Roshan Caldwell, Grade 11, Aurora College -
I am the voice you hear singing in the mountains. My song echoes in the dark nights, slicing through the fog that descends on the world. It can be heard far into the distance, calling, crying for those I have lost.
Throughout eternity, I have met countless people, and lost most of them. Time is cruel, and a mortal’s life is short, fleeting. Just a moment in time compared to the millennia I have lived, a single drop of water compared to an ocean. Ephemeral, evanescent. And yet I could never keep my distance.
They never knew I was there, of course. There were boundaries I had to abide by, certain rules I could never break. The villages and lone cabins scattered around the silvery lake and through the mountains were off-limits. I could only observe what was outside, in my domain. Humans were only visitors here, nothing more.
No matter how many times I reminded myself of that fact, I was always saddened by the loss of each and every one of them. They grew in front of my eyes, the time they were away only feeling like seconds. All of them changed rapidly, aged as I watched. Their eventual disappearance never got easier to process.
My life is a lonely one. One that demands so much of me yet returns so little. I know I am bound here by duty and by blood, but I long for freedom. To wander the world on my own terms, not having to worry about anything past what I would be doing on my next breath. A simple life, a life without having to watch everyone I laid eyes on withering away over time like a dying flower. I wanted to age, I longed to not have an eternity set out ahead of me.
I would trade anything to have just a few moments of mortality, just to experience a change for the first time in my existence. As long as I could remember, I had been in the exact same body, unchanging. I never felt pain nor emotions, I only learned about such things from the humans I observed. Everything about me was stuck in time, paused, suspended in a void. Forever.
The end of time would arrive before the end of my lifetime. Eventually, I would wither away when there was no one left to remember me. When the last of my energy was burned, I would dissipate into space, finally released from my duties. My voice would no longer echo through the mountains, I would never call for those lost to time.
But that inevitable end seemed like it would never arrive, no matter how close it drew.