The gathering came: short story
What kind of a story is this? It's perhaps imagined, perhaps a parable, perhaps even the story of the Church. Allegory, or poetry. You decide
They felt it stir within them. It wasn’t an bad feeling, not evil, not wrong. Just something...different. Almost a song, whispered. They all felt it.
And the gathering came.
Some knew it was there, either in the pit of their stomach, or a fluttering of the heart, or even a thought in the mind. Often after a dream, sometimes after a conversation with another. Who knew where it came from, or even its purpose? Whatever, it stirred each one enough to make them know that when the stranger called, they had to follow.
It made sense. There was no other way it could be. It was as if the stranger had already been there, knocking on the door before the knock was heard. On the inside before the handle was turned. And yet no intrusive, just there. As if he always had been.
At first they gathered, rag tags unsure as to why they stood together. Meeting where they could, sometimes fearing that that would be seen as outsiders. From all walks of life they came - doctors, solicitors, teachers, bar staff.
Those without jobs.
Those who were poor.
Those who were ill.
Nothing in common other than the stirring they felt within them.
The gathering came.
When they met they talked of nothing else. They talked of the stirring and what it meant. They asked how they might find the others who had felt the stirring, and yet were still orphans. And as they met, and as they spoke in clandestine whispers, they began to understand in a simple way. They chose words to say that they agreed meant something of the feeling they felt, not all, but something. It was something that had to be experienced to understand, and know words could do that. Only the one who first placed the stirring and feeling could do that, to put it into another, and then call them.
They grew in number. And some became brave and ventured out to find others. More joined. Then more, gathering from every place and dream. Then the trouble began. The abuse. The witch hunters.
They tracked down the ones who walked the way, infiltrating their gatherings and betraying them to those who would do them harm. Thousands died, and yet more were gathered, it was unstoppable. Not won by clever argument, or rule, but instead they simply were a coming together which couldn’t be denied.
The gathering came.
There were those who called it a ‘disease of the mind.’ But then one, on the outside, realised that there were now so many it was an opportunity to control. And he used the gathered ones to do so, using their existing networks to operate politically. So it came to pass that the gathered no more needed to meet in secret, but now were given vast arenas where they could meet not as those hunted as vermin, but instead as one’s in power.
The truth of the gathering was slowly forgotten, as others joined to seek for themselves power, or fear. They formed a system of rule and ritual.
A new darkness came. Since the gathering had been long forgotten the new darkness challenged the gathering since it no longer had strength, and vast numbers were called across to its chasm, to be lost for ever. During those days few felt the stirring, but it was enough. Enough that the song continued as a golden thread against a tapestry of black.
Just when hope was lost, when even the one’s who had heard the song were of the thought that the last thing was about to unfold and soon the gathering would decline into naught but a feathered ember of memory, the song began again.
In hearts. In dreams. In thoughts. Undeniable, despite the enemies, despite the rejection by the darkness of the truth of the gathering. Despite the words of abuse the stirring happened in the hearts of men, women and children once more.
And once more, they gathered. Once more finding their own voice, their own words. Once more whispered in secret.
Once more, the gathering came.
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