Let Them Paint Rainbows

rainbow

We’ve watched you for eons.

You’ve untied yourselves from our careless fingers long ago, but the new control has made you falter. We immortals know that you lead lives like mayflies, seeking little things to make your confusion more bearable.

We watch you try to handle the mess you’ve created. The society that once thrived now hangs by a single string of sinew. We observe in determined silence as you gas each other in the name of new Gods, beat one another to a pulp, and kiss the blood on your bruised knuckles. Children are empty and bloated, crying for justice.

Sometimes we like to discuss all this like stuffy movie critics in an abandoned theatre. The tunnel, for example.

“Wicked,” breathes Persephone, flowers escaping every crevice of her body. She means “wicked” in every sense of the word.

“They are,” mutters Aphrodite while examining her nails, the faint smell of saltwater still clinging to her skin.

“It’s called a rainbow,” I explain self-importantly, “How quaint. Even the name tells us something about their nature: as it rains grey and the sky rips itself apart, a small ribbon of sunlight pulls the entire thing together like a present. Thus, a rain-bow.”

“It’s just a silly metaphor, Athena” says Ares to me, his voice which used to scream battle cries now cracked from disuse.

“For what?” ventures a humming Muse from the stage. Her sisters sit around her languidly as they play with each other’s hair.

“Themselves,” he answers with gritted teeth, “they make things pretty to ignore the world falling around them.”

“We disagree,” the Muses harmonize, notes dangling dangerously in the air, “they paint, sing, dance, and create, all for the strength to continue.”

“’Continue’?” Ares drawls.

“They chant your name as they march into battle, don’t they?”

“’Battle’?” he scoffs softly, “there is no ‘battle’. Only destruction. I don’t stand for that.”

“They seek hope,” the Muses continue, strumming chords on their heart strings, “they create beauty to assure themselves they aren’t responsible for only… destruction.”

“Their creation doesn’t outweigh their destruction,” Ares growls.

“Oh, come off it. They’re hardly living in the Garden of Eden anymore,” I sigh.

“Yeah, they screwed that up almost instantly,” Hera snaps from her dusty throne.

“Listen, it’s about their own concern for happiness. Look at this tunnel. It exists because a boy from Norway thought it was depressing that no one ever looked up as they walked through the city; he gave them a reason to.”

“What the hell is Norway?”

“Oh, never mind. You’re hopeless.”

“They’re going too fast, and they know it,” Ares grumbles, pulling his helmet visor shut as he leans back, ready to doze some more, “they don’t want to accept reality, so they make things ‘pretty’ for the sake of having something pretty.”

“They’re trying, though,” I whisper, peering again between the cracks in the clouds, “Humans are flawed because we created them. Let them have hope, at least. Let them paint rainbows.”

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