February 13th – It is Called Pygmalion
February 13, 2011 § 1 Comment
A man is the last of his kind. He finds himself near death. What are his last acts?
Tara’s story can be found here.
A foreign atrous sky oppressed the freedom in his hands. The clock hoarded his last breaths with hardening, each minute tick sending him closer.
Last crafter, last shaper.
The hardening to stone sank spikes into the nerves, skin chipping off. Still Symparo’s hands moved smoothly, running over the surface of his clay.
His tears, happy ones, and the blood seeping from his dead-ended fingers soaked into the clay and colored it with pocks. His fluids combining with the strange soil a ponceau color emerged, red as the poppies dictated in its name.
His lips formed the words of a People song, a maker’s song, but he did not give them voice. His hands continued their subtle movements, breath playing out in complex waves about the shapes.
The citizens of Mezanine traveled over their planet’s surface, whether the sky was melanic in night or the lovat mix of greish greenish blue that hovered in the day, to see the last shaper on his hill.
Doctors of the arts, professors and historians attempted conversation for the role of Symparo in their history was a well known thing. He refused most, shaking his head as they began ascent upon his hill.
A few he let in closer, reasons obscured, and sometimes he would talk to them. Usually about the weather, or the state of soils. All these comments they recorded with great aplomb and an energetic zeal bordering on the hedonistic. They whispered secrets of the Ancient, and attempted scientific divinations on every word.
He laughed a them, and his hands made their movements over the clay. He did not let any close enough to see. He was the last shaper, last of the People and the citizens obeyed.
On the day before the hardening took him, when his sculpture was nearly done, Symparo called for a young boy. The scientist-diviners of Mezanine analyzed and politicked, but somehow words reached the boy. His name was Prasinos.
Prasinos and his parents came to the call of Symparo, and to the dumbfounded blinkings of diviners the little boy ascended to the Ancient’s side.
“Do you know who I am?” he asked the child, his voice cracked and halting with stone so near.
“Someday. The stars will see Makers again, makers of magic and gates and sculpture. But you see, we were always just illusions.”
Prasinos did not understand, a fact Symparo knew. But that was irrelevant.
“Do you know what to call me young Prasinos?”
“Sy…Symparo, Sir?” said the boy.
Symparo thought, or seemed to think, as his fingers and breath and the sweating blood of his skin shaped eyes in the face of clay.
“No, Prasinos. No. I would have you call me Pygmalion,” he said, and smiled with a great smile as if at jest.
Below them the diviners, the scientists and politicians craned their necks and strained their ears to hear the words they spoke. But they spoke no more after that.
Prasinos sat at the foot of Symparo, hearing the cracking of his bones and skin. When the man’s arms could move no longer, he positioned them for him at rights. He was rewarded with a sigh of air and what might have been a whisper.
In the end spectator-citizens looked up at the self portrait of Symparo and the statuesque of himself grappled hand in hand identically. Prasinos lay asleep against the latter’s leg, in his pocket was a scrip of handwriting more beautiful than any on the Mezanine possessed.
Who holds me is the first. For I am the shaper and I am the last.
Prasinos did not show the scrip of paper to the scientist-diviners as he stepped down from the hill. He told them simply.
“His last work is named Pygmalion, and you will not raze it down.”