Back to stories...|
2oo2o9o3o1 - The Tower
once upon a time there was a tower. it was made of neither wood nor stone, steel nor plastics, water nor air. it was constructed of nothing, yet everything. it stood out, invisable, it survived rain and snow, wind and thunder, oceans, mountains and time. the tower simply was. humans formed villages near its base, these villages raised animals and grew grain. season after season these people lived, made baby people, and they died. villages would be smited by plagues, war, falling rocks and swelling waves, only to rise up again.
since the beginning of time there stood a tower. a lonely monument of brazen defiance, looming above the spinning world far below. this tower, since time eternal, had no living makers, nor heirs to these makers, if ever a builder at all. casting but a shadow upon the ground, as if a giant sundial measuring the passage of time as it destroys all things, all save but the tower. it had seen animals graze beneath its glory, and mountains crumble to dust as the rains and winds took their measured toll upon the living rock. stars died in the heavens above as babies passed into darkness upon the streets below. a witness to all things, it stood silent as man took residence in caves lining dying valleys and falling rivers. as its shadow stretched across man's doorstep he invented fire, the tower, indifferent. gradually clans became communities, nomads became villagers, and caves, huts. the antelope gave way to the goat as the gathered tuber was replaced by cultivated grasses, the tower stood lonely. man grew to fear the tower, he defiled it as he worshiped it, but it could not be blemished with slate nor fire. as the aeons passed thatch gave way to wood, and wood to stone. tribal blunders became gruesome offerings to stupidity, and fragility as the spear became the sword, and the sword, the gun. offerings of majesty spired ever upward, while dwellings remained in squalar, but all remained small and unimportant beneath the height and breadth of the tower. institutions were made to praise the tower, heretics burned at its foot, and people made daunting pilgramages to touch its surface. people also organized to destroy the tower, with gunpowder, lye, tribuchet hurtled missles and contraptions that had toppled empires. different people organized to destroy the would-be destroyers, many dying to protect the sacred tower. wars were made, kingdoms crumbled, and the world changed countless times over, all in the name of the tower. still the tower remained silent, solitary, indifferent. those who died did so needlessly, the tower could not be destroyed, not even marked. It could not be saved. time destroyed cities beneath mountains of ash and walls of water, the tower looking on, cold and uncaring, unfeeling, unable. the clipper gave way to the frigate, tanker, carrier and the submarine; guns gave way to more horrible guns and the power of the chemical became the power of the atom. paper fell to the power of the pixel and understanding, the currency of power. the sundial of the yesterday stood in defiance of the frenzied and meaningless lives of the ants below, marking, but unfeeling of the passage of time. humanity praised the tower, cherished the tower, and deified the object. economies revolved around its scarcity, and institutions lived fattly feeding from its mystery and lore. though factions tried the weapons of war, including the atom, the whims of chemists and geniuses everywhere and the hatred and uncertainty of a million billion souls could not destroy the edifice. unscathed it outlived all opposition, proposition and a trillion ideas in between. no digital attack could deny its existence and no shaft tunnel or blast could root its foundation. it could not be analyzed, measured nor defined; yet it stood undoubtedly.
then one day a young girl, sneaking past all barriers, climbed the tower. she could not reach the top and she fell to her death. the next day another followed, and another, and another. in the blink of a moment thousands, millions, billions of people had lined up and cast themselves from the tower, climbing upon the corpes of their brethren to reach the means of their demise. As the very last person threw him/herself to his/her death the streets stood empty, electricity unused, information idle. beds slept empty and cars without fire. baby's rattles sat silent and lonely, food rotted, and cattle starved, helpless. as the last person on earth threw his/herself from the tower's majesty it stood silent. alone and unmoved. the billions of bodies at its base rotted in a sullen and rancid disrepair, a sea of maggots writhed in its shadow. still the tower knew no sorrow. as time moved onward cities fell beneath the roots of trees and satellites crashed into the sea. and the tower remained. forever still, and forever silent.
one day a young girl, contrary to everything she had ever known said to a young boy "The tower does not exist." "Bullshit," said the boy, "i just saw it yesterday." "why do you think you saw a tower?" replied the girl. "Because my family went to go see it, why the hell would we go to see something that isn't there?" the boy retorted. "why indeed..." the girl said softly. these words dwelt upon the boys mind for many years whilst he did not visit the tower. the one day when he decided to gaze upon the tower walls he found that indeed, it had vanished. yet thousands of people all around him all marveled at its vacant location, apparently unaware that they looked upon nothing. alas a short few generations later the tower ceased to exist, and even its memory had passed from the minds of those who had built a manufacturing plant where it once resided. one word of doubt destroyed what a thousand wars could not, one girl and but a word of wisdom and the tower was no more.
In the end: believe what you will, the future cannot have yet been written.