Folly of My Sin

By George Woodruff



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He sat there, a broken and despondent thing, one who had once been so mighty, now downfallen and downtrodden and a ruin of his former self. She watched him, pity and scorn in vying for expression in her face. She knew his story, like she knew everyone's story here; but then again, she was more then just an alewife and Madame.

She remembered when he arrived; she recalled his meteoric descent from the heavens. He was like some divine pyrotechnic descending from the starry heights burning up in the atmosphere of his own hubris and concern. His pain had lit the night, making the denizens of this realm fearful that the sun had at last broken through into this tenebrous place.

He had crashed into the floor, shaking the pit to its very core, a terrible meteor in his decent into hell. Like Lucifer he had plummeted screaming his torment to the whole of creation, his calamity spawning myriad dark beings. And like Lucifer he had been a shining star, a light in the heavens of his own creation, and like that angel of light, he had committed an unpardonable sin. Thus he was flung from those luminous places into this pit of despair and denigration. Unlike the seraph of lucidity, his sin had not been one of seeking dominion over creation, but more aptly the creation of an artifice, the imitation of the almighty in crafting a falsehood and imbuing it with life.

He had written fiction, lies, falsehoods, which though they were meant to entertain, and entertain they did, they were lies and deceptions none the less, an offence and a sin. Though he had sought to provide elucidations he had only lead the uninitiated astray with his fabrications. Worst of all, he had beguiled himself.

He had come to love his myth, to invest in it his heart and soul, all his being, until it was a driving obsession, a hard mistress that would not let him go, that bent him to her needs, wants and desires. He became a caretaker for his audience, and fellow authors, ordering the play of events in their fabrications, keeping track of the whereabouts of everyone and everything until their rapacious hunger to create freely began to tear his precious world apart, each wanting to mould it to their ideal.

He fought with himself to allow them their freedom and yet maintain his creation's integrity and in the end he lost this civil war with himself and having touched the sky in his hubris of creation, he plummeted like a falling star until his final creation was the crater he sat in, smouldering still, like some ancient and phenomenal asteroid. And as he fell, he had been torn at and rent by those he had held close to him. They had tried to save him from his fall, but their hands had turned to demon claws that ripped his feathers from his wings, robbing him of his ability to fly. Their efforts to save him, to clutch him to them had only succeeded in tearing his flesh from his bones, leaving him to sweat blood upon his exposed muscle and tissue. Their cries and lamentations became mocking derision in his ears and he plummeted cursing himself for his aspirations.

Thus it was that he sat there, a bereft soul in a hell of his own creation, surrounded by angels who cared for him, but from his perspective were a horde of demons assaulting him with brands and mocking him derisively. He looked at her, and smiled sadly and before any knew what he was about, he stood and walked away, into the darkness, into the night, into forgetfulness. And as the ebony wings enfolded him there issued forth a sigh that seemed to shake the world to its foundations.


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Folly of My Sin ©2000 by George Woodruff

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