Sentinel of Life
by Paul Magnan
They are called the ruins, but that is a misnomer. Though they are ancient they are potent still.
It is not magic encased within the columns of the roofless structure, set upon the tip of a volcanic upheaval that thrust up from the vast blue and green of the Southern Ocean long before those with intellect walked the world. Magic is an alien concept, and the force that is alive and sentient within the ruins is as natural as the world that surrounds it.
The force is a centre for stasis. A gravity for permanence. It is an essential guardian, because this world, any world, could not survive if stasis were allowed free rein. There must always be change, evolution, permutation. The cycle of existence must continue to turn. To stall is to stagnate and decay. Eternity would expand and consume all. Nothing would remain, not even memory.
The ruins, therefore, are the holders of life.
But the task is onerous. With the passage of eons, the sentience that keeps the void in check grows dull. Fissures open and widen, allowing the weight of inertia to trickle forth and bleed into the earth. An offering must be made.
The world responds as it has before, and it will again. A release of life energy is required, a cataclysm that will sweep away all that was before. A new cycle must be started to preserve the continuum, to buttress the ruin’s integrity and save all existence from the desolation of entropy.
The last crisis, and resultant mass release of life energy on this world, was sixty-five million years ago. Majestic creatures of claw and tooth were extinguished, along with many lower forms, such as those who pushed roots into the ground and swam unseen in the depths of the sea. A few organisms were spared, the barest building blocks of life.
The sacrifice of sixty-five million years ago was successful. The ruins were strengthened, and awareness was returned. Stillness was contained. A fresh cycle began.
But now too much time has passed. The focus of the ruins is slipping. Cracks are forming, and nothingness is pushing for release.
So I must call forth the power of the heavens once more.
The world does not hesitate to respond to the threat. Schisms deep in the crust of the earth split open and engulf mountains and oceans. Continental plates shatter. Magnetic fields reverse their polarity. The atmosphere churns with released gasses, turning ice to steam and the tropics into dry, cold tundra. The only land that is not touched is the igneous island of the ruins.
The predominant life form, in its billions, scream and die. None are spared. They have had ascendancy for only a short time, but their life energy has a potency that the force inside the ruins needs to keep its stability. Anything less would mean oblivion.
The earth trembles and settles. New oceans are born. New continents are formed. There are traces of life, but they have no cognizance of self or surroundings. Their sole purpose is to renew the cycle.
The ruins stand strong once again.
And so do I.
I have been writing fiction and poetry (usually on the dark and twisted side) for many years. I have had work published in various on-line magazines. I live in New England with my family.
Inspirational Imageby Chris Howard
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