Wanted: two and a half meter dangerous demigod. Dark, face-covering hair, wears a suit. Responds to the name Demian. He has gone to the war and never returned.
The unceasing darkness makes one forget that the world has to plough its way through daytime in order to reach the night. Here it was constant, nearly asphyxiating with uncertainty, encapsulating every corner. You could hear your own heartbeat in the cell. Blood circulating. You knew you were alive but you did not understand what it means. At first, you try to discern any possible shapes in the dark, but later on the eyes accustom themselves and thus they simply observe pointlessly, waiting for a change, and eventually they are buried in eyelids like an unsuccessful spectacle covered in curtains. When you close your eyes, it seems that darkness is natural. The attempt to count days has failed. Food portions appeared to be irregular. Dishes with the finest meals – it seemed that they would show up out of nowhere. Solid walls became the only consolation. They were the only tangible object in the room. Their strict framing proved that even places like this have their limits. Mirk, strangling with its obscurity. And to think that once there was a day when it seemed that night has an answer to every question.
Heavy breathing and from time to time reappearing cough gave away that this cell has its prisoner. All this showed that even places like this are inhabited. “And humans are still wary of the fact that there is life in other planets,” thought the prisoner. “If I live here, then it means that someone has to live there. Of course, other planets do not have such walls. However--,” the chains clanged and the prisoner collapsed on the ground, his calm breathing led by capriciously lowered eyelids. “They can be built.”
Sudden shimmering light has made its way through the curtains of the unsuccessful spectacle, and there could be heard steps echoing through the corridor. One after another, voices appeared. The prisoner was exhausted, barely conscious, but he could hear. It was hatred in their voices. Hatred and contempt, dedicated to him. All this is nothing but an undeniable argument that even places like this are never indifferent.
– There – fallen!
– What is this?
– Him, of course.
– There is no doubt.
The steps came near. Cold fingers caressing the prisoner’s chin and cheekbones.
– He looks somehow unnatural, – one of the voices declared.
– You would be just as unnatural given the circumstances, – a lush baritone retorted.
– If only you were to see him right when we caught him! What a posture, not to mention the manners. Even with a suit. Hair carelessly parted. Fragrant, – a dash through prisoner's scattered thick hair strands. – Splendid hair.
– Just look at his height, – synchronized gasping. –- Looks around two and a half metres. Fallen and crouching, yet still tragically graceful.
– With those legs, – a remark that sent a pang through everyone’s hearts. – He, perhaps, has walked through godlands.
– Why, of course. After all, he is a demigod.
The voices stood silent and thoughtful for a while. The prisoner did not desire to see their faces; he only listened, feeling that he was not able to move a single muscle. Everything ached, but most of all his legs. As far as he could remember, everything that he has done in life he has done whilst running, at a minimum – marching. Once he got into this place, the prisoner would walk intensively from one cell corner to another, but he has lost the reason. His journey had no more purpose. Like the Bird of Hermes preying on his own wings, he has lied idly being the main character of this uncanny charade.
– This place has ruined him, – stated a voice.
– It is a tragedy. He was quite beautiful.
– No, – a stamping down step opposed. – He deserves it. Now he will know what it means to be too obscure, too much of a half–truth. To be godly and at the same time human, all too human!
– What awaits him?
– Complete exhaustion.
– But, gentlemen, that is a complete waste.
– What are you speaking of?
– We can still save him. Save his godly side.
– What is in it for us?
– It will be very, very well, – someone guaranteed.
– It will be very, very ill, – another confidently assured.
– But what would we lose? All that we have acquired is merely a collection of objects that we will lose in the long run. A God would be quite nice. And especially, – hands stroking the prisoner’s shoulders and collarbones. – A God as beautiful as him.
They are everywhere; their hands are long. Grabbing the prisoner by his inexpressibly lengthy legs, the voices pulled him like a deer popped with gunfire that was once a noble and sublime lion. The deer’s coat was dragging across the floor and he knew that he was taken away from the cell, moreover, he had a suspicion as to why this was done, which is why the fresh air of freedom reached prisoner’s lungs in a slow, perhaps even delayed manner. Indeed, the prisoner’s skin became blue, but in this place there was no difference.
– What is this? – rang a soft voice as if a bell.
– A patient, – rushing voices. – We are in a hurry.
– Moment for registration, please!
Quite obviously, it was a nurse who has never had any affairs neither with humanity, nor with divinity. By all means, she was a woman, and the patient – divinely picturesque creature, even if he is being pulled by the voices, even if he is like a deaf pianist, a handless writer or even more, – a heartless human. Nurse’s menstruating heart:
– His name?
– Name, – soft, small hands, looking for traces of prisoner’s name in his face.
– Pardon? – Nurse’s irritated tone. - I cannot register by profession. In that case, there can be no medical inspection. I ask you to designate a name for our patient.
They gazed in a dissecting manner and truly, they have believed from all their hearts that a name will surely be buried in one’s body. But that was not true. Merely an illusion dedicated to the self-deception of an identity impotent. In all honesty, it is us who forge names into each other bodies.
– Demian the Demigod, – declared the voice of a nurse, or rather, God’s lawyer.
The prisoner awoke. He was in the waiting room. The voices were far away. They were carrying God’s lawyer while she was trying to register the patient with an awry hand. Before him was sitting a man, who, presumably, was waiting in the line, and at the same time he was monotonously telling no one the story of his wars.
– From the Viking Civil War until the Second World War, – he explained himself. – I participated in every war.
– That is an awfully large number of wars, – said Demian the Demigod. – Must have been stressful?
A smile cascading through the man’s face.
– That is why I always return here.
The demigod stood up and glanced at his christening party. They glared back in turn and from their looks it was clear that the inspection will begin now and here, in the waiting room. They were radiating with pure excitement, childish fear and the desire to touch the demigod: to dash through his thick eyelashes, to slide down by his straight, Roman nose, to seize him by his spine, and to brush away a fallen hair strand from his expressive eyes. It was excusable. After all, humanity has lost its God for a long time now. Of course, you cannot deny that they killed him themselves. But that God was human. They longed for a true divinity. A rigorous benefactor of humanity. Mephistothelean wish fulfiller. A slender child with a titan’s grasp.
– Tall human, – someone from the crowd asked in an unskilful manner. – Can you speak?
– Quite so, – replied the demigod.
– Demigod, we would like you to know our desires right from the beginning. We are scoundrels and we know it well. We did not allow you to exhaust yourself to death in the cell only because we seek for your divinity. Become our God. You are quite sublime, – modestly added the little humans that looked as if children in front of Demian; their hands were hidden in their backs, afraid of touching the resurrected lion. – If one would know God, would he decide to become his biggest friend or greatest enemy? We want to be friends, but first, - we need to rescue you from your own humanity.
– Rescue me! – Demian burst out in a heart–ripping, startling lament.
– We will conduct a questionnaire. It is a step towards salvation. First of all, are you responsible?
– No, – Demian answered straight away. – My only responsibility is me. I love myself. It is a shame that you do not value it.
– Oh, but we value it, we really do, – they assured and ticked something in their notes. – Well, with such looks, how can you not be a... narcissist. But you never lie, Demian, is that right?
– I always lie, – Demigod burst into laughter. – I lie even now.
– Do you not feel for us when we realize that we are being cheated on?
– No, – Demian’s dark eyes shrouded by a pair of archaic eyebrows looked weary. - Our types only cry from self–realisations. That time when the nurse christened me... What you gave to me...
– Definite superficial charm, grandeur worth of self, pathological lying, manipulation, coldness, lack of empathy, irresponsibility, – opaque from anger reads someone in the crowd, he is invisible, he does not exist. – Last question, demigod. Do you often feel bored?
– Oh, yes, – Demigod leaned head upon his arm; a smile went through his ideal face. – In all honesty, now I feel exalted. When you closed me into that hermitage, I felt more loved that ever before because I knew why you have done this: I was tragically graceful and I adored that your envy led you to such extremes, even if it meant my pain, or, perhaps – even death. It is a shame that such an entertainment never lasts long, especially for demigods like me. You know, I am thinking about leaving for a war... Like this kind gentleman. From the Viking Civil War until the Second World War, he participated in all of them.
Demian turned to the soldier, but the bench was empty.
– He will return.
It appears that such kind of an answer did not satisfy the little people. An upheaval commenced. They grasped to the demigod’s suit and tried to pull him down, but Demian only grinned with his hands in the pockets. A few of them perished under his luxurious, godland walking shoe. Somewhere far away there could be heard cannons and gunfire. “The war has started,” it has crossed through Demian’s mind and his concerned expression testified for innate fervor of war in the demigod’s heart. He raised one leg through the window. “Like heavy drops, falling one by one out of the dark cloud... My desire is an arrow of disruption.” When the second leg disappeared, and so did the blissfully war meeting head, God’s lawyer dropped her notes with names of patients and cried out with a heart piercing scream:
– Godly! All too godly!
Do confess, those who found him and decided to have him for yourselves. He will obliterate you, this environment is not for him. Tell him that we made a mistake. Demian was never too human, he was too godly. He is a demigod, and his humanity took presence in the most peculiar ways. Tell him that we miss him. And if only he will decide to return, we will once again close him.
In our hearts.