Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Smurfs


The day came the Smurfs were sick of living in fear of Gargamel and his cat Azrael. His attacks were becoming more frequent; Azrael seemed to be more brutal and far reaching. The air had become thin. The Smurfs decided that they would walk arm in arm and sing around Gargamel's house non-stop, if they all went Azrael wouldn't know who to attack. The Smurfs would paralyze them with their songs of peace, love and joy and convince them that life had to go on in Smurfland, the way they wanted.  There was the risk that Gargamel would have Azrael kill them or capture them all and put them in his cages yet this was a risk all Smurfs were willing to take.

The day came, their singing voices filled the air and reached the Sun, causing flowers to bloom, and winds to glide. Never had Smurfland seen such a march, they could be heard from every home. The Brotherhood Smurfs had borne the brunt and suffered tremendously under Gargamel and Azrael. Many of their Brothers were devoured, and many were still trapped in cages. They knew of the plan, but remained in their homes following obediently Papa Smurf's advice, fearing the consequences of open defiance of Gargamel and Azrael. Papa Smurf was the leader of the Brotherhood Smurfs and everyone obeyed his recommendations without question because he was the most knowledgeable and experienced. His counsel was to stay home that day and pray for those who had decided to risk their lives, explaining that survival is much more important than defying an impossible enemy.

The day chosen was Azrael's birthday, the Smurfs never thought that so many would show up, each Smurf had received his own invitation on Smurfbook, and meeting places were decided to start walking towards Gargamel's house. The numbers of Smurfs were so large that all the streets were blue. Singing at the top of their lungs from all corners of Smurfland, the land trembling from excitement, the birds astonished at having been outsung, the streets filled with all sorts of Smurfs. They believed in the strength of their song with all their hearts and souls, the world they live in would change with this song. They would make time move again.  It's not that they weren't scared, it's that they could no longer bear to live everyday with the same fear, same injustice, same inability to change one's fate. Somehow this day felt different. No one knew what would happen, Gargamel wouldn't fall or leave without a fight, his family had ruled over Smurfland for six decades. He wouldn't understand their song, or their message of peace. Instead of realizing that the clock had ticked and that his time had come, he unleashed Azrael to feast upon them. Smurfs stood strong, steady and sang with an unwillingness to retreat. Azrael's attacks were vicious scratching thousands of eyes, and feasting to an endless appetite. Faced with all this blood they became even more dedicated to their cause. They would find each other, regroup, hold hands, start singing louder and stronger, hoping this time their voice reached the Heavens, then maybe, their prayers would be answered. Gargamel was relentless. He tried all his magic spells, he even got eagles to fly down and scare them. Then, there was the stampede of squirrels that trampled over them; leaving them astonished at the capacity of brutality that Gargamel could achieve. Although many were now killed, trampled on, eaten, caged, their hopes and dreams remained larger than their fears and every lost life. Every hurt Smurf returned with bandages, and continued and their songs remained uninterrupted, and their purpose reinforced. Hope of a new better life was stronger than fear.

Papa Smurf was following what was happening, he could hear their songs, and their persistence had grown. He knew Gargamel was really old and maybe he was getting tired of this confrontation. He decided to tell all the Brotherhood Smurfs to go and join the songs at Gargamel's palace, it seemed like every home was there now. With all the Smurfs united creating a tidal wave from the bluest ocean, Azrael felt finally outnumbered and jumped from the window of the castle and ran into the forest. Gargamel feeling trapped without Azrael was forced to succumb to the Smurfs requests and escaped to his summer castle by the sea. Smurfland was to be headed by his family and his Godfather, Balthazar, until the Smurfs decided what to do next.  Balthazar promised that Gargamel and Azrael would never threaten them again. He promised that all Smurfs could rule themselves and hold elections. The Smurfs being of noble spirit accepted Balthazar's proposition and all the Smurfs went home to care for the injured, bury the dead, and recover from the trauma, trusting that Balthzar would take care of them and Smurfland.
Balthazar in reality despised the Smurfs and was actually more cold-hearted than Gargamel, in addition to being a more powerful sorcerer. The Smurfs soon realized their mistake and started marching and singing again, but this time the Brotherhood Smurfs decided not to join them. Papa Smurf continued to vow that Balthazar was a good  respectable family man, and advised all the Brotherhood to stay home. Balthazar used rats to attack, steal, and scare all the Smurfs in Smurfland, yet he convinced the Smurfs that these were attacks from enemies of Smurfland, and that he remained the grand protector of the land. Confusion hit Smurfland and the songs were now more dispersed, and less intense. But many Smurfs still believed and tried to reunite and sing together and force nature to acknowledge their song. However Balthazar was ruthless and would  stamp out each conglomeration with unhindered barbarism causing nothing but the smells of blood, doubt, fear, and despair to enter into the homes of Smurfland.
Papa Smurf met secretly with Balthzar, and after the first elections of the Smurfs Council, the hidden handshakes were soon revealed. The councils' members were all part of the Brotherhood Smurfs, and one Smurfette, because she was the only female who was a part of the Brotherhood Smurfs, and she was there only to guarantee that no other female Smurf would ever see the light of day.

It was time for presidential elections. Who would lead Smurfland after Gargamel? The top two contesters were Balthazar and Papa Smurf.  Papa Smurf and his family convinced everyone that they would protect Smurfland forever and that Gargamel's ways were gone. They won the elections only because it was against Balthazar. The first deception by Papa Smurf was that Balthazar was given a medal and allowed him to stay in Smurfland forever. And the Smurfs were tricked into believing that Papa Smurf would care for everyone not just his children. Yet the more time passed, the more the Smurfs realized that Papa Smurf was treating them worse than Gargamel. Although he looked like the Smurfs, in fact he only saw them as inferior and not capable of knowing their best interests. Papa Smurf preached, pointed and explained to them that he was wiser and must be trusted and left to do as he saw fit. But Smurfland didn't want a Papa, they wanted a President, who would share with them his power, and take their advice on how they wanted things to work in Smurfland. The more they disagreed with Papa, the angrier he got, he even decided to unleash Azrael's kittens on the most vocal Smurfs. More deaths, and more blood. Once again, confusion and despair filled every corner of Smurfland.

The despair that filled the air was heavy, how could this be the situation after such sacrifice? Hadn't they changed Smurfland forever with their song? Hadn't the sky brightened and the air lifted? Hadn't they inspired so many across the world to unite, sing and change their lives? Hadn't the wave of Smurfiness recharged the earth's blue?
Should they have united behind a leader of their own? Or wasn't it the Smurfiest that they had come together spontaneously, equally, driven to change their misery, and determined to accomplish their hopes and dreams without a leader?  Would they now despair? Would Smurfland ever be the place they all dreamed it to be?  Would it be the pillow where they lay their head? Would it be where their grandchildren always felt justice? Wasn't this their opportunity to change Smurfland forever? Hadn't they already changed it? Could things ever be as dark and suffocating as it was under Gargamel?

Suddenly the answers were clear. Smurfland had changed and all of the Smurfs had achieved that. No one could take that away. No one could reverse time. The Smurfs had learned that they were in charge of their destiny, this was immense power. This power would never be lost, would never be forgotten again. It was simple. Smurfland was theirs, they had claimed it, sacrificed for it, and the future was theirs. It was only a matter of time.