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The First Gift

A long time ago there were three friends who were traveling the world in search of a great treasure. This treasure was called “The First Gift”.

The travelers’ names were “Genesis”, “Tempes” and “Dathe”. They walked thousands of miles for days that turned to weeks that turned to months and then turned to years. With no clear direction, they searched and searched.

Tempes, who was the wisest, was the one who led the way in their journey following the stars. Dathe, who was skilled, took charge of their everyday necessity such as meals. While Genesis was considered the bravest of them all, would often wander under the dark sky as he searched for what he called destiny.

One night, as the three travels finish their meal Dathe prepared, Tempes started reciting a poem he once heard from an elder in his hometown. He spoke as all of them watch the fire dance in front of them, warming them in the cold night.

“Infinite in mystery is the gift of the goddess, we seek it thus and take it to the sky. Ripples form on the water’s surface, the wandering soul knows no rest”

“Why do you always speak of that old poem?” Dathe asked his friend. “It’s not like we’re on this journey because we’re following a fable tale you heard from an old man”

“It enlightens me, as the stars thus” Tempes answered, stretching his arms up to the sky.

“I could never understand the way you think” chuckled Dathe.

“People can never really understand ‘wise men’” Genesis joked. “But Tempes is an exception. I believe him. I believe he will lead us to where the treasure we seek lies”

“I never decided to go on this treasure hunt for that ‘gift’ you speak of, Genesis. You know I only tagged along because I know you guys wouldn’t last two days without me”

“He speaks the truth. I may be wise and maybe the stars will look after me as we embark on this journey, but having our friend Dathe here is another thing. Although I do believe someone whispered in your ear the night before we set off for you to accompany and help us” Tempes said.

“What like an angel?” Dathe asked sarcastically.

“It well maybe”

“Whatever may be the reason why you guys are here, I’m grateful. You both are real friends for you to go with me as I chase after a dream” Genesis said smiling at his two friends.

Though Tempes led the way, it was Genesis who started this all. He once had a dream of a light reaching out to him and presenting a gift. He doesn’t remember who was enveloped in the bright light and what gift it was. But he remembered that passed the light was a paradise he has never seen before. He talked it over to his friend Tempes who was known to interpret dreams and told him about a legend known as the “First Gift” that could be found in paradise. Many believe this to be true but none has ever found the gift or have been to the so-called paradise.

However, this did not stop Genesis from finding out. He was brave as he was curious. Curious as to what that gift was or where this paradise is, he sought to find it. He was brave indeed. Brave to go on a journey with no clear destination, leaving the comfort of his home and going chase the unknown even if it meant going alone. But Tempes believed Genesis’ dream was a sign and went willingly with him. Dathe on the other hand thought it was ridiculous but went with them anyway. He didn’t want his friends dying from starvation to be on his conscience.

“How long has it been?” Dathe asked with his eyes wandering the night sky and his two friends turned to him then looked up as well.

“How long huh? I wonder. We’ve always been traveling that I’ve lost count of how many days has passed since we left the village” Genesis said.

“Three years” Tempes answered that caught the others’ attention.

“Three? Really? It seemed longer” Dathe said laughing.

“At least…” Tempes added. “Three years… at least. It might truly be longer. Who knows. Why do ask such a question, my friend? Is your faith wavering?”

“Faith? In who? You? Or in the existence of this so-called gift?”

“Either one”

“Who knows. I never really believe in the treasure in the first place” Dathe said with a smug face.

“I’m still not giving up,” Genesis said and stood with his eyes gazing to the great beyond. “I truly believe that the ‘First Gift’ does exist. That it’s somewhere out there. I will search every corner of this world and get to Paradise, then with my hands be able to touch that gift”

Tempes and Dathe smiled at their friend’s enthusiasm. They nodded to each other and without words, they knew that both of them would stay together. Find the treasure and return home with their head held high and victory in their hands. They left their village while people laughed at them with disbelief. But when their journey ends, they know none of that would matter because they believe in their friend’s dream.

The next day as the sunrise, the three friends set out once more. Following Tempes’ readings of the stars and traveling by foot, they head north.

“Ready for another of adventure?” Genesis asked smiling.

“What you call ‘adventure’, I call ‘pain’. But whatever, our oh-great leader” Dathe laughed.

By noon, they had reached a new town and restocked their supplies. Tempes helped Dathe get the things needed while Genesis, who was just behind them, wandered his eyes around the place. He felt something off but he thought it was just his imagination.

“You guys don’t seem to be from around here,” the store owner said.

“We are humble travelers in search of a great treasure, kind sir,” Tempes said.

“Great treasure you say? You aren’t talking about the legend are you?”

“Unfortunately we are” Dathe said sarcastically.

“Are you people insane or something? Chasing after a fairy tale” the store owner laughed.

“We might as well be” Dathe agreed.

“Forgive me sir but as far as I know, this town is supposedly a place where people are great believers. Are you not one of them? I was hoping to talk to an elder before leaving” Tempes wondered.

“I’m afraid times have changed over the last hundreds of years. More and more people stopped believing. As you can see if you look around, this ain’t the lively village people once remember it to be”

Genesis squinted his eyes after hearing the store owner. The off feeling he had was true. This town looked dead. It may seem normal on the outside but if you take a hard look at the place, no one was smiling.

“Are there no more elders left to talk to? Or even just a simple believer of the great unknown” Tempes asked.

“Well… I suppose there is still one you can talk to” the store owner said hesitating.

“Care to point to his direction?” Dathe asked.

“It’s at the top of the mountain at the end of the town”

“Thank you, kind sir,” Tempes said.

“He’s insane though!” the store owner warned.

“Every wise man is,” Genesis said as he walked to his friends.

The three walked to the top and there they saw a man sitting in front of a tree in silence with his legs crossed and his eyes close. He seemed to be praying.

He didn’t look that old to be an elder. His hair was still black but he did have a beard that reached all the way down to his chest.

Genesis walked towards the man but before he could call out to him, he spoke.

“No need to for that young man, I know you and your friends are here. Please, sit and ask away your wonders”

“Wow. He even speaks like you Tempes” Dathe said while they took their seats.

“Aren’t you happy Tempes, you found a new friend” Genesis joked.

“Hush you two. You’re disturbing his concentration” Tempes scold.

“It’s alright, young believer. Your friends have not offended me.” The elder stood up silently and turn towards them that caught their attention. “Now, you came here seeking answers, have you not? Do not hold back and say what is in your mind and heart. Why not start with you, little dreamer?” he slowly sat down with his eyes fixated on Genesis.

“Did you call me a dreamer?” Genesis asked in astonishment.

“Has your dream not led you here to me?” No one dared to answer that made the old man smile. “Then you are a dreamer. The dream you had made you set off on this journey with your friends that eventually have you come here in search of answers”

“If you already know all this then why ask us to ask?” Dathe said.

“It is not a matter of knowing. It is a matter of asking. For you to know, you must first ask otherwise you will not gain anything. Have you gained something without asking first?”

“I didn’t ask to be born but I was given life”

“Ah… but your parents yearned for a child and so they asked then given you. You see, everything is connected. It is true that there are some things we ourselves did not ask for yet were handed to us. Such as struggles, tragedies, heartaches, and loss but it is only because they are there for the learning. Because some are ignorant, they need to be taught. Because of pride. They choose to believe they know everything and need not ask so what was given was a lesson. But if you seek progress and answer what you need to do is simply ask. So once more, what is it you wish to know, young dreamer?”

“Where can I find the First Gift?”

Genesis looked directly at the elder’s eyes as if he was searching for his answer in them. The elder did not break his gaze and he as well stared into the young man’s eyes. Dathe and Tempes remained quiet watching the two communicate without words until the elder spoke again.

“Young dreamer, do you truly believe in the First Gift?”

“Why ask when you know we are looking for it? If I didn’t believe then I wouldn’t be here”

“I can give you several answers to that question but none will be right unless I first understand your heart”

“My heart?”

“Does your heart truly believe? If it does not, your journey will be pointless. Look at this village. Its face is the reflection of their hearts. The people do not believe and so living has been pointless and smiles have faded. Now they search but not knowing what it is they are looking for. For you not to be like them, you must first be certain of your heart. I ask again, do you truly believe in the First Gift? Or are you simply searching for something else?”

Genesis fell silent and gaze at the scenery where their surroundings were filled with clouds and the sky painted in orange. The sound of the wind was clear and the village seemed small compared to the vast world they can see way up to where they are. He searched the sky, his mind, and his heart for the answer to the man in front of him asked.

“To be honest, after all this time we’ve been searching, after those thousands of miles we have walked, I’ve been asking myself the same question. Is this journey pointless? Countless people have laughed at us because what we are trying to accomplish that it made me wonder. But deep down I know I want to prove them wrong. That the world, despite being a great mystery holds thousands of treasures. And I want to find the greatest. I want to believe there is a paradise and I want to know what this first gift is. Because maybe… maybe… it will answer another question I’ve been asking myself since I was a kid”

“And what may this question be?”

“Why is life cruel…?” Tempes and Dathe’s eyes widen to their friend’s revelation and question. “I’ve seen people suffer. I’ve seen people prosper. Life… death… love… hate… lies and truth. I’ve seen them. People have given me answers and solutions but none have worked. None has given me satisfaction. The world is cruel. Life itself can be cruel. But some people are still willing to struggle to survive. It made me wonder. Life eventually ends right? So why struggle? Why bother to learn new things? Why bother to prosper in life when eventually everyone will just disappear in this world”

“So you wish to search for the first gift because you want to believe that maybe that is why people still live?”

“No… I want to believe that despite every sad thing in this world… there is a light that only some can touch. And maybe knowing what it is, will make me understand what life itself is lacking for it not to be so cruel. But after everything… I start to wonder if all of this is pointless…” Genesis formed a fist and tightly closed his eyes feeling frustrated.

“My friend, do you fly away now? To a world that abhors you and me? All that awaits you is a somber morrow. No matter where the winds may blow” Genesis opened his eyes and stared at the elder as he speak and look at the orange sky. ”My friend, your desire, is the bringer of life, the gift of the goddess. Even if the morrow is barren of promises, nothing shall forestall my return”

“Isn’t that from the same poem that Tempes recites?” Dathe wondered.

“You’re correct, my friend” Tempes nodded.

“So you have heard of that poem, young believer?”

“Yes, from our village where an elder told me and it has captured my heart ever since. It gives me enlightenment”

“Because this poem was the first”

“What?” the three asked in unison.

“With everything, there is always a first, a beginning. In the case of poetry, this was it. It is said it came with the goddess”

“The goddess, from the poem you mean?” Dathe asked.

“Yes. There was a man who received the first gift at the beginning of time. But before he received it, he spent time with the goddess whom he admired. The man inspired by her created this poetry and spread it to the world. In hopes that when a man looks for the gift, it will give enlightenment”

“So you mean to say that the answers we are looking for lie in the poem?” Dathe asked again.

“Yes and no. It depends on how you will come to understand it”

“Are you serious?! Tempes! Do you have the poem written somewhere? Can we read it? Maybe we can finally find this treasure and get home!” Dathe tugged on Tempes’ bag and went through his things but Tempes tried to calm him down.

“Relax my friend. It is written, not in paper but in my heart”

“You’ve got to be kidding me. Then tell us!”

Tempes opened his mouth and recited the poem with full of emotion that hearing it made the elder close his eyes and drift away. He listened as if what he was listening to was the lullaby of the goddess. While Genesis open his ears and stared at the sky, looking for answers.

When the war of the beasts brings about the world’s end
The goddess descends from the sky
Wings of light and dark spread afar
She guides us to bliss, her gift everlasting

“That’s it? That’s it?! Are you joking? I didn’t even understand a word you just said. Care interpret?” Dathe asked once Tempes was finished.

“Unfortunately, ‘till this very day, I still haven’t fully understood its true meaning”

Genesis stood up and went to the edge of the cliff staring at the scenery with his thoughts filled with the poem and Tempes’ voice echoing. The elder looked at Genesis and smiled.

“It seems our dreamer might have understood the words of the goddess”

“What? Genesis, have you really?” Tempes asked with excitement.

There is no hate, only joy
For you are beloved by the goddess
Hero of the dawn, Healer of worlds
Dreams of the morrow hath the shattered soul
Pride is lost
Wings stripped away, the end is nigh

“Hey, elder… this… poem is only for believers right? Only those who believe in the unknown will understand, right?” Genesis asked.

“Most certainly. But before you come to your answer… do any of you know the title of this poem?”

“It has a title?” Tempes wondered.

“Yes. It along with the last chapter of the poem was lost throughout history”

“Wait, that still wasn’t the end?”

“No. The poem’s title is LOVELESS and you are still missing one piece”

“Loveless, huh?” Genesis mumbled then smirked.

Genesis turned towards his friends and gave them a smile that confused them.

“The answer has been in front of me this whole time, hasn’t it? I guess I really am only brave. Thank you for the First Gift. I guess there’s only one last thing to do”

Before Dathe and Tempes could ask what he meant, Genesis stretched his arms open and let himself fall from the cliff. Without any fear, he felt the wind and closed his eyes. When he opened them, the last thing he saw was Dathe and Tempes falling down as well, reaching out to him.

Even if the morrow is barren of promises
Nothing shall forestall my return
To become the dew that quenches the land
To spare the sands, the seas, the skies
I offer thee this silent sacrifice

When Genesis opened his eyes again, what he saw was Paradise. He saw his two friends standing in front of him smiling and his village in celebration. The three friends were able to return home safe and sound after receiving the First Gift.

When the people in their town told them to tell them the story of their adventure and the true identity of the First Gift, the three friends would look at each other and all they would say is “To know the story, you need only ask”.

— END —

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Fiction