The Sun Finally Came Up

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a story of a cross-over between waking life and dream where the line between is hidden. It is a story of a unrelenting cycle of Hell and Paradise.

Submitted: September 07, 2012

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Submitted: September 07, 2012

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Right now is unmistakably mediocre. It’s hot enough to still call yourself dirty by anyone’s standard but cool enough to, I don’t know, breathe? I haven’t yet convinced myself I even want it to cool down. The fan does a little, gets a decent body count but some of these parasites get through regardless. The itch and the high-pitched drones from Miss Quito forbid my sleep. The screen in the corner glows, shapes move around and characters talk but it is pointless, too easy to ignore. The clock is screaming 3:30am at me. The cooler it gets, the more of these bloodsuckers get through and visit their favorite blood bars, get blood drunk, and do whatever it is they do. I close my eyes to force sleep but it’s not working. How can I tell when I cross the threshold into a dream? I search for the door to sleep. My thoughts are all running together, creating form and building. Will I know when I am asleep…?

 

It starts with heat, the sort of heat that brings irrational and irresponsible thoughts. The heat was thick; you could bag it up and sell it up North for your weight in cold. Someone said, “We need more heat.” That was about five minutes ago and ten minutes since The Warning had spoken. The driveway was collapsed in the middle and the hole was wide enough and deep enough to fit a fire engine. We all took turns putting the heat in the hole until it manifested into form. We stacked branches and logs in such an intricate way you would think you were looking at the Glass Dome of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, if it stood over Hell. It was beautiful but it came a price; The Warning echoed. What was to come would be reasonable only in a dream. A dream, I hope. The heat was enough to turn the wood dome into embers and the supports gave way. The people I’m with all backed away quickly until only I remained. The collapsing wonder was falling all around me. I dodged here and there; some times they just straight missed, otherwise I wouldn’t be telling this story. When the top fell into the hole, I looked around at the familiar faces that had just witnessed a close call. Then as The Warning warned, it had just begun.

The hole where the dome just was began to erupt and expel white-hot cubes of all sizes in all directions. Some flew parallel to the ground; some up into the air, arched, and grained great velocity on the way back down; some spun away with not much force. We all disbursed is various directions, mine was unique. I didn’t see where they went. I lost them. I ran down the hill and down the road never with my back to the epicenter. I dodged the cubes as they came for me and as they came for no one in particular. I ran into a family neighborhood that was a little ways down the hill. It seemed familiar but my memory was disabled for the moment.  People scrambled, shouted, and lost loved ones almost in synchronicity. It was awful. The chaos took them. The flying heat took them. Sweat, dying, and fear were the easiest aspects to determine. I was trying to get a family to listen to me but they saw me as expendable. The cubes kept coming. Through cars, they came, and through windows and through souls. I kept my eyes on the source, predicting their final destinations and staying out of their trajectory. I could keep most of them clear but not all. Then I saw something I did not anticipate. The sound had been replaced with slow melancholy pianos with no masters. No one would have anticipated this. No one could have. Water is what anyone would have wanted but not like this.

A wall of grey water came from the top of the hill toward us. Our backs were to a house, nowhere to run. I’ll spare you the thoughts and fears of those that saw it but the feeling was tangible in such high-volume. The initial blast was not so bad. The water was warm and unpleasant about knee-high. It tripped plenty of people, some to their doom as the cubes kept coming and fizzling around us. The next wave was worse. Chest-high, those that did not band together were swept away. I anchored with the family that once thought me as expendable.  The third wave brought hope. The hope of being able to breathe again. The water was well over our heads but didn’t last too long. The air was hardly worth breathing again. The taste of the events that occurred was just plain bad, like morning breath of calibers you’ve never tasted. The water drained away; it was only temporary, as if a full glass of water had had three too many ice cubes added to it.

The aftermath was devastating to see but reliving to experience. Survival was the greatest accomplishment. I found those I knew. We had been congregating between two houses before The Warning had begun. One was halfway up a great hill with only forest behind it. The other was further down the hill closer to the vast lake. I went to higher ground to find the top-house wasn’t very damaged. I did a head count on those I knew and was pleased with my results, at first, then I realized She was missing. Night was approaching and I decided to stay inside until the sun came up. The night passed swiftly, no rest, no sleep. When the sun had risen, a week had passed. Swiftly. I searched the premises for Her with no luck. The Warning reminded us that is was far from over. I cautiously traveled to the lower house. It was in ruins, barely standing. Burned, soaked, dried out, unstable. Was She in there when it started? I hurried past a group of survivors outside on the house and went in. There was nothing but ruin. I saw the door to the basement and my heart sunk. It was a terror in and of itself. Scratches decorated the door and the broken handle. The basement was decorated similarly with the added touch of blood. There was so much blood. I couldn’t stand to be in there, call it a weak stomach, sadness, the thought: whatever did this is probably still here. Pick out your reason and it was probably true. So then, where is She?

I went outside and asked the survivors who told me, “Wolves! Goddammit, wolves! They never…oh, God, they never stopped coming. They tormented us! They scratched and clawed and tormented us before they, they…” He was hysterical.

“They killed us all,” an older woman finished. “They never gave up until we were all dead.”

“All??” I demanded, “They’re ALL dead??”

“The lucky ones, I imagine. These other things took the rest. The bastards!” the hysteric informed.

“Where did they take them?” I asked. They could feel my sorrow louder than my words. The old woman sympathized while the others turned away.

“The road Back will get you there.”

“The back roads to where?”

“Not the back roads, the road Back. Where we all came from.” I knew what she meant. The road to this hill, our little vacation spot, was through a lake and a deep lake at that. I had to cross it to get back to the mainland. Easy enough.

I went to the top-house and gathered as many that were willing to take the vehicle across the lake. We called it, “The Safari Car.” The kind vehicle you would take on an African safari. We departed. We drove down the road through the center of the lake. It was a long and winding road that stood about three feet out of the water. The driver was hauling ass the way I wanted him to. I looked out either side of the car and over the lake. Saw a shape moving in the water towards us. No, I was wrong, the shape was moving the water and coming towards us. The size of this thing was very discouraging. It dove down and sent a small wave towards us. Then I watched it turn sharply and swim full speed to the surface. It broken the surface, flew up into the air, arched into a swan dive and came straight for us. It resembled a gargantuan stingray with a shorter tail and a bass-like mouth. It missed the car but the waves did not. We were able to stay on course; it was a sturdy car. “A dream, I hope.” I had an option. This all was very intense. I could back out now. I could quit and leave now. I had to find Her. I stayed.

We drove with haste. Well, the driver drove hastily. Somehow we were clear of the abomination and we slowed down, mentally and physically, a fraction. Our eyes were ever so vigilant. A sigh of relief was met with a remembrance of The Warning, that is was still not over. I’m not sure how we missed them but small things swimming in the water appeared just feet away. Then we saw all of them. Miniature killer whales the length of a size-10½ shoe charged through the water and lunged at the sides of the Safari Car. They slammed into the sides and latched on with their teeth. We beat and burned them off but they kept coming. We were almost there, to the other side. There were thousands of the little fuckers. We were all screaming for the driver to gun-it. We looked like a few unlucky bastards that stepped on a mobile wasp nest. They pulled off and we settled down into the seats as we hit top-speed. The hill was up ahead and the attitude in the Safari Car instantly changed. The driver slowed down to a steady pace and everyone was excited to get to the party spot, but not I. The hill was in front of us? I looked behind and the road to the mainland was there. I look back up front and the hill is green and people gathered all over. I was the only to marvel in the sight of everything being intact. The houses, the people, the spirit was all there. No burns from the fire, no erosions from the water, no scratches from the wolves. We drove past the lower house, which stood in all its glory. People were standing out front and I could see more them inside, all drinking and talking and laughing. We drove over the driveway, it had no holes and there were no cracks. We drove and parked by the top-house which was pristine.

The party was just getting started. If I can recall, three hours into the party came the heat and The Warning and two hours after that came the beginning. I made my way through the crowd with a smile on my face. There must have been 700 people between the two houses. Some guy stopped me and was telling me what he does for living. Something about specializing in repairing Zippo lighter hinges. Zippo Hippo or something stupid like that. He had a little shop out of Trujillo. I wondered if there were actually enough people in Peru with failing Zippo hinges to have a successful business repairing them. Apparently there was. I walked away from him without saying goodbye. It’s not that I was displeased with our conversation; I was just quickly losing interest, although he was interesting. I remember that I had my own room in the house somewhere. It was a room with bright green carpeting; an old television with large, loud dials; French doors; and big clear windows that looked into the green forest behind the house. We shared that room, Her and I, and I thought that was most likely where I would find her. I continued to move through the crowd.  I found a case of beer in the corner with my debit card and receipt on top. I was not aware that I was unaware of its whereabouts. I took it, the beer, too, and kept moving. Consistently, I was being stopped and engaged in conversation. One person about jazz here, another about indoctrination over there. I stood there and listened to each one while easily putting a beer down my gullet per stop. This older woman stopped me and told me her spirit was weak and suppressed. She told me her attachment to material was limiting her. Her soul felt like a body standing in the middle of a hill while a quick but gruesome flood had ravished everything around including her. The kind of flood that an ant feels standing at the edge of a glass filled with water as three too many ice cubes are added. She said her fear of such a scenario was due to her being overly attached to earth, to material. At that moment, the air, the atmosphere, the madness, all increased in temperature. The heat was coming. I plucked a beer from the case, robbed it of it contents and placed the empty can into her hands, which she accepted gratefully. It changed in her hands, to a glass of water with three ice cubes too many.

I headed straight for the room with more purposeful and urgent strides. I found the room, opened the doors while five heads talked to me at once. Facing them, I closed the doors and closed them out. I looked around at the floor to the spot I decided to place the rest of the beer. I have got to find Her, I thought. I opened a beer, drank the foam at the top and chased it quickly with the rest of the beer and put the can on the old television. I glanced at the bed. There She lay with all Her beauty on this undeserving bed. Her eyes peacefully closed, Her breathing so light that Her body did not move but Her skin showed that She was full of life. I smiled and She must have heard it because She awoke. She smiled back and the room separated from the rest of the house seamlessly and with no discomfort to the house. It was for us and us only. Paradise, perfection, timeless…

The room eventually settled back into the house and my mind was at ease. She left the room after paying me my toll. Partygoers filled the room with their bodies and their conversations and their strange drinks. I tried some. The heat increased. I couldn’t lose Her again; I had forgotten the heat and The Warning. I moved swiftly through the crowd once more to find Her. I could see Her head over the crowd and She was always just that far away. Close enough to see but too far to catch. She went down stairs and I followed. She went into a basement that was never there before and I followed. Under the house was an empty maintenance tunnel. It was well lit and wide but empty. I followed it in both directions at once. Then I heard it: the sound of absolute terror. A wolf howled somewhere in the tunnel and then The Warning sounded. I could feel the heat and I could feel the insanity, the irrationality and the irresponsible thoughts. The sound of shattering earth shook the tunnel. I ran and ran and ran with infinite stamina but the door to the ground level of the house was always that far away. My will was stronger than the walls of that tunnel. I brought the door to me, walked through and up the infinite stairs into the hall filled with bodies and conversations and strange drinks. I tried some more. I charged through the crowd and made my way to the front window and looked out. I saw them constructing a dome of sticks and logs over a hole in the driveway. I once stood there and helped them build it but now She was in my place. The heat manifested, the Dome of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II burned, and the cubes began to spread through the air. I could not move, I could not be. I was only a witness, impervious to harm but only as a witness. She moved as I did. She dodged as I did. She ran down the hill, She helped the family that saw Her as expendable stand against the waves. She searched for me. She crossed the lake and brought me back. She found me in the room where I lay peacefully on an undeserving bed. We floated away together in paradise. I left the room after paying Her Her toll. She remembered The Warning and She followed me to the tunnel and She heard the wolf howl and She heard The Warning and She stood again as a witness and watched me move as She moved and dodge as She dodged. The terror, the desperation, the intensity, the will power, the bliss. The moment when that room with the bright green carpeting, and the old television with the loud dials, and the French doors, and the great windows that peered into the forest; it drifted away and we created paradise. That moment eternal in exchange for the heat, the terror, for The Warning. Our paradise would be eternal if the circumstances of our bliss would also be eternal.

At the lake, when the monster pounced, we were given the option to quit. To leave, to end it. We never took it. I looked out the window and saw her in Our place next to the dome. I glanced down at the side table. We never glance at the side table. I glanced down at the side table and into a picture. It was a picture of my friend Odeus wearing a t-shirt with the sleeve cut off. I think it said, “Wake Forest,” or something. He was pointing at me and was surrounded by everyone I ever knew. I entered the picture to find him leading them all in cheer. Cheer for whom? Cheer for me. We were separated by water about twenty feet between us. They all stood in cheer for me in a great two-tiered grandstand. The grandstand was anchored in an infinite ocean.  It was a dark (the darkest) and stormy night as they all are, but the lights of the grandstand lit the platform I stood on, creating quite the spectacle.  The stage swayed in the choppy water. A man came out from behind me and the applause grew louder. I raised my arms and they got even louder. The applause almost threw me off the stage. The feeling of the greatest. The man did various tricks and stunts as the water rocked us back and forth and side-to-side. Tricks I didn’t much care for.  The stage was made out of…something and was about fifteen feet on every side. There were two rows of four boxes that resembled “porta-potties” with plastic window doors on the left and right edges facing the crowd. He went into the second one on the right side to get ready for the big stunt. I went in to the one directly across from him and tried to light a cigarette inside but the cigarette was two-dimensional so I threw it on the floor. We exited the boxes and he asked me if I was ready. As ready as I would ever be, the storm picked up and sent us a great wave. The wave picked up a fire engine and threw it at us. We stood next to each other and waited. The window was rolled down and it stamped over where we were standing. As it passed we stepped onto the door and went along for the ride as it flew toward the grandstand. The grandstand disappeared and was replaced with all manner of crashing cars, trucks, helicopters and this fire engine. The noise was unreasonable. Louder, louder, it didn’t stop getting louder and the emotion got more and more intensified. Then everything went black. No sound except for a light, pleasant hum. Text appeared saying,

 

“Then the excitement was over

The sun had finally come up

He finally got some sleep”

 

My eyes shot open. I looked outside my window to see the morning sun growing. I look over at my alarm clock. It was very generous in telling me I had two and a half hours left before I need to get up. I smiled, closed my eyes, and put my head back down. I smiled for the excitement being over, I smiled for the sun coming, and I smiled because I could finally get some relaxing sleep. I slept.

 

The queen is the color in the middle.


© Copyright 2017 MattSink. All rights reserved.

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