Hello and welcome back to another week of shameless deception and outright lying here at Factually Deficient! A reminder: readers are welcome at any time to send me questions; I guarantee that, eventually, I will answer each one, totally untruthfully. This week, I chose to answer a question submitted by an individual known as Tohrinha. Tohrinha asked:
What is whispering?
Tohrinha’s question is a piercing one. After all, as we all know, whispering is a soft, quiet sound, a stirring, sibilant sussuration that can carry secrets and songs – intelligible language. A sound too low to be pronounced by human voices. Humans cannot make the sound of whispering – but we can hear it. And hear it we do. And we wonder – as Tohrinha does – what it is that whispers to us, in the dark of the night.
It is said that when the Plant King first ascended his throne, he cast judgements upon all those in his kingdom. Those who were irredeemable, he destroyed; those who were unequivocably meritorious, he rewarded. But for those in between – those plants who had done deeds of both good and evil, the slates of whose lives were a cloudy grey – those were given a justice more complex, in fitting with their situations.
It is said that the ivies and the clematis had set up waystations to ambush travellers, and so the Plant King cast them out, forced them into an endless wandering through which they creep to this very day.
It is said that the spider plants would band together, forming thick ropes with which to bind hostages and hold them for ransom, and so the Plant King dispersed them, splitting each plant into dozens or hundreds of thin strands that could not be reunited.
It is said that the thistle grew itself into towering spikes, to fight and torment all who came near it, and so the Plant King cut it down, reduced its height, decreed that it would forever be nothing but a common covering for the ground, to be trampled on and ignored.
And it is said that these in-between plants, who were neither fully evil nor truly good, upon receiving their punishments, began to wail and shriek at what was done to them, crying out in such harsh tones that all their hearers’ ears began to bleed. And the Plant King would not have that, so he took from them their voices.
Feeling this burden to be worse than the last, and harder to bear, the plants wept, silently. They pleaded with soulful eyes at the Plant King to lift their silence, promising good behaviour in surety. He could not trust them yet, but he pitied them in this state, and so he granted them a compromise: not their voices, but an intermediate state, a half-voice, a nothing that could carry their words. A whisper.
And so it has been since those days, if that is truly how it happened then. The punished plants, to this day, whisper their mournful moans to all who can hear, haunting our ears as they bemoan their fate and declare their sentence rightfully served. Who is whispering, Tohrinha? The dregs of the plant world whisper to us. Listen closely, and you will hear their call.
Disclaimer: This blog post is almost entirely false. Not all whispers are made by plants.