Step by step

The mother cried in her sleep, tears spent on the silent wind that echoed in the ears of the deaf.  The Architect’s head fell in silence and he turned away.   Away from the appeals of the children whose bloodied hands reached into the air trying to catch his soul, trying free themselves from the apocalypse that stained their hearts and blinded their humanity.  They were dying, all the children were dying and the plague was called Nemesis.

 

The children were once nurtured, protected and like all parents they had watched them proudly as they played in the idyllic garden of youth.  With each new day they grew a little more in awareness taking accomplished steps toward the distant horizon of adulthood.  The Architect remembered their youth fondly, when he taken their hand, blessed their efforts and taught them the importance of balance, within and without.  He’d watched as the mother had rewarded their hard work, challenging them, making them strong to survive and he had held them above all that he had created.

 

Together they’d shared times of darkness blown in on heavy clouds of hail that washed all the colours from life.   They had waited in the gloom, waited for the sun’s golden kisses to dry their tears with the music of the dawn.  Then hand in hand they had danced, their hearts full of sunlight knowing light from shadow and glad of both. Balance.  It is how all things work and the mother keeps the whole thing turning.

 

Life, death, life.

 

The chain of existence, each a link touching another, on and on.  A chain of golden bonds, of silver, of bronze, some prefect, some tarnished, some flawed.  All were beloved; even in weak moments, when the darkness beckoned with soft words and lazy thoughts the Architect’s arms spread wide in forgiveness.

 

There were those who were born with ravens for a soul, those who covered their eyes and listened only to the dark tales which twisted the spoken, challenging the father’s lighted path with inner thoughts of corruption and feet cast in clay.   With base conviction and stained hands these children severed the fragile links, pounded by eternity, shortening the chain with ideals cast in blood.

 

Their star rose, on dark wings, casting vast shadows to touch and illuminate the sky.   They danced across the heavens until the tune faded and was theirs no more.  In this silence of their bitter purgatory they would fall back to the mother and beyond forming a thundering wake of understanding that forged new links that shone through the void; and with this understanding came knowledge.

 

Knowledge, one of the keys to adulthood that opens the door of independence into the room known only as the future.

 

The Architect watched, the mother smiled and the darkness waited digging tunnels of deceit.

 

For youth had begun to believe in its own image, the father was antiquated, forgotten, the mother was malleable, subdued and he was summer, brilliant and bright. There became an urgency in each deed, each man size step of attainment became a race with his own shadow to reach that distant horizon.  A race to prove himself more than the total sum of his father’s vision, to take the reins of destiny, in inexperience hands and ride into his sunset more than just man.

 

So he walked tall, head held high in ignorance and broke more than the mother’s heart.

 

She watched her children become her death, her cancer; her disease for the child had grown and created its own monster, itself.  It needed to be fed more than it could feel, experience more than it could touch, push more than it could pull and somewhere time’s circle had met.

 

The balance was tipped.  For every candle with warmth and light to embrace that flickered with conscience there was breath to snub it out.  For each day there was more night, for each laugh, twice the tears and violence was played on a bloody stage to a blind audience who flicked channels.

 

The father was stricken, blighted by his own likeness, the mother stormed and raged and the darkness echoed with the future.

 

The chain sparkled with a golden glow, a proud inheritance but under the elaborate design and sparkle some links were flawed and weak.   The darkness caressed these links, polished them and showed them the abyss where the treasure glistened like tears on a cheek.  Long fingers beckoned and souls were thrown to the wind on loaded dice.

 

And they came.

 

Eyes wide, caught in temptation’s web, an escalator down to the beast who stalks, the beast who hides behind the child’s eyes.

 

So they faced their own reflection, stepping back in smaller shoes, professing their humanity on the sails of the destroyer.

 

The hand of man stretched into the sky, a cloud of triumph to transcend the pinnacle were the Architect sat but it fell short and scorned each generation to come.

 

Time collapsed as the sun disappeared above the manmade sky and the horizon was lost in grief and tears.

 

The martyred mother’s deep depression marked each child, cuts that scared each pitiful one that survived hell’s fingers.

 

Forgotten, the children walked on, the nails of their penance pounded deep to eclipsed the suffering while somewhere fate shuffled the cards out of reach of the darkness.

 

Time stretched lazily kicking back at the centuries that followed her path.

 

The sun sneezed and the clouds disappeared waking the mother with open arms and a child walked out into the light.

 

This child brought with him a gift found beneath the ashes of his forefathers. It wasn’t much to show for the centuries of forfeit, it wasn’t much to show for the achievement of those who walked before but it brought a comprehension to this gentle child.

 

He looked upon the small statuette of a dog, fashioned not by hand but mass produced by technical advancement in a material not of the earth; and this figurine spoke to him, not in words, but in enlightenment.   So his journey began.

 

This child, no longer lost, stood tall as he walked to the horizon and wiped the tears from the face of the old man.  He placed the dog in his grandfather’s hand and closed the aged fingers around it.  The old man looked at the gift and turned round to behold what greed had created.  The child smiled a toothless smile from its small mouth and looked at him with big, black, oval eyes.

 

This child was the colour of clay as if the hand of man had shaped him from his deep imagination, his skin was hairless, his limbs long and slender, his body thin and delicate making his head large and disproportionate.   The father knew the gift was more than its shape; it was a promise between them both, so with a protective arm around his sole ambition he gave this child the universe and beyond.

in

 

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