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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The River of Venom

Marcus came upon a river and saw people wearing headbands of different colours mingling together. They wore black, white, pink, green and many besides and happily exchanged greetings and gifts. But then to quench their thirst they approached the river to sip its flowing water. The boy noticed a violent change of disposition amongst them. Rapidly, they were attacking anyone not wearing the same colour headband as their own. Vicious punches were thrown, merciless thumping and kicking spread uncontrollably. Some drew weapons on those with no defence against them. The verdant fields turned raging red.

Fearing for his life, Marcus ran along the river up the hill. In the distance he could see half a dozen figures. He desperately hoped that they would be able to help him. They seemed remarkably calm, and it was possible that they could cure the madness downstream or at least offer him temporary sanctuary.

Men and women each wearing a different colour robe stood at the head of the river, pouring bucket after bucket of dark fluid into the water. They explained it was part of their ritual. They could not live without their constant outpouring of hate against people of different colours and traditions. Great stress they laid on their condemnation of violence. They would not have anything to do with those lunatics lower down. Unfortunately they would not have anything to do with the boy either, for they must carry on infusing the river with their vitriol. They had no time for anything else.

Marcus tried to warn them, but they would not listen. The hate-filled zombies were fast approaching. The boy ran to hide behind a tree and witnessed them picking out those wearing robes with colours they despised to unleash their unspeakable fury. The robed figures, proclaiming their detachment from violence to the last, had their lungs flattened and skulls smashed by those who had unwisely consumed the poison released into the river. For young Marcus Tully, there was no escape apart from that deep hole by the tree. He had no choice but to jump into it.