The Carpenter sits in the middle of the clearing. It is an important space this naked ground. It is where he will build his last project, the end to his purpose and life. In the place absent of trees and surrounded by them, he will carve a place to contemplate.
Being created for one task takes away a great deal of ones humanity. At this stage of his task he was happy to forfeit it. He was conflicted in his duty, he wasn’t born that way. The conflict developed as his project moved on. The darkness allowed him to see the illumination. The terror of humanity was stark against the wonder of it.
What would you do if you were told that your purpose in life was predestined? That your sole task was judgement and damnation. Your decision could cost the deaths of billions of people. Would you not also seek out the isolation of the clearing?
The Carpenter with the emerging sun now at his favour walked around the parameter of the clearing. The design of the cabin firm in mind. He takes a stake and drives it into the ground, it is the first corner of the cabin. The cabin will be a place of decision and quiet.
The clearing had been a project that commenced many years before. First he fell the trees by hand, a task like most others he did alone. Then the trees should cure, the long structures so still yet full of life. The curing was slow, allowing the life to escape so he was left with the stability of death. Then he milled the trees so they lost their organic shape and took on the practical nature of boards.
To do this by hand allowed for the passage of time. Time which he used to relive the seven people who represented humanity. The people who he needed to judge humanity on. They were not his choice, They chose them. He relieved their lives and their deaths. Seven human creatures that lost their ability to grow like the trees once did.
The Carpenter drove the second spike into the ground and had the length of the cabin. It wasn’t procrastination that made him do all this by hand. The Carpenter longed for the decision, to be rid of the weight. He took the time for respect of the decision. To be rid of it was his dream, for when the decision was done he could rest.
The weight it put on him was crushing. In his youth this terrible burden was not known to him. They allowed him to grow and create ties, to have human relationships. To grow an attachment with a people that he would one day be forced to judge.
They with their impartial nature forgot what it was like to have connections. They long ago adopted pure logic, now they could conceive of nothing else. They thought nothing wrong of allowing him to become close to those he would judge. The Carpenter needed the closeness of humans to grow, to develop to a point that they could confide in him.
They did understand that allowing his development to be amongst those he would judge could harm. He couldn’t grow among Them, they long ago lost the ability to nurture. They allowed him to be apart of them and decide whether they should exist.
This was the reason the clearing sat so far from civilisation. The Carpenter created it to have no paths in or out. To make it as difficult as possible for that connection to further destroy him. The isolation was a necessity. If he would judge them, he would need to forget their humanity.
The four pegs were in the ground and the perimeter was established. The cabin began to take shape. The foundation begun. The boards which were now aged, began to create a place for the Cabin to sit.
You may be curious as to who “They” are. They are the ones that watch us daily, the impartial beings who manage the universe. They do not create the rules of the universe but act within them. They travel to the furthest reaches to judge, to use those rules to end what needs to be ended.
Many call them God(s) and perhaps that is correct. Those who have met them know they are powerful and without investment. They are able to change the course of histories but choose to sit silent. They are evolved so far past humans that they have no interest in the individual people. They want to help one as we would help a bacteria. The destruction of one is inconsequential, the destruction of many is an experiment.
They move through time and space while trying understand what happened before. Just as we search for what happened at the big bang they search for what happened before their decision.
They too made the incredible decision that the Carpenter must make. The first of them, the one you would call their leader was the earliest they could remember. He has seen each one of Them forget what happened before but he could never remember for them. He remembers their arrival but their departure is a secret. The judgement came to the leader like it does to the Carpenter. Abstract and utterly unbelievable.
Why do they subject others to the same pain? They do it to find the thing that was once so important but now caused them to drift. They have done this many times before. Each time the outcome a little different, each time they hope to see the spark. Each time they see the destruction and miss the before.
The question is all they know and all they can ask.
They do it to others to understand what happened to them in the past. The one thing you are gifted when you make the decision is that you will no longer remember. You forget your decision and yourself, you become one of them. Each one searches for what that spark was, the leader the first of many. He remembers the most, he has seen the pain that each one has.
The Carpenter is the decision maker of now, a hope to remember the spark. Will he become one of them and forget what he was. If he chooses the right answer can he bring some comfort to those who came before.
They picked the Carpenter many years before he existed. They carefully paired his ancestors so the right traits were present. Many experiments failed and through history they created people not made to decide. Then the Carpenter was born and they saw in him a potential.
The Carpenter’s decision was to decide on the faith of the human race. They were powerful enough to end a species, not just through their death but through erasing their history. They existed within the universe with a command of its rules. With that they could go back to the most important times and stop the spark of others but could never see their own. That had been destroyed.
The Carpenter’s decision was not if they human race should be stopped. It was should the human race never exist.
Seven humans represented the faith of the race. These people did not know their importance, that the decision the Carpenter would make owed to them. These seven people were the example of how the human race had evolved and that evolution would decide their fate.
They were not so cruel as to not allow them a chance of redemption. They intervened through time to direct. They gave right and wrong, allowed for religion to eclipse logical thought for a time. They believed that a deep belief would direct them.
They allowed for the race to develop science to see more clearly. A conscious act more in line with what They thought to be right. They pointed the race to the fact that one day there would be One to make a judgement. The similarity of story’s across civilisations was not coincidence.
They could not have been more wrong in their assumptions That religion would be a thing of good. How could They know the rules of so many prophets would be manipulated. They had a thought as to what right should be but could not change the course of history. They needed to remain impartial in their decision.
It is through the seven people that we are to be judged. Not by them or some God they allowed us to believe. The Carpenter is one of us, he will judge the actions we take. Then he will forget himself and us. He will become one of them.
They shy away from it because their interventions were experiments in failure. They also know that to forget was a heavy burden, that the Carpenter should not be impeded in his task.
The Carpenter worked for weeks on the foundation. Making sure to be level and true, it was the bedrock on which the cabin would sit. On those days and nights the loneliness came and went. The decision at hand disappearing when he paid close attention to the foundation.
The seven people who he would make a case for humanity played on his mind. Their voices continued to speak to him. Never knowing who he was, to most they never noticed his existence.
The world would rely on them, and the many voices were silent. Seven people would determine whether the race would march on. If not they would never have existed. The Carpenter lay under the stars and slept. In the middle of his foundation he slept. For next he would erect the walls and begin his march towards the final decision.
Thank you for reading part one of The Clearing. I will be releasing part two next Sunday so follow and keep an eye out for it then. Next week judgement starts, we will see the life of a reality queen. If you were the Carpenter what would you choose for humanity.
If you enjoyed this story, the second is out now: The Image of Love