Methuselah (Flash Fiction)

Man wanders and does not take root, unlike me. I dug my fingers into the soil before you bore your gods. I bathed in the light of the sun before man knew what it was. I watched you carve stone and jewel and gold into form to take authority from. I watched you oppress and murder and rule maliciously. From the side of my mountain, I saw the earth desecrated.

You built empires. You created wealth. You melded copper and tin together to strike your brother down. You spilled his blood on stone and altar to protect yourself from your manufactured fears. You enslaved and tormented and built monuments or circling stone and towering pyramids, and then you died just the same.

You spread your people and took to the seas. You made capture of earthly things and kept a close inventory. Numbers were closely counted. Shiny discs were exchanged. You measured your success by the relative failure of another. You brought law and rule and order in the name of trade. Then you brought more murder. All in the name of shiny things.

You conquered stone and metal and jewel. You decorated yourselves with the basic building blocks of our world. You pointed your swords to nature, as though killing each other weren’t enough. You studied and dissected and manipulated and destroyed. You imprisoned nature and made categories. You constructed walls from words and labels and dictated where each creature must go. You built a prison for the world and dared to call yourself its keeper.

After conquering sea and mother, you took to the air. You built mighty towers of selfish splendor. You pulled the blood from the soil to fuel your machines. You broke the atoms by smashing them upon the backs of your own, and carefully built things so that they might carefully explode.

I watched in silent waiting through all of these years. I watched from my mountain and I shed for you no tears. No man has come nor gone that was worthy of anything more or less. You’ve built your prison. You’ve made your mess. My children spread amongst the soil out of reach from your harvest. They will watch you and outlast you. They will see you die from your own poisons, and they will shed for you no tears.

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