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Abyss

A dull ‘woosh’ pulsates in my ears. This is the closest to silence I’ve ever known. My feet sink in the loose sand of the ocean floor.

This is the void. The water surrounding me is illuminated, appearing a deep blue.

Where does the light come from?

I look ahead and see black shadows; rocky caverns dug by the invisible hands of time. They stand hundreds of feet tall. To the left and the right, more black.

I can’t find the source of the light. Even looking up there’s only blue. Where is the sun? Can’t it reach down here?

I feel small.

For the first time, I see what there is to fear in the dark. The absence of anything. Aren’t there monsters in the void? Isn’t there something to see? Nothing but blue. Nothing but black rocks to the sky.

Then the noise comes. Not the ‘woosh’ from before, but a hum. A high hum. A whalesong from the dark.

Where is he? The hum is growing louder. It fills my head, penetrates my thoughts. That hum. It’s hurting now. The water begins to churn. Movement. I stumble as the new current knocks me to my knees. I close my eyes, wincing from the pain of the sharp noise.

Then it stops.

I open my eyes to a darker void, my hands and knees now stuck in the sand. The light is gone. The ‘woosh’ is gone. I know a new silence like nothing I can describe. I can hear only my breathing. How am I breathing?

The light is gone. I can barely see my hands in front of me. Then I see the edge of the shadow. The light is not gone, only covered overhead.

I hear my deep inhale, close my eyes tight, and face the void above me.

I open my eyes.

For a moment I can only see darkness. Then comes a familiar sound. The same hum, yet gentler. Calming.

The monster opens its eye as well. It’s yellowed and glazed, only inches from my face. The cold eye of an aging spirit. He was once a traveler, a pioneer of the darkness. Now he has become it. I hear no joy in his song. But there’s no pain either.

This is acceptance. Acceptance of the answers he sought, and of the questions he found.

‘Go into the darkness’ his song says.

“I’m afraid,” I whisper aloud to the cold eye, my hand resting on his rough skin.

‘So was I, until I found you’ the creature sings.

“Is there anything but darkness out there? Is there a journey to be had?”

‘That is a choice left up to you’

I feel myself start to cry. My face falls into my open hands.

“What happens if I don’t find anyone? Will I be left to die in the dark?”

‘You were born in the dark, my child. The light is not a gift we’re granted, but what we strive to find’

“But this place isn’t the light. You didn’t find it. You failed.”

‘Failed? Hardly…This place is the most brilliant I’ve seen. Now I leave you to find somewhere brighter. Perhaps you will come upon another child of the dark. Send him on, as I have you’

Then the creature leaves; in which direction I can’t tell. I bring myself to my feet.

Where does the light come from?

Behind those black rocks, maybe.

stalker

…is still my favorite film of all time. Absolutely beautiful.

Goals

So, I’ve started giving myself weekly goals to complete as a friendly reminder that I’m not supposed to be a lazy slob for three months of the year (usually it just happens). Anyway, as part of this little self-check-list I plan on composing 3 rough drafts, and they will be rough I assure you, every week for the rest of the summer and hopefully much further on. I seldom attempt to create stories out of all my quality ideas, which means I seldom have completed stories to post on this page. This is all going to change. Expect to see at least one full post a week (so long as I stick to the goals I’ve made for myself). Let’s hope I’m as deidcated as I think I am…

-Aaron-

Blood

The squirrel’s carcass lay on its stomach at the foot of the tree.

There were but a few frayed hairs about the thin bone and cartilage which extended vertically into the air, as if flagging down some would-be reaper. A call to harvest the dead. 

There were no more eyes, either. Perhaps eaten by scavengers, or maybe just fully decomposed. Two sockets shown, revealing the abysmal innards of the rodent’s skull. The body was curled over on itself, the tiny, clawed hands holding firmly against the chest what appeared to be a cache of acorns.

“What do you think happened to it?” Laney pondered aloud, squatting down to see closer.

“I’m not sure. He’s pretty much intact, though,” came Randall’s response.

“It looks like he might have fallen,” said Laney.

“Don’t be silly. Squirrels spend half their lives in trees. They can land on their feet every time, just like cats do.”

“No. I mean, I think he jumped. I think he might have wanted to die,” Laney said, as routinely as she would speak any matter.

“You’re better not thinking such morbid thoughts, little sister,” Randall replied sternly, “It’s not something a young lady should discuss openly.”

“But the poor thing. He fell holding those little nuts. You see, brother? There. Under his belly.”

“Yes, I see them. He probably just died of natural causes, Laney. Let’s keep walking.”

“No, Randy. He killed himself. I know he did,” cried Laney, halting her brother’s retreat.

“Well, if you’re so certain, answer me this. Why would he die with all those acorns in his hands? With all those treasures, wouldn’t he want to live?”

“That doesn’t mean he was happy. Trudy’s family is rich, and they fight all the time,” Laney reasoned.

Randall was growing irritated.

“You sound foolish, Laney. Squirrels don’t worry about such matters. Trudy’s family and this animal have absolutely nothing in common.”

“But why?  Why do you think animals can’t hurt inside like us?”

Past the point of reasoning with his sister, Randall shouted, “I promise you, Laney, that there was nothing in this squirrel’s life that hurt him so badly that he would dismiss his natural instinct and die when he leapt from a tree.” His deep voice echoed in the desolate, snowy valley.

Laney stopped for moment, struck silent by Randall’s tone. Her face went blank, as if contemplating behind glossy eyes. Then, a smile surfaced, and the little girl began to cry. She ran to her brother sobbing and smiling concurrently.

“Laney. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you cry. I got flustered, and I shouted. Please forgive me,” Randall whined, kneeling to meet his sister’s embrace.

“No, Randy. It’s okay. I understand now, all thanks to you. Thank you, Randy. Thank you!”

“Why are you thanking me, Laney? I hurt you. You’re weeping.”

“But that’s why I’m happy. You were right. This squirrel didn’t have anything in his life that could make him hurt. That’s why he died, Randy. Because he could never be heartbroken.”

Randall gawked, staring at his sister utterly confused.

“I’m not sure I understand, Laney.”

“The squirrel didn’t have anyone close enough to break his heart, so it broke. You see, Randy? I love you. And that means you can hurt me if you want to.”

Randall understood. He had hated his sister for a moment. Hated her for making him take her out in the cold; hated her for wasting his time with foolish thoughts and making him act the way he did. He had hurt her, and it had hurt him to know that.

But now, he felt nothing but joy.

Realization II

I gotta quit being so FUCKING SERIOUS all the time…

1990

It’s not the dark I fear…it’s never seeing the light again that scares me most.

X

A clean slate is still just a filthy rock