Entry to this week’s What Pegman Saw! Location is La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná in Paraguay.
A young prince once asked an old cripple how he could sleep so soundly each night. The cripple responded that he had been born with his deformities and had learned to live with this fact. Curious, the prince offered to have his best doctors and servants treat him. The old man chuckled and politely declined, replying that he was content with his lot in life. That night, the boy dreamed that he had turned into the cripple who begged for his livelihood. Waking up from the nightmare, he swore to never let such a fate come to pass.
Decades later in old age, the prince who ascended the throne and became king wandered the halls alone at night. Now an insomniac, he cursed the cripple for having steered him onto his current path. On his deathbed, the man finally broke down and begged for a reprieve. His wish was granted.
Clark heard a whisper in his right ear. He had been climbing the rock-face of the Yosemite for seven days straight, hardly getting any sleep under the mountain’s shadow. With his head turned, he heard another whisper, this time from his left and a bit more coherent.
“Turn back. This is not your time.”
The mountain then rumbled as several loose rocks tumbled down the cliff side.
“No!” Clark hissed. “Not after that wench left me!”
A jostle of voices now rang between his two ears, almost making him convulse under the strain of his weight. He gasped for breath as sweat evaporated off his forehead. Then he heard it. Her voice rang from up above, beckoning him to come in jest.
Anger seethed from every pore as he tore his pickaxe into the overhanging rock. The mountain however would have none of it. The pickaxe broke off a piece that sent both Clark and the rock-face rolling. When the dust had settled, the tears of rage were no more. They found their peace in the murmurs of the cold-water stream below.
A walkway sprouted over the open sea as Julia meandered. She had buried a trinket somewhere in the vast emptiness of forlorn waves, a token of the past that she’d long cast off. However, nothing she discarded was truly lost. The waves still pulsated with a familiar agony that she wished long forgotten but would resurface with the faintest of resemblances. A face amongst crowds may send her retreating. A whisper within hubbubs would stir panic attacks. The image of her wedding ring would then return with the icy sensation of feet turning to stone. Her only recourse was to run despite the walkway sprouting over a sea which tormented her of her failings. A sea of people would give her no peace till she took the plunge again.
Artemis’s geese shot South at break-neck speeds. They pierced through icy winds and aurora skies, like an arrow aimed at the heavens. Would they strike Scorpio, who hunted Orion amongst the stars? Or would they falter in their mission and lose their mark? Alas, even Artemis could not win against the Gods. One by one, her squadron fell in a blaze that lit up the night sky. Their sacrifice however was not in vain for it signaled the start of the great migration. Such was the natural order of things.
At the edge of the cosmos, a small comet impacts a planet. Deep within its nucleus, Fate preserves a relic from a distant past. Her bosom houses a patch of roses that had miraculously survived the destruction of a previous world. A lover of life had suspended the roes patch in time so that they neither bloomed nor wilted during their long flight through space.
When the denizens of the new world discovered the crash site, they also found the rose patch intact. Some who feared its unknown origins threatened to burn the ground from which it stands. Those who wished to examine its properties wanted to dissect its body pedal by pedal. Others who attributed its coming to divine providence wished to enshrine it within a receptacle for the ages.
For such reasons, the rose patch refused to bloom until one day a courageous young girl dared to approach. Recognizing it for what it was, she cusped her hands around a single bud and inhaled its scent. The warmth of her hands awakened the rosebud from its stasis and its petals opened to reveal a deepest red never before seen. Her cheeks flushed a ruddy complexion as the lover of life smiled.
The first stroke fell on air, cutting an ocean from out of the sky.
The second stroke tore across water, carving a shoreline without beginning and end.
The third stroke sculpted the earth, arranging forms from an infinite variety.
The fourth stroke ignited into fire, imbuing spirits with movement and life.
The final stroke pierced through time, resetting the world for a new brush to try.
The fishing line yanked far to the right. “Looks like we got a live one Jimmy! There she goes!”
“Careful with the reel Buzz. The line could snap if you’re too quick with the handle.”
“I know I know! But at this rate, the spool is going to run out. Lemme add a bit of resistance.” Suddenly, the reel stopped spinning. Jimmy and Buzz stared at the slack line for about a minute. The sound of ocean waves sloshing against the dinghy’s stern filled the silence.
“Crap, you think the bait came out? I thought they swallow these things whole like babies with candy.”
“Just reel it in slowly. Don’t want to startle it.”
After several minutes of winding, the end of the line resurfaced. Jimmy and Buzz jerked backwards in shock of what they had caught… A human skull dangled from the ends of the fishing pole. Wedged between its jaws and teeth, the silver-dollar lure remained intact.