Middle Damned
A novel by Shane Stilson
“Why are the demons allowed to exist? I should say because we are allowed to exist as well. Could there really be one without the other? I don’t know. . . perhaps such philosophies are best left for when we are secure in the mountains and out of the fire's sight.” Shymur hesitated a moment longer before going. “We all choose, some have more difficult choices than others to make, but they are choices none-the-less.”

Shymur lived on Tocmoren, a large planet, similar in genesis and form to Earth, but even more dependant on the vast bodies of fluid coursing over the surface. On this world, water was life and life was water. Much to the chagrin of the Atheistic Associations, historians cite Shymur as starting a saying that endures to this day. "From the water I came and to the water I go, but what made the water, none can know." Before his untimely death, he taught at prestigious institutions of learning all over the world.

Shymur's people call themselves the Tsuwarii, but they were not the only sentient organisms on the planet. The constant aquatic nature of evolution facilitated development of higher thought patterns in many of Tocmoren's inhabitants. Slender, sharp thinkers, the Tsuwarii composed an aristocratic element to society, while the Carnac filled military and political circles. The Carnac, scaly reptilians in form, possessed intellects to rival any creature on the planet. It was one of these who discovered a project Shymur worked on, and brought both the project and Shymur's life to an abrupt end.

A majority of Shymur's students, when asked later in life who had been most influential on them, would say Shymur. They would do so, knowing the government had erased much of their teacher's mark on recorded history. Acknowledging him was a risk they were willing to take.

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