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Story 

The Rose Collector

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Story Rating   5  with 6 vote(s)
By UrbanPsychopath Send DollMail
Created: 2011-06-17 20:56:41 All stories by UrbanPsychopath
AN: Shouldn't really post this until I have the whole story planned out, but whatever. It seems so popular I thought I'd give you a bit more.

I have up to chapter five planned aha.

/Italics/

Yaniu - yah-nee-u

Uniss - oo-niss

Nae'num-Na-eh-num

Alyence- Aly-en-s

Tenaela - ten-aye-la

The 'ae' sound is different in the name because they come from different countries.

Enjoy.

-----------------

Chapter one:

-

/“Years ago, when the Earth was still young in its life, there was a man called Yaniu, son of the God Uniss – Creator of the world, who wandered the ground of His masters’ beloved creation before settling in the East. He watched with the pride of any sibling, as the people grew and loved and cared around him. But, he also grew discontent. As he wandered in the name of his Gods’, he watched as the others around him found lovers, bore children and grew old with their family. Yaniu had no such beauty in his life. He had no lover to warm his bed and his heart and bear him children.

“He had no family except from his Heavenly father, who was beyond him.

“This thought made him unhappy – he wished for the same joy his siblings possessed and so, with this new conquest in his mind, Yaniu now walked the Earth with a purpose.

“First he visited the south, where the dark people dwelled. It was a dry land. The sun would beat each and every hour of the day, crisping the grass into a brown in some areas. The people of the land were bronzed from the long days under the sun, and wore little – simple, tan loincloths made from the hide of the animals, strange, beautiful ornaments on their bodies, quéer metals pierced through flesh.

“He stayed here; spoke with the countrymen of his troubles. Those countrymen took pity on the obviously lonely man, and so offered him a bride from the collection of healthy, youthful females. He chose, in the end, a beautiful dark skinned woman named Nae’num. She had long dark hair braided to her waist, dark wide eyes and metal shot through her nose, her lip, her stomach. And she spoke to him in their strange language; she offered herself, willing to honour the request of her elders and the blessing of Yaniu’s father.

“Delighted, the young demigod took her into his arms and that night was spent in love and intimacy. She left with him the next day with a child in her belly.

“But she wasn’t enough. Still, Yaniu’s didn’t feel wholly loved and content. And so he and Nae’num travelled to the Northern countries. There he found the delight of snow, white and glistening, and the pair stayed in a village there. They wrapped Nae’num in thick furs to protect her from the cold. They were so vastly different form his first wife – their skin was white as ice and eyes light and pastel. Their language was harsher, their bodies thin and willowy rather than curvy and shaped. They had no body decor, none of the piercings or inks of the south.

“He fell in love with the daughter of the man who sheltered them, Alyence she was called, and the father honoured the man and the blessings of Yaniu’s father and offered her to him. Happily Yaniu accepted and they shared a bed that evening, with Nae’nums’ consent ,and the sweet Alyence too left her homeland with child.

“But still, even the affections of Nae’num and Alyence were not enough to fulfil the need he had to be loved. When they returned to his home, he went to the forest and prayed to his father. “Why, father, why can I not feel fulfilled?”

“And came unto him a beautiful woman, whose hair was red as spilt blood and skin a strange, warm peach so different from the bronze of Nae’num and the lily of Alyence. She crumbled to his feet, breathless and afraid.

“Please,” she begged. “I have come from the Western countries and have nowhere to go.” Her amber eyes burned like the blaze of passion within his loins for her.

“I will help you,” he bid. “If you become my wife.” She readily agreed, and with the blessing of his first wives, he gave into his desires that night and she too fell heavy with his seed.

“When the children were born, the mothers and Yaniu were happiest they had ever been. Yaniu finally felt content with his three wives and three, healthy sons. That night, however, it was to be seen that his children would be special, blessed by his father with godlike powers.

“Your children, my son, have been blessed with a duty from their God. As we have brought life, your sons shall take them, for forever there must be balance between life and death.”

“Nae’num was the first to step forward with her son, black as night, and smiled. “My son will go to those violence bid to take and bring them comfort.”

“Alyence was next, with her son as white as snow and smiled, also. “My son will go to those nature bid to take and bring them peace.”

“And finally, so stepped forward Tenaela, with her son as red as a sunset and smiled too. “My son will go to those accident bid to take and bring them clarity.”

“With this decided, Yaniu’s smiled and held his arms open to his father. “And so it is done,” he declared, “the agents for balance have been created, as you so commanded.”

“And his father replied, “I am content.”/

A sigh circled around the quiet room just after a small, childish sniffle of a slumbering youth. The covers shifted as Kai Michaels, the teenage boy who had been reciting the well-known story, moved a little. His backend was a little numb from sitting for so long in one position, but he dared not disturb his younger sister just yet.

She was a petite little thing, pretty blonde hair she refused to cut splayed over his chest where his rested, her eyes having followed the words on the book with little more than the most basic understand before her eyelashes grew to heavy and her breathing evened out. Absently, she stroked his sister hair as she wriggled a little beneath the colours and huffed out a breath.

“I think you enjoy those tales more than she does.” Kai looked up from his distant study of his young sister to meet the gaze of his other sibling. The faint glow of the lamp beside the bed was just enough to read by, doused the girl in shadow, even with the bright, disturbing light of the busy hallway beyond, but he knew her face and voice well enough.

“They interest me,” he answered simply, returning to watch the near hypnotic movement of his hand. “It’s interesting how they differ from region to region, like that southern one I just read. They always say Nae’num was the first wife.”

Kathy had eased the door shut by then, her boots tapping rhythmically towards the sofa at the base of the bed. She knelt upon it and watched her brother with a fond smile. “You have passed your fascination onto her, you know. Alice has the same thirst for knowledge as you.” Her tone was wistful.

Kai chuckled. “I know.” Silence reigned upon them, each of the older siblings watching the third sleep so peacefully. Today had been a good day. The young Alice had been in high spirits, the pain near non-existent. Bound to the hospital bed was no real life for the girl, but bound she was. She had a crippling disease, a fatal one. Slowly her bones were and muscles were being eaten away by foreign bacteria. It hindered her movement, her breathing, her heartbeat. Soon, it would travel to her brain the sweet little Alice they had loved for seven years would disappear into a dribbling mess until she finally passed.

Even now there was symptoms of it having progressed that far – she forgot things after being told, she became dazed easily and sometimes would just sit and stare mindlessly, her eyes frightening vacant.

It was a painful, unstoppable disease. And for three years, her doting siblings had watched her decay.

Kai tightened his grip on the girl slightly, as if his possessive, loving touch alone would somehow keep her anchored, would work against the dark forces stirring in her veins and heal her.

But there would be no such luck. Even with the wondrous creations around them, some diseases were just not curable. Kai sighed, carefully lifting his sister head from his chest to the pillow below. She mumbled something and stirred. Those stunning blue eyes that so resembled their mother stared blearily into the semi-darkness.

“Sorry, did I wake you?” Kai sat up a bit straighter and twisted his body to look at her – so fragile, like a doll, in the bed beside him. Slowly, the young girl shook her head, wincing at the pain before her face smoothed over with a small, sleepy smile.

“Not really.” She continued to gaze up at her brother – the minutes stretched and Kai, growing concerned shook her shoulder gently to rouse her. She blinks. “Kai? Kai, read me a story. That southern one I like, where Yaniu is all lonely.”

Kai bit his lip and closed his eyes. “Baby, I just read that to you...” His throat felt thick with sorrow, unshed tears threatening to choke him even as he swallowed. “But tomorrow night I’ll read you it, okay?”

The tiny girl beams, before growing contemplative. “Kai?” the boy made a noise in his throat. “I’m sick. That’s something to do with nature, right? So will I get to see a white Rose Collector soon?” Kai stiffened, his teeth gritted against her words – a poor protection from a breaking question.

He shook his head. “No, Alice, you aren’t going to be seeing any Collector for quite some time.”

She smiled and nodded. “Yes, but when I do, it’ll be white, right?”

Kai closes his eyes once more against the burn there. “Yes, sweetie, you will see a white Rose Collector. If there is any justice in the world we will all see a white Collector.” He leant down and kissed her forehead. “Sleep my little angel; you’ve had a long day.” She nods that slow, aching nod once more that just broke Kai’s heart and settled down. The two remaining conscious siblings stayed quiet until the breathing steadied.

One last soothing touch to her hair and Kai stepped away from the bed. It was a usual hospital bed, with a hard, uncomfortable mattress and dull blue bedding that had instantly raised Alice’s ire. She had demanded of the nurses that her own covers be placed on the bed immediately; else she would take her business elsewhere.

Ever since then she had been a hospital favourite – it would not just be her siblings who would mourn the loss. And that had stricken Kai – that liveliness she still possessed, that willingness to teach and be taught. The way she grinned through life even as the disease pained her, and a small part of him is glad that she is young – in the fact that an adult would’ve taken the news with a quieter acceptance than her brightness.

She was not dim, as told by the question before, she knew her time was short, but she still faced each day with that blinding, angelic smile and a tiny part of Kai was glad she would never grow to lose that innocence. But that voice was largely drowned by the sorrow that pulsed through his veins like a living thing at the mere hint of her passing.

He rubs a hand over his eyes for a second, feeling Kathy’s eyes watching him from her post before he composed himself. “Come on,” he said, switching off the lamp. “We both need some sleep.”

He didn’t see the girl nod as he had swept past her and was out of the door in second. The room had become stifling in the darkness. He struggled to control his breathing through the swelling emotion in his chest like a deadly, crushing weight. Behind him, he dimly heard the door slide shut.

He kept his eyes shut, the blinding whiteness of the corridor was just as choking as the darkness of the room. All around him he heard the voices of patients and nurses, doctors and visitors. Children giggled somewhere to his left and an occupied wheelchair just passed him; he could hear the squeak of the wheels against the linoleum flooring and the talk of the nurse pushing. There was a rustle of paper, a too loud laugh as two doctors or nurses rounded the corner and skirted past him. He felt the rush of air as they did so, the fleeting sense of warmth from foreign bodies and the faint smell of human perspiration.

He jerked in surprise when there was a palm pressed to his back. “She’s not going to die,” Kathy commented fiercely, trustingly. As if she knew something he didn’t – which was a foolish thought. They knew nothing, there were no hidden aces in these situations, only the cold slice of truth, the flick of the joker card, because poisoning a child in some way must be a sick, cosmic joke.

But her determination, the force of those words was warming. Helpful. They flowed through his veins soothing the burn of shame and guilt and sorrow into dust. He opened his eyes, squinting a bit in the brightness as he turned to face his sister. She stared up at him, only an inch or so difference in their heights, brown eyes hard as mahogany and glinting.

“You’re afraid,” she observed, still studying his eyes intensely. “She will not die, Kailen. We will not let her. Not us, we have lost far too much already.” She drew him into a comforting embrace, arms tucked under his armpits as he wrapped his around her shoulders. He rested his forehead at the juncture of her shoulder and throat, the position a little awkward due to the height difference, but her presence and her strength settled him and he nodded against her.

“Have a little faith, brother,” she whispered, before she gently removed herself from his hold. He smiled at her, a small, grateful twist of the lips that warmed her heart. Always had Kai carried far too much on his shoulders, like Atlas supporting the world.

“You worry far too much.” She dropped a kiss on his cheek before she turns and Kai was left watching her figure retreat down the white lit hall, dodging nurses and waving to the patients who knew them far too well. When she disappeared from his view, Kai relaxed against the wall just beside his sisters’ room.

The hospital was a flurry of life, which always came a bit of a surprise considering the percentage that ended up dying within these walls. Another strange thing was that Kai had never seen another Rose Collector here. After his encounter at the age of nine, Kai had become almost unhealthily interested in all things related to the Rose Collectors. He collected books on the various legends of the world that concerned the ethereal, mysterious creatures and read them religiously. He studied every aspect, spoke to scholars at his school that had even the smallest insight to the area and gathered all information that he could.

The only consistencies between the legends were the three womens’ names, Yaniu and the sons’ colour and duty. Who the women were where they came from and their relation to each other varied greatly. Some legends told of violence and wars between the jealous women and the tired, weary Yaniu who abandoned them to their pettiness and took his sons to heaven with him – their mothers’ lingered still on the plains of earth. Others where like the one he had read earlier in the evening to Alice, stories that spoke of a harmony and love, however, seemingly selfish Yaniu’s want seemed to be.

There were but a few that made no mention of Gods and deities and instead made the assumption that they were simply another species of humans, a branch off from somewhere in their development millions of years ago, but it was a widely discredited theory. This was a world of religion, not science – because science could not explain the rose-soul, or the shimmering into nothingness nor the other strange, unnatural things around them.

Science was faulty. Faith was perfect.

Even Kai himself had beliefs. He did not necessarily believe in the mothers’ and Yaniu, but he believed the Collectors to be some deity of some kind – a sign of a greater being playing the omniscient puppeteer, or that even they themselves were such a commander.

He had expected to see them around the hospital, had anticipated his first sighting of a White or even a Red collector, but that had been foolish. They were not creatures to parade the halls, waving many a collected soul like a cheap roadside flower seller. They were dignified creatures who got the job done quietly, slipping into the room and leaving just as silently.

But he had held out hope.

A doctor – a kindly woman only a few years his senior named Mary – rounded the corner, brow furrowed as she flicked through a chart pinned to a clip board. She huffed a little, glancing up to check her way before spotting Kai. The nineteen-year-old pushes away from the wall to greet her.

“You know, visiting hours are about to end.” Her tone is stern but her eyes a soft grey. “I should be shooing you out.”

“You should,” Kai agreed even as he smiled. He and Kathy were all Alice had; the only time a newer nurse may be inclined to force one of them out was if the other was present. “But Kathy has gone home.”

The woman smiled softly. “Aye. But even then I wouldn’t shoo you two out. She needs all the company she needs.” She nods her dyed head to the window, through which his sister lay slumbering peacefully.

“How is she, Doc? And no sugar coating.”

“The same as before, Kai, I told you when you first turned up. The disease progresses a little more every day. I cannot give you the answer you want, and I never will.” Her hand squeezes his shoulder in comfort, the warmth bleeding through his shirt to his skin. A fleeting ghost of inappropriate attraction and a twitch of a libido he has barely ignited shot through his vein but it died easily and Kai nodded.

“I know. But, one can never stop hoping can they?”

Mary shook her head, and squeezed one more time before withdrawing. “If they do perhaps it is time for them to get look at by a doctor. Hope makes us human, separates us from the Collectors and things like them.”

Kai didn’t reply, just smiled at her before bidding her a good night. He then turned around and slipped back into his sisters’ hospital room. With a practiced ease, the teen boy navigated the room to kiss his sister’s forehead, smoothing the frown there, before he dropped gracelessly on the sofa and fell into a restless sleep full of weird dreams and an ever-present fear.
  

Member Comments  
Comments Page:  1  /  2  /  >    
Rowling_on_a_R

104/Female
Antarctica
All My Stories
Posted On: June 18, 2011
I love this, Toni. It's like a fairytale, only all dark and mysterious and wonderful... ahhh it was great XD

--Em

PS- Brutie, you made me lol XD
LyingNaked

21/Female
Australia
All My Stories
Posted On: June 18, 2011
Wow.

You're awesome.

Peggie. xox
Original_scree

22/Female
Zionsville, IN
All My Stories
Posted On: June 18, 2011
This was brilliant. I need to get my thesaurus out to figure out what words to say after I read your stories. I feel a bit repetîtive just saying "awesome" and "amazing" and "great and "SuperSpecialFantastiCool" (Okay, made that last one up, but I would and do feel silly for saying it. XD)

SuperSpecialFantastiCool. (I wanted to type it again cause it's fun) I'll use a better word next time. But I love this and you. ^__^

Debbie

McPopsicle

103/Female
Longview, TX
All My Stories
Posted On: June 17, 2011
ATEEE MY FREAKING COMMENTTT
McPopsicle

103/Female
Longview, TX
All My Stories
Posted On: June 17, 2011
This was freaking amazing
LeeWolf10

20/Female
Romania
All My Stories
Posted On: June 17, 2011
...Brutie, your name is now McBrilliant. Sabrina was so right to tell me that.

~*Lee*~
brutusdog

24/Female
United Kingdom
All My Stories
Posted On: June 17, 2011
'Course she is a crappy writer, being a good writer requires the ability to copy and paste another person's words, right? We should all truly bow down to this child's wisdom, for she is the chosen one.

Brutie
brutusdog

24/Female
United Kingdom
All My Stories
Posted On: June 17, 2011
I loved it! BAH! So much!

I love the way this chapter opened so much I want to faint with joy. It was just so perfect. If only TDP allowed italics. *Shakes fist*. I want to hug Kai so tight his eyes pop out.

Anyway, once again, I am amazed by your writing. (: I think I will go back and read it again. XD I'm such a creeper.

Brutie
UrbanPsychopat

21/Male
Yemen
All My Stories
Posted On: June 17, 2011
*Sigh* I do miss her.
awardwinningau

18/Female
Liechtenstein
All My Stories
Posted On: June 17, 2011
Pathetic said that all the time, too! I'm being all reminiscent now...

*Erin*
LeeWolf10

20/Female
Romania
All My Stories
Posted On: June 17, 2011
Like you could do better, Alyssa?

Please.

~*Lee*~
UrbanPsychopat

21/Male
Yemen
All My Stories
Posted On: June 17, 2011
Thanks sweetcheeks, I'll keep that in mind :]
Alyssa_IcexBur

22/Female
CA
All My Stories
Posted On: June 17, 2011
You're a crappy writer.

Just saying.
LeeWolf10

20/Female
Romania
All My Stories
Posted On: June 17, 2011
*sniffles* TONI WRITING. HOW I LOVE IT.

There are just NEVER ANY WORDS to describe how much I love your writing and you.

~*Lee*~
UrbanPsychopat

21/Male
Yemen
All My Stories
Posted On: June 17, 2011
Thanks :]
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