Chapter 011—After Three Thousand Years

The God of Fate had no form and shape, but was omnipresent and ruled ups and downs of all walks of life. At this moment, he was in the temple, filling up the space of every corner. 

‘O Holy God of Fate! What made you come to this arrangement?’ Goddess Muse asked, her face glowing with refined grace and her form radiating with subservience, both of which trickled a granule of helplessness. Humans had been living for eons, and they had strived painstakingly hard to establish everything. How could all human civilization and wisdom end just by a word from the God of Fate? 

‘That’s because humans are happy.’ The God of Fate gave a simple and clear answer, a hint of ever-lasting envy oozing through his words. Goddess Muse dared not to go against his will. She picked up the score on the ground before leaving dejectedly.

***

The song was composed. There was no turning back. Sorrow yet moving, the song was ethereal. When it came to writing the lyrics though, deep furrows started to grow on Goddess Muse’s brows.

She didn’t despise humans, but instead she was obsessed with them. Their improvement left her in deep thought. She only granted her ‘gift of inspiration’ to one of them. Never would she have ever thought he would spread this gift to others. After thousands and thousands of years, humans only then developed civilization.

Goddess Muse was the mother of civilisation. How would she have the heart to see her own children die? 

Nonetheless, it had already happened before her eyes once. 

***

She was lonely.

The one thing she was capable of doing was creating. With a quill pen, she wrote on some days, and drew on the others. Doing so, days went by.

‘I’m so bored!’ She needed company, so she went into the mortal world. After rounds of choosing, she ended up with a human baby. Delicate, cute and chubby,  the baby was strangely overjoyed and couldn’t stop smiling in her warm, godly arms.

With a giant leap after turning around, she flew high up off the ground. The baby erupted into laughter in the cool breeze. ‘Oh yeah! He hasn’t flown before! I’ll take him to the shrine then.’ Keeping her gaze upwards, she was deep in thought. After bathing him with petals, she would prepare a feast for him. What would he like to eat? Soft, fluffy clouds? Warm, cozy sunlight? Cold, chilly snowflakes? Or maybe her favourite…

She was completely unaware of the physical change the baby had been undergoing. He was grinning from ear to ear at first, and hair suddenly grew out from his body, followed by wrinkles. It took only seconds for him to turn old, perish and desiccate. It was only when the baby’s shrunken corpse had reduced into ashes did Goddess Muse realise in shock the life in her embrace was gone. 

Her mind went blank, and tears streamed down her face.

***

To become a deity was every living being’s dream. Yet, being a deity was painfully lonely!

It wasn’t fair! It wasn’t fair!

In the form of a tree, she had lived alone for millions and millions of centuries. Seeing plenty of her own kind from faraway come and go, she was jealous of them for so many days and nights. Yet deep down, she knew she was different from the others, and a miracle was to happen upon her at some point. She yearned to become a deity, to be granted freedom. When the wind brushed by, her leaves didn’t rattle, instead they kept on chanting ‘Freedom, freedom…’ Her roots let out her desire for freedom incessantly, but sadly she and freedom weren’t destined to meet each other.

One day, the miracle finally came knocking at her door. Under the God of Fate’s care, he made her a deity. She finally had another form! She now had four limbs, five senses, and wisdom.

‘You shall be named Goddess Muse.’

***

She became a deity, but so what? She was still alone, as lonely as ever. The solitude made her scream and drove her to madness. She just wanted a friend; so simple, yet so hard to deal with! 

Deities had neither the ability to rear children, nor the time to befriend anyone. How could she be as blissful as humans were? She was destined to be alone.

‘This is fate.’ The God of Fate, who was as lonely as she was, said in a hushed voice, followed by a smile. 

‘No, it definitely isn’t!’ She screamed out loud, tearing her torso open, and she let blood spill out of her wounds.

‘No, it definitely isn’t!’ Her blood shrieked in reply. It gained life, and it gained intelligence.

‘No, it definitely isn’t!’ Being stuck in Muse’s body for so long, her blood was also daubed in loneliness.

Every atom within her called out in their most primal voice. ‘Friend! Friend! Friend!’

Her blood formed into a blob-like ‘friend’, yet it almost fell apart when a mild breeze came by.

Goddess Muse used all her strength and pulled her ‘friend’s’ hand. Still, being fragile, her ‘friend’ scattered into pieces.

‘I’m lonely, so nobody gets a friend! Goddess Muse! Give it a long, hard look!’ The God of Fate teased her.

Her friend had disintegrated. Its blood kept spraying on her lips, as if to seal their only encounter with a final kiss…

***

Inspiration came from jealousy.

She held up her pen and wrote the lyrics.

Before it died out, I gave it one last look

Wax melted into ashes, with my visage stained

Life goes on,  my tears flooding the seas

Where romance is stranded away, ex-lovers unchanged[1]<

The lyrics were done. Mankind would be completely annihilated after three thousand years. The world would then return to its lonely state, just like she was. 

***

Three thousand years had passed by. Humanity couldn’t escape from its doom—extermination.

They didn’t do anything special. They only took out an antique CD player from the museum, commemorating their past. They played the song Goddess Muse had written three thousand years ago in the centre square as the people bid farewell to the world which they shared a love-hate-relationship with.

Although deeply touched after the song was over, they remained expressionless. No sorrow, no joy, no anger, but only astonishment, as they quietly marvelled at the wonder of the melody. They knew this day would come, but they would have never thought it would be this peaceful, and nobody felt any fear.

The moment the hour hand met the minute hand at the number ‘12’ on the clock, everyone closed their eyes together and never opened them again.

From then on, the world became silent.

[1] These words are extracted from the lyrics of the song Before Three Thousand Years, which was sung by Shirley Kwan, a female Hong Kong pop singer. [Click to go back]


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