The Blind Boy Who Could See, His Majesty Most Revered, had been born with a gift: the Divine that touched his Spirit with love, and Mother Earth that spoke to his gentle soul with compassion.
Each day, His Majesty Most Revered, would sit lotus in the grand courtyard on the grounds of the palace, meditating and listening to the sounds of despair outside the palace’s protective walls. In the stillness of his mind, he would hear and feel the cries of the less fortunate, their tears of agony and pain seeping deep into his pores; in the stillness of his mind, he would hear animals plead in horror as they were slain - senselessly and with complete disregard to their pain – for crimes not committed. This caused him much anguish for he was one with the Divine, one with Mother Earth, one who honored and loved each life as if it was his own. And these emotions tormented him, at times morphing into prophetic dreams that only served to further bury his heart deeper into the abyss of despair.
The Blind Boy Who Could See was the King’s and Queen’s only child. Fortunes were spent in futile attempts to grant the royal couple their most desired wish, for their son and future King to see. But it was not meant to be. Fate had chosen a different path. And The Blind Boy Who Could See, His Majesty Most Revered, was as peace for he felt that by gaining this sense, he would forever lose his more valuable one - his empathic connection to the world, a connection, he felt, that had been birthed by his blindness.
And today, His Majesty Most Revered, sat lotus as was his wont to do each morning, tragic images causing great discomfort; images created by the nightmares that had been plaguing him for a week. And the portentous dreams no longer left room for doubt - the Kingdom of Ruan had to be warned.
Inside the palace walls, the villagers gathered to hear the latest omen from the Prince, The Blind Boy Who Could See. And as was the usual, he would preface every gathering with a prayer. And today, he prayed to Mother Earth:
"Gaia, Goddess of Earth, your core sustains us, your beauty and bounty, ever plentiful and generous. You slumber peacefully trusting us with your care, resting serenely within Earth’s lair. Yet we abuse your generosity and dine greedily at your table, refusing others as they wither away in starvation. And we repay your kindness and protection with atrocities that fail to honor the lives of others and the animals you’ve left in our possession. We savagely slay and pummel your living beings as they scream and plead with terrified eyes, breaking our promise to you and the Divine. Crimson tears seep deep into your Earth, Mother Gaia, carrying witness to you of the cruelties suffered at the hands of your primitive guests. And I observe you Goddess Gaia - Giver of Life – as you listen to the cries of the poor, feel the pain of the slain, and weep torrents of anguished tears for having misjudged and in shame, entomb yourself deeper, further, into your own dark world of woeful pain. For this we are sorry; for this we will pay."
When the Blind Boy Who Could See finished his prayer, he bowed his head for a moment. And then looking out into the crowd recounted what was to come.
And as he had predicted, so it came to be.
One early morning when their land was still being held within the gentle arms of the morning dew, they came. The much-beloved Kingdom of Ruan disappeared in a blink of an eye, instantly vanishing lives. A colossal black mushroom cloud ascended from the bowels of the screaming earth carrying with it the lives of a people caught off guard. Bodies instantly carbonized by the horror of the moment were left frozen mid-scream; one light touch and they crumbled to the ground in ashes. Lives committed to the earth.
To those that perished in that instant, death had been kind. But to others, those that lived on the outskirts of the Kingdom, it was a different story. Crippled and wounded survivors roamed the streets in shock with skins seared from the unexpected toxic assault. The inhabitants of Ruan beheld their ash-filled land and witnessed family and friends, ghastly disfigured, die slow, painful deaths. Mothers wept inconsolably over the bodies of their dead children, their primal wailing songs filling the silence of the land, their tears seeping deep into the earth.
Three days later the black rains came and doused their soil with ebony tears birthed from the lacrimal clouds of an angry sky. It poured its misery into open pores impregnating the weak with the ails of mankind. Women and men wept as the black rain predicted by their once beloved sage - the once and future King - fifty years ago washed away the gray, dirty, toxic landscape but failed to wash away their fears. And the ominous message that he predicted was remembered: "Black rain will one day come to spawn evil onto our fertile land." Soon after, black clouds covered the Sun, throwing their world into darkness.
A year later, a new generation was born.
Out of the wombs of mothers spawned the evil of which The Blind Boy Who Could See had prophesized. Babies born blind or with missing limbs cried endlessly into the night frustrated and angry at the sides of mothers and fathers who were helpless in alleviating their pain. These children – unfortunate anomalies of nature - lacked the emotional, mental and physical abilities necessary for a peaceful life. The lucky ones died at birth.
And as these children grew into adulthood, so did their hate. They were not like others; they were mutants, living reminders of the Rains of Despair. They formed gangs and became a family onto themselves because only they understood each other – only they understood their blackened amoral hearts and what their polluted, impure souls craved; they sought, needed, and feasted on chaos and anarchy. It was their drug of choice. Painted, sinister faces that hid physical abnormalities would roam the streets at night preying and slaying those that did not resemble them. The Kingdom of Ruan became void of hope, of anything good and loved; instead, it survived on the resignation and abomination of a people who no longer believed.
Far away, on a mountain overlooking the Kingdom of Ruan, an elderly Blind Man sits before a crackling fire in his humble home. The images of pain, strife, and anger that have taken hold of his former land no longer let him sleep. Anarchy and chaos run rampant and his people are lost. The Blind Boy Who Could See, His Majesty Most Revered, closed his eyes and prayed to the Divine for guidance. His selfless act of abandoning his people many decades ago for fear that he was touched by evil and sought only protection for his land and people, was for naught. The portentous dream had nonetheless come to be. The message was clear; it was time to return to his place of birth and bring order to his land. The Blind Boy Who Could See, His Majesty Most Revered, puts out the fire in his hearth and grabs his wooden staff. He closes the door to his humble home one last time, says a prayer to the Divine for safety on this most dangerous journey and slowly begins to walk towards the lost Kingdom of Ruan, under the light of the Moon and the protection of Mother Earth.