A prince set off in search of the spring of eternal life. Even though his navigator would assure him each morning that it was just a little further, and soon his journey would be complete, the prince travelled for many years without ever seeming to find himself any closer to his destination.
One day, the prince was overcome with thirst as they toiled across the shifting desert sands. He drank the last of the water, and then declared that they must arrive soon, else surely they would die beneath the merciless sun.
The prince’s navigator once again assured the prince that they were almost there. He spread out his maps on the burning sand and said, “Look, my Lord and Master. You are here, and the spring of eternal life is there, and this path will lead us there by nightfall.”
The prince studied the maps, and it was apparent that they were not here, that their destination was not there, and the path, if it existed at all, would lead them only in spirals. It was only now, after so many years of ceaseless toil, that the prince realised that the navigator was mad.
He offered his navigator to the gods, but neither blood nor prayers were enough to grant the prince his salvation. By the time he was found, his skin had burned to dust, his bones to sand, and the only evidence of his existence was the gold of his many rings, which still shone out from the shifting desert sands as brightly after a thousand years as did the unceasing sun above.
1. Written on November 12th, 2019
2. And based on true events
3. Also the title is derived from Beyond A Steel Sky
4. Which I’ve never been able to complete