The Forgotten Ones

I’m the worst with doing projects ūüė¶ I am working on my novella, this idea just started burning in my head, and I thought I may as well get it down. I don’t normally do third person omniscient, so this is an interesting bit of practice.

They lie beneath a blanket of stone but do not sleep. They watch. They feel. They listen. And they hate.

Their eyes cannot see through the layers of rock that make their tomb.  They do not need to see. Every step on the earth on their backs, every root that winds through their soil, every pulse of water above them, they feel. It rattles through the dirt and rock above them and rings in their heads.

Molten rock begins to run through their bodies like blood. Their own forms boil and melt within, thin trickles turning to raging rivers. Heat seeps through their still and lifeless bodies. A leg or a tail twitches, new energy coursing through it. Above, the ground shakes and twists. They feel the living above stumble and fall, bringing a new cacophony. The magma in them grows only hotter and hotter. Their carved eyes crack and split, molten rock pouring through like tears.

The one buried at the bottom of the ocean stirs first. It feels every drop of water displaced by the creatures above. Its clawed hand, one of many, flexes closed. With a shudder, a new crack breaks open in its form, a long line along its back. Searing hot rock sprays from its new wound, burning the silt above. It groans and pushes its head. Tons of silt and mud fight its strength, but nothing can win. The ground above shakes and shudders. It pushes with its arms and legs now, forcing its bulk through the mud that drowned it. Frigid ocean water pours through a new gap, drenching its head and cooling its molten tears. The magma turns to stone along its cheeks, its cracked eyes plugged with new flesh. Its head breaks free from its prison, churning the salty water into froth. It cracks its jaw open, its teeth scraping against each other with a loud splintering. From the depths of its body, molten rock and minerals pour. The magma drifts through the boiling ocean for a time, before it hardens and falls to the torn depths. But the clouds of salt and metal that billow from its mouth do not harden and fall. They spread through the ocean, drifting aimlessly through the broken sea, to catch in the gills and lungs of its pets. Every step the creature takes shakes the earth, every massive hand or foot it frees from the silt. Before long, all of it is free from the mud that once swallowed its flesh. It turns its gaze upwards. Light that filters through the water burns its newly sealed eyes. It should not be able to swim, with its weight. But the boiling rock in its body gives it a new strength. It pushes up from the ocean floor and rises.

The ocean was the first to break, but the land followed shortly after. One lay buried underneath a mountain, a pillar of stone and dust to mark its grave. It feels the tremors of its sibling waking. They splinter new cracks in its form, more molten rock bubbling and pouring forth. Its back arches. The mountain that stands on its body cracks and crumbles, rock and snow falling like rain. It pushes against the weight, and feels the mountain fall away. It rises from the dust and ash, towering on two cracked and gnarled legs. It stands taller than the mountain ever did. Its eyes, still spewing magma, scan the horizon. Life, both wild and cultivated, dominate the landscape. In the distance, the concrete monuments of a city stand. It takes a step towards the human city, more fractures in its flesh opening. From its wounds molten blood and salt pour. The magma rolls over the landscape, drowning the living in flaming death. The salt seeps into the roiling earth, sinking deep and poisoning the seeds and roots of the forest. Each step that it takes cracks the ground. Valleys split open with splintering crashes, the earth itself screaming for forgiveness. It does not feel mercy. It feels heat and anger. As it approaches, the city roils and shakes. The humans that built it are nothing but specks to it. Some are running aimlessly through the concrete maze, as their spires and buildings crash around them. Others prostrate themselves before it, begging in tongues it has never heard. All are crushed beneath its tread, or swallowed in its boiling blood.

Now, it feels all its siblings. Twenty lay dormant, and now twenty shake the land. They walk in time, their ancient feet sculpting the earth into something new. Rifts and valleys tear themselves through their wake, mountains shifting and rising from nothing, and old ones crumbling to dust. For once, the living fight back. The one that lay under the mountain sees a swarm approaching it. They fire sheets of lead, yelling and screaming above the din of their weapons. The lead buries itself in its stone skin, so shallow it cannot break the crust. It feels a new surge of heat in its body. It raises one of many fists, slowly curling its clawed fingers shut. Clouds of dust and soot fall, new cracks split along its flesh. With a deafening crack, it punches the concrete ground. A new shock wave tears through them. The ground splits at its will, consuming the humans who dared stand upon it. It draws itself back up, new rivers of magma pouring down its skin. It watches them fall into the chasm. And it keeps walking through the ruin of the city. In time with its nineteen siblings across the globe.

They steal what they lack, but they cannot take it. They steal the breath of the living, their heartbeats, their words, their screams. But no lungs heave in their chests, no hearts drum boiling magma through their bodies, and the only noise that come from their jaws are slow groans.  They crush the living beneath their tread. Their only goal is to be alone once more. They were the first, and they wish to be the last. They sculpted the land with their claws and teeth, carving the still earth in their image. Their strength failed, and they rested. But they did not sleep. They felt the living crawl on their world that they created. And they raged. It was countless aeons ago, when they first raged. This rage is the fifth. But it will not be the last. Despite their efforts, life clings to the fringes. Plants still draw their roots in the soil that they cultivated. Animals and humans huddle in caves, praying for salvation.

They know they have failed once more. They still strive to do their task. But the magma that runs through them begins to cool. Their strength begins to sap. Their stony bodies no longer move and bend at their will, becoming nothing more than the rock that they walk upon. The one that lay trapped in the ocean can no longer keep its bulk above the water, and sinks into the darkness and mud. The ones on land stiffen. Their joints refuse to move. They fall onto the churned ground with a sickening crash. They make themselves their tombs. Their eyes no longer weep molten rock, and instead watch as the earth’s embrace slowly swallows them. Again.

They are forgotten, again. Life returns, battered but not beaten. The truth becomes stories, stories become legend, legend becomes myth, and myths are forgotten.

And the forgotten will be remembered, some other day. Maybe they will succeed, some other day. Only then, will they be truly forgotten.

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