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The Five Sacred Stones of Geraptiku: Part Six


by dan4884

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Part Six-Epilogue

I couldn't sleep. All night my mind kept returning to the elders' faces after I fled to the tomb. I couldn't push it out of my mind. I sat in my hammock wide-awake all night, the series of events running through my head over and over again. Nothing seemed right anymore. The wrong people died, the story had ended the wrong way. It was all wrong. This wasn't the way it was supposed to end up.

     The next morning, I decided to return to Geraptiku. I had to see it again. It enveloped my thoughts. It was all I could think about. I made my way through the jungle again, arriving in the village a few hours later. I still held the round, ball shaped stone I used to get back to this time period.

     I looked around the ruins. There was barely anything left. In the past, the huts had extended for at least half a mile out from the center of town. Now, the whole village was barely yards across. It was tiny.

     There were only a few huts left standing, if you could call it that. The leaf cloths the Geraptikuans used as doors had long since decomposed, and there were gaping holes in most of the huts. I looked inside some of them to find furniture overturned. The spirits had really worked hard at destroying everything.

     I turned to the Deserted Tomb. It still stood, but barely. It looked so much bigger in the past. It also had lost most of its splendor. Now it was just a tomb, but back then it was more than that. Back then, it was something to be proud of. It was amazing to see what can happen over time.

     I slowly entered the tomb and looked around. I could still picture the villagers standing around, staring at me as I faded from their view. It was heart wrenching to see their faces of despair still looking at me. Why did they have to go that way?

     I ventured further into the tomb, and looked around. There was nothing left except assorted tombs and treasure rooms. I didn't care about treasure anymore, though. It seemed like such a long time ago that I came in here to find a treasure room, but it was only a few days ago. It was hard to believe.

     Walking deeper into the tomb, I saw the room where I found the eye stone. The hole in the ceiling was still there, but the eye stone was not. Where could it be? For that matter, where were any of the other stones? I had given them to the elders before I left. I wonder what they did with them. I guess they were lost in time.

     I sat down in the room, needing a rest. It had sunk in now. I had consigned every villager of Geraptiku to his or her downfall. I thought I was helping, but I wasn't. It was fate. They were always supposed to be wiped out by Tura-Kepek, and nothing I tried to do could change that. It was a futile task, and I knew that. But I ignored that little voice in my head. The little voice of reason was right all along, and I still ignored it.

     Did fate bring me to the eye stone? Was I supposed to find it, and go back in time, and be the one to send them to their doom? What if it was always written somewhere and it was just waiting to be played out, like a vision in someone's head coming true? What if?

     I felt sick asking all these questions to myself, so I tried to ignore it, like I ignored that voice in my head. I wanted so bad to do something worthwhile that I disregarded the only thing that was right. It killed me that I had caused so much damage.

     I stood up, my head spinning, not feeling rested at all. I decided to explore further. I wanted to find the tomb where Ekwi was. I felt I owed it to her. She died honorably, and it was my duty to say one last true goodbye.

     ***

     I found her tomb a short while later. The elders had told me they sealed all tombs after a funeral; yet this grave was wide open the corridor. I noticed that the opening wasn't smooth like other rooms. Some treasure hunter must've broken into this room, I concluded. I was furious. How could they dishonor Ekwi? She deserved a safe resting place, and it sickened me that people would come in and search for treasure in her tomb.

     I noticed a tombstone at the head of her casket. It was covered in engravings and designs, along with Ekwi's name printed clearly across the front of it. However, the tombstone was cracked, and it looked like one touch would snap it in half. I decided to fix it. I'd have to find a stone and recreate it, with every design and picture in the exact same place. That would be my final gift to Ekwi.

     I looked around the room, and noticed four pedestals surrounding her tomb. As I got closer, I noticed three of them had stones on it: the sight stone, which started the whole adventure, the skipping stone, which kept me safe so many times, and the guard stone, which had been repaired. I saw the fourth pedestal was clear, and I knew what belonged.

     I fished for the touchstone, which brought me home. I walked over to the podium slowly, and set the stone on it cautiously. Suddenly, the whole room filled with light. I had no idea where it came from. I flung my arm over my eyes until the light faded. What I saw was astonishing.

     Designs had appeared on all of the walls, depicting how a red Gelert had appeared in Geraptiku and tried to help the village from the hideous Kyrii shaman from Techo Mountain. I saw a blue Kougra dying admirably and being honored in the Tomb. As I saw the scenes before me, a tear came to my eyes. I didn't wipe it away this time. It was too overwhelming. I turned full circle, and I saw what was on the wall behind me: written in white paint were the words, 'Thank you, Jake.'

     I broke down in tears. This was too much.

     ***

     It was two months after the adventure. I had completely redone Ekwi's tombstone, and it sat beautifully at the head of the most elegant and beautiful room in the whole tomb. I also rebuilt the wall that had been broken by treasure hunters. No one, not even me, would ever reenter that room again. It was the way it should be.

     I had decided to move to Geraptiku. I rebuilt the Council of Elders' hut and stayed there. I was still living alone, yes, but at least the deserted village of Geraptiku was no longer deserted. It had one occupant, who took care of everything there. I watched everyone who went into the Deserted Tomb, and after they left, I made sure they hadn't ruined anything. I took on the job of being the tomb's caretaker, and both it and I were better off for it. I even learned my way around the tomb.

     I never got the feeling I used to get. I knew I was doing something worthwhile with my time. I was preserving what was left of Geraptiku, and that was one of the most honorable things I could do. I knew that every Geraptikuan would be grateful if they were still with me today. They'd appreciate it as much as I appreciated them.

     I never found out what happened to Tura-Kepek after all these years, but I didn't care. I had a feeling he was still hiding in his cave up on Techo Mountain, withering away for all the time that passed. And that's where he should stay forever. He didn't deserve to live anymore than Ekwi deserved to die.

     As for the matter of fate, I still had many questions to ask. But I had come to accept what had happened to Geraptiku so many years ago, and I knew it wasn't my fault. It was fate, after all. Fate was fate, and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it. Somewhere, everyone's story is waiting, simply waiting to be played out in time. My story had ran its course, and though I didn't know it then, the story had an ending that was set in stone no matter what I did to try and change it.

     Some may think this ending is a sad one. But I don't think so. Sure, many people died, but their stories were already written. They were meant to go then, and it can't be changed. No, this ending is a happy one. Because I learned something about myself and about life itself. And that's the best ending someone can ask for.

The End

 
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Other Episodes


» The Five Sacred Stones of Geraptiku: Part One
» The Five Sacred Stones of Geraptiku: Part Two
» The Five Sacred Stones of Geraptiku: Part Three
» The Five Sacred Stones of Geraptiku: Part Four
» The Five Sacred Stones of Geraptiku: Part Five



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