Saturday, 28 February 2015

Suprise pictonaut bonus!

For in strange aeons, we all get a nice surprise and a potentially slightly more up beat ending but still with hideous connotations because reasons!

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The FINAL story.

I hear stories. Don't I? I've heard so many now. Everybody has one. Young, old, good evil, man, woman, child. They all have a story to tell, and have heard them all. All but one. This will be my last tale.

The teller, my last charge, my first, it’s all the same, is a child no more than six years on this Earth. She glides onto my little vessel without a glance to me, without a word and I settle in to my final journey. The oars strike the water silently as I wait for the child to begin.

She might as well remain silent, for I know her tale by heart before I hear it. She will be good, or evil; she will be proud, or ashamed. The details are inconsequential. But then, so are their tales, the final outcome is the same. The child will be incarcerated, left with nothing but herself until herself dissolves into nothing.

This one, though, I know the details. Without a word said by her, I know the father who went to wage war, the enemy who ordered her destruction, the man who arranged, the mother who committed it. The girl need not utter a sentence. But she will; they all do. Don't they?

I row on. The child stares ahead, as silent as the grave. Her continued quiet is beginning to become unsettling. They all talk. She might be mute, deformed or unlearned, but it would not matter here, not on my boat, not on my lake. She would speak, if she would but try. Yet she does not, and for the first time in all my long memory, which is extensive at the least, I am left solely with my own thoughts.

She is the last, and if she does not speak she will break a line of perfectly successful tradition, the extent of which she cannot imagine, that I can barely comprehend. Now I come to consider it however, what import can there be in tradition if you are the last? What harm can be done if she does not speak. It is her place to speak, but as a member of her race. What place does she have, what responsibility, if she is alone?

It is my place to ferry her, but if I will ferry none past this day, why must I ferry this girl? Why must I continue my charge at all? Who is there to harm if I let one child, one tiny, mute girl, go free? And what other chance would I have to find out?

For time immemorial, I have undertaken my role without question, without doubt, without variation. I have known nothing else from one end of existence to the other. And when it is over, so is my purpose. So am I. If it is to be that way, why should I know act, just once, just at the end, in this my final act, of my own free unfettered will? To just once feel that blissful freedom that humanity has had and squandered, would be sublime.

We have arrived and the small wooden box that has consumed all that have gone before her looms over the child. I should let her climb the ladder, I should close her inside, I should play my role. Yet I think now of what her mother said to me, and of all the stories I have ever heard, and I find that I do indeed pity this child.


And so I touch her gently on the shoulder as her foot lands on the first rung of the ancient wooden ladder, and slowly I move her aside. As I close the door of the cell upon myself, I wonder what it will be like to be unmade, to suffer the same fate as every man, woman and child, which is truly each and every one, that I have entombed here. But I think more of the child, of the kind of world she will return to, alone, frightened perhaps, but alive and free. A world without her parents, without her friends or her enemies, without rule and without order: a world without me, a world without death.

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