A storyteller's eye sees a very different scene.
| Silence. In the wake of the disaster all I hear is silence. I close my eyes, tilt my head and really struggle to hear more, and I can hear breathing, both at the edge of the destruction and at the center. Mine and his. The Beast and me. I listen for a moment more, but the silence continues. Only a few hours before this had been a bright summer day, full of the clatters and clangs of life and movement, cars and people going by, and even the giggles and running of a little kid. And now? Nothing but the unending silence.
Pompeii was literally wiped off the face of the earth. Krakatoa exploded with such fury that the sound was heard a thousand miles away. The flood of Noah covered the world, and when it was gone nothing remained untouched. From where I sit, the Beast has done the same. Blocks and bricks of houses and buildings lay scattered at my feet. It is impossible to tell where one building ended and the next began. I look down at what may have been a gas station or a market, or even someone's home. I'll never know what was and if anyone had the instructions to put these pieces back together again, it still wouldn't be the same. In fact, there's only one person who knows what went on here and he's not talking.
Overturned cars and trucks litter the scene. They are not only buried beneath the rubble of bricks, but somehow on top of it as well. It is if some giant force swept them up, saving them from the falling buildings, only to be dropped back down atop the already senseless destruction. A random red sports car, somebody's real hot wheels, stands untouched in the debris, like a monument to all of the vehicles that must have raced around this area. As I look out across the aftermath, nothing moves. Not a car. Not a truck. Not me. And not the Beast.
I move onward, ever closer to the Beast. Once across the event horizon, I am no longer an innocent bystander to this destruction, but a first responder. I am now able to distinguish bodies from the rest of the ruin. Men twisted into impossible positions around cars, a whole zoo of animals scattered like pebbles, and even a few little people all fell victim to the Beast. A whole platoon of green army men, in what turned out to be an ill-fated rescue mission, lay frozen in positions of attack at my feet. Bodies of men and beasts tossed into careless piles; there is no telling which are which. I can only collect them in a dignified silence. No time do much more than to put them in a box and move on.
Silence, broken. A scattering of blocks and rattling of cars sounds like a thousand explosions in the silence of the afternoon. I turn quickly to the source, dropping the box of men and animals. Just a few feet away the Beast stands, staring at me. The master of destruction, the scourge of the carpet, the lord of the living room; the menace that I both sired and fear is awake. Yet, something is different. He is calmer. His mood has changed and like the floodwaters of Noah or the smoke clouds over Pompeii, his temper has dissipated. He looks at the shattered world at his feet. He sits down, picks up a brick, and he begins to rebuild.