The city basked in the shining brilliance of the rising sun’s rays.  The sky was alive with the brushstrokes of an illustrious and mighty painter swirling reds, oranges, yellows, and purples together in a harmonious arrangement.

Towers that scraped against the vastness of the atmosphere and buildings that bowed at the feet of those reigning turrets both stood full of bustling life and full of corrupting pride in their respected places.  Some rose, newly born, above the surface and others fell as their rule came to a swift end; their death a reverential display to never be forgotten.  But all were built with knowledge, with wisdom, and with understanding from the vanities of the people’s minds; their foundations laid by deceivers, dreamers, and schemers.  The ideas they were built upon lived on as the metropolis continued to grow at an exponential rate over years and years, while also deteriorating at an even higher rate

However, the land on which it all began, where the very heart of the city had begun beating, was destroyed piece by piece in the process.  The serene forests of many different types of trees, young and old, had been cut down.  The fields abundant with grasses and flowers dancing in the wind had been sheared.  The streams casually meandering along their routes had been dried up.  The hills that added dimension and curvature to the grounds had been leveled to uniformity.  What had once been a paradise teeming with pulsating life, took on a different form of life; one of darkness and corruption.

For the city was layered in them.  Every inch and crevice was coated with the filth. Even in the dawn, the population hid in the shadows, cowering from the revealing light; their shops and homes blocking it out altogether.  Truth was not welcome in the city and love had been cast aside into poverty, living in the alleyways and hiding in the sewers.

The utopia believed to have been built would surely stand forever.  Nothing could come against them.  Immortality was within their very grasp.  Who needed God when one could build his way to heaven?

Alas, all beginnings eventually have an end and the cycle repeats itself.  One chance day, the sky suddenly turned as black as the heart of the city itself.  The winds grew fierce and unforgiving.  Lightning struck the colossal towers and hail assaulted the streets.  Even the ground beneath them began to tremor violently.  Could the eternal city stand against such a tremendous battering and live?  The population seemed to think so, even as buildings began to crumble and towers began to fall.  They cursed and shook their fists at God, all the while electing to remain in place; choosing death over saving their own skins.

After hours of destruction and chaos, the ground finally gave one final lurch, just as the wind, hail, and lightning reached a climax, and the entire city collapsed upon itself. Fire and smoke licked at nearly every fallen structure.  A heavy blanket mixture of fog and ash settled over the ruins.  Nothing was allowed to stand.  No one was permitted to live.  The very pride that grew the city to its soaring heights also brought it to its knees.

Finally, after days of hiding in the cover of darkness, the area once again began to clear up, as the haze lifted.  The structures, cars, and bodies had vanished from sight, as greens and browns were once again allowed to thrive.

Nothing remained of that triumphant, prideful city.  Only jade grasses and vibrant flowers stood in the vast vacant lot it once occupied.  At the very center of the clearing there did stand a foreign being; one lone tree bearing many kinds of succulent fruits and maturing blossoms.  That tree of life towered over its surroundings with calm authority, demanding neither respect nor scorn, but merely welcoming any and all who would eat of its fruits and be at peace.  Even love had found a new resting place under its shade.

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