An Empty World


This world is not easy to shape or hold in the hand. It slips away, slipping like sand through the fingers or pouring away like water. The world is made of fine grains that will heap on the hand at first as though they can be held, but those grains slip through the fingers. The water pours, then drips away.

The life that teems around this world is hard to hold in the hand. The solidity of it presses back against the reaching fingers. The warmth of life, then movement, and it too is gone.

I wanted to take hold of this world, reshape it and set it down in front of me to see how it worked. I wanted to create mountains and valleys of my own, thread rivers and streams through them. Create vast oceans here the horizon spread against the sky for days at a time without sight of land.

I wanted a world I could people with great adventurers; people it with inquiring minds who’d want to see what lies beyond that horizon. People who wanted to travel beyond those hills, to see all they could see and touch all they could touch.

I wanted to go beyond a mere god. I wanted to be the one that created the gods and then destroyed them, so that the people could see the blind dangers of gods and letting themselves worship them. I would create a world that went beyond anything anyone – even those idiotic gods – had made before.

But these are just ordinary hands, they no longer have the power of creation, if they ever did. Oh, I could create worlds. After all, we can all create worlds by closing our eyes and imagining what ought to be. I could create the gods too. After all, any fool can do that and so many fools often do.

I could create the people too and set them in motion to travel this world, to find homes, make families and spread out beyond the hills and towards those distant horizons. But it was never enough, there was always something missing, something I needed.

I created her because I felt she would know. She would be the one to understand. She would know that worlds do not need gods. She would understand how to take a pile of this earth in the palm of her hand. She would be the one who could hold water in the palm of her hand without it dripping away.

This world, though, was never enough for her. Now she had gone beyond the horizons where even I cannot go. Now she is gone and this world is still full of so much, but it is emptier than ever.

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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