Sunday 15 May 2011

When Truth Came to Town

A Fable.

You came.

You called.

What... What happened?

Well, that’s a story. We have to go back a way... to a boy arriving here from a place down south. The folk here seemed glorious as gods to him, and he seemed bright and beautiful to them; so they welcomed him and he was glad to stay.

Now he was bright, and a quick learner, and soon enough he became a power amongst them. He became one of them, but the deeper he went, the darker it got. Over time, he grew disillusioned, with who they really were, what they really valued; he began to see the shadows and the claws.

It was then he came into an understanding of the world. He learnt that even with the power he had at his command, he could not change people, because people will not be changed unless it suits them.

He was challenged. He made his stand by Truth. And he learnt another lesson: that Truth is not the power it ought to be.

So, what became of him?

He left. He would not compromise himself, Truth, so he no longer had a place here. There was nothing left for him.

Until the girl.

The girl?

The girl from down south. Innocence. She came after him but he was already gone, his ripples settled to nothing but memory. She was taken by their glamour, as he was, but she found no power of her own and so they preyed upon her, drew her deeper and deeper, beyond the point she had the strength to survive. There was no one to take her hand, no one to show her the Truth.

Truth had abandoned this place, as these people had abandoned Truth.

The poor girl could not understand why things turned so bad.

How bad?

The details don’t matter. It was just a symptom of the situation here, the people. She had come as Innocence, in search of Truth, but instead she found Jealousy and Greed, Deceit and Pride; she did not recognise them and they swallowed her whole.

Then in her desperation she called out, to the one person she had never wanted to seem weak to; the person she had come here to find.

The boy from down South?

The boy. Who had become a man. Who had become Truth.

And she didn’t know what she was bringing here.

She had no idea. She knew he had been this way, but no one here spoke of him. Maybe he made them examine themselves too closely, and they did not want to believe they might be anything but the wonder and the power they showed the world. They shied away from the light he shone, even in his absence.

She called him, and he came, eventually. But she had fallen too far.

He found Innocence destroyed.

And the people here discovered that the longer Truth is denied, the stronger it becomes.

And he did... all of this?

He discovered that Truth was not so powerless as it had seemed, all those years ago; not when wielded fiercely, with no fear of holding back, with no concern for who might be harmed.

He tore down everything he had once loved. He knew these people too well and they could not stand against him. But when he was done he found himself empty, hollow, because he had been lying to himself; that there was still good in this place; that redemption was still possible. In unleashing Truth so relentlessly he had torn the last barriers from his own heart.

What happened to him then? To her?

He knelt down and he took her in his arms and the hollow inside him filled with a turbulent pool of sorrow and regret that tried to pull him entirely inside out. He felt so numb it was the most painful thing in the world.

And then she moved. And she murmured.

She was not destroyed?

Not entirely, no. Or maybe something of his power had caught her spirit before it strayed too far. Maybe Truth had granted him one last boon as its avatar.

And what did she murmur?

“You came.”

And he replied, “you called.”


  1. I really love this story. :) It's a lesson/re-telling and also just a heartbreaking tale. It reads very beautifully.

  2. Thank you, Zaiure. That's great to hear, I spent a lot longer editing this than I normally might, trying to get the balance and feel just right. =)

  3. Hi there John --

    Sometimes abstraction around concepts can be a little tiresome, but you did a great job on this. I liked the personification, I liked the love story. Things rattled along, and I was happily entertained.


  4. Thank you, Stephen. =) Whatever else I'm trying, entertainment is the ultimate goal. =)

  5. Hey John!

    I liked the follow of the story. Well done :)