Works of Hephaestus
I remember like it was yesterday, the day it all started. I was young, around 7, I’ve never been into things such as toys or even reading, but I wanted to do something. That is when I discovered those blocks, something clicked that day, my imagination just came fourth as I began to build. I was young but pouring everything I had to create something out of my own vision, Nothing came close. It was as if Hephaestus himself guided my hands.
I was different, and being such I was targeted. Every structure I build trampled, every idea belittled, nothing to them for what they did but it still haunts me till this day. Before my hope vanished one person praised my crafts, my elder brother. He was also left out, quiet and kept to himself. And yet a kind soul that cared for others, if only he treated himself such. He praised every work I created, greeting me with a gentle smile. A smile I cemented in my memory forever.
“You have a gift, those who can’t see just want to bring you down, just keep creating.”
The words of my brother who saved me from Thanatos. Words that ringed in my head like windchimes in summer. So I did as he said, I worked, I dedicated my life to make things perfect. Anything less deserved to be trashed, discarded like an old broken toy. As years passed my desire to create a masterpiece only grew more. I did not have the need for friends. I did not waste my time on such nugatory things such as movies or even karaoke. The only priority was making sure my hammer hit the nail.
I remember back in my school years, at first people seemed weirded out and even stayed away. They only seem to care when it came to projects that had to be done. Thought of my crafts being used only for their gain was sickening. Be that as it may there were still a few who were curious and even liked my work. Such belief was able to spark a bit of hope within my heart. But my mind was puzzled, the angel said that I should let them help, have someone to bond with, to make friends. While the devil whispers to me how they will only get in the way and cause nothing but disaster.
In a chance at fate, I decide to see what the angel preached about. I show them my work, what I hope to make, and what I am to become. Curiosity and interest was written on their faces, and my hope grew more and more. I let them help, guide their hands, and the only thing that they were able to craft was the sword of betrayal. Once they got an inkling of how to build they began to give me suggestions on what to do. They tell me how to fold clay! Tell me how to do what I love! And the final straw was when my masterpiece was tarnished by unworthy hands.
“How dare you crush my art and hopes! I hope Thanatos takes you all soon!”
Many sensations came to me as I witnessed this. My blood boiled as hot as lava from Sakurajima. Rage filled every thought within my mind. But most of all, the pain of the trust I built being shattered like glass. The devil was right all along. After the debacle, I cut my ties with those so-called “friends” and anyone else who wished to disturbed my work.
Paintings of beautiful landscape, clay molded into elegant vases or bowls, and even plans to build magnificent structures. Everything must be perfect and the only way for that to happen must be made by me. I made walls to protect me from any and all distractions from the outside as I went to work after graduation. Slowly but surely I progressed through my efforts and as I worked the walls became stronger and stronger.
Finally at the top I have finally become a brilliant contractor, from the toy blocks to being able to make dazzling structures that reach towards the sky. And yet why do I feel so unfulfilled? How can I do better? How can I continue if I reach the top? Why can I not enjoy this anymore!? Soon the walls I built for safety have turned into a prison within my mind and the writing on the walls contrast one another.
“I have to work!”
“I need to stop…”
“I can’t leave this unfinished!”
“I need a break…”
“I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!”
I hear the sound of clutter smash to the floor as I swing at the walls that taunt me. Left alone with the voices that clash at each other. I wish my brother was here. And that is when I hear it, the familiar ringing of my phone. It’s as Hermes delivered its message to me. But as I picked it up, horror filled my heart.
“Hello son, it’s your Father…I…I thought this would be better for you to hear instead of reading it. There is no easy way to say this, but your brother…Sniff…your brother committed suicide. Jumped head first off a building.”
Over the phone I can hear my parents' sorrow as they weep. But on my end, it was silent. Dead? Suicide? But I thought Eros guided him, I thought he was able to get by. I desperately looked through my LINE messages, and he texted me. He called me. About his feelings, his struggle, and the love he found.
I ignored it, I ignored it all. If only I was there to talk to him, if only I could have reached out to him. And yet I stayed trapped within my own selfish gain. At last I finally began to hear noise, it was not the phone, it was not my parents sobbing. The walls began to crumble, the writings began to be smudged, the voices began to quiet. After years light touches my face again, I feel at ease, I feel light, I feel sad. Then the first thought comes to me as the tears stream down my cheek.
“You’ve saved me once again, thank you brother. I think…I will go back home.”
Hephaestus himself crafted these hands to build and create. But just for a while, I put down my hammer, to rebuild the humanity that I lost.