A Man Called Truth, Pt. 5: Mazarel

This is the latest installment of my web serial: A Man Called Truth. You can read the other episodes here: Stories.

In the realm of things unseen…known as the Ether, there dwell the Etherkind. They are the Powers  of the Ether and the guardians of the denizens of the terrestrial plane, who know them by other names.

Each Etherkind who was a Guardian of Power was charged with the care of one terrestrial family, for all of eternity. Lesser guardians helped in this task, placed to watch over individual members of a clan.

Mazarel was a lesser guardian of the family Rosshen. He was placed as the helper of several sons and daughters in that Life Line. They were a tragic family, always caught up in sorrow and calamity. Of all the trials placed on the Chosen Ones, the Rosshen family seemed particularly afflicted, and therefore loved all the more.

Of course, the Etherkind Guardians were limited in the ways and means by which they could intervene. Every possible outcome to every action had to be weighed, measured and decided upon. No action was ever taken lightly, and at times this proved most difficult for the lesser guardians to bear, as often they were forbidden to prevent the occurrence of some dismal event.

Mazarel loved and cherished his home within the Ether, with it’s dazzling brightness…beyond the most brilliant light imaginable. Daylight on the terrestrial plane paled in insignificance compared to that radiance!

Despite this, Mazarel loved the Earthly realm. The smell of flowers, the taste of salt from the sea on his lips, the way the sunlight slanted through the branches of bold cypresses. He would find himself lingering on, long past the completion of some little task he’d been on while aiding one of his charges…reluctant even to return to the Greatness that was within the Ether.

Mazarel also loved his charges with the fullness of his exceedingly powerful being. His love was such that he was often incapable of the detachment required in making clear, unbiased decisions when it came to what was truly best for his persons. Their grievances and trials tore at his compassionate heart. If one of his charges committed an evil, his anger raged like furious fire.

One individual, a beautiful young woman who was a slave, was whipped most cruelly by her taskmaster, beaten until she had fallen unconscious to the ground, warm blood gushing from the gashes and scourges…for no other reason than the taskmaster’s own venomous lust…the poison of his heart. Because the woman had dared to cast a favorable glance on a fellow slave while spurning his own vulgar advances.

Mazarel had looked helplessly on, his action held in check by the Power whom he served.

He wept bitter tears.

When it was over he went to the woman’s side and placed his comforting arms around her, whispering words of tender courage in her ear. She never knew he was there, but she felt…something, like a flutter of wings.

Later, after the girl had healed and gone back to the torturous labor that was her lot in life, the taskmaster…moving amongst other slaves on a high scaffold built for the purpose of erecting another of the triangular buildings his people were fond of, lost his footing and plummeted to his death. One slave testified that it seemed like a strong gust of wind had blown, causing the slave-driver to lose his balance.

Mazarel had made sure he was with the slave girl when she learned of the accident. She sang, such a sweet song of rejoicing that Mazarel sank to his knees, folded his wings around his body and bowed his head. Tears streamed from his large, dark eyes. His curly black hair, iridescent with traces of the Ether, fell about his broad shoulders and sparkled like the wings of a raven in the dim light of the hovel. He completely forgot himself in the rapture of the woman’s outpouring of emotion. When the girl stopped suddenly in the middle of her song, Mazarel knew she was seeing him.

He rose from the floor and looked into her solemn brown eyes. He took her face in his hands and spoke to her, his voice like a clear, sweet bell:

Beautiful one…never stop singing to the Power of Love. I will listen for your song always..and come to help you and yours for all of eternity. Anything that is in my power to do, I will do for you. Anything.

Rebekkah Rosshen closed her eyes and whispered her many thanks to the guardian who watched over her. When she opened them again, he was gone.

He made a promise. Protection for all eternity.

When he returned to the Ether, Mazarel reflected on the vow he’d made. It was made in a moment of haste, of pure bliss…and he knew he’d have to hold to it.

Music had always been his weakness.

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15 responses to “A Man Called Truth, Pt. 5: Mazarel

  1. Ah… backstory? Mazarel has a weakness, which makes him both less and more of what he’s supposed to be. How this leads to Emet… I suppose we’ll find out later?

    • Yes, FAR. It’s backstory. There’s going to be a little of that for the time being. We will revisit poor orphaned Andrea again soon. But it was time, I thought to lead folks down the dusty path of past and show readers the history of my story. It may jump around a bit. Did you recognized the history/country of this one?

  2. I really like the way you jump backwards and forwards with this, it fits with the medium so very well, each a part of a greater whole, but worth reading for themselves.

    For me this one isn’t quite as strong as the others, the opening is too much blurb, too much summary and not involved enough because it doesn’t feel like a character, it feels like an omniscient narrator, or encyclopedic recital. If you started straight in with Mazarel thinking about these things it would be more involved, imo.

    Having said that, once we get involved, it’s excellent. Mazarel’s observation of the slave and helpless, illicit interaction really reveals his character.

    (please don’t take offence at my crit… I really only ever feel I can crit if I genuinely enjoy a piece overall.)

    • John;

      I don’t take offense at all. I really depend on the comments from readers to help me make these episodes better. I love an honest critique.

      Thank you! I had problems approaching the introduction of Mazarel’s character, and you may have helped me with another opening.

      I’m glad you are enjoying this series enough to give me such honest feedback!

  3. Mazaret is quite the contrast to Emet, angel and demon, I have a feeling these two may be due to clash.

  4. I can see Xero’s criticism. The opening is very passive and brings momentum to a pause in order to catch us up on lore. Five episodes in it might be better to flow along, showing us these things as the characters act and ramifications fall out, or at least having them discuss the history. It didn’t ruin the episode for me, though it is something to think about for future chapters.

    • John;

      Thanks for the feedback. I needed to intro this character at this point in the series…it has a great impact on next weeks episode and I had a difficult time with this transition/backstory piece. I am glad I’ve gotten the positive feedback that I have from you and Xero, it will help me maybe pull this apart and do something else with it in time for the next Tuesday Serial, if I can manage it by then.

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  5. There is simply too much (unexplored) information here for it to be a flash fiction piece. This needs to be a novella, at least.

    I like the ideas that were introduced, and the bit on Mazarel. Take out the five power lens and put the twenty power lens in…

    • Hi, Donald…

      It is part five of a serial I’m doing…the other episodes took us up to Emet’s almost recent history, this one kind of steps back to his pre-history. I am really digging all the positive feedback on this and thanks for your input. I would love to make a graphic novel out of this, but I have absolutely no artistic talent.

      As far as the lens description in your comment, and the other comments by Wiswell and Xero, I think I may see a away to fix it.

      Thanks!

  6. I didn’t go back and read the previous pieces to this serial, so I am commenting exclusively on this story as a stand-alone.
    Your writing has a mythical feel to it…omniscient narrator sums it up well. Little things stood out for me–the slave girl singing/rejoicing for another’s demise. I agree she should be glad her tormentor is out of her life, but I find it callous for her to rejoice at another’s death–actually, not so much her, but Mazarel accepting her reaction. If he is a mythical guardian, he should be more objective–and in that more conflicted–at her response. I love that he is weak for humans, and can fall in love with her, and has a weakness for music. That was a nice touch.

    • Thanks, Peg, for your honest assessment. I perhaps need to tweak that little bit as well. Rebekkah is not so much rejoicing in the fact of the taskmaster’s death by itself, but rather that herself and the other slaves are freed from the oppression of this particularly cruel man. Of course, there’s always another taskmaster and the next one Pharaoh places over her may be ten times as worse. Hopefully she is not too far off from the visit of the prophet deliverer, who will take all of her people out of captivity. But we will not know that part. And Mazarel is very weak when it comes to his family, and this girl. There will be others like her in the family line.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Wow. What an interesting turn here. I’m glad you titled it the way you did because I began to wonder how we got back to ancient Egypt from Emet’s story and wondered if I had the wrong page. 🙂

    You definitely have my curiosity up about the relationship of these characters. Looking forward to this continuing.

  8. Pingback: #TuesdaySerial Report – Week 46 – Mar 15, 2011 | Tuesday Serial

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