The Lone Blade
By Ian Bondurant
He woke up for the first time. It was his first dealings with consciousness for he had never woken up before. He immediately began to look. He thought to himself, What’s going on? Where am I? He tried to turn around and capture a quick glance of his surroundings, but found he couldn’t move, only sway with the wind. Luckily, a breeze began to blow through from behind him and he was bent over forward, causing his first view to be of himself. I am a color. I will call it green. I am green. The wind calmed a bit, and he looked down past his own body and into what was holding him in his place. I’m sticking out of something. Ground, I will call it ground. I am in the ground. The breeze quit and he was once again able to sit upright, giving him a chance to survey his surroundings. Not far from his position he could see another. Another being just like him. Green and in the ground. I will call him grass. I must also be grass. Again, being unsatisfied with the simple answer directly in front of him, he looked past the lone blade. Lying a few feet from the blade was a field. The field was more than anything he could have imagined. Grass forced together for as far as the eyes could see with no interruptions except for the small white flowers that forced their way up to stick out just above the swaying grass. There were few trees scattered throughout and a skyline that called out to him with a perfect shade of blue.
He was mesmerized. Mesmerized by the scene as a whole, but truly fascinated with the flowers. The way they towered over his brothers as a constant reminder of how small the grass truly was. The way the flowers let the wind blow through its petals making it dance. It was as if they didn’t want to simply give in to the callous demands of the wind that constantly fought them. As time went on he became obsessed with the dancing flowers. When a breeze came he would fight harder and harder against it, just to try and catch a glimpse of the dancing flowers before the wind forced him down. It was beautiful and one of the few joys he had, being stuck in the same place. He would constantly think to himself about leaving. About trying to move closer to the flowers that had hypnotized him, only to remember his place. I have to go to them. I need to be with the flowers, but something is holding me here. It is as if I am rooted here so strongly that fate itself would not allow me to leave. He spent weeks trying to figure out a way to lift himself and move to the gentle gods of the wind, but nothing worked. When he had finally had enough of the useless attempts he tried one last hope. Maybe if I am conscious, they may be too. There may still be hope. He began to call out, to scream for help. Please! If there is any love in you, as your dance leads me to believe, then you will help me! Help me move closer to you so I may admire you and sing your praises from your feet, but the flowers never responded. Just sat there in everlasting silence. He didn’t know that his voice was simply in his own mind. That he didn’t actually have a voice to call out with. But still he called.
Time never stopped and he began to lose his love of the flowers. The love began to swell inside of him until finally; it turned into jealousy and eventually hatred. Why do the flowers get to dance as I am stuck here forced to look at my own stalk? Why do they get to tower over me and my brothers as they mock us with their beauty? I hate them, I hate the flowers. Do they not hear me calling out? Do they fear that if I had my chance I might just out dance them? Why do they ignore my cries and continue to dance for my pain. As the hatred consumed him he stopped fighting the breeze. He stopped trying to find new things along the horizon. He just bent down and looked at his now yellowing stalk.
The season was beginning to change and he found himself changing with it. The ground that had cursed him with solitude and familiarity had now begun to run out of nutrients. The sunlight was becoming less and less and the sky seemed to be more gray than blue most of the time. Every time the wind picked up he would look down on himself only to discover that he was becoming more yellow with every day of the new season. He Hated it. He hated his new color. Every time he began to have a thought, he would remember his new appearance, so he stopped thinking. He just grew tired. Tired of the flowers, tired of the same scene in his mind, and tired of being rooted to this hateful ground. He was ready for it to just be over.
His last day came with precipitation. White specks began to fall from the sky. At first he was excited. A new thing has entered the field. White, distant flakes. I will call it snow. Oh I hope one lands near me so I may examine it further. Unfortunately one did come closer. One landed right on top of him, sending searing pain through his entire being. It was then that he realized these seemingly innocent white specks were not his friend, but a condensed version of the cold. When he was struck he knew what was about to happen. The cold was coming to take over his field. To put an end to his misery and to this dreaded scene. He was confused. These white flakes, they come to end the suffering, to end the flowers, but am I truly ready? Can I really accept this as the final stage of my existence? The white flakes began to fall harder and soon the field in front of him had been almost entirely consumed. He knew he was next. He began to get angry. Angry that he never got to see the flowers up close, angry that he was unable to save all of his lost brothers in the field ahead, angry at the lack of control. It boiled within him until finally he lashed out with everything he had. What sort of place is this?! A place where I am born only to learn my identity, so I cannot share it? A place where I am teased and mocked by the most wonderful of creations, only to watch them from afar? A place that has held me here, only to destroy me? There is no happiness here. There is no salvation. There is no peace. Only struggle.
The snow continued to fall. The wind began to pick up. The wind blew in all directions now. As the snow rose he began to watch once more. He looked on the dying field. The large accumulations of grass were gone. Only the white flowers and some of the taller grass remained. The wind began to scream at him. It was blowing him in so many directions he began to feel dizzy. His thoughts became jumbled and lost upon the constant movement. Then the wind blew him around. It caused his body to see behind him for the first time, and there it was. One lone blade. One lone blade with a simple point protruding from the white powder. And through the rush in his mind he began to ask questions. Why is that piece of grass there? Has he been there the whole time? Why am I seeing myself fall victim to this wind as he is covered by the powder? Why am I not yet covered with powder? Why is that piece of grass so small? The field across from me was almost completely covered, but this one pokes out. I still poke out. Why is that piece of grass smaller than me? Why is that piece of grass so small? Why is he so small? Soon he was entirely consumed. Then the thoughts stopped. He always thought of seeing more, but he never realized what he actually didn’t see. He never saw the field that was only a few yards behind him. A field that was cut off from the rest by a fence that held in a herd of cattle. Cattle that feasted on his brothers every day, but worst of all, he never really saw himself. Just his limitations.