SlaveWithin deception, you find reality. Within reality, you find truth. When the truth is revealed, you may choose to see it, you may want to see it, but in the end you are left with nothing except misery, sorrow, and hatred for the regret of the lack of ignorance. If you are to dismiss this moral of life and this harsh lesson that life bares unto every one of us, then you are a fool among knaves.
Almost a hundred years ago, the world had been plunged into a third world war, if you could call it that. It really wasn’t even a war. It was more of a cocky showing of the hands of each of the main superpowers. At first, they were on a means of no nuclear weapons. It was a mutual understanding that that would end in no one winning. No, they sent their troops. The men and women of the nations were flown or shipped over to enemy nations within hours. Within twelve hours, over a million people had died. In the next two days, two million more lost their lives, military or civilian. America had managed to repel the invaders on their home lands and had even succeeded in making the Russians, Arabians, and their allies all retreat to their own countries. When it was clear they were going to lose, the Union of Reformed Soviet Socialist Republic, or URSSR, launched the first missile. The originating location was on a ship somewhere in the Caribbean Sea. Its destination was Atlanta Georgia. It had reached its destination leveling the entire city within the matter of minutes. Following this was an American missile from the coast of France. It hit Moscow, obliterating it completely. The chain reaction did not end until there was nothing left to hit. When the smoke cleared and the ashes settled, the world was no longer recognizable of having once been great. The few survivors of the war stayed underground, waiting for the fallout to clear.
Almost fifty years ago, the first clan came out from hiding in the slums of one nameless city. It could have been New York. Or Boston. Or Philadelphia. Or another ghost of the empire that was the megalopolis of the New England states. It didn’t matter now for what was left was just fields of rubble and remains of the stronger, shorter buildings. The clan that rose from the ashes here immediately began growing food. They fished, they hunted (for the wildlife had once again reclaimed what had been theirs long ago). And most of all they survived. Soon after, other clans came out. They followed in the footsteps. At first they tried being friends with the fellow survivors, but as time went on, they fought over leadership. The clans all divided. Not all at once though. Over the course of the next fifty or so years, the clans spread across the world all began emerging and trying to cope with the new hostile world. One by one, they found each other, and just as the world had gone out fighting, it seemed to be reborn in the same way.
When I was very little, my camp was attacked and destroyed by a group of raiders called the Black Morphlings. My parents were killed by their leader right in front of me. I was taken into slavery by them. I was forced to feed the beasts they had kept as guard animals and to do the things that were otherwise known as cruel. However, it wasn’t cruel. Not in this world. In this world I was just one of the many unlucky souls that happened to be born into the wrong clan, and for this I deserved nothing more than the treatment that I received. This clan, the Black Morphlings, was strong. And because they were strong, they deserved to be at the top. They owned most of this sector of the city, and what wasn’t theirs was simply just not worth taking, either for lack of previsions or because it was too much work to mold into something useful. In any sense, I was their slave. That was the way of things in this cruel world; kill, be killed, or become the slave. It was a one to three odds of being either of those.
I woke up one morning early just as I always do. I realize that if I don’t I am to be beaten for my insolence. The sun was just barely rising over the horizon. The sky was illuminated with a brilliant plethora of colors varying from yellows, reds, and purples. The sides of the trees were of a bright orange, while the sides far from the sunrise were dark and dull. Everything tall enough to stand above the shadow of its predecessor was glowing in bright oranges, yellows, and reds. Most people would find this view to be breathtakingly beautiful, but I found it annoying. It only angered me to see things so luminous and shining in the sun, free to do as they please, while I was cursed to this servitude of slavery among my conquerors.
I was trying to catch my breath from the fright. The sun was a little higher over the horizon now, and there were no more stars in the sky. At this point, it seemed to be its brightest, casting long, streaming rays across the landscape. It blinded me. I looked into it anyway. When I closed my eyes, all I saw was a nightmare of my past. When I looked away, all I saw was the depressing reality that was still yet a nightmare. When I looked into the sun, I was blinded. Blinded from the truth of things. My eyes tried to focus, tried to adjust to the high intake of light. They never did. Instead my vision was blurred by an intensity of light so strong that it seemed to wash even my thoughts. I hated the freedom of other things being able to enjoy the smooth and soothing sunrise, but I enjoyed this. This was a harsher form of beauty. This one seemed not to make things glow in radiance, but to engulf everything in its own radiance as if it was jealous and arrogant.
The sun is a funny thing. Everything comes and goes in the same way, but the sun was always there. It changed its mood continuously. And even though it warmed us and kept us alive, it also wanted to hurt us. I admired this. The thought of being in control made me feel distant from my slavery. I closed my eyes and imagined being in my captors shoes. I imagined not having to feed the terrible beasts. I imagined having something to eat, and of my choice every night.
My bliss was interrupted when one of the clans’ people woke up and walked by, noticing me sitting. He barked at me and then forcefully strode over to me. “Why are you not doing your chores.”
I didn’t answer him. I didn’t dare tell him the truth; that I was imagining him being a slave with me as his cruel master. If I did, surely I would be punished severely. Instead I stayed silent. I didn’t speak. I didn’t even give him the gratitude of having my gaze. I just continued to stare into the blinding sun.
He spat at me and brought his hand up. I saw the silhouette of it in the corner of my eye as it came down across my face hard. I didn’t flinch. I didn’t cry. It knocked me to the ground and I just laid there, my cheek throbbing in pain. He picked me up and put me on my feet.
“Answer me next time, boy. Go do your chores before I get agitated even more.”
I ran off and did as I was told, trying to avoid everyone as I did so. Often I would get punished for no reason, simply because they were bored and I was conveniently within arm’s reach. I hated everyone there. Everyone except for her. Her name was Eve.