gaborrero t1_ixsefuh wrote

Thank you so much! I am self-published through Amazon, just one book. I'm glad you and everyone else enjoyed what I wrote and I hope to write additional enjoyable stories in the future!


gaborrero t1_ixs7o9k wrote

Reinita awoke with a start and flung the pillow off her face, looking to the window. It was already night, and her stomach reminded her of the fact she needed to eat.

She pushed herself out of bed and headed into the kitchen. There, she found some quickly-going-stale bread left out, sliced. "Mom," she said quietly to nobody, as the kitchen was devoid of presence save herself. "Thank you."

When she finished eating, Reinita went and sought out the family bible, which contained in it her mother's genealogy and the stories of their faith. One day, she knew, this would be her book. She never had an urge to read it before, but the figure in her dream was familiar to her. She sat on the couch and read from the beginning.

>It is said nobody truly knows Who came first. In the beginning, there was darkness; in time came the stars. It is said that, seeing the void of space and the great lengths between the stars that land of iron was created.
>This first land that was created was wide and the playground of creation, in which Caprea formed the first life. Its shape was as wild as its spirit, and in truth, Caprea's spirit as well. There was little more she enjoyed than creating being after being, but soon, their number grew too vast.
>She took her most perfect creations and had them placed in another land above the Realm of Iron, the Realm of Gold. This land was far smaller and populated by the Gods. It was there that the Gods took inspiration from Caprea and began to create Their own life forms, amongst them humankind, which they sent down to the Realm of Silver. Caprea, satisfied with the fractal infinity of creation She had seen brought about, took to resting and was never heard from again. Those who leave Her offerings find themselves with neither help nor response.
>The Gods, as They are named, were... And many names were listed. But among them, the one who caught her attention was, ... Madofue, Lord of the Stellar Forge...

Reinita flipped through the book until she found the relevant chapter.

>A titan among men, Madofue is most noted for His single arm. He is the ugliest of the Gods, and for this, one of his titles is "The Ugly." Even the kindest and most compassionate of Gods laugh at His countenance, offering Him little more than pity at best. He was the one who forged the weapons the Gods used to fight back the Army of Iron. Not much is needed to be said about this God, whose existence - while honorable - is unfortunate and unhappy.

Just before sunrise, her mother came into the living room wearing a flaxen nightgown. "... going to shave your head and become a priestess?" she joked.

"Ugh," Reinita said in response, rolling her eyes.

"What got you reading the bible all of the sudden?"

"I had a dream about a man at an anvil. It sounds a little like Madofue, doesn't it?"

Her mother's silence made Reinita choke the words out once more, though she failed to spare her mother so much as a glance. "It... sounds a little... like Madofue, right? Doesn't it?"

"... I suppose so," she sighed and walked around the couch to take a seat next to her daughter. "Reinita... there's something I ought to talk to you about."

"Not interested, reading the bible."

"Reading can wait," said her mother.

"No, whatever it is you have to say can wait." Reinita turned the page. "The guy in my dream wasn't exactly hot, but if it was supposed to be Madofue, why was He called the ugliest of all the Gods?"

"Well, if I had to guess, it had to be in comparison, as decided by those doing the judging," said her mother with a shrug. "The followers of Madofue are often lacking in looks and are deformed in some way."

"You say that like you know any," said Reinita as she turned the page, reading. "I mean, you are a gossip, so it shouldn't surprise me that you would know at least one."

"Ugh! Rei! Where are your manners? I'm your mother, not your friend, be respectful!"

"Stop hounding me to get married, first. YOU never got married."

"That's what I want to talk to you about."

Reinita's nose curled in disgust. "Ew, no."

"Not... not how you were made. Well. A little." Before her daughter could counter her or make any sound of distress, "I mean who made you."

Reinita looked at her mother now, giving her proper attention. "Does it matter? He was a deadbeat, he never stuck around to find out what would happen."

"It does matter. It matters a lot. Let me tell you about him, and his connection to Madofue."

Slowly, the young woman closed the bible on her lap. "Alright, mom. I'm listening, but you better tell me what he's got to do with Madofue first!"


gaborrero t1_ixrvgel wrote

"Could you imagine how catastrophic it would be if people learned to use magic?" Director Bell asked me and the other new hires. "That's why it's of utmost importance that we find and use ways to reduce mana in the environment and in people."

I couldn't help but speak up. "What about the terrible pain migraines bring, that you said is mana building up to dangerous, even critical, levels?"

"What about that pain in particular? I don't understand," responded the director.

"People have killed themselves over agonizing migraines before."

The room went silent as the fact I had stated hung in the air. The director gave a sad smile as she said, "Some day, you will understand, their deaths were for the better. It allows for built up mana to safely return to the environment."

The icy hand of stark realization placed itself on my back, unsettled goosebumps spreading from the top of my spine, down. "... for the better? Does... does this department advocate suicide?"

"It is an unfortunate side effect of critical mana overload," said Director Bell. "It isn't as if we are going to these people suffering migraines and suggesting they kill themselves."

"You kind of are? The current treatments out there for migraines are inadequate. What is this department doing to mitigate the damage from mana overload?"

The director smiled tensely. "We have better things to spend our time on, as do you. You will learn to adapt and overcome that conscience that guides you, at this job, in exchange for vast knowledge of mana and techniques that will help you manage it."

One of the other recruits asked, "What if we release those management techniques to the public?"

"You will never have to worry about being employed ever again. On that note... if any of you wish to quit now, it will not be held against you. I'm sure nobody will believe your stories of your time here, so you are free to go."

I watched as the other recruits all left without a second thought. I turned to leave as well, but my feet failed to propel me forward. I was stuck in place.

Director Bell came and placed a hand on my shoulder. "There's a lot of learning to be done. Let's get your paperwork finalized."

I felt a sinking, sickening feeling in my gut. What had I just signed myself up for?


gaborrero t1_ixrpqa2 wrote

Laughter echoed across the vastness of her mind as she felt herself walking, cold and alone, through a familiar town she was certain she had never been to before. People she passed were all taller than her and looked down at her, chuckling, nodding in her direction as they spoke with one another. The town had a notable overcast of somber blue-gray about it.

Reinita pressed on, walking down the winding street past the multitude of people she had never seen before, their faces clear and producing in her a feeling of longing for an unknown past and repulsion. Each was more beautiful than the next, ethereal existences in an ephemeral plane.

At the end of the road she walked along, floating, clear, glass steps that ascended up forever into the sky. She began to walk up these steps, each solid beneath her feet. She knew in her heart if she looked down, she would see the world below; despite this, her eyes were focused up into the sky, at what had to be the logical end of the stairs.

As she continued her climb, she made it past the clouds. It was getting harder to breathe, and she was beginning to tire. Still, Reinita climbed on, until she saw the vast blackness of night above her, and a pinpoint of swirling light, blue and red, up above. With renewed vigor, she pushed on, the light getting brighter and closer, until she was at a platform.

An amorphous, muscular man stood at an anvil, looking forlorn. He had but one arm - the left one - and on the right, attached to his shoulder a glass-and-metal contraption that ended in a pair of pliers. His body was like he was made of moving, shifting glass, and in him, all the patterns of space.

He slowly turned to look at Reinita with his bright eyes, shining like stars. His mouth moved, and the words he spoke were unintelligible to her. Yet, she understood them...

Where is my hammer?


gaborrero t1_ixqzv69 wrote

Reinita navigated the crowd like a salmon pushing upstream, striking against the natural order of its movements back towards her home. By the time she got there, metal on harmonic metal rang out sweetly as the church tower's resident bell echoed over all of Laderande and surely beyond as well. For a change, the sound rattled her as much as it did visitors to this small city. "Oh no..." she whispered as she got to the door. She fumbled with her keys in her pockets, hands shaking as she tried to line it up with the lock. Once it got in and turned with a click, Reinita ran into the small pale brown house.

Her mother wasn't home, which she was grateful for. She didn't want to think of the earful she was about to get. She went to her room and carefully, almost reverently, placed her new knick-knack on her bed. "... stay," she said to it, before bolting out of the house once more.

The bell had long finished ringing when she arrived at town square and the large well there. Sitting at one of the benches was a woman in black slacks and white blouse who looked beyond irate. She had short hair that curled in thick ringlets and, when she saw Reinita, stood to reveal that the little lady was only up to this woman's shoulder. Reinita rushed over and, between breaths, said, "I'm so... so sorry, Dura..."

The woman, Dura, held up one hand. "I don't want to hear it, Reinita. This is the third time you've been late for a date. Out of three dates."

"I didn't MEAN to, there was- there was the crowd, and then-"

"You knew there would be a crowd. It's the busiest day of the year. Everyone goes shopping today to get ready for Holy Week. Everyone." Dura crossed her arms and looked down at Reinita, tapping her high-heeled foot.

Reinita took a step closer and placed a hand on Dura's arm. "I should have thought better, you're right, and I-"

Dura recoiled from her touch as if it was a hot flame. "You messed up. Again. But I respect myself a lot more than you apparently respect me. We're through." Dura turned and walked away, putting her hands in her pockets as she departed.

There wasn't anything Reinita could do or say to get Dura to come back, and she knew it. "... not again," she whispered to herself. She took a few steps after Dura only to stop, watching her fade away into the crowd.

Reinita made her way home, and this time, she wasn't as lucky as before.

"Rei? What are you doing home so early? Didn't you have a date?" Reinita grimaced at her mother's words, which the equally-short, plump woman did not fail to notice. Her weary features accompanied a growing frown as she asked, "You blew it? Again? How did you blow it again? What is with you? You keep finding all these amazing women who will give you the time of day, and then losing them."

"Mom... I don't want to talk about it," she said as she went to head towards her room.

"You're going to have to talk about it! You can't just push me away like you always do! One day, you're going to wish I was here to open up to, and-"

Reinita had already crossed her mother's path and gotten into her bedroom, where she almost slammed the door shut, but caught it last second to very, very gently close the door. It would have been a catastrophe if the door had slammed - all around her room, small trinkets of various shapes and sizes and, most importantly, fragility. She locked the door and then went to her bed.

She took off her worn-down white flats and threw herself on her bed, only to be greeted by the hammer she had previously left there. "Oof." She sat up and moved the hammer until it was in front of her, on her lap. "... at least I can tell what you are. You're a hammer. And you're not going to leave me, are you?" she asked as she looked down at it. "I don't know what to do with you."

A knocking at her door. "Rei?" called her mother. "Stop talking to your junk and come talk to me instead, or at least clean your room!"

Reinita took her hammer and burrowed its head and her own under her pillow, a bright magenta as opposed to the pale pink of her dress. The door knob jiggled loudly as her mother tried to get in. "You're twenty two, you can't hide and wallow in my home forever, young lady!"

She closed her eyes and waited for her mother to give up. She wasn't sure if her mother gave up first or she fell asleep, but before she knew it, she was dreaming.


gaborrero t1_ixqkcbr wrote

If there was ever a word to describe Reinita, it would be "small." She didn't have much height to her despite being a full-grown woman and she didn't have much muscle or meat to her, either. As such, it was no surprise that on one of the busiest days of the year, she was bumped about the street until she ducked for cover in the nearest store she could find.

It was still packed, even if less so than outside; the musty air mixed with the humid sweat of the many patrons as they looked to and fro at the wares being offered. Reinita couldn't make out anybody's faces; she tried to calm her racing heart by attempting to steady her shaky breath. It felt like the world was closing in on her in a way she couldn't place.

Another person came into the store behind her and said something she failed to comprehend - they could have been speaking the same language as her, but for all she was concerned, it might as well have been word salad. She tried to escape out of their way, bumping into this person and that person unnoticed until she stumbled and fell to her knees, knocking onto the floor some of the stacked wares in the shop.

Reinita stared down at the various items beneath her, hands on the floor to keep her propped up. "Damn," she whispered.

A nasally voice called out to her, "You! What do you think you're doing!" She scrambled to pick up each of the items and put them back. The last item she was to pick up was a hammer, battered with its cloth wrapping about its shaft, tattered. She lifted it with surprising ease despite its size, such that it caught even her offguard.

The owner of the nasally voice made their way to her - a man covered wrinkles with skin like tanned leather, green eyes jaundiced. He held in his hand a carved wooden cane that supported him, as he stood upright as best he could. His lips parted as he revealed yellow-stained teeth, uneven and some sharper than others.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to... I mean... I'll buy this, to make up for my clumsiness... please don't yell at me," Reinita rushed out, still holding the hammer in her hands.

"Buy it, eh?... you will pay twice. First, your name."

"Rei... nita..." she said unsurely.

"No, no, sweetie, your full name."

She questioned briefly if she should tell him her full name, but it was all she could do, if he didn't want her to pay for damaging the goods she had knocked over. "Reinita Agaufe."

"I see... and for your second payment, you will owe me a favor." When she opened her mouth to speak, the man countered, "Just a small favor, nothing really, a trifle. A use of your skills, and nothing more, sweetie."

Reinita held the hammer with one hand as she asked, "Skills?" She hadn't yet landed a job that she kept for more than three months, and she was starting to think there was nothing she was good at or good for.

"You'll see yet. And when you do... I'll come find you. Now, out."

Reinita stumbled out of the store and back onto the street, hammer in hand. She lifted it to look at it more carefully. "... what in the world am I supposed to do with this?" She had to take back her previous thought. She was pretty good at gathering random junk. Before she could contemplate the hammer any further, the crowd walking down the street pushed her along again, like a wave sweeping her away.