By J.R. O’Neill
Copyright 2013 J.R. O’Neill
This is the story of Votar, written for a short story contest required elements included (1) A Statue (2) A Giant (3) Some incarnation of “Home” (4) Regret (5) 750 Words or Less (6) A Crown
Votar woke early on that fateful day, if only he hadn’t tried to kiss her. What was he thinking? Now the statue would be completed without him. His sentence? The worst any Alutan could imagine. He was to be sent home, back to that overcrowded, dirty, hell hole. Back, back to the misery of slavery, back to the domination of the giants…
Votar woke early on that grateful day. Today he would travel to Alut. He had been chosen first amongst his guild. It was to be he that would be there for the completion of the statue. His hands would touch, caress, create, his contribution to the statue of Alt would be the crowning jewel of his existence.
He checked his bags once again, everything was as it should be. So without a backward glance, he left his home. Checking the navigational reader in his hand, he walked to the processing center on the outskirts of Drivel city, his home for all of his life. He was stopped many times on his way. The overlords were none too kind to him, still, they were ordered by the giant Clipit to let the craftsmen pass.
By midday he arrived at the processing center, greeted by still more overlords, he was second-guessing his great desire to travel to Alt. He had managed to maintain a low profile all his life, barely ever seeing an overlord let alone being questioned by one.
The ship landed twenty longs later. Votar took his place in line with the other disembarking craftsmen. And then there she was, looking, sounding, being, everything he had fantasized about all his adult life. Princess Kalla, ruler of the Principality of Alut.
“Welcome craftsmen!” Kalla began. “All of you represent the best of our race. As you know it was by the treaty my great-grandmother Alt negotiated with the giant King Klaus, that we were able to establish this Principality! Here you are free, No overlords, No evil giants to squash you like bugs. Here we are all equal. In the next few longs with all of your help, we will complete the statue of my grandmother. Then as the treaty dictates, we shall stop all immigration. Our world will be sealed!
The crowd cheered, none louder than Votar. Over the next long Votar worked diligently on his project, the creation, and installation of the crown of Alt. The purest gold and the finest gems were his for the asking, and ask he did. His vision was one of glory, of honor, befitting of the great Queen Alt. He had under him many fine craftsmen, and apprentices. One of which was Lit. She would hang on his every word. As time passed all but Votar knew of her fascination with him, she would make a wonderful mate for Votar but he was oblivious. His thoughts and emotions never strayed from Princes Kalla. His plan was to make the crown so spectacular that she would have to notice him. And once noticed he was sure she would feel for him what he felt for her!
Lit sank into misery, as her love went about living as though he actually had a chance. The announcement of the engagement of Kalla to her consort Prince Ja did nothing to diminish his foolhardy fantasy. Why couldn’t he see that she who spent her days by his side, who enjoyed the same things as he, who was available and willing was the right choice?
One day the Princess came to view his work. Votar could barely speak as Princess Kalla praised his work.
“You are the most talented craftsman to work on this, oh so important project.” She said, sealing Votar’s fate with those few words…
Lit’s heart sank, as she watched Votar lean in to kiss the Princess.
The Princess was not at all displeased, she returned the kiss with passion, a passion she had never felt before.
Lit’s heart sank deeper.
“What’s this!!?” Shouted Prince Ja, when he entered the room to see what was delaying his promised bride.
The Princess realizing what she had done, pulled back furiously. “How dare you!” she screamed.
Votar woke early on that fateful day, if only he hadn’t tried to kiss her. What was he thinking? Now the statue would be completed without him. His sentence? The worst any Alutan could imagine. He was to be sent home, back to that overcrowded, dirty, hell hole. Back, back to the misery of slavery, back to the domination of the giants… Votar’s folly.