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apple
June 27th, 2014, 01:40 AM
Leaving Glory Land



He scurries about the dusty alley like a monkey, blinking and dodging, as sticks and machetes jab and prod him, while dark, accusing, eyes pierce his heart. He can feel the blood seeping from his wound and the pain he experiences is unimaginable. “Yes,” he screams and curses in exhilaration. “Thank you.”

He grovels at the Council‘s feet.

“Ju’meel Atombo. Defend yourself,” the Council says.

“I have no defense. I am guilty.” He rages again and smears the blood from the wound over his body. His hands move quickly. His eyes roll back into his head.

“Then defend your guilt.”

Ju’meel Atombo rises from off the ground. He stands without agitation. The calm of total awareness envelops him; a seeming antithesis to his fiery display. He speaks with solemn decorum.

“So weak, I could no longer carry my starving goats or push against my cows to keep them standing. My country, my land, deserted me. My people were driven into the rocky mountain sides where the hot, dry, sand had no point or use. Not even carrion for the vultures could be found. My country became a breathing brain. A lodging place for greed and misplaced humanity. She lost her glory and lost her Mother heart. The giving, nurturing fields of fertile soil became protected sanctuaries for the wild beasts that would stalk and kill us. We were forbidden the hunt and to gather that, which for generations, filled for our empty stomachs. The laws of these lands severed us , limb by limb, allowing a people to surely become extinct. You say, “Ju’meel Atombo, defend yourself,” and I say I cannot. I have no defense. You prod me with sticks as your eyes accuse. "Then defend your guilt," you say. I say I can and I will, and it is a warning that you should fear me. I have been absorbed into the brain. I will take what is yours and will stand in apathy as I kill you for it."

The composed demeanor puffs into threatening arrogance, then releases as he turns in a small circle and begins to speak again; this time his eyes appear vacant, as if in a trance, or lost inside a moment in time.

“My wife and children are burdens, with their pleading eyes and empty bellies. I am beating them and screaming at them with a voice like raging black crows. They cry and I see their wasted bodies; the flesh peeling from their bones because I can not provide. My blood boils and my eyes bulge with hatred. I murder them in their sleep. My heart is gristle, a shrunken callous. I run and run, far away, crossing borders into unknown places. My cares are for myself only. I find freedom inside my hollowness, because I feel nothing. If I find a root, a morsel of sustenance, a palm full of water, I will hunker in secrecy, vigilant to eyes that might spy my ration and hope for a small share. I will gobble it greedily, not even tasting or savoring my good fortune. My only thought is to have it all for myself. I will rob a dying man or take the breast from a baby’s mouth and suckle it dry. I am a horror only to be imagined. I am a murderer, a criminal. I have no defense. I am proud of my absence of innocence. It defines what I am.”

The Council smiles and, again, takes up their sticks and machetes to poke him and accuse him with their dark eyes, as he scurries around the alley like a monkey.

“Ju’meel Atombo.” they say,”Defend yourself.

“I cannot,” he rages. “I have no defense.” His eyes roll back into his head as he smears the blood from his wound all over his body.

“Then defend your guilt,” the Council presses.

The villagers cross quickly into the street in order to avoid the vile old man who is writhing and shouting inside the alley. They shake their heads and turn up their noses.

” When will they call the authorities to take him away? He’s a menace. He stinks and scares the children.”

“I am guilty,” Ju’meel Atombo screeches. “There is no innocence.”

Plasticweld
June 27th, 2014, 02:22 AM
Hmmmm Read twice... thought I missed something the first time, nope. More questions than answers, good writing and flow, just looking for more information or conclusion... Pm me if I am missing something so obvious that I should be ashamed

apple
June 28th, 2014, 05:56 AM
Sorry. I don't know what you were looking for that you thought you missed, but nope, you didn't. Or what questions you have. If it makes no sense, then it just doesn't. To have to explain my story, means to me, the story doesn't work. Thank you, though, for reading it Plasticweld

InspektorF
June 28th, 2014, 04:18 PM
I like it. I'm not entirely sure what is going on but will take a stab at it. He's a beggar and perhaps a little off his rocker?

Plasticweld
June 28th, 2014, 07:14 PM
Apple I just got the feeling that I had opened a book in the middle and started reading then had to put it down.

MizzouRam
June 29th, 2014, 02:16 AM
Obviously, this character is a deeply troubled. But the one thing I do notice is that the excerpt is void of personality or motive. Question: Is this apart of a larger work?

garza
June 29th, 2014, 07:02 PM
It's a complete story, intact, self contained, and a gem. It was at the second demand by the 'Council' to defend himself that I figured out who the 'Council' is and what the story says. The introduction of the villagers confirmed what I saw and heard.

A delightful, if depressing, bit of skilled craftsmanship.

apple
June 30th, 2014, 05:46 PM
Thank you all for taking the time to read.

and thank you very much, Garza, for seeing the story.