To Save Man

Note: A description of a vivid dream I had.

 

Colorless, odorless sky of thine

Clouds gray without shape permeate eternity

Trees without leaves

Smug brown rugged trunks

Stiff, gnarled branches reach into the blahness

Wind whips and dips, pitting nature against itself

With no particular rhythm

No harmony, only awkward notes in the key of death

An unsettling measure of music

The silence can be so unkind

We gather loosely

’round a hole dug into the dust

A tumbleweed bumbles and stumbles by

Sparse tufts of thin brown grass

Rise and salute like obedient soldiers

Offering respect through the solemnness

We are too far away to peer into the hole’s bleakness

We are afraid to confirm what we already suspect

We must

Although we don’t know why

Our leaden legs take timid steps

Shuffle up small dust squalls

To the inevitable

The slower we go, the softer the blow

Or so we think

We finally arrive

And we peer inside

Our unwilling eyes

View what bride therein lies

Constructed of concrete

We are not surprised

To come upon a coffin

Lid askew, loose earth lying still

We know who rests in this funeral nest

He should not be there

At least not for long

For he did nothing wrong

Our eyes rise as one to see a man has come

In the not too distance

Taller than the rest

Faded, dark leather trench coat flows with the breeze to either side

A black cowboy shirt lacks grandeur

But he demands we call him “Big Sir”

Pants painted with the lust of an extra dry ride

The soul of his boots are buried in clay

Coarse, curly, peppered locks drop down

From his tattered black leather gambler hat

The hue repeated in his Hagrid beard, bushy and full

We know who he is

He has done nothing wrong

Yet

He speaks

Not loudly … boldly

We understand his conviction

His threat is far from idle:

“I will kill every person on the earth

Unless…”

He pauses

All breath stops

“Unless within three days’ time you can get that man out of that grave and then return him there.”

We knew he had the power to do it

We hoped we had the guile to stop him

We huddle ‘round the crypt

Our dull costumes blending into winter’s impending doom

We stare at each other

Fear melting into resolve

But to do what?

We cannot allow a second death for the man without blame

Nor can we bear the shame

For worldwide genocide

We are not miracle workers

At least we have never been

The man without blame awakens

Though we do nothing to cause it

In his death gown of white,

He climbs from his grave

And assesses his saviors

He does not speak with his mouth,

His eyes say more to our souls than our ears could ever hear

He is confident we can save man

He knows how

But he doesn’t tell us

We need to figure it out on our own

Time is not our friend

Big Sir’s pocket watch tocks to us with a menacing echo

His deadline nears; life will end

We think there is no way to win.

But one is bold enough to voice another opinion:

“The man without blame shall consume poison

Enough to appear dead, but not enough to die

We will bury his body back into the tomb.

We will trick Big Sir. We will trick him for sure.”

Will it work?

Will Big Sir be fooled?

We don’t know.

But this is the best idea

It is the only idea

It is the only way

Soon, we become confident, united, resolute

No one told us we should feel this way

No one told us our plan could work

No one had to; we knew

The man without blame gave no hint at his thoughts

He simply, humbly offered himself as a conduit

We poured our poison into him

His fate was in our minds and hearts and souls

He trusted us

We didn’t know why

He quickly fell limp after the poison passed through his lips

We could find no sign of life in this man dressed in white

So into the crypt he is placed

We don’t know how long the poison will last

It must be long enough to fool Big Sir

But not so long that the effects can’t be reversed

We motion to the creature who can destroy all man

He approaches

He closes his eyes and looks

He opens his eyes and speaks

“The man without blame has died a second time

My blood lust is satisfied with this sacrifice

And you shall have your mankind.”

Big Sir retreats into the blahness

We anxiously await the fate of the man without blame

Will he awake?

There is so much at stake

After a few measured moments, he starts to shake

A collective sigh turns to collective joy

The man without blame lives, breathes, loves

Big Sir has been defeated

We changed the rules

We have saved man and mankind

We are grateful

By Paul J. Hoffman

Feb. 16, 2016

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