There art no sight without eyes,
And eyes without sight art blind;
There art no touch without hands,
And hands without touch art numb;
Let me be His eyes, and thou be His sight:
To see the world in it's finest light;
Let thou be His Hands, and me be His touch:
To create the world in it's entirety as such.
Everyday the sun greets him in the Eastern hemisphere. He likes to watch the bright star rising gently from the snowy mountains, but never once melts the icy caps. To most people, the rise of the Eastern sun is a routine, but Aloysius understands why: the earth he lives on rotates to the west, and so with the application of the concept of relativity, it is expected to see the sun coming from the opposite direction!
To Aloysius, science is everything. He loves the world more because he understands it through the knowledge of science. Everything is explainable, so says his father. In fact, Aloysius is a natural descendant of a Thinker, and he takes pride in it. His line of ancestors are all great men: his great-grandfather was the inventor of the light bulb, who brought light to the world living in the darkness; his grandfather was the inventor of the water-locomotive, bridging the islands and the mainland with speedy and convenient transportation; his mother synthesized silk from cobwebs, thus reducing the cost of raw materials; and his father, the greatest technician in his hometown, now joins a team of Engineers in a mega project far too complex for Aloysius to understand for his age. He marvels at those achievements, and vows that one day he would also make one, even better than his father.
He sallies forth a scenic walk on that fine sunny day, adorned in smart clothes and a colourful bandanna around his neck. The clear skies assure him of an unlikely storm. The diffraction of the sunbeams makes the firmament look blue. Over to the fields, he sees the trees overbearing with green leaves of spring. The chlorophylls are working fine! His keen sight observes a bird swooping down on a parasitic aphid, just in repayment for the protection it gets from the trees against the mongooses. Mutualism is the term for it. But most of all, diversity is at its best!
He could have continued his educational nature-tour like this until the dusk, but meets a stranger along the way. Curious he is to see anyone not hurrying on his journey, but sitting down on the large stone-slab spacing out. The stranger, he is a boy, perhaps about his age, but with a smaller frame. His auburn hair is unlike Aloysius’s golden-yellow. He clothes himself in a shady mantle, which looks so glum, unlike Aloysius’s bright spring-wear that cheers up the person dressed in it.
But the boy seems happy. On both his hands is a wind-pipe, a wooden one, which he brings close to his lips. As the wind blows, he plays. A gentle melody emanates from the instrument, carried by the wind reaching Aloysius’s ears. It is a dreamy tune, and Aloysius’s eyes are half-closed as he drifts off with the music. But there is no reason for joy. Immediately, Aloysius snaps out from his reverie.
Aloysius confronts the boy with great trepidation. For he now knows the boy’s identity: a Dreamer! His parents warned him before about meeting with Dreamers. He is told that Dreamers are very dangerous and he must try to avoid when he sees one. He always is sceptical about the existence of Dreamers, but now he believes, and witnesses for himself the power that Dreamers wield.
The boy stops his play and rises up to Aloysius. Aloysius, at a state of panic, backs away from him.
“The melody… is it not good?” the boy asks.
Aloysius shakes his head.
“Then, did you enjoy it?”
“Uh… uhm, ye… yes!” Aloysius, in a stuttering voice, answers.
The boy extends his hand, with earnest-looking eyes locking into his. Aloysius hesitates, but the boy seems too innocent to bring about any malign. So he returns the handshake.
“I’m Oliver,” says the boy.
“You do fear me, why?”
Aloysius is scared stiff. He sees for himself yet another powerful trait of a Dreamer: the ability to read thoughts at the sense of touch. Nevertheless, he reminds himself to maintain composure. Though his response is blunt.
“You’re a Dreamer!”
The boy looks at Aloysius puzzlingly. Then he realises.
“You’re a Thinker, Alouie? Only Thinkers fear Dreamers.”
“But I mean you no harm.” The boy’s eyes turn watery.
“My Pa told me to stay away from you!”
“Why? Everybody’s staying away from me! I feel so lonely!”
“You deserve it! Dreamers are nothing but cold-hearted killers!”
Grief. Victimisation. These are the embodiment of the tears that shed from his eyes. Oliver turns away dolefully, his hands brings the wind-pipe close to lips, and plays again.
This time, it was a desolate tune. An aria that represents all the bad things you could feel inside your heart. The gentle zephyrs turn into hard-hitting gales at the rouse of the depressing music. Even the lush of the trees withers into golden-brown at greet of spring. The atmosphere is dreary.
Aloysius thinks Oliver is playing with his emotions. But even so, in his right mind he could not explain this type of countenance Thinkers have against the Dreamers. Aloysius could not bear with this guilt-ridden conscience anymore. How on earth could he have uttered those disgraceful words? Whatever his parents have told him, whatever the village elders have warned him, he just cannot bring any feeling of hatred upon that innocent boy.
In bold steps, Aloysius approaches Oliver. Oliver stops his play and confronts Aloysius face to face.
“Forget what I said to you just now. I’m sorry.”
“So, can we be friends?”
The glistening of Oliver’s teary eyes has convinced Aloysius enough. His strong hands clasp upon the frail boy’s shoulders.
“Friends… to the end of days. This slap is our contract. Sign it if you agree.”
A faint smile grows on Oliver’s face, as he claps his hands onto Aloysius’s shoulders. The contract is signed.
“Do you study everyday, Alouie?”
“Yes! I want to gain every single bit of knowledge of this world! There’s so much to learn, so much to see!”
“I see… you love knowledge very much.”
“Of course! What about you, Oliver? Do you study?”
“No. I don’t need to study the things people write in books. I like to listen from nature: from the trees, the birds, and the rivers. They whisper God’s knowledge to me.”
“I don’t believe in God. There’s no such thing as God in my world.”
“Why? I feel loved being with God. Don’t you want to feel loved?”
“Yes! But I feel loved with science! See all the wonders science did for men!”
They could have argued like this for days. But the sun is setting, and darkness approaches. It is time to go home.
“Let’s meet some other day, Oliver. I must return now.”
“Can I come with you?”
“Goodness, NO!” Aloysius exclaims, “the villagers don’t like Dreamers, they’ll kill you! Go home now, your parents would be worried.”
“I’ve no home. I’m a wanderer. Please can I come with you?”
“NO!” Aloysius finds it hard shaking off that obstinate boy, “let’s make it this way: you find a place to rest, and we meet tomorrow, okay? Now quick, I don’t want anybody to see us talking.”
With a heavy heart, Aloysius looks on as Oliver walks away with a drooping head. After making sure his friend is out of sight, he hastens back to the village, hoping somehow his rendezvous is kept secret.
But the worst of his fears materializes: somewhere on the grassy fields, he spots Maddox – a fanatical Dreamer-hater – camouflaged in the tall blades, watching him. Has he seen everything? From his furious look, it is likely he has.
Pray he wouldn’t tell.
He is soundly asleep in his little cozy bedroom until noises of loud clanging and angry shouts awaken him. Fighting back his unwillingness to leave his comfy mattress, he rubs his bleary eyes, as he runs downstairs, and out of the house.
The villagers are already gathered at the community square in the middle of the might, carrying fluorescent sticks to shine the darkness. And all of them look fierce enough to swallow a tiger whole. They from a circle around something, or someone, whom Aloysius tries hard pushing his way into the crowd to see.
Imagine his horror to see Oliver, tied and gagged, with bruises all over his face and body, beaten into pulp. Their senses of anger are all directed towards the poor boy.
“Maddox caught this vile critter trespassing our village!” shouts an angry villager. “What should we do with it, Chief?” asks another.
“Crush him! Crush that vile thing!” the rest chant vehemently.
Aloysius is too shocked to see the violent crowd raising their fluorescent sticks on Oliver. Without even thinking, he runs to Oliver and covers him as a shield. “Stop! Don’t hurt him! I brought him here! He’s my friend!”
“Traitor! Traitor!” the crowd chants with furore.
The command drowns the shouts in the waves of silence. A tall man stands towering above Aloysius’s cringed body. Aloysius stares at the man with both fear and respect – the man: he is his father, and also the village Chief.
“A hundred years ago, the Thinker’s Guilds have unanimously passed a law that persecutes any Dreamer who trespasses a Thinker’s land. Do you know of this law, Aloysius?”
“Yes I do. But now I declare Oliver as my friend. The contract is signed on this land. What does the law have to say about this?”
“ALOYSIUS! Are you challenging me, your father?”
“Any Dreamer who signed the contract with a Thinker on a Thinker’s land cannot be persecuted by the law at the place it is validated.”
“Any Thinker or Dreamer who signed the contract will be automatically denounced as a Deviant. The Deviant shall be banished from his land, but no law can persecute a Deviant.”
There is a long stillness. The Chief looks at Aloysius poignantly.
“It seems like you’ve already passed your own judgment unto yourself, Aloysius. And so this judgment shall be upheld. Villagers, everyone, the assembly is officially dissolved.”
The crowd disperses, leaving the father, the son, and the friend whom the son is trying to protect.
“You’re a bright child, Aloysius,” says the village Chief, “but it is regrettable that it has to arrive at this conclusion. Why did you do it, knowingly it is wrong?”
“Why can’t Thinkers and Dreamers be friends? Pa, you taught me that logic is infallible, but where’s the logic in this? Answer me, Pa.”
“And I have told you, son, that to question logic, you need proof. So for now, you’ll leave this place. Until you can find proof to overturn this logic, then only you’ll return. Now take your friend away.”
Deep down in heart, Aloysius still knows that his father loved him very much. But because of his actions, because of the present circumstance, he cannot stay with his family any longer. He has chosen his path, and he has to walk it.
Aloysius unties the bounds and gags from Oliver, and carries him on his back. As he trots down the road, he turns back for the last time to wave his farewell.
“I’ll prove it to you, father. One day, Thinkers and Dreamers will live together as one big family, and never again will the laws of society separate them. That day will come. I’ll make it happen.”
As the final tear drops onto his birth soil, he secures Oliver to his back, and runs off the direction of no return.