by P. A.Hosler
The Writer's Cramp daily challenge -I wish you'd sing this song along with me
When they came to our world they silenced us. They silenced us because our individual voices had power when we spoke, but when we sang as one we could change the laws of the universe. They had been watching us, no one knew for how long, and they knew what we could do.
We welcomed them as friends, more than that really, we welcomed them as our own. We had never faced a predator before, to us there was no reason to fear them. In the beginning they returned our kindness. They demanded a service from us that we could not, no, would not provide. It was not in our nature to harm another or interfere with another civilization’s conflicts. Our refusal to rid them of their enemies enraged them. They imprisoned our young but promised their safe return if we did as they asked. Still we could not bring ourselves to remove someone’s existence at the whim of another.
Next came the first heartless cruelty our race had ever experienced as we watched them execute a hundred of our children right before our eyes. Some, in their grief and newfound rage, began to sing one of the forbidden songs. Their too few voices alone were not enough. Our tormentors ships only trembled, none fell from the sky. Not one of their people suffered.
They repaid our effort and we all watched in horror as the rest of our young suddenly appeared high above us and fell to their deaths from the clouds. That was what pushed us all to the edge of our sanity, that is what made us all begin in unison to do the thing we were most forbidden to do. Our voices began to rise as one and the first of their ships winked out of existence. There was now a fevered urgency as our voices gathered strength, and then... silence. The sudden force of the silence made our ears pop. Somehow these strange horrible beings robbed us a second time, they took away our voices. Without speech we were helpless against them. They enslaved us and we were forced to strip our world of its natural resources, we were to help them defeat their enemies regardless of our convictions.
In the decades that followed many of us died from the ill treatment of our cruel masters. We were ill suited for hard labor. Without our voices everything had to be done with our hands. Some had tried to communicate using physical gestures and hand signals, but even this form of communication was punishable by death.
Our numbers are much fewer now and many take their own lives instead of waiting to be killed. When we become useless as labor they use us for entertainment. They throw us naked and weaponless into an arena where giant beasts with long fangs and claws feast upon our helpless, frail bodies. They are sickeningly amused by our silent screams. Some of us are forced to watch as our brothers and sisters have their flesh stripped from them as they are devoured.
“I wish...”, was the first thing we had heard spoken in one our peoples voices since that horrible day so long ago. But it wasn’t actually a voice yet we all heard it. Some opened their mouths and tried to speak but they were met with only silence. “I wish...”, everyone stopped and listened intently. “I wish...”, came to us again, and then we realized there was no voice we were hearing, we could feel the words in our minds. This was telepathy! An ability thought lost to us long ago. “I wish...”, suddenly these words grew strength as the force of the thought awoke the long dormant part of our minds. It grew stronger still and message began to form as our minds connected.
“I wish you’d sing this song along with me...”, we began to tremble with renewed strength and excitement. We began to sing with a voice from inside of us. Our tormentors became enraged as we stopped doing their bidding. To them we were just standing motionless with our eyes closed and our faces turned skyward. To us, we were singing and reveling in the sensation. The atmosphere began to shimmer and understanding dawned on the faces of our enemy. Understanding that came far too late for them and their kind.
Their ships folded in on themselves and disappeared. There were no great explosions nor was there anything left to suggest they had ever existed. As the last of their ships met oblivion one tiny voice was heard, one of our voices. That tiny voice was joined and amplified as all of our kind regained what was taken away.
In our lust for revenge we did the thing that we had once believed we would never do. We did not stop at the destruction of those who had done so many unspeakable things to us. No, we did not stop with them. We used our song to change the very universe itself. There are none left but us in our new world. There is no one left that could harm us again. We are alone in the universe and now no voice sweetly sings.