The Sky Crawlers

By Mori Hiroshi

The Sky Crawlers Prologue

The Sky Crawlers Prologue

Prologue


In my dream, I was fighting for someone important to me. She was the last physicist on earth. If her brain was lost, the civilization, or the history of mankind, would come to a serene end. This is an apt description, since the meaning of the existence of mankind lied in her head. We were trying to fight against it.


We?


In other words, the two of us.


I have never thought about other humans.


We were running around in a tunnel, trying to escape from our pursuers. We squeezed every last drop of energy out of ourselves, just for living a little bit longer. We did not even have time for coversations. How come we stuck at this situation? I had no room to think about that. I was only... trying to give a hand to the frightened her. I was only doing that because I simply could not stand seeing her tears. It was a cry from the eternal pain in my body; a pain that I was much more proud of than other wounds. I always thought I was prepared to die. In the first place I had never been afraid of death. If she fell into enemy hands, I would immediately commit suicide with no hesitation at all.


Still, why are you so frightened, I asked. With a tense face, she replied, “We may no longer be able to stay together. I am afraid of being alone."


So that was why.


We were not really afraid of death.


After all, when we live, there inherently lies the possibility of parting from others. Exactly because we live, we can feel the sense of fear, but this does not mean living equals to fear. In other words, if we die, we have to part from our own selves. Therefore upon becoming a corpse that is no more than a shadow of the world, whoever stayed with us, whoever parted with us, all of these are meaningless.


So who is the one that will leave my body?


Who am I?


This question is no more than an imagination by those who are living.


This question is no more than an imagination that can only cheat those who are living.


Irregular and broken. Here is a blatant, crazy lie by the one who was about to die.


“Why don’t we die together?" I suggested when we were walking in the dark tunnel.


As expected, she easily accepted my suggestion. Rather than falling into despair, she made the decision quickly and decisively.


“Goodbye." I said.


“Thank you." She replied with a smile.


Pointing my gun at her head, I pulled the trigger. One shot.


Smoke.


The sweet smell of gun powder.


Then...


I watched how she fell, slowly, onto the ground.


Her eyes were closed. Her breath had stopped.


Goodbye, eternity.


The air. The universe.


If you can make a sound, please call my name.


Think of a pattern appearing on a piece of cloth.


A small smear, next to a mandala.


Swimming...


Dancing...


Crawling...


And so I parted from my dream.

(To be continued)