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Story: The Tower
By Ivan Atanasov
A dark Tower looms over the forest. People fear it and don’t dare come near it. It is as if the Tower gives out uncanny warning signals chilling their blood.
But that’s just the ones who are blind to its soul. They would tell you crazy stories about ghosts and demons, and all hell set loose inside that Tower.
I wouldn’t believe them if I were you.
You should listen to me, because I know best.
I live in the Tower. It’s been my home for a long time. If you were to measure it with human generations, it would still be a big number. I am the rocks that form the Tower and I am the weather-worn wood that the stairs are built of. I am the stained glass that was the canvas of artists long since deceased, as I was once the sand on the shore of the river that flows nearby. I am the dust motes that float in air and are stirred by the slightest draft, as I am the foundation rock that became solid from molten magma ten thousand years ago and nothing, neither nature, nor man, has been able to reshape it, soften it or shatter it. I am the wizard who brews potions. Inside every vial there is more of me – in different shapes, forms and substances, I am sulfur and fire, I am lead and I am gold. I am the books in the wizard’s library. I’m the ink – I am on every page and I am every page, for I am the paper too. I am the words that were once thoughts and I am the thoughts that made it out into the material world. I am that world and I have created it. I have made myself into being. I am alive. I am the mouse that scuttles under the bed. I am hungry and I can smell the piece of moldy cheese, which is also me. I find myself, I eat myself and I become one with myself. I hear the sound of my little legs and I walk over on two other legs, which are also my own. I find myself and kill myself. I die but I feel no pain – only one part of me is in pain, a thousand others are not. As I die, I become less than what I was. I am the bones under the mossy gravestone, but I am also the maggots and beetles that feed on rotting flesh. While I lay in the embrace of the earth, I am also high above, at the top of the Tower. Under the cold stone sculpture of a gargoyle, there’s a nest of robins. I am that nest, I am the wooden sticks and hay straws, and the spit that holds them together is also me. I am the two birds and I have made love to myself. An egg hatches. I am more now. I grow. I learn to fly. I am the wind between my feathers and I am every feather. I am light. I lift myself into the skies, but I don’t stray from the Tower, for that’s where I am and I don’t want to stray from myself. I stay.
I am here and if you ever want to meet me and talk, I could tell you about flying and growing, about spells and the ancient tongue of trees and stars, about living for millennia and also about death, in case you want to hear about that too. Come and we can converse. Just don’t listen to the people. They are going to tell you dark stories full of superstitions. They are going to say I am a demon and the Tower’s my haunt. But that’s not the case.
You can tell now.
You almost know me.
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