Author Topic: The Necessary Truth  (Read 1228 times)

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The Necessary Truth
« on: June 08, 2019, 04:48:26 AM »
The Necessary Truth

The approaching soft footsteps strolled down the hill. Each footfall chaotically spaced from the last. It was quite obvious that their owner lacked confidence and was likely scared out of their wits as of this moment. The female fast runner kept looking behind her every few minutes or so, apparently fearing that anything could jump out of the shadows to harm her.
There was a crunch of gravel behind Ruby as she pressed onward into the dark night. She passed large cliffs and small streams which flowed to who knew where. Until now Ruby had not had a good opportunity to explore her new surroundings more. On the other hand, this little excursion was meant to last only for a few minutes. Ruby had needed something much more interesting to explore than just old boring rocky walls that made their nest.
She was supposed to take a quick look around before her parents came back, but inadvertently, had drifted farther from home. Ruby didn’t know how much time had passed since then, but she suspected that her parents had more than likely already returned and would be worried sick when they noticed she wasn’t in the nest where she was supposed to be.
Ruby continued to move on until she arrived at a small pond. She decided to sit down on the edge of the pond for a moment to rest her tired feet and also her nerves. Ruby gazed at her own reflection, pondering what to do next. Her parents had made sure to start teaching her early to survive alone in the Mysterious Beyond, but despite all that she was still only a small child who still desperately needed her parents. Especially now.
She thought back to what her father had said if she ever found herself in a position like this, but no matter how hard she tried to remember she just couldn’t. She could just stay here and hope that her parents would find her tracks and then eventually her. But the Hanging Rock was still very unknown to the fast runner family. They had just moved here a couple of days ago, so they hardly had the option to explore more than they had.
Desperate, Ruby could no longer hold back her tears as they flowed down her face, eventually ending up in the small pond, making tiny splashing sounds. ‘’Mommy, daddy… I need you now more than ever. Where are you?’’
However, Ruby received no answer. She was all alone in this place. The cold wind occasionally flapped, which made her shiver. A moment later Ruby stood up and moved her gaze around her new surroundings, still a little sad, cold and also hungry. She had not eaten anything after breakfast. Ruby saw nothing that could be of use to her, so she resumed her travel once more. She passed a small stream that circled around the glade, where she currently was. Passing through a large-sized rock, Ruby continued her journey into the darkness. Unwittingly that she had left very clear tracks behind her that anything could follow. A pair of red eyes gleamed from the darkness, and began to trail her.

Detras thought about how everything had suddenly turned so severe. One minute everything had been relatively well and the next… total chaos.  He and his mate had returned to their nest after foraging the entire region for nourishment. Fortunately, they had managed to find some green food and fish from small pools that occupied the Hanging Rock. But the sight that awaited them home was enough to evaporate any hunger they felt. Ruby was missing.

They dropped everything they had with them in a flash and sprinted away from the scene to look for their daughter. Detras didn’t know what possessed Ruby to abandon the nest, especially because she was specifically forbidden to do such a matter. They would ask her once they found her. If they found her. The Hanging Rock was a vast place. It would take ages to scout the entire area. But if that action was necessary in order to find her then so be it.

The male fast runner’s gaze switched between his mate and their surroundings while incessantly screaming their daughter’s name. ‘’Ruby! Where are you?’’ But no matter how many times they yelled there still was not an answer. This was beginning to look more severe with every passing moment. Still, they couldn’t just hope that Ruby would find her own way back to the nest. Even if Detras was determined to teach his daughter all the necessities about their kind’s way of life, she was still a small child.

‘’She couldn’t have gotten far,’’ Detras said. ‘’We weren’t gone for long, so there’s still hope that she’s near the premises.’’

Pearl sighed. ‘’But what if something awful happened to her? There are various threats here, dear, and we haven’t even been here long enough to familiarize ourselves with our surroundings. Oh, this is hopeless. We’ll never find her like this.’’

Detras took her hands to his. ‘’We’ll find her, dear. We just have to keep hope alive.’’

She sniffed. ‘’Oh, I hope you’re right, Detras,’’ she said. ‘’I just can’t stop thinking about what could have already happened to her.  We never should have left her alone in the nest. I feared something like this would happen.’’

‘’We couldn’t have any way of knowing that Ruby would depart from the nest,’’ Detras replied. ‘’Children are curious. Perhaps she just thought to investigate her surroundings and got lost. I know because I did that once when I was a youngling.’’

Pearl gazed at him. ‘’That seems like a probable assumption. But still, I do not feel alright with this at all!’’

‘’I wouldn’t expect you to,’’ Detras said. ‘’Still, we must remember that she is only a child. I promise you, Pearl, we will find her.’’

Pearl nodded. ‘’I hope you’re right, dear.’’

Ruby trudged along the terrain, her focus completely elsewhere. Her eyes kept bouncing from one spot to another very fervently. Once again, she had no idea if her current path was the right one in the first place. Her only real solution to this problem merely was to roam aimlessly and hope for the best. For all she knew she could be walking in circles and not making any progress at all. Each section of the region appeared to be identical. Ruby sighed in fatigue. Nonetheless, Ruby was filled with determination to find her parents rather than something else entirely discovering her.

Ruby’s legs ached, so she came to a halt momentarily, catching her breath. This journey certainly was wearing, it was best to take short breaks every now and then. She might need her strength in the future. ‘’This is turning out to be even more tiring than that run daddy had me do earlier today. It would be a good idea to rest, because then there wouldn’t be need for rest later on. Which would only benefit me in the long run. Daddy always says that a fast runner who cannot run if need be is a dead fast runner.’’

Ruby sat down on a small stone to rest for a moment. She looked up at the night sky, mulling over how she would get out of this predicament. However, her young mind was unable to formulate any kind of sensible plan other than to proceed onward. She desired more than anything in the world right now that she would by chance encounter with her parents along the way. ‘’It seems that my only hope is to keep moving forward, seeing as it possesses the greatest chance to advance further in my task of moving forward.’’

With a plan in mind, she begun to once more walk forward with intention to find her parents sooner rather than later. She passed by many small rivers and ponds, small rock formations that appeared to take a weird shapes that she could not identify, through a thick gap in the wall that separated her from advancing further. She began to notice how everything seemed a lot more peaceful than before, which lifted her spirits up.

Arriving at a crossroad, which arched into several separate routes, she contemplated for a moment, which one would be smarter to take. A flashback from many days ago came out of the blue. Her father had inquired about situations like this. If there were many paths to choose from, she would have to pick out the very best and proceed. Ruby remembered that she had been told to keep an eye out for any possible outward sights she could use.

And she saw one right now.

In the middle, a tad narrow passageway loomed upon her. It looked quite inviting, so she decided to use it. She passed through the large gap without any problems whatsoever. Carrying on, she took notice of her surroundings a bit more. This particular path seemingly curved around the vicinity. Ruby begun to ponder if she would soon find herself at some already familiar sight that had been passed by long ago. But she chose not to pay it any heed. If indeed that would happen then she could always find another way out. Daddy always said that no matter how bleak the situation may seem, there is always a path away from such issues.

Soon she found herself standing in an enormous and vacant stead. The walls reached high. It almost felt like they could touch the sky, but Ruby knew that couldn’t be possible, so she decided to leave it in peace. There was a large cluster of tall rocks that looked like massive individuals. It shouldn’t surprise her. This place was called the Hanging Rock after all.

Thick vines embraced the occasional stone, and there were even tiny ponds filled with water all around the formation. Ruby could admit that it was a breathtakingly beautiful sight indeed. Surely something like this could only exist in dreams and hopes. But she was standing right there. A living proof. ‘’Wow… this place is just so beautiful. I wouldn’t have believed such a place existed if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes just now.’’

‘’I wonder what my parents would think of this if they saw it like I have seen it.’’

Her parents. She had completely forgotten them for a moment. This whole place seemed to have a magic touch that pulled you with it and you would forget all of your past troubles for even a while. Although it wasn’t a bad thing at all, she would rather savor this moment with her parents.

Ruby begun to look for an exit frantically. More determined than ever to return to her parents. After a while, she apparently found her target. Though she was eager to leave his place, she also wanted to stay a little while longer. But deep down, she knew that was not an option right now. Now was the time to depart.

She started to walk toward the gloomy path, but before she could take another step, a blatant growl stopped her immediately. She looked around her hastily to pinpoint where it had come from, but couldn’t find it no matter how hard she tried. She sniffed around her, and while her kind’s sense of smell was not as good like that of a sharptooth, it was better than any leaf-eater’s, that was certain.

She sniffed once more, and to her horror, she could detect a slight scent emitting somewhere near her. Another growl cut her line of focus, but this time, it was much closer. And it was approaching fast. Ruby’s hard pounded louder in her chest. Her knees felt weak and it was a miracle that she hadn’t collapsed to the ground yet. Soon another growl followed, and this time she could pinpoint its location. It was coming from the dark pathway. Heading straight at her.

A figure begun to stand out from the darkness of the path. It was definitely a sharptooth, but Ruby could not recognize what it exactly was. Just knowing that it was a carnivore send shivers down her back. Still, she didn’t move from her position. The sharptooth inched towards her once more. Getting closer and closer with each step. Ruby was frozen on the spot. All her father’s teachings about evading a predator completely evaporated from her mind.

The sharptooth was now almost at arm’s length. It leaped forward extremely swiftly. Just before it would have severed her neck, Ruby seemed to become aware how close it was, and quickly crouched down. The sharptooth went flying past her and Ruby didn’t dare to look behind her as she started to run forth for the pathway ahead of her.

Ruby’s instincts kicked in. She ran faster than she had ever run before in her life. In unison, she heard the sharptooth picking up speed after her. She would have to be even faster to outrun it. She jumped over a pit, and rolled to the side to dodge the next slash. It was a bit too close for comfort.

Scanning her surroundings all the while running, she tried to find a way out of this situation by any means necessary. The sharptooth was still picking up speed, which only made Ruby do the same. Ruby mentally smacked herself for letting her guard down so easily. She would have to make sure it didn’t happen again. Or she would become a meal for that sharptooth tonight.

Ruby saw a narrow and small gap in the depths of the rock wall. Small enough for her to fit through, but not for the sharptooth, however. She sighed with relief and ran faster to reach her destination before that monstrosity could catch her. Just as she passed through the narrow gap, the sharptooth was intending to nipple her tail off clean. Fortunately, none of the sort happened. She was safe. For the time being, at the very least.

The sharptooth grew angry for losing its prey, and begun to pound the wall with all its might. But the rock wall was simply too sturdy. It would never break. No matter how hard the carnivore tried to. This was an excellent chance for Ruby to finally catch her breath. She panted in transparent exhaustion. ‘’Hopefully that sharptooth will not be able to reach me here, cause otherwise this’ll be my last day and I do not wish this day to be my last day ever.’’

Ruby looked around her. There was barely any room to maneuver around much, but if she had to choose between staying in this tight corner or being chased by a hungry sharptooth, she would gladly pick the former option. The rocks scraped her skin, it felt very uncomfortable but she would have to make do.

The sharptooth continued to pound the wall even more intensely, and it attempted to scratch Ruby with its sharp claws. Ruby was smart enough to stay out of reach, so any attempts to wound her were practically useless. ‘’You should have picked a different prey for tonight, because you’re not going to get me in here by being over there.’’ The carnivore growled in anger, but Ruby had no idea of knowing if it understood the meaning of her words. Ruby surmised that it was merely reacting to her movements than anything else.

Ruby could not stay in this spot forever, however. She began to fear that the predator would bide its time for her to make a move. The only way out was in front of her and that was a no-go. Finally, the sharptooth apparently grew tired of pounding the wall constantly with its weight, and settled down to wait. Great. It was going to wait her after all. This is bad. Ruby thought. If that sharptooth won’t go away from the entrance, I cannot leave this place through that way.

Ruby contemplated what to do once again. She couldn’t just step out of her sanctuary and expect the predator to just stand still on the sidelines. The minute she would abandon this place, she would be good as dead. She had to find another way out, and fast. To stay on the current task, and not get distracted by her racing heartbeat or the sharptooth’s snarls outside, she moved her gaze around the aperture one more time. Outwardly, she was not able to notice any potential way out of there.

A loud rumbling noise cut her thoughts off instantly. The noise became more and more ferocious with every passing moment. Ruby looked at the night sky to possibly figure out what could have caused such a loud noise. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the sharptooth do the same. Probably wondering what was going on just as Ruby was.

A column of flying rocks flew overhead. The noise became even louder.

‘’Flying rocks… Now I know where all of that loud noise came from. It came from the flying rocks. I should have known it already, since they make loud noise when they fall from the sky and make even more loud noises when they hit the ground.’’

Even more flying rocks flew over Ruby. The sight was oddly graceful one. However, that brief peaceful moment was cut short when a big flying rock plunged from the sky. Directly towards the gorge where Ruby currently was. Ruby’s eyes widened in fear. She heard the sharptooth wail behind her. Apparently it had noticed the big flying rock as well. The sharptooth cast one final look at the approaching rock, then quickly turned tail and ran away in fright. Completely forgetting Ruby even existed.

The flying rock picked up speed, it would impact soon. Ruby flung herself down to the ground in an attempt to shelter herself from the incoming impact. The flying rock hit the ground with enough force to send the entire region trembling fiercely. Parts of the rock broke up after the impact, scattering them around the surrounding land. Fortunately, the rock hadn’t hit Ruby’s position, only barely scraped it. Ruby was more than thankful for surviving such ordeal.

Ruby didn’t know how much time had passed since the harsh impact, but it felt like hours before she finally gathered enough courage to lift herself up again. She saw the destruction around her. The once familiar sights were now unrecognizable. Nothing looked the same as it did previously. Still, she was alive and well. She couldn’t have been more happier.

‘’I sure am glad that I was not near enough to get crushed by that flying rock storm. It would have been bad If I was anywhere nearby because then I wouldn’t be here.’’

She dusted herself as clean as she could right now, and stepped out of the gap. After that tribulation she was more than ready to finally find her parents. Ruby hoped that her parents were okay. If that flying rock storm had caught her completely off guard, then it was safe to assume the same about her parents. But they were adults, whereas she was a child. They were the bravest people she knew in her life. If someone could survive something of this magnitude, it would be them.
Ruby looked around her to spot a way out of this landscape. Thankfully, she found one. The flying rock storm had caused big enough damage to the walls that they were now crumpled on the ground. Which opened her a way out. She was finally free of this place. Ruby only prayed that she wouldn’t run into any other dangers during this night. She deserved some ease, after all. Ruby begun to wonder how her parents would take this once she was done retelling her journey to them. They would be angry, that was for certain. She was excessively told not to venture outside the nest in any circumstance. And she hadn’t obeyed them.

It would be the sorrow of that time, however. All she could do now was continuing to look for them. Or hope that they found her among all this mess.

Ruby begun to sprint away from the scene. Before she left, however, she glanced once more around her. She sighed once again in relief. With a heavy heart, she resumed her mission to find her parents. It was time to return home now. She was still alive and breathing. Ruby was certain of that. In the years to come, Ruby would reflect on this moment every day. ‘’There’s no point in staying here any longer, for there is nothing for me to do here anymore. It has been a long night already.’

‘’I’m going home.’’

With renewed vigor, she headed off into the cold and dark night. The Night Circle loomed above her gracefully.

‘’Oh, come on… I should be back home by now, these sights look familiar, but I can’t say why they look that way. Maybe I already walked past here once? Walking in circles doesn’t bring me any solace at all. Perhaps I need to keep looking until looking isn’t necessary anymore…’’

It had been one hour since she had departed from the flying rock’s crash site and once again found herself at a crossroad. She was getting nowhere. It really felt like she was just walking in circles, because all of the hills and rocks looked exactly the same to her young mind. Not only was she getting frustrated by every second, she was also starting to get really hungry and cold. It had been a while since she ate anything. Right now she would welcome almost anything, even the most disgusting food she could think of.

But complaining about it hardly made things better. Another one of her father’s teachings that hadn’t stayed in her mind. Her parents would be very disappointed in her if they saw her like this. If she ever managed to find them, they would no doubt be extremely disappointed. Instead of obeying her parents, who knew better than Ruby, she had walked away from the nest anyway.

She felt absolutely miserable. She felt the urge to burst into tears once more like she had done previously. But that also wouldn’t make things any better. Her parents had often told her to never give into anguish. When you were still breathing, you could accomplish anything you put your mind to. Fast runners were known to be quite resourceful in tedious matters. They never left a stone unturned. And Ruby wouldn’t either. She would try her very best.
What would mommy and daddy do? Ruby thought. Well, for instance, they wouldn’t have got themselves into a problem like this, Ruby had only herself to blame for that. They would also try to remain collected in order to make the best possible plan they could. It was true that panicking only caused more problems and Ruby understood that perfectly.

Her parents would probably also try to find a safe spot to spend the night in case they didn’t find each other tonight. Looking around her, Ruby couldn’t spot any potential hole she could crawl into and wait for the Bright Circle to rise the next day. ‘’If I cannot find my parents or shelter for the night, then what would be the next best course of action I could take to ensure I will actually survive the coming night and give my parents time to scavenge the surrounding lands in order to find and rescue me?’’

Ruby pondered deeply. She liked doing it. She could remember one day when she was in deep thoughts about the Circle of Life and her parents watching her closely with amusement and pride in their young daughter. Returning to her earlier thought about finding a solution to this problem of hers, her parents  had told her something else as well. Remember Ruby, if for some reason we are separated, cannot find each other and finding a potential safe spot is out of the question, you must remember to take notice of your surroundings. In doing so you will ensure that you will not get lost by accident. Staying in one place long enough might be enough for us to find each other. Because otherwise we would be walking all over the grounds and never reuniting. 

Ruby didn’t actually need to look for her parents. There was a slim chance that they would cross paths sooner or later, if they stayed in familiar vicinity. Unfortunately, Ruby didn’t know how far she had travelled from her nest and that recent flying rock storm probably messed the surrounding region enough so to halt any plans of that sort.

What else had her parents told her? Ruby thought deeply. Then she recalled the time when the three of them had talked about finding a high place to determine their location if all else failed. Ruby gazed around her to find a possible spot to do just that. Most of the hills were quite low and couldn’t offer any possibilities for such a task. Then she saw one that was tall enough in the distance. It wasn’t really that far away, but it would take a while to get there.

From there, however, she would have a clear view over the Hanging Rock. Maybe she could even spot her own nest from there. Or at the very least identify some more familiar sights than her current area. With a clear plan in mind, Ruby moved ahead.

‘’This is hopeless!’’

Detras gazed at his mate, worried. Even more time had passed since they set out to find their missing daughter and hadn’t yet found even one trace of her. It was enough to get them both more worried than they had ever been before in their lives. Detras touched Pearl’s hand, trying to comfort her. ‘’Dear, we must keep searching. We might-’’

Pearl snatched her hand away angrily. ‘’We have been looking for hours and haven’t made any progress whatsoever! We wouldn’t even be in this mess if we had taken Ruby with us in the first place!’’

Detras sighed. ‘’Pearl, you know that wasn’t an option for her. She is just a child and is not fit to be out here yet. She’ll learn the ways of our life. But only when the time comes.’’

Pearl sniffed. ‘’I just want her back…’’

Detras dared to take her hand in his again. Fortunately, this time, she didn’t react with hostility. ‘’I know, dear. I want her back just as much as you do,’’ he said. ‘’But we cannot give up.’’

The female fast runner sighed and touched her beak against her mate’s. ‘’I’m sorry for that outburst. I know it isn’t your fault. But I just-’’

Detras shook his head. ‘’Shh… There is no need for any of that.’’

They hugged each other, seeking comfort from one another. After a while they separated from each other. ‘’There… I know everything right now is difficult, dear,’’ Detras said. ‘’But I promise you, Pearl, one way or another we will find her.’’

‘’I hope so, dear. I hope so.’’

Detras hugged her one last time, then turned back to the pathway they were about to take. ‘’There is no need to stay here any longer,’’ he said. ‘’Ruby obviously isn’t here. We must move on.’’

‘’Then let us do that,’’ Pearl replied. ‘’Oh, how I wish things weren’t so abysmal. I-’’

A loud yell halted her mid sentence. It was very faint, but they both were still able to recognize it.

Detras and Pearl looked at each other, agape. Detras began, ‘’That’s…’’’

‘’Ruby!’’ Pearl finished.

They begun to look around them, trying hard to determine where the shout had come from.

‘’Did you hear where it came from?’’ Pearl asked.

Detras pondered for a brief moment. ‘’I believe so. It sounded like it came from that direction.’’

He pointed at the pathway to their right.

‘’Then let’s go,’’ Pearl said. ‘’If we can hear her then most certainly someone else can as well, and I don’t want someone to find her before we do.’’

‘’Agreed,’’ Detras nodded.

They both disappeared into the night, so fast that it appeared like they were never there in the first place.

‘’If anyone can hear me, I am over here, because here is where I am right now!’’

Ruby had been yelling for quite a while, only taking small breaks between. Since she wasn’t able to find her nest or any other familiar sight up here, her only other option was to scream as loud as she could and pray that her parents would hear her. Part of her was afraid that the big sharptooth that had harassed her previously would also hear her screams and have another go at her.

But she doubted the sharptooth was nearby anymore. That big flying rock storm probably scared him off for good. Ruby wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. And if she turned out to be wrong, well, at least she was a little more protected over here than down there. Here, she could attempt to defend herself from the beast if it dared to enter her domain. Despite their strength, sharpteeth were just as easy to kill as anyone else was. A fall like this… It would squash them like little bugs if they would attempt to hurt her.

For the time being she had nothing else to do except continue to scream every minute or so. Currently, she was busy taking a small break from all that yelling. Her throat was parched, but she didn’t dare to venture down right now. Just in case something else other than her parents happened to find her. She wouldn’t put herself in vulnerable position again. Last time was too close. She didn’t want a repeat of that.

Ruby gazed the sights around her. The Hanging Rock sure was an interesting place to live. She just wished that she could have experienced it some other way than this. Not to say that tonight had been a complete waste of time, but she would’ve liked to spend this particular night in the safety of her nest with her loving parents.

Ruby sighed. ‘’I really wish they’ll get here soon, cause I won’t be able to keep this up for long without refreshing my throat with water sooner rather than later. And as soon as I do that, then the sooner I can get back to yelling and hopefully attract my parents’ attention.’’

It was also getting colder by the second. The wind a constant reminder that Cold Time was just around the corner once again. And Ruby didn’t wish to spend that out here. Her throat ached even more now. Perhaps she could take a small sip from one of the ponds and get back up here before anything happened?

Ruby decided to do just that. But reminding of herself to be extra vigilant from now on. She would do her all to prevent a scenario like before. ‘’I guess a quick sip wouldn’t hurt, then I wouldn’t have to worry about taking more for a long time. Which in return would mean that I won’t have to come down here for quite some time again.’’

She started her trek downwards, jumping from stone to stone. Making sure to be slow, but also remained observant of her surroundings in case something changed unexpectedly. Finally, she made it to the ground. It was not as cold down here as up there on the hill, but it definitely wasn’t an ideal spot to spend one’s time either.

She took a large gulp of water. It soothed her throat, and she smiled in delight. ‘’This feels great! What would feel even greater would be my parents here enjoying it with me.’’

She sat down at the edge of the pond, still mindful about her surroundings, however. Once she was finished, she stood up and begun to work her way up again to the hill above. But before she could take another step, she heard someone approach her. There seemed to be more than one coming toward her. She didn’t have enough time to climb the hill before they would catch her, so Ruby quickly scoped her surroundings for a possible hideout.

She managed to find one. A large stone stood near the hill, where she had stood a moment before. She quickly ran towards it and hid behind it. The noises became even louder with every passing second. It wouldn’t take long for them to arrive here. Ruby hoped they would just leave her alone if they turned out to be hostile. It was better to be safe than sorry when it came to surviving in the Mysterious Beyond.

She peeked around the stone for a brief moment, and saw two figures near the pond where she had stood a moment ago. They begun to speak with each other. Ruby concentrated on listening them. They sounded… oddly familiar. But they were speaking so quietly Ruby could barely hear a word. Then she heard something she recognized, however.

‘’-Could be here, Detras.’’

‘’-About that?’’

Those were… her parents’ voices. They had found her. She was safe. But before she could jump from behind the rock in the excitement, she stopped. Her parents had often told her that not everything was like it seemed. That she had to be careful in the wild. She peeked over the stone to look at the two figures to truly determine if they were who she thought.

It didn’t take long for Ruby to recognize them once they stepped further into the light from the darkness. It was them. Her parents. Ruby didn’t even think before she almost launched herself from behind the stone to greet them.

‘’Mommy! Daddy!’’

Detras and Pearl turned quickly around when they recognized the small and excited voice behind them. ‘’Ruby!’’ They both yelled, delighted that they had finally found their missing daughter. Ruby practically jumped into her parents’ open arms. ‘’Mommy!’’ 
Pearl hugged her tightly. Never intending to let her go again. ‘’Oh, Ruby… We found you!’’

Detras put his hand upon his daughter’s head, smiling proudly. ‘’We began to fear the worst then we couldn’t find you.’’

‘’I’m glad you found me. Glad I am!’’

The family stayed like that for a long time. Not wanting to break the contact now that they were reunited once more. But they knew that they would have to let go at some point. Even if they didn’t wish to.

Pearl touched Ruby’s face. ‘’We’re glad we found you too, Ruby. But please, never do anything like this again. We couldn’t stand the thought of losing you.’’

Ruby lowered her head in shame. ‘’I know that mommy. I’m sorry. I was just so curious to explore our new home and then I got lost and…’’

‘’It doesn’t matter right now, Ruby,’’ Detras said. ‘’What matter is that you’re back where you belong. But we will talk about this later. You can be certain of that.’’

Ruby nodded. ‘’Okay, daddy.’’

Detras smiled. ‘’Now, why don’t we return home. There’s nothing for us here anymore.’’

He received nods from both Ruby and Pearl and just like that, the family of fast runners departed from the spot. Together once again.

The next day day, Ruby and her parents were back at their nest. Having awoken a few hours ago and ready to start their day. But before that, Detras had other plans in mind. It was time to discuss what occurred last night.

‘’Ruby. Come here, please.’’

She walked over to them happily. Smiling all the while. ‘’Yes, daddy?’’

Detras sighed. ‘’It’s time to talk about what happened last night, Ruby.’’

Ruby’s smile faded. She knew that this was coming.

‘’Ruby, what you did last night… It’s completely unacceptable,’’ Detras said. ‘’We told you to stay in the nest until we came back. But instead you walked out. Why is that?’’

‘’I… just wanted to explore around the Hanging Rock, daddy,’’ Ruby said. ‘’I was curious to learn more about this place, because learning about new things is good for you. And I wished to learn more. I was just supposed to explore for a little while, but then I got lost and… You know the rest, daddy. I’m so sorry.’’

‘’That does not excuse your actions, Ruby,’’ Pearl replied. ‘’We were worried sick about you.’’

‘’I know, mommy,’’ Ruby mumbled. 

Detras shook his head. ‘’I really hope that you learned your lesson from all of this Ruby. I expect better behavior from you.’’

‘’I will not do this ever again, daddy. I promise you that.’’

Detras smiled a bit. ‘’But still, it was good thinking what you did. But do not do that in the future, alright? Yelling your location brought us to you, but it could have brought something else entirely directly to you.’’

Ruby nodded. ‘’I will be sure to listen more carefully, daddy, because listening helps me make important decisions.’’

Pearl smiled. ‘’That’s right, Ruby. It does.’’

‘’My father once told me that sometimes the hardest lessons are those you teach yourself, Ruby,’’ Detras said. ‘’Have you learned anything from this ordeal?’’

Ruby pondered for a while. Then nodded. ‘’I have. Listen to you when you tell me something important I need to do, and not make my own decisions.’’

Detras smiled. ‘’That’s a good start, Ruby,’’ he said. ‘’Do not worry, you will learn. Nobody is born with wisdom, but only those who seek it will find it. We are all born ignorant, Ruby. As we grow older, so do we grow wiser.’’

‘’I think I understand, daddy,’’ Ruby said.

Detras and Pearl smiled. ‘’I believe you do, Ruby,’’ Detras said finally. ‘’I believe you do.’’

And here’s my entry for the Gang of Five’s June prompt. Since this is my first take on a canon character, hopefully I managed to satisfy you readers with this one. I do believe that some parts could’ve been done a bit better, but I wish to hear what you think about this story overall. I do think that this was a great chance to further improve my creative writing. You know how it goes, people. Review away!


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Re: The Necessary Truth
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2019, 02:59:04 AM »
This was quite a lovely tale which presents a time when Ruby lacked the experience and wisdom that she possessed in the television series and fourteenth film.

As the story develops we are presented with a trait that seems innate in Ruby (curiosity) but without the tempering that comes from the learned virtues of caution and reflective thought. This leads her into quite an adventure that very nearly resulted in her premature end. At the same time we are presented with the anguish and fear of her parents as they struggle to find their daughter before the worst can happen. The happy ending is nicely intertwined with a perspective into fastrunner parenting as Detras uses Ruby's error as a teaching moment as opposed to an excuse to punish. This in itself shows wisdom from the elder fastrunners and hints at how Ruby gained her wisdom in the series - even though "the hardest lessons are those you teach yourself" Ruby had two good teachers to teach the other lessons.

In terms of constructive criticism I only have a few minor suggestions concerning Ruby's speaking style.

''It seems that my only hope is to keep moving forward, seeing as it possesses the greatest chance to advance further in my task of moving forward.''

This is worded a bit awkwardly for Ruby's normal speaking style as "possesses the greatest chance to advance further" seems a bit overly complicated for LBT-speak. Perhaps something like this would work better: ''It seems that my only hope is to keep moving forward, as it gives me the best hope to get home!'' That being said your other instances of Ruby speaking are well within her usual manner of speaking although, considering her situation, some of them could possibly have been depicted as unvocalized thoughts as opposed to spoke dialogue.

That minor point aside, I like how you have utilized this month's prompt for your story. You have shown us a side of Ruby that has seldom been explored in fanfiction and used it to allow us to explore the parental relationship of the fastrunners as well as Ruby's growing sense of responsibility. This was a wonderful response to June's prompt and I look forward to your future works. :)

Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale
Mender's Tale.


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Re: The Necessary Truth
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2019, 11:55:28 AM »
I quite liked this story as the premise of showing a younger Ruby’s misadventures was a really interesting one. You portrayed that idea really well and Ruby’s growing alarm and her parents’ concern were quite clear. However, I wasn’t completely satisfied by some parts of the pacing but I’ll speak of that more a bit later.

The writing itself is once again better than last time and the scenes with the sharptooth and the flying rocks were very fitting for this kind of tale. Seeing Ruby this clueless was quite intriguing and I don’t think anyone has shed light into that topic before. As Rhombus said, the lesson near the ending shows very nicely just why the fastrunners tend to have more insight to life than the other kinds and your characterizations were very solid throughout the fic.

The issue I mentioned before was that as a whole, there didn’t seem to be any climax point for this story and it seemed to end without a sense of any major drama. I’m not saying this tale was boring or anything but the best short stories tend to have some major theme or plot point that the reader remembers for a long time. Not every fic has to be the most intense one ever but I was left feeling this story could have used a bit more flavor to it, if that is the right word.

But despite that, this was perhaps my favorite one of your fics both because of the writing and the premise. You caught the fastrunners’ mentality very well and showed a more unusual part of Ruby’s past. Very solid job here! :^^spike


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Re: The Necessary Truth
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2019, 06:49:15 AM »
Rhombus: I'm very glad that you enjoyed this story and how I portrayed the characters in this one. Obviously, since this takes place before the actual TV series, I wanted to depict Ruby differently than we are used to. As for your constructive criticism towards the dialogue in some of the paragraphs, I now notice that they don't exactly fit into the LBT universe. But I do appreciate you pointing that out to me.

I am also very much pleased that this prompt was well utilized in your opinion. Your insight about these matters is very much welcome. Thank you once more!

Sovereign: I am very much delighted by the fact that you see constant improvement in my stories as time goes by. Like I said to Rhombus previously, I wished to bring something different with this tale. Like you said, I haven't seen anyone do something like this before, so I was more than happy to be that person. I'm happy that there weren't any problems in any character's characterizations that you perchance could have noticed.

About the issues you mentioned, in the end, I decided to try something different this time. I'm sorry that I couldn't satisfy you with this but your comments have been memorized and very much appreciated. There is always room for criticism. I thank you for taking the time to review this story. It is always very much appreciated when people have time to do that and help others. :)


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Re: The Necessary Truth
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2019, 12:53:16 PM »
I do agree with Sovereign that the juxtaposition between seeing Ruby this befuddled and confused is rather different from what the reader would normally expect from the fast runner. It is certainly jarring to see the normally cool-headed Ruby panicking.

If there is one constructive criticism I can give regarding this story, it is that the paragraph breaks and sentence structure seemed a little clunky in the scenes. A few of the shorter sentences could probably be combined together with commas instead of periods, especially in the fast-paced scenes during the chase so as to maintain flow and immersion.

Still, it was a nice tale overall, and one which emphasizes just how grueling the Mysterious Beyond is. If the falling rocks hadn't saved Ruby by driving away her waiting pursuer, it is quite likely that she would've eventually met her end. The lesson that she learns in the end from Detras is rather telling as to how she becomes more responsible and parents Chomper and the Gang in the future... albeit, as a member of the Gang, what her father says regarding following instructions is bound to be a broken axiom eventually. :P
Would it be possible for swimmers and flyers to get more love around here? Both figuratively… and literally.


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Re: The Necessary Truth
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2019, 11:23:46 AM »
Thanks for the feedback, Owls. It's very much always appreciated to hear what people think of my work! I can't say much about the paragraph breaks as they looked completely okay to me when initially reading it for any mistakes I could detect before publishing, but I can see your point about it ruining the tension a bit. Indeed, the Mysterious Beyond certainly isn't a dreamland where everything is awesome. As some have already expressed that Detras' talk with Ruby was a way to convey how fastrunners hande situations like this in a very different manner. And yeah... trouble is going to brew in the future for her and the Gang, but that's how we like them, don't we? Anyway, thanks a lot for the review! :)