Bane

Oh, you think darkness is your ally, but you merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man. By then, it was nothing to me but blinding!

Hut! Velociraptor



There is a stream beyond which lies the curious mountain range bordering the land of lava and our own land. It occurs to me that the mountain range is fresh and has come up recently though I feel confident (I must admit that I'll always have my doubts) that the raging lava flowing on the other side of the mountain range will never seep into this land but life has a strange way of unfolding herself. It always pleases me to notice that what was once a desert now is populated with grass, a stream and a few rodent like creatures here and there. Rumour has it that a forest has recently started to grow on the banks of a river (which I am yet to see with my own eyes) as well.

Someone seems to have constructed a rudimentary type of dock on the river indicative of some form of intelligent life, but I've only very rarely glimpsed the woman who lives there. I've also sensed the presence of a hermit who co-habits the same river and who apparently can control the flow of its water. It is also said that he doesn't speak and can magically conjure up a boat that always keeps afloat irrespective of the river's force. From afar, he has a balding head but on getting close his face seems to disintegrate into a blobular plasma.

Oddly, in that place where there is very little fauna there lives a lonely velociraptor. A carnivorous animal, my guess is that it feeds on any animal that might be unlucky to grow big enough to be spotted by it. I also wondered how a velociraptor which normally lives in a herd is populating our shared space all alone - maybe this one just wanted to be alone or is probably lost from its herd? Most velociraptors talk (as you may not know) and were considered to be amongst the most intelligent of the dinosaurs but this one strangely didn't seem to know how to speak at all.

I first encountered him (I don't know how I know that) while examining the puddle I had arrived at, disoriented since it was but newly formed in that past time. As I sat up I noticed the moon in the sky and it was clearly nighttime with the ever present misty fog everywhere. Curious about my presence he came sniffing around as I tried to get up, confused as I always am on entering our land. He didn't quite know what to do with me, probably the only other creature roughly his size. I guess now that since he couldn't rightly ascertain who or what I was- friend or foe, prey or the hunter, mother or father, male or female he too seemed as disoriented as I. The only deduction I could make was that he was somehow 'made' fully formed and was not born from an egg like other velociraptors.

Initially I was a bit apprehensive of his presence since dinosaurs are supposed to be extinct and our co-presence at the same time seemed to elucidate that something was amiss. But that thought soon dissolved as I remembered where I was and how I had gotten here. I then felt what might be akin to an archaic form of kinship with the being for I realized intuitively that he too was trapped in here with me and felt an urge to reach out to the creature but he suddenly jumped back as if he was horrified.

To my shock I realized that I had omnisciently merged with my velociraptor friend and was able to cognitively tune in to his inner state while retaining some amount of functioning of my own. I was able to experience his sense of confusion and unsatisfied hunger coupled with his drive to kill. He was at war in himself, whether to make friends with this new creature or to dare attack it so as to procure a new source of meat.

Realizing this I too took a step back  trying to put some distance between us for if he attacked I would at least be able to dodge it. What then ensued was a game of cat and mouse with the two of us circling each other like warriors in a ring even as I could sense the palpitations of his heart as his conflict with regard to who I was kept him from taking decisive action. Realizing that this was getting nowhere, I suddenly remembered that velociraptors could talk (as you might not know) and said a few words to him. It was only then that I understood that the poor beast was tongue tied for you see, it is only when when spoken to that a velociraptor can really learn how to speak! It then dawned on me that empathy was the only tool I had to determine what might be going on inside him.

To this day I don't know why I did what I did or how I did it but the next thing I was aware of was that he was standing over me, his powerful legs pinning my hands down as I stared up at what seemed to be imminent death. He looked at me, engulfed by his drive to kill and survive and for a moment I sensed guilt, compassion and pity in him as he bent down to tear open my chest and feed to his heart's content.

Even as green smoke spurred out from the place in my body where the ancients reckoned one's soul to be, there was a thunderous clap and I felt her cold hands embrace me with the words clearly said out loud -  "I'll never leave you again". The grin that he had when I etched out this story to him will forever remain in my memory.

Epliogue
I know that my friend the velociraptor is still alive. Some other good acquaintances of mine, on scouting our land, told me that he was spotted there with some other creatures his own size and seemed even to be talking to them. Where there was but short grass there are now a few bamboo shoots - a place where he can feel more at home. I was even able to meet the hermit of the river who taught me a severe lesson in bracing the watery elements. There is much to learn from this strange land indeed.