‘This is the way,’ laughed the great god Pan
(Laughed while he sat by the river),
‘The only way, since gods began
To make sweet music, they could succeed.’
— Elizabeth Barrett Browning
You are the only one here. And are very far from your kind's domain.
My… k-kind…? M-my god. Who… what the hell are you?! SH-SHOW YOURSELF!
M-my GOD… you are… you are PAN!
And you say god too much. I suppose you are christian.
I'm… I'm confused.
Forsooth. You are lost. At first I judged that you came to seek me. You seem to be an archaeologist.
Y-yes. I am. But I got lost from my group some days ago and… I… I think that maybe isolation drove me mad and that's why I'm seeing and talking to you and… that's… that's fine, I guess… At least I feel less lonely right now…
Hmm. That seems convenient. To assume to be mad to prevent from going mad. Clever. Humans are interesting creatures, indeed…
So, archaeologist human, my remaining believers tend to isolate themselves from their kind. Since our paths have crossed and you are not a believer, I ask: how is your world right now? I am curious.
It is… quite modern. We have buildings that reach the clouds, and there's this thing called internet, which gives you access to all kinds of information and to people from any part of the world to argue heatedly with and… to see pictures of cats and… by the way… according to my wikipedia researches… I'm pretty much sure that you've been announced dead long ago in some ancient Greek tale or something when Christianity became mainstream.
Interesting. I suspected so. Humankind do not seek me as before. And it has been a while since I stumbled upon a burned corpse of one of those sweet and resourceful ladies who used to praise me… I hope they are fine today…
You mean witches? Today they're called scientists. And yeah… the church stopped burning people for quite a while… But… what've you been doing all this time?
Why, I have been doing my thing, human… being pretty much alive.
Yet… you do not believe.
I… I just can't trust my mind right now. Isolation drives people nuts, you know…
You think that you are sane enough to not trust your own mind right now, but you trust a god that you never saw, never spoke to and have never found in nature. And… I wonder what nuts have to do with this. Maybe you are mad indeed, human…
*Pan's profound laughter echoed through the very heart of the forest*
…But anyway, you are here and you have found me without being devoured by a bear in the way. This is remarkable. Maybe your god is protecting you, human. You should thank him. But first… I invite you to take a walk with me. There are really interesting things in this forest and, since you are an archaeologist, I suppose you might enjoy them.
I just… I just wanted to find my way back…
Of course you do. And I will guide you. But why the rush? You know that lad praised by you christians… erm… what was his name again…? Ge… Genus.
Right. Jesus. We met in this forest once. He was a fun and pretty easygoing human… and, by my horns, he knew how to throw a party!… I have always thought that christians should be more like him…
By the way, why do you christians praise the image of one of your kind dead by torture? That seems creepy even for me.
I… I've never thought about it… but… Jesus hanged out with you? What have you done together?
Oh, we talked and laughed for hours… and then he transformed a lake near here in this huge pool of wine. As I said… he was fun. And also very gifted.
A lake of wine made by Jesus himself…?! Could you please take me there?
Of course. But I warn you in advance that Bacchus and his nymphs may be there and they might persuade you to do things that your christian morale disapproves. Since I do not wish to end up watching you martyring yourself the next day — I particularly am not into this type of drama — I might get bored and leave you to die.
I… I understand. I won't listen to Bacchus and the nymphs. Please, Pan…
As you wish, christian human… Follow me then.