Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Reapers

I'm on vacation this week, but have post-dated some pieces.
Hope you enjoy them.

Today's muse: Daily Writing Practice

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The Reapers

It was written, centuries ago, that when all hope was lost, when the people of Sartalon-6 faced the darkness, a new entity would come forth to bring sustenance—to breath new life. The Elders had watched the skies, but no such being had come to their aide. There was no other choice but to send the Reapers to harvest what they could in order to cure the ailing population.

Leading the mission, Drevko had left his parents, promising his mother he would come home and make her well. She stared back at him with listless eyes and shrugged.

“It does not matter, Drevko,” she murmured. “I no longer care.”

And that was the crisis that faced his world. Hundreds of thousands of people with no will to feel even the tiniest emotion. No happiness, no love. Not even hatred or fear were given a passing glance. Men starved in the streets as commuters walked by them, staring blindly ahead. Elderly patients, pleading for attention, were ignored by caregivers who no longer felt compassion. Children, abandoned by parents who chased the almighty dollar, were left to forge new alliances with less desirable beings. It was common knowledge that, if left to its own devices, Sartalon-6 would self destruct.

Drevko thrust the lever forward, pushing the limits of his craft, determined not to fail. As he consulted his instruments, he was surprised to see he was off course. He made adjustments to the navigational system, but the craft did not respond. It was as though another force was pulling the entire fleet against their will.

Before he could command the others to prepare for defence, a planet came into view. Not a planet, he decided, but an everlasting expanse of lush land. Vast fields of thriving crops dotted the landscape. Enormous, snow-peaked mountains pierced the clear blue sky. Clear, sparkling waters meandered throughout.

As the fleet landed, one by one, the crew members stepped onto the foreign terrain, looking to Drevko for guidance. Then all eyes turned as a man and woman approached. The dark-haired man was dressed in flowing aqua robes, a large pendant hung from his neck. She—resplendent in a full lavender gown—gazed at the newcomers with interest. A small red crystal winked at her throat. Although they did not wear the usual trappings of hierarchy, and no escorts were in sight, it was clear that this couple held power. Perhaps, Drevko mused, beyond the authority given to a ruler.

“Your search has brought you to us.” The man’s voice was smooth and immediately calmed the anxious Reapers. “We have what you seek.”

“Even we do not know what we seek. How can you?”

The woman gave a knowing smile, inclined her head in acknowledgement. “You do not believe.” It was a statement, rather than a question.

“Believe what?”

“There is only one thing that can restore compassion to your people.” As he spoke, the man lifted his hands to hold his palms facing upward; the woman followed suit. A strange golden light seemed to shimmer around them, envelope them.

Before Drevko could remember his upbringing and the protocol he should follow, the others dropped to their knees and bowed in reverence. The goddess raised an eyebrow, her eyes dancing with merriment.

“You do not bow before a god?”

Drevko fell to the ground. “I’m sorry, My Lady.” The goddess laughed, a light tinkling sound.

“I do not chastise you. Your apology is not necessary.”

Drevko looked up, mesmerized by her dazzling beauty now that she allowed it to fully radiate.

“My child.” The god’s voice rumbled gently. “You must bring faith back to your people.”

“But...My Lord, my people worship many gods.”

“Ah.” The god raised his hand. “It is not only faith in the gods that your people need. It is faith in all things.” Drevko’s face clearly displayed his confusion, murmurs spread among the Reapers. With infinite patience, the god continued.

“You must have faith in the heavens and the earth. You must have faith in love and kindness. Above all, you must have faith in others as well as in yourself. Only in this way can humanity flourish.”

Drevko, with the others, hung his head in shame. He vowed to take the message from the gods back to his people—to slash through the darkness with this light of hope.

“I am a little surprised, though,” mused the god, “that you, who call yourselves Reapers, know nothing of this.”

“My Lord?”

The god sighed. “You reap what you sow, my child.”


Wine and Words said...

Ah Monica. Wonderful writing and another great ending. Especially timely with so much hopelessness fettering about.

glnroz said...

Ok, now,, how old are you? (dont answer) just an exclamation of the depth of wise-ness in such a young voice.

Marc said...

Wonderful description of the disease called apathy and a great ending to boot :)