Thursday 5 November 2015

The Phoenix Amulet.

By: Michael Carta.

“Only in the absence of all things can we come to appreciate that what is life. The unforgiving nature of nature confines us to our fates; all are destined to die after a blip of meaningless life without purpose or hope. Time is a cruel vehicle spawning life, just to take it away relentlessly without hesitation! How can anything be meaningful or understood with life being temporary? What is music without the contrast of silence? This is why we must find the amulet. Its secrets can unlock the future we are entitled to find. Imagine the fruits of eternal existence! You are the chosen few that can be trusted with this information. Go forth into the frozen tundra and pursue the wanderer who just escaped, for he is a thief! He has stolen your eternal life and he has killed you if you fail; remember that only with the amulet can we achieve our destiny!” Barked the darkly clad man who stood and watched as nearly a hundred men rushed off in pursuit.

“Master, they will all probably die before nightfall. None have ever returned after nightfall. They say the frost creatures are out lurking and hunting in the night with pale red eyes, not to mention the temperature sucks life like a demon leech!” said the short deformed man.

“Tell me, if none survive where do the stories come from? Relax, it does not matter if any survive, we just need them to keep the wanderer too busy running so he cannot make a fire, then the cold will do its job. Tomorrow, when the sun is reborn into the sky, we will go scavenge what is ours. I know he has seen the amulet and carries parchment with details of its location. I received encrypted word from our brothers in the south that this man has a map and escaped their grasp ass well. Fate has smiled on us this day! Foolish for him to come here seeking shelter, but then again, there is no where else to go up here!” Said the tall darkly clad man.

In the tundra, the frozen air carved into the wanderer’s exposed skin that the torn rags failed to cover on his face. No matter how he adjusted them, the cold would always find a way to remind him it was waiting. Waiting for him to get tired. Waiting for him to slow down and rest. Waiting to creep in and take him. Death was always hungry and it’s cold fingers were prodding him. He ached to be burned alive to remedy the frost accumulating on his thin clothing. He gave up trying to imagine what warmth felt like and tossed aside foolish memories of sunlight. The wind carried the echo of war horns behind him. He replayed the following memory in his head constantly throughout the day as if it were a movie on loop:

He still did not understand the situation at all; he had carried her for three days straight without sleep after finding her unconscious and alone in the desert. His feet were bloodied and knees weak, but he could not leave her. Her white dress and dark brown hair were so strange to see, especially in a place where life was so sparse. Instantly, he had become aware they were being pursued by a death party; this he could tell since they consistently blasting their war horns to demoralize those they pursued. Why were they after them? What had she done? She was too small and seemingly innocent to cause any trouble or harm to anyone. The death parties were scavengers ravaged by the effects of cannibalism anyhow. He had reached the cliff’s edge where there was a hidden path leading safely down the to bottom. There they could follow the canyon east to the frozen tundra. No war party would be clever enough to track them there. It was there at the cliff's edge where she spoke and admitted to being conscious the entire time.

“Please, take this; you have a kind heart.” The woman said extending her hand towards him. In her palm was a strange golden amulet that caused one’s mind to be more curious the longer it was seen. Almost as if being controlled by a strange force, he extended his hand and received the gift. It was strangely heavy for its size and seemed to generate heat. He could not help but feel anxious and confused. There was a elegant and oddly shaped bird in the center of the amulet.

“It is a phoenix.” She said noting his pondering. “Have you no worry, in the end you will understand. Though, you mustn't ever show it to anyone, it is now a happy burden for you as it was for me. It will help you find what you are looking for, even if you did not know you were searching.” she smiled at him softly letting her words sink into his consciousness. She had practiced this speech countless times over hundreds of years yearning to finally give it to the right person. Tears of immense relief filled her face as she bowed to him and stepped backwards towards the cliff’s edge.

“I am truly sorry, they will hunt you endlessly. The greed of man is a wicked cancer that persists after death and takes many human forms, you will recognize all of man's treachery soon enough. Just remember; nothing is supposed to last forever.” She said. Then, without hesitation, she stepped backwards off the cliff with a graceful intent. He lunged forward to save her, but was too late. Instead, he had to peer over the edge in horror as her body fell. It was the most terrifying and beautiful thing he had ever seen. She was so calm and stunning whilst her body plummeted towards the rocks far below. She smiled at him briefly before she closed her eyes, transcending deep into her mind. “Set free at last.” her final words.  

Brought back abruptly to the frozen reality, he slowly realized that he no longer felt anything at all; not even the cold. He knew it meant the end was inevitably near, yet he was suddenly filled with vigor. It was his bodies final urge to survive; as if he only needed two more steps to cross the finish line. He almost grinned as he stumbled for a few more steps in the snow. The amulet around his neck began to glow a faint green hue.

The end was not as he had imagined. It was not like pulling out the power cord to a computer and having the entire machine be silenced instantly. Instead, it was like booting up a computer, but in reverse. There was a domino affect of processes shutting down simultaneously to reserve as much remaining power for the primary vital organ, the brain. The loss of his hearing was quickly followed by a gradual narrowing of his vision, as if the hidden darkness of the world was finally consuming him. His drive, concerns, and consciousness drowned in the overwhelming sensation of falling. All awareness and thought left him as time was forgotten. A single green dot in the vast emptiness glowed warmly like a beacon summoning all attention to it. It was so close, yet completely unreachable. “You must wait”. -Whispers in the dark.

Rebirth; it was an unimaginably painful, yet overwhelmingly satisfying sensation that engulfed his entire being. It was like being completely doused with ice cold water and burning over flames at the same time. Oxygen burst into his lungs as if he was the vacuum of space taking advantage of a leak on a spaceship. Neurons fired in his brain connecting pathways long forgotten. Light filled the darkness with intense momentum while electrical pulses drove the system’s startup. He was painfully alive, reborn, and gasping for air. 

“Where am I?” He wondered. He was positioned on hay, bound in tight cloth, and surrounded by chickens. “It is awake!” Snickered one of his captors.  

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