The Rant Of The Hero

‘I have learned my lesson well,’ I begin, repeating by rote the words which I know so well. Repeating by rote the words that I know so well, but which I have never heard. Repeating dutifully the words which I have never heard. The words that I have never heard, the words that I have never heard.


‘We cannot but reflect the lifeless nature of the cruel insensate mechanisms that exist hidden within us,’ I declaim loudly, my voice echoing endlessly in the vast subterranean caverns of my own cavernous mind. ‘I would speak the truth,’ I intone again, more hesitantly this time, ‘but my nature is sterile, and cannot give rise to anything but discordant scraping noises’.


Such is my nature and I cannot go beyond it, no matter how I strain myself, no matter how much I stretch and contort myself, no matter how much torture I subject myself to… A thing cannot be what it is not – I cannot speak the words that I so yearn to speak. I cannot express a truth that I know nothing of. I am like an empty steel barrel that has been beaten with a stick; I am like an immense sullen gong that has been struck with an iron hammer…


‘I cannot go beyond my own nature,’ I bellow, my immense stentorian voice clattering the saucers and teacups in the kitchen cupboard, rattling the knives and forks in the drawer, scattering the crows from the field where they gather. ‘I am Chemosh the Subduer, worshipped daily by my blind, fervently deluded followers. I am Tammuz. I am Dagon. I am the Iron Bull, who men blindly worship in the oppressive darkness of their own pointlessly sterile delusions. I am the Bronze Calf. I am the Salamander. I am the Speaker of the Magical Words. I am the Blacksmith who toils away in his airless Underground Cavern’.


‘I have learned my lesson well’, I begin again, trying as I speak to remember that lesson, learnt so badly and so long ago. My voice shakes with unidentifiable emotions as I strive to recall it. I remember so many things, and yet I remember nothing…


Stumbling and falling, stumbling and falling, barely able to see where I am going, I make my way through the scrublands bordering on that desolate territory they call The Great Waste. The pitiless sun beats down on me from above as I walk and a great cloud of biting creatures swarms around my head. My weather-beaten face is all but hidden by a Halo of Flies; my bowed head is wreathed by a Mighty Mane of Midges. I wish to cry out in my anguish, but I forbear from doing so, for the journey ahead of me is long. ‘I am he who paves the way for those who are yet to come’ I shout out, my voice exultant with the awareness that has come upon me. ‘I am he…’ I say. ‘I am he…’


I have my Hero Coat on and I am walking the Hero Path. None can gainsay me. A bitter wind howls down from the bleak mountain tops that surround me but I feel it not for my Hero Coat is made of yak wool two inches thick. It goes down to my ankles. No mortal man can wear this coat and yet walk. My enemies are possessed of telepathic powers and they already know of my approach. They know of my approach and they are afraid…



Art – Micheal Whelan




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