Finding Peace - Cover

Finding Peace

Copyright© 2015 by Allan Kindred

Chapter 12

"Drearson is to the west." says Katiely, pointing.

"Let's go."

Tracer reaches down to grab Katie's arm to help pull her up, and as she is looking up at him with her emerald eyes, Tracer freezes for instant as he gets lost in her eyes.

"What?" Katiely says, unsure of what is happening.

"Forgive me, milady, I got lost in your eyes." Katiely smiles demurely.

Finally Katiely climbs up behind Tracer on Ram and they start out.

His thoughts are mixed and confused as they go. Is he destined to ride in darkness all his life? Certainly the prophecy speaks of it. Most definitely his journey has been covered in it. He has heard good people speak that when they had a near death experience they saw a light at the end of a tunnel that was beckoning them into its warm embrace. If this path Tracer now follows is his dark tunnel, then is Katiely the light at the end of it, or is it something he cannot comprehend?

Throughout his entire life he has heard people speak of the gods and the divine. Ask for forgiveness and you will receive absolution. Tracer was once so tired that he asked for it humbly, but it brought him no peace. It only deepened his despair and torment. For if the gods do not care if he lives in hell, why then should he think he doesn't belong there. Tracer sinks further into the abyss where even hell does not dare to go.

Tracer dreamed of honor and the warrior code. By the time he was old enough to follow that road, those things were nothing but empty words and legends to be told to children at bedtime, like dragons and their gold. But dragons do exist. If you were to ask Tron or Katiely they would say that Tracer is living that code. Only Tracer knows of the true darkness that lies within. Sucking the life out of him until we find him as he is now, just a shell of a man looking for a way out.

Katiely is openly offering him her love, and at twenty-five she is the most beautiful creature Tracer has ever known. If he knew of a way, he would send her away to spare her the torment of the unknown and his own turmoil. Tracer wants to believe that he can love her so much that it will make the gods weep. He would show her the tenderness she deserves. He would give his life if he thought it would bring happiness into her world. Isn't that what he's doing here?

Tracer is here to lay his choices upon the altar of the evil god, and to choose the one that sings the loudest of heartache and horror. In choosing evil to defeat evil, can it be done? Even the prophecy does not know. It just says that the choices Tracer makes now may not be what they seem. Tracer really doesn't know what that means. He doesn't even know if they are talking about him. All he knows is he's here in these lands that are tormented and full of fear. Maybe that is why he feels like he belongs here.

And if Tracer makes it into the heart of darkness, what then, surely he cannot be expected to defeat a god? Maybe if he stands before him with his darkened soul and tells him that even he will not go to him, maybe the irony of that will break the stranglehold the dark god has over the lands. In rage, will he reach forth and tear Tracer's soul from him and take it back with him to the abyss to torture for eternity?

"I don't care. I just want this life to be over with."

"What was that Trace?"

"Oh nothing, girl, just thinking out loud."

Whether it is through death or the finding of peace, Tracer wants this tormented life to go. If it must be that he finds his peace through his death, then so be it. That is the path he chose a long time ago. He welcomes this chance, for it has awoken his inner sleep. For better or for worse, for good or evil, he is alive. No longer just sitting in his cabin waiting for death to find him.

"Trace. Tracer."

"Yeah, Katiely."

"Where were you?"

"The only place I have ever known."

"What do you mean?"

"I was living inside my head again."

"What were you thinking about?" she asks sweetly.

"Sweetie, I was thinking about you, dragons and gold."


Tracer laughs. "Yeah. Are you getting hungry yet? I sure could use to stretch my legs."

"Me too."

Tracer wonders what kind of country produces these mercenaries instead of regular army troops. Wilder for sure, maybe a warrior culture. Born to live free and to die for whom ever pays the best money. If this is true, then danger will still exist, but there will be less order. Hopefully making it easier to get through.

Tracer looks back on his trek and it has been full of luck. He hopes it isn't all used up. Of course luck is never what it seems. It was lucky he found Katiely, but in the same instance it is unlucky, because now he's going to have to stand by and watch her be destroyed. The thing about people who don't have faith is that they are usually realists. It will take more than Tracer has to offer for her to survive. It will take a miracle from things that he doesn't believe in. He will never tell her that, though.

So sweet and innocent she sits before him. Smiling her smile that says she has every bit of confidence in him. That's okay, for if it makes the inevitable harder to see so much the better he believes. Tracer will shield her for as long as he is able. Only upon his death will harm befall her. After all, he truly loves her. But of course he shouldn't tell her that either.

What do you do when life and fate wish to make a wish with you as the bone? Do you watch them tear you asunder, or do you make a wish of your own? Tracer often feels that is how his life is turning out.

The winds of fate are blowing him towards a future filled with horror, and his mind torments him with the past. Does it make any difference that he sees hope sitting in front of him in the present? Is Katiely or love strong enough to ground him so that he can choose a better path? If Tracer chooses a life worth living, can he get them out of here so they can live it?

So many questions and not enough answers. In all his years of limited study he ran across the same problem. When you find a solution to a problem, don't you then ask why is that the answer? Do you accept things for what they are, or do you continue to question and search for your own answers? I suppose it depends on your character. Tracer supposes it depends on whether you are an optimist or a pessimist. An optimist wants to believe, and a pessimist finds it hard to believe in anything. Tracer has been both in his life, but pessimism is definitely the stronger of the two.

The search for answers is the actions that define who we are. You can talk until you're blue in the face, but until you walk the road you are talking you will never know the truth. People who tell Tracer he should forgive himself for his past crimes have no idea what that would do to him. His misery is the only thing stopping him from running himself through with his sword. You may scoff at his talk, but until you've walked in his shoes you have no idea what it is to be him. Just as he doesn't know what it is to be you. We can only accept or not and move on.

Tracer had once thought that he would like to be a philosopher. Could you imagine what his ramblings would do to the minds of the poor kids trying to study it? They wouldn't know if they were coming or going. The last thing this world needs is more people who are as indecisive and scatterbrained as he is. For the sake of world peace he chose a different path. Yeah right!

Come forth unto a world of wonder

Open your eyes and see the splendor

Be free let your destiny sing

Embrace all of life and you will be happy

Find another to love and you will rise above

Open your mind and you will find the divine

Pretty words, huh! Unfortunately it isn't that easy. Tracer has come into the world and mostly he's found destruction. Tracer opened his eyes and the only splendor he has seen is in the struggle to survive. If you believe in destiny, if you believe other things control your life, could you really ever be free?

Tracer believes if you were to try and embrace life today, it would probably try and run you through with a sword tomorrow. Tracer sees the chance for love sitting in front of him. All he has to do is reach out and it will be his, but is it right or wrong? It is his mind that prevents him from seeing the divine.

Wanting to believe and truly believing are worlds apart. Knowledge has nothing to do with intelligence, and will never tell you whether or not you are smart. What does all of that mean? Tracer really has no idea, but if he were that smart he wouldn't be here in the land of chaos. Or would he?

As the weeks and months have passed by, as his journey moves along, summer is in full bloom. The grasses are turning brown and the flowers are withering on the vine. If it is cold in the heart of darkness, at least it is hot here in the sunshine. This land called Kinsmerelay is quite beautiful, considering the times. If the circumstances were different, Tracer would stay right here and live out his life with Katiely at his side.

Tracer doesn't care what the prophecy has to say, and destiny can kiss his behind. When Tracer left his valley it was in search of something that he would cross the world for and go through time to find. It is just his misfortune that he chose now to go out and about.

Tracer is tired of worrying about what is right and what is wrong. "Damn it, I deserve a little happiness in this life. Especially if a fate worse than death is waiting for me at the end of it."

Tracer decides he is going to tell Katiely that he loves her tonight, and she can make up her own mind. Think of him what you will. Call him what you dare, but if he hears you, you better be prepared to tell him how love can be wrong.

If he is going to live and die, it is going to be in the life that he chooses it to be. Tracer is going to be the best of the things he is. Isn't that what it means to be a man? To have your choices brought forth to you, and you choose the ones you believe to be right.

All we can do is take our experiences and the feelings those bring, and use that knowledge to make the most educated decisions concerning our lives. Always putting first the thought of how your actions will affect the ones around you. Tracer hasn't always done that in his life, but in his ten years of recovery he has always tried his best to do just that.

Tracer finally takes the stupid Black Army uniform off and puts back on his brown riding clothes. The darkness seems to lift a little when he does it. It's time to turn this journey back into one of enlightenment. No longer is he going to look at it as a suicide mission of despair. What a strange place he has chosen to come alive.

"We should get back on the road, sweetheart."

"Oh, you're back!"

Tracer smiles. "Katiely, you have no idea how far back I am, girl. It is time to start living life, my beautiful. Take my hand, milady, and let us ride into the wonderfully mysterious horizon."

For a minute Katiely can't get her legs under her to stand, but when she does she stares up at him with those mesmerizing emerald eyes and says, "Are we still going to Drearson?" Tracer can see the hope in her eyes that they aren't.

"We'll see," is all Tracer says, smiling at her.

Tracer is pretty sure he is still going, but he knows without a doubt that she is not. All he has to do is figure a way to get her safely out of here. Seek and you shall find. Tracer truly hopes that is true.

As they start riding through the countryside of Kinsmerelay, Tracer begins to notice that there aren't any towns or cities. There are a few small villages, but mostly there are only single cottages that are spread out as far away from each other that the land and population will allow.

Tracer doesn't know it at this time, but the country of Kinsmerelay is ten times bigger than any of the four other countries that exist on the continental shelf. Apparently there is another country on the other side of Drearson.

Liladintum and Escrotry are about the same size. Drearson is the smallest of the five and almost entirely mountainous. Hitherroam, the country on the other side of Drearson, is a little bigger than Escrotry and Liladintum, and Kinsmerelay is ten times bigger than Hitherroam. In other words, they are traveling through an endless vastness of wilderness. If they were to travel east, or especially south, on foot, it would take them nearly a year to reach the edge of Kinsmerelay. Luckily they are traveling almost due west. Keeping in mind that life springs up around water, they go south for a while and then turn west. Still Tracer has no idea how far Drearson is from here.

The source of this story is Finestories

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