Monday, 10 October 2011
03:42:44 AM (GMT)
This is a story I've been working on. I hope to finish it before NaNoWriMo. More
will be added if there's enough interest.
Pate was my apprentice.
Not officially. He was too damn bright to have a single master. Give him a few weeks
and he’d suck us dry if he was only learning from one of us, not to mention- and I
know plenty of busy bodies who would love to mention- "But Dek, you aren't a
master of the guild at all." Technicalities, formalities, whatever. He was mine.
I remember when I first met Pate. It was after I had turned twenty one, and
I’d been studying philosophy under Karitch for a number of months. For the first
month I’d just sit in a silent room alone with him for hours waiting for him to say
something besides “You’re dismissed for today”. Finally I got tired of it and
asked him when he was going to teach me. Karitch said “There. Now you are ready to
He was a bloody wise ass, that old man. Still, being an ass didn’t make him
So after about seven months had gone by he said to me “Today you are going
to talk to someone interesting.” That was something Karitch told me a lot.
He had a thing for having me talk to homeless people and criminals. The
latter was alright, because it really got me thinking, especially when it was
thieves. Is it alright to do bad things if you don't actually hurt people? Maybe it's
alright if it's the only way for you to get by? How about if it's for someone else's
sake, then is it fine? Questions, questions. Karitch had a talent for finding deep
men for me to talk to, even if they lived lives that were a far cry from being actual
philosophers. When I was talking to homeless men or thieves though, Karitch was
always right by my side the whole way. That time he told me I was to go alone.
My brows had gone up at that.
“Why alone?” I’d asked. Karitch had that knowing smile that old men get after a
life time of being an ass, and he was very generous with it.
“If we’re both there, he might be intimidated. Or distracted.” I got
treated to the knowing smile again, then he gave me the address and sent me off to
meet the “someone interesting” for the day. I remember hoping it wasn’t a mad
man. Well, it wasn’t, I guess.
I was supposed to be talking to this cute six year old little kid. He opened
the door when I knocked, gave me that really wide smile that little kids have and
told me his name was Pate. As soon as I’d introduced myself his attention span
hiccupped and Pate walked away.
I sat across from him on the floor while he practiced writing. His pudgy
little hands kept moving his brush to spell out names of animals like “DOG” or
All attempts to start philosophical discussions with him failed miserably.
After a while he got up and gave me one of his toys saying, “That’s boring, you
should play with this; his name is Charil.”, as though wanting to talk about dull
things like the value of happiness wasn’t my fault, but rather a sad consequence of
not being acquainted with Charil the plush dragon.
So rather than continuing that approach, which got me introduced to several
more of Pate’s stuffed friends, I ended up just asking him what he thought about
things in the world, and Pate answered the first thing that came to mind without
looking up from his paper. It was brilliant. Adults stumble through life without
being able to make head or tail of how complicated it is, but when you’re young
like Pate was everything made perfect sense.
End of part one.