the name's actually tobias, not screm, thank you very much. i'm a weeaboo. you can find me on tumblr at kanekiikenchan.
ok yeah that's all
Please give me suggestions on how to improve this writing. Preferably in time to enter it.
To give credit where credit is due, inspiration came from Hiromu Arakawa's Fullmetal Alchemist, FMA for short.
Written By: screm (tobias)
June 13, 2015
Once upon a time, people were safe. Once upon a time, you didn't have to carry a weapon with you wherever you went. Once upon a time, you didn't live in fear of your life. Once upon a time, you didn't have "Fighting" as a mandatory class in school.
But once upon a time, people learned alchemy.
I stand here, up in a tree, bow in hand and quiver on back, looking down on my prey. But it's not a deer, and it's not for food. This creature, this chimaera killed our livestock and therefore damaged our livelihood. It's not hunting for sport. That's a cruelty in our world, where there are so few friendly creatures, and even fewer that survived the Takeover.
The Takeover happened when the alchemists lost control of their hybrid creatures, animals they fused through their strange powers. No one knows where these powers come from, and if they did, they never told. Likewise, we don't know why the alchemists chose to create these often-destructive monsters out of the Old-Earth creatures.
I read about the creatures of Old-Earth, once. It was an ancient textbook, preserved through some alchemical power. Not all alchemists chose living beings to use their powers upon, after all. The book showed strangely wonderful things—though not so to most, who consider the powers of the chimaera and their creators the true marvel.
I'm the different one.
I'm the one who was amazed by the strangely colored and lifelike drawings in an old book that was faded and torn. Not my classmates. I'm the one with an alchemist for a father, and who has a knack for it myself. Not my friends. I'm the one who, with my mother, raises the more harmless species of chimaera for food and labor. Not the villagers. Even as they benifit from our family's work, they do not appreciate it. After all, who enjoys a dreaming farmer at the top of the class? Who appreciates someone of those that destroyed and remade the world? Who cares about the ones who keep the monsters safe?
As I raise an arrow to my bow, I think back upon the images of weapons called guns that I saw in the book. They looked to be most extraordinary, yet there was something in them that didn't attract me. Perhaps it was the noise that they made, or maybe their cold metal design.
Rumors say that they have some guns, in the city. Some of them are undoubtedly in the museum, but maybe there are people working to remake them. Maybe there are people trying to bring back more than mere remnants of Old-Earth. Without a doubt they must be alchemists. It seems that it would be my dreams come true if more of Old-Earth could be brought back. But that is all it must be. Just a dream.
In the city, and this is not a dream, there are alchemists—and they are accepted! Their work is appreciated! Perhaps there I could hone my powers, instead of merely mending farm tools and making kitchen implements. I could learn what I love, and be loved for learning. But it would be far too expensive for me to go.
Before Father died, he and Mother would go to the city often and stay with his mother and father. They were rich, and so were we. But that stopped after I was born, after the fight which caused my grandparents to shun us. Mother has never told me what the fight was about but I know it was bad and I know they didn't come to Father's funeral.
I let the arrow fly, and the chimaera falls down, dead. I sling the bow over my shoulder and scramble down from the tree. It's growing dark, and I should get home before the night chimaera come out. It isn't safe to be outside when the bloodsuckers and the poison breathers and the other creatures of the dark come out. It is a fearsome time, and we never forego locking the door.
Maybe someday, if I could get a job, if someone in the town would deign to associate with us, I could earn the money to go to the city and study. Maybe someday.
But someday is far away, and sometimes never, and no one cares about us until they buy or sell with us at market time. And not much is earned at market time except maybe some eggs, or some meat, or maybe a little flour to make some bread.
The shadows close in around me, and I speed up a little as the cottage comes into view. A light is shining in the window, and I smile at Mother's beacon which welcomes me home every night. The hinges creak as I open the door, and perhaps I should oil them, but oil isn't come by easily for those like us. Mother stands in the entryway to the kitchen, and in her hand is a letter. Immediately I reach forth for it. The missive is on creamy white paper—paper!—and is written in an elegant script that would be indecipherable to many out here. But I have studied. I can read it.
Hastily I skim over it, and instead of news to fear, it contains a dream. Maybe that's all that this is. Maybe I fell asleep in the tree. Maybe my desperate mind has created this letter that has brought such a smile to my face.
But one look at the radience coming from my mother, at the joy at fulfilling her child's dream and I know I could never create this. For written in the strong script, Grandmother has told us to come home to the city.
Perhaps it is a dream. But that would make my dreams reality, and I couldn't have a better reality then the smile on my mother's face and the warmth of her arms around me as she welcomes me into a hug.
This is a far better world than I could have ever imagined. What for, you say?
It is my world.