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The Creation

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The Creation

Post  The Sub-Creator on Mon May 03, 2010 10:31 am

My life is all I have, but it is not my own; thus, I have nothing.

I remember nothing of my earliest years—though from my earliest memory receive assurances that I was born a slave. When it was first learned that my mind had grown strong enough to consciously remember information, Preeminence made a point to inform me that my mother had died from blood loss minutes after my birth. “Not from the birth,” Preeminence declared stoically, “but by a thousand lashes from a barbed whip for delivering a babe with an annoying wail.” Preeminence had intended to silence me forever soon after, but grew so impressed by the strength she displayed to survive through the first one hundred fifty lashes, those intentions changed. “In the face of such resolve,” Preeminence explained, “I recognized a more serviceable potential worth exploring.”

The next years of my life—forgive my ignorance, but I know only the generalized terminology for the telling of time, yet few of the specifics in its keeping—were dedicated to the Breaking. I wish I recalled far less of this time, I promise you, but to say I spent much of it wallowing in the imagery of black and red—or unconsciousness and pain—would be quite to the point. In fact, I dare not delve too deeply into the details of it all, lest I be responsible for many sleepless nights on your part. However, since you inquired, allow me to provide you a couple examples of the process which will also enlighten you to some key aspects of my physical appearance.

Preeminence favors immediate punishments inflicted by the mere enunciation of a word, and Preeminence carries in memory an infinite number of these words. In my fledgling years, my handlers ensured that I was brought before Preeminence every day. While in the company of Preeminence, these words were used to inflict indescribable anguish and torment upon me through the violent deformation of every bone in my body, the rapid contractions of my muscle tissue, and the thrashing and tearing of my tendons and flesh. Sometimes, Preeminence would focus exclusively upon one of these tortures, other times a pair, and, on rare occasions, all three. Rarely did I depart Preeminence’s company in the same shape as when I arrived. Suffice to say, I will leave the twisted nature of my physical conditions to your own imagination, but know that the pictures that appear in your mind could not possibly capture the horridness of the truth. Understand this, however: of the enormous warping and rending done to my body by Preeminence’s words, only one outward sign remains. As previously stated, I cannot adequately describe for you the gushing agony bestowed by those words, but know it came in such abundance, over seemingly endless lengths of time, and elicited such powerful screams so as to tear the corners of my mouth. Over so much time of repeated screaming, my mouth widened beyond the lips at each corner, and has naturally healed in such a way that you see the hideous effects every time you look at me when I speak.

The second torture I will impart was far worse by implication alone.

In the home of Preeminence, fires are kept constantly fed with stockpiles of wood within great braziers that have magnificently elaborate depictions of lavishly dressed people performing dances, playing musical instruments, or working miracles with their bare hands. Between the various torments thrust upon me during the Breaking, my place of rest—where I more often than not lay in a deep level of unconsciousness while awaiting the next persecution—existed within a small courtyard beneath the open stars. At the four corners of this courtyard were an equal number of these beautiful braziers with mighty flames reaching heavenward. In my rare moments of wakefulness, I recall gazing in wonder at those flickering fires, amazed at their graceful movements, and, in my most lucid moments, even went so far as to believe they danced for me, or that the sounds of its crackling were the musicians at their gloriously-shaped instruments.

During these times, without fail, soldiers of Preeminence would come to claim me. They dragged me none-too-gently through the dark, stone hallways and into a chamber of intolerable heat. There, above a thick slab of red-hot iron, they shackled me so that my arms and legs were held taut at the four corners of the slab, leaving just enough slack to force me to grip firmly on the chain or drop my back against the scalding iron. I would be left to hang there for time unmeasured, the immense heat boiling the skin at my back and turning it to a charred, liquid gruel. Even after the muscles in my arms and legs grew exhausted and knotted from the strain, I held on rigidly, but often they left me there so long I just could not hold any longer. Sometimes, the slimy feeling of my own skin slopping off my back disgusted me so greatly that I intentionally let myself falter just long enough to rid myself of the discomfort. The sound of my flesh sizzling beneath me, and the smell of it roasting, cannot be forgotten—not to this day. Forgive my word play, but this sound and smell were burned into my memory, and educe as great a horror in me today as the sight of what remains of my back educes from those who view it.

It was not until these torments had been going on for quite some time—or so it felt to me—that Preeminence allowed me to learn the purpose of them, and these were simple enough, as was told me: to serve. “Learn,” Preeminence graciously elucidated, “that I am the only concern. With a word, I will offer beneficence when earned, or bequeath anguish the likes of which shall never be forgotten. Fear and worship me, for I see all things.” Preeminence gently touched head, then chest. “I know all that goes on in mind and heart; I know all dreams and fantasies. I know these things, and deem them unimportant. Serve me, not dreams. Now, away.”

As Preeminence spoke blessed words, not once did Preeminence look at me, for what am I to look upon? As often occurred in the times to come, however, I learned a great deal from Preeminence, such as to react immediately when commanded. On that day, as I digested all the things Preeminence conferred onto me, I hesitated before complying with the final directive, and suffered for my impertinence. With a single word, Preeminence twisted my spine in a sickly and horrific fashion that prevented me from moving, and then Preeminence performed—justifiably—more unspeakable tortures for continuing to disobey.

Thanks to Preeminence’s graciousness, I came to realize the errors in my judgment, and corrected them, so as to eventually eliminate certain tortures all together. I finally associated my thoughts about the burning braziers with the appropriate punishment, and so refused to raise my eyes to the heavens, as well as closed my ears to the flames. It was at this time I took to sleeping upon my stomach, that when I awakened the first thing I saw was mundane dirt or stone, but never stars or fires. The brilliance of this decision became evident when I no longer found myself manacled above a glowing slab of iron.

Amidst all the terror of the Breaking, there stems one memory that separates itself from much of the overbearing misery: the development of my language skills. I never learned to read—Preeminence declared that I need not know, but every day, between the various torments, a man named Dethuul spoke to me a substantial number of words, including definitions and proper usage. I regret to inform that I picked up on this very slowly, and endured a copious amount of beatings and flailings because of it. Dethuul was incredibly demanding, proclaiming that if I was to accompany Preeminence (he slipped once, and called Preeminence by other phonetic sounds that made no sense to me—Thakzool Pal, I believe it was) in his journeys, it was imperative that I know good manners of speech. “I will be damned if you make a mockery of the Preeminence in the face of my tutelage!” he used to scream so loudly that his spittle would spray me. This phrase always confused me, I admit, because it was the first time I ever heard myself actually referred to in any fashioned statement. To this day, Preeminence has never done so.

When my years of the Breaking finally completed, I began to learn the proper ways in which I would attend to Preeminence. By this time, such a task was all I wished to do! Serving Preeminence properly meant fewer agonizing moments of torture—though, by no means were they completely eradicated, and it provided me with an opportunity to prove my usefulness to Preeminence, and gain his mercies. Many others described and demonstrated my proper behaviors when anywhere with Preeminence. When moving, I must stay always behind and on the left side, so as to be exactly where I am expected to be when called upon or looked for. When Preeminence eats, I must remain five paces behind, bowed down on hands and knees with my forehead placed firmly upon the floor. Thus, when Preeminence desires me, I am easily available. When Preeminence sleeps, I must do so to the left side of the bed, and always two paces distant, that I will not be in Preeminence’s way should Preeminence wish to exit the bed on the left side.

Many of these types of situations I had to learn—and learn absolutely, without fail—before I could be trusted to accompany Preeminence. I admit in being curious about this positioning always taking me to the left side, and inquired about this to one of my Masters. “Why is that so?” I queried, and, “What if I cannot stand on Preeminence left side do to its blockage by wall or other obstacle?” For this curiosity, my sides were whipped two hundred times by a thorn-infested vine. Even through the immense pain from the striking and tearing, I recognized that they were careful about not hurting my chest or stomach. Obviously, I remained quiet about this observation, not wanting to draw their ire down upon me anymore. They never answered my questions.

During the time of this training, which they dubbed the Preparing, the Masters also deemed that I must constantly remain alert to my surroundings, capable of seeing and hearing all things around me. Inwardly, I immediately wished to know whether this was for Preeminence’s benefit, so as to watch out for possible threats to him, but the inquiry stayed unspoken for fear of punishment. In this, I believed myself wise beyond all reckoning, as they later revealed that I was never to speak, move, or make myself known to Preeminence in any way without Preeminence blessing me with permission to do so. Nothing that I could see or hear would be unknown to Preeminence, and to even think myself capable of this was blasphemy against Preeminence, and would be enough to warrant my death. “The importance of recognition,” my Masters clarified, “comes when Preeminence orders you to deal with something that may not be overtly noticeable. You must grasp immediately the target of such a command, so as to act immediately.” Of course, this made sense to me, and so I worked extraordinarily hard to perfect these skills, that I would better serve Preeminence with them.

Perhaps now would be the proper time to notate that another of the harsh lessons it took me some time to learn involved staying silent in everything I did—eating, drinking, walking, sleeping, and the list goes on. To be heard was to disturb, and to disturb Preeminence was to be punished. These traits came more naturally to me, and took me no time at all to learn, except when the tests became more physically demanding. The Masters would have things I could not see jab me in painful places while I walked behind and to the left of them, or push me over heavily while I knelt behind them at meal times. If I gasped, grunted, wheezed, or even breathed too loudly from the harmful tricks, they would cut me a dozen times on the flats of my feet with a dull razor—they said feet represented the symbol for silence. Eventually, I succeeded in accepting these damaging nuisances without sound, which seemed to please the Masters greatly.

Preeminence loved to constantly test me on this point, as well. Preeminence holds power over the very air itself, and, to this day, still finds great enjoyment in wielding it to hone my skills at silence. Unlike the Masters’ weak manipulations, however, when Preeminence wishes the air to test me, I feel a sudden blast so powerful that sometimes I lose consciousness. This exceedingly angers Preeminence when I show such weakness, and these are the only times now that Preeminence uses the words which contort my bones, as during the Breaking.

Also during the Preparing, the Masters required me to perform many tasks using my left hand, which I found to be incredibly awkward. Even worse was when I accidentally intervened with my right hand, as they would then dislocate every finger digit to force me to stop using it. When I succeeded in performing the task with my left, they would forcefully relocate each digit, and demand that I perform the task again with my left, while performing a strengthening task for my right at the same time. During one of the tests my Masters resorted to, I failed their tasks so many times that they grew wrathful. Rather than dislocate my fingers again, they broke all the bones. Perhaps this proved the best option, however, as I quickly became more comfortable with the usage of my left hand through necessity. I am proud to say that I now perform tasks equally well with both hands.

After many years of perfecting these numerous tasks put forth to me by the Masters, Preeminence visited me and, after testing me thoroughly on all the things I had learned, told me the time of the Preparing was over. “Tomorrow,” Preeminence stated, “brings the time of the Marking.” With those few words, Preeminence departed, but what followed was certainly the most comfortable night of my life. Two pleasures were provided me that night that I had never known before: filling food to eat and a comfortable bed upon which to sleep. A time has not existed before or since that I have felt so comfortable and—dare I say the word—pampered.

I awoke the next morning completely refreshed—truly a state most unfamiliar to me. I also remember feeling something else that most surprised me: accomplishment. In my mind, I had passed some splendid turning point, almost a passage to manhood that I never would have believed possible for one of my station. Obviously, I had performed my tasks well, and now reaped the benefits of my good service. Somehow, I maintained this view even as Preeminence’s soldiers gathered me from the chamber and escorted me to another somewhere deep below the stronghold.

Preeminence awaited me there.

The guards placed me upon a table, and, once there, I lost all ability to physically function. It felt as though a tremendous force pushed down upon me, preventing any movement, no matter how small. Preeminence dismissed the soldiers, leaving only Preeminence and myself in the chamber. That’s when Preeminence started speaking the words . . . but these words were different than those used in the past. Rather than twisting my body into unnatural positions, these words erupted the most intense burning I had ever known on my stomach. With my eyes unable to blink, I saw the red flames roaring higher, churning with malice and diabolical glee. I wished for nothing more than for this searing torment to stop, and would have pleaded to be thrown atop the red-hot slab of the Breaking without chains to hold me aloft had I been capable of speaking. Instead, I merely expelled muffled cries through fastened lips, and the tears rolled like fledgling waterfalls from my eyes. Through it all, Preeminence spoke loudly, while waving a hand around in strangely intricate patterns.

I cannot tell how long I lay prone upon that table unable to move—only that I wished for death more times than I can remember ever wishing for it in my life to that point. When it finally concluded, three tattoos marked my body: a large one that covered my stomach, a smaller one centered on my chest, and an even smaller, fist-sized one upon my forehead. All of these created patterns completely indistinguishable by myself, though I have learned since that they have incredible significance to Preeminence. Indeed, they are some form of unique mark that belongs specifically to Preeminence.

When the agony of the burning began to subside, I found Preeminence within another word-speaking trance. It surprised me that this one did nothing to affect me, and how I was thankful for it! I prayed to Preeminence, then, for the mercy and kindness shown me, and hoped that I had completed whatever test this had been in a satisfactory way. Never did I desire to relive it again!

Upon completion of the chanting, Preeminence waved a regal hand, and, miraculously, I could move. I must have blinked a hundred times in the next instant, until I heard Preeminence speak, “Get up.” Without a second thought or hesitation, I did as commanded. Preeminence presented me the hilt of a dagger, then, and I looked upon it with confusion. Never before had Preeminence, or any of Preeminence’s servants, offered me a weapon of any kind, and so I wondered why it was offered to me now. Surely, I had no clue as to how to use it! “Take it,” Preeminence ordered, and, again, I obeyed immediately.

The moment I gripped the hilt, I felt something stir within me. I did not recognize the feeling, but it seemed almost a slight nausea budding in the pit of my stomach. As I held the weapon, the strangeness in my gut continued to grow more pronounced . . . and then the pain struck. It washed through me with tremendous speed, filling every pore of my body with a racking agony that threatened to seize every muscle and splinter every bone. I would have sworn that a million blades penetrated my body, seeking to impale every vital organ; yet, I saw nothing around me, nor any amount of blood pouring out of me. Though I desired to drop the dagger, Preeminence had not given me the command to do so. Thus, I continued to hold it, though the pain shooting through me caused me to clench it so tightly that my nails drew blood in the palms of my hand. The longer I possessed the weapon, the more those invisible blades sought to drive forcefully into me, carving deep grooves into the bone to free the marrow. When I could no longer tolerate the immense anguish, I screamed louder than ever before. The echo of my voice reverberated throughout the chamber, the sound of it pounded against my ears so violently that I believed they might explode. For the second time, tears cascaded down my cheeks, their touch burning the skin like flowing magma. My legs lost all strength and I toppled—the ordeal beyond any words I might use to describe it now.

“Release the dagger.”

I did. The torment continued, but it grew no worse. Preeminence put a finger to his lips to quiet my screaming. I attempted to comply, but I could not stop. I saw Preeminence’s eyebrows furrow in irritation, and with a word, I felt my leg snap in two, sending a whole new wash of suffering coursing through me. Again, Preeminence placed a finger to his lips, and this time I mustered willpower enough to comply. When silence ruled for a long moment, Preeminence spoke. “The pain will decrease in time. For now, hear and understand.

“To wield a weapon of any kind is to die by that weapon. To don armor is to be crushed by it. To harm another is to invite harm. Is this understood?”

I wished not to move at all, but forced myself to nod gingerly, yet noticeably.

“Good,” Preeminence announced. With an uttered word, my leg snapped painfully back into place, and I bellowed at the harshness of it. “Upon recovery,” Preeminence informed me, “come to the throne room and begin service.”

Sometime later, a man arrived to assure my leg would heal properly. He set and splinted it, then handed me a crutch of wood with a double layer of cloth wrapped about its bottom for quieter use. “Go now,” he told me gruffly. “Join your Preeminence quickly.”

I nodded to him, but he seemed not to heed it. Instead, the man—dressed in ornately-embroidered orange robes covered in flame motifs—exited the chamber without another word. Though I knew not at the time, I would see the Kossuthian many times in the future.

At that time, however, I thought nothing of his ignoring me. I merely climbed to my feet, and practiced moving silently upon the crutch all the way to the throne room.

_________________
This is my word, and, as such, is beyond contestation.

The Sub-Creator

Posts : 508
Join date : 2009-09-19

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