The Origin of Mantisss




The Mantis

Journal of Harry Choen June 1st

I didn’t anticipate for anything interesting to happen today. After all, my plan was to finish reading Einstein’s paper on theory of relativity and continue working on my thesis. I headed down to the coffee house around noon to continue studying.
The air was hot and permeated with humidity; I could sense the storm coming. The coffee shop was unusually empty given the hour. The regular lunchtime crowd chose to remain in the coolness of their air-conditioned offices. As I sat at the bar, I inhaled the rich fumes of espresso and my clove cigarette. Outside got dark and it started raining.
I longed for conversation and Mr. Einstein did not seem like an adequate companion. There was only one other person sitting with me at the bar. It was a woman. I looked at her long flowy hair reaching almost as far as her lower back. It was beautiful, black as night but with glimpses of emerald and golden. It made me think of sunshine streaming through the leaves of a tree.
I followed her curves with my eyes, slowly down her back and onto her legs and back up onto her shoulders and face just as she turned around and looked at me.
-Hello- I said and quickly put out my cigarette.
-Hello came in reply… My name isss Mantisss…
-Harry, Harry Choen.
As I observed her face, I felt a shiver run down my spine. It was beautiful, yet it was dreadful. Her skin glimmered gold, her lips were full and pale and her eyes…They were the biggest green eyes I have ever seen. Their look enveloped me and I was drowning, loosing myself in their depth. They glimmered like jade and were hard like stone.
Quickly I blinked to release myself from their spell.
- This is the first time I see you here, I inquired as casually as possible.
- Thisss isss true, I just arrived here to the Paragon Ssity.
- Well, and where did you arrive from than?
- Coaxal.
- Funny, I never heard of this place before.
- I believe you kind calsss it the Amazon.
- Oh…
As the conversation developed I realized that Mantis was something more than human. In fact she seemed to be more of an insect, an ancient being enclosed in a body of a woman. Her words were hypnotic as were her eyes. As she revealed her story to me I began to understand that this woman was millennia old and spoke of the Inca as her people.

Mantis stepped out of the shadows and the moist embraces of streams. Her element was the forest. It was a vast domain she claimed her own from highest reaches of Endie’s cloud forests to the treetops of coastal cedars. Her words described the land almost as a person, a live being with emotions and moods that change quickly from adoration to severe anger. She chose to come forward to provide guidance for the people of “her land” as she called them. They called her “She-who-is-one-with-with-the-forest”.
Incas were a spectacular- industrious and innovative and yet humble and respectful of her wishes. Their culture worshiped the elements. Sun, water earth and wind. Sun was the God creator and She referred to him as Father.
Inca culture flourished with her help. She showed them how to harvest the forest without hurting life. She gave them knowledge of medicine and minerals and taught them how to cultivate new plants for nourishment.
Mantis was worshipped. There was a temple devoted to her in the city of the clouds. I believe she was referring to Manchu Pitchu.
Her story described many years of harmonious living with people. They performed rituals that she did not agree with, yet she respected their ways.
-Thisss iss nature… she said… everything has to come to an end to allow for other to have a beginning.
First trouble started when the outsiders arrived. Given the timeline of her story, I understood she spoke of the Spaniards. Both the people and the forest soon felt their arrival. With the Spaniards there came the sickness and animals that unsettled the balance.
-Ssspaniards, she hissed. They stank of body odor, alcohol and death. Their horsesss trampled the plantsss beneath their hoovesss. There was no respect in their eyes-jussst greed.
-My people fought them. It was a loosing battle. Everyone wasss dying, the wingsss of death were upon uss. I prayed to my father to give me power. I had to take my revenge.And he lissstened. I felt the power rise within me. I felt the anger and all the sssudden I could control creaturesss other than the forest. I hurled rocks at the invaders, I made their horssses quiver with frear, I made their bodies collapse and their minds disssipate with the power of my will…

I didn’t interrupt as the words poured out of her. Her jade eyes seemed to flash thunders. Her body grew and swelled as spoke. I felt like an intruder catching a glimpse of a forbidden knowledge.
-What happened than?.. I inquired. Mantis turned her eyes to me and her look f froze my lips and my limbs.
-Father sssaid it had to be. I rebelled and acted against his will. His wrath wasss immense. I watched my land die. I watched my people die. SSStuppid… how sstupid were they to think that their own bloodssshed would prevent the distruction. They sssacrificed themselves, and for what?
-I couldn’t bare to witness this dessstruction no more. Tiered I retrieved back into the darkness and the wet embrace of the foressst.
Mantis fell asleep. Little did she know that her Father chose to punish her and make her sleep for centuries When she awoke, according to her about 3 weeks ago, she found her land changed, her people gone and her Father silent. Her once vast domain was reduced to a fraction of a former self; some areas of the forest were entirely gone. She no longer felt the presence of many animals and plants. The forest was angry, but it was also helpless. It seemed like its spirit vanished. As she explored the remnants of cities that her people left behind, she found extraterrestrial beings pillaging the ruins. Their arrogance once again awaken the anger within her. As she fought them, and resisted their attacks the forest spoke to her again. The silence was finally broken after so many years.
-Paragon Ssity , it told me. They came from the Paragon SSSity.
The words of the forest were sparse, but they gave her enough direction to find passage here. She arrived to take her revenge on the foreign invaders, to restore the balance and life to the forest. However, I think that a part of her motivation goes back to the times of the Inca…
Even though her story was captivating I felt the call of nature myself. I excused myself to run to the bathroom (bloody coffee). When I came out of the bathroom, which couldn’t be longer than 25 seconds she was gone. Bloody coffee…the bar stool next to mine was still warm, all that remained was a strange smell of her perfume. Made me think of orchids and moss.