[ uh-NEE-mi-uhs ]
- Exposed to wind; windswept.
** Either a story beginning, a story ending, a piece of flash fiction, a poem, painting, dance move—inspired by the word, anemious, where does it take me? Where does it take you? Learn more about “The Word” here.
Being a member of TOFS is an honor and a burden, a pleasure and a curse. Tellers Of Forgotten Souls is just as much about watching as it is telling. The pleasure is that we get access to incredible technology—technology to see the past from any point. The curse is to endlessly watch stories that end in destruction.
For instance, this entire week I’ve been watching the world and story of a single blade of grass. This blade—I named it Cal—grew at the edge of a forest that opened onto a large field with rolling hills. I watched Cal’s life, from first seed to his end.
In the beginning, the open area beyond was patchy. Cal swayed in the winds, holding tightly to the dirt, watching wild animals graze and do their business. I told you this job could be a burden!
As Cal’s brothers and sisters grew and spread, Cal watched people cross that area for the first time. They looked wild, and large dogs accompanied them. Time progressed, and more people crossed that area. Some wore feathers, and soon others, who slung muskets over their shoulders.
The field was scorched and painted red one day. Those people with the muskets shot each other as larger explosions echoed around. Cal watched, peacefully swaying in the breeze.
Eventually, the field became quiet again.
From there, Cal’s life was rather pleasant. Nothing happened there, besides birds and squirrels poking about, for nearly two hundred years.
On that fine day, Cal bore witness to the arrival of new men and women and large yellow machines. Cal’s brothers and sisters were torn from the ground, the trees of the forest were felled. And then, they came for him. Cal was raised in the air like he was flying, and then he was falling.
Darkness consumed the space around Cal. Dirt, roots, and grass covered him so the sunlight was blocked. He didn’t last long after that. The roots had no place to take hold after being moved around further. That was the end of Cal.
Now, I know… when I first started, I thought, why should I tell a story of such a tiny and insignificant soul? Does it have a soul? When I was recruited for TOFS, they didn’t really tell me the answer. It is something for which we must each find a reason.
I first thought that by acknowledging the tiny, the small, the world may learn to appreciate and contemplate more before taking action, like bull-dozing a field to build an office building. What if I said they built a Hospital? An amusement park? How does that change Cal’s life?
It’s been twelve years at TOFS, and I don’t think that’s the reason anymore. I don’t think most people believe what we do is important. I don’t think it’s led to any more thinking. Now, I think our purpose is something a bit darker.
We do what we do so that one day, when we encounter something so vast that it renders us the small, we shall understand why we were destroyed. We shall know why we were forgotten, just like Cal.
Man, that ended dark! What the hell, Derek?
Yet, I liked it. Lol. I also think this could be a great beginning to something. A weird and interesting job, cool technology, and an employee who has become a bit hopeless with the state of the world, or with the future of the world.
Throw that same character into the situation he fears, and we have a story. Humans do come into contact with the vast lifeform he describes. How do he and the rest of humanity deal with that?
More importantly, is how does our main character use his knowledge and unique experience to save the day? Perhaps humans are not ready for the messages that TOFS is documenting, but the vast lifeform could be. Oh, the possibilities!
What do you think of Anemious?
How would you see this main character save the world? How could events help turn his dark life-view around?
Leave your thoughts, ideas, your own story beginning/ending, flash-fiction, or whatever in the comments! Where did anemious or my story take you?
If you liked this story, check out my podcast of short stories, More Than A Story.
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