I'd like to think that if I were human, I would have become a geologist.

That future was so close, a minnow's breath away from gracing my fingertips, it's golden light seeping into my hands and tingling up my arms. And then I was thrust backward, as if taken by the scruff of my neck, and the happy left my skin. I was but a young soul, yet I knew what had happened. A new tingle at the back of my skull, a sense of purpose and duty that hadn't been there before, dragged me down with its own gravity, and I had been given a Task. One that would never be completed, one that would never fulfill me or make me feel at peace, but what did one soul have against the billions to be reaped? The billions of souls who were unfulfilled and at war with themselves and the world, who needed a guide.

Humanity has not evolved, but it has grown. I am second only to the Maker, and second to witness the reel of Earth. I live in what you might call solitude, but I call comfort. I wouldn't have been any sort of butterfly let alone a social one had I not been Appointed, and quite frankly the thought of having any sort of connection to humans often repulses me. Maker, on the rare occasions they speak to me, told me this is a side-effect of my circumstance. I take little pleasure in anything, but one thing that brings me a nip of joy is rejecting anything they claim to be a characteristic thrust upon me after my fabrication due to Appointment.

I am like organisms in the respect that I have a roll, and unlike them in that my roll one-of-a-kind, and I am not an organism, really. I take the stagnant, stationary stones stuck in the river of life and take them to where they belong, so that they may make way for fish and frogs and greenery. This is a metaphor, of course (I have never touched a rock, though I do desire to). Human souls have a fascinating and unparalleled tendency to find themselves where they most certainly don't belong, so I, like a proper little fetcher, retrieve them and direct them to their place.

I have moved past the stage where I found it sincerely captivating to observe the humans and to learn about their vie à mort. This is natural for a young Wayleader, because wouldn't you be curious about life if you had not one yourself?

I learned and grew just as the humans do, and found that no solace comes from talking to 'wise' ones, because they know nothing, befriending the 'kind' ones, because I will not know them for long anyway, and that I have no aspiration to join a world with such selfish, scheming creatures. So rather than a parental figure, who will guide and nurture the souls with familiarity and tenderness, I have become much more comparable to a shepherd, who will guide and nurture the souls with befitting distance and the patience of a cat tolerating a puppy.

Earth would be much better off without the nimiety of homo sapiens it complacently imagines it can allow to thrive and the only result will be pure amity. It astounds me how the Maker could create such destructive creatures and allow them to run themselves into the ground for no reason that I can see, and how such a being could think scintillating of something to misbegotten. But my jaw is set as stone, and as number two, I have no place to question their motives.

Hate is a strong word, so I will use it properly. I hate my job. I involuntarily traded my own purpose for the purpose of the Maker, but I am so conflicted.

I was once so close to freedom and warmth and happiness, which I realize was all a deception for the corruption smouldering on the side,  and I would leave it at that and continue my unsatisfactory existence knowing I was relieved of a lifetime of suffering if it weren't for the fact that I once ate a grape.

Despite the monstrous predispositions of mortals, there exist a frugal and unbalanced amount of guileless pleasures that I have had but the amount of the number of fingers I possess. For every time I do something stupid, I am punished, and every time I please the Maker, I am rewarded with a request (there are guidelines, of course, so don’t assume I haven't pushed the boundaries of what I can ask for). My fourth time I asked to try something called a 'grape'. An Italian girl I reaped told me about her family's orchard and vinery, and how she would be satisfied to leave Earth if she could taste one last time. It confounded me how a human could think they had an option to negotiate, but I was even more taken aback by the fact that if she were to negotiate, she would ask for a fruit the size of a thumb's nail. 

My curiosity got the better of me, so when I was granted a request, I said I wanted a grape. The Maker, of course, mocked me for that until something else came along to claim their attention, but I have an eidetic recollection of the burst of flavour in my teeth. Flavour.

I have no need for sustenance, as my exposure to souls gives me strength and I never have the exigency to sleep, drink or eat, nor is food, drink, or resting place provided, but I begin to have a faint idea as to why that girl so desired a simple grape. If it meant so much to me even when I had such prejudice towards it, it must have meant the world for her since she had such fond memories attached to it in addition to its natural eminence in the fruit world (don’t laugh, I really loved that grape). Ever since, I've had a delicate swivet in my stomach wondering what else I had missed, but it's often overcome by the horrors I've witnessed.

I wonder, though, when I have the chance. I think it's in the nature of all beings to wonder, no matter the potential of their brains or the status of their soul. I wonder whether it's worth it. Whether it's worth it to be shattered in the procellous storm that is 'civilized' society, if one can enjoy the affable amusements such as merrymaking and laughter that fit in a cordate little box called happiness I have only had the ability to touch once, if briefly.

I have remained by my sweet little river for too long, and I have become a rock. Untouched, unscathed, unloved. I wish to be at sea, braving the currents and dangers if to see the great coral reefs and colours and real water. To be a fish, fast and fresh and fearless. There will be no turning back, and I have had an eternity to ponder it. There will be no more hesitation, and I am proud of it. I want to make something of myself. I want to become a geologist, to study rocks, or a psychologist, to study people, even though Maker knows I've done enough of that. The odds are against me and the world, but I've driven myself insane with 'evens',  and 'even thoughts' and 'buts' and 'maybes' and 'what ifs'.

I've heard enough of other's stories, so it's time to make my own. Make my own way, and sticks and stones can break my bones but Earth could be worth it. 

January 08, 2021 17:06

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Willow The Wisp
18:22 Apr 06, 2021

Real good story, well-thought & speculative with an internal call to action! I would add some more dialogue and present-description, and you’re all set! Keep going.


Diana Quill
06:14 Apr 07, 2021

Thank you, I really enjoyed writing this one. I would have added more dialogue and in-the-moment occurances\desriptions (is that what you meant by 'present-description'?) but I also wanted to convey all the internal thoughts and feelings of the character and found dialogue unnecessary, even if it would have made things more engaging. Thank you for your thoughts!


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