The Heat of a Golden Sun

The heat of the golden sun, brutal and eternal, scorched the earth of a crippled, arid wasteland. The mighty rays of the heavens cast a yellow tinge of haziness onto the horizon, obscuring the vision of any observer that was to pass through its domain, replacing it instead with the luxury of hallucination and delusion. The ground, once fertile and lush with the life the sun had created, now lay barren and defeated, with cracks and wrinkles now festered all over the face of the mighty creature known as Earth. The planet had become old, and the myriad of life it had once hosted was now but a remnant, a mere legend to be passed down through the generations of the humans that dwelt still within their home, scattered far and few between.

With calm, reserved steps, a young woman walked with an equally wrinkled and defeated face through the valley of heat and mirage. Her brows were furrowed; her eyes tinted and hollow, as if a reflection of the dryness of the world around her. Her lips, never knowing the fullness and grace of the women she had heard of in the stories of long ago were cracked, colorless, dry, and uninviting. She walked with a rattled breath, as if the air around her held any more life than what she clung on to. Her arms, half covered in shabby cloth, a luxury, lay limp at her side. It would be unwise to move them, to consume her life force even more to use tools that would serve her no purpose. Her eyes, devoid of color or passion, merely stared straight ahead into the horizon, saturated with the light of an undying sun. Her legs, shabby and burnt, trudged on without limit, her soles bloody and bruised, following the orders of a mind long ago beyond redemption.

The woman came to a stop, suddenly. Her legs refused to move, accepting the restraints of exhaustion. A draft of hot air escaped from the woman’s mouth as she stumbled onto the hard, uneven landscape, her back scorched upon contact with the earth, and her broken eyes left with nowhere to look except at the haunting, yellow sky. The sun blinded her, and a vehement, enraged shriek of pain escaped from her mouth, reverberating and escaping in every direction of the wasteland which now held her prisoner. The image of the sun disgusted her. How she abhorred it, how she wished nothing more than for it burn out and murder itself like it had murdered its planet child. The mere feelings of its light upon her skin caused her to writhe in agony, with contempt overflowing. The woman, now in her last moments, had no conciliation but to remember. She remembered the life she left behind back in her village on the far side of the desert, to the east, where there were valleys of water without name instead of earth. She remembered the always present heat, the faces of those she would call her family. She remembered the stories they would tell about the sun, passed down through ages of persistence and endurance. A tinge of shame came about her as she came to terms with her own failure to endure.

She mustered the strength to move her hand to her scalp. She remembered legends being told of long ago, when people would have small strands of cloth coming out of their heads, making them safe and beautiful. The woman, as she caressed her bald, discolored scalp, still wished she would be called beautiful, and once again felt a tinge of shame in the face of death. Her hatred intensified for her God, the Sun. She remembered what they had said of it. She remembered her people, now lost, recollecting the legends of the Sun which now looked upon them so malevolently. In ages past, the Sun had been a loving God, creating life and endowing the earth with color and magnificence.

As the legends would say, there came a time when humans attempted to harness the power of their God to hurt one another. The legends spoke of scattered tales of long ago that described a Great War in which the power of the Sun was used to create cataclysmic explosions across the face of the Earth, eradicating the thriving life that the Star had given so willingly. The woman looked upon the Sun with her blind eyes one last time, accepting with what intensity and hatred it looked down back at her.

In her last moments, she wondered how any creature could be so cruel.





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