Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Vignette: Undying

He took away his heart. The old thing was long rotten and dry, after all. He slid the gray muscle down into the hollow of the clay urn and smiled as the thing fell with a wet plomp into the bottom. Sliding the cover back, he then lifted the nearest lit candle and slowly... meticulously... sealed the urn with the still cooling wax.

And the turning of the wheel is the passage of time. And time waits for no man, for its path is eternal and long. Rise, step forth and begin your journey. There is no way but with the first step.

He remembered his father's words, even after the many decades that have passed since he last visited his tomb. They had not found it yet, thankfully, and part of him was happy that his father was the rebellious man he was in his youth. Unlike most, his father opted to not have his remains buried within a tomb of stone and traps. He decided to have himself buried in a hiddle tomb built beneath the unforgiving and just as eternal Nile.

The sands would never stop shifting. The water was a constant wind that shifted any markings or trails that would suggest the tomb was there. But outside the river, however, he knew where to look. He knew the tomb lay where the shadow of the far away mountain would rest at the stroke of the third hour past noon. He knew that the entrance could only be breached if the door was turned opposite the direction of the rising sun. And lastly, he knew that the traps within were all purely psychological and not truly intended to kill.

We begin with the first step. And the unending march of time begins to dance between the whorls of opportunity and the tip-toed instances of want. And we live on, undying, as the God Kings we were intended to be.

He sighed as he slid the now sealed wax urn and lifted the stone plate that covered the place where his father's remains had been all these years. He looked at them, marvelling at their intricacy. Few still cared to place their mummified organs in such carefully crafted canopic urns. Fewer even knew that they served a purpose that had nothing to do with the underworld. It was hard to identify whose heart was whose after a few years away from your own body, you see. A heart doesn't have a name tag on it after all.

He slid his sealed urn into the chamber, carefully moving it to sit beside the clutch of urns his father had left many, many decades ago. Then stared at them for a while. The cat-shaped canopic urn of his father looked regal and priceless beside his simply clay one. Admittedly, it was apt. Though he was supposed to be Pharoah, he had never worn neither title nor crown in his long life.

And in the end, we shall look back upon our pyramids and our kingdoms and see the stories we have written. And we shall then live on a dual life: One of legend and mystery where those who come after us shall forever ponder on and dream of.

And one of the heart. Seeking its place. In a world that resembles us only skin-deep.

And he slid the chamber closed. He made sure the stones interlocked in place and carefully made his way back to the double-door chamber that acted like an ancient airlock for him to exit the tomb without allowing the Nile to flood inside. He felt the cold dirty waters bathe him and he swam forward, leaving behind his father's tomb knowing well that in the end, after all these many years even if he was all-grown up and mature enough to live his own life, he still did seek to leave his heart beside his father's own.

Nikki Alfar
Tobie Abad
Gabby Lee
Andre Mischa Cleofe
Cathy delos Santos

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