There it once stood, on the top of a dark damp heath; it had been black from fire damage and grey with age. Its very nature and structure imposing over the village in the valley below like a mountain, casting a shadow over them. Its thick dank shadow filled with all who viewed it with fear or dread. In those days when it stood over them with its mountainous rage there was suppression. Nothing grew, nothing thrived, nothing of love survived. Hatred and loathing seeped from its brickwork, nothing was happy and joy was unknown. But that was nothing compared to the man who lived inside.
Once there was a happy man, a smiling man full of kindness and compassion. From a young boy he saw the goodness in people, as he grew he cherished the village he would one day be responsible for. Charity was common from his home if the harvest had not produced enough, he would open his kitchens on a Sunday to ration what he could to those who needed it more. A fine young man he was and eligible too. Came his twenty first year he embarked on a quest to become his own man, to remove himself from his father’s shadow.
He ventured far from home, over other valleys and met many men who counselled him on his way. He made his fortune and gave most of it away to the trampers he met in each town. On his way back home, the last town before home, he met a child. A poor peevish child who anyone else could have easily dismissed and been on his way; but this child he saw to hold promise. The boy was orphaned, barely six years old, no great skill for work and living on the streets. The boy avoided the pimps and braggers and would not steal to feed himself, but he was cruel to those who tried to help him. The happy man watched the boys game and come his last day he approached the child and scolded him. Seeing that the happy man was not like the others, not simpering or petting him, the boy respected him. The man took him home to be educated.
Alas all the happy man’s intentions fell foul, on deaf ears and an ungrateful heart. The boy took his lessons but would not be touched, he learnt a trade but would not share, he took what was offered but gave nothing in return. The boy grew and the more he matured the greedier he became. The once happy man despaired, ran himself fraught with how he could change the child, improve him and break through the hardy wall to allow the kindness he saw beneath to flourish. But he could not and the happy man grew sorrowful.
With his sorrow the great house grew dim, villagers were no longer personally greeted on a Sunday and he kept to his room. The boy blasphemed at the villagers, he turned them away with spite and laughed at their poverty. He roamed the halls and rooms surveying all the glorious objects willing them into his fortune. Until one night the boy woke pitying the unhappy man; he crept outside his room and sparked a fire and watched. The unhappy man woke from the smoke and broke through his door, confronted by the small boy standing before him looking unfeeling towards him. As the man move towards him the small boy fell through the floor the fire had made weak and died.
What remained of the house was repaired, but the east wing stood part demolished forever more. The unhappy man could no longer find joy, happiness, kindness or charity for any one. He was haunted each and every day by the ghost of the small boy, standing motionless staring at the unhappy man. Over fifteen years that man grew coarse and unflattering to any who met him. His home embodied his rage for not saving the boy, his sorrow for the boys death, his depression for not being able to care anymore, his loneliness and fear of the world beyond his walls. As his feeling grew to what felt like a mountain, his home grew as a mountain over that village until the day a flood came.
The flood which drowned the villagers out of their homes and in to his, the flood that drowned him when he went out to save a child trapped in a tree. That child survived as he sank to the bottom of the valley and the in his memory the villagers pulled down his old broken home to let the sun dry out their land and rebuild their village in his name.
This post inspired by Daily Post: Mountain