Rotting, I am a rotting, decaying corps that lives. I move through each day like a small corrupt boat in the fog. Alone in a massive ocean, rocking against the waves of lies and deceit. There is no direction in this unrelenting, suffocating fog. Am I insane or just paranoid?
I am always terrified and I don’t know why, I want this to end. I am tired I have all but given up on my sad, empty life. I don’t know what keeps me here? Is it that hopeful spark of light? The one, I sometimes catch a glimpse of through this unyielding soulless fog?
I am sick to my stomach. Something inside me stirs and I feel nauseas. I taste the bile rising in my throat. I can’t breathe. What is haunting my mind and body? What is this ruthless, mortal, dread?
Suddenly, a brilliant light breaks through the fog. This is not a warm shining light of hope. No, this light is a light of discovery, a searing, painful illumination. The light shines upon something I don’t want to see. A dark, empty memory, from my childhood! Now, I am praying for the fog! That merciful black fog!
As time spins backwards, I realize that I am a frightened child. I am trapped and I want to run. Illusions and fear are all that I know. I am eight years old and I am afraid. Then I’m in darkness, plummeting into a depthless innate terror.
I am somewhere dark and cold, inside some kind of small, wooden shed. There is someone else in here and I can’t see who it is. The person is touching me and I don’t like it. I hear my small voice say “no, stop it!” but they don’t stop. I here the words they speak. “ If you don’t let me touch you, then know one will love you. You must be quiet and everything will be ok.” I don’t want to be quiet. I want to scream, but I don’t. I am quiet and weak and I feel sick. Everything becomes muffled and blurred. I struggle to break free but I can’t. All I can do is wait for the person to stop.
After what feels like an eternity, they finally stop. I lie there in the dark, feeling cold and numb. My face, pressed against a large crack in the old wood floor. The smell of damp musty earth rises up through it. I turn my head and see thin slivers of light streaming through cracks in the wall. Yet there’s not enough light to see who is in the shed with me. But, I know who it is. I just pretend that I don’t, it’s easier that way.
As the person leaves they remind me not to tell anyone, or they will tell everyone what a bad boy I am. I know the person is right. I also know that no one will believe me, or they will say it’s my fault. They may even send me away. No one can love me. How could they? I am a damaged child with no value other than to please the sick fantasies of a few demented souls. Besides it’s all my fault anyway. I feel dirty and shameful. I feel isolated and I don’t want to go out into the daylight. I don’t want anyone to see me, I’m afraid they will know that I am a bad person.
I somehow force myself to get up. On my knees, I feel around the darkness, brushing my hands across the rough, uneven floor. I find my underwear and pants. I can feel the dirt and wood slivers on my cloths. I try to brush them off. I put my clothes on and slowly step outside.
The sun is bright. I squint and shade my eyes with my hand until my eyes adjust. Everything outside the shed seems normal. There is no one around, but I feel a sense of urgency, that I must leave before someone sees me. I walk home feeling alone and sad, my head down and shoulders slumped. My feet shuffle as I walk and tears begin to fall. I don’t want to go home, but I have nowhere else to go. I try to block the memories as I walk. They keep playing over and over in my head. Like some scary movie, except this one is real.
I walk up the pathway towards the front porch. The porch is made of a smooth, light green concrete and there is a planter made out of the same concrete to the left of the door. All the plants are dead. The brown front door has small glass windows up high on the door. The glass is yellow and wavy. I open the door and step on the oddly shaped, shiny brown tiles in the entryway. I am greeted by the smell of cooking food. I feel a contradiction, I am home, I should feel safe and connected. Instead, I feel unsure and separate. I look to my left and through the open door I see my mother in the kitchen cooking dinner. She seems busy and I don’t want to bother her. I want to tell her what happened, but I am afraid she will not believe me. Besides, even if she does believe me she will say it is my fault and she will not love me anymore. Just like the person in the dark shed said. She turns and sees me standing in the doorway. She smiles and say’s “there you are, dinner is almost ready, tell your bothers and sisters”. I want to say something. I want to tell her that something bad happened, but I don’t. I just put my head down. I turn from her and do what I am told. Part of me hopes that she will notice how sad I am and ask me what happened. But she is too busy cooking for ten kids and dealing with an alcoholic husband. I am soon lost in the fray of chaos that is my home.
We all sit down at the dinner table and everything seems perfectly normal. My father say’s grace and we eat. I try to forget what happened to me and I watch my father as he pours a glass of wine. He is in a good mood tonight and I don’t want to do anything to upset him. I quietly eat my dinner as the noise and commotion of the family chatters on around me. I am not hungry and the food seems to have no flavor. I only eat because I know if I don’t my dad will get angry. I feel disconnected and everything seems dream like. Soon I will forget about everything. The voices and the dinner sounds begin to fade as my world becomes dim and blurred. I wish I could just disappear.
As time passes I notice a thick dark fog, slowly surrounding me. It feels safe, like when my mother covers my bed with a heavy blanket in winter. For the first time, in a long time, I feel safe. Through the fog, I see a rough wooden dinghy at the waters edge. I step down towards the muddy bank and my shoes make squishy sounds as I walk. I push the boat away from the bank and jump in. It’s just big enough for a small boy to lie down in. I don’t know where I am going. It’s dark, cold and lonely, but the funny thing is, I feel safe. I drift further out into the black fog. In the distance I hear a faint sound. Slowly, I realize, it’s my family. I don’t care about them any more. Besides, I don’t belong anyway. Soon their voices fade away to nothing. I lie down and hear the gentle lapping of the water against the dingy. My eyes close as the methodical rocking motion lulls me to sleep.
As he sleeps the fog engulfs the child in the dingy. Soon he vanishes into nothingness. The child is never to be seen again. Yet he still lives, but he’s lost, deep inside the soul of a man.
Crow Feather, Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2004 Crow Feather
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