Merely a collector
The story of Jirarudan, the foolish art collector who tried to capture the great god Lugia, and the influences that brought him to that point. Started in 2001 and posted here for its 20th anniversary. Contains material that may be upsetting to some readers, such as the death of a parent, betrayal, growing up too fast, and loss of innocence. Please read at your own risk. Also yes I'm aware the first chapters could use some punching up but I'll revise when the whole thing is done. As it stands, enjoy 20 years of writing development!
obsession: a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling...
Why do I do it? What is it about Collecting that keeps me in its clutches? Is it as simple as greed?
I doubt that. If it was pure greed, I would not feel like this. No, it is an addiction.
Every time I think about it, I lose a little bit of my humanity. Someday I shall be completely at its mercy, unable to connect with any aspect of the man I once was.
Perhaps you think me harmless, despite my disconnection. I ask you, would a harmless man have done what I did? I do not know which of us is the bigger fool, you, for thinking such things, or me, for allowing myself to become this.
Perhaps I should begin from the beginning. My earliest memory is a simple enough one. I was looking through my mother's heirloom chest with her, and came across a small envelope. With her permission, I opened it.
The contents of that envelope changed my life forever.
Inside was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Even in the dim light of the attic, it shone with its full magnificence and splendor.
Entranced, I turned my eyes towards my mother, who smiled. "That's the Ancient Mew card, dear. You can have it if you want. But be careful with it, it's very valuable."
If it was important enough to merit a warning, I knew it had to be very special. From that moment on, it was, and still remains, my most treasured possession.
My mother was a wonderful woman. She was tall, with a shock of emerald hair, and eyes that reflected the universe. She was a healer, studying the restorative powers of herbs and plants, and the entire world respected her.
Except my hometown. We lived far from any respectable place, on a the distant shore, where such mysterious practices were considered to be the domain of lesser people. Her potions and elixirs were effective, to be sure, but the townspeople always regarded us with scorn. During the day, they would turn their backs on us and curse us when we left, but at night, they would sneak out and purchase her wares. Hypocrites. I learned very young to be distrusting.
Mother was the opposite. She told me that everyone has good within them, but I did not believe her. Oh, mother, how you would recant if you saw me now! But I digress...
When I was but eight years of age, Mother took ill. She sent for my father, who lived apart from us, and warned me that she may leave me soon. One day, she called me to her bedside, and removed the red ring from her finger. "Jirarudan," she addressed me, "this ring has been in my family for many years, and I want you to have it." She put it gently in my outstretched palm, and smiled weakly. "Jiri, when you feel alone, clutch the ring, and I'll be there."
My eyes widened in shock. She was dying, and this was her way of telling me. It was no longer a possibility, but a cold fact.
"Jiri, dear," she continued, "I want you to know something, and carry it with you forever." Her voice was getting fainter, and her eyes drooped shut. I lay down next to her and hugged her. "You've always been my shining star," she whispered.
"I'll be your angel."
And with that, she was gone.