Given the Choice
Written by: Leni Sosa; Permanence of Wings
“Not with a bang, but with a whimper.” ~ T.S. Eliot
The centuries came and went and we were content living in denial; all too damned stupid to wake up. It had been here for centuries: persecution and deception, war, famine and pestilence. No one should have been surprised.
The Earth warned us with its catastrophes and yet we kept on with our little lives – competing with each other and wanting more and more – consuming and carving into everything; centuries of bathing in excess.
We talked of love, hope, and faith, but the many faces of darkness congregated in our hearts. Sometimes the hate sprouted solely from ignorance…other times it was fear. And often the most vacant vessels paved the way for the masses.
We were the horde – an endless wave of judgement – exempting some because of their power and influence, unjustly writing off others and punishing them with tremendous ease. How did we ever really think ourselves worthy of deciding?
We worshiped the idol, spending our time aspiring to the construction of screens and glossy pages, instead of placing our efforts contributing to the privilege of existence.
Have we not been heartless to the core? How many of us managed to escape the lie of thinking that we knew everyone’s truth?
Little good came from the most exploited source for both the Tree of Knowledge and Tree of Life: the Internet. It wasn’t the only source, but it was the one that allowed everyone to choose what to believe. The temptation of anonymity proved to be too great and only revealed the one truth that couldn’t be hidden: we had freewill and most of us chose poorly.
When it started, no one understood that the fifth seal had been happening all along. The voices of the gifted prophets had been heard in the classrooms, books, and churches – Martin Luther King Jr. and Anne Frank among them. We weren’t paying attention. Dates and slices of ‘happenings’ would be put to memory, but the importance of acceptance and respect in spite of our differences would merely be an afterthought. The prophets shared one common message: love and tolerance. This was a thing of the past, though. The divide between the politically correct and the outwardly ignorant had disappeared; both sides started believing in extreme measures. In the end, they shared more than was wise, good or right. The bitter seed took root.
The solar eclipse broke the sixth seal. The location was appropriate; after all, the United States was a superpower and the greatest institution of the free world. No one noticed the numbers buried in the Beast’s tattoo. How many cheered on during the Inauguration – finally a radical! The assassin was a man with certain gifts, but he misunderstood his mission. Either way, the plan was in motion and it would require divinity to obliterate it. Many were feeling forsaken, as if they’d all been pillars of virtue.
The names of the chosen will silence self-proclaimed ‘good people’. The wolves in sheep’s clothing pretend as if it were a craft. Their punishment will come – to be soulless, non-existent.
As it slid over the sun, the moon started to turn a pinkish colour. The light did not return. The moon darkened into a blood red and the lights went out. People wondered how it could be, but it was, and that is really the only thing of any real importance. It started in the west, but would be visible in every corner of the world. We were finally silenced – after the shock, panic, and rage wore off.
Some lost their minds and others were relieved. Some remained unnervingly calm from the beginning and throughout, heading to their place of worship or home to loved ones. Others spent money where they could in the establishments that were still open and owned by people that did not know what to do with themselves – and so decided to keep running their businesses. It would blow over, some thought. Some went to pay for sex, drugs, beer, or some other distraction. Even at the very end, consumption reigned in the hearts of many. Others left their husbands or wives. Some just put a hole through their temple or the space between their eyes, while others dosed their entire family into a deep slumber they wouldn’t wake from – at least not in this life.
The airports were closed, borders were shut down, and governments were instructing their citizens to stay indoors, stay off the roads, and ration food and energy. As if the cavalry would come to make it better if given the time…just protocols for the sake of keeping a sense of control over the world; another lie. There was nothing to fight. It wasn’t an alien invasion. There wasn’t a big pile up of cars. The sun was snuffed and the moon was glowing dark, blood red as if to show what was to come. There was nowhere to run or hide…just sit and wait.
I don’t have anyone, so I take my car to the cabin to spend the last of the time I have left. There is no need to kill myself now. So I put away the noose I had been unable to use the last time I was here. The lake had never been quite this still and I couldn’t hear a bird or any rustling leaves. The stillness would be more unsettling than peaceful for most, but I feel well for the first time in years. This makes sense – what is happening – this I can understand. There is no wind or the sound of animals in the forest. It is as if all life has been zapped from the world except humanity; we are still breathing, for now. I have this feeling we’ll be met with violent weather soon, and the plants will start to die without the sun and rain. The air is dense; as if I am in a vacuum. It is the eerie calm before the inevitable storm.
As dense as the air is, I find myself wanting to breathe it in. I want to feel a breeze again. Sitting on the dock that leads out onto the lake, my hand may move, but I am not in control. None of us really ever are. I wonder if there will be anyone left to read this.
On this page, I write this single truth. Let it serve as confession, prayer, and testament: if it must end here, let me be delivered to the next life and may I be met with mercy. But, if given the choice – I want to live.