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The Unending Issues of Me
My issues and rants. You probably will not want to bother yourself with my boring problems that I overreact to.
Story #2- Rutilus Pomum
Mind you, this story isn't really about a particular person or particular events, it's about an apple. There isn't a main character, if anything, that would be the apple. So just, don't be complaining about things related to that.

But I hope you enjoy it. My inspiration was an avatar I made of who ends up being Sericine on the river.


Rutilus Pomum



As the Legend had it, an apple of golden flesh slipped from the hands of a god and fell to the human world. The God was stripped of his powers, becoming a servant to other Gods for his stupidity, and was unable to travel to Earth. Thus, the apple remained in perfection, resting somewhere within the grasp of humans.

It was said that the golden apple had mystic abilities; whoever ate the apple would gain power and wealth beyond his comprehension. But whoever was able to return the fruit to the Gods would become one himself for his altruism. And the pursuit began....


Every earthly power or affluent mortal sent servants and hired peons to find the treasured apple. Each corner, crevice, and fissure of the world was searched with no prevail. The apple remained obscured from sight for fifty years. People ceased searching. It was assumed that the apple was only a story, and as the years passed, the humans laughed at themselves for spending so much time on something that didn't exist.

But after those fifty years, a poor and loyal farmer in the Kingdom of Caelyseiden requested a drink from his young son as he lay decrepit in his bed. The son, of only five years, ran outside to a well. On the large farm were four wells; only the newest had long since dried up its supply of clean water, leaving only muddy dregs.
Nevertheless, a recent rain had filled up each of the wells with dirty water.

Unknowingly, son ran to the nearest (and oldest) one, lowering the pail deep into the water. He unlatched the pail and dragged it back to his home. The father looked into the pail of foggy, brown water and shook his head, telling the son to dump the water and retrieve some from a cleaner well. Outside, the son pushed over the bucket and out poured the water, along with it, a shimmering apple with a skin of bright gold.

When the father saw the apple his son had brought to him he sent for a neighbour. Wrapping the apple tightly in rags and thread, he gave it to the neighbour, instructing him to take his horse and ride to the palace, giving the apple to the King and nobody else and tell the King to send his vessels to the shrine at the end of the River Agorinne, asking only to give the poor farmer's health back in return. The farmer warned, "Do not open this package along the way, lest ye be captured and murdered for its contents." The neighbour agreed and took the package, hastily riding to the city, unknowing of the contents.

As the package arrived in the Palace of Caelyseiden, the neighbour put forth all his efforts to meet the King in person, but triumph. The palace guards pushed him back, stealing away the dilapidated fabric that encased the mythic fruit. The paltry thread it had been tied with snapped and the apple fell from their hands, rolling, unbruised, across the chateau grounds.

All those in the Palace square saw the apple, stared in awe in a moment. As the legend had been forgotten about amongst many but the rich and greedy that still yearned for it, many did not know what power it held and did nothing. But the neighbour, who had been a young boy at the time it was lost, dashed forward and snatched the apple. The guards ran after him, stealing the apple away, claiming that it was property of the King as it was to be given to him in the start. The man gave up the piece, in fear of his life and returned home, bearing the bad news to the old farmer who had no choice but to return to his life, hoping the best would come from the benevolent king.

The guards sent the apple to the king, no sooner than rumours spread and the legend rekindled. King Demetrus, the kindly ruler of Caelyseiden, arranged for the apple to be placed at the shrine so that the Gods could pass down and retrieve it, giving in return Godhood. But as notoriety spread across the many Kingdoms of the Earth the apple was coveted by everyone once again. Especially the enemies of King Demetrus.

The ruler of the Kingdom Seracle, King Espilus, sent his armies across the Agorinne River to retrieve the pome from his revered enemy as King Demetrus sent away for his strongest naval ship, which was out at sea. Demetrus guarded the apple as chiefly as he could. But Espilus sent in army after army to raid the Palace of Caelyseiden and Demetrus hadn't the choice but to acquiesce to the demands of Espilus.

Though before he did, he took the apple and sent for his wife and daughter. He instructed his wife to dress their daughter, Serinice, in serf's clothing and hide the apple on her, sending her away to a place she could hide. Serinice was stripped of her beautiful, laced clothes and exquisite jewels, only to be left bundled in layers of shoddy, threadbare peasant clothing. The apple was hid between the tiers of her garments.

But before her parents could tell her where to hide, the soldiers of Seracle invaded the castle. She slipped away through another door and ran as fast as she could towards the exit. However, the palace was surrounded. She fell to her knees, begging to be freed. She only wanted to go home to her mother, a poor maid working for a lord in the valley, she plead. Serinice clung to the leg of a soldier; never had she acted with such demeaning manners.

The soldier tried to shake her off, but could not, her grip strong. He unsheathed his sword, and she quickly crawled back in fear for life. Up from the ground where she lay curled he pulled her. Staring at her teary face, he slit her across the eye for her crying and pushed her through the line of conscripts into the city. The princess ran until her heart beat arrhythmically and her legs could not be felt anymore.

Across her face the blood had long since dried. But the pain was sovereign over any of her feelings or thoughts except the echoing in her head of her mother's screams that had echoed from the large palace as Serinice fled. Collapsed, Serinice rolled over, looking back from the edge of the city, grieving. Her heart raced and she had not the slightest strength left in her. She drifted into a slumber across the earth where the city ended and left behind her was the long stretch to the Agorinne and Seracle.

As consciousness came over her, she heard the sound of distant screams and carts being pulled across the grass and rough paths around her. She open her functional eye and looked about. In the distance, where the golden and greyish tips of her home could once be seen was only fire and black smoke. Closer to the horizon she saw that the whole city was burning, everything had been destroyed. Serinice assumed it had been to conquer the city as the apple could not be found. Her parents were surely dead and the whole kingdom was in frenzy.

And around her, citizens of Caelyseiden pulled carts of possessions around them, fleeing the burning persecution. Others still absconded in the distance, holding children tight and running to a shelter that didn't exist. Serinice pressed her hand to the area where the apple had been hidden and pushed herself up. It was nearly evening now. Darkness could cover her tracks if anyone was looking for her.

She followed those around her to the small harbour at the river, quickly hunting for a boat to take her anywhere. She just need one that wasn't full or already down the river. Only a few meters away she caught a glimpse of one ship. A small thing, only large enough for one, and very old. Leaping towards it she wondered if it was even in well enough embodiment to hold her.

She crawled into it and pushed away from the harbour. Serinice wondered where she would go. The small vessel drifted downstream more quickly than the larger ones and soon she was alone, floating down the river to oblivion, it seemed. Alone in the darkness, she fussed with her clothes, digging out the apple. It still remained as perfect as it had been.

The sky was nearly black, but behind Serinice it shown an orange-red, reflecting the enormous fire close behind. She looked down into the clear water, thirstily. The likeness of the apple shown against the flowing water and it gleamed brightly, as if it were a light source of it's own.

Serinice set the apple down in her lap and put her hands into the water, rinsing them off and then lifting handfuls of water to her dry mouth. She drank, gulp after desperate gulp of water. She leaned over, closer to the water so that she wouldn't spill so much as she moved it to her mouth. But with the motion came another. The gold-skinned apple slipped from her skirt and went plunging into the clear Agorinne waters.

On the edge of she vision she saw it plummet, falling into the water and flowing away downstream. It flowed quickly by its size and she saw the golden glow shrink as it's ebbed away with the current, falling to the bottom of the river. She stood up quickly and the boat tilted forward sharply. Grabbing the bow Serinice bent over. Then she leaped into the river.

The water was freezing cold like she had never felt before and her wounded eye screamed in pain but she swam after it. She was slow, and her body was heavy. The layers of clothes that hid the shape of the apple and kept her warm when she fainted were ruining her now. As they soaked in water she got closer to the river bottom and farther away from the precious apple.

The Princess watched as the golden gleam diminished into blackness. She could see nothing but the sky above her now and she swam towards it. Kicking her legs and fanning her arms upwards, but as much as she tried she was only descending. Lungs burned in her chest, shrinking as she lost all air. She tried to peel off the layers but she only got a few and her finger became numb. Her skin felt as though it were tightening across her bones in the frozen water.

And finally, she could take it no more. Her whole body ached and she could dream that if she let her breath go, there would be air to return to her lungs. But there was none. Instead bubbles encased her head as she opened her mouth and rushed towards the surface and Serinice choked on water. It filled her mouth and slipped into her lungs as gasped for breath. For another two minutes she asphyxiated on the water, flailing and thrashing and coughing until at last she didn't.


Epilogue


As the Caelyseidenese princess rested at the bottom of the Agorinne, her boat was long gone and the apple even more so. It drifted down the river for miles, past harbours and villages, further than the edges of the Caelyseiden Kingdom. Even as the river became shallow and thin the apple was pushed on by the weak current. The river became a stream, and the stream became thin. The golden pome rolled onto the wet sand on the small bank of the stream and finally halted. Above, on a flowered mead was a beautiful shrine made of stone where the Gods had first descended to the Earth and could pass through again someday. A place where the Gods could gaze down and see their precious apple, able to steal it back from the humans that it had given such strife to.


End of story. Now comment!





 
 
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