Ascension

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(Necessary reads/prerequisites: 

Jumping into a Pit

Stormed

The Diadem)

 

They followed, they swarmed, they chanted. They wanted my death.

Thunder. It struck with a beat that seemed familiar, following the rhythm of my running footsteps.

“We do not forgive.”

I heard loud thumps. Amidst the auditory chaos, I could not recognize their source.

“We do not relent.”

The bang of the thunder deafened me.

“We do not forgive.”

My legs ached.

“We do not relent.”

My lungs were on fire.

“We do not forgive.”

Gunshots.

“We do not relent.”

Laughter.

“We do not forgive.”

Buzzing.

“We do not relent.”

More buzzing…?

They flew in front of my eyes, two fireflies, with red and yellow lights flickering softly. Their flight was graceful, as they led the way towards a closed-off building.

It looked all-too-familiar, that room. Its existence seemed like a distant memory put to sleep, yet now that it got awakened, my reality was but an unanswered question.

I forgot its worn out walls as though I’d never seen them. Its two candles were now nothing but melted wax.

And there it was, with all its grandness, and the same golden sparkle of its frame, which now bore the engraving “I was your saviour. I have failed.”

A reflection looked back at me, devoured, dehumanized… Its head was brutally twisted to the side, and its eyes were filled with tears.

“Come back. Please,” it implored. 

“We do not forgive.”

They were getting close.

“We do not relent.”

I stepped forth.

“We do not forgive.”

First came the arms.

“We do not relent.”

Then the head.

“We do not forgive.”

I crawled through.

“We do not relent.”

Where was I?

I turned around, looking back at the mirror. The same reflection I’d seen earlier stared back at me, now surrounded by men of art, hand-drawn into thin air. Their chants continued as their smiles widened.

“Do not forget that which you have learned here, lessons of both the virtues of self-love, and the vices of egotism. I bid you farewell.”

I watched myself getting repeatedly stabbed. I became the spectator of my own torturous pain. The screams tore through the very fabric of my soul.

Suddenly, a crack slowly slithered through the center of the mirror. Merely moments later, it shattered and became no more.

To both my sides were soft glows of yellow and red, getting dimmer by the moment.

I was not my own saviour, but a shadow lost in the vast realms of self-love. My own prosperity was the mask beneath which others’ suffering cowered, ever overlooked. It was only when I stood there in complete darkness that I knew, the fireflies were now dead, and with them the truths I’d believed in. 

 

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