M A T C H S T I C K (revised)
M A T C H S T I C K
“And to his rock be bound eternal; forever gifting man all that is infernal.
Bound by chain, suffering as the eagle’s meal; freedom bought by the one who shall steal.
Unto the eagle’s beak his blood be lash; to control he who shall become our man of ash.”
There is always blood flowing down Prometheus’ mountaintop. He who had delivered to humanity the greatest gift of all; his punishment was severe, but he had faith in mankind and our potential. Yet were we truly worthy of the gift? In his eyes, we have not given unto Earth what it has given unto us. His gift has become primitive and antiquated: only the arsonists have earned the admiration of Prometheus. The blood of Prometheus resonates in their hearts for their passion to burn resembles his own. Each of those individuals burn in his name and for none other: they are his disciples, his beloved few.
Beyond the embers of the fire-pit is the smug face of Matchstick. A man who swore to obey no one but the flames. His fascination with the ember grew stronger and stronger after reading about the Thief of Olympus. After reading a book on mythology, he burned it. Then he burned the receipt—and the rest of the money he had left. He smoked because he wanted to feel his fire inside him. He had no faith in himself or in the rest of mankind. A nineteen year old loser was what he wanted to be, so he said to himself, “Time’s up.”
Matchstick believed that the tips of his namesake were red for Prometheus’ blood. He believed that he could free him if he returned his gift. We didn’t deserve it. We don’t value it. Only he did. So under the night sky by the fire-pit, he made a plea to his god to have his fiery blood. His wish was granted, and down from Sienna poured the blood in a pristine stream, winding and twirling like a double-helix. Onto Matchstick’s body did the blood land, which his body embraced as he absorbed its power. Matchstick left for the nearest forest.
Eden, the goddess of Sienna, is above perfection—she is the beauty inherent in all creations. A benevolent goddess, mother to the infinite sky: her creations have become known as nature. Here in her forest, under the auspice of speckled ashes we call the night sky, was where Matchstick’s martyrdom was to occur. “Let the ashes speak for all eternity,” her sky told him. He was convinced she had gone mad, but after reflection, he realized it was just beyond his understanding. In her eyes, everything was a matter of give and take, and she knew it was about time someone came along and took.
Laying on his back, with his head against the stump of a weeping willow, leaves crinkled with the movement of his feet. Peering through cradled tree branches, out into the speckled ashes once again, he felt his blood beginning to move. Prometheus closed his eyes.
The ashes were now speaking, singing the song of Matchstick throughout the forest. With his body embracing the blood of Prometheus, he was searing clean the branches of countless trees during his ascent. Matchstick lay on his back, gravitating above the tips of oaks and evergreens; the flames had now become magma, flowing out of his body like a fountain of hell. For years, Matchstick burned—fending off the forces of Eden, he burned brighter and brighter. The realm was aflame, forever. Once the forest had been razed, he descended, kneeling as a man of ash. There was but one thing left to burn for Matchstick. “One more burn, one more for humanity: let the ashes speak for all eternity,” he heard. The gasoline stung the orifices which still spewed magma, but his suffering was to end, all with the strike of a match.
In the garden of Sienna, Matchstick rose from his ashes. He saw no pearly gates, nor an arbiter of holy judgment. Through the destruction he wrought, he ushered in a new life—a fertile forest for a world without fire. In this garden, the trees were none like the ones he had burned in the realm beneath Sienna. They were copies of one another, symmetrically aligned in the shape of a hexagon. Above the garden was the Weaver, whose webs were spun between all trees and across all branches; with Eden’s touch, it became known as humanity. The master web breathed and fluctuated within the ebb of time; the people of Sienna were forbidden to interfere with the web’s fate. He had returned Prometheus’ gift, but the passion was alive again—there was still more to burn. Rising from our ashes, standing under the web of all life, Matchstick struck his namesake on his arm one last time.
His irises illuminated with the reflection of burning strings of silk. ____________________________
“Chained to his rock no more; no longer tormented as before.
Into his body his blood return; mankind no longer his guilty concern.
Into the speckled ashes he disappears; never to be tempted by man’s tears.”