02/06/2015 07:02

The latest story in response to a prompt from Black Ship Books. Very short, this time.


(The Guardian (Devil) from the Merlin Tarot Deck)


I am oldest.

When the mountains first rose from the sea, I was. When the rivers first trickled down the mountains, I was. When the ancient trees were mere saplings, I was. When the Deer and the Wolf suckled their mothers' milk, I was. When the Raven broke from the egg, I was.

Before the Humans, with their cities and their trampling and their waste, I was.

The Humans used to fear me. They walked beneath my trees but rarely, fearful of the dark shadows. When they had fear, they had respect. They felt their own fragility, knew that I could snuff out their tiny, insignificant lives with a thought.

But now they come with metal beasts that roar and stink, smashing down my trees, spoiling my waters. Rushing, hating, destroying. They are still fearful but now they are arrogant, believing themselves to be the zenith of creation. Forgetful of their own history, ignorant of their own evolution, seeking to break out of their sacred place within the natural order.

There is no place for them now. They have detached themselves so far from beauty that they do not see it in the world around them, they can only see it in pictures and carvings of wood and stone, in objects that they create for themselves. Nature is there for their use, their pleasure; theirs to protect or destroy as they desire.

They have forgotten – or choose to forget – that they need the world, the myriad creatures that wriggle and creep and slither and run and fly, the plants that provide nourishment for the whole system in their growing and their dying. Without these things, how do they expect to survive?

And their greatest arrogance is to believe that their survival is in their own hands! That they can somehow halt – or even reverse – the untold damage they have caused.

But they are doomed! They have forgotten – or choose to forget – their fragility and their dependence.

Some day soon, I will remind them.