Alpha – I

Ian makes a welcome return as Guest Author with the first part of an allegory. Many thanks, Ian.

(Image Credit: A-Z Animals)

The alpha was uneasy.

Every day he sensed the main pack retreating from him. He still had his lesser pack. The collection of the betrayers, the weak of mind, the insipid and cruel who had helped him prevail in the contest with the Alpha female.

She still lives, high up in a mountain overlooking what was once her territory.

He paid no heed to the slinking cur who replaced her. He was despatched with neither trouble nor emotion. Curs such as him always are ….. always will be. They help in the kill and wear the blood as a badge. Yet when their courage and pride are rewarded they find themselves snarling, snapping and scrabbling with others of the lesser pack over the discarded entrails and orifices. Others, the main pack, understand sacrifice of the ego is the essential strength of the leader. The cur, like the alpha, understands only the feeding of the ego. The blood as a badge. Empty, but fitting reward for the cowed. Such will always be the fate for some of the lesser pack.

Alpha looked around, his vantage point the hill once used by the Alpha female. The main pack spreadeagled below him, seeking any available shade from the sparse shrub surrounding the murky, stagnant waterhole. A place once remembered as fresh, vibrant, with clean refreshing waters and game enough to fill empty bellies and strengthen whelping pups.

(Image Credit: © Anup Shah )

The oldest female, her withered dugs scraping along the ground as she approached with the cringing deference he demanded, sought to comfort his unease. As did the others of the lesser pack. The other two competing alphas, eyes averted, took up a watching station at his back. The alpha paying them cautious, watchful heed, detected no threat from either as long as they continued to circle, probing the weakness each sought in the other, neither seeing that the weakness they sought could be found in themselves and by knowing and understanding one could defeat the other. The two, along with the alpha and others of the lesser pack, also kept close watch on the coming and going of the alpha female. Her bitterness, hidden under a cloak of obeisance but directed at the Alpha female, starts to show more and more. Her coat, once glowing, now faded. Her seasons becoming shorter and attracting scant attention from males who once chased and fought ….. believing her to be a prize worth parading and defending. She ranges far from her home territory and is begrudgingly afforded a place at other packs’ kills, but rages that the Alpha female was always given the choicest meat while she fights for the scraps left for the lesser in any pack. She fails to see the subtlety of the insult directed at her. It is easier to believe that the Alpha female coerced the clear-sighted into blindness. The alpha, the lesser pack, all can see the bitterness eating her from within. None offers comfort or advice. None ever will. She is on her own.

Still uneasy, the alpha looks around. Annoyed by the incessant empty yapping and slavering of the neutered cur that slinks along in his shadow he snaps at its neck, picking up a mouthful of mange for his trouble. He cannot be angry. The lesser pack is of his making. They reflect the face of his power, not the truth of it. They are useful and can be discarded without thought.

(Image Credit: Riian Wolhuter )

The truth of his power lay elsewhere. In the shadows. In the darkness. It lay not in what he is, but in what he has become. It lay not in what he gave, but to whom it was given. It lay not in the questions he asks, but in those he doesn’t. The shadows, becoming more insistent by the day, are beginning to demand more and more of every kill. Yet every kill diminishes the long term survival of all the packs. Lesser, main, neighbour and shadow. The alpha sees nothing of this.

The shadows, as always, have awakened and fed his bloodlust. His pack, the lesser ones, senses his arousal. The females, both the mated and unmated, vie for his attention. The subservient males cower in front of him and the two lower alphas, once again, avert their eyes. The alpha, blood surging, moves toward the main pack.

(Image Credit: Martin Harvey )

The attack is swift, brutal and many, too many, of the main pack are caught unawares. The elderly, sick, wounded. The pups. The defenceless. Not all escaped the attack. Bloodlust demands blood. Only quantity slakes the thirst. Quality is of no import. The seething rage of a deeply hidden impotence overtakes the alpha and his lesser pack. Fueled by the blood, a cruelty, once secretly nurtured, is now unleashed.

The battle rages. Most of the main pack avoid the fray. They take their pups, their elderly, the infirm with them. Others fight on. Ill-equipped. In disarray. Still they fight. The survival of the main pack depends upon them. This attack is stopped, for now. They prepare for the next. If they fail they know the attacks will become more frequent and more vicious. Debt, when owed to the shadows, demands ongoing payment in blood and meat. The defenders of the main pack, also Alphas, fight to deny the shadows payment. Fight hard enough and light will manifest itself out of the darkness. The shadows will be seen for what they are ……. the worst of what is in our hearts.

Having seen the conflict, its beginnings, its aftermath, the Alpha female leaves the mountain. She moves toward the shadows.

(Image Credit: Chicken Smoothie)

575 thoughts on “Alpha – I

  1. kambah mick,

    The amount spent on these fireworks appalls me too. I would love to be able to re-direct the funds to building public housing. This would give so many people safety and security. Having a roof over one’s head should be standard not a privilege.

  2. Simon Ded’…I weakened and returned to help them out a bit….funny how they never appreciate knowledge…what can one do?

  3. kambah mick
    I have to admit I’m an old grump when it comes to fireworks, I loathe them. I think they are pointless and a total waste of money, standing around gawping at coloured explosions is not my idea of fun.

    That said, every time there’s a fireworks display I can’t help wondering what better things could have been done with the money. The Sydney displays last night cost $6.8 million. Telstra was a major sponsor, along with Citibank. I’d rather they had donated that money to something worthwhile. There were other lesser sponsors. The money spent on marketing and admin and whatever must be huge. For what? Flashing lights and a lot of coloured smoke. Bread and circuses for the masses, that’s all it is.

  4. Fiona
    Yes, we really did a lot to help the women of Afghanistan, didn’t we. Just like we ‘helped’ the women of Iraq. Sorry, I get very bitter and twisted about it all, especially when that ‘help’ is used by our politicians as a justification for Australia’s involvement in wars.

    Now – I’m off to watch a few episodes of Cadfael with No 1 son, see youse all later.

  5. Fiona
    Funny that you never seem to hear of ex politicians helping out at those events once they are in fact “ex”.

    Back when I was about 21 I worked with a bloke named Jack, who was a volunteer at the Mat Talbot hostel and he was scornful of the people who would turn up at Christmas to “get their photos in the paper”.
    Jack was a terrible man, a chain smoker, heavy drinker, reckless punter, serial adulterer, a shifty employee of doubtful honesty and little integrity. But regularly as clockwork at least two nights per week he volunteered to help at Mat Talbots, and he never took the easy jobs or the jobs that were in any way genteel. Jack used to work in the showers, helping the drunken, the drugged, the sufferers of the DTs etc to get cleaned up and dried off. It was often very hands on work with people you could barely stand to walk in the same room as let alone touch, and Jack with his normally fearsome and violent temper in check would be uncomplaining and good humoured as he was vomited on, sneezed over, spat and pissed on, even crapped on as he worked.
    Jack had been volunteering there long before I met him, and for many years after I moved on and he would have never allowed his name or photo to appear in connection with that work.
    I often wondered what demons he was trying to appease, or if there was a background story. I guess even the worst of men have a better angel, but he was sure no showpony.

  6. BK,

    We will have to wait until the release of cabinet papers in 30 years time to get the full story.

    Blimey! If we live that long, you and I will be lucky to blow out one of our birthday candles let alone put out a bushfire! 😉

    If there’s a Conservative government in power, you might not find out anything. Veil of secrecy, mind you. National security and all that.

    Abbott’s Direct Action might have just lowered the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 1% of 1901 emissions by then! 😉

  7. Dear Kambah Mick,
    Your stories are inspirational, and restore my faith in human nature. Thank you.

  8. Leone,
    Bitter and twisted is an appropriate reaction to politicians’ hypocrisy.

    Enjoy Cadfael. I’m on my umpteenth reread of An Excellent Mystery at the moment.

  9. Corr Blimey! I think I came home a bit too early or late or something! Anyone got a spare bed in Adelaide for a couple of Scorpios? 😉

    [ Parts of Australia have started the new year in sweltering conditions, with temperatures near 50 degrees Celsius in regional South Australia and a heatwave predicted for Queensland. ]

    [ The hot and windy conditions in SA’s north do not translate down to Adelaide where temperatures are forecast to be about 23 degrees all week. ]

    [ Week-long Queensland heatwave ]

    [ Queensland’s north-west has also seen a hot and sticky start to 2014.

    Urandangi topped the state today with 46.5 degrees, while Mount Isa posted 44.6 and further south Birdsville hit 44.5.

    The sizzling temperatures will not abate in parts of Queensland for at least a full week.

    Mount Isa is forecast to remain above 40 degrees until next Wednesday when temperatures drop to a relatively cool 37 degrees.

    Similar conditions are faced at Longreach, Winton and Barcaldine.

    Brisbane is expected to reach a high on Saturday with the mercury nudging close to 40 degrees. ]

  10. BK,
    [ I see you survived the Coopers Sparkling Ale onslaught Scorps! ]

    Yeah! But I had to have a lie down for a couple of hours after it though. 😉

    Consider your grand son’s head officially wetted up here in blistering hot Queensland.

  11. Scorps
    I noted that Windorah was something like 48C yesterday or the day before. I doubt even the nice old pub there (The Western Star??) would make that endurable.
    My nephew from Melb has recently moved with his wife to Rocky, their first summer north of the Murray. Some culture shock is in the offing I think.

  12. kambah mick,

    Your nephew would probably be thinking of moving back there except that they can get pretty hot temps down there too.

    Wasn’t it 47 or thereabouts when they had the big bush-fires there some years back?

  13. Yeah, its my impression that Melb can be bloody hot occasionally, but usually only in relatively short bursts and mostly with cool nights. Rocky on the other hand seems to have an “outback Qld” climate because of the ranges between there and the coast which seem to negate any amelioration of the climate by proximity to the sea.

  14. Happy New Year to one and all!
    Been a “lurker” since your inception.
    Hope 2014 sees the end of not only PMBO but also his childish, ill-thought-out agenda (and all who sail in it).
    May they all be shamed for their meanness of spirit. May they be caught out by the bogans for not delivering them anything they hoped for.

  15. Mandy,
    My apologies – I didn’t check the “pending” folder until just now – hence the redating and retiming of your comment!

    Please stop lurking and start commenting: the more the merrier (especially on Fridays).

    Happy New Year to you.

  16. Fiona,

    I reckon Mandy deserves an extra shout from the Bar on Friday, don’t you? 😉

    Did you see my mail to you?

  17. Fiona,

    Have I ever told you you were wonderful?

    BTW. I loved that picture of you somebody stuck up on Facebook!

    Was the other half in one of them too?

  18. kambah mick,

    Thank you for your thoughts on fireworks displays. Yes, they should be canned, except when they stick it up despots like Dolores Umbridge.

    Keep up the great work

  19. Acerbic Conehead,
    I couldn’t agree more!

    Repost – pretty please – at the new thread …

Comments are closed.