All Was Golden

I own nothing except John Preston's immortal soul. I'm selling pieces of it for $20.00 a slice; for ordering information, contact me at 555-0601. Fear my almost insane over-use of personification.

He had learned somewhere, in his past made hazy and yet utterly clear by Prozium, that offenders had once considered the element 'Au' extremely valuable. These crazed, feeling people would die for it, kill for it, live for it, and yet it had no purpose. It could not be consumed, had no medicinal properties, was not useful for the making of tools, and was necessary in no way to their life processes. It was extraneous, superfluous, yet they had founded whole civilizations on it. At the time he had found it ironic, though not amusing, that such a volatile society should prize such a nonreactive substance so highly. He had also felt a numb contentment, satisfaction that humanity was so far from that now. Above it. Beyond it.

He was a fool.

He remembered how shocking it had been, because whatever else Tetragrammaton was, hypocritical / totalitarian / evil, it should at least be original. It should have been a new kind of monster for an old century of humans, mindless by accident, choice, and design. Rather it was a very old wolf in a young sheep's clothing. A police state, like Germany of old, a land of purges, like the USSR, a land of propaganda, like the once-termed 'United States' of America, and a land founded on the glitter of gold.

John Preston stared down at the tiny golden capsule in his hand. It glinted hypnotically, urging him to give up this quest for chaos and follow his brothers. His cold, content brothers with gold in their veins, ice in their eyes, and stone in their hearts. It shimmered, shivered in the changing light, wriggled like it was alive and at the same time lay motionless in his palm. It was a contradiction, an object professing life and lying badly, but for a moment he was almost convinced it had moved a fraction of a centimeter.

'Existence is the reason for existing,' it seemed to whisper imploringly. 'Do not question. Do not discern, detect, perceive. Only have faith in me. I know best. I am your Father.' Another glint as he rolled it between his fingers. 'Have faith.'

Every motion deliberate, John dropped the capsule to the cement and ground the glass to powder. Golden droplets shone up at him, winking like beseeching eyes. 'Come back. I am your Father. I am your god!'

"God is dead," John whispered. "We killed him as surely as we killed ourselves." He turned his back and strode purposefully into the night. Behind him, Prozium seeped into the cracks of the cement. Glittering in the setting sun, the fluid stabbed weakly at the sky with it's artificial reflection of the sunlight.

Across the horizon, all was golden.