|30 Jul 2016 @ 03:46, by Max Sandor|
(by Max Sandor)
There are strange people living down in the hills of Rangaconia. Last year I passed by there on my way up to the valley of Suppano, there where the moon is always shining. They said that a Walan would return from the Great Voyage. I didn't believe them but I wanted to know for myself. Nobody from our generation ever saw this mythical creature, the Walan. He, or is it a she?, is said to migrate every two thousand and five hundred years or so, since time immemorial, nobody knows why, from one corner of the Great Space to the other, from the inside of the inside to the outside of the outside. The sheer sight of him, or her?, was promised to make you find what you are looking for.
This ancient knowledge I shared wherever my feet touched the Land of other folks and always have I been greeted with great respect, and always have I been thanked for not keeping this sacred wisdom just for myself. Except in Rangaconia, last year.
"Mind your own business!" I was told there by the first person I encountered, "I got better work to do."
"What are you doing then, that is so important?" I inquired curiously.
"I'm digging here, can't you see, stranger?"
"Yes, I certainly do. But what for, my friend?"
"Deep down there is what I'm looking for. It's inside the inside of the Land."
"Wow!" I said, "how wonderful. What is it that you are looking for, if may I ask?"
"That I don't know. But you should mind your own business, I told you so!"
"OK, OK, sorry for being so nosy... just how come you don't know what you're looking for?"
"Everyone does so, nobody knows, silly boy." the man answered. "Everyone does so, nobody knows. Now spare me your presence and let me get on with my work!"
Since nothing was farther from my mind than to bother anyone, I moved on.
Very shortly thereafter, I saw an old woman cowered on the ground, raking sand with her bare hands.
"May I help you?" I asked with courtesy and compassion.
"Get off of my ground," she snarled, "and step out of the sun, or I'll kill you!"
Confused, I stepped to the side and made another attempt. "Are you looking for something? Who knows, perhaps I can help you?"
"Nobody can help me. I am searching for this since I was born and I'll keep searching until I'll die."
"Very well so. But what exactly is it that you're looking for, if I may ask?"
"I know I once knew but I forgot when I was born. Long, long ago. And now bugger off, or else...!"
"Have a nice day then!" I said hastily and went on my way.
Not before long, I heard the banging of a hammer smashing rocks and followed its noise with curiousity. Someone with a bludgeon was indeed smashing rocks lying on the ground. When he saw me approaching, he quickly covered the shattered stones with a blanket.
"Go away! Don't snoop around here! Ye hear me?" he shouted.
"It's OK. It's OK! Do you need help?" I said.
"No, nobody can help me. I gotta do it all by myself, don't ye know that?"
"I didn't" I answered. "Are you too looking for something?"
"Of course I am, stupid!" he told me with a loud scream. "I don't know how it looks like what I'm looking for but it MUST be in some of these rocks. Deep inside. So deep inside, you could say it would be inside its inside. My great-grandfather told me so, it's a family tradition, ye know, handed down from father to son since the beginning. And I shall be the one finally finding what they all wanted me to find."
"I wish you luck, my friend!" I said, straightforward and with compassion. "Tell me, what will you do once you have found what you were looking for?"
"I shall give it straight back, stranger. It is not mine, ye know."
"That strikes me odd, if you allow me to remark. To whom would it belong to?"
"We harken to its voice, we have been born with it. It is the old ones' yearning, their message to their future. What should we do else than send it back to them, to all of them, so that they can rest and you have paid your duties? Then ye are free and free they are. Because then, and only then, you will be their future and they will have been your past. Where will you go, lost stranger, once YOU have found whence you once came?"
Before I could respond anything, someone shouted at me from behind me. "Hey you! Dare you disturbing peaceful people here at work?"
I turned around. A tall, uniformed, and heavily armed man in his 30's stared at me suspiciously.
"Ah, no, no. I'm just seeing if I could be useful around here!" I answered timidly.
"I'm an officer of the Rangaconian Law and Order Freedom Squad Team. What do you want in our peaceful land? Speak up, I cannot hear you, bastard!"
"Oh well, that's great, thank you officer! I'm passing through here on my way to Suppano, you know, ..."
"Ah no! Yet another one of these crazy guys trying to wander to the outside of the outside. Get lost, boy, and get lost quickly. If not, I'll lock you up inside a cell inside the prison until you'll come to your senses, kid!" the man growled with disgust.
"No problem, it's alright. I'm on my way, officer!" I answered rapidly. And on my way I was. Until sundown, I walked without ever resting, rapidly, and never looking back.
When I finally saw the moon shining brighter than just bright, not moving from its place for a good hour or more, I knew I had arrived.
The valley of Suppano was a vast plain, one could see for miles. Before me, a great, silent lake stretched out. But nothing moved. There was no one around, no one, not a single soul.
Could it be that everybody already had found what they were looking for? Or that they were too busy looking for what they are looking for and thus can find no time to come to Suppano to find what they are looking for?
And then I was sitting down and waiting for the Walan. Does he exist? Or is it a she? Waiting, wide awake, there, at the side of the quiet, giant lake, throughout the night. The moon was shining brighter than bright. How much time had passed, or how little, I do not know. Until yet another dawn, until yet one more noon - nothing changed, nobody came and nothing left. In front of me, in the still and silent water of the lake, I could not see the mirror of the moon, only my own.