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Naivety (btw I'm kinda back)

Naivety (btw I'm kinda back)

Posted March 10th, 2018 by JJKingInc

by definitelyhuman{HawkEye}
in sane. Enough said.

March 10th, 2018

Heyhey everybody!
I'm kinda back!
I can't promise how much I'll post, but I was hit with a wave of nostalgia, so you guys benefit. ;)
I hope KP has started to pick up a little since I left. How's everything going? I saw that Sachi is starting a newsletter-- shoutout to them for doing that!
Anyway, here's this stuck-up, omnoscient character for you. Enjoy!

Men are nothing if not foolish. Or naive, if you prefer to err on the side of forgiveness. Many an ancient legend warned against setting foot near the echoing range, and yet the innocently hopeful few set foot and horse and cart upon the stones and pointlessly claimed it as their own, as much as they could. How fruitlessly they labored, building and growing, ever growing. More men came and built and grew. More women bore more children. More stones were worn away and skittered into the uncaring sea as the men built and grew and built and grew and built and grew.
Generations past. Stones skittered. The uncaring sea grew shallower as the mighty pinnacles grew smaller. The village became a town, then a city, then a thriving country. As men are apt to do, the people were divided. There were those who labored. And there were those who ate of the laborers’ fruits. The men believed, ever so foolishly, that their perfectly flawed world was impermeable to the lingering doubt that blew in with the snow and ice and trickled down the mountain slopes in the spring. The uneasy sort of laughter that fractured the beer-heavy air when the legends were mentioned in a bar, not quite as carelessly as their speaker intended. The bite in the salty wind as a fisherman turned his boat to face his gray-and-white world once more.
Near to the coast, the rich dined in luxury, pretending they did not feel the pressing agitation. They convinced themselves that enough velvets and shrimp would ward off the unpleasant sensation and it became easier to believe with each gulp of wine. They foolishly thought they could evade the inevitable. After all, the mountains are patient, but they are unforgiving.
It was dawn. The sun rose in the east, harsh as the shards of ice that were hacked out of doorways and cartwheels. The laborers rose as well, rounder than their peaks but leaner than their princes. It was they who heard the first rock skitter. It was they who fully realized the extent of the legends. It was they who gaped at their ships and their livelihoods, floating away on the uncaring sea. And it was they who turned back to the mountains as they began to shift.
The mountains had endured the quarrying of their cores. The mountains had endured the pounding of posts into their sides. The mountains had endured the shameful claiming of the men. The mountains were ready to fight back.
And fight back they did, rising from their bedrock cradles to dislodge the civilization that had encroached their island. Boulders tumbled from their shoulders in an indomitable landslide, a stinging shower of pebbles rained down upon the men. The mountains began to shift, moving forward in a vague semblance of walking, striking fear into the hearts of every mother and child who witnessed. The mountains were slow-- but the mountains were invincible.
They inched towards the cities, cottage by cottage, as citizens backed towards the uncaring sea. They edged from their houses into their neighbors’, hoping against hope that perhaps that would be enough. Perhaps the mountains would stop. They watched as the stones swallowed their homes, then edged away again. Perhaps this time the mountains would stop. Perhaps they would not have to move again, uprooting their children and wiping their dusty tears.
The mountains did not stop. The families moved again, their neighbors in tow.
This glacial siege continued, the mountains inching forward and forward, the people flitting just out of reach like mice in the shadows of a blinded cat. Perhaps it would end. Perhaps they could stay. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
And still the mountains attacked, slowly, slowly, never allowing the people a moment of respite. A quick death would have been more merciful. For the common folk began to realize what their denying rulers did not-- the mountains would not stop. The people would shift, and shift, and shift again until the waves of the uncaring sea lapped against their heels and they had nowhere to run. Their boats had been pulled out with the tide. The mountains would not allow for climbers. The country would be reduced to a rocky mound, its people’s bones serving as a foundation.
The rulers did nothing. Perhaps they truly, in their heart of hearts, did not believe that the mountains could consume the empire they had built. Or perhaps their fear, innocent and drunken alike, had clouded their vision until they refused to accept reality. In the end their mentality did not matter. The mountains crept forward, even growing faster in their approach. More was swallowed each night than the night before. The edges of the country shrank and shrank, a noose tightening around the stubborn rulers’ homes.
The coast grew swollen with refugees from the outskirts, arriving choked with dust and bitter stories of the ceaseless mountains. Rumors spread and theories formed, the unrest of the island country expanding into a breathless terror. The people came to face their certain demise, gazing into their children’s eyes and wondering where they went wrong. The ever-hopeful men were whittled into husks as they stood on cliffs, looking out at the uncaring sea, and considering. Perhaps it would be a quicker fate.
And still the mountains crept forward, caring not for the children and the weak and those who wished they had appreciated sunrise more. They picked up speed, growing ominously closer, raining pebbles nearer to the coast than ever. The rulers grew quiet as they looked out each morning and saw the rough and callous cliff faces looming. The threat began to sink in.
The pace of the mountains grew, and grew, as fewer refugees emerged. There began to be names that were said accompanied by dry sobs. Names that underestimated. Names that did not move back quite far enough. Names that were presumably swallowed in their sleep, their bodies irretrievable.
One morning the country woke up in bleak despair, more tightly surrounded than ever before. All had been forced back, facing away from the uncaring sea as if to pretend for a moment it was not an instrument in their unavoidable end. The men and women allowed their gaze to rise up and up, taking in the vast faces of cold gray stone that had backed them into an inescapable corner. The children stood too, white-faced and white-knuckled as they gripped their parents’ helpless hands, but they did not cry. These children that had been raised on oats and lime dust refused to let their tears add to the uncaring sea. Excess saltwater was unneeded and unwanted. And so they stood, adult and child, lips trembling alike.
The mountains crept closer. Watching them inch forward was a nightmare. Looking away was almost worse. The island country had come to a standstill, save but the groaning of shifting rock.
Then, a man.
He was simple as simple can be, his stubbly face itching at the back of my memory, irretrievable. I am sure he dressed as they all did, in rough wool and rougher callouses. His name and exact appearance evade me. His words never will.
‘We have one day,’ he said. ‘So pour the wine.’
Pour the wine.
I will never forget that little phrase, those few words, tiny but mighty. A simple miner in a hopeless situation managed to remind every man, woman, and child of who they were with those three syllables. They were only humans, naught but fleas to their traitorous mountains. They were soon to be squashed like bugs and forgotten just as quickly. That much was true.
But conversely, they were the humans who had found a pebbly shore and claimed it as their own. They were the humans who had looked up at the craggy peaks and climbed, upwards and upwards, until they had been conquered. They were the humans who had mined through impossibly hard stone to the heart of the mountains and built their homes on the sides. They were the humans who had defied the odds, time and time again. They knew this was one battle they could not win. But they were the humans who would never bow to fate-- not when they could defy it one last time. They would die, surely, but they would not die as cowards. They looked their demise in the eye and raised a glass with all the audacity of a conquering hero.
Pour the wine.
And so the once despairing humans fought against stone in the only way they knew how. They did not recoil and screw their eyes shut in the face of death. Instead, they drank. They drank and sang and danced as the mountains watched, edging forward despite the tiny rebellion.
The mountains came. The mountains swallowed. The daring, drunken country was no more.
The cold stone and the uncaring sea covered everything the men had achieved-- every mine and building and muddy footprint. And yet I still remember.
There are epic tales of heroes winning against impossible odds, their golden armor glinting and their hearts thumping out the beat of justice. There are legends of selfless sacrifices, one life saving the rest. There are stories of wordsmiths whose glittering syllables sparked revolutions and overturned regimes.
And then there are the forgotten ones, the characters just as heroic, but their ballads remain unsung. Like this one.
The story of men who were doomed to die, but boldly responded, ‘We will not die afraid.’ Some say they lost that day. I like to think they won, having left the earth on their own terms, forging their own path when fate gave them a single option.
Perhaps one day I will be as brazen as they.

See more stories by definitelyhuman{HawkEye}
I loved this; the imagery,

I loved this; the imagery, the diction, detail
Just loved it
/and here you are living despite it all/

Posted by Sachi on Wed, 03/21/2018 - 10:25

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