Welcome to Town

He stripped off entirely and lay on a rock in the sunshine. Ah, it felt so nourishing to be warmed by the source of all goodness, the giver of life on earth. Why people worshipped things other than the sun, he never knew. It’s really simple. The sun gives us light and heat; the sun’s gone and we’re gone, that’s it. Every other god could disappear tomorrow and you’d never know.

Dry and dressed, he headed out of the forest. He’d descended from Mt Alba’s summit into the valley, and his ultimate goal was the dark mountain at the its far end, with the pulsing red star above. How he’d got here, and why he was going there, he didn’t know. He just knew this was his journey.

A good gravel road led towards the village. Fields and farm buildings began to appear. He was stared at by cows, and greeted by goats; horses whinnied and ran along beside him. A metal sign said: “Lucerne Village, population 2,000. Authorized by The Authority.”

He remembered there had been a dispute with The Authority. Or maybe it wasn’t The Authority itself, more its local agents. It had to do with identity. They said that he was one thing, and he said that he was something else. That was the reason for the dispute, and the reason he had woken alone atop Mt Alba.

He must return to the village though. He was cold and hungry and had nowhere else to go. That was the cruellest thing about exile. You had no option but to return, whatever the consequences.

The man from the mountain saw the building known as the Transparent Temple. It sat at the heart of village life, acting as community centre, arts venue, and a place for holy gatherings, celebrations and feasts. There was a gathering there now. People sat around a man wearing saffron robes and turban, who rested with his eyes closed. Then he opened his eyes and looked upwards and smiled. The man from the mountain felt a rush of love for everything in the world. He was a good man, this… he remembered… Guru Baba.

Another gathering took place outside, led by a shaven headed man in loose white trousers and shirt. He turned to look at the man from the mountain, and pointed and said loudly, “This is what we must guard ourselves against. Look closely, for the Abomination comes in many guises. I, Ozwald Malchizedek, have been blessed with sharp eyes to see through them. I tell you, this is one of them!”

The crowd turned and stared. Some sneered and shouted, “Go away! Leave us alone! Lord save us!”

This seemed familiar to the man from the mountain. It had happened before. There was something about him that people feared. Though Guru Baba welcomed this difference, Ozwald Malchizedek rejected it.

Who has the right to do this? To hate the wonder of life, born of a pulsing red heart?

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