Before this story begins, I would like to tell you all that this is something I wrote nearly 10 years ago, but I have been wanting to share it for a long while now. It was inspired by a drawing I had a co-worker create for the purpose of my writing a story to go along with it, and thus Melekin Glif was born. Sadly, I no longer know where the image is. Should I find it, I will post it. Since I have written 2 short stories within the last week, both having wolves, I figured there was no time like the present to share this one. I hope you like it.
The sound of the falling molten rain was as a constant drum, constant with every hiss and sizzle that followed behind each drop.
The sun groaned.
Melekin Glif cursed under his breath. How he hated tears, especially those of the sun. Tears, rain—they were one in the same to him—both caused discomfort and inconvenience. The sun seemed to cry at the most inconvenient of times, its liquid drops boring holes into everything that they touched. And what exactly did the sun have to cry about? There it was suspended high in the magenta sky. Everyone saw it, acknowledged it even respected it with an air of fear but the darn thing still cried!
“Stop it! Darn you!” Melekin shouted, shaking his tight fist at it. He had been trapped in the same dark cave for several hours and he dared not leave it. He had had enough holes bitten into him already that day and he was not interested in getting any more. A gnarled row of Dargnif bites ran up the back of his calf. Some of the puncture marks were wider than the circumferences of his thumb. They had only stopped bleeding moments after he pulled the last stitch of thread to close them.
Melekin hated Dargnifs almost as much as he hated tears.
Tears. What did tears help anyway? They were more useless and messy than Dargnifs. They stained the skin, they blurred the eyes; they made the crier look ridicules. Most of the time that folks cried it was for not, the same as the sun. Melekin however had much to cry about. He was trapped in a cave, he was being chased by Dargnifs—he was always on the run.
The fact was he was simply misunderstood. Sure he stole a few things, but he needed them. Did the world really expect a being of his caliber to work? Certainly not! And there was no denying that he had ‘removed’ a few people from the land of the living, but every one of them deserved it. Yes, all of them, every last crying, tearful one of them! But he was the one that was treated like a criminal.
Such misfortune followed him. But he didn’t cry, not when he was bitten by the Dargnif, not when he was judged unfairly by a jury of his peers, not when he stitched himself without a pain reliever and not…ever!
“All you are is selfish! I cannot wait for the next thick cloud to block you! You cry and weep and you never let up! I have some where to be! A place called freedom! Have you heard of it?!” He shouted at the sun, limping back deeper into the cave. Larger drops of molten liquid fell upon the mountain and seeped toward Melekin. Most of it had seized before it reached him.
“Do you plan to trap me in here forever?! Do you?! You are worse than every Dargnif this world has ever seen!”
Dargnifs. They were a mangy breed. Not quite wolf. Not quite man. Mostly razor sharp teeth that protruded from oversized mouths, tangled steel wool fur, rock solid muscles and an insatiable lust to feed on anything that moved in the waste lands, and that is exactly were Melekin had been banished, the waste lands.
But Dargnifs were a bit more than what most had expected. Beyond the scent of rotten blood and sticky saliva was an ingenuity and wit that had won them the right to the waste lands. No. they were not just a wild pack of rabid animals who roamed and terrorized the innocent. They were in fact a form of police, assigned to the waste lands to keep everyone who had been banished there in line and in order until the day that they were permitted to reenter society.
Those who did not follow the rules of the waste lands were immediately converted from detainee to dinner of the Dargnifs. Melekin was a new convert, actually a returning convert. He had seen the waste lands before, disliked them the same way he had the Dargnifs, but less than he did the sun and its tears. So as anyone would who could, he left the waste lands, eluded Eedel, the lead Dargnif, with the trick of crossing the silver river making his way back into a society that treated him so poorly.
Eedel had almost caught him that first time that he had come to the waste lands and would have had it not been for the silver river. It was simply by happenstance that Melekin discovered Dargnifs could not cross it. One of them had tried to but was quickly pulled to the rivers floor by the great magnets that lay underneath the surface of the water, drowning with gut wrenching howls and gurgles that echoed off the face of the mountain.
Eedel could only howl in response and watch as his brother drowned and the trickster Melekin escaped the wastelands.
This time Melekin had only been in the waste lands for a few short minutes before he decided to rebel, slaying one of his captures with a few swift jabs to the nose. It wasn’t long before Eedel arrived. Finding Melekin’s capture dead he set off in pursuit of the criminal. The rest of his pack remained behind finishing off the body of the dead before the sun cooked it to little more than a leathery chew toy.
Eedel had fallen to all fours and ran with the swiftness of three horses trying his best to catch Melekin before he reached the river. He knew he would head for the river again. It had aided him so well the first time he escaped. Why wouldn’t it this time?
Melekin was only a few paces away from the waters edge before Eedel’s jagged teeth took hold of him. Dark spatters of blood shoot from Melekin’s leg and splashed against rock faces as he screamed and cursed in horror. Melekin’s body arched with the shock of pain before he fell completely forward being swallowed up by the silver water. Eedel willingly let him go.
Almost a complete six hours had passed since Eedel had tasted Melekin’s blood and ever since that moment he had sat stationed on the other side of the silver river, listening to Melekin curse and rant about hating the tears of the sun. The sun seemed to rain heavier on the other side of the river, trapping Melekin in a cave as Eedel knew it would—as Eedel had planned.
He sat patiently in the shadow of Melekin’s inpatients and timed the movement of the clouds. He knew that soon the thick blue puffs would block the sun long enough for the injured Melekin to leave his dome of safety and scale the mountain’s face until he reached the top, the top that would lead to the road of freedom. It had done so before, but not this time.
Eedel had sunk his teeth deep enough into Melekin to slow him down just long enough till…
The cloud had come! Eedels large ears perked upon hearing Melekin’s shouts of glee and elation. With the greatest of care Melekin began to pull himself up the face of the mountain occasionally looking back at Eedel with a face full of triumph.
Ten minutes had elapsed, twenty, forty-five. The cloud still had not parted and Melekin’s fingertips were at the mountain’s ledge. Eedel nervously rose to all fours. Had he miscounted the sounds of the sun and underestimated the tenacity of his eager opponent? His tail stiffened at the thought.
“Ha!” Melekin shouted. His arms rose in triumph over his head. “Ha! Ha! You mangy beast! I have out witted you again!”
Eedel’s tail twitched with each insult that Melekin slung and with every slow movement of the clouds.
“I bid you farewell, you beast of blood and rust. I am too good for such a place as this, too smart,” The man kept talking, rambling on about his swiftness for over twenty minutes. That was long enough for Eedel to sit down again. His nerves had settled with each low creak and groan that the sun had started to make again, the sounds only loud enough for his ears to hear. Now his tail wagged in pleasure.
“I have always thought lowly of you,” Melekin shouted. “You and the nuts and blots that follow you. You are all nothing but oversized trash compactors. But worst yet is your darn sun and its useless tears…” Melekin would not stop, could not stop. The sun and its crying had enraged him so much in the last few hours that he could think of nothing more than the sun. He continued on not noticing the parting of the clouds, not listening to the groans that grew louder and louder echoing in the sky.
Slowly Eedel got to his feet trotting off with his tail raised high, wagging it side to side cheerfully. Melekin began to curse him. “How dare you leave me with words in my mouth?!” He shouted, hurling more insults at Eedel, hurling insults at the sun until…
Hiss, sizzle, GROANNNNNN.
Melekin gasped holding his arm. A smoldering hole had eaten away the leather of his jacket and bit his skin. Panic and dread rose in his bones as he looked around. There was nowhere up on the mountaintop to find shelter, nowhere that would take him less than twenty minutes to reach. He hobbled to the cliff’s edge and peered down. Trying to reach the cave again would mean sure death from a fall. He was trapped! He had been trapped by Eedel, by society and by…the sun.
Trembling with anger he stared up at the heavens. Hiss, sizzle groan. Melekin had begun to groan with the same tune as the sun.
How he hated tears.