Trust, Even After Trying it’s Gone

Rex attacks with poison flour
Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest for the SNES. One of the crappiest Final Fantasy games ever made has some of the crappiest writers and translators at the wheel.

A warning to those who don’t know eating flour provided by undead dinosaurs may be potentially hazardous: an adventuring career maybe isn’t for you. This has been a video game public announcement.

What kind of adjective is “flamerous”? It certainly isn’t English.
– – – – –

Gawn and Treye sat down together in a cafe in a the small, industrial city of Worner, sleepy in its wintry shell. They hadn’t seen each other in months, though they live but miles apart. Treye had been calling Gawn off and on for weeks- as well as everyone else she knows in the city with little luck. Even friends with which Treye knew nothing but good times seem to have moved on to somewhere or something new and exclusive. Treye was getting sick of being positive about her loneliness, and her desire to vent was fast overcoming the desire not drive Gawn away. It had been three days since Treye spoke to anyone other than customers at work and voicemail boxes of friends. All of her recent attempts to try and meet new people were met with polite but cold reactions or hopes of sex.

Treye was about to give up on humanity and the act of putting trust in people. Still, she reached out to Gawn on more time hoping she’d be proven wrong.

Gawn tried to reassure Treye but also has a hard time disagreeing with her assessments.

“In all trust there is the possibility for betrayal,” admits Gawn.

“Then it is better not to trust,” Treye stared into her cup of black tea, hunched over it as if huddling for warmth..

“But… without trust there is no real friendship, no closeness, none of the emotional bonds that make life worth living…” Gawn lists passionately.

“These are the experiences and feelings that make up life itself,” agrees Treye.

“Exactly,” Gawn slapped the table, glad to be getting through.

“So… you put yourself at risk, and do so knowingly and willingly.”

“…every single time,” admitted Gawn, smiling.

“How do you know when to trust others and when to trust your doubt?” Treye pushes herself and her tea further across the table towards Gawn, “How can you separate paranoia from a real, deserving lack of trust?”

“Hopefully you trust yourself over others before the knife ends up in your back. Other than that, I really can’t give you an answer. Some people trust others until they give them sure reason not to. Some will even forgive and extend trust again and again.”

“How does one find a trustworthy individual?” Gawn seemed to have all the answers, and Treye hoped she could pull some to apply to her own life.

“The same way one finds an honest man.”


“I’m saying, one doesn’t. The capacity for betrayal is within all of us.”

“Not me,” Treye denied without a hint of pride or happiness at the proclamation.

“If that’s true, then I pity you. You are doomed to a lifetime of expectations that no one can fulfill and things given that no one can reciprocate.”

“Perhaps there is something wrong with me,” Treye squeezed the ceramic mug, “Sometimes I suspect I am not human.”

“Oh, you’re human all right- human enough to feel betrayed, rejected, isolated, like no one understands you-”

“So, I’m just a whiny cliche?” Treye chuckled at herself without a bit of humor.

“No, just human: individual, but part of a common experience of common emotions.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. People don’t feel the same way,” Treye paused, thinking before finding the words to explain, “Sure, we all get sad or angry, but one person’s depression is barely another person’s sadness. The same sad person maybe feels barely any anger”

“How would you know?”

“I know when I react honestly and deeply, there are times I’m told I should be in a mental institution or on a drug.”

“Yes… I guess some people are… sensitive,” Gawn conceded.

“And I’ve met other… sensitive… people and have found they understand me better, but are perhaps even more selfish that the norm. The can be more unsympathetic.”

“They’re trying and protect themselves maybe?”

“I could think of many reasons. In the end, it just is. The sensitive person is a victim in a cycle of their own creation making themselves more the victim by throwing themselves under trucks and into fires- that is unenjoyable, but comfortably selfish: the attention they attract, the band aid of other’s pity and self pity. Other people become competition,” Treye shakes her head bitterly.

“And you’re different..?”

“Yes. I know I hurt myself by giving trust to those who don’t deserve it, by not being able to connect with people that would treat me better, but I don’t advertise it like a beacon hoping for those to flock to me to ease the pain as well as allow it to continue so the flock stays.”

“Maybe you should. Maybe you just don’t because you’re afraid they won’t come.”

“No, I’m afraid of being disgusting and weak like them. I’m afraid of my own guilt,” admitted Treye.

“Oh, so bottle it up inside and try hard not to trust those you want to. There’s a logical solution,” Gawn rolled his eyes and nibbled at the left over crumbs of his scone.

“I guess I’m caught in a bit of a paradox.”

“If your values weren’t mixed up in this, I’d have a solution: throw your honesty, integrity, pride, loyalty out the door… Just be and accept.”

“What, like them? Those people don’t accept anything- they live in constant delusion. I’d rather be miserable than delude myself,”

“Would you rather be lonely than to try to trust again? To never connect or know someone else again?” Gawn was getting frustrated.

“It doesn’t matter much what I want. I’m lonely either way. Trust gives darkness a face to whisper to at least.”

“For a bit of pity for you?”

“No. Connection. For real, honest connection. Not ‘I feel bad for you’, but ‘I know what you mean, and hang in there.’.”

“You’re talking about wanting someone to care, understand, and accept you as you are,” Gawn was trying the best to be understanding and sympathetic, but was seeing the circular logic Treye was caught in.

“Yes. And I know I will find it again. It’s just painful knowing it never lasts. At the next inconvenient moment the connection ceases.”

“Um… can we maybe talk about this some other time? I mean, it’s been good talking but… I just have a lot of stuff to do, you know?” Gawn got up to leave. He put forth a forced smile and mentally asked for forgiveness.

“Yes. I understand. I know. Goodbye.”

Treye and Gawn never saw each other again.

Waywards Wandering – Chapter 2: Babysitting

Here is the latest installment of Waywards Wandering- the novel I am writing. Click here to read the first chapter. To refresh those of you who are not new to our story: Kanji Takimura and Deathwish are two long-time, mismatched friends who have received a summons from their mutual friend Lial Pelung-Kionen. Kanji and Deathwish are both followers of the protector Goddess Brihaad and are sworn to a life of helping those in need and ridding the world of its ills. One obstacle in their path is Deathwish being a humanoid reptile who often unintentionally frightens others with his sharp pointy teeth and telepathic communication. Trying to get some breakfast before leaving the small city of Prima leads to an accidental tavern brawl. Our heroes may be apt at slaying goblins and the like, but winning a tavern brawl is apparently out of their league…

And now, resuming our story…

After a stern scolding by the town magistrate and with their purses considerably lighter, Kanji and Deathwish trudged away from their prison cells sometime that late afternoon. They were a bit battered and bruised after the brawl at the inn and terribly hungry, but otherwise unscathed. However, frustrations were beginning to consume Kanji and it showed clearly on his face and in the quick gait of his walk.

Slow down, I’m trying to keep this cowl up and my tail tucked in.

Kanji slowed and sighed.

“I’m sorry… I just was thinking, the entire time spent we incarcerated, that situation could have been easily avoided had we been better prepared. Remember back when it was you, me, and Lial? Lial and I together would very easily draw attention away from your…”

Deathwish turned his hooded head and stared at Kanji pointedly.

My charming character and ravishing good looks.

“T-that’s not what I meant, people- they just-” Kanji cut off his stuttering when Deathwish raised a scaly hand,

I know what you mean, Kanji. I also know that if we continue this journey we’ll be hard pressed with just the two of us if danger faces us. Like… say we get attacked by roving beasts in the Wastelands-

It was Kanji’s turn to raise his slight, pale hand, nearly lost in the loose folds of the robes he wore, “We’ve discussed this before. We’re not traveling through the Wastelands. It is an unnecessary risk when we can take a well-traveled road all the way to Highen-Po.”

Dangerous? How dangerous will it be when every town and city starts to expect a great, green monster coming to their town.

Kanji winced at that point.

Besides, we’ll make better time.

“If we don’t get delayed by monsters, dehydration, loss of direction, or death,” muttered Kanji sarcastically. He coughed then and quickly changed his harsh tone, “Either way, the conclusion is the same. We need help.”

But we need a warrior, emphasized Deathwish, not an extra person I need to defend. As it is, I have my arms full with you.

“Well, we could put that as a top priority if I didn’t need someone to help me baby sit the likes of you,” Kanji shot with Deathwish with a mischievous smile. They shared a laugh, meaning Kanji laughed openly and Deathwish smelled of mint leaves, the ridges around his nose wiggled, and he projected telepathic chuckles.

They chatted, sometimes more seriously, but more often easily as they made their way back to the center of town. Thankfully, no one took more than passing interest in what seemed like two robed monks, one small and talkative, the other large and silent. By the time they reached the main road, the sun was starting its descent down over the grassy hills of Prima. Finally Kanji stopped and turned to Deathwish.

“We need a new place to stay for the night, and not being the biggest of cities, we’ve used up our only obvious option,” stated Kanji.

Why don’t we just be away from this this Brihaad forsaken place and onto the road? Deathwish smelled slightly of mildew, showing his irritation.

“Leave without having even eaten, our coffers now low, and a decided need for an additional companion?”

We could get some dogs. Eat a few. Have a few fight for us in the Wastelands. They don’t cost much, they’re ferocious fighters, and a portable self-sustaining food source.

Kanji’s jaw dropped and he rose his voice in an agitated stutter before he detected the scent of mint and realized his friend had been joking. He sighed and pointed at a large, though modestly made stone structure down the road.

“There’s a temple of Brihaad here,” Kanji smiled, “and, last I checked, we were some of her most devout followers and bearers of her divine powers.”

Great, we’re going to hire another one of you?

Kanji shook his head, “No, we’re going to explain our position to the head clergy and hopefully he’ll assign someone to our charge, as well as feed us and give us a place to stay the night.”

Deathwish smelled horrible, like socks that had been worn through a bog and left in a moist place to grow, Assigned to our charge? We’re going to take on a novice priest? How will that solve our problems? The last thing we need is to watch some child!

“Rather than an overgrown reptile?” Kanji quipped, shook his head, and continued down the path to the temple. “Just trust in Brihaad, Deathwish.”

At that Deathwis nodded and was humbly silent. He knew the compassion of the lady protector, as well as her strength. Inspite his sarcasm, Deathwish truly believed that the Goddess Brihaad would help him find his path as she always had, since he had first come to this world.

Brihaad had led Kanji to him and gave him a place to stay within the walls of a house of her worship. There he was trained with warrior techniques and faith in her powers. Before Deathwish, the brothers at the Wenga monastery had said there hadn’t been a paladin of Brihaad in centuries. Priests, yes. Monks, plenty as that was their specialty in Wenga. However, a special blessing was reserved for those particular warriors of Brihaad. They were not apt with a variety of powers as were the priests and monks. However, they could heal wounds and diseases with their touch, will, and strength. Deathwish had begun by being able to make gashes shallower and fevers abate with a simple extension of will and prayer to Brihaad. Now he could heal much more major wounds and terrible diseases. He could also sense evil within a person, so that he better knew how to serve Brihaad. In addition he attained a level of mastery with his chosen weapon like a spiritual bond. This is how Deathwish was with his broadsword fashioned by his own people. It was the only thing that came with him into this world.

Deathwish missed his people very greatly, but he knew it was likely that he would never see another of his own kind again. Brihaad comforted him, gave him purpose, and he jested that she was the only ‘woman’ Deathwish felt he would ever need. Still, he knew the longing for his own kind would never abate.

Continue to Chapter 3