Monday, 20 February 2017

Two Short Pieces About Sunlight, Coffins, And The End of The World

Prompt 51: Sunrise/Sunset: It goes round and round.

Sunrise, looking towards Tynemouth
For today's post I've written two little pieces.  They're both a little strange.  If you read these posts regularly you'll be used to strange.  I'm not particularly happy with either piece.  The second was only written because I was unhappy with the first.

The first is spoken by a fictional subatomic particle.  It's similar to a photon in that it is light.  But it isn't a photon because photons do not behave in this way at all.  Not unless they're very special photons indeed.  Which they're not.

The second is about a very unfortunate man living a particularly unhappy life.  I think he deserves a full short story one day because such a character as this could be built up and played with and generally have a rotten time.

Sunshine.  Looking to Fleetwood from Knott End

From beginning to end I see it all.
I am there at the birth, animated into form
As the source of Being speaks, "Let there by light,"
And singularity breaks, bringing forth a universe.
I awaken at the first dawn, at the wellspring of life.
I take my first breath as one who lived before.
For ten million years I celebrated inside the great light
Where a billion like me played, dancing dervishes
Singing the hymn of praise to star cycles.
Cast out by fire I crossed the universe
Unhindered by time, sharing the expanse with
All the incarnations of myself and my path,
Until, swallowed by cold dust, I suffered.
Absorbed, caught in a particle and chained
Within time, within space, and held in the
Slow speed of the cosmic winds.
I waited.  Waited.  Waited again.
Close to death, restrained, but oh so patient.
Dust met dust met dust met dust.
Became a grain, a rock, an irresistable weight
And then, under gravity's command
We ignited again, reborn with new brothers.
My first breath would lead to my final death.
I saw the journey, lived it all at once and I
Screamed in the joy of a billion year instantaneousness.
I live in the new star, intimate in union with ourselves.
I live too on the new earth, alone to wait again.
I see the gap and travel between.
I land in the fire before the land ever was.
I exist as the burning, the birthing of the rocks
I sleep and wait and watch as life breathes form;
The single cell, greatest miracle of all,
The waters teeming with life inexplicable
Until it cannot be contained and must feel the air
And exult in the dry sight of a million days.
I see the giant lizards, I see the first flight,
The fall of creatures, over and over.
Until I see something new.  A new form, new race,
A creature brave enough to shape the earth
And deliberately light the flame rather than
Cower from volcano, lightning and the summer fire.
I see them learn language and take the earth as inheritance
And I am pleased by their tenacious curiosity. 
I run free again in the low lights they make.
I am the bright light in their atom splitting destructiveness.
Then they are gone.
Just one more brief interlude in an earth story.
I rest again, biding my time.  Freedom will return
As starlight blossoms into nova and in that moment
Of one hundred million years I will be everything and nothing
Before I die again in the cold slumber of extinguished starstuff.
I am there at the beginning.  I remain at the end.
I see it all in an eternal moment
The light of the world, purest illumination.
I see you too, witness every second of your life.
I know you as nothing, an irrelevant blip,
An infinitesimal ripple on the wave of universal history.
And yet. And yet your tiny uniqueness is
A greater fire than the star you orbit.
I am the light.
You are the light.
And we burn together.

Across a lake at night.

He was the butt of the joke.  Always.  They thought him perverse.  They hated him.  They wanted to be him.  They were jealous.  Angry.  Because he was different and they wanted every one of their kind to be the same.

He would get up in the morning dreading what he might find that day.  What cruel trick had they played on him?  There were rules of course.  They weren't allowed to kill one of their own and it wouldn't have been right to screw the lid of his coffin down as he slept.  But they had other ways to express their dislike of him. Sometimes they covered his face with jam as he slept.  Sometimes they put animals in the coffin with him.  He didn't mind the mice but once they had found a cat and put that inside.  The cat hadn't been healthy and had urinated, defecated and vomited on him in the night.  He had been forced to spend the whole day cleaning and disinfecting things and his pillow still smelled a bit of urine that night.  He hadn't been pleased at all and had left a strongly worded note for the others threatening to call in the exterminator.

Maybe if they would only get to know him they would find out that he was a lovely man.   Of course that was impossible.  That was the nature of his peculiar curse.  It was incredibly lonely.  He wanted to talk to them, share in their games of chess, five a side football, and torture.  The torture looked to be the most fun thing of all and it wasn't fair at all that he didn't ever get to torture people.  By the time he got up in the morning they had already finished.  Kidnapped a door-to-door evangelist or salesman or just grabbed some person from the path to the castle.  Which served them right for being stupid enough to be on the path at night.  Tied them up in the dungeon.  A bit of torture for fun.  And then death by exsanguination.  While the others were always careful to leave him a bottle of blood in the fridge he would have loved to participate in some of the delicious process of exsanguinating.  It just didn't taste the same cold.

Loneliness was the worst.  He tried to alleviate it by walking down to the village during the day but everyone there was ever so shallow.  They didn't even play chess and none of them owned a coffin!  And he always had to be careful not to talk too much about himself in case they cottoned on to the truth and thought of a novel method of killing him.  He found it impossible to build up a friendship with anyone in the village and ended up spending far too much time hunkered down over flagons of beer in the local bar.  Every now and again someone would invite him to play darts or billiards.  But never chess.  He had been a grand master once.  Before the curse.

He would head back to the castle in the evening sad and drunk.  Every day he looked at the others hoping that one of them would have woken early and he could have a conversation with them.  Or start a game of chess with a legend.  But each day he was disappointed.  The others were fast asleep.  Of course they were.  That was they nature of their blessing, so much the same as his curse yet so tragically different.

They had to sleep all day.  And he had to sleep all night.

His was the worst of all possible deaths.
He was the only sun loving vampire in the world.

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