So Careful Now

I am the Arrow and I have been put into motion by the Archer, whose sole purpose is to be my scribe as I whisper him the stories of Alexandria. Many pages has he written already, as I have travelled through time and space and have had many forms.

I once was Alexander the Great, founder of the city.
I once was the Pharos of Alexandria, wonder of the Ancient World.
I once was the Septuagint, translation of the Hebrew Bible.
I once was the Ancient Library of Alexandria, centre of knowledge.

Once, Alexandria had been the greatest city on the whole flat Earth. It was Greek, Jewish, Egyptian and a beacon of light for humankind. But those days are long gone and my city went into decay. As I saw its Ancient magnificence would never return, I became dispirited and gradually disconnected from Alexandria. My scribe his writing became less frantic and his hand would relax as I found no more stories I wanted to whisper to him. Over time, I lost all sense of purpose and floated farther away, further unhappy. My scribe would have died and I would have disintegrated, if not for that one small town I had been floating over. Passendale, of all places, is a small Belgian town that I overheard was famous for its cheese and the first World War. The town housed a twenty-one-year old student that would be travelling to Alexandria in less than a week. My spirit fire rekindled as I noticed he had never seen Alexandria before. I would see the city with fresh eyes! I would experience everything as if I had never been there before! I had lost touch with the city, so who knows what had changed? The decision was made quickly and easily, but I knew the student was a lesser person and although I had lost much of my power, I would still be strong enough to damage himI would not have cared for his life if I had not felt this to be my last chance in returning where I belonged. So Careful Now. 

I am the Ancient Library of Alexandria and I stand on magnificent fire. I roar with emotions as the fume of crisp leaves fills the air with knowledge and wisdom. Men die, women cry, and while fire licks my foundations, water licks my anger as people try to douse me with petty buckets of water. Leave me be, and save the books, the books! Leave me be, and save the ideas, the ideas of your brightest minds! But it is too late, the brave hearts that try, die of my fume. Others are already at a distance, admiring my grand death. I gradually lose memory and conscience as more and more books burn. Gone are my precariously built visions of  past and future, of civilizations and people, of religion and symbols, of… of so much more… I want to grasp on to everything I am losing, but what am I to try? Everything is so confusing, let me crumble and die.

It had not been a nightmare, but more a disturbing dream that woke me up, although I could not recollect what it had been about. Books and fire or something, whatever. I turned around and sighed as my alarm clock displayed 03:21. I usually never wake up in the middle of the night, yet now I seemed wide awake. I flicked on my bedside lamp and squeezed my eyes to sharpen my otherwise blurry eyesight. Of course nothing had changed in my room, what was I even worrying about? Laptop, medicine ball I use as a chair, closed door, chair, closets, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, le città invisibili, a few sprinting medals, childhood teddy bear. Although I still had a feeling of uneasiness, I switched off the light and tried to regain sleep, comforting myself that everything was safe. None the less, I tucked my bare leg under the blanket.



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