Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Unnamed Threat

Quiet. Stillness. Void. She was taken in by the everlasting slumber, or so she thought. Or so everyone thought. But that was not what was meant to be. No, the sleep was not everlasting, long as it was. And this was the moment in time when Fate would take it upon himself, if we were to personify this abstract concept as a man, to awaken the unconscious woman, or sleeping beauty, if you will.

Not that beauty would be the description that would jump to most minds at the look of her. Don’t get me wrong, she looked good for her age; extremely good. But her features were still weathered to the point of being elderly and somewhat homely; people might not think that she was beautiful at this time, but they may consider that she was beautiful at one point. And she was.

At this point, Fate made a noise so loud that it could be thought to wake the very dead themselves. Of course, Fate could not wake the actual dead, but he came close, in that he awoke the woman who everyone believed to be deceased.

She shot up quickly, gasping, as many people do when startled. No noise; none at all, in fact. Stillness again, the only noticeable difference from the previous stillness being that she was conscious this time. She glanced all around now, surveying her surroundings. From her perspective, she appeared to be in some sort of cave or cavern. From my perspective and Fate’s perspective, however, she was not just in any old cave or cavern of sorts, but rather she was located in a cavernous area beneath a booming metropolis, the name of which I can’t remember and the name of which also is not important to this story. She attempted to stand. It took a bit of effort but, with Fate on her side, she was able to awaken the rest of her muscles and gain her balance very efficiently, thus the attempt succeeded. The tiny men in her brain then commanded the tiny men in her spine to order the tiny men controlling her legs to move her forward.

This is the point of the story that Fate has been waiting for. Now that she was awake and thinking coherently, albeit quite confused, Fate took the opportunity to flick on her memory switch. You see, right before her long slumber, she was rushing to warn of an approaching army, the largest of which she has ever seen, that seemed to be burning and pillaging everything in its path. Everything included everyone in this case; our heroine being unlucky enough to be in its path, but also being lucky enough to be far enough away from it to flee. She hoped that the people in the next city would be able to take this lugubrious message and convert it into effective preparation with regards to the impending threat. This is the original point at which Fate decided to intervene, befalling her with her slumber. As I understand it, Fate can be quite a cruel personified abstract concept, especially where his amusement is concerned. I will elaborate further when the irony is unveiled.

Fate didn’t wish to make things too difficult for our protagonist, so he planned this ahead. The cave or cavern from which she awoke would not have had any light gracing its presence within the structure had it not been for a crack in one of the walls, the creation of which being the source of the sound that could have woke the dead. The man who physically created the fissure, a real man and not a personified abstract concept, was much too large to fit through it. The woman, on the other hand, was tiny enough to squeeze her way to the other side. And so she did.

Upon emerging, this woman not only crossed her barrier, but she also crossed into a whole new world. She wasn’t aware of this at the time, although she had the thought in her head that something was up. I mean, if I approached her and told her what was happening, she probably would have believed me, as much as she didn’t want to. Of course, I couldn’t do that. Her portal into this brave new world was the crack, and it led into a subway station. Normally crowded, she happened to enter at a time of day when this wasn’t the case. The only other person who graced his presence was a man at the far end, attempting to fall asleep on a bench, out of her line of sight. So, she naturally assumed that she was the only person currently in this wondrous carved-out cavern. This also meant that she had to get somewhere else in order to relay her message in a hurry. She had no idea how long she’d been unconscious; she just prayed that she could warn these people of the threat before it was too late, if there even were any people around here.

After a few moments of searching for an exit, she found a staircase leading up; it seemed safer to head in that direction than walking down one of the tunnels in which there appeared to be no light. Up she went. The staircase led outside and, upon arriving outside, she was surprised once again. She had no idea that it would be dark outside, the lights in the subway messing with her senses. Of course, I use the description ‘dark’ very loosely in this instance, as the night sky itself was quite dark, but there were thousands upon thousands of man-made lights everywhere. The sight of the skyscrapers and streetlights and automobiles, all the names of which she did not know, stopped this woman in her tracks. And the people; there were so many people walking around. She thought that this was amazing and that this city was very advanced and she got excited when she saw people inside the metal things that were travelling to and fro. With this many people with this level of technology or magic, she felt that this would be the perfect city to quash the incoming threat that was no longer coming.

And this is where Fate truly shows his cruel side. Had Fate been a bit nicer, he might have had her realize that she was no longer in her time. Unfortunately, Fate had the foresight not to allow our heroine such a privilege and his plan was about to come full circle. She approached a nearby man who was walking briskly. She tried to get his attention, but he acted as though he didn’t see or hear her. She tried the same thing again, but got the same reaction from another woman.

She told them it wasn’t too late, that they still could react before the impending threat arrived. She told them that they had the manpower, they had the resources; all they had to do was listen. She didn’t know when they’d be here, but it would likely be soon, so they all will have to prepare. And listen. She told them the threat can’t be taken lightly, the army containing thousands upon thousands, but they could be outnumbered. They could be surprised. They could be stopped. She told them that she travelled very far to deliver this message to them and they should act upon it. It was their only hope.

By this time, she attracted the attention of some people. Unfortunately, it was not the general populace, who had taken to walking far around her, creating a large circle, centring her out from the rest of the crowd. No, the attention of some nearby police officers was grabbed by her outlandish rant. At this time, they approached her and told her to slow down. She asked them how she could possibly slow down when no one wants to listen, even when she was trying to deliver them from their doom. She added that the two men, the police officers, could help her. They could help deliver the message to the people. They told her that they would help her, and they asked her to come with them. She obliged, following them to the back of their police cruiser.

When they said they would help her, the police officers did not mean to imply they would help bring her message to the populace. In fact, they were planning to do the exact opposite; they planned on silencing the message by bringing her to a psychiatric hospital. And their plan succeeded. She was admitted without much hassle, as she claimed some unnamed threat was coming to destroy their city and she had no idea what year it was or where she was, and she did not even know how to operate a telephone when given the opportunity. Well, I use the phrase ‘without much hassle’ very loosely, as the hospital staff saw no problems with making this admittance hassle-free, while she took it upon herself to make it very hard for them. Of course, she was unable to resist them, and she spent many years in that hospital, the name of which I can’t remember and the name of which is not important to this story.

Eventually, our protagonist learned that she was in another time and the approaching threat was most likely not approaching anymore. She felt that she didn’t get her message out, but it didn’t matter. Fate knew and I knew, on the other hand, that she did, in fact, get her message out. Not to as many people as she planned, but to some people. On that eventful day, the day of her psychotic rant out on the street, the people who pretended not to hear the woman heard her loud and clear. They didn’t want to hear her message, but they couldn’t help but listen. They tried to convince themselves that what she said was not true, but in the back of their minds for the rest of their lives, they lived in fear of an unnamed threat and their impending doom.

1 comment:

Shauna said...

Wow! I really liked this! Some of the lines were great (like "The tiny men in her brain then commanded the tiny men in her spine to order the tiny men controlling her legs to move her forward," and "As I understand it, Fate can be quite a cruel personified abstract concept, especially where his amusement is concerned.") I also loved how it built up to the ending! That poor woman!