CHAPTER I: OF GARK AND HIS LOVE

A SANTHARIAN NOVEL

 
The Tale of Gark and his Love   
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Introduction. The once so simple and dreary life of Gark is shattered when the apprentice carpenter awakes. Something has happened overnight, and Gark just can't simply come to terms with these new thoughts he's having. Gark has to get clear what has happened, and how he can solve the problems which are manifesting themselves inside his poor mind...

 
Prologue
 

Gather 'round, young folk, and let me tell you a tale. Not just a tale, no, but a love-story. Yes, I know you all think that you know everything there is to learn of love, but let me tell you this, you never know enough about love. Just like Gark experienced.

This tale happened a long, long time ago, in a part of the world virtually unknown to you living so far south in Sarvonia, but the story should not be heard more lightly because of that. I will embark, with your permission, on a journey wrought with peril, bravery and above all: Everlasting Love... - well, just plain love at the very least.

I will take you to a small town in the neighbourhood of the Shaded Forest, and then to a small hut in that very town. And then to the sleeping youngster there, Gark...
 

Chapter I: Of Gark and his Love
 

ark awoke. He glanced around, trying to see anything which might make a dent in his dismal existence. Alas, everything was as it ought to be, and Gark mouningly arose from his bed. He did not know where this feeling came from, the feeling that his life was just a waste, a sodden downright waste of time, nay, of life itself. Gark felt surprisingly angry about that. He never really got angry, not even when Baniel had stolen his best tools and told his father that Gark had lost them, no, Gark was a calm and peaceful fellow, never prone to misbehaving or wanton adventuring. So this was a truly surprising feeling for the lad, standing in his room, gazing at the ruins of his life, and with his eyes just simply noting that he should probably have to replace his hammer and chisel one of these days; they were pretty worn out. Gark sighed, this would be an unordinary day, and Gark never did hold much to adventures...

I feel this would be the right time to elaborate on the situation which is unfolding itself before our very eyes. Gark, a young fellow has a boring, blurry life. His path, fate and life wouldn't even impress a tryster, living in the sea. Uneventful would be an understatement, incredibly dull more accurate.

Gark was the son of a mediocre carpenter, and worked in his fathers shop every day. Due to the fact that his elders believed Gark to be dimwitted, his tasks had been limited to cleaning up the place and carrying heavy burdens. His father once had given him a set of carpenter tools, and Gark ever since always took them with him, and used them on every scrap of wood he could lay his hands on.

He himself never really thought much about his situation, until that day when he awoke from his slumber, tearing away the curtains of routine, trying to see the clear sky beyond.

When he had finished staring at his tools, which had taken some time, he quickly got himself dressed, and his hand stayed on his travelchest. Gark had never used the contents of this chest, which contained all the materials a traveller might need on his travels, like a short sword, a sack and some travelling clothes. Not knowing his future, Gark picked up his hammer and chisel, and went out of his room, towards his father's shop.

It was just a short walk from his elderly home to the carpentry, but for Gark it seemed to last a decade. It was as if every step progressed ever slower, and eventually Gark stopped and started thinking. He had not done such a thing often, and it was a pleasant new experience for the boy. His mind wandered to his current predicament; the heaviness of his steps, slowing him down with every step he took. Why was this? Gark questioned himself, and he could not produce an instant answer. Now that was a familiar thing to Gark, not producing instant answers, so he sat down on the path, waiting for the answer to come to him. After having waited a long time, without an answer presenting itself, Gark thought the better of it and decided to get to his fathers shop so he could think on the matter while he was there.

Just as he rose it struck him. Literally. A hard stone from an alley. Gark heard giggling voices and saw three young girls running away, their sling still lying there from where they had shot the stone at the unsuspecting Gark.

Then it dawned on him; something had happened the day before!

He had accompanied his father when he had brought some of his woodwork to the merchants. There had been a wealthy looking man who had bargained with his father for a piece of furniture. What was his name again? Gark pounded his head to get the memory process started, and was amazed at how easy he conjured up the name of the merchant, Guilik. But what had been so special about the man? Gark again pounded his head, satisfied with its former effect and again he produced the answer: his daughter! Yes, now he remembered, the girl had stood behind her father, a creature of light and beauty. She had seemed so fair in the dim light of the market and her eyes were the most beautiful thing Gark had ever seen. Not even the enormous fish Beankin had caught last summer had been more beautiful. She had smiled briefly at Gark and he now realised that the heaviness of his heart was probably caused by that smile. Like the opening of curtains to the dawning sun, the sight of first snowflocks in winter, her smile had opened doors in Gark's mind which had been locked shut before. And one of those doors was the door of Love.
 


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