Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Weeping Glen

"Do you have any pictures of it?"

"Nope, no pictures."

"Photographs, drawings?"

"Sorry sir."

"Sculpture?"

"Good god man! No! Look, you seem new around these parts, so let me make this clear: we don't have any visual representantions of anything. You gotta listen to my words, son, and make your own pictures in your head. Pictures outside your head are strictly banned."

"Banned?"

"Not just banned, forbidden."

"But why?"

"Have you ever seen books burn?"

"Once, long ago."

"And how did it make you feel?"

"Like my soul was on that pyre."

"We're kindred souls then. There was a time when we had all those things, but they bred corruption and monstrous things. To get rid of then, every symbol had to go. We thrive on words here. One hundred percent literacy rate: that's practically unheard of in a well-developed place like this." A single tear fell from his eye and streaked down his face. "Every book with pictures went to feed the fires that burned every painting and melt every metal symbol. We ground our statues into gravel and dust. It was our penance, but it was worth every bit of laughter and happiness you see around me. I couldn't bear to have my children go through all of that again. We learned our lesson, you should do well to learn the same."

"What sort of monstrous things?"

The burly man shuddered. "Best not to think on it, son. Even the thought of the things that came, even the image in your minds eye... Look, just go back about ten miles and go straight where you took that left. That'll get you back to the world you're used to, and don't dwell on us again.

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