Greetings, denizens of the future! We send you this message from the past, along with some valuable historical documents. In September of the year 2014 (how my faction of humans on this planet count time) a marvelous book called Seasons of Truth: Summer was released, and we’re happy to share it with you.
In your century, you probably know all about Seasons of Truth, but in ours the world is still discovering the amazing adventures of Carlos de Roja. Our previous transmissions included the first few chapters of this seminal work, and we’re happy to pass along the next installment for your reading pleasure.
Reading (and writing) about people with more-than-human abilities is a challenge sometimes. Not only do they have to be relatable, but the line between posthuman and full fantasy hero is a tricky one to walk. And when that protagonist is in (what we call) the past, even basic activities like long distance communication, instant recall of information, or an incredible facility with languages seem like miracles to the uninformed. Keeping a sense of wonder is key, as is a healthy dose of fear. A bunch of pitchfork wielding townspeople are all that prevented Dr. Frankenstein from being the most-respected scientist of his day.
That, and all the icky, creepy things he did inside that castle…
But I digress. Here’s the next transmission from our archives, and we look forward to discussing them with you when you visit. Any time now. We’re all waiting…
“I SAW EVERYTHING! IT WAS AMAZING, SIMPLY AMAZING!
“We were all packing away our stalls and carts, and some dark men grabbed Anne-Marie. We all wanted to help, but for some reason, none of us could move. There must have been at least six of them, all dark.
“Dark like Gypsies? We don’t like their kind, but I don’t think so. Their heads weren’t covered.
“Really? Jews? I didn’t know that. I thought, what with all the scarves…
“Sorry. Yes, dark like that. Like they were covered in shadow, like something was between them and a bright light.
“Anyway, these men were dragging her away, back into the corner. It was hard to make them out back there, almost like the sun set early just in that one spot. They must have knocked her out, because she weren’t screaming or kicking or making any fuss.
“Then, from around the corner, on the far side of the square, the monk came. He was running like the devil himself was on his heels, and he charged right into them.
“It happened so fast. Half of them ran away, but the ones that stayed attacked him with these long knives of theirs. It was still dark in that spot, but right around where he was I could see everything clear and sharp, like a white light was shining on him.
“No, now that I think about it, there were still shadows—I could just see him really clearly. And that was odd because he seemed to be the only one doing anything. I was trying to move, but all I could do was watch him.
“He was so fast. He disarmed the first man, threw him against the wall like he was a feather. Another came at him, and their blades flashed. I guess it was lighter over there than I thought, because the knives was rippling and shifting like the surface of a river.
“Oh, sorry. Yes, two men fighting him. They weren’t all that good. I seen a few knife fights in my life, enough to know that the monk was better than everyone else I ever seen. Lots better than the two fighting him. He must have been a soldier or something before, he was so good.
“Right, sorry. You’re right, I got no way of knowing about that, I was making that part up. But like I said, he was much better than other people I seen, and he didn’t shy away from any of their attacks. He just…he just…
“One went down almost right away, with a long, bloody cut on his arm. I think the monk said something then, but I couldn’t make it out.
“No, no I’m not thirsty, thank you. You should have seen him fight! He was down to one opponent now, and he danced and spun like an acrobat. All the while it looked like he were saying something—something that made the other man laugh. But then I saw he weren’t laughing, he were angry.
“Now that you say it, yes, it did seem like singing. I couldn’t make it out though…
“Yes, Yes, that’s it! Those were the words. What is…
“I never…I…oh, yes, the fighter. He went a little crazy, and started swinging wild at the monk, and it looked like he had an opening to really hurt him. But then he slipped, maybe on the blood. I didn’t think the first man was that badly hurt, but there was a lot of blood on the ground.
“Anyway, he went down hard. The monk stopped…singing, and he looked surprised. There was lots more blood now, but none of it seemed to touch the monk. He bent over the man, said something, and then moved his hand over him.
“Yes, like that, exactly like that! Then he bent over and picked something up. He took Anne-Marie over to her cart, and I think he said something to her. I couldn’t hear that either, but I saw her smile.
“We could move again then, and we rushed over to help. I lost track of him in the shuffle, but I remember what happened for sure. If you see your friend, let him know that we all appreciate everything he did for us. No-one’s had any trouble since then.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you knew him, from the way you were talking. I guess I was mistaken. Yes, yes, thank you. I feel a lot better now that I’ve talked to someone about it.”
For our readers in the 21st century, if you liked this chapter, you can preorder the book today at Amazon.com and Smashwords. Don’t be shy about telling your friends on social media sites, and since you’re already in a giving mood,