Three identical apes only distinguishable from each other by the coats of their fur lived above the earth on the highest peak in the world. Each day the apes would wake up and start their decent to meet their people. Bruce was troublesome and fully of energy he would run ahead of the two other apes then return and join them.
Bruce’s coat was jet black, smooth, silky, and beautiful, always appearing sleek and in perfect order.
Bruce’s sudden busts of energy never bothered the other two as they talked and argued the entire journey. One was more outspoken however, his coat was equally black but it lacked the allure of Bruce’s coat. It also had a patch of hair in white twisted neatly and tied, it hang by the left side of his head. Thoko fumed as his white lock swayed in tandem with his frustration towards the other ape as he reasoned that expressions of love had changed and to find love meant agreeing to change. However, all Thokozile could do was laugh, there were days when Thokozile would respond and actually have conversations with Thoko and there were days all he would do was laugh at the ape.
Every year they made this pilgrimage to walk down the side of the peak and watch the humans in that area go about their daily lives. It had become their regular custom after they discovered their area had been populated by strange looking creatures that walked on their two knuckles, just like they did but never stood on all four knuckles, like they did.
“Bruce, you join us now, we are close.” Thoko signalled the energetic ape to his side, immediately sending a silence to their foot path. “How many can you see,” Thoko asked Bruce. “I see a whole new town from the last one, it seems they have expanded.”
“Anything to be excited about” Thoko probed Bruce more. “Let me show you” Bruce replied before zooming off towards the direction of the town. He ran around the town, hiding behind every uncut bush that showed boundaries for where was safe for two knuckles to move.
As Bruce was finishing his tour of the land, Thoko together with Thokozile, had a casual walk meeting up with Bruce by the central part of town. Best seats in the town to watch everyone from one centrally located spot. It was Thokozile’s idea to find one spot instead of constantly moving to find out what’s happening.
“Bruce, join us” Thoko’s domineering presence ensured Bruce was already on his way.
When Bruce finally arrived he found Thoko and Thokozile had cleared a small piece of land for them to watch their annual pilgrimage entertainment. “Anything of interest?” Thoko asked Bruce as he sped towards the other apes. “As we left them last year, they keep fighting and growing distant, hence the quick expansion. I can feel the earth beneath has been suffering from the lack of positive energy. If this keeps up, the negative energy will jump upon our backs on our trip back and corrupt our world in the skies.”
Thokozile answered instead, not waiting to hear the childish thoughts and suggestions of Bruce. “Thokozile, he didn’t ask you.” Bruce spoke out in frustration. “What do you suggest we do?” Thokozile asked Thoko ignoring Bruce’s frustration.
“Bruce, show us what you have seen.” Thoko spoke ignoring the other two apes. The apes sat down facing each other in a circle facing each other. With their eyes closed the apes could see the new town, the people seemed ordinary, until Thokozile spotted a child cry in the middle of the market place. However non of the people around the child seemed to care. The more Thokozile paid attention to the child the more he noticed a strange tension surrounding the air.
The child never made an attempt to move but the rest of the town was in a frenzy. A woman was shaking a man in a house on the right of the child. Screaming about a lack of substance, the need for more, to compete, to show that they love each other. She shaked and shaked but the man’s mind was far into the drink he kept staring at on the table, oblivious to the world around him.
Screams and the sound of more than just hearts being broken, to the house on the left of the little boy. Blinds closed shut, the only light making a pathway, came from underneath the door. The light bounced around the room as it reflected off shards of mirror particles littered throughout the house. In the corner, curled into fetal position on the floor lay a sobbing man. His hands were dripping with his own blood, evidently in pain, but no matter how heavy the sobs of the man, he never let go of the picture frame in his hands. Bruised and bleeding but he would not let go of the picture. The picture of a beautiful lady holding a child and trying to rush into the picture was a younger better looking version of the broken man clasping the picture while tears run down the man’s face.
Then an uneasy silence descended upon the town, like the calm before the storm. The hairs on the apes coats stood on end unrelentingly. Nothing happened 10, 20, 50 minutes later, but the hairs would not relent. After an hour the noise returned to the town and the hairs settled down. Outside arrows could be seen everywhere, on the roofs of houses, through the clothes hang out to dry and even on the playground of the school arrows laid themselves everywhere.
The people now coming out of their hiding places, all seemed generally unbothered. No one made an attempt to complain, nor to cry, they all just seemed to gather the arrows stacking them together. People jumped over damaged property to retrieve these arrows, and as the scene set before the apes appeared to be a daily life the people had accepted and made no effort to change.
The apes went back to that road with the houses on the left and right of the child. But the child wasn’t in the spot they had left him. Rather he flown forward when the arrow hit him from the back. A woman reached for the arrow in the child, put her foot on the child’s back and yanked it out of the corpse of the child. Then she calmly walked away from the child, like the child was never alive nor breathing. More people walked past the child, some even jumped over the child as they all retrieved arrows and stacked them by the heart of the city where everyone in town seemed to be congregating.
When the last arrow was brought to the pile, the people all looked towards the tower occupying the center of town. The people all stretched their necks and looked up toward the highest point of the tower where a figure just stood and watched them. As if asking for permission to go back to their lives, the figure outstretched it’s arms out and clapped once and the crowd dispersed leaving the town in it’s broken down state.
The three apes stared at the tower trying to see more but the blinds closed shut and the gates at bottom opened as a stream of guards rushed out to begin cleaning the town and hauling the arrows back into the tower. The body of the child was thrown onto of the pile of arrows and dragged behind the tower gates never to be seen or talked about again.
As the apes opened their eyes returning to the spot as they still sat in the circle now holding hands.
“It’s been a while since we have involved ourselves in the affairs of others, let’s have fun” Thoko said looking at the buzz of human activity returning to its normal pattern.