Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Mount Sullivan

It had been around for as long as everyone could remember. Books of history and geography alike had it mentioned in them. Wars had been fought upon and around it, with its various depressions and valleys working as natural trenches. It’s the Mount Sullivan I’m talking about. It even named our city. But then one day it simply woke up.

Aside the regular complications of a whole mountain suddenly arising from the ground of course there was a lot of distress among the population. An epidemic of heart attacks ensued on both old and susceptible young people (most of which of sturdy muscular complexion, who you’d think would be the most apt to fight the thing), and loads of people left with only their clothes on. Those who stayed were so appalled with the sighting of a moving creature who could pinch trees as they were mere pimples that all remained motionless. All residents were out on the streets just watching that ungracious being trying to find a more comfortable position probably to kill us all.

When a body of special military forces was finally assembled the thing had already seated on what looked like a lotus pose. It spoke our language.

“Thou shalt not fear,” it said solemnly. “I won’t be going about talking like yer aul’ fellas, I won’t. I know the way ye speak nowadays — I’ve been listening to it in my dream.”

Taken aback by the incredibly power of its voice — and also its accent of singular similarity to those of the adolescents who used to hang around the big “Sullivan City” sign, now a hanging earring on the mountain’s, well, ear — the army persisted on a defensive stand. Thinking about it now they were trembling from fear and the loudness of its voice, however the latter also affected everyone else and buildings within a five kilometer range.

“Sorry; I didn’t mean to cause any disturbance,” the thing now whispered, which still sounded like a rock and roll concert. “I know it seems a little bit odd, but I just want to be your friend. Well, I know exactly what some of you have been doing lately, don’t I?” Here it added a childish smile. “Right, Ralf? Stacey? It was right over my ear, guys.”

It took the population a little while to accept that our Mount Sullivan was now a living thing and another greater while to start to cope with the fact that he knew everything about everyone who’d ever been to the sign, ever, but once these things were settled and a more convenient way to communicate established Sullivan became part of the city’s landscape and culture. No one ever understood how he had learnt so many things having been asleep like forever nor what kind of creature he was, however his civilities towards the citizens and the airspace protection he provided proved enough to conquer everyone’s hearts. Sully was a friend of everyone’s and the guardian of the town, and with the precise advices of someone who sees everything from a privileged point of view he will eventually be proclaimed a saint.

That reminds me of the reason why I’m telling this story: not all abnormal creatures are bad for you. Some, of course, are — they climb skyscrapers, eat flying airplanes and talk about personal stuff in a business meeting —, but some definitely aren’t. You’ll only know for sure after its initial address to you. If it doesn’t know how to talk, which is commonly the case with outer space beings, you must always give it first the benefit of the doubt. You never know when you’re about to make a new, giant friend.

As for Sullivan, the city, it has since the occurred grown exponentially in both population and economy, despite many countries having ceased to trade with us because of the “menace to the standard-man self-esteem”. Sullivan, the man, an ex-mount, who has nothing to do with it, keeps going with his life, helping everyone, treating the ladies with the utmost respect and using his spare time for personal growth only, including activities like reading (some classics have been reprinted for him in a more convenient size) and taking care of the environment (replanting trees used in the paper industry and providing large quantities of natural fertilizer).

Long live Sullivan.