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Untitled Fantasy Book (Chapter 2)

Chapter 2

Aslan was from a place called Oathville, named after the Sacred Oaths that their first king, Orac Vanarc, took. His Oaths were: ‘Always chase the truth. Always seek justice. Always do what is best for the majority, but to never forget the minority. And to always be loyal to the one true God, Rocctah.’

The first three sounded okay to Aslan when he was growing up, but he had always been skeptical of the fourth oath the king had taken. People seemed to take The Oaths very seriously in Oathville, much too serious for Aslan’s liking. He never took anything very seriously. He had always felt like life was too random to take seriously. Life was, as he looked at it, absurd. As a result, he wasn’t very liked in Oathville. He laughed when most people cried, and he cried when most of them laughed. 

His mother was fiercely loyal to Rocctah, and as soon as she had started to feel Aslan grow into his own person, she tried to strike the fear of Rocctah into him. It had the opposite effect on him and he ended up laughing at her. 

Aslan often felt that his mother’s biggest fear would be one of her family members not believing in Rocctah. The more Aslan tried to pull away, the harder she tried to grab ahold of him. He had just wanted to be free to live life the way that he had wanted to, but she started to resent him for that. 

Eventually, her ‘unconditional’ love that she said that she had for him turned to ‘conditional’ love, and the condition was to believe exactly what she did. And after a few years of him embarrassing her around town, the conditional love turned into bitterness. She resented her son for wanting his freedom to choose. 

Aslan had been a naturally curious child. He’d frequently ask her extremely taboo questions like, ‘why?’ or ‘how?’. She never could give him an answer. No, she preferred her other son, Aaron. He played along with whatever she said, but whenever he and Aaron were alone, he would call her a ‘crazy old bat’. 

Everyone preferred Aaron to Aslan. Aaron was quicker to smile than Aslan was, and he was better at making the citizens of Oathville laugh. He was also better at pretending to believe in Rocctah. But Aslan knew the truth, Aaron was a fantastic liar. And an even better actor. He knew how to manipulate people without anyone ever noticing—besides Aslan—what he was doing to them. He’d often learn what not to do by watching how Aslan did it first, and then he would do or say the opposite. 

But, despite all of the flaws that Aaron had, he was Aslan’s oldest and closest friend. He always had been. 

Everything changed when Aslan ran into a little brunette lady named Beatrice. 

He literally ran into her, as he and Aaron turned a corner while walking home one afternoon, accidentally knocking her down. Her books she had been carrying fell to the ground. 

Aslan apologized and then bent down to pick up the books. Aaron stood above them with his hand out and a smile on his face. 

“Sorry about him,” Aaron had said. “Here, I got you.”

But Beatrice was still on the ground, looking absolutely horrified as Aslan inspected the covers and titles of her books. She had never noticed Aaron’s extended hand to her. 

Aslan looked at one book cover, and then quickly turned around and read the back. He looked shocked at what he was seeing. 

Beatrice quickly snatched the book he was looking at out of his hands, blushing furiously.

“Erotica??” Aslan asked her, bluntly. Her face was a deep shade of red. 

“It's a fantasy! I wouldn’t expect you to know anything about literature, Aslan Reetrant.”

The two were both on the ground, studying the other person. Then, all of a sudden, Aslan let out a deep laugh that came from his belly. 

“Beatrice Purr, I never imagined that you of all people read erotica!” He stood up and left his hand out for her. She grabbed it and he pulled her up in one swift motion, slightly taking her off of her feet as he pulled her up.

“This is called a book, Aslan. Repeat after me, BOOK. B-O-O-K. Some of us try to learn from books. You should read one someday.”

Aslan raised an eyebrow. “And what’re you trying to learn from that particular book, Beatrice?”

“I—. . . you sonofabitch, Aslan.” 

He laughed from his belly again. Aaron cleared his throat, but the two still didn’t acknowledge him. 

“I am learning about human relations, thank you very much.” She raised her chin and her chest as she spoke to him. 

“Human relations, huh? I think there are only so much you can learn in books. Some things in life—like human relations—have to be learned by doing, not reading.”

“And what would a boy like you know about human relations?”

He looked her up and down. “A hell of a lot more than you know about it, that’s for sure.”

She scoffed at him, looking at him in disgust. “You’re unbelievable, Aslan Reetrant.”

A big smile formed on his face. “Thank you very much, Beatrice Purr.”

She looked back at him, holding his gaze firmly.

After a few seconds, Aaron walked between the two, turning his back to Aslan as he did, and facing Beatrice. “Sorry about my brother,” he said. “He has no manners whatsoever. He should know better than to snoop through a ladies book. Let me make it up to you someday by taking you dress shopping. You like your dresses, don’t you, Beatrice?” He smiled at her in his way that usually got people to like him. 

“Sorry, Aaron, I am not interested in your charms. I don't think you'd be able to fit me in between all of your other ladies that you take dress shopping.”

Aslan started to laugh but quickly turned it into a cough, trying to play it off. 

Aaron snapped his head around and shot him a nasty look. As his head was turned, Beatrice walked around him, back up to Aslan. “Give it back, Aslan.” She stuck her hand out and waited.

Aslan looked down at her waiting hand. “I already gave it to you.”

“The other one.”

A wicked grin came across his face again. “I don’t have another one.”

“Yes you do.” She kept her hand out, still waiting.

“Okay, okay, I’ll give it back to you if you can honestly tell me what it is about.”

Her cheeks flushed red again. “I—. . .  It’s about . . . It’s my book, Aslan!!”

He spread out both of his arms. “Feel free to search me for it,” his grin extending from ear to ear now. 

She scoffed again. 

And then he gently took her extended hand and turned it around. Then, before she could pull it away, he kissed the back of her hand.

“Fine!” she yelled at him, yanking away her hand. “Keep it! But you had better read it! I’ll give you one week and then you had better meet me under the sycamore tree to give it back! But, Aslan Reetrant, I will quiz you on the contents of that book. I will know if you don’t read it.”

He raised an eyebrow again. “You’re going to quiz me on ‘human relations’?

She turned around from him and started to walk away. “Yes I will! You better do your homework.” She said without turning around.

“See you in a week! Hey, weren't you headed the other way??”

She kept her stride, but waved to him as she walked away.

Aaron punched him on the shoulder. “You’re an idiot, Aslan.”

Aslan rubbed his shoulder. “I thought that went very well, actually.”

A week passed and he met her under the sycamore tree that stood all alone in the middle of Oathville. She wore a yellow sun-dress and had her hair down. They sat together on a bench underneath the tree. She crossed her legs and folded her hands in her lap, as she listened to Aslan describe the book in detail.

“First off, this book has nothing to do with real human relations. I mean, what lady in their right mind would be attracted to Nolann? He is a rich psychopath with no personality and no character development. And he was a complete jerk to Sabitha throughout the whole book. She deserves someone WAY better than Nolann’s sorry ass. He doesn’t care about her, he just wants to use her for his— . . . er, ‘games’ . . . And then there was the whole thing with him being immortal, which didn’t really make sense. I get that he accumulated his power and wealth through decades of living, and he hadn’t taken a lover for centuries, but still, his character was unbearable at times. Sabitha was so sweet and funny but she has to have rocks for brains to be so obsessed with Nolann. But, she doesn’t have rocks for brains! It makes no sense at all . . . Would someone like her go for someone like him in real life? I doubt it. And then there was that scene where he tied her up and made her do . . . you know . . . that thing,” he whispered the last part to her. “That was actually insane. People don’t really do that . . . do they?”

She sat there, watching him, waiting. Her cheeks had only turned slightly pink during his recap. She uncrossed her legs and recrossed them, her dress sliding up her legs, revealing more skin. 

His eyes found her legs, and then shot back up as he realized what he was doing. 

“I’ll be the one asking questions here, Aslan,” she said. She was sitting there with perfect posture. Her green eyes practically sparkled in the sunlight. “What do you think it was about Nolann that Sabitha was attracted to?”

“. . . It was his money, his mystery, his power, his toxic attitude and his giant cock, I reckon.”

“You reckon?” She raised an eyebrow.

“Yeah . . . I mean, it wasn’t real love. It was only lust. Although, the book never does make that clear. The ending, when she agrees to be his prisoner for 1 year, and he smiles and locks her door. And then she—. . . uhh . . . she does that one thing with that pillow that she thinks smells like him, that was wild. I didn’t know what to think . . .”

“Did your heart race at all during the book?” “My heart wouldn’t stop racing! But, I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. I didn’t know if I even should like it. I was ashamed to read it at times . . . And reading it in public was not an option—I found that out during chapter 2.”

“I think you get it.”

“Get what?”

“The appeal.”

“The shame? Really??”

“Yes, the shame has something to do with it. Why should reading about sex make us feel embarrassed? These type of books challenge us to acknowledge our deep desires, and there is something intoxicating about becoming familiar with what makes your heart race. You get to discover some parts of yourself you’ve never recognized before. ”

“Yeah, but . . . that wasn’t just reading about sex. That was a lot more than just sex.”


“Maybe?! . . . You would do those things?”

“Some of them I’d try with the right person.”

Aslan narrowed his gaze. “Are you drunk?”

“I am quite sober, Aslan.”

“Would you be attracted to a man like Nolann?” 

“I pray to Rooctah that I never will.”

Aslan grunted. Then he looked up to the sky, thinking. Beatrice patiently watched him, her eyes glued to him.  After a long silence, Aslan finally said, “Is that it? Is that the quiz?”

She softly smiled at him. “Yes, Aslan, that’s the quiz.”

“How’d I do?”

“Surprisingly well, actually. You really read the book, for one.”

“Of course I did! I said I would.”

“I know, but men say a lot of things . . .”

“That they do. So do women, though.”


“I try to keep my oaths.”

“I know that you do. In your own way, you’re a great product of this place.”

“I hate this place.”

“I know you do.”

“I hate The Oaths. I hate the dogma here. You know, some people here wouldn’t be very happy with that book?” He nodded to the book.

“I know.”

“You don’t like it here either?” he gently asked her.

“I tolerate it. And, I’ve learned when to play along.”

“Play along?”

“Which mask to wear.”


“I guess you don’t really have one of those, yet. You will, though, Aslan. You’ll have to develop one at some point.”


“To fit in.”

“To fit in here?? Why would I want to do that?”

“Because, Aslan, one day you might care about someone more than you care about yourself. And you’ll have to think about her and what she wants.”

“If she wants to wear a mask for her, then she isn’t for me.” He looked up to the sky again. She let out a long sigh and stood up.

“You’re a lost cause, Aslan. You’ll never find a wife. But you will walk me home now.”

“Oh yeah, I can do that. The sun is already setting?? Where did the time go??”

She smiled at him and took his arm. She rested her head on his shoulder. He recoiled for a moment, shocked at what was going on. Then he kissed the top of her head and walked her home. 

“Thanks for today,” she whispered to him. “Here.” She slipped a book into the inside pocket of his jacket. 

“What’s this?”

“Another one for you to read. It’s not as intense as the last one. I think you’ll like it. The male character is more admirable in this one. Lets meet again under the sycamore tree in another week.”

His face lit up. “Deal,” he said with a cheesy smile on his face. 

That moment between the two of them was ten years from Aslan’s wrongful imprisonment. 

And they did meet under that tree every Sunday for nine months before Aslan asked her to be his wife.

CH 4/9/24

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