Into Darkness

June 26, 2017

The power goes out. A surge of noise brimming bedlam rises from the galley. Through the vents and the vibration of the walls and the floor I can hear the entire prison plunged into darkness.

The gravity leaves my feet and my possessions float just above their recent surfaces. The world begins to roll. The building becomes a tumbler in motion. All of us so much soft tissue to be ground away as polish for the stones we were mined for.

My brain maintains the true Earth is beneath my feet. But the bars point beneath and away from me, as though I am being dumped out of my cage and into the windows across from my cell.

The hundred year steel of my door groans in a death knell. Warping in on itself blows out the anchors from the concrete arch. Explosions in miniature send flecks of stone and grit in every direction as the crumpled gate floats out into the air.

The prison was not meant to tumble. The unseen seams of construction reveal themselves under the shifts and heaves of the block unaccustomed to weightlessness.

I push against the back wall and launch myself across the crumbling threshold, in the direction of an opening seam in the ceiling. The collapse around me feels like thunder and sounds like a freight train, the way a freight train sounds like a tornado.

Floating in the air, in the Nothing. Not so much resurrected as emergent. In the moment I know I am dreaming. Only the waking world feels ethereal. And I can’t quite remember where I came from, where I’m going, or why.

Of the gates that lead toward home, one of horn and one of ivory, bad and good, the mistake was to believe that it mattered which one you chose. Underneath the artifice of matter they were always made of the same stuff, and mostly space.

The choice is just a decoration. A bauble for the guileless. What better way to toy with fate, than darkened choose the ivory gate?

Though I am told that we didn’t come here to make the choice. But to understand why we’ve made it.

~AF

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