One of my very good friends is a writer - an exquisite one may I add - who just allowed me to read a piece of his work: Ghosts and Monsters. His name is Taran Wilmore and he might be, perhaps, the only author I know whose imagination is of astonishing capability, and who can ''travel'' you to the most breath-taking sets.
Taran is working on a novella that will definitely blow your mind away. But until then, I have decided to share with you a short piece he has written about the nature of heroism, the aforementioned: Ghosts and Monsters.
Ghosts and Monsters
By Taran Wilmore
They call us heroes. We leave as heroes, we fight as heroes, and, regardless of how much of us actually makes it back, we’ll return as heroes. Some of those will be lucky enough to have died as heroes; to be remembered as heroes. But for the rest of us, though we’ll live on, I guarantee there will be nothing heroic about it. We’re all just ghosts and monsters.
If there’s one thing I’ve settled on, it’s this - Heroes save: They do not kill. And that’s the great flaw, you see? They send us out here to be heroes, but what do we save? We just perpetuate more misery, more death and destruction. A hero would be lauded, but not us: We’re feared. And what sort of hero is it that spreads fear? What kind of saviour is that?
At best we are survivors, doing whatever is necessary to ensure the survival of ourselves and of those immediately around us. We kill so as not to be killed, and we kill those that would kill our kin so that those kin may in turn kill those who would kill us. We are here by some cruel mistake. We are here because we believed in something. We believed in an ideal, that of the hero. The man leaves, he fights, he overcomes, and the man returns a hero. In theory it holds water. But in practice? In practice it all dissolves in blood. We find ourselves killing to survive, but every kill takes a part of us too. We long for life, and yet we survive as ghosts. It’s a cruel parody: We are ghosts of the body, for we are barely there in soul.
But what of the worst us? Hah! At worst we are just murderers; base and despicable. We are those that take joy in the hunt and the kill, convincing others - convincing ourselves even - that it all serves some higher purpose. These people before us are people that deserve to die, and we are the ones to pass that holiest of judgments. In the foulest of ironies we sacrifice our own heroism in order to make heroes of others. And this thrills us. We long to cause death and so survive only as monsters. The body remains, but that which it contains is human no longer.
I’ve heard it said that death serves no purpose, but I know this to be false. A great man once said that the secret of evolution is time and death, and what greater purpose is there? My only hope now is that with enough time, and with enough death, none like us will remain. I dream that we will wipe out one another and leave only those we would otherwise have been harmed: That the world will one day be rid of its ghosts and of its monsters.
The tattoo sounds.
Perhaps, when that day comes we will be forgiven for our crimes. But for now: It’s time to play Heroes.