The room lay quiet. Egyptian scholars, adorned ornately according to their time, surrounded a corpse, dissected and stretched across a cloth in grotesque disfigurement.
“When the body breathes its last, the soul escapes. Perhaps inside this very room, now, the soul seeks to return but it cannot. The connection is severed.”
Candles flickered and the wind began to howl. The living crowded and craned for a view of the dead. Optics captured images, neurons fired, pulses raced, oxygen expanded lungs and gases exchanged, vocal chords vibrated and cartilage percussed.
“The heart, in the palm of my hand, no bigger than your fist.”
Hope in the hand, a fisted will. Emotions rose, passions inflamed.
The soul was silent.
Carbon dating suggested the age of the car was over ten thousand years old. Which was odd, considering it appeared to be a 50’s model Chevy. Theories abounded to account for this oddity. The question most of us had was, why was it carbon dated to begin with?
The locals said it was found in a layer of rock which lay undisturbed for centuries; that it had a wooly mammoth skeleton lodged in its top, as though the beast had stomped right through it just before death. And so the mystery was born.
The car remained quarantined in a field surrounded by electric security fencing, awaiting further testing. No one was reporting on this. No one was going on record with any details. The answer seemed obvious to me.
The problem with taking a car back that far in time was, roads were horrible. So no one in their right mind would take a car there to drive it. We wondered, then, what they found in the trunk? Was the car sent back to the stone age to hide a crime, perhaps?
The months which followed yielded few clues. We waited patiently for the answers. Men in black would come and go, never seeming to find what they were looking for. Eventually, the car was gone.
Where did it go, I wondered.
Back in time, I surmised. To close the loop.
It all made sense now. They’ll find it again, at the same time as before. And that, I suppose, settles the mystery. Simple as that.
A month had passed. The fountain, decorated and enshrined, as if suspended in time.
I imagined future generations, hundreds of years from now, visiting this spot, and reminiscing.
This is where it all began. Ground zero.
The price was high. I often wondered, what value is one life, which ignites revolution?
The janitor knew.
“The time has come. I will lead.”
The whirring hum lay silent. Silent as the procession of students walking past.
The word was on the face of everyone.
It spread beyond the walls.
Fountains unplugged. Every school, every office, every municipal building.
They will be coming for us.
The incubus of germs, vanquished at last.
New water coolers. Pure, refreshing, non-metallic taste.
“He was brave. We will honor his sacrifice.”
The faint smell of mountain streams, the burble of brooks…
They were coming. We were ready.
The future was revealed. I perceived the doom approaching. Though I knew the darkness could be repelled, they would never listen.
To them, I was only a child. But the power of the divine coursed through my veins. Knowledge beyond human capacity boiled inside my brain. I possessed the power of magic.
“I will float into the sky. I will prove my power. Then will you believe?”
I focused on one word. “Love.” Images of soaring, weightlessness, drifting through space.
The earth began to move. Downward.
I lifted my arms and searched the faces below. Mouths agape, arms raised in disbelief, waiting to catch me.
“Through the love in your hearts, you can become like God. But first, you must love one another, feel each other’s pain, share and breathe as one.”
A misty rain, a ray of sunshine and rainbow arc. They believed.
In the attic below, the ogre rattled his chains and growled. He was hungry and alone, and his master was late. Finally, the door flew open and in walked his master, Shah.
“Master Shah. Otto hungry!” the ogre snarled.
Shah lowered his hood and took a few steps toward the lowly ogre he named “Otto.”
“I have a surprise for you, my dear Otto.”
Otto jumped and stomped, “Otto LOVE surprise!”
Shah opened the burlap sack and unleashed a nest of two dozen bats into the dimly lit hollow chamber. “If you want to eat, my dear friend, then first you must catch them!” He proceeded to laugh sinisterly as he shuffled out of the room and locked the door behind him.
Otto grimaced and groaned and howled in anger. “Otto no like! Otto no like! Shah!!! Shah!!!!!” He pulled and jerked the chains wildly, causing some of the links to snap. A few more violent yanks and one of his hands was free, then the other. He made quick work of his two leg chains and then started tearing the room apart looking for a weapon.
On the far side wall, he ripped the panel off and uncovered a large silver dagger, one that had been there for ages.
His mind raced with images of murderous vengeance and ripping out organs and body parts. Yes. Yes!!! He would tear Shah apart and rip his heart from his chest while still beating and eat it as Shah died!!!
“Good! Good!!!” Otto jumped up and down on the creaky floor as debris fell from the ceiling.
But first, he was going to, in palindromic rage, stab shahs bats!!!