Rings of Ozwold

Rings of Ozwold

End of humanity, new beginnings.


Paranormal fiction / Magic realism


Patrick A Knight (United Kingdom)

Aghast, the discourse of this immeasurable disaster, one that no creature can witness, blasts across the World’s surfaces. This potent wash of unforgiving, beastly ash covers the once beautiful and biodiverse meadows with dissolving flakes of grey nothingness. Within the thick layers of ashy sediment, a golden foot of an infant child is thrust through the surface, and rests blindly. A God, that can only be the rebirth of itself. This barren wasteland has absorbed many a dead. In these begrime years, sapiens have lost the essence of time along with the presence of spirit, just the opposite of how life once began here. An ultimate full cycle has surpassed, and this Orb’s experiences where life has flourished, has succumbed to its inevitable demise. Earth, once adored, now crumbles across its remaining futile lands. The clouds are murky and sombre. Air thickens as cooling ash falls across the deserts. The concept of day and night have merged as one, and natural light only narrowly breaks through, on occasion. Explosions from the perpetual eruptions shake the ground and with awe, cast violent irregular cinders of molten rock over the mountainous terrain that momentarily light up the sky, evilly. There are no animals here, there have been none for centuries. Man has brought the World to its end. Rebirth awaits time, as the patience of living rests within the weak.

Arisen in a mountain passage, the last remaining human survivors have climbed high above
the rising oceans as the water has swallowed all land that sits below seven thousand metres. The species has no bearings or shelter. They carry the last of cans of sustenance that they have scavenged, and water is only available within caves. Hope to live; the genesis of a lifeforms past and future growth that flows through its blood. No more than two-hundred and fifty primates stand naked, weak and speechless awaiting their short lives’ imminent termination. Stragglers and believers who feel no need to prolong their deaths, topple themselves over the sides of these steep inclines. They fall effortlessly through the lower ash cloud to their smashing deaths. A strong wind pushes the living up the passage and leads them to a levelling off, a valley. Each side shows no end to its height, neither does the valleys length as the cloud flows fast through this land canal. Such blackened and smouldered marsh would seem untraversable without the irreversible occurrences, that have led these souls to see.

The new-born rests many horizons beyond the human awareness. Oz rests in peace as it opens
an eye, simultaneously unleashing an uncontrollable landslide from the high walls of the valley. It disposes all, but ten of the last remaining animals alive. The child senses’ an experience of life as its benign presence uncovers a small black hole in the steep side of the precipice. Desperately, they wander over and crawl within a path of silent darkness. Only a hand full of metres within, and they drop into a circular void. Inconsistent beads of dew calmingly treacle from the walls of the cave and accumulate. Merging around a puddle of water, they hydrate themselves. Solemnly motionless, they await their eternal rest.

Understanding their own lives is a dream faraway and long ago. The survivors have lost their will to communicate, even to weep. Everyone they have ever known is now a mere smudge of matter. Inconsolably angst and despair, retains the passion of speech. The golden foot wavers in the boggy air lost within its own world of vision, when multiple shots of wandering stars puff through the clouds and crash into lands and oceans, unhinging more seismic shifts. All ground is fired again. Humans lie trembling, protected within stone, like a submarine on a seafloor, whilst hearing the rattling blasts. The golden infant opens its other eye, thrusting itself up high into the murky air, throwing each arm outwards horizontally, cementing both deadened eyes into the dark hole where the sapiens shiver, casting a golden beam of light upon them. Simultaneously, they feel the warming light touch and rejuvenate them. They stand in awe and begin their rebirth. A beautiful, internal presence relinquishes their fears of dying. The baby embodies an individual white, shining vision, it is their first memory of their own infant selves and now appears fate-less, at the entrance of the narrow cave. Tranced altogether, they serenely vocalise “Time - Is - Now”. Awash with golden efflorescence, they evaporate thinly into their own glorious dusts and begin to circulate the planet in consistent rings, spacing their lines equally apart, portraying to the cosmos this Worlds posthumous past, awaiting its natural cycles return.

Competition: Friendly feedback, Round 1



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