The Pantheon

Sisket 1: A Man Who Would Be Dead

April 28, 2021 Joshua White
The Pantheon
Sisket 1: A Man Who Would Be Dead
Chapters
The Pantheon
Sisket 1: A Man Who Would Be Dead
Apr 28, 2021
Joshua White

But he chose not to be. 

Got a real gem in this little series, I think. It's not this one, unfortunately, but it's there. 

  Sharing Links: 
 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-pantheon/id1498984739
 https://www.buzzsprout.com/811181
 https://www.instagram.com/the_pantheon_remembers/
 https://open.spotify.com/show/6Pmngtn7BBnOeAiOzAriHJ
 https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-the-pantheon-57860820/
 https://podcasts.google.com/?  feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5idXp6c3Byb3V0LmNvbS84MTExODEucnNz   

Show Notes Transcript

But he chose not to be. 

Got a real gem in this little series, I think. It's not this one, unfortunately, but it's there. 

  Sharing Links: 
 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-pantheon/id1498984739
 https://www.buzzsprout.com/811181
 https://www.instagram.com/the_pantheon_remembers/
 https://open.spotify.com/show/6Pmngtn7BBnOeAiOzAriHJ
 https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-the-pantheon-57860820/
 https://podcasts.google.com/?  feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5idXp6c3Byb3V0LmNvbS84MTExODEucnNz   

I am the last one alive to have seen them. I don’t know if that’s commendation for my cunning or a reprimand for my cowardice. I suppose it’s both, and I also suppose that it doesn’t matter. I am here. We are all here. It is what it is. 

It feels odd to think of myself as an archive for sorrow that you don’t understand, least not fully. A memory of the real reasons why we’re still running. Because without my voice here, without the feeling I have to put into these words, I’m afraid you’d see them, too. 

I’m not even that old. It hasn’t been very long. Not at all. You turn to the older people for advice, but they only saw the Sisket on video, just like you. And… I understand how you can fear them, from that sight alone. But there’s a mighty big difference from seeing them as pixels on a screen, and having them no more than 10 feet in front of you, evisceratijng all the hopes you had laid out for your life, making it so that even when you survived, you became this artifact. Something less human, somehow. 

I’m tempted every day, too. It’s exhausting here, out on the road. And I’m not sure if we’ll ever figure out a way for it to not be. Travel, it’s… it weighs on you. We weren’t meant to have so few constants in our life. Sure, sure, the people we’ve got who are still around who haven’t yet seen them, or hopefully never see them, that’s a good trade off, I’ll say. It’s enough of a mental keepsake to keep us sane. Well, everyone except for me. But I saw them. So I have an excuse. 

How many years is it at this point? Couldn’t have been more than 14. I’m trying to picture myself. There was a lake out by home that I liked to stop by from time to time. It was in a place that… a place that you’ve never heard of, in a place that you’ll probably never see. Maybe you’ll see it. We’ve got a lot of time. Maybe too much time.

There’s probably fifteen… yes, that. That number. It’s making sense to me, now. Fifteen. Fifteen. See, here you can spot their mottled skin, and you can think that’s all that makes them terrible, that it’s simply that. Simply their jaws, their claws, that’s the sort of thing that makes all the places we go through are simply in passing. The cliffs, the falls, all of it to be seen once and then never again. It was a life that I dreamed of when I was young. But then that’s what the Sisket are. A sheer perversion of reality. A perversion how, a perversion why, I’m not sure. But when I saw it, when the thing slobbered right in front of, I knew that even though it had every capactiy to murder me… because what could I do? What could any of us do? What would we be able to do fifty years from now? Do you think we’ll stumble upon some place that will grant us weapons taht will allow us to murder our nightmares. 

The Sisket, even though they trail behind us, no, they are still here. There’s nowhere we could go. Nowhere we would be free. See, because the thing didn’t kill me. Because, because it knew… I don’t know about the others they slaughtered, but it understood that after it left me here, I would serve the purpose that they wanted. They feed on our misery. They are of our misery. A misery that we created for ourselves, of that I am sure. But with me around, with my testimonies in place, with what I saw in the background, with the quivering sorrow of my voice… the chance that we’d continue fleeing… was near absolute. Was near absolute. 

And so we’ll always be going away from here. To where? We don’t know. We’ll never know. How could we know? When all we understand of them is pictures and my own sorrow. They will always find a way to follow us, from one end of the world to the other. And we will never be able to stop ourselves from fleeing, because at the end of the day, we are all like myself. We are all cowards. 

The thing’s maws were sitting right in front of me. At that point I could have jumped in, and been free. No, no, that’s obviously, that can’t be the right answer. How could it? No, no I’m a coward because I have told the story a thousand different times, I have known the outcome, and yet I have never even tried to change the narrative. I want to go back to bed. It’s… we’ll have to pack up back in the morning, and then where? And then what? And then…

No. No, no, no. This is my one chance. Actually, this is one of many chances. I have seen the Sisket. I know, implicitly, somehow, I’m still not sure… but I know what they are. They are of our sorrow, but they are also of our flesh. Not our flesh, really. No, they are of flesh. Matter. They’re material creatures, I understand that, and…

There’s a different way to phrase all of this. A way that would make them weak, and us strong. Simply by turning it around in my head, in your head, too… mostly mine, of course. I don’t expect improvements like this in anyone’s mind besides my own. Yes, we are fleeing the Sisket. Yes, they are terrible monsters. But what are we fleeing them for? We can’t just be fleeing them for our survival, no. We are fleeing to gather our strength. Because, fundamentally, the Sisket need us, and we do not need them. How could we? We were perfectly fine before they appeared. More than fine. Sure, there were plenty of problems that allowed the Sisket to breech reality or whatever happened. I still don’t know and probably never will know. There were plenty of problems that made us weak, but we didn’t need them. 

Today, Almsmaster Haral, he needs the Sisket be here, because if the Sisket aren’t here the caravan stops, and we build a new settlement, and maybe he’s… that’s the thing! The Sisket are gone, the caravan stops, and Almsmaster Haral will have different work. And I know that he’s aware of this. He pushes this narrative of gloom because he’s afraid of, less of them, than what would happen to himself if the tragedy was gone. But he would be fine. I would be fine. Every single last one of us. We are not fleeing to die ad perpetuem. We are fleeing to live for ourselves, and for the future. And one day, mark my words, the Sisket will be gone. And we will still be here.