Atlas is the man who holds the weight of the world on his shoulders. Carrying the fate of all life is a strenuous task, and yet Atlas does not hesitate to do so. However, he was not always this ambitious and strong. I’m sure you are wondering how he came to be the one to hold up the world, and why he would want to do such a thing. Well, you are about to hear the story of Atlas and why he will never shrug.
A boy and his mother walk along an empty street, searching for an open shop. The street is completely deserted, as no one can be seen.
“Atlas, no one is here,” The woman said to her son.
“I don’t understand. Where did everyone go?” Atlas replied.
“After the kingdom fell, everyone lost hope and resorted to hiding away in the darkness of the shadows. No one has the strength to stand alone any longer,”
“But what will happen if no one helps save the world?”
“The world is falling Atlas, I can feel it. If we don’t want it to sink into the shadows along with everyone else, someone must step into the light.” As she finished, she looked into his eyes and saw the fear and anger. She began to walk away and suddenly Atlas turned towards her.
“Why is everyone just sitting around as the world is fading?” He shouted.
“It is no use to worry about what others do. We should just go find a place to stay for a while where we can hide away from all of this tragedy,” she replied. It was at this point that Atlas knew that his mother was fading alongside the rest of the world. She motioned for him to follow her into the darkness, but he would not move.
“I cannot just stand here and let the world fall to this. If we don’t try to stop this, who will?”
“How do you suppose that you will be able to stop this, Atlas?”
“I don’t know, but anything is better than sitting here as a coward in the dark.” He watched her fade away slowly and closed his eyes. At that moment he did not know whether to feel like a hero or regretful. Regardless, his decision was made.
Within the next few days, Atlas searched for someone who could offer him something, yet there was still no one. He felt the ground shake and he fell onto his knees.
“Cowards!” he shouted. As he calmed down, he realized that he had to do this all on his own. He picked up a large bolder and hurled it into the air as high as he could. He watched it fall, and suddenly it came to him. If the world is falling, someone or something needs to hold it in place. The ground began to shake again and Atlas looked up to the sky. He realized that there was no way to get to another planet or among the stars, so he started to think of other ways to get to the edge of the planet. Then, he looked at the ground. Ever since he was a young child he had heard the stories of the evil creatures that lurk underneath the planet’s surface, yet he knew that this was his only chance. Everyone knew that there was only one passage to the other side of the world, and that was the underground staircase.
Atlas made his way to the cave where the stairs began. He could hear the shrieks of the lost voices in the darkness as he walked down the first few steps. The only thing that he could see was a distant red light. The light was intruguing to Atlas, so he began to follow it. His speed began to increase as he grew closer. Eventually he came upon a glowing door. He reached for the handle and the door flew open. The room was bordered with fire and the center contained some sort of large stone box. Upon further glance, Atlas noticed that this was no box. He walked over and attempted to open it. He kept pulling until he fell backwards onto the ground. Atlas grabbed the sword that was hanging on the wall with both hands and swung at the box. Suddenly, it opened and a blinding flash of light covered the room and put out all of the fire. He used his arm as a barrier from all of the light and noticed that another door on the side of the room had opened. Atlas got up and walked towards it. The light from the box went out and he saw fire once more. Yet, this time the fire was accompanied with a loud roar.
Atlas stood unarmed and alone, waiting to see what could possibly make that noise. He felt the room get hotter when finally a large set of eyes appeared from the dark abyss of the box. A large creature made of fire arose from the box and brought the reamians of the human king with it. Atlas turned toward the doorway and began to run down more stairs while being chased. After what seemed like hours of running, he approached four doors. He could once again feel the heat and hear the roar of the beast coming towards his direction. While panicking, he ran into the second door on the right and fell down another set of stairs. When he finally stopped falling, he looked down and saw a couple hundred more flights of stairs.
Atlas walked for hours and hours more until finally reaching the last step. A large gust of wind blew him onto his knees. A few feet away he saw a small body of water. He was so weak that he could not move, but his journey was not yet over. He once again felt the heat of the creature followning him until the creature was right beside him. Struggling, he stood up with the little strenth he had left and ran towards the water. The creature dove at Atlas, but he was too fast. The craeture stumbled into the water and the fire disappeared.
Atlas was now at the bottom of the planet. He walked towards his final destination as the world shook. The wind blew him from side to side until he shouted out.
“Enough! I have come to save the fate of the world. I don’t care if I must remain in this horrid place for the rest of my life, but I will not be known as a coward,” he finished. Atlas stood up and picked up the world with his two hands. The wind and shaking stopped as he lifted the world higher. There was sweat and blood running down his arms but he did not let go. Ever since that moment, Atlas has held the world up without shrugging. The people came out of the shadows and celebrated. The fate of the world now lies in Atlas’ hands, and will for the rest of time.