All & Artsydaze - The story of S.
Atop of the pile of contorting bodies I stand. Lonely. Tonight, in the glittering moonlight, I am standing by the last ones, powerless. Thousands of them, swept away by the invisible stream of the disease, have unknowingly marched toward their end like an infinite army reunited under the ominous flag of death. I stand alone in the cold night, weeping at the sorry sight of the ever-changing face of death.
It all starts with black swellings about the size of an egg, sometimes of an apple. Many carry it under the armpits, others in the groin. They call for water, but, when the swellings ooze blood, and pus, it is a thirst that cannot be quenched. Black botches quickly conquer the rest of the body, pain spreads, a pain that knows no remedy, and fever rises, untamed, uncontrollable, feeding from the very flames of hell. The lucky dies quicker, before blood reaches their mouth, before their spit colors red.
It all started with sailors, they say, a ghost ship with a cargo of spices and a dead crew silently entered the harbor and spread the miasma. Then the elderly, and the children. The mothers called next, and the fathers, brothers, soldiers at arms. Sometimes doctors died before their patients. Sometimes one would go to bed like a healthy man in the safety of his boarded home, never to wake again. Families threw their beloved in the streets to vomit their blood-stained excrements and to sweat their foul smelling blood away from them, but it was always too late for the disease spared no one.
For days red capes have hurried to add more flesh to this mountain of glorious defiance, to this rotting monument of demise. Then, even the red capes succumbed, coughing, spitting and lamenting next to the bodies they carried. Like trembling worms they crawled at the base of the pile of bodies and with empty eyes they stared at me. Not a fly eats these corpses, so that their eyes, swollen with misery, still look at me in the glittering moonlight. I am the last, the beholder of humanity.
How ironic that I alone still live. I alone have been chosen by the heavens to carry the memory of the living beyond this era of death! I am the one to bring their memories on. I cannot stop thinking of how many fools during the centuries have clung to crumbling beliefs. Armies marched across the Earth seeking for glory. Philosophers explored the depth of the human soul searching for truth. Kings and emperors ruled to set examples. Each convinced to be the maker of his destiny, death had always surprised them with the bitter taste of disappointment. In the last moment, their face had always turned to the last standing one, their eyes begging for an unspoken mercy. It was in that last moment that every one of those fools must have realized that glory shines of a different light, that their memories would be lost, that themselves would not exist beyond a name and, maybe, beyond the few actions that posterity would remember. They must have begged, some probably cried, just like these contorting bodies, these rotting corpses that death took without mercy.
I wonder if they ever understood that it is the last one, who is to give them everlasting glory. Like myself, the beholder of time, who will have to remember them for what they had truly been. All of them. And while their short walk in the land of the living comes to an end, I am the one to continue struggling in the darkest shadow of solitude. Tonight in the glittering light of the moon, I stand atop of the wondrous sanctuary of death, glazing in terrified adoration, for death is the ultimate beauty that I brought upon all of them, the fascinating delight of the end.