‘Something’s not right,’ she said. ‘Something’s off.’ She sniffed the air. Twirled her fingers in the fluffy clouds. And closed her eyes to take a few deep breaths and gauge the truth in her feelings. ‘There’s something in the air,’ she said to the sparkling whirls surrounding her, ‘there’s something up with the humans.’
Her skin tingled with equal parts excitement and dread at that realization. At times, it was awfully lonely and boring on top of her mountain and in her homely cave. A change of pace would definitely be welcome. But, she thought, if this involves humans, any of the changes in any paces will probably become icky and sticky. Which was precisely the reason why she had escaped the city so many sunsets ago and had avoided humans ever since.
She, of course, was human too. As much as she would have liked to…, as much as she had tried to…, there was no denying that fact. Born in the City Number Once. The City of Grey. Outfitted with the same protective lenses like everyone else. The ones that disabled her from seeing beauty. Truly seeing that is… Taught to behave according to the Book of Guidelines & Regulations to Being a Good Human Being. Taking the pills and drinking the water that numbed her sensibilities and heightened her analytical capacities. Living alone in a small apartment and according to the beat of the regulated bells. Feeding on the daily propaganda spouting from her television set.
She too, like all others, had never known love existed.
One of her lenses had malfunctioned one day while she getting ready for the final bell and bed. Nothing like this had ever happened to her before. Or to anyone else. That she knew of. And it had frightened her. On the one hand, because she had never been frightened before. On the other, because she was now confronted with all the things she had been missing.
Where it had always been just another thing to cover her plain white wall, the poster of the blue and white ceramic vase had made her marvel at the intricacy and the undoubted skill that had gone into creating it. The daily, uneventful, pedestrian commute back and forth to the offices had now become a visual orchestra that delighted her newly opened eye.
But the bird had made the most significant impact. A single bird against a smoggy grey sky had flown over her head as she had stood on her balcony and looked up. It’s grace, and innate freedom had moved her to tears. A novel and profoundly moving experience that brought her to the point of no return.
She decided to not take the pills anymore. And she started plotting her escape. Because even though an emotional confusion raged through her system like nothing she would ever be able to describe, being there, staying there, was not right. Sheep, she had thought, though she had not understood what she had meant with the words, we are all sheep.
When she saw the bird fly in their direction, it was apparent her destination had to be the Víola Mountains too. The Forest was blocked by concrete and filled with potentially terrifying creatures. The ocean was too vast and wide for someone without the ability to move across it. Therefore, the mountains were her best option. Plus, and it had taken much hindsight for her to understand this, they had called for her heart. And her heart had led the way.
The escape had been easy. All it had taken was to walk out of the gates after work one day. Though she had made sure to spent the suns in hiding, she didn’t suspect she was ever chased. Despite the warnings the guards had given her. Despite the warnings she had heard all her life. They hadn’t pursued her because no-one had ever escaped out of their system of control before. She figured. Possibly, no one had even considered the option. Or felt the need. Or felt anything at all for that matter. Until her lens had malfunctioned.
For several moons she had walked, her heart-melting with every step she had come closer to the hovering peaks. The hills and surrounding mists even more beautiful and pearlescently mesmerizing in the moonlight than they were during the day.
But no matter how far she had gotten. And no matter how safe she felt. The mere thought of all those millions of people living their lives in unaware and unconscious misery hurt her. Most of her suns were, therefor, spent meditating on whether it was better for them to be ignorant of their pain or not. Is it better to love and live with the lonely consequences of doing so? As she was. Or is it better to never have loved at all?
Her gratitude for her now loving heart was so great, she could not imagine anyone not wanting the same. But as they did not know what they were missing…why would they want it? Today, she had decided that there was no better or worse. There was just was what was. And that what she wanted to be too.
But there was a hint of dreary tinge in the pastels this evening. And the songs of the wind were slightly out of balance. A change is afoot, she thought. But as there was no more that she could do now but wait for time to align, she grabbed her basket and ventured toward the valley to source her next meal.
Bi-weekly, short, fictional stories around a philosophical theme for you to ponder on (or not). The stories are stand-alone, but might just all end up being scenes adding up to a full-blown novel…
Inspiration comes from real life, from people, from art, from music, from anything… And I am open to suggestions and collaborations.
Sign up for the newsletter below to get these monthly nuggets in your inbox.