As helpless as mankind has proven itself to being the past, it is undeniable that despite atrocities we face, it is the little things that manage to make us happy. Simple things like taking your shoes off after a long, hard day; Finding a bit of cash in our old trouser pockets. There can also be life changing moments however. Such as beating everyone else and receiving first place in a competition and being handed a glowing trophy in front of hundreds of applauding people. Regardless, happiness is a feeling that is hard to explain. It is as hard as explaining what the color red is to a blind man.
This is a story of Nathan. Nathan was a seventeen year old, fair and blonde boy. He had a short bulky build. He lived, much like a troll, under a bridge. He had no memory of his parents or of his life before two years for that matter. He had woken in a dank alcove near a barrel spilling with fire. Nathan called that home. His friends were the rats and roaches. Every night he pillaged garbage cans. Sometimes he found a juicy leftover. These were the things that made Nathans nights happier. The most pleasant welcome to his long night of hunting that day was his radiant, flaming fire. ‘Evening darling…’ said Nathan in monotone to the boring barrel. The barrel crackled in a rhythmic tone and it spilled a piece of fire from its fiery hair.
‘I’m good too’ said Nathan to the barrel with a smile. The chilling night could not penetrate Nathans warm alcove. Nathan edged closer towards the fire. He was feeling lonely that night, more so than usual.
“Take me away; take me from this miserable excuse of a life…” Nathan whispered to the rusty, hot barrel as he moved ever closer, closer than he had ever been. His eyes stared wildly into the depths of the raging fire. An intense sweat covered his face. His vision was getting cloudy with all the perspiration. The barrel was pulling him deeper into sleep, and he wanted to pass away into its warm clutches and never let go. Nathan started groaning as his mind ceased to function. He had forgotten all as he slipped away into a white, snowy land.
“How long had it been?” Nathan thought to himself as he awoke, sunken into soft snow. There was just snow around him, and a barrel. This one was quiet, and cleaner, but still the same one. The snow clawed beneath his skin and rampaged through his bones. He tried to scream for help, but his voice failed him.
“Do you feel happy? You called me to help you again… I was there when you were cold, scared and alone. I’m here again. Why end yourself, just because you can’t find happiness anywhere? Is that the excuse you give for ending your reign? I will give you another chance; now let me thaw your frail body, let’s go back. I’ll warm you in the world you left once again.”
Nathan woke, drenched in a sweat and covered in sand near the barrel, everlasting with its blazing fire. ‘You can’t find happiness!’ That line replayed itself and tormented Nathan. He glared at the barrel and felt a hot thrill rising in his body. “I’ve lived under you for too long. I don’t need you. I can make my happiness.” Said Nathan as he got up and kicked the barrel down the river and ran out to create his own happiness.