A Memory Made Flesh
(music: constantly changing barrage of carnival sounds, drums, whistles, birds in flames)
They torched the swallows today. Incinerated the entire flock, chicks and all. Why? Nobody would say even though I pleaded with them to tell me why they had to make such a petty sacrifice. I knew nothing! Why torture me like this, expecting payback for some wrong done by my government. I did not know why I was. I could not remember who or what I was. A prisoner of the past, the present and all futures. In a pool of mud, face down wondering how long it will take for my lungs to fill and for my brain to finally power down.
The drums got louder and the ground began to shake with horse hooves from colonial times, the crushing defeat of the spirit in the blue painted face of valour. With the increasing intensity of rumbling, my wits returned to me. A linear relationship between the thunder and my lightning. The lifeblood began to flow through my eyes and the red sign shot a chiaroscuro through this landscape of death. It was I who they could never see a future for. I was their master despite all the technological cards they held.
I had survived the massacre of my people for only one sole purpose; to kill time and its chrome capped master. This one chance I would gladly trade with the survival of all my family. All the pretty things in an absurd world, all the joy lost forever in memories long stolen from my decaying skullpan. I ignited once again in a spectacular fashion, razing temples and ceremony in a single glowing triumph of spirit over adversity.
For years those who can will talk of my achievement, my day of rhetoric had finally come. I once again existed in the future, and through this act of divine escape, I am a memory made flesh.
Mike Philbin (Hertzan Chimera)
This story was first published in the first edition of the Redbridge Review magazine.