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Mistakes Were Made - Work in Progress -

(Alpha v1.0.1)

Where Legends Gather

Hoot Who?

     At the intersection of Vehr Street and Faie Avenue lay Mansion Itegart, whose owner was none other than the wealthy Jocale, best known for her numerous and valuable jewels. She hosted a ball at Mansion Itegart for her important friends, a reunion after months without communication. Personally, she invited four of her closest companions which included Viraga, Noctuo, Multus, and Recens. Viraga was Jocale’s friend from childhood, as was Recens; Noctuo was an owner of great estate and member of Parliament; Multus was a man of multiple professions. The rest of the people invited to the ball were guest from other parts of Jocale’s life, which were of less importance to her.

     The day, being the thirteenth day of February, a snowy Friday, arrived and all who were invited gathered at the Mansion of Itegart at the stroke of seven at night. The dark sky was lit by the flakes of snow slowly falling from the sky leaving trails of more snow. Leafless trees rested around the mansion at various distances with snow upon all branches. Jocale stood outside the mansion welcoming all who enter, and met the first of her guests.

     “Welcome, Noctuo, it has been a while since last we met, has it not?” she asked.

     “Yes, a long time indeed,” replied Noctuo shaking her hand. “Perhaps too long, but not too much for old friendship to crumble.”

     “Accurate as usual, Noctuo,” she responded with a chuckle. “Step in and feel at home,”

     “Indeed I shall, Jocale,” said Noctuo as he entered the building.

     Noctuo followed the path indicated by a red carpet, which everyone else followed; it led to a large room with florid decorations, numerous tables and a dance floor which was full upon his arriving. He walked over to a table with refreshments and stood there, patiently observing the entrance.

     Outside, another of Jocale’s guests arrived, Multus, after a long flight from Australia.

     “My heart sings to see you, cousin,” greeted Jocale.

     “Much foulness pours from your mouth,” Multus responded with a growl. “It appears I was wrong about you changing. I now see it was a mistake to come.”

     “And as a lunatic under my supervision, I now see I must work harder,” Jocale replied sarcastically.

     “Your heart is that of a lion,” said Multus monotonously and walked in without further words. He arrived at the main room and took a seat alone at the table furthest from the crowd.

     The clock struck 7:10, and another of Jocale’s special guest arrived—Recens, who was the creator and architect of Mansion Itegart.

     “A star shines on the hour of our meeting,” said Recens from a distance before Jocale could speak.

     “A star indeed, high above the clouds whose burden is less than that of a leaf,” said Jocale.

     “It is apparent your way with words has not changed,” said Recens, “I am glad for that.”

     “Well, the last of my expectants should be arriving soon, take a walk inside and enjoy yourself,” Jocale said with a smile. And with that he entered. At a quarter past seven, Jocale decided to go inside, as no one else was in sight.

     Within, Noctuo approached Jocale, “Is there any news on when Viraga will arrive?” he asked.

     “None yet, I’m starting to wonder where she is,” Jocale said. Nonetheless, the party continued and at the strike of 7:31 Viraga entered the room as she was led by a servant of the Mansion. Jocale approached her and immediately said, “You’re late.”

     “And so are you,” she said in response with a cheer in her voice. From the refreshment table, Noctuo took two glasses of wine and poured a greenish powder into one of them. Being astute to remind himself of the order, he repeated to himself with every step: left wine, right powder; left wine, right powder...

     “Will fair Viraga drink wine with me and take a walk to speak in private?” asked Noctuo when he approached.

     “But you’ve only just arrived, Viraga,” said Jocale.

     “Good evening, Noctuo, it has been years since last we met, I shall be delighted,” she said ignoring Jocale. Noctuo hesitantly handed over the glass of wine on his right hand. Viraga accepted the glass and quickly drank it down. Noctuo took a small sip of his glass and began to walk outside speaking with her. Jocale, with a frown. went over to speak to Multus.

     “Do you remember when we were young and—” she was interrupted by Multus’ swift response.

     “Yes. Viraga, she always was the popular one. Yet in weakness you stood aside her, as if you were equal, but you were never noticed. Your weakness remains even to his day: Noctuo takes her away to speak and she does not care about you. My mind shows me many things, and this is one that will not end up in a good hand. Go, save her,” he predicted.

     “This brain of yours…shows you nothing but lies, which is why you are lucky I am with you to have taken you out of that bin,” replied Jocale with distraught.

     “If that is fact which you believe, then I will draw you back in time, when Viraga and you were together. Wait…,” Multus paused. “That’s correct, there was not even one time you two were together. Why? Because your heart was too weak to show your eyes past the point of illusion. You manipulated yourself to thinking she acknowledged you but it did not help because you were truly ignored. That man Noctuo is intrepid, he could do anything and yet you sit here listening to one you call an illness to society. You’re the one who has lost sight of who you really are, or perhaps have never found it,” Multus claimed.

     Jocale looked down at the ground with despair. “That’s a lie,” she said. “We were together countless times; there was that time in the candy shop, that time we found the creature at the pier, the time we found an orange bicycle, the time we were trapped in a maze, and many more.”

     “But how much of that time mattered to her? Is it friendship if there is no mutual connection? If you waste anymore time lingering here, there will be no future,” he said changing the subject. As long as I stay here, she will remain with me. Is she afraid of going alone because she knows I speak truth? And if I go, will she follow? Multus thought to himself. He stood up and began towards the exit; as he predicted, Jocale followed. As they exited the building, the door from the main room opened and closed. From the corner of his eye, Multus saw Recens.

     “I saw you two heading out and wanted to join seeing as to how there is no one else in therewho I know.”

     “Glad you could join us, Recens,” said Multus taking the words directly out of Jocale’s mouth, “but you may see things you may not want to see. Join this party at your risk.”

     “I’m decided,” Recens responded as he smiled and approached them. Without another word, Multus’ eyes faced the exit again, and he walked directly for it. Once outside, Multus looked down at the ground and found two pairs of footprints on the snow floor. He followed the direction they led to and soon enough, the smaller tracks took to a dragged print, while the other continued, seeming to have struggled walking...and backwards. Being led to the east wing of Mansion Itegart, Multus began to slow his pace as he saw a small pool of gore.

     “You were too late to do anything,” Multus directed at Jocale. “Now you pay the price of never seeing Viraga again.” Tears escaped her eyes, and she fell feeling heavy from pain. Upon the wall what appeared to be the word “Hoothoot” was smeared with blood. Recens turned away and placed his hand on his forehead in grievance.

     “But she’s heir to the first female sovereign,” Jocale said.

     “Was,” corrected Multus.

     A guard dropped from above since he saw them. After the ten foot jump from the guard tower, he spoke. “What crime lies here that is necessary to have blood?”

     With glaring eyes, Multus turned to the guard and spoke with anger, “Death is most obvious isn’t it? Because you lack the potential to guard well, death is a crime we all now have to face.” Multus moved on at rapid speed, to the southern wing of the mansion, where he spotted a veil of dirt rather than snow, and a track of footprints which lead away. The guard and Recens ran after him and eventually caught up.

     “And so the culprit escapes. Unless he never went too far,” said Multus.

     “There are only four possible suspects at this time, one of which I have already taken out. It was you, this other man, or Lady Jocale,” argued the guard.

     “Who was your other suspect?” asks Multus.

     “I was. By law, I place myself as a suspect, but I know I did not commit a crime, therefore, I can no longer be a suspect,” the guard said.

     “You were here before any of us, it could be you,” Multus said even though he knew the truth.

     “Incorrect, I—”

     “And so our culprit appears." The guard was interrupted by Multus’ quick reaction. "This man of two Parliaments—the Parliament of the Government, and the Parliament of Fowls—appears. He sees now that there is no hope to escape, as I have solved this crime,” he said as he stood facing the guard who was completely confused. “Noctuo, the Nocturnal Owl of the Parliament of Fowls. Your rank may be the Eurasian Eagle-Owl; it fits you best. He was your missing suspect, guard; the reason for is wanting Viraga’s death was fear of the future. He thought that if Viraga did become the first female sovereign, the Government would crumble. This Parliament of Fowls may or may not be a criminal organization, but he is most definitely a criminal this night. He is the culprit, isn’t that right, Noctuo?” said Multus as he turned directly around facing Noctuo; of all the people in the scene some were betwixt and some between.

     “A wise amongst the young, I did not anticipate that. I see now that it is I who has failed. Parliaments will see a true failure in me, but a true leader in you,” Noctuo said gleefully.

     “How depressing, none will see me in their offices. Now, guard, take this man where he belongs,” said Multus. “‘Hoothoot,' your way of saying ‘Victory’. I shall take that to no accomplishment. Cladis,” said Multus with finality.

Written 04.15.2007