Origins: Prologue

I wake up in dust and fall back asleep in it. I wander the world, alone. No other breathing form other than the trees walk the land. I explore, in hopes of finding life again. But all I find are trees, rivers, oceans and grasslands. The food I eat is bitter…it does not taste good. Yet I still walk, with the hope of finding life other than myself. Although I know I will not be successful in the slightest, I still have some hope that things will change for me and this world I have been put into.

Being put into a place without any rhyme or reason is an experience none of us wish to have. Even if the place is more beautiful than a crystal, or even more fulfilling than living alongside a lake or an ocean. We would rather be put there by choice rather than by chance.

That’s what happened to them. They were just…put into this world. One day they woke up, in a patch of prickly, long and green stripes of sticks, which they had come to call grass. They had some sort of black thing cloaking their whole body, with a pink soft stripe different from the ‘cloak’ they were wearing. It was resting upon their neck, making it feel warm and protected. The last thing they woke up with was a ‘satchel’. They had trouble coming up with a name for this one because it was rather hard to describe. They woke up with knowledge of things they had not learned about ever before.

“I am a child. A grown child.”

“I am wearing…something that is the colour black.”

“That is….green…and stripey, and I can pick it up off the ground.”

“That way is East.”

“That way is West.”

“I am…..alone.”

Everyday, they lived the same way. Picking up giant orange sticks they called ‘carrot’, boiling them in the blue wet liquid they found in places, flowing towards somewhere. They always thought that ‘water’ was living, and always humbly bowed its head down to it whenever they took some of it to drink. “I-I hope this does not cause you trouble. I need to live.”

The winds blew forth towards the East. They seemed changed. They seemed hasty, more furious, as if they were in a hurry to bring news to someone. They rode towards the only living thing on this Earth and started circling around them, picking up wind as they swirled around like a small whirlwind. The being’s clothes lifted while they slumbered and they twitched in discontent as if they were getting a nightmare. The winds still picked up more speed as the being squinted their

eyes in their sleep, trying to focus on the image they were getting. Something….bright….it was….giant….made of rock….it had…it was...

A mountain.

They woke up with a start, cold sweat running down their cheeks as they panted heavily. The winds had calmed down now, to a silent breeze, still swirling around as if being controlled by something.

The being stood up, dusting their loose clothes, wrapped their scarf around their neck and wore their satchel on their shoulder. They could not help but be drawn towards the north. The winds had taken an unexpected turn to flow north.

They were…confused. The winds had never behaved like this before at all. They knew the routes of the winds, they changed every season. It was the season of scorching; the winds usually came from the East and flowed towards the West. How did they change direction suddenly and start moving North?

The being felt as if it needed to investigate. This was their world, in a way, as it mostly belongs to the things they had come to call ‘trees’. Large sticks that were broad and tall and moved up, making small sticks grow out of them, until even smaller sticks grow from those sticks, and finally some green, bitter tasting thing grew from the smallest of sticks.

They felt that this wind could harm the sticks. They had seen it happen before- giant winds that swirled around and moved towards the trees and picked them up and threw them away. They felt that when this happened, the wind was angry and needed calming. They did not want to witness another throwing of the ‘trees’. So they followed the winds, prepared to face whatever came their way.

They had never gone north before, at least not far up. Every time they moved up north, the air got chilly and cold. They did not know how they could make themselves feel warmer so they dared not venture far ahead.

Now, though, the air did not seem to get cold at all. It felt a bit warmer.

“I like warm weather.”

From here….the journey begins.

They may not know it yet but….peril awaits.

Author: Aditya Iyengar

Editor: Achala Athreya

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