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The Conquerer

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In my history book there are old paintings of times that people are sure existed and photographs of graven faces that prove the burden of life. I stare at a map and wonder how they know where Julius Caesar’s army walked, where exactly the Black Plague spread, why exactly wars start. I know I’m supposed to be reading smart people’s words and memorizing dates I’ll forget in a week. The test is in two days, so I should be studying. But I can’t stop.


How do we know? Time can deceive, can’t it? How can we be sure? Time is binding and mysterious, like an unknown disease desperately needing to be cured.



I close the cover because questions are overwhelming my concentration. Hair is in my face, but I don’t care. My eyes sting and blur as if I’d been in pool for too long; my tongue is dry and papery. I’m thirsty, but for some reason I don’t want to drink.


Its 11:30. I think that one minute ago, I was in a different place of mind. It’s strange that once a minute is gone, it will never be relived, never never. Sometimes people wish they could go back to times and relive lost moments, but I don’t see the purpose in that. Time knows that moments like that are meant to be played once and once only, to keep as memories deep in the chasms of the brain.



The house is dark and quiet, and I’m reminded of a time eleven years ago, when I was six years old, walking the halls of this house in purplish darkness. Moonlight glinted on the glass of picture frames and shadows grew fierce and terrifying. I was so scared of the dark. I did live before knowledge and before the recognition of time. But I was so scared.



My history book is closed, and a Romanesque statue is smiling at me keenly, as if he’s got a secret he’s hiding. But his eyes are grainy, blank stones. He hasn’t seen anything yet. He won’t until someone carves sight into him. But no one ever will, because his blindness makes him everlasting and naïve, therefore he is above human. It’s strange that this statue lived two thousand years longer than its model, a model scared of time and death. He made sure that his echo would reside and throw time back against a wall. His statue can’t see, so it’s not afraid yet. Humans can envy his marble, sightless eyes until they die.



I close my eyes and try to be blind too, but my mind is filled with the rapid ticking of the clock. It’s all I can hear. My friends say I pay too much attention to petty details, but I can’t stop. I can’t. There’s time and life and love and thought, then death. And a circular clock suddenly resembles a grim reaper’s scythe, but I’m not afraid anymore, like I was at age six, like I was a dead second ago, like the Roman model was. Tick Tick Tick Tick. When time stands still, I suddenly realize, all humans will be free.


My eyes snap open and time is standing there with tears on his face and my cut ropes in his hand.



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