Short Stories, Tale Africa

A Son’s Betrayal (2)

By Samuel S. Bunnya, Uganda

Like a great white light, the great city of Ear-el revealed itself. Like a shinning beacon in the darkest night, the city The Great Father had created for his children stood tall amongst the clouds that filled the sky. Its massive towers seemed to touch the ends of the sky. The tall spires of the towers were connected together by great archways that looked like bridges. Through the windows, the silver light of the moon shone through as the silver orb started to climb into the skies. On the highest cloud that hovered over the city, Orhóvihir could see the great steeds of his kin. The mighty beasts floated like the birds down in Sedralours.

Those magnificent beasts were the jewel of the Great Father. Orhóvihir’s father had created them from the last embers of the darkness which he had replaced with his creation. They were mighty and powerful; filled with the rage and vastness of the great darkness. The greatest of those beasts was the steed of the Great Father. One day it would be his just like the throne of the Great Realm.

Something caught Orhóvihir’s eye. The reflection of the creature’s wings and scales made him realise that he had to become the Great Father. The true symbol of the Great Father was the mighty steed he rode when he accompanied the golden sun through the skies. Orhóvihir knew that when his time came, he would have to sit on the white steed and rule just like his father had done.

Why not now?

The greatest gift a father can give a son is the gift of possibility. When the father refuses to let go of the path he set for his son, then the son is left with no option. But sometimes the father has a clear plan. He sees something in the son who should take his place. He sees the lack of patience and true leadership. Even when others do not see it, the father does. It can be the only reason he refuses to let go of his throne. It was the only reason that Orhóvihir could think of. Did he lack in something that his father wanted him to have? Was he a poor leader? He did not have those answers. The only person who had the answers was the man on the throne of the heavens. And the Great Father never truly opened his mind and heart to Orhóvihir.

“If he did, then I am sure he would allow us to venture into Sedralours and reveal ourselves to men.”

But the Great Father had his reasons; reasons that Orhóvihir did not understand; reasons that were foolish as they were wise. The men in Sedralours needed the inhabitants of the Great Realm. It was his duty as the future Great Father to provide for the creation of his father. Even if it meant that he had to do something his kin would frown upon, Orhóvihir knew he had to do it so as to save the realms of men. Only the Great Father had the all-seeing power and understanding to answer all the silent wishes and prayers of those who did not know they were praying to the inhabitants of the Great Realm.

As the oldest of the thirteen children of the Great Father, Orhóvihir was intended on replacing the Great Father when the time came. He would rule the heavens, earth and underworld. It was his birth right. It was his and no other’s. His ambitions, dreams and desires would become the desires and wishes of the Great Realm.

“I have to do it now.”

Orhóvihir climbed the stone steps and walked through Ear-el. He ignored the adoring glances he received from some of the inhabitants. Aside from the Great Father and his kin, the rest of the inhabitants were lowly creatures. They were greater than the men on Sedralours, but still far inferior to the thirteen children of the Great Father. They were just the companions and friends to the Great Family of the Great Realm. Many of the men in Sedralours were lowly imitations of the men that frolicked around him.

Orhóvihir felt the slight surge of energy run through his veins. He had felt it for centuries; from the very first time he had visited Sedralours and introduced the idea of the Great Realm to those of the Elder Race. Since that moment he had started to feel something strange in varying moments. He would feel energised and loved. He would feel adored and worshiped; something that made him more powerful.

None of the others felt it. If they did, they had not mentioned it. Orhóvihir let out a gentle sigh as he climbed higher into the vast reaches of Ear-el. None of his siblings was in the lower reaches. As he climbed, he noticed that his kin were nowhere to be seen. It was strange but Orhóvihir ignored the feeling of foreboding that touched his heart. He let the strange feeling flow through his veins and wash away the doubt.

“I can do this,” he whispered as he reached the Heavenly Gates.

He stared at the doorway to the clouds. It was said that only the Great Father or Orhóvihir could enter without alerting the Watcher in the clouds. Orhóvihir had never tested that theory. The only time he had been to the great cloud was when he was with his father. Since then, Orhóvihir had never dared. The steeds had always come down from the clouds for them to mount if they wished to accompany the great Father through the sky.

“You can do this.” The fierce energy coursing through his veins made him ignore the fear.

He took one step into the doorway. A strange whirlwind surrounded him as he brought his other foot through the doorway. Orhóvihir raised his hands to cover his eyes as a dense fog came at him. He could hear strange voices in the fog. Stranger still was the pain that seemed to weigh down his limbs as he tried to take another step further into the clouds. It had not happened the last time he had entered the great cloud with his father.

“You must go back Orhóvihir son of the Great Father.” A strange voice rung through his ears.

“I cannot,” Orhóvihir said.

“The time for you to be master of all has not come,” the voice warned.

“Then when will my time come?” Orhóvihir demanded.

“It will come if I deem it so.” “

Orhóvihir was pushed back through the doorway. He landed flat on his back staring up towards the great cloud. He blinked twice and tried to get onto his feet. He felt a strange force holding him down. Orhóvihir did not understand what was happening. The power that was coursing through him seemed to bring Orhóvihir’s emotions closer to the surface. He tried to et to his feet, but the force that held him down seemed to increase. Orhóvihir understood the essence of the force as it increased. He had seen it used on the creatures of darkness that had been there before Sedralours. He had seen the Great Father hold down the creatures of darkness as Orhóvihir and his siblings fought them off.

“Father,” Orhóvihir gasped. He could not believe it.

“You are too impatient to be the Great Father.”

Something inside of Orhóvihir snapped. “And you are too backward to remain the Great Father,” Orhóvihir snapped.

He felt the force holding him down begin to fade away. Orhóvihir took the chance and got to his feet quickly. He turned and glared at his father who stood in the doorway to the clouds. The great Father’s face was filled with a range of emotions. His thick brows were furrowed in pain and confusion. Orhóvihir saw the sadness finally consume his father’s face as the Great Father finally looked him in the eye.

“You cannot be the Great Father,” Orhóvihir’s father whispered.

Orhóvihir had not expected that. “What do you mean by that?”

“You cannot take my place when the time comes,” the Great Father repeated.

“Why?” Orhóvihir took a step towards his father.

“You want many dangerous things Orhóvihir.” His father’s face was clouded by sadness. All the lines of age and exhaustion were visible on the Great Father’s face. “You do not see the folly of your ways, my son. All you want to do is liberate creation – but liberate them from what – I do not know.”

“I want to liberate them from their backwardness,” Orhóvihir growled. He had had enough of his father’s continued arguments. “For centuries I have watched them evolve slowly. They can evolve into something more father. They need the guidance of our Great Realm to evolve into the potential that you gave them.”

“How would such a world be Orhóvihir?” the Great Father asked.

“We would live together with them,” Orhóvihir said. He had thought about his vision for creation for centuries. “They would see us as their betters and aspire to be like us. The me down there would seek our counsel, our guidance and our blessings. We would give them the gifts which you have denied them for so long, father. With those gifts both realms will prosper.”

“And who will lead both realms?” the Great Father asked.

“Who better than us father?” Orhóvihir demanded.

“You want to turn yourself and your kin into gods,” the Great Father spat.

“Aren’t we gods already?” Orhóvihir asked. “The Elder Race of men look towards the skies. They seek answers to questions. If you listened to them speak, you would know that I am right.”

“How would you know that the Elder Race seek such answers?” the Great Father demanded. His voice was alarmed. Orhóvihir remained silent. “Orhóvihir I demand to know how you know what the Elder Race are thinking.”

“I observe father,” Orhóvihir lied. “Did you not find me along the cliffs looking down at your creation.”

“Staring beyond the veil would not make you know what the Elder Race is thinking,” the Great Father said. There was an enraged edge to his voice. “The veil allows us to see them, but not to know what is in their heads.”

“I have told you father, I only observed.” Orhóvihir could not help the smile that formed at the corners of his lips. “Over the years my power has increased and I can know what they think.”

“It is impossible.” The Great Father growled. “I created the veil and know its limitations.”

“Then indeed you are an old fool if you think your creations would not evolve into more intricate and confusing things.” Orhóvihir had gathered some confidence. Something told him he could make his father see the sense in his ways. “It is the duty of a son to surpass his father.”

“What are you saying?” the Great Father demanded as he took a step towards Orhóvihir.

Orhóvihir spread his hands out. “I know that the Elder Race seek our guidance. If they seek it out, what of the lesser races of men – the Ice Men, the Varyyin, the Eradians, the Syberians, the Uthurkul and so many more – don’t you think that they will reach the enlightenment of the Elder Race and demand answers from the heavens?”

“But they have not!”

“They have.” Orhóvihir grabbed his father’s shoulders. “Are you so blind that you can hardly see a thing?”

“I am not blind my son,” the Great Father said as he brushed off Orhóvihir’s hands. “I am the Great Father and I know the folly of your vision.”

“How can you know its folly if you have never seen it,” Orhóvihir sneered.

“I am the Great Father. I created you and all that you wish to rule.” Orhóvihir suddenly became frightened of his father as the Great Father’s visage changed. “You think I am weak for letting creation reach its potential on its own. You think I am weak for not revealing our existence to those we created. You think I am weak for keeping you, your siblings and the rest of the Great Realm’s people this side of the veil. You think I am weak because I do not wish to see the possibility of one of your mother’s dreams come to fruition.

“My son, I have never been weak. I am wise beyond your comprehension. I am the Great Father and that makes me the master of creation. Before me, there was nothing but darkness. Even this so-called Great Realm you wish to present to man was nothing. It was by my sheer force of will that I created the Lute of creation. It was by my desire that your mother came to be. It was by my love that you, your brothers and your sisters came to be – and it is that same love which does not make me throw you into Aeukathaer.”

Orhóvihir’s anger rose as his father mentioned the realm of death. The Great Father had forbidden anyone from the Great Realm going there. Only he ventured that far. Only he saw what was beyond Sedralours. Only he knew what was in the perpetual darkness of the realm of death. Aeukathaer was a place of desolation and despair. Orhóvihir had only heard stories from his father about how nothing but emptiness existed there. The Great Father had told him once that Aeukathaer was home to nothing but an empty void of darkness.

“You would throw me there?”

“If I must, I will.” The Great Father’s eyes crackled and blazed with lightening. His robes shone brighter than the sun in its glory. His sinewy arms pulsed with the rage of a thousand years of existence. Orhóvihir saw it in his father’s eyes. The Great Father was ready to prevent the vision Orhóvihir wanted for creation. “You do not know what I have sacrificed just for you to think you can go against my wishes.”

Using Aeukathaer to threaten Orhóvihir meant that his father was ready to defend his wishes for his creation. “You have been the Great Father for thousand of years. The time has come for you to allow us to bring forth a new age; an age where man and the Great Realm live together in harmony. The time for this age of false darkness to end has come, father.”

“As long as I am the Great Father,” his father warned, “your vision will never be realised Orhóvihir.”

Orhóvihir drew to his full height. He glowered at his father. He did not understand the hatred that filled his heart as he looked at the Great Father. Orhóvihir wanted everything that was meant to be his. He was tired of waiting for his father to consider him and his vision worthy. From what Orhóvihir could see, the Great Father would never consider Orhóvihir’s vision. Orhóvihir had to take it by sheer force of will.

“Forgive me father.” Orhóvihir closed his eyes and gathered all the power he knew he held inside. We will never agree and as long as we never agree, you will never allow creation to reach its full potential. “If I must defeat you, then I will.”

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