The shadow of the small man

The shadow of the small man

He was crawling, lower than the rocks in front of him, jagged and angry rocks with their voices full of despair and an eternity of suffering, imagined and real. He stopped, looked up the sky. A few clouds were dangling on the heavenly tent, looking at him and his wounds. He smiled grimly, put down this club and put his mighty hands on the rock, cleaned them from the blood and the ooze. He then took his club again. The club felt heavy in his mighty hands, but he liked the feeling. It anchored him, connected to him. It was the club, his father and forefather had used to hunt the beasts. Now he was alone. And the beasts still were many. And the heaven looked down on him and nodded. They showed him an answer to his prayer, his sacrifice, the sacrifice of his wolf-dog. There were parts of him which still screamed at him, but the wolf-dog had been hurt and was already dying and his black eyes had begged for death.

The heavens were on his side. The winds yawned and the clouds moved slowly in the right direction. He could taste the iron in the air, which was able to replace the coppery smell of blood on his body, on his clothes. He would have ripped them and thrown them away, but they were important. They were dark, where he was not dark enough. He had rubbed dirt in his face, but his bleached skin still looked like a cloud full of snow. He had hunted the gods and the gods had punished him. He had heard to the oracles and they had told him to hunt the glacier tribe. They had told him, where the tribe was. Where the creatures were. The oracles had screamed, their blood boiling in their mouths, while their words had drowned them. Dead they were already, when the words had come. The words were not from their flesh, but from the darkness behind the tent of the heavens. They had told him the truth. He had been cursed. Forever. And no fire in the world would kill him. But his club was strong enough to free him. The reason stood in the opposition of his feelings. He had to kill the glacier-tribe, their king and get the blue pearl, crush it and drink the blood from the innards of the pearl itself. The oracles had told him that.

The wind became angrier and with the wind, the clouds met and hid the blue sky. The rain started dripping down, trying to wash the dirt away, the blood from the rags. Moments later, the celestial ocean poured down, drops became needles, trying to pierce his skin. He once more looked over the rock, which was cursing him, and then he stopped forward. In usual times, he was already impressive, but now, in the wake of the storm, his body had changed into a beast, a creature unseen. His feet left impressions in the wet earth, as his hands in the club, which was thorned, spiked, full of flesh and blood.

Behind the veil of rain, he saw the tents of the tribe, half rotten by time and war. They stood there, as silent as the night. He moved nearer. Crawling, then crouching. Still no movement. The rain yelled at him like an angry god. No one was there. No fire was burning in the middle of the camp. Something else was there. Blood. Death. He was alone.

He got up, moved slowly, his weapon in his hands ready to crush and kill. Not needed now. The corpses would not get up. And there were many of them. So many. Not only men, but women and children. Animals. Wolf-dogs. Dogs. Their heads cracked, their brains exposed, rotting. The people had been slaughtered.

He looked in the tents, looking for clues. Found none. Sat down in the middle of the last one. One of those which had not been ripped apart. The rain still went down trying to clean the world from the blood and gore. It would take eternities to do that. And yet, tomorrow would the sun shine again, shining down on the dead.

He thought. Pondered. Scratched his head, his beard, the rotting blood on this tunic. A tunic. No rags. A tunic. Clean. Cleaner than him. He tried to think again. Pondered again. There were no answers. Just the brutal nothing behind his head. He scratched his forehead. It was soft. Not only soft, but smooth. He touched his face again. His beard was gone. Had the beard ever existed? He looked up. It still rained, but there was nothing else as before. He saw himself. Or who did he see. He was not a giant with a club. He was smaller. His head was smaller. His hands were empty. Behind the invisible barrier his opposite lifted his hands. They were delicate. Not able to use a club. But able to press a button. What was a button? He did not know. He did not care. He cared about something else.

He yelled and his voice stopped the rain, just for the fraction of a moment. And behind the rain he could see the tribe. Alive. Well. Dogs played with children. Children laughed. The adults worked. They seemed to be happy. Yes. Happy. And then the shadow appeared. The shadow of the small man. And the small man used other small men to kill the tribe, adults, children. And then the shadow came near the tent. Looked inside the tent. But the tent was empty now. And the small men nodded, as if he was happy that the tent was empty now.

And in this tent, time and space became one and the giant with the club stood again on the grave of his wolf-dog and the angry voices of the oracles whispered dreams of fame and eternity in his ear. And the small man smiled madly, while he turned around and told the world about his not-war. And no one believed him. And this made him angry. And he begged the giant to appear from behind the walls of time and crush the world. But the giant had never existed. Only in his brain.

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