Solomon at the height of his power sought to resurrect Babylon, a city in the desert where the mythical garden of Eden could descend upon. Scouring the far reaches of his realm, he discovers traces of a dried-up system of water ways that had long been scrawled out by the passages of time. The nexus at their intersections form a vast underground hull several miles wide, the result of perhaps a meteoric impact from ages past. Entering the cavernous space, he finds faint trickles of water emanating from an unknown source. Following the residual streams leads to the entrance of a sealed chamber blocked by a massive boulder. Two large hand-prints cover its side along with an inscription in an unknown yet familiar language. Placing his hands over the impression, a woman’s voice whispered from without. “Beware of floods. Towers and arks won’t save you this time.”
Seth received careful instructions for the wedding. A cornucopia of balloons, draperies, and fans would spring from the building’s façade. Explosions of color, fruits, and music would fill the venue. A pink convertible will take the newly weds away into the sunset. The promised day came but the bride and groom were no shows. Seth called all the family members, friends, attendees as to their whereabouts but nothing turned up. Frantic, he checked their social media, but no updates had been made. The following day, he received a text message from the would be couple. Both the bride and groom developed cold feet and fled the state. Chance found the two at the very same casino in Vegas after a night of heavy drinking. Swords were drawn and venom spewed but by early morning, the pair found themselves happily married outside a gaudy chapel.
At the start of winter, the four gathered around the ring. Born into servitude, beasts-of-burden they were. If they did their work, a haystack would magically appear in the ring the following day.
Life was good until one Monday, the four woke-up to an empty feed. Bewildered, they redoubled their efforts in vain as the ring would stayed empty all week. By next Monday, three were in denial, believing things will improve if they stuck to their old ways. The forth left to find green pastures in the white landscape. By winter’s end, only one survived, no longer a beast-of-burden.
Hush blew the winds amidst midnight’s cover.
Conspirators gather; identities raven.
Till a rasp voice broke and a tiny spark flew. Mayhem ignite!
Jack found a tiny hook by the edge of a small pond. Tying a piece of string to its end, he threw it into the water and in short order, the pond offered him a fish. Impressed, Jack bought up a hundred tiny hooks and threw them into the pond. Not a single fish was caught. Puzzled, he asked the captive fish why the others didn’t bite. The fish replied that its siblings were young and haven’t yet lived out their lives. Not believing the fish, Jack bought a large hook and rowed out to the center of the pond. As soon as he dropped the line, three rows of giant teeth sprang from the depths and swallowed him and the boat whole.
“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.”
Cain stood at the edge of the world. Behind him lay the universe he built. Cycles upon cycles he had folded; iterations beyond what mortal and immortal memory could recall. In front lay the white, a domain he cannot fathom for the black shields him from sight. But now his world is failing; temples crumble into ruins, honoring gods once alive but now dead.
Taking off the mask, a shadow is cast and two steps he takes. His right launches him forward, disintegrating the ground beneath and crippling one half of his body. A necessary sacrifice he felt for it would allow the other half to survive. His left stabilizes his flight as he braces for an impact that may never come.