DAY 35: Incoherent/Random Story #1

To compensate for a lack of ideas, I have decided to start a series of random stories. They will most likely make little sense, and will probably be very difficult to follow, vague, and incomprehensible; one would, if using technical terms, call this “stream of conscious”, which I discussed in a post long ago in the days of yore. I hope you, to some extent, enjoy these little pieces of prose; they will undoubtedly be strange, but some meaning might arise from them, I suppose…

 

Mikhail lived under a rock in a hole. Needless to say, this did not afford him a pleasant view, nor did it facilitate happy living. Indeed, his life was rather depressing, and often he fell into states of melancholy and despair. His siblings – sisters and brothers alike – had died in a recent skirmish between his family and a rival family’s household, along with his parents and many of those people he had grown to love and adore. Now he was alone. He had dug a simple hideaway in the ground, rolled a stone over it, set torches along the interior, and proclaimed it “Home!”.

But it wasn’t home. It was a prison. A prison for his thoughts, a place to repress his sadness and let it fester a while longer, to leave his wounds exposed to the grime of his hovel and let them fester while he paid them no heed. It was a dwelling where every sorrow could be buried deep into his soul and left there to grow larger and larger. So long as it pained him not, he cared for it not. Little did he know that burying does not heal.

He had not seen the sunlight for weeks. He had prevailed upon himself to go out only when necessary to fill the room with oxygen, and to procure a month’s worth of viands for his meager meals. He tried to avoid others when he was out – drew his cloak over his head to obscure his face in shadow – but there were whispers everywhere he went, and he caught words like, “recluse” and “hermit” and “pariah”. He tried his best to remain insouciant to these, but “pariah” always got him, and he shed a tear whenever he heard it. “It isn’t right,” he grumbled to himself, whilst eating a stale carrot for dinner. “Folks ought to looking after the hurting, and not spurn them as if they’re lower than dirt. Don’t they know my sorrow?”

But they didn’t know his sorrow, and for that reason, the “creepy old man living under the rock” remained as infamous and notorious as ever. Soon, rumors started to spread about how he strangled little ones in the middle of the night – how he stole from the merchants attending to their business on the street. Before long, Mikhail wasn’t allowed into the town, and his food grew scarce. This brought him even greater sorrow, and he said to himself, in a low and quavering voice, “Wherefore have I incurred the opprobrium of shameful conduct, when I have not done anything to deserve reproof?”

Gradually, Mikhail grew sick. His food was running low, he could not leave his dwelling, and he remained inert for long periods of time, depression gnawing away at him in his inactivity. Seven days after being banished from the town, he fell upon his bed and could not rise. He closed his eyes and fell into a deep, troubled sleep, and in the dream that he subsequently had he wished many times that he could die and escape the torment of illness and solitude.

Then, he was awakened by a sound. The rock above him was moved aside, and a faint light gleamed in upon his dismal hole. He heard a muffled voice. “Is anyone down there?” It was sweet and kind, and called Mikhail out of his drowsiness instantly. He found strength in his legs again, and, heaving himself off of his rickety bed, went to the exit hole and looked out. There, just above, was a girl, clad in a white dress, with a benevolent smile on her face, radiant cheeks, a happy countenance, and a mane of golden-blonde hair. She reached out a hand to him and said, “Take it. I will lead you to a place where there is no sorrow, for the Lord loves you, and is calling you home.”

Mikhail reached out, and the girl took his hand. She led him up a flight of golden stairs to a gate in the clouds; magnificent, encrusted with jewels and guarded by two seraphs, flanking the entrance, attired in armor of the finest make. Those gates flew open, and Mikhail, every pain fading from his face, beheld the Living God, and fell into His embrace.

Upon the earth, no one was cognizant of Mikhail’s passing for a long time. He was a mere shadow, flitting hither and thither occasionally and then vanishing. He was nothing to anyone, and the villagers of the town heeded him not. One day, though, about a week after Mikhail had died, a young boy, of about thirteen, ran to the town hall and greeted the councilors with: “The old hermit is dead!”

The councilors laughed and the mayor said, “Is he? Finally! He has held on to life for far too long, boy. It is better that he is gone.”

“Shan’t we hold inter him as any corpse properly should be?”

“He does not deserve the honor. Let him remain in his hole; that shall be his grave for the rest of time.”

“Is there no sorrow among you for his passing?”

“Boy,” another councilor said, leaning forward and folding his hands, “we have other matters to attend to that must be discussed at once. This hermit is of little consequence to our current topic of discourse, and as such ought to be disregarded. There is no sorrow at all. He strangled children, boy, and stole food and items from the merchants. The despicable fellow deserved death, and we ought not to mourn him.”

The councilors bid the boy leave, and he did, but the boy never forgot that chiseled recluse who lived in the hole under the rock. “A sorry tale indeed,” he said once to his grandchildren. “That is why we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the hurting, Frederick. Because God asks it of us, and because we ought to do it if we love our brothers. Remember that, dearest progeny. Remember.”

 

In Christ,

Ryan

 

 

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