#1 “Whisperer in the Desert” by Barnabas Deimos

When we began our journey, It was I whom you carried on your back.

The hot blistering sun and frigid nights I had no worry of, but you were burnt by the rays of Light and frozen under the darkness. But you continued.

When we first met, you were but a young, lonely, and slowly dying human. Full of wonder and thoughts, attempting to decipher what is it that made you a living creature and gave you your soul.  Your mother and father had long since died and left you to the small hovel out in the middle of desolation with the barest of fertile ground to provide to you.  Your body and mind were destined to starve.

Until I came.

You felt me close the moment I stepped into your home. The chill that slowly ran up your arms causing the pricks of hairs to stand on end was your inner and dormant senses telling you, that something wonderful had arrived. You sat in the shadows of your shelter, keeping the rays of the hot burning sun at its apex away from you. And in a voice that barely knew language for what it was, you bade me reveal myself.

And I did so.

I sat by you as you hid from the scorching heat, and added my shadow to your dwindling shade. You were able to work and move about your home when the sun was far too hot to suffer.

When the rays were still warm but not blazing, you worked and toiled in your meager garden, and I stood by you. Where you would look to find me, you would find the hidden remnants of morning dews to suckle water from.

And as your food dwindled to nothing, I saw you equally begin to dwindle to nothing. Where I walked in the early morning, I left you the the nourishing mana for you to find in your waking hours.

And when you cradled yourself into bed, I would lay besides you to keep your company. To provide warmth from the freezing nights and to whisper in your ear the knowledge you so desired and more.

You began to speak more and more to the nothing and everything that was there with you. You knew me more and more each day as your mind grew stronger and your body grew more hale and hearty.

You felt our bond grow closer by the days and nights. I as your teacher and provider. I as the one who gave you company and gave you names for your emotions and feelings. And from my provisions, you grew a new emotion: Love.

You loved me. You asked me and begged me to be able to see me and to be with you forever.

I smiled in the shadows where you could not see and walked forward to press my intangible lips to your forehead. You could not feel it yet you knew it was there. And i whispered into your ear … Not yet.

And I taught you the word Anger.

You demanded of me to teach you more and demanded that I reveal why I cared for your safety. Why did I make you intelligent? Teach you language? Why did I make you strong in body and mind?

And I pressed upon your back, my cold empty hands drumming noiselessly on your shoulders. You did not feel their pressure but felt the hairs standing on end. And I whispered… that I had need of you.

You demanded to know for what, you demanded of me that I strike a bargain with you. that if you did what my need was, that you would know me and you would be my sole companion until you died.

I whispered, Yes. I will love to take root in your heart.

You asked what my task was.

I whispered, far away from here where other mortal’s dwelt.

And I taught you the word Despair.

You knew no other mortal man or woman or child. You only knew those who had once birthed you and now only knew me. The thought of another human voice and the thought of another human body being in  your ears and in your presence… terrified you.

You feared you were unworthy.

But you would do anything for me would you not? And we set out under the hot sun and the cold moon. Through the desert of unending sands and crags towards the place where the sun rises…

And you recognized the truth of why I did what I did for you.

I made you healthy so that your body could withstand the pain and anguish of the environment and temperatures that this vast expanse of scorched earth offered.

I made you intelligent so that you would know what was folly and what was wise to do on this journey.

I made you strong of wisdom to brave the madness of the unending wastes before you. Where your vision and thoughts may fill in mirages to lead you to your demise. I made it so that you could stave these off.

And you traveled. I provided you with nourishment as a fledgling deity would do for those in exodus.

And you persisted. I provided you with companionship through the solitary trek and entertained you in the moments of rest.

And soon, after days and weeks and months and years, we saw and heard the rush of water, the bellows of beasts, and the cacophony of a still child humanity. As we crossed a precipice, there before you lay sprawled out the verdant and beautiful city by the sea. A place one would believe that mortal man had gestated from. Where power was nestled in a cradle of a world so recently infested.

You wept that you were not worthy

But i assured you, that you were not before I came to you. But now here you were, at the gates of the Land of the Living…by my guidance and whispers.

And you felt my smile and it warmed your heart.

You walked forward as I guided you.

You spoke the words I taught you, to greet and be cordial with the strangers who came to you. You spoke amongst civilization as if you had born in it. And I was so proud of you.

You journeyed and learned more and more words. More and more sights that filled your mind. I translated for you the tongues of man. You saw their marvels and their magic here. Here you learned that this truly deserving of the name. A place where the sun rises illuminating those who came here. The land of the living for here is where a mortal being could truly live in knowledge.

But this though it was our destination, was not your goal.

Your goal was that I be your love. You eschewed and rebuffed the humans who came to you. For your eyes were only for that which you could not see.

As night fell upon the city, and the streets became empty,

You demanded of me that I finally became your heart. You demanded of me that I finally revealed myself to you for you done what I had asked.

And I whispered to you to go to the center of the city in the dark of night.

You walked and I still whispered in your ear, that I had come searching for someone like you.

For you were empty and devoid of knowledge. You were not tainted by the schismatic beliefs of the world.  I would impart my knowledge to you so that I could whisper my way into your vacant heart.

You found your way to a small insignificant and unassuming mark of dirt. Nothing covering it, not vegetation nor living creature. No man made shelter surrounding it.

Here I bade you dig.

You dug until your hands were raw and the evening hours became morning hours.

Here in the place where the sun rises, you worked under darkness until blood and sweat poured from your body.

Deep you went until the stone earth gave way to a dark abyss.

I bade you step into the cave. For here is where my form was.

You walked in darkness and as the sun rose in that Land of the Living, you saw me for the first time.

My form was bound deep into the dirt, wedged in the side of the rock as if I had driven into it as a post is driven into the dirt.

A being of unearthly beauty, a being of smokeless fire, a being of dark air, a being whose form was unknowable as its name was well known. Well known to all but you.

You who were so pure of mind and thought who never knew the name the mortals gave to beings such as myself.

You asked how it was that I came to you from so far a distance while my body was here.

And I spoke, and for the first time you heard with your ears and not your heart, as I told you that my body may be trapped but my spirit is free to roam and whisper.

You asked if there were more like me.

And I answered yes but I did not care for how they chose to conduct with humanity.

They were content to whisper… cursed without true form or with lost beauty.

But I chose to walk as in the world of men and scorn the curse my kind was given.

You asked me how I could finally enter your heart for you cared not for the curse of my kind and you cared not for what I was physically.

And I said, merely speak these words: Shi Nabara kultu et in nazu shi nabaru taru

And you did.

And I entered you. You watched as the being that had once stood before you crumble to nothing but ash and soot and wind. You felt as I entered every orifice and pore. Saturating you with my very essence. You heard my satisfied sigh as a long journey had finally ended and it was time to start a new one. You tasted one last time, the salty and bitter flavor of your own tears as you realized what spirit you had once owned, begin to disintegrate into the ether.

and I taught you the last word, the only word Man should truly ever know.

Fear.

I looked at my new hands and my new body. I knew then that I would not be satisfied to only whisper.. but I would act. I would speak to masses and not pick them one by one. I would rally that emotion that humans deserve… I would give them fear and despair.

And while this body would only last its cycle and could not hold my powerful spirit indefinitely, I knew there were plenty mortal creatures out there who may not listen to the whisperers but would easily listen to a handsome or beautiful face. To a silky or commanding voice.

Humanity will easily accept one of their own into their hearts.

I smiled with your face as I looked at where my once beatific form had once been. And mused at the spot. The place where I had been trapped for so long refusing to follow the rest of my kind deeper into the dark underworld. Refusing still to fall into the underworlds created by man.

I laughed with your mouth and heard my voice for the first time in so many epochs. As i left the place where I fell like lightning from the sky.

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