[Misc] An Abecedary of Villainy #9 "I... the Living Islet"
jamie.rosen at sunlife.com
Fri Mar 18 15:42:21 PST 2005
bCdEfGhIjKlMnOpQrStUvWxYzaBcDeFgHiJkLmNoPqRsTuVwXyZ vol 1, #9
"I... the Living Islet"
If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Is the cat in the
box alive or dead? Is light a wave, or a particle? Is beauty, truly, in
the eye of the beholder?
I spent much of its existence insensate, unaware of even its own
existence, if it could be called that. It sat in there, lonely in the
water, or so speculation has it. There is no proof that I ever existed
before the first man laid eyes on it, although there is evidence to
What is known for certain, inasmuch as anything can be known for
certain, is that a man by the name of Tomas Fidele came across I while
he was floating, shipwrecked, in the midst of uncharted waters. At
first I was just a speck on the horizon, impossible to distinguish
between the spots forming on Tomas's retinas from the glare of the sun
on the water. But as the currents of both time and the ocean moved
forward, he found himself close enough to make out the outline of an
island. A small island, but an island nonetheless.
It was with this first act of observation that I gained consciousness
-- just a flicker at first, but it moved quickly once the spark was
lit, until I was a fully fledged individual. An individual with
feelings. An individual with needs. An individual with fears.
Chief amongst I's fears, once it had developed enough to recognize
them, was the fear of non-existence. I could not remember not existing,
and yet the very fact that it existed seemed to imply its previous
nonexistence. I could not imagine a time when I had not been, and yet I
could, with great difficulty, remember a time when it became aware of
itself -- this act of becoming indicating that there had been a point
before that, a point in which it had not been.
This thought terrified I.
Through years of careful meditation, I recognized that its
self-awareness roughly coincided with the appearance of the small,
squishy, mobile thing on its shores. The thing known as Tomas Fidele.
At first, I thought that it was Tomas himself that was the key to his
existence, and so worshipped him as a god. But as Tomas grew weak and
old, I recognized the mortality and fallability of this seeming god.
How, I reasoned, could a god be weaker, shorter lived, more fragile
than its creation? The seeming paradox nearly drove I mad, until one
day a ship arrived bearing rescue for the stranded sailor. And with the
ship, a stroke of inspiration for I.
That night a terrible storm drove the ship back to I's rocky shores,
dashing it to pieces and stranding Tomas and several men and women on
the islet. Over the years, rescue seemed imminent on many occasions,
only to either be lost in a sudden cloud cover, or to be stranded
alongside the very men and women they had been about to rescue. And as
time passed, the men and women reproduced, and more men and women were
born knowing no home other than I.
And I continued to live on, self-aware and terrified.
Starting with the next issue, I'll be writing these somewhere other
than work again. Everything winds up so much shorter when I'm getting
interrupted periodically and I can only capture the very essence of
what I'm going for, and so I'm aiming for a lengthier one again.
For those in need of some subtextual explanation, I (me, not the islet)
will be happy to provide it if you should ask. I don't think it's
obscure, but hey, I wrote it.
Copyright 2005, for what it's worth.
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