by Ben Stivers

     Creator wandered in lush tropical forest, couched in Paradise, vacant.  In a place of pure hues, sandy shoreline, and blue skies to make poets’ sensuous hearts pine, he was forsaken in a world of calm, inspired physicality, and life-filled scenarios created by his own omnipotent hand.  Amidst pristine waterfalls, rugged cabanas, and love now abandoned, Creator wept for his Creation.

      For the Creation had no soul—was but half-alive.  Without the soul, what aspiration was Creation?  Without an Architect, what purpose was there to create?

      Linear time toyed with him as if its flow were a stream that had compromised a restricting dam.  He released the reservoir of temporal madness and watched with purpose as days passed.

      Sprinting months flew away like migration birds.  Still Creation had no plan.  Time slowed into the tiny stream it had been before Creator had dammed it.  For Creator, each day the blazing sun came later, stayed for ever-shortening days with excuses of fatigue.  The perplexed entity tilted his head to understand, but the sun simply sighed and lay down in the ocean, pulling the night over its head like a frightened child.

      Breathe as he might into his Creation, Creator’s love was task insufficient.  Darkness descended and built great fortresses around him.

      In desperation, Creator decorated the ebon of night canvas.  Once blue sky, black, he sprinkled with twinkling stars, painted them with leftovers of a dream he had called, “rainbow.”  The new masterpiece was a shadow of the day.

      When the sun failed to return one morning, however, he wept.

      “What good is a song without music?” he reasoned.  “What value is a poem without words?  What is a novel left unread?”

      He contemplated those thoughts as black years swept by.  Lonely, warm beaches turning cold, he walked and pondered obsidian sand between his toes.  Footsteps marked his passing, but little else.  Warm winds turned frigid with no morn.  All butterflies and fairies he had conjured lay down and closed their eyes.  The jungle withered in darkness.

      Creator journeyed to the waterfall he had created when love was new.  He stood beneath it’s crystal waters and let the ever-chilling flood splash against his saddened skull so that he may at least hear sound, and his burning tears be replaced with ice.  He stepped from the water, wrapped himself in a grey blanket of misery, and buried Truth beneath a stone near the pool.

      Skies clouded.  Stars winked out . . . one-by-one.

      Try as he may, he could not stop the tide of lethargic storm.  Still, he fought.  Huddled, sitting in a creaky old rocker on the empty cabana’s porch, thoughts darker than night storm, lids half closed, dim realization settled into place, swollen and infected.

      Forever failed to congeal in his mind, blinking nightmares into existence.

      Asphalt-colored snow fell on the gray jungle.  Dormant were the fairies.  Withered were the trees.  Creation leaked into disrepair as bewildered tears etched his face and fell in pools of swirling chaos.

      He was the builder.  She was the Architect.

      How could it be she’d not arrived at just the right moment to witness, and perhaps prevent, the End?  He wandered across the musty, damp jungle floor and lay down amidst the brown ferns.  Pain-filled eyes closed tightly, he let out his last breath, turned loose pen and brush he had used to bring sunrise, puffy white clouds, and winds into being, and let them fall with a slight clatter to the Earth.

      As his heart slowed, he surrendered his hope for Tomorrow.  One finger at a time he released his grip upon Life and relinquished his stewardship of Day.  Then, as precious essence slipped away, Architect appeared from the mists of Promise.  The Design buried deep within her eyes, she gazed at Creator intently then pressed gentle lips upon his fevered brow.  As she did, the sun peeped over the eastern horizon, sending glitter across the ocean’s surface.

      “Come back to me, please,” she said.

      Creator’s eyes opened to Architect’s silhouette, then closed again, convinced she was but  a dream.  Architect, however, held fast to him while colors rejoiced under blue sky at dawn.   Chaos withered and blew away on the wind, tendrils swallowed hungrily by the hunter-birds in flight.

      Creatures awakened and silent watchful trees whispered the coming of Architect’s paints.  Soft tenure of Architect’s touch stretched forth on all of Creator’s children and coaxed them to life.

      Satisfied, she turned, refusing to save the world but lose the reason for it.

      “Can’t do it alone, you know,” she whispered in his ear.  “Choose a different Reality.”

      Creator’s eyes fluttered.  Nightmares dissolved with the sound of heaven’s breath across dry grass.

       He sat up.  His eyes read the Design and the specification from deep within Architect. With a single brushstroke, he brushed the two of them over the face of all Creation.  Life sang an ordered song, bringing an eons old smile to his face.

      “Why did you sorrow your heart on the canvas, my love?” Architect asked.

      “Without you, the world was not whole,” he replied.

      Like he, Architect tilted her head as she contemplated his words.  “What of the blueprint for tomorrow’s enhancement?”

      “Love,” he replied.  “With it, let us turn Creation to Garden.”

      Architect took Creator’s hand in hers and led him to the warming waterfall, listened to the foamy water sing for them as it splashed their skin with love and beauty.

      Without further word, Creator lifted the rock and handed his Architect their Truth.


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© 2015