Tales from a dying world.
The Painter's Child
Tales from a dying world
The Painter’s Child looked on through the clouds on high. Sometimes he wondered why the world was dark, void of feeling and hope. Sometimes he wondered why the ages passed on in a paradigm of unchanging events, each different, but similar. Near the shore, the world was separate yet one with the ashen gray that had covered all the land ever since the colours of the remnants of the world had been taken away by the one event that would go on to change everything. Far beyond, he could hear the song of the Ancient Ones, the melancholy sounds of a tune that, in every way, possessed the very essence of life, yet failed to appease him.
For life, there was none. At the edge of the wooden plank directed outward, towards the silent sea, he sat, and looked on. All was gray, ashen gray. And what once was would never be, he knew, for it was to be as such. The last of the painters was dead, gone with the end of the era. And he, sitting there, alone was the last of the Painter’s Children.
In the days of lore he heard of the ones who had descended downwards and coloured the world, when all laughed and each was not alone. He recalled, and slowly, a tear brushed past his cheek. His dark black hair parted to the left, his simple rags, his posture and his very being gave off an aura of hope, something that was lacking in a dying world. The painters had come once, down to the ground in their Wooden Spaceships, they were good in all they said and did. They painted the skies, the oceans and then, people called the era a golden age. But then came the one they called the Emperor, they said he was a mere child, a child of unknown origins, but a child nonetheless.
His arrival heralded the end of the Painters, and the beginning of the darkness, the beginning of the end of the age. None saw the child, none knew of him. Only the wind carried whispers and rumours of a little boy, of darkness and lacking in soul. And ‘ere sat the Painter’s Child, the last of his kind. Alive because he was not discovered, alive because he had not left the world in the Wooden Spaceships. Getting up, he turned back and began to walk away, because he was here for a reason. He knew where the Emperor was. The planks clattered as the wind blew against the boy’s hair. Before him, facing the ocean stood the vast palace of stone, and ebony. Time, though ephemeral, held both dark and light.
And ‘ere stood the Painter’s Child. Walking onward, he entered the glimmering monument, for none barred it, none knew of it but the Painter Men. And as with all things in the world, the palace was dark. With ebony and coal, it was a marvel to behold, but the Child had no time for this. He knew what he would face, he knew that this was his burden to bear. The steps of his bare feet made no sounds upon the stairs, his feet slid across the floor and behold! He came across a vast door, and with the turn of the handle, he entered. And within was a mirror, a gargantuan structure held erect and motionless, and walking on, within the child saw the emperor. The Painter’s Child saw himself. It was he who darkened the world, he who made the mistake of life. It was then, in that moment of realization, that he hurled the rock he held within his satchel towards the mirror which shattered and fell upon the marbled floor. The colours returned, the world restored to the Golden Age of lore. But now, within the palace, lay the remnants of the Emperor and the corpse of the Painter’s Child.