All my life I had thought they were children’s stories… I had never been more wrong in my life.
Legends tell of a great Owl Spirit who would arise in times of need, a Spirit more powerful than any earthly force. Her wings whirred loud as the cries of a wolf pack, and her vengeance was relentless as the tide bearing down on a lonely sandcastle. Yes, this Spirit was a force to be reckoned with.
When I was little, I had heard tell of the Owl Spirit, but in my childish impetuosity I had discarded her from my mind. Science and logic were the ways of the future, and neither God nor Spirit could hinder their progress.
Oh, that I had never heard of the Owl Spirit, then my error might be forgiven, but, as it stands, I see no hope for me in heaven.
Science and logic are two very powerful forces, to be sure – but they leave little room for emotions. In fact, they leave little room for anything. For example, when buying groceries, you buy the minimum amount of food needed for a balanced diet, and leave out the ice cream and candy bars. When forging armor, you put in only the bare minimum amount of metal needed to protect you, and leave out the pearls and other fancywork. When going out to battle, you feed your soldiers the smallest amount of bread possible and constantly look for ways to short-change them. You constantly attempt to weasel your way out of your end of deals, and you would even cheat your own self if it would bring a profit.
It is a tough life, living only by the principles of science and logic. Nobody loves you, and you love nobody. Everything belongs to the man who can conquer it. And thus I would travel from city to city, pretending to be a peddler, but once safely inside I would proceed to plunder the city of all its riches and raze its buildings to the ground. I took a barbaric delight in these actions. This was true power, and nothing could stop me! I enjoyed destroying the homes, the taverns, even the fields of each city I visited, leaving only the orphaned children to bury the dead and glean the paltry remnants of grain left in the trampled fields. I was nothing less than a villain.
In light of this, I took a name upon myself: Death-Whip, for I was the scourge of the countryside, and any city that had felt my lash was not soon to recover. My attacks were so frequent that newspapers no longer reported on me; the destruction I caused was as commonplace as the sun’s rising in the morning.
I write all this from my death-bed; I know by this time tomorrow I shall have left this earth for a worse place. How I wish that I had never heard of the Owl Spirit, that my error might be forgiven! I knew all along that my actions were unacceptable, that science and logic were not the only forces in this world. But my pride and my selfishness goaded me on until I had created the time of need, and thus awakened the Owl Spirit’s vengeance.
Her flight was swift and true, and her vengeance was meted within the hour in which I first perceived her. Everything I thought was mine was taken from me: my armies slaughtered, my chariots overturned and my supplies scattered. My gold had been whisked away, most likely returned to the cities from whence I had stolen it. The clothes on my back are all I have left – yet I can hear her returning, perhaps they are not to be left to me after all.
My life, too, has been taken from me. My blood pours out upon the stones, and as I close this letter my breath grows painful, and my eyesight weak. I write this note for one purpose: that those who walk this earth in the years to come might not repeat my mistakes. Lo! The Owl Spirit draws nigh; it is time to bid the world good-bye.