• Kelly Blanchard

Zethar and Simulo talk along the way

After the siblings, Vorkalex and Jonatia, had met Zethar at the border of Anicoce, Simulo watched as the three of them shared a goodbye. It was unusual. He was used to everyone else outliving his own people, but now he was watching the remnants of a family say farewell, knowing this would be the last time they saw each other. Along the way here, Zethar had explained the situation to Simulo and told him, “We will take the rain seeds from them and go into Anicoce alone. They will return home, and they will undoubtedly be apprehended and interrogated until finally they are executed. We must go on.”

“Why do they not come with us?” Simulo had asked, and Zethar shook his head.

“The less people know of the actual whereabouts of the rain seeds, the safer the seeds will be. This is how things must be done.” And that was all Zethar said.

Now, observing the Kalbans share a tight hug and a handshake before finally going their separate ways, Simulo saw how troubled Zethar was as he walked to the wagon that Volkalex and Jonatia had given them. Simulo and Zethar had traded with them their horses, so the siblings could return home, but Simulo still didn’t understand why they couldn’t have accompanied them.

Zethar saw the question on Simulo’s face, and he lifted his hand. “Just…let it go. Let them go.” He climbed onto the wagon beside Simulo and seized the reins. “This is difficult enough as it is.”

Simulo closed his mouth from the question he was about to ask, and he nodded at Zethar. Then the two rode in silence.

They passed beyond the border of Anicoce, and nothing seemed different. Simulo wondered why people feared this land so much. All he saw was desert spread out before him.

This made him remember what Zethar had confided in him about their task, and Simulo found he could not remain silent any longer.

“Is it right for your clan to punish the rest of the world for their desire to obtain a rain seed?” Simulo shot Zethar a look.

Zethar sighed and slumped his shoulders forward. He really didn’t want to deal with this right now. He had had a hard enough time as it was already trying to justify his family’s reasoning. “The governments of this world have determined it is their right to make it rain or to withhold rain. They don’t like when there are any extraordinary powers out of their control, but this is something they cannot have.” He shook his head. “My family was given the rain seeds from the Crephen, Rithadex, with the command to spread rain upon all the face of the earth until the greed of nations cause the rain to stop. That time is now, and so the rains must stop. This is the command of our Crephen, and it must be done. Until another greater power comes, this world will know drought and desolation—the price for them reaching beyond their station.” Zethar set his stony gaze ahead as he clenched the reins in his hands. “This must be done.”

Simulo fell silent beside Zethar. He always envied the longevity of other men in this world, but now that he interacted with them on a regular basis, he saw the conflict their long life brought them. “You have more time to cause more problems,” Simulo’s abrupt statement caught Zethar off guard.

The Kalban shot the Jealatian a look. “Excuse me?”

Simulo nodded. “Because your kind have such a long life, you have the ability to create more problems with the idea of resolving them all before you die.”

Zethar laughed at this notion, and then he shook his head. “Oh, we don’t resolve them all.”

“What do you mean?” Simulo furrowed his brows. “Among the Jealatians, any troubles that are caused must be resolved prior to the person’s death for any real resolution. If they die before the problem has been resolved, the issue ceases to exist. It is not inherited by their children.”

Upon hearing this, Zethar sighed, trying to wrap his mind around the simplistic way of the

Jealatian. He wasn’t sure how to explain the rest of mankind of Simulo. “Unlike your people, we don’t know then we are going to die. It can be today, tonight, tomorrow, or years down the road. A child may die, or a man may live to be a hundred. We have no idea when we will die, and we often live as though we will never die. So we make mistakes. We cause problems we can never hope to resolve. Greed gets in the way, and the children of the family are forced to inherit the problems. We do not always leave a better future for our children because we can never get our life in order. It doesn’t mean it is right. It’s just…the way it happens.” Then Zethar looked across at Simulo. “Count your short life a blessing. You know when you will die, and you must live the fullest before then. I’m a bit envious, if I’m honest, but we must all deal with the hand given to us, mustn’t we? And this…this is what I have to do.”

Simulo nodded and fell silent. Zethar’s way of thinking was perplexing to him, so he didn’t know how to respond. He didn’t understand how the greater world could create a future that was detrimental for their own children. Didn’t they realize that their children was their future? What would happen if something occurred that they could not reverse? Simulo supposed that was what was actually happening now. Hiding the rain seeds with the Anicocinas would mark the beginning of the end of the world that now existed. Only time would tell how everything would unfold.

© 2019 Kelly Blanchard


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