Splashes start to appear in my cereal bowl. Its 7 AM, I have a tumbler half filled with vintage scotch whiskey, on the rocks, in one hand. A knife in the other. The tears start to cloud my vision now. I push the whiskey to my lips and savour the harsh taste. I hold the knife to my face and shave away the weakness my eyes are showing to the world. A rouge, bold colour seeps and swirls around my breakfast milk like an infection. What is the point of living? What is there to live for? In a rage of anger and disappointment the glass crushes in my palm and carves new scars to remind me of the painful memories. Still clutching the knife I stagger towards the mirror, watch it as I lift it to my throat. This is it. I gouge the knife into the reflection I have studied for so long. Change is imminent. Change is my only option for survival.
I walked down the silent hallway, derelict wall hangings drooped to the floor around every corner. The dust lay thick over the furniture that was scattered across the house. Thick streaks of black and red were smudged into the floorboards that groaned with every slight movement. I moved further down the hallway slowly, every so often glancing back the way I came. My eyes feared the oak door at the end, it reeked of death and despair. An odd light seeped through the cracks of the aged frame, flickering more often than not. My footsteps reverberated and echoed through the abandoned rooms. There was little to no light around me, the only glimmering was of a broken fitting above me that dimmed with each passing moment. I slowly approached the door and gingerly reached for the handle, frozen in absolute terror, my hand refused to move. The longer I stood there, the more my mind ran wild. I heard whispers behind the door and a constant scratching on the wood, like someone was desperately trying to escape. A loud and piercing shriek shot through me as some unseen force slammed against me. Still holding onto the handle, it began to twist.
They whispered through the air like a winters bite, so chilling and swift, but deadly all the same. Each whisper would be another death that Sergeant O'Connell would have to be woken up at 3 AM in the morning for.
Each morning would be the same, almost routine now. He would awake at 2:59, and on the hour he would receive a call, "Another body sergeant, down by the river." I would light a cigarette and chug down my morning coffee grab my car keys and coat off the hanger and storm out the door. The day was always unpleasant, the rain hammered down drenching every inch, leaving no part dry. Deluges of water would form the in the bottom of my shoes as my socks became saturated. I waded over to the crime scene and ducked under the tape that cornered off the area. Blood stains splattered across the pavement, and brain entrails covered the underpass walls. I crouched down and smelt the rotten flesh that had been flayed from the victim, praying that the perpetrator would leave some evidence. False hope is sometimes better than none at all.
The colours flow through the air, magically rising and falling with each note that sounds from the trumpet. Each key and blow creating different tunes that get everyone tapping their feet. Their shoelaces becoming undone by the melodies like sneaky thieves stealing the night. The music is harboring peoples shoes, slipping them off silently as the music ensnares them with a trance. As they sway to and fro, the wind having no effect on their bodies, the music keeping them in place like stone statues fixed at one point, unmoving and impenetrable. The music is snaking through the crowd bringing more people to the fray. Everyone is barefoot, nothing to protect their feet. The worms are crawling over toes and twining around the citizens legs, they are slowly becoming one with the earthly creatures. Above on the clock tower I can see all the different colours of music swallowing the city whole, unstoppable, a force unseen but heard.
Above we hear the creaking and gyrating of metal gears that are moving the contraption that contains us. It is day 727 and I am running out of area upon the walls to etch in the corresponding numerals. We are packed together like sardines in a air tight can, no room to wiggle and feel the fresh air douse my skin, no privacy to have a moment to ones self, no where to hide, every pair of eyes boring into your soul if you dare try to escape. The sound is getting louder, the whizzing of steel upon iron is terrifying. You can almost smell the rust floating about the stale air that resides within this prison that dominates us. Every so often the mechanical torturer opens its pincers and swings up, down, left and right, choosing the best, the one to interrogate. The claws descended and open it's maws, snatching with hope for one of us. Sometimes we evade as best we can, but with not a particle of movement scarce between us, it's only a matter of time before the game is lost. The muffled cry's of everyone around me drown out my thoughts, blockading my emotions to my doom. I feel the coolness ensnare me and I am dragged away. I am free, I concluded, but what is my next prison? What maniac is to be my captor, what will I have to endure? I mumble to myself, day 1 of a new misery.
Standing at the crossroads I ponder my choices with heavy consideration knowing that whichever I choose will not be my own choice. Every notion, someones opinion. Do I take the first path that leads me through years of education to obtain a piece of paper and a unsatisfactory handshake, just to please my parents, so that they can hang a picture proudly of their son in a gown. Do I take the second path where I become gluttonous and party my life away with no direction. Always jumping from one bed to the next seeking the next thrill of my life, which does nothing more but serve to feed the loneliness that swarms around me, ultimately leading me to overdosing on some whacked out drugs everyone is taking. Forced and pressured by my peers to be one of them, raving the nights away with utmost displeasure. What about the third road that is uncertainty. We follow what is laid out for us, never knowing what is around the corner, what destiny has set upon the proverbial table. Each road has its own misgivings, but here I stand at the crossroads. I look upon my choices feeling utterly lost and overwhelmed by despair. As I glance at each paths I could walk, dread and fear seeps inside. I whirl around and run in the opposite direction. Too scared to decide, too uncertain to be informed, fearful for will I ever know which to follow. What will be my future? I pray thee, do tell.
The currents flow through me like a welcomed life force drifting through every inch of me, lifting me higher into the sky. The world above is filled with dense clouds that are close to bursting, grey and daunting to those below. The promise of rain an unwelcome one, but yet it is a gift to provide mother nature with growth that she yearns for. The trickle of water starts to begin, it flows through and swirls around me with such vigour, such passion. The twist and change in temperature and pressure makes me feel euphoric and full of spirit, lifting me beyond the normal levels. The pace quickens, the salt water and its residing sea life is whisked up in a single motion to the eye of the beholder, seeking only a moments rest within my center. Twirling with such grace I feel myself crashing upon an invisible wall, the will leaving me, I become weaker. I traverse on, pushing through the obstacles that have been brought before me. The brush beneath my tail is swept up, the bricks and mortar that have been solid for centuries is torn asunder. Everything around me invading my windy walls, I burst and scatter it all out with such finesse. For I am Bertha.
I am just a lonely lamb in a field that is a barren wasteland full of desolate sand and barreling destruction. The cacti are formed like towers that rise above the skyline and the sand is scorching hot. Beads of sweat roll down my body, licking the heat off my skin and dropping to the floor to gift the dry desert with a sprinkle of moisture. I am wandering this empty plain in search of my once forgotten home that was destroyed by my ancestors enemies, but a secret is hidden there. A secret is among the ruins and isolated tombs that have held my past generations for centuries and many decades at that. I look around and see only white sand and giant yellowy-green cacti scattering the landscape. The sun is setting overhead which will soon envelope the land with darkness. I forage around for somewhere to shelter. Emerging above the dunes that create obstacles for my path, I spot an oasis flourishing beneath the moon. I wade over and meet my lips with its waters, parting my lips and lapping it up feverishly. I cough and splutter, the taste is dirty and the texture grainy. I open my eyes with such trepidation that I freeze for a moments respite. I am knelt grasping what is left of my sanity and within my palms is nothing but lost dreams. The particles of sand stick to my lips like flies feasting on rotten meat. I am going to die here.
The lights flickered on as I slowly moved in descent to the bottom of the dank and dreary cellar. Moving in short bursts to never quicken or exceed in my haste to get to my destination quicker. I knew what awaited me within its depths, or so I thought. Disaster. A marvelous, godless aberration that is soulless and filled with the devils darkness. I have been given the humble opportunity... Humble? What a joke! Who does the Warlock Maegi think he is giving me such a task? It is meant for mere acolytes! I am of the highest rank, yet he thrusts this insult so. I finally touch the bottom of the room, the most vilest stench sifting through the air like dust motes looking to settle. My feet meet the cold stone and I feel the power that is inscribed upon the brick, keeping what is held down here bound. I bring my gaze slowly upward to meet the beast that is shackled and chained. As it writhed about thriving and seeking for freedom, its vivid features struck fear in the hearts of all. My staff starts to slip from my hand, my knees fall apart as if some barbarian had fractured every bone. It took all my being to regain my composure and strength. I took a deep breath and held my head high. I whirled my staff chanting the rites of the old men and thrust the head of my staff into the heart of the creature, my mother.
I stand at the opposite end of the kitchen nervously playing with my hands, twitching at any noise or sign of movement. From the corner of my eye I spot a spider dangling within its web, a web of deceit, a web of lies, a web created to ensnare its prey. I am pacing around in circles, in different patterns and formations that indicate my indifferent emotions and thoughts. I am tirelessly thinking about why on earth I am here in this room standing up for my own defense and rights, looking for nothing but redemption. All I want... All I want is my name to be cleared, to be able to go home! Why am I being held under this law that says I am not able to open my fridge door? I am bound by the words of others, promises and pacts I am loath to keep. All I would love nothing more than to extend my reach for the handle, caressing the plastic and melded iron, feeling the cool draft coming from behind the hinges that hold it in place. I realise what I am doing and I pull away like some scorned lover that is not so easy to trust again, the touch signifying forgiveness. I do not forgive but the temptation is too much for me to bear alone. Surely it is not so bad to gorge and feast on human flesh? I keep telling myself I do not have a problem. Maybe somewhere someday it shall not be.
Dreams, they are an enigma that has been researched for centuries. We all have them, they can be exciting yet are terrifying prospects. They are a magical place, where our subconscious is unlocked. All the secrets we are too scared to face are unleashed upon ourselves with no defense mechanism to prevent it from happening. We can resist all we want, but in the end we are trapped within ourselves. Forced to look upon our hidden desires and our darkest secrets that in the real world, we are to cowardly to face. Sometimes when I dream, I do not dream of chocolate and rainbows. Instead, I dream of wandering a train yard at midnight beneath a full moon. I am alone and scarcely know why I am here, yet I am here. The trains are all piled up as if this is not a train yard at all, but a train dump where all the unwanted and unused machinery is held. I hear noises beneath the steel and rusted iron and follow the strange groaning and vile stench that is wafting through the air. That is what we are meant to do in our dreams, right? We follow the mysterious noise that could possibly lead to a dangerous encounter and more than probable, my certain demise. Crouching down I get a clearer view through the cavernous hole that is open between two train carriages. I see what I did not want to see. Me. Trapped, The wheels clamping down upon my decaying carcass. Dreams make us confront not only our deepest secrets, but also our fears.
Trapped within the confines of these four walls bare and empty, filled with nothing but stale air. A metaphor for my life, tragic. A mirror appears and I am strapped down forced upon my reflection. The vanity is pushed down my throat so violently I choke, screaming out for it to stop. Vanity is a weak trait. I open my eyes tentatively, I am surrounded by water. The calming currents wash the sin from my skin and clothes as if it were holy. The endless water is far reaching and never ending. Kicking and paddling for hours my limbs start to grow feeble and weary, I sink down beneath the frozen lake. My eyes slowly close to reveal my death. Just as I had dealt with the acceptance and become one with my fate, I find myself on a bench. From my position I see a park bustling with life, trees swaying, sun shining, dogs gallivanting and hearty laughter filling all the space in between. Yes, reality is what we perceive it to be.
I am swimming, swimming for my life, swimming for other lives as well as mine. I dodge and weave between my fellow brethren, trying to get ahead of the crowd not wanting to be left behind. Some of the others they become weak and grow tired, the feeble ones never win or succeed. We move through the wet tunnels never being able to reach out and feel my surroundings. In the darkness I must rely on other senses to guide me through and complete my mission. I begin to lose my way now by thinking too much, I must focus on the task and be a winner. I squeeze and push my way through the masses moving to the lead once again. My fight to survive has finally kicked in, I am not a loser. Nor do I want to be one of those that are discarded amongst the trash like unwanted bio hazard waste. Pushing harder I finally enter the clearing and see the prize before me. Charing with all my might against the wall, the one last obstacle before me. Finally we collide like poetry, we merge DNA twisting, emerging as a new form. A feeling of relief covets my being, I can almost hear a distant applause at the feat I have conquered. I am a winner.
I am paddling through the choppy salty waters, as they rise and fall for each gust of wind that passes overhead. The raft bobs up and down violently, every time another twist of the knife to whether we will be overthrown by the lord of the waters, Poseidon. Oh why did he betray us so? The waves are getting higher now, the liquid is lapping in my face. The saltiness is stinging my eyes causing brief spells of blindness. We soldier on through the storm looking for land mass at every flick of the paddle. North, east, south and west, nothing! The compass is going haywire, we do not know a safe direction to whisk us away from this hell and into some haven that will not trick us so easily. I stare monotonously beneath the waters we traverse and see nothing but deep soul destroying darkness. The fates have decreed I must die here on this raft? I spit in their face! I make my own destiny, I carve my own path! They do not decide when I live or die! I stand up in the raft causing it to dip to one side, I shout at the top of my lungs, 'fuck this'. My voice getting lost over the wail of the raucous wind. I dive into the harsh steel waters of the ocean and keep descending. If my final judgement is to have a watery grave, then I will choose my own. Swimming further and further beyond, my sight deceives me. Faint lights start an approach, is my death near? Suddenly a huge current tugs on every fiber of my being and drags me down the murky unknown depths. I manage to catch a slight glimpse of a scaled fin encrusted with beautiful glimmering stones and hair sighing in the wind of the water. I have gone truly mad.
I stand motionless, upright as the sun beats down upon my skin. My head can only face one direction, forever stuck in an unwanted pose. Sometimes the brightness glares so much it blinds me and I cannot look away, relishing the feel, requiring its beauty and life to caress me. The wind sways me and carries my children to far away places that are unknown to me, that I will never see. For I am motionless and unmoving, dreaming about the day where I uproot and wander the woods, my home. Like all the gargantuan monsters do, their feet trampling the earth and creating footprints of ruin. Sometimes they are frightening, as they come bellowing through the brush, knocking my family aside and damaging them. I hear and feel every crunch and cry of anguish. I feel their life strings torn from the wet earth. I feel limbs removed for mere pleasure, so they can feel our foliage between their fingers, a mark of abuse and power. We are living, we give them life, we have feelings. I am unmoving and motionless, yet I must witness the destruction of my species and be utterly ineffectual to any other outcome.