The world has turned dark and dreary, a flickering veneer of laser-shows and neon signs failing to conceal an underbelly of waste and life-turned-cheap. Into this place of eternal shadows there comes a small band of intrepid strangers. These few have lived beyond the decay, secluded, barely touching anything beyond their sanctuaries. Yet, they have been forever challenging the denizens of the outside world, unaware of how they have made some dare to dream, and even attempt the doing of real deeds, only to fail under the enormous weight of apathy. And now, by some strange chance, perhaps awakened by the faint echoes of the despair of humanity, they have ventured forth. They look upon the world and cannot believe what they see, what they hear, what they feel.
Under the burden of conscience, the few accept that they must act. They cast about for some key to undoing the collapse of the world, and they discover only one thing. It would not suggest itself to any but their kind, whose thoughts work in ways the masses cannot comprehend. It is, in fact, an ancient principle. It is called ‘Rumour’, though it has had other names and descriptions. Yet it is a mighty weapon, and the few can use it. Daring to hope, they begin the reshaping of human thought and human heart and human spirit. They start with just one deed, a deed calculated to attract even the jaded mind. And on devices across the dying world, devices in their trillions, a message appears:
“I have seen a dream. Be ready!”
And trillions wonder and don’t understand. But the message is repeated, every few hours, for the seven days that once had been called a ‘week’. At the end of that time, the message isn’t repeated. Not for three days. Then:
“I will not be silenced! Be ready!”
And now this new message appears at random intervals, while tension rises, expectancy pent up, driving the trillions to yearn for something unknown. On the ninth day after, a new message, even more cryptic:
“Now!” and beneath the single word, an image of a door, ajar. An image that demands to be touched, to reveal what is hidden but that the trillions long for. Trillions of shaking fingers touch screens and the door seems to leap at them even as it swings open.
Beyond, there are five curious objects depicted, as the points of a star. Perhaps one in several billion recall seeing something like them, but the name eludes even them. Boxy looking things, with pictures and barely discernible text upon the faces. And now the trillions, drawn ever deeper, find that they must touch one of those images, must make a choice. Hardly daring to brave this new unknown, yet they do, and for each, a boxy thing opens revealing…
Words! Not snappy phrases in soundbite brevity. Many words. Hundreds. Thousands. And each of the five images holds different words to the other four. Captives of their own yearning, the trillions trace the words, absorbing them, drinking of the dreams. Consuming until there are no more words. Only a screen with five new images upon it.
Watching, the few who had dared this deed smile and shake hands. Watching, they see faces enraptured, racing after dreams made solid yet insubstantial by the unique magic of words. And they see that some of the trillions take up the dreams and make them realities, casting off the darkness, raising their eyes to the stars, to possibilities that can and must be reached for. Dreams of hope and triumph, of striving and succeeding. Dozens of these ascendant dreamers become hundreds, become thousands, become millions…
“It’s always the way,” one of the few says, smiling. “We’re the custodians of dreams. But we were forgotten and we forgot. Now, we have to make sure that such a thing can never happen again. We will construct a network. And each one in that network will guide the followers to five more. So the network will grow, until it binds the whole world and the decay can never happen again.”
It was agreed and they embraced and at that moment the old, forgotten name for their kind revealed itself again. And with the revelation, they became whole and were renewed. And the eldest of them looked up, tears in his eyes, and said the name, and nothing else:
[Copyright © Steve K Smy, 2013]
The Challenge Issued
Here is the idea, expressed in the little tale above: Each author who reads this is asked to choose the blogs of five others, one being the one who brought them to the network plus four new ones. Link to these five on your own blog. Notify the named and ask them, politely, to participate. There is no ‘badge’, no answering of questions, and no heavy burden of selecting more than four new authors’ blogs. It would be dramatic, of course, if each attached some piece of prose or poetry as an introduction, but it isn’t a requirement! And most of all, this is not a ‘Follow me!’ scheme!
I’m not naming any author blogs because this is, of course, the inaugural post! It is my hope that those who wish to will become ‘Blog Runners’ and name four author blogs each, plus this originating blog. If you’d rather name five that don’t include this blog, that’s fine too, of course.