[FoH] Journal Entry #4- Take Me to Church (Jerial)

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{ Journal Entry #4 }
Take Me to Church

Author: Jerial
Time: Twilight
Location: Street Shrine

He hadn’t remembered how he even wound up in this place. His mind had been swimming, swarming in chaos all day long. Ever since he had left his home, he found himself in a constant state of conflict. Question after question presented itself, without a single answer in sight. The oncoming migraine did little to help his predicament. He had been wandering the city streets for hours now, too drained to dance for those that passed him by without a second glance.

He was loathe to admit it, but he was dying for company. Anyone to talk to was better than dealing with the thoughts caught within confusing confines of his own mind. He had prayed to - well, whatever deity, if there was any, bothered to listen to him - that someone would show up. Daichi would listen. Daichi would smile and pat him on the shoulder and call him “my friend”. Vanda would offer a warm smile and kind words of comfort to soothe his soul. Jung...well, he would probably just laugh at him. But still, he craved his company, for whatever reason that may be.

When he snapped out of his trance, the Gerudo found himself in front of a shrine of some sort. What is this doing in some back alleyway? Aren’t these normally set up in central squares? The point is for everyone to worship them, after all. The shrine was modest, to say the least. A tiny wooden structure adorned with candles of every shape and size, each ablaze with a haunting blue flame, stood propped against the stone of the city walls. Blue? That’s odd, to say the least. In the center stood a miniature statue of a mysterious woman, a strange symbol painted onto her forehead. Her arms were stretched up to the sky. Stony eyes stared at the starless sky overhead.

He found himself inexplicably intrigued by the small structure. Drawn inside, he stepped within and took the sight in. The smell of incense made him feel right at home. Regardless of whatever goddess was worshipped here, that same smell lingered in the air. The Gerudo always placed incense at their sites of worship, the smoky smell saturating the air and intoxicating the followers. He wondered why exactly every goddess just so happened to love the smell of incense and asked for it to be at every holy site. Religious tradition was as much a mystery as the goddesses themselves. Still, the aroma alleviated his worries. Perhaps the worshippers simply wanted to ease their troubles instead of truly glorifying their gods.

“Ah, a fellow worshipper?” A voice behind him spoke. Suddenly startled, he spun to face the unexpected visitor. The face that greeted him was unknown, but not unwelcome. A female Zora stood at the entrance, a look of complete serenity on her face. She was dressed in mere peasant garbs, with the skirt akin to that of a priestess. “I didn’t expect anyone to wander into my makeshift shrine. Have you come to pay your respects to the Goddess Nayru?” The woman spoke again, her expression never changing. Jerial couldn’t decide whether to feel welcome or wary.

“Ahh, no, I’m sorry. I was walking and just wanted to see what this was.” He shot another glance at the statue. “It’s not every day you find an altar in an alleyway.” He backed away as she approached, though she did not walk directly to him. Instead, she stared at the idol before her, appearing deep in thought. He had to admit, it was quite breathtaking. “Did you...make this? All of this, I mean.” She looked at him rather blankly and he stumbled over the next few words. “Well, it’s just that you said that it’s your shrine so I, uh, just figured-”. His nervous rambling was interrupted by a breathy giggle emitted from the lady that stood before him. “You’re quite jumpy.” She looked at him with all the warmth in the world. It burned nearly as strongly as the candles. “There’s no reason to be afraid of me.” At this she turned and touched the head of the statue. “Nor her, either.”

The entirety of Jerial’s being felt strangely at ease with this woman, whoever she may be. Still, he had no right to be here. “Honestly, I should be going. I’m what your people would call a ‘heathen’.” He began to take his leave before she laughed again. Just what was with this woman? “Well then, you’re in good company.” Jerial cocked an eyebrow. Maybe she was just crazy. She continued, a playful look having entered her eyes. “I’m an outcast. An exile. I’ve sinned as much as any other being in this land. I don’t think we’re very different now, do you? In fact, I may even be worse.”

The dancer wasn’t sure quite what to say. “You may be right. Even still, what is someone like you doing serving Nayru?” Realizing the accidental harshness of his words, he quickly added, “That came out wrong.” She cast aside his worries with a shake of her hand. “No harm done. I wonder that sometimes too.” She wandered to the other side of the structure, picking out a lone candle whose light had been extinguished, and held it up to him. He was about to speak when she held a lone finger to her lips. Suddenly, that same eerie blue light burst forth from the tip of the wick. Jerial’s eyes widened at the sight.

“Does that surprise you?” She asked without expecting a reply. She set the candle back where it had been before, adjusting it here and there to align it properly with the rest. “My people did not take kindly to one of their own who could control flames. They believed I secretly served Din, who, if I recall correctly, would be the patron deity of your people, correct?” Jerial’s gaze upon her softened. Perhaps he had misjudged this woman. Reluctantly, he nodded his head. “As I thought.”

The Zora seated herself in front of the idol before patting the place beside her, inviting the Gerudo to join her. He may not worship Nayru - truth be told, he barely believed in Din - but this woman intrigued him, and so he followed her command. “I don’t think this was an accident, our meeting. Be it fate or destiny or divine interference, call it what you may, I was hoping to meet someone like you tonight.” She placed a hand on his shoulder, squeezing softly. It was perhaps the most reassuring gesture Jerial had felt since he had left home. “Tell me, what’s on your mind, my dear?”

The boy hugged his knees to his chest and buried his face within them as he sighed. This woman was something else. He was certainly not one to pour out his heart to whatever stranger showed him some form of kindness. But he found that his soul ached, and loathe as he was to admit it, he had prayed for company. “I’m not the type to open up, I’m afraid.”

“That is your downfall, I see.” His head whipped to face her. He was met only with an understanding but sorrowful stare. “Building barriers, fortifying walls around your heart...what good does it do you? You only end up in isolation. In doing so, you bring ruin upon yourself - and there is no one to blame but you.” He found himself shaking with every word she spoke. She paid him little mind, but her grip tightened. “You are a beautiful boy, you know. One with a great destiny set before him. But such a fate can be so heavy to bear, and it is undeniably impossible to bear alone.”

He felt like a child before her now, hugging himself so tightly, tears spilling down his cheeks. He tried to speak as he choked back sobs, a failed attempt at a smirk on his face, “Goddess, you see right through me.” He wiped the tears from his face with the back of his hand. “I’m not sure whether you’re clairvoyant or crazy, but whatever you are, I should thank you for the comfort and the company. You have given me...much to think about.”

Her expression softened, that warmth flooding her face once more. She seemed so much like a mother that it was a bit unnerving. “Of course, my dear.” Reaching into the bag she kept strapped to her side, she retrieved a single candle and pressed it into his palms. “I want you to take this, as a reminder of our meeting tonight. May it light up your path in the darkest night.” His gratefulness could only surmount to a weak smile in the bewildered and weakened state that he was in. Goddess, he was a mess.

He rose to his feet and brushed the dust from his clothes. A thought suddenly occurred to him. “I just realized I never asked your name.” She looked up at him, icy eyes aglow. “Marutela.” He nodded and turned to go. Just before he stepped outside, she called out to him, back still turned. “Oh, and Jerial?” He turned to her once more. How did she know his name? “That boy you’re so interested in - Jung, is it? I would be wary of him. There are, as we say, ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ waiting to devour their prey.” Dumbfounded, he couldn’t even speak or nod as he walked away with his jaw hung open. Whatever had happened, one thing was made crystal clear - whoever that woman was, and whatever deity she served, was a force he would not dare to fight against.
Haven't written like this in quite a long time.
First of all, the character drawn in the preview image is Marutela, a character I may or may not eventually be applying with to Fall of Hyrule (shh it's a secret). As you can see by the monster-truck-sized candle and the grotesquely flexing hands, this picture was originally a stand alone doodle that focused only on her hands, the candle and the bottom half of her face. That changed mid-drawing session.

Secondly, I tend to love to write about religious matters from all angles and aspects - going to college to become a pastor might have something to do with that. I was really thinking about what it would be like to be Jerial in relation to religion. Placed into a community of women who worship the Goddess of the Sands (aka Din), he was left without any reason for his existence which she presumably caused for his entire life. Combine that with the discovery of who Ganondorf is as a ruler, his encounters with males for the first time, and his inability to find any answers he is looking for and you have this journal entry. Come on, you know you all wanted more angst so here you go!
© 2015 - 2020 follyoftheforbidden
anonymous's avatar
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AnatomicAndi's avatar
This is so neat!
Don't mind me, I'm just stalking through your gallery and reading stuff. |D
follyoftheforbidden's avatar
follyoftheforbiddenHobbyist Writer
Lol yes ma'am!
I have revamped her considerably since this was released, though, but she still retains the same base qualities and whatnot...and obviously she's still a Zora. I REALLY need to learn how to draw them >.>

Pfft I was wondering why you even came across this! XD stalk away, my friend~
AnatomicAndi's avatar
You know, I can help you with that, I do draw very lovely Zora~ /punted into space/

But yes, I was reading and stalking a bunch of your writings and came across this one. It excited me e u e
follyoftheforbidden's avatar
follyoftheforbiddenHobbyist Writer
Hahaha I might take you up on that offer when the time comes. Thou shalt teach me thine ways.

D'aww thanks! This was waaaaay back when lol it's strange to look back on it now
AnatomicAndi's avatar
Yes, yes. Good. I SHALL TEACH YOU TO ZORA. e u e

LOL I know the feel, I get that when people fave my old art. Sometimes I'm just like; WHYYYYYY IT'S NOT NEARLY AS GOOD Y U DO DIS THING? But other times it's like a nostalgic rush looking back on art that I remember being super proud of. x3
KittyKyomi's avatar
KittyKyomiStudent Digital Artist
Very well written!! I quite enjoyed Marutela's character =DD
follyoftheforbidden's avatar
follyoftheforbiddenHobbyist Writer
Thanks so much! Meow :3  She turned out a bit differently than I originally intended, but hey, I flow with how the story is going at times. If I decide to make her a full-fledged character someday, I can't wait to develop her a bit more.
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