What Goes Around

Selin Serhii/Shutterstock.com

This post was originally published through Patreon on Janurary 31, 2018.

The wind has become a billowing gust, a mounting power that taunts me as I stroll through my private gardens. I do not reply but continue on, while inwardly I consider the old adage that humans have always been so fond of: What goes around comes around.

An ancient enemy is the wind, from a time when the Earth was only slag, when the stars were nascent blossoms of fire streaking across an infant sky. “I claim the cosmos for myself,” I said, though the wind was its sovereign master. A battle ensued, not of good versus evil, nor even of ideal versus ideal, but might against might, a contest for supremacy and the right to rule all.

I bested her in the end. Worthy adversary though she was, my strength overtook her, and she was cast into the darkness on the outside.

But now that I grow old, now that my strength diminishes, I can feel her breath on my back once more. “Soon,” she whispers. “Soon, I’ll rise again and take what’s rightfully mine.” And I know, loath as I am to admit it, that I won’t be able to stop her.

What shape will the universe take when she breaks free? I cannot bear to imagine. The cosmos is mine, I think, though I never had a right to it. I shake with quiet, indignant rage, and I take comfort only in knowing I won’t be around when her time to rule comes again.

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Outsider

Oriol Domingo/Shutterstock.com

This post was originally published through Patreon on September 27, 2017.

I hear the cadence of their voices, the rise and fall in pitch as their mouths open to form words, followed by sentences. I attempt to reproduce their style, but it is only an affectation, a counterfeit exchange. My true self is beyond expression. Bound by a centuries-old rite, it is out of reach even to myself.

I have spent the past twelve hundred years in exile. During my unnaturally prolonged life, I’ve had a front row seat to the violent mood swings of history. I’ve witnessed the rise and fall of nations, conversed in foreign tongues with people of every color, nationality, and creed. But in the end, I am and will forever remain the outsider.

It is my punishment for a crime I’m not allowed to remember. I am dead to myself, dead to the world. Yet I wander the Earth still, little more than an animated corpse.

The guards told me that the key to unlock myself lies within, and I search the tattered remnants of my soul for it each and every day. But perhaps they lied. Perhaps they only told me this to torment me, to set me on a quest that has no end. Sometimes, I wonder if they watch me still, if they laugh from the shadows at my foolish attempt to reclaim my lost humanity.

Either way, I’ll never stop searching. My determination is an indelible part of my nature—the only part they couldn’t take away—and I choose to believe that it will someday set me free.

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