Short Story Letum Sancto Fides (Working Title)

Knight7770

Hippopotomonstrosesquiped aliophobia
Here's a short story I wrote which could use some critiquing. I'm still not sure about the title, so you can ignore it.

Ours has always been a very religious family; since the birth of the Holy Lord, we have been serving Him faithfully. Our ancestors were famed for preaching the Christian religion across all of Europe, and we, two loving brothers, had not failed to live up to our ancestors’ God-given mission. We found a place deep within the Pagan realm wherein to spread the Holy Faith, and to provide protection, we made an old, abandoned castle our humble abode. Each day was a struggle to survive, for we were in the dense forests of Central Europe. The only source of water we had was a small well, which, thank God, still produced water daily. From this, we spent years cultivating the harsh land around us, turning it into a plentiful garden. The Holy Savior also favored us so that we were given the proper tools with which to repair the old castle in which we lived into a church. Because of our good luck in finding everything we required to survive, we named the church Fortuna Casta. My older brother, Arthur Castus, found a small tribe of Pagans, whom we swiftly converted to the Holy Faith. We taught them to read Latin, and soon we had a thriving, Christian community. The Holy Savior’s will spread throughout our forest, and in a matter of years, most, if not all, of the Pagans were converted to Christianity.
One night, in the last week of October, I was conversing with my brother about our miraculous success in the forests of Central Europe. We were sitting on the benches which our community had so kindly fashioned for us. Now, it should be noted that my brother and I have always been able to communicate without many words; something which I cannot document.
“Arthur, how wonderful is it that we have been able to convert all of these Pagans to the Faith of our Lord?”
“Yes, David, the Holy Savior has truly shone his divine light upon our most humble cause. Now, I fear we must move on from this place; there are far more Pagans in Europe than in this small section of forest.”
“But Arthur, we have been so successful here for the service of the Lord. Do you truly think that it is wise to leave our followers here, alone?”
“Brother, as prosperous as we have been here, we must move on. All things which we cherish cannot remain with us forever in our mortal lifetimes.”
I could not argue against my brother’s logic, although I was still reluctant to leave.
“Very well, but if we are going to leave, we must give ourselves one week’s time. We must prepare for the journey, and our followers may wish to accompany us in our divine mission.”
We seemed to reach an understanding without further expression of words. The rest of the night passed uneventfully, but we both stayed awake, thinking of the dangers of leaving our church and our followers. It had been a very long time since we traveled, and we were becoming old and weak.
μ==================μ
On the 27th of October, Arthur made the announcement at our church that we were preparing to leave. Many of our congregation were deeply upset at this; we were bombarded with pleas asking us not to go:
“Please, Father, why must you go?”
“Are we not enough, Father? Is this why you are going?”
“You can’t go, Father, we cannot survive without your guidance!”
I prevented any further cries of sorrow and discomfort by quieting our faithful congregation.
“Please, please! We will be appointing a new Father soon; we never once thought of leaving you alone. However, this journey is one which we must take. I do not want anyone following us on our travels, for they will be far too dangerous for you. My brother and I will not have the deaths of our congregation on our hands.”
My stern words caused the congregation to cease. The service continued normally, until Arthur suddenly fainted while he was praying. I rushed to him, deeply fearing for his well-being. All the members of the congregation also came to help him; we lay him on a bed, and poured holy water over his face, as is the custom in our church when someone has fallen ill. For an hour, all we could do was wait and see what the Lord would do to help his servant. Finally, he awoke. I was overcome with joy to see that Arthur was healthy; we all were. He sat up in his bed, saying that he could not remember anything since the beginning of the day. We gave him water and a few morsels of food, which he gratefully accepted. Within minutes, my brother was continuing the service.
After the congregation had left, I sat down to exchange thoughts with Arthur, as we normally did. I was still worried about his health, even though he appeared to be extremely healthy.
“Arthur, are you feeling well?”
“Why, yes, I am. I suppose you are still worried about my fainting earlier today.”
“Brother, I fear for your health, as you fear for mine. Are you absolutely sure that your vigor has not been drained?”
“I am sure of it, David. Now, please, let us move on to another topic.”
“I agree. It is best not to dwell on the negative things which the Lord has left to test our faithfulness.”
We continued our conversation in a lighter tone, discussing the finer aspects of the Bible and its many meanings.
μ==================μ
It was the 28th; it was beginning to rain. The first few drops fell on the roof of our church as Arthur was atoning to the Lord. He began to feel very sick, so he was forced to sit down. As worried as I was, I continued leading the congregation in prayer. I felt that the congregation was beginning to become worried about Arthur as well, but they asked no questions. For several hours, the time passed uneasily. Arthur grew sicker by the minute; he had almost collapsed by the time the service was over. As I went to help him, I must have tripped over a chair-leg, for I fell, injuring my head on the stone floor. I do not recall what happened afterwards; I fainted from the pain.
The last thing I remember from that day was that I awoke suddenly, finding myself in my bed. Arthur was sleeping in the bed next to me, though he seemed to be having nightmares; he couldn’t stay still. I stayed awake for a while, watching Arthur tossing about in his bed, mumbling nonsense. I did not try to make sense of it; perhaps if I were less tired, my brother’s mumblings would have been clearer to me. Eventually, I fell asleep.
μ==================μ
The 29th had come, and it had been raining for days. I could hear thunder and lightning in the distance as my brother and I prepared to go to church. We were both extremely careful due to yesterday’s events. Arthur always went to the chapel before me, so that he could prepare everything for his prayer to the Holy Savior. He awakens very early every day, before any of the congregation arrive. As my brother was entering the chapel, a terrifying flash of light shone outside of the window, and before I could react, a gargantuan tree crashed through the roof of the church. I stood there, unable to move for several minutes; the total shock of the event rendered me helpless. When the dust had totally cleared, I walked, almost as if I were in a trance, to where the trunk of the tree had fallen. None of the debris had harmed me, but the building would have taken weeks to rebuild. There was almost nothing salvageable in the church, so I looked around for Arthur. I knew that Arthur would know what to do when something like this happened; he had always kept a level head during disasters.
As my eyes passed over the tree, I saw a piece of what looked like valuable cloth. There was no sense in letting such beautiful cloth go to waste, so I went to pick it up. I pulled on it, but it would not come loose. I saw that I would need to clear away the rubble which surrounded the cloth if I were to be able to get it. After an hour, during which time I did not look at the cloth, the stones were out of the way. I bent down to look at what was left of the cloth; it was light enough for me to see what was under the large trunk. As I looked under the tree, I froze in horror at what I saw. Arthur’s dead eyes were staring at me. All I could do was sit in the freezing rain, looking at my beloved brother’s corpse.
Eventually, a few members of the congregation arrived to assist me in removing Arthur’s corpse. As soon as all of the members came, we held a burial ceremony. The casket was placed under the remains of the church, but we did not bury it. The rain was too heavy for us to fully bury the corpse.
Many members of the congregation offered me condolence, but I was inconsolable. For the remainder of the day, I sat in my chair, crying for Arthur.
μ==================μ
It was the 30th of October. I had told the congregation not to come for prayer any longer. Without Arthur, my life was an empty void; I feared that I might simply kill myself so that I could be with my brother for all eternity. The rain had not stopped, on the contrary, it was raining harder than ever. I could barely see two feet outside of my window, and the lightning only provided seconds of sight into the dreary forest. The cold was biting, and I could not summon enough energy to start a fire. For the entire day, I lay shivering in my bed, thinking of Arthur. I never thought once about my health, or my safety; only of my deceased brother. Many times, I tricked myself into hearing his voice. His cries were soft and muffled:
“David…David…please…d-”
“My brother…I…I…”
Such voices rang throughout my head; never letting me forget the distant memory of Arthur. The rest of my days were to be spent in sorrow for my brother.
μ==================μ
The 31st of October had arrived. I was in no different a state than I was the previous day. The sun shone no light upon the world; it was pitch black. Only the frequent lightning bolts light up the earth. My feet must have frozen, as well as my hands. I felt nothing but sorrow and regret for losing Arthur. His voice still came through to me, even though the rain was deafening. He cried out to me, begging for something. I responded, “Arthur! Arthur! Wherever you are, Arthur, I will never forget you! Please, Arthur, come back to me! Come back!”
I waited for several minutes with no response. Several times I swore that I heard the sound of hands knocking on wood. However, I dismissed them as devils haunting my imagination.
The door had been left open since Arthur died, in the hope that he would come walking through it one day. I turned away from it, attempting to banish all thoughts of my brother from my devastated mind. As I did so, I saw a figure entering. It moaned as it walked towards me. I could make out no details of the creature, except that it looked horribly disfigured. I could not make my legs or my arms move; they had frozen and stopped functioning. I could no longer move my mouth, for it was frozen shut. All that I could do was sit and wait to see what the figure would do to me. My eyes widened in fear as it approached me. I now saw that it carried a long, rusty nail in its right hand. He held it up, and as it came down through my heart, the figure said something. At first, I could not figure out what it was, but as the final throes of death overtook me, it became clear to me. He had said, “You killed me.”
 

Miz

Administrator
Very nice story, The ending was unexpected. It seems to be a little Halloween-ish mainly because of the dates "The 31st of October had arrived"
 

Knight7770

Hippopotomonstrosesquiped aliophobia
Very nice story, The ending was unexpected. It seems to be a little Halloween-ish mainly because of the dates "The 31st of October had arrived"
Thanks :thup:
It's supposed to be Halloween-ish; I guess I got that part of the story across :p
 

DogOfHavoc

Future Tragedy
I feel like I don't understand this story at all. That's not to say it's not well written, I am just a little confused.
 

Knight7770

Hippopotomonstrosesquiped aliophobia
I feel like I don't understand this story at all. That's not to say it's not well written, I am just a little confused.
Well, I guess I have no choice but to explain it to you :eek:
Spoiler Alert!
So there are these two Christian brothers who move into a forest, and convert all of the Pagans there. Then, they form a church, and after a long time, the two brothers decide to leave the church to go converting again. In the week before they leave, bad stuff starts happening to them. On the 1st day, Arthur (one of the brothers) faints in the church. On the 2nd day, both of the brothers faint. On the 3rd day, a tree falls on Arthur and they bury him. On the 4th day, the living brother hears Arthur's voices through the rain, but he dismisses it as just a figment of his imagination. On the 5th day (October 31st), Arthur gets out of the grave and kills David for burying him in a metal coffin in the storm while he was still alive.

Thanks for at least reading the story :thup:
 

Knight7770

Hippopotomonstrosesquiped aliophobia
Good story, damn you and your latin title.
:D
Thanks :thup:
I just gave it a Latin title so that:
a) I could call it something
b) Almost no one would know what it meant :p
 

Chao

Setting sail for fail in the sea of lame.
Arthur Castus is the blood-name of King Arthur, isn't it?
I was expecting something Arthurian; it was a very strange twist at the end, given the lack of macabre or dark elements throughout the story; nevertheless, your storytelling prose is exquisite, and quite good at painting a picture. The mood was reflected in the changing weather patterns, which was nice, yet I do wonder, constructively, if you perhaps could add another element or two that make it darker? :)
That's bare constructive criticism to a fine peice. Be proud of your work!
 

Knight7770

Hippopotomonstrosesquiped aliophobia
How was he alive when he was buried if it says that David looked into his open dead eyes?
The trick with that is the story is told from the perspective of David, so he only thinks that he's looking into his brother's dead eyes. Get it? ;)

Arthur Castus is the blood-name of King Arthur, isn't it?
I was expecting something Arthurian; it was a very strange twist at the end, given the lack of macabre or dark elements throughout the story; nevertheless, your storytelling prose is exquisite, and quite good at painting a picture. The mood was reflected in the changing weather patterns, which was nice, yet I do wonder, constructively, if you perhaps could add another element or two that make it darker? :)
That's bare constructive criticism to a fine peice. Be proud of your work!
It would be really crazy if that were his blood-name; I just picked a word in Latin that has something to do with religion :nuts:
For making it darker:
Maybe I could have some people in the congregation become superstitious, and accuse Arthur and David of sanctioning black magic? Then instead of David telling the congregation never to come back, they would just leave before Arthur dies. What do you think?

Thanks for reading :thup:
 

Chao

Setting sail for fail in the sea of lame.
A black magic tie-in would be great, especially since it might leave the reader wondering about that involvement, given the zombification of Arthur. Plus, having David be left alone, even though you reference it to a single day, might be a showing of him succombing to madness as well. Leaves a lot of questions!

And yes, one historical basis for King Arthur was by the name Lucius Artorius Castus. Wikipedia it!
 

Knight7770

Hippopotomonstrosesquiped aliophobia
A black magic tie-in would be great, especially since it might leave the reader wondering about that involvement, given the zombification of Arthur. Plus, having David be left alone, even though you reference it to a single day, might be a showing of him succombing to madness as well. Leaves a lot of questions!

And yes, one historical basis for King Arthur was by the name Lucius Artorius Castus. Wikipedia it!
I hadn't even thought of that (what was in the spoilers). That's pretty interesting :thup:

The King Arthur thing is a real coincidence :nuts::nuts:
 
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