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The watch stopped ticking and I was suddenly aware of the outside world again. The grass was green to the point of sickliness, the sky a disturbingly brilliant electric blue, the same blueness of the parasite's eyes that had been such a fixture in my life recently. I felt as though I had given birth to this pasture, this singularity without which I would not have been reborn into the life of basmachi banditry. It was here, after all, where the events that had changed the course of my life forever had occurred.

The wild flowers smelled like roses. Roses. Why have humans associated them with love and the rawness of sexuality? I never understood why sexuality was taken by so many to be an integral part of romantic love. What was romance? When Nurana sat down with me and tried to explain to me many years ago, I could only remember getting confused.

We had never been close, but I was going to marry her in a month's time. I had to; there had been no other path for me due to my poverty. Could there be any other way out for me? I could not return to America, for Daniar and I were now bankrupt due to a number of past missteps, and isolated as I was from the native Kirghiz community, I felt as if the only way I could build connections and rebuild a semblance of self-sufficiency was through marriage to my childhood friend, Nurana.

How was our union going to work? What is a union? Marriage should not be a sacrament. Nikkah. In Islam, marriage is defined as a contract for the procreation and legalizing of children. When I went to elementary school in America, I was taught that marriage was about consent, not descent. Consent—yes, both parties had agreed to this marriage. American marriage, however, involves the ever-present indefinable variable, love. I grew up on films like Hearts Adrift, in which both parties in the relationship defined their relationship by the process of falling in love. They married because they fell in love. They had a child because they fell in love. In America, the reductio ad absurdum of all existence must be love. Well, at least to me it is. After all, the idea of love in America is like the idea of democracy—sure, it's nice on paper, but once you get around to applying it in real life, it's utterly useless. Well, maybe not totally, but the idea of "falling in love" does result in a lot of broken hearts.

You see, Nurana and I are not "in love" and never have been. We, as I said before, barely know each other. That'd be fine, of course, since neither of us is American. However, the idea of living with someone you barely knew and God forbid, having sex with her, was a little too much for me. No, I needed my freedom.

What about freedom, then? In America, freedom is considered a right, as something every human being should have. It's like the idea of love—you have to experience it because it is an innate part of human nature. As the Declaration of Independence said, liberty is among mankind's unalienable rights. Not here in Kirghizia. Freedom is not something that is owed you; rather, it is something granted to a select few. We Kirghiz learned that back in the days of the Uzbek Kokand Khanate. We had been second-class citizens in every sense of the word.

Now, who were we treating as second-class citizens?

Idle reader, I have long been wanting to tell you about a certain young man we had imprisoned here against his will. The son of a Russian official who had enraged our dear leader, Enver Pasha, Mitya had been held for ransom, and I suppose, was eventually murdered at the end of the debacle. It was somewhat pitiable, because the whelp really had no say in this.

But then again, who gets to actually have a say in life? Americans love to talk about self-determination. Ever since Benjamin Franklin wrote that Autobiography of his, self-determinism has been central to American life. However, is it applicable at all, or is it just like the dreary notion of romantic love, desirable in theory but utterly useless and ultimately a burden in reality?

Just as I was forced into marriage and into becoming a basmachi by circumstance, Mitya was forced by his to suffer an untimely death. How pitiable had it been to see such a young boy sentenced to such a fate!
Hey, I swear I will get around to finishing this.

This is a short story version of Basmachi that will only have two parts. The second part is where Chinghiz meets Mitya, of course.

Some things regarding the story and characterization have changed since the initial conception.

Second part: [link]
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks so much for the in-depth comment and the suggestion! I'll keep that in mind!

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:iconlotus-pen:
Lotus-Pen Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013  Student Writer
My pleasure C:
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:iconpierrotlunaire89:
pierrotlunaire89 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012
Just to let you know, my boyfriend is a mixture of Tajik and Uzbek and his name Dmitri (Mitya)...thus, I like this!
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha, cool!
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Aw, thanks for your comment. It's good to hear you can relate to the character. I've always had difficulties writing relatable characters.
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm glad you like this version! lol, no, it may seem like I have abandoned Basmachi, but don't worry, I'm working on the story as well as some art that is based on it. It's just that it has gone through so many changes that I don't even know where to start!

How's Lunar Eclipse coming along?
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:iconzestysama:
ZestySama Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Student General Artist
Yay! Don't know where to start, huh? I know that all too well XD

I have the bare bones plot written down and the rough outline of the first couple of chapters but I still need to do some crucial world building and designs. I want to get a lot of the chapters scripted before I start drawing it.
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Cool! At any rate, I can't wait to see it. Got any spoilers for me you're willing to share? ;)
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:iconzestysama:
ZestySama Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Student General Artist
Uh, well, no...? lol I'm not sure if this counts as a spoiler but in this version humans don't know vampires exist XD
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Interesting. So I guess Lunar won't know about that part of Eclipse until later.
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:iconzestysama:
ZestySama Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Student General Artist
Oh no, Lunar learns that right away (his job is to hunt them, after all). It just creates more problems for everyone trying to keep it a secret.
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I see.
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey! Haven't talked to you in quite some time.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I can hardly wait to see where this goes too. I just hope I will be able to finish it one day (preferably this week).
Reply
:iconlorneglomper:
Lorneglomper Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
I know. DX I've been working on a Slender Man series and been a bit too lazy. DX

Cool. :hug: I'll read it when you do. :)
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