|Wang Lung's Good Earth
Author: AvatarAiris PM
Wang Lung reminisces of his life as he follows his sons to the fields for the final time.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Family/Hurt/Comfort - Words: 1,595 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Published: 09-06-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5355400
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own the House of Earth Trilogy
AN- This one-shot was written to help get me back on my feet. I have been through a lot this past year and am not sure who I am anymore. I also figured returning to my other story right out of the cages would not be the wisest of choices, in case I ruin it in some way or another, but rest assured I will return to it.
So here you have it, my comeback one-shot and FanFiction's first ever House of Earth Trilogy Fic. I hope you all enjoy.
Wang Lung's Good Earth
For the first time in many days, my mind is clear from the heavy cob webs that have housed it for so long. It could quite possibly be thanks to the visit that my sons paid this morning. They only briefly addressed me before returning out the door to walk about the land, but it still brought great joy to me to know that I have not been abandoned by my remaining two sons. I know that the days until I myself return to the earth a few and that once I do perish, the land will be in the hands of my two sons. I have taught them both well, even if they have chosen the way of scholars, but I am still unnerved to know that once I am gone no one will be left who cherishes the earth with a passion that only I possess.
Unknowingly, I grab my walking staff and hobble slowly after my full-grown sons. I am powered by fear, fear that my sons will not hold the earth, from which their lives were shaped, in the respect that the ignorance of their pampered lives withheld from them. But inside the own hopeful ignorance of my own mind I know that with the clearness of my head today I can explain the earth's importance to my sons for the final time, as well as assure myself of steadfast peace for the remainder of my days.
The rhythmic beat of my steps and the press of my staff on the soft earth lull me into a new sense as I follow my sons. My mind and its thoughts become more lucid than they have been in many years and I relish in the mystery of this near forgotten part of my being and allow myself to delve deep into my inner core.
In this new light, I discover my age. If I had more sense, I would feel so much grief for what I once had, but I do not. I have fought my war with life and have, for the most part, won; to be at peace and concern myself with nothing is a right I now possess. My life has run its course and I am back in the simplicity of childhood. The only differences I see is that my body is now worn and withered with age not young as plump as it had been in my youth, that my loving mother has been replaced with me dear Pear Blossom and that instead of brothers and sisters for company I have my darling fool and the earth. I have finally returned to the peaceful simplicity of my youth.
Yes, after years of searching for peace, I have found it. My road to this peaceful ending may have been difficult and harsh, but through hard work and perseverance I have made it. My bones are tired and weary, and I can no longer walk without hobbling on a cane-- I feel like my old fool; let out to sit alone just outside the entrance and fondle my handful of earth day after day. Seeing me now one would not know that I was the head of the richest family in village, but there is a deep contentment settled within me, one so deep that it would not stir even if an old enemy such as my Uncle's son or my own youngest son were to return from war. I know that I would not trade this contentment for all of the jewels in China or the foreigners' country, and for that I am forever grateful to the gods of the earth.
Unfortunately, even further in the recesses of my mind, I know that this peace and contentment is not meant to last. That is since nothing good that has ever happened to me rarely lasts even long enough for me to appreciate it. O-lan is best example of that. I had spent half of my life with my first wife, but I had never been entirely grateful for her, and it took her death to even spark any thought about the woman who had turned into a shadow in my home. I realize now that even if her physical features had been as plain as the dirt she walked upon she was a better wife that the young fool that I had once been could have ever hoped for. When I had been nothing but a poor farmer with no hope for help in the fields, she was there beside me, hoeing, planting, and harvesting even as her belly swelled with the lives of my sons and daughters. And now that I think about it, if it were not for her and her thieving ways I would have never been able to reach the heights of richness, the place where I am now, our young family would probably still be stuck in the slums of the city in the south and my sons would more than likely have been recruited into the wars many years ago instead of being educated as scholars. It causes me great anguish to know that in youth I took her for granted, and only in age do I finally see her worth.
My sons stop, standing before a field stripped bare from the harvest. They continue with the hushed chatter they had been using while I was following them. Their backs are turned to me and it was quite possible that they had yet to learn of my presence. As I approach, my old ears pick up bits and pieces of what they are saying. They are talking of the earth and harvest. I smile, my heart lifting as far up in my chest as my old age can allow. My pace quickens and my limbs loosen from the tenseness that had them in chains earlier. As I come nearer and nearer to my sons I pick up more of what they are saying and all of a sudden all I can hear is the second son's stilted voice.
"This field we will sell and this one and we will divide the money between us evenly…"
My son continues to speak, but I hear nothing. Sell the land? Sell the land?! My heart clenches as though my sons have stabbed me with a steel dagger and a vicious, furious red fog claims my once clear mind. I cannot help myself from crying out in anger. My voice own voice seems so far away as I myself recede into my own living corpse. I despise myself for allowing my cry to break and tremble with the weakness of the anger that is now coursing like lethal poison through my veins.
If my sons had not known of my presence before, they were certainly aware of it after my outburst. They turn in more of a shock than surprise and grab me just as I am about to collapse to my knees. All of my reserve strength has left me and I am now no stronger than a newly hatched dove.
My sons attempt to soothe me, lying to my face as the rub my back trying to get to me back to my feet. "No-no-we will never sell the land--" But I have been through much in my life and I know when I am being lied to. I continue to yell at my sons, painful tears falling from my welled eyes. The pain of not only myself, but the land being betrayed wrapped around me like white-hot iron. My inner pain continued to eat away at my pride as it fuelled even more tears then the ones that had managed to escape onto my wrinkled and arid cheeks. But it all came down to one thing, after years of telling my sons of the importance of the land, they still did not understand.
With my core shaking in desperation, I gave my final futile attempt to show them the good earth. I dug my gnarled hand into the earth and pulled out a handful of soft soil and said to them in my pitiful, broken voice, "If you sell the land, it is the end."
And as they did time and time before my sons did not listen to me, only did they agree to soothe my anger and pain. They lifted me up by my arms and aided me back to the earthen house. As I had known, I would not die in peace and I was sure that once I had died, the earth would follow; disappearing from underneath the feet of all who did not hold it with wisdom and passion.
The earth and I had grown and flourished together, and ultimately, hand in hand we would wither and die as one.
Thank you all very much for reading. Reviews would be greatly appreciated.