Atop a mountain veiled with blue mist, there stood a colossus, the silhouette of its supreme being hinting at a silent, stationed and tranquil pose, with the enormous entirety of a head, engulfed in fuming smoke, lifted skywards in exaltation towards even higher a power. There was exquisiteness in that sight and the thought of what would entail from my luck at having borne witness to it rendered my knees weak. I gently lay my satchel on the ground, and crouched amidst the daffodils that spurted unapologetically across the field and down the valley to a stream threaded golden with the rays of the sun.
An ant on his way back from a weary pilgrimage in the forest of daffodil tress chanced upon a ghastly sight. A pair of distinctly shaped, polished rocks stood crushing the dome of the beloved mud palace he called home, having also ruthlessly sabotaged with its grooved layers the intricately developed root channels that alone could have been the last resort for any survivor to the surface. The architected mound was nearly flattened by the foreign influence, the unsettled dust storm from the impact of which pervaded about the thick foliage, promising to haunt for aeons to come the story of the alien who started off on the wrong foot.
The ant understood what this meant and the thunderous cry of his desperation was as unbearable a sight to behold as the indifference of nature to his predicament; the crushed bodies of his family tore at the sanity of his mind and the image of a desolate existence broke his spirit. The soft abdomen of his trembling exoskeleton cracked and oozed out bodily fluid onto the granular pathway that divulged into his colony. An echo of a breeze then lifted him off the ground, churned him around in the ocean of gases and swept him over to a mysterious terrain unexplored. There, on the soft hillock of a porous field, one that radiated unnatural warmth, he lay on his back, legs twitching and antlers fretting with agony.
With what little strength his soul still harboured to riddle death, he opened his eyes and squinted at the sky. There, against the glare of the sun, he saw the floating lands his ancestors had romanticized about. He saw clearly the undergrowth, sculpted symmetry and the inexplicable abstrusity governing that mystical jungle of manicured foliage. He saw vortexes of air funnelling in through their assigned holes and liquidated globes shimmer with the bristling dance of lashes. He saw innumerable cogwheels working in unison to astounding levels of perfection, overseeing the repair of tarnished layers, the healing of infected grounds and the sprout of the most ambitious type of organic garden.
He lay transfixed and beheld.
The colossus roared, and my eyes shot up, frantically scanning the mountain in search of where it now stood. I trembled with fright, for I could not spot the giant, or its thick ochre hide, in the wavering line of sight my frantically gyrating eyeballs opened up. I lurched forwards, diving head first into the thicker association of daffodils dancing to the flare of the sun. Blades of grass, dreamy floats of pollen and caresses of petals rushed to greet my face until alas, I found ground beneath it all, my body bludgeoning its way into the thick carpet of moist mud, lapsing my nostrils off the heightened essences of petrichor, and caking my countenance with the heavy flavour of Earth.
The ground beneath me shook, driving the daffodil shoots caving me in to the most bereaved of oscillatory acts. I drove my fingers into the mud, closed my eyes and betrayed that habitual oath of mine I had pledged never to break.
Owing to the ancestral discipline of religious awareness I was indoctrinated into upon birth, I could but form a hazy image of a being mightier than us humans on the thin film that stretched across the luminaries of my mind, one that lay like fossils under the strata of my idealist imagination, procuring creatively, on probing deeper down the mantle of my impressionable consciousness, an idol for the temple in my head and a spirit for the shrine erected on the boundaries of my estranged belief. I was forced to go against my innate assumption that the design of life on this planet, with all its subordinate structures, was not presided over by an external providence, and that the blueprints of nature bloomed internally in every being according to their type and function.
I brought my hands, pale and trembling, daubed patchily with clusters of twinkling dirt, together. My silent snivels were lost to the deafening smashes of massive feet pounding against moulds of daffodils that repelled it of a cleave onto what promising clay resided glinting from beneath the undergrowth. The clobbering skipped a rhythmic regularity and a roar blasted out into the shimmering expanse, the violent shudder ensuing which ascertained the fall of the giant.
The ripples it established reverberated within my bones, coursing through veins into fluidic receptacles, disentangling wedged nerves and tantalizing, with shivers, my heart off an arrest. My eyes remained shut, but the coordinated astuteness of my other senses acquainted me with the idea that the giant, now slowly crawling about the sludgy mixture of grit and petal, dreary, defeated, dazed, was uttering lines of coherent disdain, dispelling any trace that remained of a thought that catalogued the colossus as unintelligible.
Lifting its face up to the heavens, the colossus bellowed:
“Master, I hear you.
Of your commands, I am the slave.
Your mistakes are my folly.
Your triumphs are my privilege.
Of your wishes, I am the performer.
You asked me to run, I did.
You asked me to fall, I did.
Now, you ask of me that which I dare not bring upon myself.
You ask of me that which shall salvage my enemies.
You ask of me that which would decimate my family.
You ask of me to withdraw from life.
You ask of me to slay my soul.
You ask of me a sacrifice beyond reckon.
You ask of me a surrender unfathomably horrid.
You ask of me death, a pure cease of what I am.
You ask of me that which I shall not, with a sane brain, execute.”
I was invariably stupefied. The mammoth mouth was verbalizing my thoughts, exposing to me that intangible channel connecting my mind to his, enmeshed together somehow in a network of mental discharge governed astoundingly by a hierarchic knoll that seemed to flow inversely. Inverse, because it became evident, dawning upon me with overwhelming precept, that I was the addressed master in the soliloquy of the giant and that it were my impassioned pleas he had cemented with action.
“I hereby withdraw from your reign my deferential submission and propose to stay compliant to my own ego, reclaiming my servitude unto you, seeking the salvation of my own self, freeing myself from the dwindling effects of your devise. “
The inertia of primordially instilled impressions resisted this new expanse of wisdom, augmenting with abortive exploit my efforts to make sense of this cerebral panorama to life. I found it hard to concede factual conception to the idea that I was a master enslaved by my delusional search for another and incarcerated by my insatiable need to be ruled.
“Master, good riddance.”
I thought of the ant I had accidentally killed, and realized that my master was no more.
The universe lay transfixed and beheld at the debacle that followed, for here was a master enslaved and a slave enlivened.
The Unconditional Maverick