They never noticed him, though their group was so small and the people very close.
Even in this neverending desert, where nothing grew, where there was nothing but yellow sand, they failed to notice him.
In their caravan he was always to last one to join on his camel and not because he was so slow - he always was the first to get up and get on his camel or the first to do the things he was asked to do - but simply because they all walked over him and pushed him away, giving him these annoyed glances.
"Can't you see where you're riding your camel, boy?"
When they were continuing their journey to the Great Oasis, the only place with water and plants and all other great things, and the sun stood high up in the sky, they all shared a tiny bottle of water with each other.
He waited impatiently, while the sun was burning on his skin and the sweat was dripping on his forehead. "Baba, please, could you hurry up?" he asked, trying to overwhelm the gurgling of the old man before him.
Of course, he didn't hear him and as teh very last drop fell in his mouth, he dropped the flask and followed the rest of the caravan.
The poor boy, dying of thirst, could do nothing but follow as well.
***A few years flew by and the boy eventually became a man.
The man, together with his caravan, finally reached the Great Oasis.
It was truly as breathtaking as they said it would be.
They stood oon dunes of sand and looked out over some kind of tiny city, with in its core a massive pool with water of the clearest of blues.. You could see the various fish, big and small, swim there peacefully and the plants that grew in it, dancing due to the fish swimming by.
The city even had buildings!
Though they were broken and ruined and overgrown by the plants that surrounded them, they were still the best they've ever seen.
As they walked further into the Great Oasis, they discovered that it was even bigger than they had expected. There was entire forest that stretched out behind the city with monkeys screeching and moving from tree to tree; with lions growling from green hills; with swines and hogs running by with their babies, their flesh thick and oily.
This was really paradise and all of them were overjoyed.
They wanted to thank their gods for this miracle and so they made altars, spread of their new home. They made houses of the fallen bricks and rocks, the dark, sticky mud and the gigantic leaves of particular trees. They made patches of grains, fruits and vegetables on the fertile mud that covered most of their ground.
They made a real home out of this paradise and everyday they thanked their gods and prayed for them to not take it away.
But the man always stood on the sideline, even though he worked just as hard for all of this.
As the city kept flourishing year in and year out, as the population kept growing, he tasted nothing of it all.
He didn't taste the thrill of the hunt, though he was always there, because no one ever let him actually go after the animals.
He didn't taste the deliciousness of the food, though he ate, because no one asked him to join the meals.
He didn't taste the feeling of happiness or love, though he kissed a girl once or twice and laughed at others' jokes, because no one let him in.
This city had flourished also because of him, but he still didn't feel like he was a part of it. He wasn't allowed to, it seemed.
The man eventually grew bitter; he grew sick of their ignorance, he grew sick of their happiness without him. So he decided to leave his people - it wouldn't make any difference anyway.
He decided to reside in the depths of the woods, where he found a big den. He soon discovered it was a lions' den and as the lions approached him, growling and baring their teeth, he smoothly cut all of them down. He then skinned them of their pelts and used them to keep him warm in that cold den. He used their flesh to keep his stomach full and happy.
Days passed in which he simply went out hunting, came back, ate and slept. As he thought: no one had even come to look for him.
Though he didn't want to admit it, it did hurt him. He had left them and had gone far away from them, leaving every memory shared from birth behind, they still failed to notice him.
It angered him. It filled his heart with hate.
And that hate made him do cruel things.
Another day he went out hunting again, but this time he hunted the entire day and much closer to the city. He knew his people fed off the swines and hogs there, so he went and killed all of them - even the fertile females and their babies.
He had a bit of trouble with tying all the bodies together and dragging them back to their den, so he decided to cut them into big chunks and tie those together. Then he dragged different heaps of meat back to his den where he used them to fill his stomach.
He ate and he ate, even though his stomach was too full and he vomited after every piece he had put in his mouth.
Then he slept, claiming to be at peace, but actually twisting and turning for his stomach was aching.
The next day he went back to the city, around the time that the hunting party went out.
He had hidden behind a tree and grinned as he saw the men taking in their positions and waiting silently. For minutes. For hours. The entire morning.
Then one got up and said: "It's no good. Let us come back again tomorrow."
And they came again and waited again and went back home empty handed again.
They did so every day, during which they went even deeper into the forest, hoping to find their food there. But they never knew that the night before the man they never noticed had already hunted them down before them.
He had eaten them, too, even though his stomach was too full and he was vomiting after every piece of meat he had put in his mouth. Then he had slept, claiming to be at peace but actually twisting and turning for his stomach ache grew worse.
And soon there was no animal left in the forest.
They didn't come back to the forest anymore.
Instead, they decided to live off the fish in thier massive pool and the patches of grains, fruits and vegetables.
Just like they had forgotten the existence of the man, they had forgotten the forest once so oveflowing with animals. They even cut down some trees and used them to make better rods to catch fish with and to make to houses stronger.
It didn't even surprise the man anymore - he only saw new opportunities to thwart them.
With a dark cloud of hate and anger floating above him he went and stole all the pots they had filled with the harvested grains, fruits and vegetables of the houses and broke the rods of the fishers.
He decided to move his home to a different den, one closer to the city, where he could watch them suffer.
"Now they will notice me," he said to himself.
But his people simply remade the pots and filled them again. They simply cut down more trees to make rods again.
And they once again forgot what happened to their old pots and rods.
And they once again didn't notice the man.
And the man became more furious than ever.
He didn't even bother to wait for the night when everyone slept.
He walked straight into the city.
He walked by the pool where the fishermen fished and yelled: "I'll take away your fish!"
He jumped in with his hands turned into claws and teared the fish with his long nails.
The men threw annoyed glances at him and said: "Young man, get out of the way; you're scaring the fish."
He screamed in agitation and started to tear through the fish again, reddening the clear blue water. Then he pulled them out of the water and gobbled the fish, raw and scaley, up into his too full stomach, right in front of them.
"You will have fish no more!"
The men booed at him, told him not to eat them so raw, yelled at him for being so seflish - there was barely anything left to eat! Luckily they got the patches, otherwise they would eat him!
"You will?! Well, that would be the first time you'd notice me!"
He jumped out the pool and ran straight at the houses. Behind them he saw both men and women and laughing children working on the land, while the sun was burning their skin.
He ran over the patches with wet, dirty feet and took away their equipment.
He yelled: "I'll take away all of your grains and fruits and vegetables!"
Upon which they said with annoyed glances: "Young man, get out of the way; you're keeping us from working."
He screamed out of agitation and started to dig through the fertile mud ferociously, pulverizing the seeds that were sown, destroying the growing plants.
"You will have food no more!"
Again, they simply booed at him, told him not dig like that through the mud, yelled at him for being so selfish - there was barely anything left to eat! Luckily they had the pool full of fish, otherwise they'd eat him!
"You will?! After all this time, you only want to notice me now?!"
He ran away and was back at the houses again. The fishermen had come, too, and were approaching him, while waving their rods angrily in the air. But they were approaching him.
Behind him, he saw the farmers coming for him. They were coming for him.
They yelled various things at him, they blamed him, they hated him, they wanted him to fix this, they wanted to punish him.
They looked at him. All of them.
He couldn't believe it - finally they saw him! He laughed and danced and the tears rolled down his cheeks; they were really looking at him!
They drew closer and closer and even started throwing sticks and stones, so many at once that he had to run away. He had to be chased by them.
Adn he laughed all the way and looked up to the skies above. He thanked the gods, because finally, finally, they had done something good for him.
When the yells and the footsteps receded, he came to a halt and looked behing him.
The people of the city where trailing back to the city.
But he knew they'd come back to find him.
And they did.
They did so for weeks, months even.
They even spotted him sometimes, chased him down for hours and injured the laughing maniac who seemed to enjoy it all with their spears and stones.
But they grew tured, eventually, especially with those empty stomachs and dry throats, and were forced to come back again.
The next day they did the same; they chased him down, injured him, grew tired and went back.
They grew tired quicklier and quicklier every day, leaving the man running for hours only to realise that it was only the wind that was chasing him down.
Soon it really was only the wind that chased him down, that gave him false hope by making the leaves rustle and the branches break and fall.
Soon he was left on his own again, forgotten as always.
No, he thought. No, not again!
So he ran straight back towards the city again.
It was quiet.
He walked by and in the pool, splashing around and making sounds.
It had no effect.
He walked over the fields, stomped on the mud, pulled out the - rotting - plants and yelled again.
It did nothing.
He slammed on the the doors of the houses, went in a few on broke their belongings.
No one came to scold him.
He had even found dead corpses.
He was taken aback by the dead.
The once lively city, the Great Oasis they had been searching for, had become dead and abandoned.
He then ran quickly to the edge of the city, to the dunes where they had stood when they had found the oasis.
He looked out over the desert that he had been journeying on his entire childhoof.
In the burning sunlight he saw a few black dots on the yellow sand, marching their way to a new paradise, leaving him here.
This time they would never come back.
"WHY?" he screamed at those dots, at the sky from where the gods looked down on him. "WHY ARE YOU LEAVING ME?"
On a dark and rainy night the man lay in his den with his stomach too full and bursting.
His body couldn't handle the pressure and made him vomit on such a high force that he started spitting out parts of his insides and blood.
There in his dirty, stinking den he died in oblivion, that which he had been trying to escape all this time.
Thank you for reading!
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