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Chained

Spirit Unbound

By C. Rommial ButlerPublished about a month ago 2 min read
Thomas Cole, "Prometheus Bound"

Chained to the rock atop the mountain, he watches the sun set again, another day in a numberless eternity, staring straight into it, willing himself to see only the white brilliance of sunspot blindness.

He feels the eagle land on his left thigh.

Hello, old friend! he jovially mutters, and tastes the salt of his own sweat in his mouth, burning his parched throat so that his next words come out a raspy croak: Dig in! The liver is fresh, a fit meal for a regal eagle!

The eagle turns its head sideways as if to inquire. Not that it cares or is ever curious about anything, but the other who looks through the eagle's eyes must wonder: What is the trickster up to? How can he be so sure of himself, so unperturbed by his own torment?

The eagle's curious regard ends with one quick darting plunge of its beak into the titan's side. Blood fountains into the crisp air as the sun slips completely into darkness, beneath the horizon. The raptor pulls its gore-spattered face free with a long string of livermeat... stretching, stretching, stretching... stretching as the titan laughs--laughs!--rather than screams, and the string breaks, and the eagle cocks back its head and slurps it in. The titan laughs and laughs and laughs as the eagle dives deeper for another tender morsel.

Tears spill from the titan's eyes but he laughs, screams to the sky above:

WHAT DOES IT PROFIT A MAN TO GAIN THE WORLD BUT LOSE HIS SOUL?

The eagle, oblivous in the intensity of its bloodlust, does not sense its master's anger, but the titan on the rock can read it in the darkness of the gathering clouds, in the prickly dance of electric current consolidating, concentrating, falling, crashing--

CRACK! BOOM!

The eagle jumps back with a final string of tender innard glistening in the burst and crash of lightning, thrilling the titan through with laughter even bolder and greater than before, and he laughs and laughs in so bold a manner that it could be the uncontrollable weeping of a thousand simultaneous ecstasies as he sizzles and burns on the rock, feeling the red hot shackles sear his wrists and ankles, feeling, feeling, feeling, always feeling and everknowing, Prometheus bound screams to the King of the Gods:

SORROW IS JOY! I MADE PEACE! MANKIND IS SAVED!

***** * *****

Billy awakens, gasping for breath. Every night, he feels the thunderbolt... hears the mad titan's defiance. Of course, he knows the story. Not just because he's an avid reader, but because he lives it every day. Clock says: 3:00. He turns over to go back to sleep. He must get up for work in two hours.

He smiles.

A beautiful sunrise awaits.

************

"The gods envy us. They envy us because we are mortal, because any moment may be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we are doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again." -Homer, The Iliad

"This moment is our entire life":

Short StoryFable

About the Creator

C. Rommial Butler

C. Rommial Butler is a writer, musician and philosopher from Indianapolis, IN. His works can be found online through multiple streaming services and booksellers.

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Comments (6)

  • Cindy Calder29 days ago

    I felt this tale deep in my core. Your use of words and the imagery they create is truly amazing. I look forward to reading more.

  • L.C. Schäferabout a month ago

    Gorgeously visceral! I could SEE that bird gobbling back that bit of liver 😁

  • Anu Mehjabinabout a month ago

    I enjoyed your story!

  • Hannah Mooreabout a month ago

    This chap seems to have cracked it somehow, the meaning of life.

  • Rachel Deemingabout a month ago

    There has to be acceptance in the knowledge that pain is coming, especially if it's been experienced over and over. Well-wrought. I have a clear picture of this in my mind. Your use of repetition in this was excellent. I won't be joining Dharrsheena on the eagle. Liver? Not my thing. And that quote from Homer. So much validity to that. If life wasn't so fleeting, there'd be no conflict or striving and where's the fun in that?

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Hehehehehehhe you know what? I wish I was the eagle. Such yummy flesh 😋😋😋😋😋 Loved your story!

C. Rommial ButlerWritten by C. Rommial Butler

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