know deserve our trust, and do not be fooled by the honeyed words of devils!” Nuri now had to fight down the urge to fidget as well as the need to sneeze. Priests throwing words like “devil” around usually were the ones leading the mobs whenever he didn't cover his golden furred tail well enough, or when his head wrap fell off his ears.

Akhim had been passively standing by while the fat priest, and several other zealous supporters of the traditional gods, called him a liar and con man in the most prosaic speech they could manage. Odds were the urge he was fighting down was a comeback along the lines of “Ah know ye are, bu' wha' 'm ah?”

With outrage growing in the eyes of Nuri's newfound worshipers, and doubtful mutterings from others not as thoroughly convinced of his godliness, it was probably about time that Akhim spew some amazing speech of “how dare you question a God, you mortal?”, toss out a convincing distraction, and then the two would escape while they were relatively ahead of the game.

Just as the younger boy opened his mouth, however, a high pitched voice in the audience cried out, “But-but he is a God! An' he c'n prove it, he'll bring the Sun back for us!” A wide eyed child that had squirmed her way through the mass of bodies and sharp elbows gripped at the hem of Nuri's robe and looked up into his eyes. “Ye'll bring it back, right?” she pleaded.

Oh, now that wasn't fair at all.

To avoid looking into those big, watering eyes, Nuri went back to studying the stars. He hoped if he looked contemplative enough, no one would realize he was trying to hide a guilty expression. Therefor, it just so happened that he was looking almost directly at that part of the sky when the sun reappeared.

As if a heavy cloth had just been whisked off, it burst into the full glory of day, banishing the stars faster than the crack of a whip. The sudden light blinded the unsuspecting people, some crying out with surprise and pain while rubbing their eyes.

If Akhim hadn't been as shocked as everyone else, he'd probably have taken advantage of the moment to drag Nuri away with the day's takings to hide. Instead they both just blinked up at the sky for a minute with everyone else. When Nuri finally looked down again, he saw many in the crowd had fallen to their knees, or were fervently praying before him.

Before the boys could think of what to do with this unexpected development, more indignant voices came from the other end of the plaza by the entrance.

“Hey! That's the costume we're using for our performance of “The Golden King's Curse of Greed” next festival!”

“You punks dare steal from my theater? I'll teach you a lesson!”

While the startled faithful looked towards the group of actors that had been passing by, scornful of how the foolish men had mistaken such an obvious divinity for a common thief, Akhim and Nuri leaped down from their pedestals, marble, Nuri noted appreciatively, and dashed off into the nearest alleyway. Akhim paused for a minute to pull the priest robe over his head so it wouldn't trip him up, and dumped it in the hands of a startled drunk.

“Happy Not-Apocalypse day!” Nuri called to him, tossing his own discarded robe in the man's direction, as they clambered up a drain to make good their escape across the roof tops. He kept the red scarf wrapped around his head though. It hid his ears well, and he liked the color.

* * *

:Somewhere among the stars:

“So you accidentally dropped Naida's urn on the Sun, and couldn't get it lit again.”

“Er, well, yes that is basically what happened.”

“Why did she let you have it to begin with?”

“Um, I kind of took it without asking her.”

“Right. And then when you got another eternal flame from Nuriel, why didn't you use it right away?”

“Well, I noticed something funny going on down there...”

“Funny how?”

“Just, funny. A couple of boys making those stuffy priests look like fools, and one of them was even named after Nuriel.”

“Uh huh. And why did you relight the Sun right when you did?”

“I just thought that guy could use a break.”

“If that's what you thought, then why did you send those actors by right afterwards?”

“I didn't think it would be good to let them think they could really get away with it!”

The older god stared at the fidgeting child god.

“Alright, I thought it would be funnier that way...”






User Comments: [1] [add]
Zephyr Whisper
Community Member
avatar
commentCommented on: Thu Oct 21, 2010 @ 04:33am
Nuri is the main character in a story I'm working on, and appears as a minor supporting character in a story my friend and I are collaborating on.
Akhim is his best friend, and again, my own character.
The city is my own creation, and is still in progress.
The world it takes place in is shared with my friend.
The Gods mentioned were just names thrown in for plot's sake and have nothing to do with anything so far.
This story itself isn't necessarily canon with the rest of events in this world.


User Comments: [1] [add]
 
 
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