Card Challenge: Day 17
Card Day 17: A single white poppy amidst a field of red ones.
For years I had known that I was special. It was this innate, trustworthy feeling that somehow I was set apart, even if I could not yet realize what that meant. I remember walking through the crowded halls of high school, surrounded by pettiness and shortsighted passions, feeling distinctly different from the other adolescents plodding their dreary days. I was special, because somehow I could see through this all. It was not, necessarily, presentience, but more of an awareness of a realm that existed beyond the reality of the everyday.
It would be years later before the true importance of this separation became clear, but I nevertheless lived in accordance with my calling. It is with great peace and contentment that I say goodbye to my simple life of unfulfilled selection, giving up the toil and worries of human life for the transcendence I so prepared myself for.
I do not view my fellow humans with contempt or disdain. I understand the vibrancy with which they lived their lives, constantly pursuing some meaning or happiness. It is, ultimately, the same thing I sought. Only I could see beyond the mere rewards of a short span of life on this earth. I could see into the stars and to the true purpose awaiting me.
The stars. Have you considered them, dear reader? Do you share my admiration and awe, or are you like the rest of my species? Do you see in the stars only endless expanse of danger, fear, and destruction? Do you rail against the destiny our race was born to, or do you willingly accept your role in the far larger drama playing across the universe? I have never been so self-consumed to consider our race more than a mere speck in the expanse of space and time, a footnote in the great annals of universal history. We have served such a vital purpose, but it is our duty to but serve so that greater things may come. We shall be transformed. You, dear reader, shall be transformed just I have.
I remember when the stars reached out to us, bringing news of swift arrival. So many ignored the messages of the stars, but I could hear them singing, ringing with the news. It was a riotous din, completely unavoidable to anyone who would open their ears and eyes. If we had listened, then perhaps the great coming could have been a process of ease. We could have transitioned without strain into our new roles. Yes, it was necessarily a disorienting transition, leaving behind so much of what we foolishly used to define ourselves. We are a magnificent race, capable of so much others are not, but we refused our central role in all things.
When they came, there was such commotion. I was out at the store buying groceries for the week when it all began. The arrival came as a shock to me—I am not, as I said, presentient—but a welcome surprise nonetheless. The first sign of their arrival was the air. It suddenly took on an electric tingle, racing across my skin, up and down my spine, and across my tongue. It was a thrilling, terrifying experience. Yet, for the first time I can remember, I felt as if I were truly alive and aware of my senses. It was as if the sudden atmospheric electricity gave an edge to my senses, making colors brighter, sounds crisper, tastes more succulent, smells more vibrant, and touch more real.
It was in that moment that the full extent of my otherness became clear. This was the world of experience so many had felt before me, and now so many recoiled from it. I saw men and women begin to teeter on the edge, feeling the energy in the air as it set their nerves and fears alight. I do not believe they understood what it meant then, but soon they would.
From among the clouds, the beings appeared. So often, we imagined their arrival in massive ships that blotted out the sun. Instead, the floated on ephemeral wings, descending like snowflakes in the atmosphere. And like snow, they quickly and softly blanketed the world, requesting that we commit to our ordained positions in this expansive universe.
Yet so many rebelled. I watched with sorrow as humanity showed its worst side, reacting with violence and aggression towards these interstellar beings of light and goodwill. We attacked them, rebelling against the natural order to try and dispel the “invaders,” as so many called them. I remember the sound of rocket fire, the smell of burning structures and ozone in the air. Our weapons did nothing to them but anger them. I remember such sorrow in my heart, so different from the levity and freedom I now feel. If only we had acquiesced to their requests, all my brothers and sisters in humanity could experience this great relief.
What you must understand is that they came in peace, and we drove them to destruction. We acted as we always have, and responded to this unknown future with abject terror. We fought and we fled, but we should have known we were no match. I cannot see the future, but I could see we were bound for destruction when the first mortar flew.
I was in the epicenter when it happened. There was light, so brilliant and searing. I felt it with the same electricity as I had in the store, as if my skin was alive and singing. I saw others crumple to their ground, their screams fading into silence. All around me there was carnage and bloodshed. I lay docile and content amid the mingling blood of thousands of my species who had refused the coming blessing. My heart still pounded a steady, low, reliable beat. I would serve my purpose diligently, without struggle or rebellion.
They came to me in the bloodshed, their bodies perfect and glowing with an unperceivable light. They trudged through the offal, corpses, and destruction utterly unmarred by the horrors. I could see them searching, seeking the beacon of my awareness and submission.
Joining them was pure elation. For a moment, my body was in their grasp, white hot feelings piercing through very nerve and cell. I felt their consciousness probe mine, searching. I heard their whispered promises and assurances. I could join them if only I would renounce the silly things which tied me to humanity, I realized then why I was set apart, that I had always been destined to become something greater than my race had ever imagined. My race’s limited imagination, abject fear, and ultimate futility held us back, caged us in weak flesh, and left us captive to meaningless emotions. There was brilliant light, the burning away of human weakness. And I merged, a being purely set apart. My acceptance assured I would fulfill my ultimate purpose to drift through the outer bounds of space, converting those who were worthy while ridding the universe of the plague of mediocrity and small-mindedness. I was always set apart; I was always different.
Now, I am life. I am death.
This work by Katherine C is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.