Introspection of the Misunderstood
The sky shines bright blue today, clear enough that you can almost see to the heavens above. From down here, one can only imagine the vastness of space, of what lies beyond, out of reach from all but the most intrepid. There are those whose hearts yearn to explore the unknown, to discover planets anew and life unrecorded. To stare back at our modest home from the void, insignificant and yet full of passion and resolution. But, although we cry out with the emotions and griefs of millions, there is only silence to answer our calls. Honestly, I cannot think of anything more discouraging than the realization that, perhaps, we are collectively alone. A funny contradiction, that.
Others, like myself, are more than content to live out our lives on our sprawling planet. There are plenty of mysteries to keep one occupied for their entire life, and at the end, never truly solve any of them. That’s the beauty of such a diverse world. You don’t have to travel far to find something undiscovered.
I am one such enigma. I hear the whispers of vacant travelers as they try to solve the puzzle. I have seen their purpose-driven attitudes, feverish eyes, insatiable thirsts to seek and destroy. Infallibly, their tactics spiral into aggression. After all, there is nothing more dangerous than the unknown. It is a monster lurking with glistening fangs and hungering eyes, sharp claws and deadly spines. It is the shadows of our doubts, our own minds tricking us into believing there is danger when there exists nothing more than a gust of wind through the trees. It drives one mad. While some flee, others stay to fight, seeking to identify the unknown and destroy its state of existence. To assure their own selfish peace of mind at the expense of others.
My refuge is Mystery Island. The jungles grow so lush that one can be lost for years and never truly explore its entirety. I rely on the island to protect me, and yet ironically, no one themselves is an island; we’re inexplicably bound to others, bound to meet others. I am no stranger to chance encounters. Such meetings are as inevitable as the seasons changing, the sun setting, the cosmos growing ever darker. Today is no exception.
A green Mynci stands amidst a field of dried grasses and brown flowers, dressed, undeniably, for adventure. His gaze sharply scans the clearing, passing the spot where I sat mere moments before. He has not spotted me, and he won’t spot me. I am one with the heartbeat of an ancient land, camouflaged in the embrace of an environment that has never failed me. His determination does not falter. He has resolved to find this Fell Spirit, and is not afraid to search every hill and tree of the island to find them. If only he could see that his journey is futile. If only I could tell him.
He turns his back to me, eyes sweeping the other side of the field. A gust of wind rattles the late summer foliage, causing him to jump, startled by his own mind. His eyes flash that same colour of anger that will no doubt turn to insanity in the coming days. I can guess his thoughts, the same thoughts that hundreds of others before him have also had. The stubbornness, the frustration, the insatiable hunger for discovery. He adjusts the straps of his pack and sets off, purpose guiding his step. There will come a time when that purpose runs away, but it is not today.
Seconds, minutes, hours, days, or perhaps weeks later, rain falls. Time, the same cruel master who has deserted the flora of the island, returns as its savior. It is not cold to me. I have long since gone numb to the echoes of time, its lies of youthfulness and joy whispered sweetly to you on a desolate day. Even the most powerful forces are rife with fault, and time is no exception.
Water splashes around me, its rhythm chaotic yet soothing. Those who live in more populated areas of the island are at home, silencing the rain through physical and mental walls. Another small triumph for their conscience. Legends will be brought to life, swathed in blankets and nursing a hot drink: don’t trust the Fell Spirit, it will lead you to despair, trust the Fell Spirit, it will guide you home. I exist both as a monster and an ally, your best friend and your worst enemy. Myths are no different from history in that respect; they are biased depending on who recounts the tale, on who wins the proverbial or physical battle against the demons of the unknown.
Amidst the symphony of the weather, it is quiet. I am at peace when alone, when not the attention of unfaltering eyes and heightened senses. The absence of accusations and anger is sweet song; the storm the bassline. In my element I am invincible.
A moment of weakness in my vigilance. The green Mynci has returned, footsteps masked under the drumming of the rain. I have no time to hide, so I sit completely still. He notices me, eyes growing wide, thoughts running wild. A million questions burn his tongue and freeze his mouth. Two steps towards me, hesitant, and the paralysis wears off.
“You’re Felu Pango, the Fell Spirit, aren’t you?” A simple question, one often asked beneath wonder-struck eyes and lost minds. It takes only a few long, silent seconds for the amazement to wear off and the frustration to return. Many will argue about what the strongest weapon is, but I know it to be silence. It turns even the mildest of people mad. The false notion that information is being withheld, that one is being ignored out of spite or inferiority. Nothing is quicker to betray than silence.
“Can you speak?” A fruitless question. He should know the answer by now, but he’s holding onto that last thread of hope that his words will spark a revolution. I have no desire to fulfill his request. I never do. Silence may betray me, but it is my closest friend. It understands when others do not. I have every capability to answer him, to answer them all, but I dare not lose my friend.
The truth sinks in, biting him viciously. Two more steps forward, louder this time. His intentions are as clear as the oceans are murky. His hand reaches out to touch, like so many before. Logic tells him that I must be a ghost, for I do not speak nor move. And yet logic, like time, is a powerful force, and can also not be trusted. It is a double agent for doubt, linking the two in an ever-fierce battle. Who prevails? That depends on who you ask.
I run. There is no cowardice in my steps, simply necessity. To unmask, proverbially, the unknown defeats its purpose. It is left to wander aimlessly, torn apart by the same civilization that built it up. Forgotten by time, the ultimate liar. Nothing to do but rot underneath a sky full of stars and an infinite universe that never cared for it in the first place. That is not how I will spend my days.
As I run, a latent instinct pulses through my veins: self-preservation. In the abyss of my mind I know that there is much left for me to do before time reclaims what is rightfully its own. I have a duty to the spirits, to myself, and I will not fail. I am in no danger, but the passion burns fiercely. For deep in my heart, I know that one day, in time, they will understand me. They will not solve my mystery, but at least they will understand my purpose, my motives. History will finally be told from the right perspective. And it will be that day that I might finally look up to the void and see my own reflection rather than the dizzying heights of its depth.