Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Page 1636

((Triple Wednesday -- Page 2 of 3))
Garovel took a moment before continuing. ‘So there was a war. But that wasn’t such a rare thing. My people were a brutal sort. We fought all the time, often amongst ourselves. It’s hard to truly articulate how different life was, compared to civilization as you know it today, but that was one of the biggest things. Bloodshed was as common a thing to us as eating or sleeping.

Hector just listened.

Part of the reason for that may have been because reapers were a well-known part of our culture, and there was a prevailing idea among the Lyzakks that death wasn’t really the end. It was easier--mentally, that is--to risk our lives in deadly combat, because we knew that we could live on after our mortal end. At the time, we believed it was a measure of our courage and dutifulness in life. If we lived a “worthy” life in other words, then we would get to come back as a reaper and watch over our brethren.

And I was certainly no exception. I believed that wholeheartedly. It wasn’t until much, much later, after I’d already become a reaper myself, that I began to realize it was simply a hereditary, luck-of-the-draw type thing. That was quite the horrific revelation, let me tell you. Thinking that you’d lived a good and worthy life and that all of your fellow reapers were the same--that was a comforting belief. Until it was gone, that is. I’d never felt so deluded and ashamed of myself as I did then.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, I suppose. That’s not even part of this story, really. This is just about what I did during the war.

Hector thought of a question and decided to interrupt. ‘Did this war have a name?

Not one that many have heard of, I should think. But in Mohssian, it would’ve translated to “the Thousand Books War.”

It was a war over books?’ said Hector.

More or less. See, my people weren’t very, uh, shall we say, “literarily inclined.” We had a habit of going around and destroying places where any sort of writing was being kept.


It may be hard to believe by today’s standards, but writing was a very controversial development in our culture. The idea was that writing things down made you “careless of mind,” because if you wrote something down, then you wouldn’t have to remember it. And that was considered a trick of sorcerers and saboteurs in an effort to weaken our culture and our people.

We did, however, write things down in stone. Even long before I was born, that was a revered tradition. Which, I freely admit, was maybe a bit hypocritical of us, but the difference, at least in our minds, was that because stone made the task so much more difficult, it couldn’t be “abused” for trivial matters. You would only bother with the arduous task of writing something in stone if it was something that you really, REALLY wanted to write down.


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