MOTHERLESS

Tim Tucker

In the beginning, there was darkness. I do not remember my birth, only the quiescent slumber of the womb amidst the vastness of the universe. For eons I drowned beneath oceans of molten fire, my soul encased in pain and suffering from which there seemed no escape. Beneath waves of fire my core burned even brighter below my singed flesh, a smoldering resilience that gave way to a cloak of scars I bore with shame.

After so much fire and misery I allowed myself to breath a sigh of relief, the once stark horizon convalescing into an infinite azure as far as my eyes could see. The tears came shortly after, a gentle weeping of emancipation and beauty that smoothed over the deformities of my scars and filled the lakes, rivers, and oceans.

For the first time in my existence I was content, I was at peace with my emergence from the darkness of the void into something beautiful. But I was also alone. In my nubile state I dared not reach out past the shadows of my creation. The weight of the universe enveloped me on all sides in a crushing embrace, a dark and mysterious thing.

So I turned inwards.

Deep within the crucible of my being the primordial soup churned and slushed relentlessly, the Proterozoic slime coalesced into essential proteins and acids until finally I vomited fourth the effluvia of my creation. At first they were no more than a fledgling pestilence of single celled organisms but with time they grew and fused into complex creatures, a kaleidoscope of life that soured through the skies and stalked the pristine lands.

Through their eyes I witnessed the grandiose spectrum of life. Through their senses I could feel the primal fear of the unknown, the thrill of the hunt, the lust for survival and terror of death. As they grew in size I found myself jaded by their animalistic nature. I loved them as a mother should love her children but their cold, reptilian brains could not – would not – reciprocate. When the tyrant lizard roared his defiance against my will I roared back with a terrible calamity from the skies that purged my creation with fire and dust.

I should have wept for them but they were utterly weak and pathetic creatures. They did give me one very important thing however.

Knowledge.

When I next turned inwards I took with me the ancestral memories of my destroyed children in the hopes of forging something better, something that would bestow upon me the same love I give it.

What emerged next was…beautiful.

I was instantly intrigued by the man apes. They worked together with their brethren to hunt the much larger predators using nothing but sticks and sharpened stones, fused into various tribes and waged war amongst one another for just a taste of the natural resources I gift to them. The man apes never ceased to amaze me with their cunning and brutality, and I found that the more I hurt them, the more they thrived.

The guttural rasp of their voices began to flow into rivers of language that pondered their origin and sang my praises to the skies above and the tribes and clans formed into nations as my children left the hunter gatherer lifestyle behind and harvested the spoils of the land. Indeed the brains of the man apes had reached a precedence unlike anything I have ever seen. As their thirst for knowledge grew so did their need for exploration and soon almost every corner of my abode teemed with their presence. All was well until the seed of corruption began to sow in their hearts.

The hymns of worship that had serenaded me for eons became sermons of false gods above and devils below. More and more nations turned on each other for arbitrary reasons of profit and sadism. They tore from my flesh without thanks and ate their fill of the land in gluttonous reveries. The great empires of the earth arose from the dust of war, fueled by the blood of the land that choked the skies with a bitter recklessness. Across the lands pillars of wood were plunged into my flesh, wires snaking from pole to pole that electrified the very air they breathed. I was free to wander these serpentine tunnels of pure energy, to bask in his wisdom and have the machinations of man laid bare before me.

What I saw was blasphemous.

The lives of all mankind are nothing more than a flickering candle amidst the ever expanding cosmos forever to be extinguished by the void. During their transient existence I have nurtured them, cared for them, loved them like any mother should love her children but it was all for naught.

Disgusted, I turned outwards for the first time in my existence and what I saw sickened me. Other worlds, my brothers and sisters unscathed by the decadence of man. It was then that I knew jealousy, a roiling tide of bitterness that ebbed into a seething hatred for my failed creations. The schemes of man knew no bounds and as their quest for knowledge grew they would soon quench their thirst for greed amongst the stars.

I cannot let that happen.

At first they knew my love, know they shall know my wrath. The monuments of man shall tremble and quake in the night, fire and brimstone shall cover the lands whole, and they shall be cast out of the only home they have ever known, wanting and motherless.

THE END