Restiamo Uniti

Vincitori concorsi : “In the beginning there was Death”.

Francesco Padula |

In the beginning there was Death.

While the universe was still forming, Death was present, lurking in the shadows. He watched. He never slept, he never moved. He watched. And he waited. He waited for the moment in which he would be set free from an invisible chain that was holding him back. He waited for the moment in which he could begin his solemn work. He was waiting to be feared, to be hated, to be damned. He was waiting for life.

Life was born, on a planet named Earth, and Death studied life carefully. He watched as trees and bushes grew, and saw the first animals born into the world. Every now and then Death would kill an animal, experimenting with his power, but most of the time he watched and waited. Until one day, he witnessed the extinction of the species known as the Dinosaurs. As he observed the wasteland that was once Earth, he realized the beauty of his work, and he relished it. To Death there was nothing more beautiful than seeing life destroyed and extinguished so easily. Death thought life was feeble and fragile. But he realized that for him to savour the destruction of life, he had to wait for it to form again. Thus, he retreated into the shadows, watching and waiting once more.

Life was born again, and this time Man came with it.

Death was intrigued by Man. Man was smarter and more cunning than the animals and the dinosaurs. Man knew what Death was: Death was the end of life, and therefore it was the enemy. Man found new ways to counter and delay Death, with weapons to defend itself from wild animals and medicines to cure diseases. Yet as Man grew more intelligent and started building cities and empires, so did Death by creating new ways in which men could perish. Even if man was cunning, Death knew he was still fragile, not only physically but mentally. So Death created his new favorite toy: war. War was able to kill thousands and it was caused by the stupidity of man itself. But something was troubling Death. He noticed how men sometimes decided to take their own life. Death could not understand: he was supposed to be hated and feared: instead men found Death to be a better place than life. Death certainly enjoyed suicide, but it also confused him: and deep down it angered him.

As time passed man grew more and more intelligent: wars had almost stopped, and man had found new ways to cure diseases. Every stone Death threw at them, they were ready for. Death was frustrated: every war, every earthquake every pandemic was less and less bloody. Places that were once full of sorrow were now full of life. The only thing that consoled Death was that although man had used life to its fullest potential, exploring stars and galaxies, they were still dying. Even with all of its technology, man could not find a way to get rid of Death. Death was always there. And gradually man began to die out: unable to find a way to defeat Death, with the universe becoming hostile to life, man was fading away. Death was winning: it was only a matter of time.

Finally, the last human remained alive. Death decided to confront him and boast about his triumphant victory on life. The last man’s name was Adam, and he was waiting for in front of his house when Death came.

“Hello Adam” said Death, “I have been waiting for this moment a very long time”. I have finally defeated life; it will never exist again”. And with this Death smiled.

But that smile quickly disappeared when Adam replied “Death, you are wrong. You have not won. You can never  win”. As he said this the earth under his feet cracked and the sky turned grey. “You fool! I have terrified your race for eons of time. Every human has been petrified when he has come face to face with me”. Adam responded “You are wrong once more Death. With time we have learned to accept our death. Now we look at you like an old friend”. As he said this, the earth shook and the sky turned to black with Death’s rage. “No! I have won, and you have lost. You cannot do anything to stop me. You have conquered everything but Death. Life is destroyed, Death is the master”. Adam smiled and replied “Death, my friend, you don’t understand. Death is the end of life, and subsequently it is part of life. A book has to have an ending to be finished: You are the ending to life’s book. You cannot exist without life and life cannot exist without you. If you win, life also wins. If you lose, life also loses. Life and Death are one”. And with that Death realized his was doomed: The end of life was also the end of Death. Death screamed in pain as the universe crumbled around him. Death looked at Adam, at Man, at Life, once more and saw it smile before everything disappeared. Forever.

Francesco Padula

(II B liceo – Biennio)