I stood, the hall that presents itself in front of me, short and narrow. A door to the left was slightly ajar, a light beaming through the crack as if it were an invitation, gilded in gold and presented to me with shiny droplets of joy. It called to me and I wanted to embrace it. My first step felt heavy, as if my legs were fastened to the floor below. The jarring sound of the floorboard squeaking and my knee cracking in unison, echoed throughout the hall, calling forth a most unwelcome development.
There, as if in the blink of a second, stood before me a large man, older, musty. "Shut up!" he screamed at me, his breath covering my body in shallow chills. I stood firm, a rotten stench now filled the hall. I did not move or speak, just stood there engrossed by the filthy creature's labyrinth of wrinkles and the sweat that channeled through them. "Shut up!" he screamed again, his rage building at my obvious lack of reaction. I stared into his eyes, dark as they were, and there I saw something. "Shut up!" I screamed back with all the energy I could exude. Baffled, the man began to shake, tremble like an eruption of fiery magma was going to burst out of his very pores. He shook so hard that I felt the vibration channel into my body. A momentum built, he was spinning and wailing, his limbs no longer solid, now turning into a dusty ash that travelled below through the cracks in the floor.
I watched the last of the dust fall through the gaping cracks. A light now began to develop, bursting through the cracks like a morning sunrise. I felt the warmth, it called out to me and I wanted to embrace it. I pulled at the floorboards, the sound of the nails screeching against the wood, their grasp no match for my determination to break through. Enough room now to move, I slipped my body down into the hole, my shirt tearing against the rigid wood and exposed nails, I desperately searched for a bottom with my toes. Nothing, I could feel nothing and my grasp would not hold. Falling into the light, I let go to the inevitable contact I was sure my body was going to make, ready to embrace the pain.
I hit with a thud, a padded, cushioned thud. I stood in the bounce house, kids all around. Their sticky little paws covering the surface with sugar and drool. I made a move for the exit, but a portly little ginger stood in my way. He stared me down, like a high noon stand-off. The shattering sounds of the children laughing and screaming as they jumped from side to side overwhelmed me. I was frozen in a cotton candy hell and my fear sat heavy on my feet. He looked angry and moved toward me, growing bigger with each breath like an inflating balloon. "Shut up!" he screamed at me. The smell of nougat and peanuts offended my senses, the moisture of his sticky spittle sat on my cheek. "Shut up!" he screamed again, his skin now as red as his hair, his freckles burning away, like a flame to paper. I stared into his eyes, dark as they were, and there I saw something. "Shut up!" I screamed back conjuring all that I could from my belly to my throat. The ginger bloated, filling the bounce house, crushing the playing children as they ran around helpless, rats in a cage. We were enclosed, enveloped and unable to escape. In the darkness of his bloated body crushing me into a fine power, I saw a light, a glorious light that beamed at me with a welcoming glow. It called to me and I wanted to embrace it.
My eyes open. The sun there, the welcome of a new day.
This was one of the first short stories I had written and was contributed to The World Poetized in February 2011. I grew up having the most incredibly vivid, colorful and bazaar dreams. I quite enjoyed them...I figured if the mind had to sort things out, it might as well make it entertaining. Over time the meditative state I created throughout my day created less and less untied threads for my mental self to process at night through dreams and in some ways I missed them. This short story is an homage to my once lived dream state and to my current living dreams found in poetry.
The image I have chosen to pair with this post was taken much later in February of 2014 but somehow founds its way to pairing with the story quite well.