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Dominance is a dangerous thing. The need for control can overwhelm us all. In certain times of crisis we find ourselves wondering about these sorts of things, at least I know I do. As I froze in the center of a city once called Italica, I surely found myself wondering what dominance really is, and what it makes people do.
On the last day of the raining season, the citizens of Italica were all being haunted by the rumors of savage “Barbarians” that had swept over most of the land that surrounded us. The rumors were basically that these “Barbarians”, as people called them, were destroying towns and raiding them of all of their goods, before setting them on fire. But that wasn’t even the worst part. The story usually ended with the barbarians capturing ten of their victims before sacrificing them to their gods. I thought of all of this as just simply rumors, or at least I did before that fateful evening.
The evening of the seasonal change was a particularly warm one, given the fact that it had been very chilly the past few weeks. As I stepped outside of the tavern, I let the warmth of the setting sun relax me as I closed my eyes. I thought about my loneliness and the absence of a family. For some, loneliness is preferable. But for others, it can drive them mad. For me, it was neither. Loneliness can provide a sense of comfort since there is no one to impress except yourself, but it can also be created due to fear. Some are afraid of companionship, and push away the people that love them the most. As I opened my eyes, I saw a faint flare upon the horizon. I gazed at the open field that lied just beyond the edge of our town. I looked harder. It almost looked as if there were people.
I turned around only to find that the open sign that rested upon the gray wooden door of Joe’s tavern had been switched to “closed”. I twisted the knob, but it simply wouldn’t budge. I turned back around and fixed my eyes on the distant sparkle of light. It was much closer now and I could definitely make out people… a lot of them. They were about five hundred yards away and they charged the village with blazing torches in their hands. I pounded on the door and cried,
“Joe! Let me in!”
Repetitively, I banged on the door screaming until it finally opened. I rushed inside and shut the door behind me instantaneously. I stared into the confused faces of Joe and his employees
“Quick, cover up the door with all the furniture!” I cried
“Whoa now, what’s going on?” asked Joe
“I don’t know. I think… well, I think the rumors are true. I think Barbarians are here. Here in our town.”
With that they all just began to laugh. My fists clenched. I became inundated with frustration.
“Look, is there a back door out of this place?”
I didn’t even let Joe answer. As I was talking, I was examining the whole bottom floor and found what I was looking for. Behind the counter was a door. I remembered how the employees had come in for work through that door in the past. I broke for the door that seemed miles and miles away. As I rushed through door I heard a crash, then a yell, and finally a scream. Without looking back I ran. I rushed through the entire city without looking back. As I darted through the market district I saw no one. The place seemed deserted. I heard lots of shouts of anger behind me and the crackling sound of fire. I will never forget the way the shadows rose up on the buildings that stood before me. Stabbing, beating, and choking were acts of punishments in which there was no crime.
As I ran through the neighborhoods, I saw both adults and children running around in panic and screaming. I could feel the horrific heat take hold of my body. I didn’t bother to stop at my house for I knew the fate that lied in store for me if I did. I just kept on running. The sound of my rushing footsteps was almost silent among the shouts and cries of both Barbarians and civilians.
The exit of Italica grew closer and closer with every waking moment. I was completely out of breath but I didn’t dare slow down. The feelings that swept over me as I passed the exit of Italica were almost impossible to describe. There was a sense of relief, but also sorrow at the same time, for I knew the fate of the many that I had grown to love. It was almost as if I was reaching a check point in a journey still far from a conclusion. It was almost as if at that exact moment, I was starting over.
I began to slow down and eventually stopped a couple hundred yards past the city. I turned around as my legs gave out from beneath me. I was appalled by the sight that stood before me. Dread swept throughout my quivering body. I was but a lonely sole, lost among a land of hatred and fear. Smoke rose extremely high in the night sky that was ever so full of stars. I could still hear the distant screams of humanity failing once more. Thunder began to roll fiercely. I looked up at the sky and saw thick gray clouds pass overhead. Rain began to pour down on the flaming land. I stood up, and took one final glance at a city once named Italica. As I turned around I felt one dramatic tear fall slowly across the bottom of my nose before washed off the bottom of my chin.
Exactly one year has passed since that fateful evening. I still don’t know what happened to Joe and his friends but some things are better left unknown. I have now returned to the city that shaped me and so many others, but the others had not the time to see their shapes develop. Dominance is a dangerous thing. The need for control can overwhelm us all. In certain times of crisis we find ourselves wondering about these sorts of things, at least I know I do. I still wonder about the hatred that brought not the Barbarians to do what they did, but the human beings.
The definition of Barbarians is uncivilized human beings. I think they are human beings that feel they have a purpose and will do anything for one. That’s where dominance plays in. They want to feel important; they want to create their own path, not let their paths be given to them. By now, I’m sure you’re wondering what my name is. My name… well my name is Destiny.
North Vancouver, Other
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