With children African, English and American, and myself born and raised in a country of five names, I consider myself… a citizen of the world.
My wife and four children think of me simply as a thorny old man – and thus my symbol…
One of the most influential people in my life was my Godfather. A man of absolute integrity, remarkable intellect, and fine character. He taught me tolerance, and intolerance, together. He showed me that every conflict has are two sides, if not more. It was thanks to time spent with him that I developed a guiding principle in my life, namely that the most fundamental sign of intelligence is the ability to change one’s mind. It is to honor him that I use his name as my pseudonym, yet I know my efforts fall far short of what he deserved.
In my memory, C.G.Ayling lives forever. Is that not as close as any man can come to immortality?
Visit his website at www.cgayling.com/malmaxa.
Reaping Karma’s Reward – by C.G.Ayling
Back in the 1970’s I sustained a serious back injury that compressed four of my lumbar vertebrae, reducing my height by nearly two inches. During recovery, I lay in a hospital bed, my self-pity fanned by the sympathy expressed by my family and friends, my every whim catered to by eager nurses.
One morning a shorter friend named Nigel, who I hadn’t yet seen, walked in and sat down in the vacant chair beside the bed. I turned to him, anticipating a stern faced nod of greeting, followed by softly spoken words of comfort. Instead, Nigel held two flat hands toward me, then drew them about two inches toward each other before bursting into laughter so strenuous tears he actually shed tears. On recovering, he chuckled, “Do that again, and we’ll see eye to eye.”
In response, I shook my head and frowned. Ignoring my glare, Nigel added, “There’s a life lesson in this – you have to be able to laugh at other peoples’ misfortune.” I had difficulty accepting his words.
About six weeks later, with my injury preventing me taking my place in our hunting team, opportunity opened for my younger brother to assume my role as spotter. He jumped at the chance. Nigel, the leader of this particular foray, handed his beloved BSA Model 12 sliding block .22 target rifle to my brother to carry to the car. Inexperienced in the handling of rifles, my young brother took the rifle, holding it in the way rifles are commonly held – left hand on the front stock, right on the butt, finger through the trigger guard. He smiled in appreciation as he hefted the beautiful little rifle, and promptly shot Nigel through his left foot.
Standing on the veranda, I watched the incident unfold, saw Nigel collapse to the ground, and listened to a stream of creative invective until my elder brothers loaded Nigel in the car and drove him to hospital. I stayed behind with my younger brother, now persona-non-grata, and shame-faced at his accidental discharge. Though we discussed the incident, we didn’t discuss Nigel’s culpability, or stupidity, in handing over a loaded and cocked weapon. Instead, we focused on the real lesson – that firearms should always be considered loaded, and unsafe.
The next day I hobbled into hospital on my crutches. Nigel lay in bed, bandaged foot elevated. Hearing the tap tap of my crutches, he woke up, grimaced in a manly fashion, and generally behaved about the same as I had during my stay in the very same hospital ward a few weeks earlier. After pursing my lips and nodding in apparent stern faced sympathy, I burst into laughter before saying, “You have to be able to laugh at other peoples’ misfortune.” Nigel didn’t seem to appreciate the humor.
This is a true story. During the course of my life, I’ve collected thousands of itty-bits of wisdom, many of which hold little more than superficial truth. However, all of them hold value, even if that value is restricted to contemplating how foolish some sayings really are. At the time, I had difficulty accepting Nigel’s words could ever hold value, yet on that one occasion, they felt appropriate – beware the seeds you sow, lest you reap Karma’s reward.
Envision a world ruled by six Divine Laws, Immutable and Absolute.
Liaju is about to receive her twelfth marks – arcane symbols etched within her flesh, by Divine Decree. These mystic marks grant access to her first matching Convocation. Liaju is plagued by troubling dreams… her visions reveal the precipice her people, the Seizen, unknowingly approach – along with a possible path of escape. An obscure path, hidden and locked. Only Liaju holds escape’s elusive key, a key as incomprehensible as it is frightening. Self-sacrifice. Must Liaju relinquish all to secure the Seizen’s survival?
Eden, a mischievous child, succumbs to temptation and leads her cousin astray. Their path leads through terror and death, to ultimate understanding. Trickery reveals treachery – for Eden’s misdeed unveils a monstrous murder.
Thrown into a perpetual, remorseless conflict you soon discover Malmaxa is more about character than place. Sorely troubled, barbaric, complex, and intriguing as Malmaxa is, it remains merely the setting for the true tale – the people, their motivations, and the choices which shape and define them.
Envision Malmaxa, then step inside and experience a world at once astonishingly different, and disturbingly familiar. Experience Malmaxa… experience, enlightenment?