The Fort

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The illusion of life in death.

Submitted: January 04, 2012

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Submitted: January 04, 2012

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My Father's laugh hid in mine just then.  I was covered in sweat and my palms felt heavy.  Every muscle inside my indignant fist quivered like electrified ants.  I opened the drawers silently.  I trudged in fatigue and made sure the house was vacant before taking anything.  I stalked to the sunshine.  Outside the windows the white sheets danced in the summer wind.  The grass grew yellow and mirrored the sun.  No trees to shake.  Just a dusty home creaking on a plain. My heart was blowing too.  It was howling like desert wind in a different land.  A place where shadows glow like flames.  I remained looking outside the tarnished window at the range.  How it seemed to never end.  A prodigious fissure heightened my emotions.  I wanted to miss somebody.  I wanted a face to appear in the foggy expanse of my memory.  Perhaps even the feeling of a hand clasped in mine as it slowly rotates under candles and wooden tables.  I felt maggots and worms crawling all over my teeth.  Instead of tears or sobbing, I grinned rabidly.  I was nothing to unravel.  I was nothing to peruse.

I gathered clothes, axes, shoes, candles and a few chairs from the forlorn home.  Almost all attire was female and useless to me.  I had seen no paintings.  No flowers.  No cross or Bible.  Not even food.  My small car was not even half full.  I sat inside my vehicle looking at the long dirt road ahead.  I tried remembering how I ended up here.  I sealed my eyes and recollected nothing.  It was as if I was born right then.  Right as I laughed above the closed drawers.  I knew I came here to steal from this house, but when was I alive before?  I began my departure feeling emptier than ever.  I saw crows gather around the house as I left. 

I arrived into town right as the sun was dying.  I stashed the car away from any meddlesome eyes.  With a tip of my hat I entered the local bar.  The door led to dark stairs.  It was not my intention to almost drown as I fell into it, but it happened.  The bar was completely underwater.  At first I came up for air and thought it was a mistake.  Some sort of flood must have destroyed the business.  Although tragic I knew that submerged, thousands of bottles must still be filled with rich liquor.  I retained air and swam in the gloom.  I swam until I saw light.  I raced to it until my lungs bled.  I came up for air in a small wooden cube just big enough for my head.  A light came from above.  I pushed through a small opening and climbed up.  I staggered on all fours breathing heavily.  I tried standing but something fat seemed to lay on my back and neck.  I crawled on the wooden floor and began coughing.  Every time I attempted to lift myself up I would get pushed down.  I began to hear voices above me.  I could see no feet.  I could see no walls.  Just the slab ground with the cracks showing me the water below.  I crawled until I found a cut big enough to reflect what was above me.  I stared in terror.  There were well dressed men floating horizontally with their palms and open mouths to the ground.  They stared at my reflection in the water and spoke by widening their eyes.  I could only see two of them.  One slightly higher up than the other.  They seemed frozen and surprised.  I retreated into the hole again and breathed heavily before diving into the void.  I was incredibly disoriented and almost out of air when I found the bottles of rum and brandy.  They were on a shelf next to a painting of a house on a plain.  I took the two and swam to the nearest light.  It was slightly further away than the one I had already visited.

I inhaled loudly and looked around at a another wooden cube.  I pushed up but no latch was to be hoped for.  I heard talking and footsteps above.  The divisions of the wooden floor over my head showed a heavy traffic of people working.  To one side of me was a small area that I could crawl through right underneath their feet.  I began shuffling through the constricted space.  My stomach was pressing down hard on the wood below and my back was scratching the planks above.  The workers seemed to never stop moving.  The chatter was loud but not a single word could be deciphered.  I kept struggling through.  I was beginning to pant and wheeze and feared an endless crawl.  To make matters worse a corrosive acid began seeping through the gaps of the wood.  It burned my legs and ate through my clothing.  I crept quicker until I made it to a perfectly sized rectangle in the dark.  I turned on my back and grinned.  A soft light kindled from a place unknown.  The comfortable box was illuminated and carved inside were the words "go back to the house before you forget how to get there".  I did not move.  I could not move.  The crevice that was at my feet had disappeared.  Silence fell on me like volcanic stones.  I felt maggots and worms on my teeth.  I felt ants eat away at my fists.  I could not cry or whimper.  I could only grin rabidly.


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