Stargazer by BloodySpaghetti
Writers Note: The following pasta is based on the song "Stargazer" by the legendery band Rainbow, and it is written as some kind of thank you and sign of admiration to the late and great Ronnie James Dio for creating all the amazing music he had created and for inspiring so many peoople.
High noon, the sun is scorching the golden sand we stand upon. May the gods forgive my blasphemous mouth, right now I’m ready to sell my soul to any and every buyer who would offer a bit of water in exchange. It took nine years of my life to finish this thing; I don’t even know how many years some of the elders here lost to the mad dream of the Mage. Now his body covers the eye of Ra. I can see him glide through the sky, why, oh why is he lighter than the air itself.
I can see the look on his face – sheer terror shines in his eyes.
The great mage, Eppa, he is second to none but his holiness the king himself, neither in political power nor in personal power. Eppa’s power is so great he could regenerate lost limps, control corpses and the weather itself. There is, however, one thing he could not do and that is to fly. His inability to reach the stars made him obsessed with them, and so he began studying them, he began devising plans to reach them. This led him to the conclusion that he needed to build a tower high enough to reach the top of the sky, to reach the gods themselves if he had to.
In order to build such a tower, Eppa needed a vast army of workers and so he enslaved a vast majority of the kingdoms population with permission of the king. He had forced them to work on the construction of his tower by reanimating the bodies of the dead and turning them into his soldiers, he had embodied them with the ability to create magical whips and chains to control the slave masses, everyone thought the gods would surely punish him for such actions – but nothing came of it.
Eppa would kidnap young children from their parents, raise them until they were two decades old, and fit to construct his tower, such is my tale. I have seen those who are really old working on the construction of this wretched tower, while Eppa himself seems rather young in appearance one may only guess how is this possible, perhaps due to sorcery.
We kept working no matter how harsh the conditions had gotten, in the heat and in the rain, during the day and during the night, even during the sandstorms unleashed by the wrath of Seth himself. Nothing came between Eppa and his will to fly, not even the constant dying of men in his slave army. People would simply fall down on the ground, and lay there motionless from time to time. That had become commonplace around here. People would mostly die from exhaustion while there were also those who died from the abuse we suffered at the hands of the walking dead soldiers who serve Eppa as his enforcers. The lucky ones, these would die in the sandstorms. Perhaps, even Seth had managed to muster some mercy for my kind and sent those sandstorms to end their misery.
The mage with the mad dream would not even honor those who die beneath him; he simply had us implant their dead shells into the walls of his tower to reinforce it further. After inserting a certain amount people who were in charge of placing such dead into the tower’s walls began to fall sick themselves and ended up dying as well, not even that managed force the mage to stop the construction of his tower, for all he had cared; he just got more reinforcement material for the walls of his masterpiece.
I do not know why, but no one had ever tried to rebel against Eppa, I suppose he managed to steal our will with his sorcery. None of this matters,
as the tower is completed and all eyes are set on the mighty mage whom mere moments ago was climbing the steps to the top of the world and now is falling like a rock to sand that lies beneath our feet. The world had gone silent, and so did the great mage. As Eppa falls instead of rising, I scream internally “Where are your stars? Are they far, mage? Are they far?”
The world’s silence is broken by a loud thud once the body of the mage hits the sand, he lays there
motionless as blood stains the sands underneath him. All eyes are set on his unmoving body and more thuds soon follow – the mages walking dead army starts to crumble, devoid of the magic that gave it life. Roars of freedom wash through the crowds of slaves who once again are becoming free men.
Suddenly the noise stops as all eyes are set once again, upon the mage who opens his eyes, shocked look on his face, he tries to utter something but his body gives out, the great mage Eppa had finally died.
The crowd roars once more, drenched in their newfound sense of freedom. I pick up the mage’s staff and snap it in half, prompting the masses to roar even louder.
The cheerful cries go on for a while and start to slowly fade away.
The former slave army falls silent.
This silence is a painful one, not because we mourn the death of the mage, it’s a painful one because we begin to question our meaning in life.
We have nothing but this tower; we had nothing but this tower, nothing but the tower and this dead sorcerer! Doubt begins to crawl into our hearts, freedom is not for us, we are slaves, human cattle to be used by our master, but now we have none.
Where do we go now? Where do we leave? What do we do now? We are but sheep without a shepherd.
As renewed cries of misery spread to the crowd once more I begin to notice the clouds that had gathered above us, the gods, they’re blessing us with rain!
My eyes are bleeding tears of joy, my heart is leaving here, I’m going home, I’m going home.
Moments into my joyful whaling, I realize something; I am but a sheep without a grazing field, without a shepherd and without a flock as the grim aspect of freedom suddenly invades my heart, drowning me in unimaginable sorrow, I stare once more into the decomposing rot of a corpse that once the great and masterful mage. Time had caught up to him once his magic wore off, he’s nothing but a pile of flesh and bone while I’m a man going home, but where’s my home… I painfully wonder where is my home?