‘ The Roman’
Wind. Sun. Sky.
He stares silently, unopposed at the ruin that confronts him; his eyes pass slowly over the broken letters embedded in what was once the center of someone’s life. With painful hesitation, he turns to the track behind him.
The snake moved slowly, slithering down the road. Poisonous fumes emitted from it’s nostrils, filling the air with sulphur and the smell of blood.
Ignoring it, he turns back to the ruin. Gently he reaches out – carefully as not to disrupt the creature’s who lived within – he slowly touches the letters, feeling their power and it’s seductive lure.
The Sun, which had been merely flirting with the notion of defeat, shined slowly onto the letters as it made it’s descent. As the words illuminated, he thought again: Wind. Sky. Sun.
He looked up at the mosaic above him, then to the leaves slowly moving in the evening breeze.
Wind. Sky. Sun.
The screams of those behind him increased as the snake slowly began to draw to a halt. Ex-purging it’s organs across the road, they piled out. Again the wailing, the crying intensified.
He turns, facing his left.
A small animal, crushed against the weight of the snake, broken, yet strangely serene against the failing light, stirred slowly. As it’s whimpers escaped, the wailing around it too got louder. Disgusted, he turns back to the ruins, and slowly walks off. To his left he notices the animal crawl back slowly into the ruins.
The snake, seemingly undisturbed, regurgitated it’s organs, and slowly made it’s way down the track.
As he watched it go, again the light illuminated the writing on the ruins. Below it lay the animal…morbidly resting against the light of the ever ailing Sun.
With careful dignity the animal rested itself, it’s last life breathed out along with the pollen on the wind, seemingly escaping from some sort of cage, the spirit left it’s slumped body.
The Sun, illuminated the scenery around him and feeling the wind in his hair, whilst the smooth summer air breathed life into him. The sky darkened and the words became visible only for a second, as the piercing gaze of the Sun travelled over them once more.
Defiantly, he thought silently once again, staring at the message on the ruins:
‘Wind. Sky. Sun. Life. Death. Peace.’
Once more he began to smile, misanthropy evaporating from his very inner self.
With this the man slowly walked back and sat against a the rigid spine of an ageing tree. Inhaling the pure air and casting his haze leisurely over the ruin once more.
As the air grew colder, his weary eyes began to shut – only glimpsing once more the words illuminated by the July moon. He smiled weak smirk and inhaled a deep, but very long breathe.
The thought of those words echoed in his failing mind as he sank slowly into emptiness :
“Remember thou art mortal.”