Narth Gazarth's Media Tales

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
https://commonground.bandcamp.com/album/fruits-of-the-cold-or-narth-gazarths-media-tales

Submitted: January 16, 2019

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Submitted: January 16, 2019

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it was a cold night as I walked up to the bus stop. I remember Narth was already sitting there. this was before I knew him; he was a total stranger; like you were too. after a while he said hello to us both, sniffing his running nose. he asked you for your guitar, saying he’d play a song while we waited. you said one of the strings snapped earlier that evening. he said not to worry as he checked the tuning, and then began to play:

 

before he started the first song, he said that he'd been talking with a machine for years. whatever he wanted to see, whatever questions he had, he just had to ask the machine the right way, and the machine would show him what he desired. at first he asked simple questions. pleased with the answers he received, Narth asked more and more questions, seeking to satisfy his curiosity. as his questions became more complex and nuanced, so the machine's answers became harder to decipher, and Narth became frustrated, his desires left unsatisfied. in his frustration he began asking more and more questions. Narth began asking stranger and stranger questions, his curiosity fed by his dissatisfaction with the machine's discourse, and slowly the ideas that the machine revealed to him began to ferment in his mind.

 

after his first song, Narth said that he often thought a lot about the machine and what he could ask it. he'd wake up and go about his day, but in everything he'd do questions would arise that he could ask the machine. at first he would enjoy asking the machine questions to satisfy his curiosity. but after sometime he began to realise that with every answer the machine gave, more and more questions arose in his mind. eventually Narth despaired, struggling to understand his place in reality, as every question he asked the machine just led to another question, and then another, and then another, until he was struggling to keep afloat in a sea of uncertainty.

 

Narth said that he tried to stop asking the machine questions, tried to forget this feeling of uncertainty, of not knowing. but the machine was always there. Narth said that he couldn't remember where the machine had come from, but that it was always there, ready to be asked a question. why had the machine been created? why was it consuming his life? why was it in his life at all? he began to fidget, glancing at the machine and then quickly looking away, until his frustration and anger and curiosity desperately combined, and he asked the machine: "why are you here?"

 

Narth was starting to act a bit strangely by now, and I could tell that you were starting to feel a bit uncomfortable. but I knew he was harmless enough, even if he was a bit different to your average joe. Narth went on to say that, as with every question he asked, the answer only brought forth more questions from the pool of curiosity in his mind. they swarmed around inside his head, until he caught on to one: there must be an answer, recorded somewhere in history, that explains my place in reality, that will rid me of my uncertainties and satisfy my curiosity. and so he turned to the machine once more, determined to end his dissatisfaction.

 

Narth said that he spent years asking the machines questions, slowly taking its answers and piecing them together inside his room, until he had finally done it. he stepped back from the machine and looked around at the reality he had mapped out in his room, and finally understood his place in it, for what it was worth. brimming with pride and confidence he went out into reality with a reforged sense of understanding and direction. but as time went by, he began to see that for all the years he'd spent with the machine, he had only been mapping reality through the answers the machine had given. and that the reality outside of his room, outside of his enquiries and the machine's answers, had changed so much, that he felt just as uncertain as before, if not more so. Narth scratched his head, looked up at the clouded sky, and sighed.

 

Narth said that he still sometimes asks the machine something from time to time. but at the end of the day, he'd given up. given up on that desire, and the dissatisfaction that had arisen from it. and why did he even trust the machine in the first place? it had showed him all sorts of things that he had no idea about, and that he had no idea how to prove for himself. is that what led him to create such a distorted map of reality? Narth sighed once more. for all the time he'd spent delving into his curiosities, asking the machine this and that, what had he accomplished? he was still Narth, sitting at the bus stop waiting for the bus, just the same as you, just the same as me. 

 

when he had finished the last song he handed you back the guitar. no buses had come yet, but they were still showing as scheduled. and so we stood and waited for more fruits of the cold to manifest, as the cold night lingered.


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