ROW80-3 - 08/10 - Summer is fading
ROW80-3 - 08/13 - Some progress

Mixed Blessings

I did another story for a writing challenge, CTC29. It's Day 11 now, and I missed the past few. I may do them later. Or not.  

Today we were to look at the wise mentor - often used via a monologue to teach the protagonist and the reader. We need to make sure they are not too perfect, too flat as a character. This challenge was to explore the mentor monologue, but add a secret that reveals some sort of weakness, a flaw. 

I used an elder from my novel, Kirk's Landing, and his student, Dave. It's about 575 words.

Mixed Blessings

The elder gestured to Dave. "Welcome to my home. Come, sit at the table here. I said that as elders we watch over our people, and help guide them through life. I need to explain that a bit more."
He paused to roll a cigarette, lit it, and then sat back.
"When you first came here, we saw a difference in you, a strong spirit, like some of our people have. And we soon saw another difference, that the power could mask you from your own people, make you invisible. I could still see you though, as could any of us that had the Sight. It's another power that some of us develop, and that you have developed now. We saw that the power in you was incomplete, and left you vulnerable to evil spirits. We couldn't take it out of you, so the only other choice was to make it complete, through a Vision Quest. What you have in you now is a great power, and a great responsibility. With it we can see people for what they really are, what their inner nature is, both the good and evil in them. And for some of us, you included I think, that power goes even further. We can change people, influence their choices. For we can see the links between them and the world around them, as multi-coloured threads. And we see the paths their lives will take, as they make different choices. Or as we pull on the threads, and make the choices for them."
He smiled and shook his head. "It is dangerous though. We are not some perfect super race like in the comic books. As I mentioned, we all have good and evil in us. We make mistakes, you will make mistakes - hopefully not as big as mine."
He paused and sipped his coffee. "When I was younger I fell in love with a beautiful young maiden. Unfortunately, she had eyes for another. So I pulled a bit here and there, and she forgot him. I was proud of what I had done - until the other threads began to shift, like a cat's cradle. There was a fire, and her father and little brother perished. Her former boyfriend lost his job and started drinking. Business was bad at the mill and people were laid off. There were good things too, like a suddenly beautiful summer, a bus load of kids saved by a quick thinking driver, the children she bore me. But she had heard of the powers we had, and suspected I had done something. After that, everything that went wrong was my fault, and even the love she once had for me turned sour in her heart - she believed it was false."
The elder rose and walked over to the window, gazing into the setting sun. "I knew how it would end, for I could see the threads. I could see her suicide, her leap over the cliff, and could do nothing to stop it."
He turned back to Dave, and raised a hand. "No, no condolences. It was a grievous loss, and it was all from my pride. Just remember that this power in you has no morals, no ethics of its own. It is a blessing and a curse."
He poked Dave in the chest. "The control is in you. We are trusting that you will use it wisely. But we will be watching."     


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