“This is the final trial of The 13 Alchemists.”
The room was quiet. Every vibration in the air was pure and true and confident. Seated were the three that remained of the thirteen that had been. One did not need to listen closely to hear the warm drums in the chests – the room was sealed to external sound and every disturbance in the air was amplified.
They were seated on desks arranged in a circle such that they could face each other. I would tell you who they were but it is impossible because they were born without name, and raised without identity. There was only what they could be within the aspects of what and who they were – outside of which there was nothing else; they were nothing else. But they could be within this person and this place.
For two sets of thirteen years, others like them had been but now, are no more. Fortunately, there hadn’t been so many like them. There had been no deep bonds for only with an identity does one have the privilege of true association. One could not say too that they had waited for this day because they had known no aspiration, only existence and the fight for survival that is involved in its knowledge.
In the earphones tucked into their ear canals, a crisp female voice continued.
“You have been tested and found worthy, you have persevered through the hellish trials and tribulations of the amalgamation.”
The voice paused for emphasis before it continued, more stern than it had been earlier.
“Your minds are sound because they have kept your essences and your collective soul safe thus far but your trials do not end until after this final examination.
“Before you is a set of objective type astro-trans-mathematical questions – you are familiar with zodiac calculus. You are to answer them all, without any omission as fast as you can by circling the correct options. When you are done, kindly signify by raising your left hand. If any of your colleagues raise their left hands before you finish, you must stop answering the questions immediately. At that time, it is important that you are the person with the most answers correct. It is the only way you shall survive. Survival is your objective. Fractured psyches can no longer be tolerated by your collective soul. I know you understand”
Of the three left hands that were, there was one up in the air in three minutes and thirty three seconds. The other aspects of the entity were each on their sixth mathematical problem.
Apparently, although all the questions were answered as the instruction dictated, the owner of the raised hand had not bothered to solve any problems.
The other two aspects merged in a blinding flash, becoming one amorphous, semi-unified collection of light motes as the third aspect with his hand still suspended in the air, slowly disintegrated into nothing, a smile plastered on his face.
Survival was the objective. Survival was attained.
———- @xoafro and @TTXIII
@xoafro is ringmaster of the travelling circus at www.afrosays.com.