Become a Fan
By Lil Lost Pixie
Wednesday, July 09, 2003
...Don't ask me why I am writing this..Maybe it's because I have too..Maybe it's because I've known that I was damned all along. Call it atonement, call it what you will. I shall leave it up to you to Judge.Here is my story...
...I am a jaded man. I'll admit that right away and get it over with. I am not fooled by my own self importance, nor do I run around preaching my beliefs to anyone who cares to listen. I neither think of myself as better or above anyone else. There is, however, one tiny thing that irks me to no end. In my past, and now.
...Total complete naive innocence. Perhaps it is due to my own loss of it years before. More than likely is is because of the bitterness I tend to view this planet with.
...Such were my thoughts that day, long ago. Like any other it seemed to me. But as I have said, I'm a tad different. (There is a point to this. Bear with me as I get around to it.Back we go then...)
...The old town hall I stood inside was in a terrible state. Wooden beams and sad looking chairs suspiciously riddled with what I might say were worm holes. Shouts and small scuffles broke out circulating the sour smells of men who had been working the field too long. It did not offend my sensibilities-you get used to something if you're exposed to it over and over again. A few women were weeping in the aisles (if you'd like to call them aisles),and stern faced old men flocked together as statues along the wall were I leaned.
...We'd gathered here like good sheep when the alarm raced through town faster than a grass fire in the wind. This too, I was well acquainted with. I suppose I might have even looked bored ,slightly aloof to others. Let's blame that on the whole,"bitter-at-the-world" complex I mentioned before and leave it at that for now. Never-the-less, I found the some of the old women's disapproving looks amusing .The game passed the time in summer's heat.
...Eventually the standard routine passed before my world weary gaze. Pinch-faced officials in their morbid clothing looming suddenly over those gathered. As if they did not often mingle with the "simple folk",but came down off their lofty pedestals every century or so .To keep the peasants in line you understand. Listening to the pleas shouted in their directions, I watched feather quills busily scribbling the law , as they saw it, on faded parchment.I smothered a yawn as discreetly as I saw fit, only to stamp down a quirk of a smile when a toothless old mother glared my way. I raised my eyebrows slightly as if questioning her. It was enough to make her lose interest and look away. Those official voices in their official drones buzzed as bees would to the back of my head. I wasn't very interested in hearing what I've already heard a thousand times before.
...An elbow meeting mine in a slight jostle,did waken me slightly from my self induced trance. Young Garrett, one of those fresh-faced boys bent on saving the world apparently was the culprit. He had been pushed in my direction as the whole village was trying to stuff themselves into one small space. Here is where we get to the one thing that irritates me most.
...Garrett was one of those naive innocents. Smoothing a hand down freshly laundered brown robes, I considered him in a rather detached manner. Blonde, tousled hair, the residue of freckles, and coltish. In a human sort of way. He usually had that look about him used to tickle my annoyance-Cheerful, no matter what he faced. He didn't seem to have that aura today. He was pale and wide eyed, like a faun just startled out of it's protective hiding space. This pleased me for some odd reason. Alas, the distinct chink of metal on metal turned my attention from my calculating study of Garrett, to the front of the hall.
...Two burly farmers had dragged in the main course of this feast of burdens. A pretty little thing-if you washed a few weeks of grime from her and gave the girl something a bit more decent than rags to wear. At least, that's how my cynical mind put it. She raised her gaunt face to cast a pleading glance over the roaring crowd. This set in motion a reaction I knew was coming...
...Several young girls in the front row of chairs dropped like wilted daisies into a dead faint.Mother's raised a wail fit to rattle the dilapidated ancient roof,and the men made the sign against the evil eye. Accusations ,questions and demands surged forward in a wave of sound...And I, you are wondering? I sighed...This was a story I had read too many times. A shadow falling over me slightly warned my instincts to shift my eye to my right. Garret was there in the midst of this upheaval. Licking his lips nervously, fixing me fully within his blue sights. I steeled myself patiently ....
"How can you stand this?" He asked in a slightly choked voice.
I rolled a shoulder, outstretching my arms, palms up in the air as if to say,It's in God's hands now.
"You get used to it Brother Garett.There's nothing you can do." I heard my rusted, raspy answer fall between us in silence as he stared at me with an unreadable look.
"By the God!"
He made the sign to ward off God's anger hurriedly, just incase he was listening I suppose.
"Shouldn't we at least attempt to save her?" He asked incredulously.
I raised an eyebrow at him quietly, the squalor going on in front of us distant to my ears.
"What ever for?" I delivered flatly.
"They're going to burn her at the stake, for the love of God!" He cried vehemently. His face flushed, hands were animated at me in gesture. The sleeves of his robes reminded my strangely of an arrow struck bird still trying to fly.
"And your point?" Said I, a bit too dryly, but I wasn't particularly worried. He ogled me with mouth half agape.
"Don't you even care? You and I , we know she is innocent! This is a disgrace to God himself! Someone has to do something!"
...I don't know what it was. Maybe the dust thickening the air, the smell of so many unwashed,sweating bodies in one place...As I said, I don't know what snapped inside of me,but it did. I wanted to wipe that innocent soul-that heroic glimmer, right off the chalk board. Right then and there, before it could grown into another sentence.
...I leaned in very close towards him. I think the look in my eye frightened him, for he recoiled from me slightly. I took measures to ensure my words carried to him clearly and precisely.
"Brother, Let me tell you something about human nature right at this very moment. Milk goes sour,wheat perishes in drought, babies are born dead to healthy mothers, men beat and rape women, soldiers kill for money-sport-or because they have too,and these are all bad things, yes? Sometimes bad things cannot be explained. Most often, these people don't want or care if they can be explained. Things go wrong and they don't look for a solution, they look for someone-something to blame. They seek a vessel, if you will, a symbol of all their bad fortune, of all the things gone awry in their lifetime. Tomorrow, they will beat, torture, and burn to death that symbol they've selected for this moment. Afterwards they'll go home feeling better about themselves and maybe even somewhat happier. Until the next thing that comes along and turns out bad for them. Then it will begin once more.
...There is nothing you,or I, or anyone else for that matter that can do a damned thing about it. If it keeps them happy, they do it. Regardless the consequences, regardless of the truth."
...I hadn't realized two things. I think I forgot to breathe, and I had grasped Garret's shoulder during my lecture. I let it go carefully. Garret's mouth had opened at me in such an alarming manner I thought his jaw unhinged, and he quivered as if chilled. His blue eyes went glassy and the silence that was there between us before now became louder that the cacophony all around us.
..."That's disgusting..." Thickly.
...I felt that old sarcastic smirk coming, the jadedness that was- always would be-part of me.
"Welcome to humanity." I told him harshly. Coldly. I regarded him in exactly the same way.
...He took a moment to cover his face. Garret, if I presume right with memory, aged a decade or two in front of me. Shoulder slumped, he turned and fled my presence in a rush. I saw him briefly pushing a few out of his way without looking back at their curses and shouts.
...I leaned back into the wall focusing on nothing. For this dance still going on in front of me could never catch my mind.
...I should have felt some sort of satisfaction. Mayhap gloated a wee bit as I had succeeded in what I had intended to do.
...I felt nothing.
...I felt....Hollow. Hollow, and alone. The bitter old man I had become made himself known finally. And the reality of it shone so clearly ...
...It burned my heart.
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