The Monk and the Forest (Part IV)

‘How could it all have come to this? Nothing makes sense.’

The Monk puzzles in cold sweat about the nature of his current predicament. He quietly resents the repressed existence he lived once, and curses his monastery for putting him in this position.

They cast me out, he thinks to himself.

They left me to risk my life for something that wasn’t something I ever wanted in the first place.

They never really cared about me. All they cared about was using me; I was just a tool for their means. For them to live a comfortable, luxurious life, while I’m here left to suffer and wither away.

I slaved and slaved, hours of physical and mental torture for this religion, for this tyrant, for this thing that I can’t even see, hear or touch.

And yet I was asked to believe fully in this thing without a shadow of a doubt. I was stupid enough to follow along and listen to them all. How could I have been so stupid to fall for it? It’s so clear now that this is just a big scam, just a big lie. I’m the latest fool.

Now look at me. I’m lost in a forest, I can’t see a dam thing, and there’s also a tiger somewhere here ready to pounce and tear me apart.

I can’t feel the deity that I devoted the last 3 decades of my life to, whom I got every last bit of support for to worship, yet now I can feel the hunger that lingers on the breath of a large cat that I share the same air with; the same tiger that probably desires to tear my flesh apart and feast on me, but all the support I have in this moment is this damn book and these useless beads.

The Monk tries to move, but he’s paralyzed by fear. He’s become the ultimate frozen rabbit – ideal prey for a hungry large feline.

Twigs snap around him, and he mentally maps the approximate location of the big cat that paces. The Monk can’t see a thing, but he knows dam well that the tiger sees him clearly. By his estimation the large cat is eyeing him out, picking the best time and angle to strike.

“Where’s your God now?” the Monk hears a distorted voice sneer. He shakes his head, almost as if to toss the thought physically from his head.

So this is what it’s come down to, he thinks to himself. My reaper is here to greet me in the form that he decided was most appropriate: getting mauled to death by a tiger and waiting for that fatal, final bite which will exhume my soul from this existence. I always thought it would end differently. I thought I would somehow die…normally.

‘I can’t believe this is it. I’ve been a good person, I did nothing wrong, yet I’m destined to die like this? No. I can’t believe this. I refuse to believe it.’

He feels the fractures in his soul starting to turn into rifts, and the rifts creating giant chasms in his psyche. ‘Shut up’, he says to himself.

‘It doesn’t matter how good of a person you are; you’re liable to die like the rest of them. No matter what life you lived, you always have a chance of dying any number of ways. There’s no shielding from that. No matter how many riches you amassed in your life – spiritual or otherwise – your grave is the same size as everybody else’.

He feels for the tome and gets it out, hoping it will yield some answer.

Nothing. Sweating, he frantically searches for some sign or signal that will alleviate some of this suffering; some answer that will make the chaos go away.

‘Something. Anything. Please!’ he whispers as he closes his eyes. He keeps looking through the pages, nothing is bleeding through.

He growls. For the first time in years, his temper is starting to flare.

“Why won’t you help me when I really need it! If you won’t help me then no one will”.

He casts the tome away with a thud, and stands poised to face the tiger, wherever it is.

“If I’m going to die then I’m bloody well going to make sure that it’s not going to be easy for you”.

He takes his stance and lets out a deep growl.

In the distance, the tome starts to glow.




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