(A Short Story)
May 16, 2020
When the Great Blinding came, we weren’t ready.
My mother was a prophet. Some called it a blessing. My mother called it a curse; a reminder of what she’d lost in her early years. As a teenager, she’d fallen in love with the lesser god Dionysus and bore him a daughter. That daughter was me. When Zeus found out, he banished Dionysus from this Earth. My mother can only communicate with him through her visions.
Dionysus told my mother of the Great Blinding and what it would do to us all if we didn’t prepare. My mother tried to warn as many people as she could; writing news articles and appearing on television, but they laughed her off.
Those who were believers went into hiding. We built a secret underground network that spanned across the nations. It protected us from the brutality that followed.
When the sun gods and goddesses came to reap their havoc on our planet, we were ready. Light shone through our dark tunnels and we bowed down, accepting our fate. Our retinas were burnt, rendering us blind. We were the lucky ones, though. The others met a fate worse than blindness. We listened as their skin melted as sun was cast against their flesh, their organs boiling from the inside.
For two years, we waited.
Eventually, the screams silenced.
My mother said it was safe to emerge from the tunnels. We pulled thousands upon thousands of bodies off the streets, or what was left of them, and threw them into mass graves. Our hands became calloused as we dug holes with our bare hands, not trusting ourselves to find our way to the tools we needed. We never complained, never minding the back-breaking work that was demanded of us. That was the way of our life. It was how we’d survived.
I wasn’t satisfied with this life like the others were, though. They’d already lost many years on this Earth and didn’t mind servitude for the remainder of their lives. I was still young. Ambitious, perhaps. I prayed to Dionysus, and when he didn’t answer, I demanded a council with Zeus.
The gods fought over my fate. Lightning danced through the clouds. Rain washed away the dirt on the streets. The undead began to rise from their graves.
On the twelfth day, everything went silent.
I guess the gods must have listened, because then? Something extraordinary happened.
Every wall, every available surface was painted in blood with the same message: Don’t tell them you can see.
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