Monday, November 25, 2019

Microstory 1241: Briar de Vries

No one is born alone, or so the quote goes. This was true of Briar as well, though for him, it was pretty close. His parents lived in a small English village in the 12th century, but a series of events ultimately led him to growing up unfathomably far from Great Britain, on a distant world called Thālith al Naʽāmāt Bida, and this was the only home he ever knew. He lived there for decades, never meeting a single soul besides his mother, Irene. That eventually ended when she died of age-related causes. So when other people finally started showing up, intending to colonize the planet, he didn’t quite know how to handle it. He sort of latched onto the first person he encountered, because it was just amazing that it even happened at all. Planets are big, and it would have been really easy for him to live out the rest of his days alone. It was just by luck that Leona landed her shuttle somewhat nearby, but it still took months for him to happen upon it. He developed some feelings for her, but she was with someone else. Mateo was literally light years away, but she was showing no signs of having given up on being reunited with him. Still, Briar pursued the matter the best way he could, which was quite respectful; an impressive feat from someone who had zero experience with love, relationships, or hell, even friendship. Unfortunately for him, Mateo did eventually show up, so Briar thought all was lost. Then Briar caught wind that maybe Mateo hadn’t been quite so faithful, and he decided to take matters into his own hands. While his mother had taught him to be a good person, it was difficult for her to show him how, because there weren’t ways to give him practical experience, and teach him lessons after his mistakes. So sadly, things became a lot more violent than they should have. Briar never thought of himself as a killer, not even afterwards. Though, he had to admit that he wasn’t sure if he went out there to end someone’s life, hurt him, or just scare him. He didn’t know whether he did it for love, or for honor, either. He went back to the group, and immediately confessed what he had done. As he was sitting in his cell, he remembered something his mother had tried to explain to him. It was called empathy, and though he thought he knew what she meant, perhaps he didn’t. He felt no remorse for his actions, even though Leona was not exactly thrilled about being widowed. Briar figured that there was only one thing left for him to do. He had to kill himself.

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