Entry to this week’s FFfaW! Image courtesy of Louise with The Story Teller’s Abode!
Tis a gift to all the unborn,
to dreams and to desire,
to futures that seek to pass.
But can they will it?
Knowing that their journey must end,
and their efforts naught for themselves.
Endure they must this contradiction,
for their time given must be returned in kind,
transformed into innumerable forms realized,
to buttress the chasm from which they came.
And if they succumb to the wasteland?
The profligates and the sloths,
those who dismantle and coast.
What of their fates?
Tragedy, for they hasten the end.
Time wasted, time revoked.
“The plebs. Why do they leave? Don’t they know all roads lead back to Rome?”
“Their shepherd understands this but he must delay, lest slaughter and slavery reach his people.”
“So exodus he proffers but revolution he disguises. Marching in circles to cull the weak, breeding the strong to fight the stronger.“
“Would the empire be so blind? Wolves can smell their sheep a hundred leagues away.”
“The empire let them go for they no longer desire food but a challenge.”
“And the shepherd?”
“A sheep-wolf or a wolf-sheep. Makes no difference.”
Among the riches that gleamed and spoke,
Charcoal failed to shimmer but smoke.
Hidden within that rough of gems,
It breathed fire and warmed cold dens.
Why so glum? You serve a fine purpose,
But Charcoal no longer wished to feed a furnace.
So it threw itself against grain and sand,
And found itself an artist’s hand.
Charcoal made only one request,
Give me a subject so I can express.
The artist grinned.
“Time is so fickle” exclaimed Celine. “You waste it when early, lose it when late. Yet it lags when you try to count it and flies when you don’t pay attention to it. Why do we have such a hard time pinning it down?”
“Well there is downtime, or dead time as we Americans call it”, smirked Jesse. “Time is like spacing between words or short pauses of silence. One has a hard time counting silence, no?“
“Your French is little behind the times J but I see your point. Maybe time is like a road-trip. One remembers the landmarks or the events along the way but hardly the drive. Extending this analogy, life would be a race against time, to fill the silence despite knowing that it ends with the one final event of death.”
Jesse’s face held a contemplative look. “Yet, one can borrow, share, and spend one another’s time together. Others can help fill the silence but ultimately, it is one’s own burden. Maybe this is why the young aren’t much bothered by it whilst the old feel the strain.”
“Indeed, the young have novelty on their side. The old who are burdened with the repetition of living don’t have that luxury.” Celine paused for a moment to gather her thoughts. The sound of her wristwatch filled the silence. “It’s getting late and I have to wake up early for work. Thanks for hearing my thoughts.”
Aboard a life-raft and adrift at sea, a young man gazes into the night’s sky. A city-borne, he sees for the first time the vastness of the cosmos, fields of stars too innumerable to count, a tapestry spanning the ages. In the darkest of places, stars shine brightest; may their light guide the lost for we all lose our way from time to time. Realizing this, the young man would eventually find land and his place among the stars.
One vanishing point. A road stretches into eternity for none have found its end. An old man gazes into its horizon, where rolling clouds under the ocean blue sky met the orange of the desert. Behind him belies an abode, closer to a memory than an actual home. This is where he began, where he first saw his own reflection. The vanishing point gazes back, tempting him to follow suit and push further than all the countless attempts of the past. Buried treasure awaits him at its end he thought; his eyes preserved the last of the road’s memory. Geared up for the long pilgrimage, the vanishing point moved itself just out of reach.
Grey. The fury of a winter’s storm stifles every movement forward. I hardly see the ground some two paces from where I stand, enduring the mountain’s wrath. Yet, I still sense my companion a few meters in front radiating with a burning passion that casts all doubts aside. He was going to scale the mountain with or without help.
Red. Blood boils in defiance of death. Such was the color and mood of the sky when I reached the summit the next evening. I found his frozen body, stiff like the mountain, yet unyielding to its will. His was not alone for many others just like him also stood, encased in icy opposition against fate. Their spirits continue to fight, torching the clouds and staving off night. Blood burns the brightest when drawn to Death’s peak I thought.
Heaven falls. The spirals of new Babel that pierce the God’s realm began to buckle. My companion and I race down the tower, rappelling off the million-step coil that strangled the tower. Above us, the descending storm eviscerated man’s creation but not his hubris. The way forward was barred but not lost. Let us build Paradise on Earth to match the heavens then.
Hell rises. A wave of sand chokes new Atlantis, the city of the Sea. Now desert nomads, we huddle in sand pits as dust storms rage amidst the ocean’s carcass. Electrolyzing the sea-water was certainly a mistake after the atmospheric breach. A price we must all pay when we toyed with climate controllers. Is it man’s nature to transgress its bounds my companion mused? When man believes itself God, who is left to check him I replied?
Upstream. A young woman saunters down the banks of the river Lethe, distraught over her lover who drank from its waters and lost his memories. Torn between severing her own memories, she leans over to the water’s edge and casts her reflection on the amnesic currents. Despair prevails and she throws herself into oblivion.
Downstream. A young man saunters up the banks of the river Lethe, disoriented from having imbibed its waters. He witnesses a young woman struggling against the river’s currents, desperate to remain afloat. Out of instinct, he dives into the watery rapids and rescues her.
Parts 1, 2, 3