I have heard the tales of the Bone Collectors before, but I never thought that I myself would become one, much less become one for my own self.
I don’t remember much about “the incident”, where I became nothing more than a chopped-up pile of carnage, flesh and bones, and gooey bits spread out on the floor.
I have no recollection of how the flesh was stripped from my bones, but as I gather those same bones now, I can see the teeth marks of predators, knife scrapes, and even charred bits. Did he really actually try to burn me? What happened with that? I wonder.
There is no memory of arriving at this place. Some may call it a desert. Some may call it something else. I do not think this is Hell. Would the Masters of Hell allow you to collect yourself, piece by piece, taking up that tiger by the toe, knowing full well you mean to put yourself back together? I think not.
Perhaps this is what is left of Purgatory, as the Church did away with such a place years ago. I, like my grandmother, ponder the fate of all those unbaptized babies—where did they go, if they could not go to Heaven and they could not go to Hell, and Purgatory was denied them? Every Priest had his own answer, not all of which matched another’s.
Regardless, it is in this barren place I find what is left of my self now. I wander almost aimlessly, amidst many various bones. Not all of them are mine. I have to identify each one. I have put back together many a wolf, many a raven. I hadn’t realized that I was singing until the first Bird turned to thank me for his life back. How strange.
What am I to do, once I find each shard of bone and reconnect it to the bones that should surround it?
Will I then become whole, as have the birds and the beasts I create as I ponder? I don’t know.
Should I find myself intact once again, will I vanish from this place, to find myself again where that man lives and breathes? Should I enact some form of revenge? I don’t know.
There is much to think about as I dig through this desert made from disintegrating bones. What if I cannot find each fragment of myself? Will I be able to become whole again if there are tiny fragments caught outside my reach? I know plenty of fragmented people, back where I come from. They walk and talk and avert disaster every day of their lives. Are they each less a person for being unable to become whole? I am not sure.
All I do know right now is that I must complete this monumental task before me. One piece at a time. I can bear the heat. I can bear the wind. I fill the basket on my back, one piece at a time.
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