Notes on images of night stories

A long time ago I had an idea to combine a large array of different nightmares and/or dreams into one big landscape. This landscape was set as one night following someone’s dreams. I wrote each dream as a short story and so spanned into a long time frame. Every time I had an interesting idea for a dream or nightmare I would write it in here.

Several of the stories were in my mind a long time before I came up with this scenario and when I finally came up with this they fitted in perfectly. Now for some facts: Each person dreams roughly between 100-250 dreams a night out of which only about 7 are remembered (if at all). The interesting bit is that dreams a lot of times are seen as fragments of many different images, emotions and other flashes from either our imagination or our memory. This gave me a very broad canvas in which to develop my stories. And I thought it might be fun to combine many different things to it. In about two months I wrote the first three stories and a rough sketch of the 10th story. The fourth came somewhat later but still at the same time frame and the fifth took much longer.

Now they are all finished and all in all it took me somewhere between 2008 and 2014 to start and finish this project. Ofcourse school at first and work later got in the way and time became a major issue for concern. But in the end it is at least finished and hopefully you will enjoy this collection of nightmares. Below are notes about what the ideas, thoughts or whatever else was going on in my mind when I was writing the stories. You can find links to all the stories on the short stories page. The one thing I still haven’t published here is the hymn to the night which is a little poem I wrote about this series. I might still add it but for now this is it.

Images of night – Intro (2008)

A very general introduction to this whole thing, but I guess you have to start somewhere and this is as good a start as any.

Images of night I – The Adventure (2008)

The first story the adventure was actually based on the very first nightmare I could remember. I was about 6 at the time, and the nightmare I had was so vivid that it never left. It was slightly different then the story in here but the general idea and the cave are taken directly from it.

Images of night II – The Witch (2009)

When I was younger I always had dreams that I could fly and after I told that to several people I realized that almost everyone dreams of flying at one point or other in their life. This manifested itself in one of my dreams, from which this story grew. After spending a lot of time diving the flying dreams slowly dissipated, and now I never dream of flying anymore.

Images of night III – In Front Of The Firing Squad (2009)

School is an environment that I always found very disturbing. I never liked school and always assumed my teachers to be monsters in disguise. During one of those moments this story was born. I admit it is not a very original but I gave it my little twist, and I think everyone can relate to the experience, making this a very accessible story.

The chair rocking part actually happened to me and I retained a scar on my chin from the experience.

Images of night IV – The Beach (2009)

I grew up next to the sea and was diving and swimming even before I could walk properly. My dad, who is an avid diver in his own right, told me after reading the story that it was the only way he would ever want to die. Not because it is a painless death or anything like that but because he feels such a connection with the sea, that he would always like to be a part of it. Even in death.

Images of night V – The Storyteller (2012) – (2014)

This is a short long story, and yes I know it makes no sense but if you’ve read it you must realize that it is a nightmare to write while retaining the same feel to it. The story is actually divided into 5 parts, all of which intertwine with the storyteller who provides the story for each set like a theater play, and lets the actors act out their parts. It is this idea that is the long story because it took me a long time to realize and come to grips with the idea in my head before putting it on to the paper. The first part of the story is also the first one I came up with and it was a very long time ago (back in 1995) the rest came much much later…

Part I – The maze sequence is my mineator impression of being stuck in the maze and dying of course. This wasn’t written in 1995 (well it was but that version has been out of existence for quite some time so I rewrote it in 2012).

Part II – I always dreaded feeling lost or losing touch and that is what this story tried to portray (2013)

Part III – big spoiler if you didn’t realize who the giant was… Hercules and still sticking to the greek theme. Well in two of the stories anyway. (started in 2013 and finished in 2014,

I actually wrote parts II,III and IV back in 2012 but the file got corrupted and I had to rewrite them which I eventually did in 2013-2014…)

Part IV – This is my impression of medieval Lyon in France. I was there a few years ago and was in awe of all the small allies and doors that lead to or houses or to secret restaurants and disco’s. I thought it would be a fun idea if someone would be stuck in such a place without the ability to speak to anyone or understand anyone which is a feeling everyone who has travelled to distant places where English is not spoken must have felt.

Part V – Big bang backwards need I say more?

Images of night VI – The Forgotten (2014)

This is what I always think is a horrible feeling, more so than just a nightmare. If you think about it what the character is going through is a very scary feeling of not knowing where or what he is. What is even more frightening I think is if you have a small fragment of connectivity that is then lost, the feeling then would be endlessly worse, because for just a second you felt good, only for that feeling to leave you…

Images of night VII – Fragments (2014)

This little piece of horror is how I imagine a real horror nightmare. It is never-ending, always unrelenting in that it give you a certain blow every time you don’t want it to and there is something special in here for the trained eye. If you spotted it god for you if you didn’t then never mind it doesn’t affect the story in any way shape or form. Every real nightmare or dream sequence as a whole, I think needs an edge that keeps you guessing. Dreams many times need to be more than just images and because everyone dreams so many of them I think this story portrays them the best, in comparison to the other stories. Still I enjoyed writing this story as it led me to places I didn’t think I would go and I put horrors in here that I never thought I would put in a story, the horrors of terrorism.

Images of night XIII – Changes (2014)

Changes was written in August 2014 and it is very much what I felt like when I read Ubik by Philip K. Dick. Although we went our separate ways in our interpretation (his is science fiction while I went to a more horror like direction), the idea of going back in time and having to interact with whatever happens there is something that I always thought of as incredibly difficult. Think about it, we find it difficult enough to already communicate with people around us now, so how difficult would be to do that in the past? And what if you had no choice and you had to communicate with one another for your survival. How is that for an extreme idea for peace treaties? Take the two leaders at war dump in a room and make them work together to get the most basic of things. Sounds like a good idea to me, would save many lives. By the way there are many hints at where this is supposed to have been (a specific location in the world) try your luck and see if you can find it.

Images of night IX – Reality Flow (2014)

I like this story. I have no idea why I like it (sometimes what you like is a lot harder to explain than something that you don’t like), but I do. I wrote it relatively quickly considering the size of it and I actually like the whole aspect of fear. Where it comes from, why is it such an integral part of our lives, and maybe more importantly why so many people enjoy the feeling so much. Not just to cause fear in others but to experience it, is for many people a reason to watch certain movies. Read certain books and go to places where bad things happened, where we somewhere hope that we will witness a glimpse of them.

That got me thinking about fear in a more abstract way. If it such a potent feeling could it be that a certain race or creature would eat fear, just like certain plants pray on sunlight? And if they do how would they go about getting it? This was the perfect way to introduce them into a horror story, where you don’t really need gore or anything like that, you just need a setting and interestingly if you really want to be afraid. Being alone at night while strange little things are occurring can be more than sufficient.

Images of night X – Goodnight Kiss (2010-2014)

I love and hate this story. I don’t know why but it was very difficult for me to actually write it, all the sexual things in it were at least for me difficult to describe. So it took me ages to sit and write the whole thing out. Which is what makes it the worst story and in a way one of the best. In a way I think this is one of those first fantasies guys have, when they know what they want but have no clue what to do about it and sometimes urges propel you forward while the rest is not yet ready for anything like what is about to come. I think that is part of how society deals with these things, as a whole everyone knows sex sells but at what age do we actually understand it? Is it as young as 14? 16? Or is it much later, I know that for every person it is different but this has always interested  me and this little story is one way through which at least one part of the so called urge can be related to.

Images of night – Outro (2014)

When I decided to start this series of short stories I didn’t have everything layered out yet, but one thing I did have was the first and second story and this the very last image. It is not really a complete story but more of an extension to the last story, but the image of the shower and bugs or cockroaches or whatever freaks you out, was one that was with me from the very beginning and I always knew I wanted to end with it. If I would have to put a date on when exactly the image crawled into my mind, I would have to say somewhere in 2008, which was when I wrote the first two stories in this collection, although those two stories were set firmly in my mind even earlier, but I guess that is how connections, in my mind at least, are formed.

Images of night – A hymn to the night (2014)

This short little poem is the ending of my nightmare. It isn’t a very good poem (although I enjoy writing them, I feel they are never up to par), but I hope it gives some sort of summary in a way for the journey of this collection. I can’t say that when I started writing all of this that I knew immediately how everything was going to turn out, but I knew what I wanted. And although it took me a long time I am happy that at least a large part of what I wanted ended up on the page and not thrown away somewhere. Every nightmare is there to teach is, fear is not a bad thing, it can teach, help and more than anything give you a shiver when quiet and alone (which is best at night. When there are fewer distractions and we can’t see as well). A shiver that will run down your spine and give rise to a smile because you know there is nothing there.

Images of night IX – Reality Flow

The silent cries of a crowded street filled with passers-by, cars, buses, trams and trains, awake me from a very strange, dream-like slumber. It is like I am not really asleep but more dazed or maybe fazed a bit. My vision is slightly blurry and it takes me several moments until it is normal once more. I see nothing and everything is shrouded in darkness. I don’t know where I am and I can’t see anything or hear anything. The sounds that woke me must have been a part of my dream.
I reach out to feel for my wife, but she is not in the bed. The double bed is empty. I get up carefully and try to feel my way along the room towards the window, which should be to my right. I first walk slowly forward until I reach the wall. It is closer than it should be, but I let it be. I continue to feel along the wall, it is straight and slightly cold to the touch. Several more steps should bring me to the window, but after several more steps I only find the wall continuing. Fear creeps towards me like a killer in the night; it grabs hold of me and whispers of terrible terrors in my ear. I try to discard it and continue on trying to shake the fear that I am kidnapped, lost dying or even dead. My hands suddenly reach the corner of the room and now I am truly lost, there should be no corner there therefore, this is not my room. A small whimper crosses my lips as I crawl into a ball on the floor, the fear getting the better of me and panic is setting in. I feel as though the room is closing in on me, the walls shrinking the directions of the room shifting, spinning around me like I was an attraction in cage for the amusement of the world. I am dizzy and physically ill, my stomach feels like it is about to spew all the food and juices it has back out of my throat and on to the floor and I try to stop myself from heaving. My head is painful and heavy, my hands shake and I try to fight with every breath that I have, the urge to break down and cry like a little child for help.

The panic attack lasts several more minutes, or maybe these are hours I cannot tell and the progression of time feels unnatural to me. When it eventually passes and no evil has come to get me, I try once again to get up. I stumble across the room this time using logic rather than feeling. If I found a way into this room, there must also be a way out. I go slowly along the walls and find a large and heavy tissue along the wall, I assume it to be a curtain and I pull it to the side. Light gushes into the room and I see a window with another shutter behind it, blocking some of the sunlight although not completely, and more importantly the view. I look around the room and finally discover where I am. This is my rented room, I feel slightly foolish for reacting the way I did, but at least now all is clear. This is the room I rented, or it would be more accurate to say apartment that I rented, so that I could get some much needed rest and find the ideal environment to work.

I open the shutter and blink several times as I let my eyes get adjusted to the bright sun and stare out of the window. In front of me stretches the bay area, the view is as staggering as it always is and every single day I give my thanks that I get to come here as part of my work as a consultant, to this incredible hotel, although it is not strictly speaking a hotel and more like a studio run by a chain. The bay area and part of the terrain that is around the property, is a natural reserve which suits me just fine. It means that I am surrounded by nature and that whatever buildings are around at the moment will be the only buildings that will ever be here.  This gives me the peace and quiet I need for my sleep, and allows me to conduct my work to the best of my capabilities. I let the sun warm my face and dry my sweat, I quickly feel full of life once more ready to face the day.

I turn and take a good look at the apartment. There is a large bed in the middle of the room and a bathroom slightly further along. Next to the front door on the right is a small kitchen with all the different utensils a kitchen needs. There is a desk next to the wall close to me, which I completely missed in my stumbling along the walls and that is roughly it. Attached to the wall, in front of the double bed, close to the ceiling, is a flatscreen TV.

One strange thought strikes me, that in my dream what woke me up, were the sounds of trains and busses and the like, things that are nowhere near me and are part of the city which is just visible from my vintage point, but not in anyway audible. I look at the time, it is just over 7 in the morning and I resist calling my wife on the phone. She probably won’t be up yet and would be worried if I called her so early. Instead I decide to get dressed, take a shower and leave for a stroll through the reserve, and perhaps get a sandwich or some breakfast somewhere. Although I am far away from the big city, which is close to the bay, there are several shops and residential areas, at walking distance from me.

The birds and critters are up and about having a chipper and a chat before scattering to their ways, it is a blissful sound and I enjoy walking through the reserve this early. When there are no people around and nothing to disturb the peaceful nature of this place. The walk takes me through pathways that I know very well, all the way out into the small town of Creek Hill. It is a very small town that has only several streets and one quite unique one that follows a trail that ascends up a small hill. Most of the bars and larger restaurants are located there and although I have never been inside them, it looks inviting. However, these are real restaurants that have a larger clientele in the evening and most of them are closed for breakfast. So I decide then and there that this very evening I will return to enjoy their menu. For now though I shall take a small breakfast, which I find at a small little cafe. After a cup of coffee, an orange juice and a bagel with some cream cheese I go back to the reserve to work.

It is evening when I finally stop for the day and I go out to dinner at the restaurants on top of the hill. As I walk up the hill I notice that the path is very badly lit, there are hardly any lamps on both sides of the road and it appears that the restaurants are all closed. I mutter a curse for I should have looked when I was here, what the opening hours were. I continue walking along the path hoping that perhaps one of the restaurants is open. Luckily I find one restaurant with the light on, I open the door which creaks open and inside I see there are no tables only an old metallic knight costume, spider webs, several chain mails, swords hanging on the wall and all manner of other medieval things. The light inside is minimal and there is a staircase that leads down. I walk out of the restaurant thinking perhaps I misread the sign and a second look at the window. There written in big letters is the menu card and a sign that states this is indeed a restaurant.

I go back inside and walk down the only way in the restaurant. It leads down a narrow staircase that resembles what I would assume to be an entrance to a dungeon. There are swords and old knight garments decorating the narrow staircase which do not fill me with reassurance. I decide to forget about this strange looking restaurant where there is no one to serve me and no one to welcome me in.

Back outside I notice there is another light on in the window of what I assume is a restaurant across the street. I walk towards it and walk inside. The restaurant is similarly dimly lit and there is a small stand where a waiter is standing. At least there is someone here this time. He welcomes me in and tells me to follow him. I go through a small pathway that leads to me to a small room with several tables. There is no one in the room but at the back of it, there is a passage that leads to the left and on the right a circular staircase that goes up. Other than that the room is empty, there are strange pictures on the walls and red coloured lamps. It is a strange restaurant but I am quickly waited on and the menu has many choices that I would gladly try.

I order prosciutto for starters and tenderloin with green beans and carrots in garlic sauce for my main. The food is excellent which is a very welcome surprise as I was expecting it to be to the contrary, in my defence though all exterior impressions did lead me to that conclusion and I still fail to see any resemblance of a connection between the decoration the lighting the room or quite simply any of it. The restaurant was not empty the whole time I sat in it, there were people who sat at the other tables, but there were always tables free which is always a shame for a good restaurant.

The waiter walks by and stops by my table to ask if everything was satisfactory, I reply that it was and request the bill. He quickly removes the dishes from the table and get me my bill with a complimentary limoncello. I drink the limoncello and leave a generous tip. I am about to walk out when the waiter stops me and tells me that I should not miss the attraction of the place. I stare at him quizzingly but he just smiles and nods towards the passageway. Somewhat reluctantly I head towards it, lights show the way only sporadically, with an occasional black lantern and a red light bulb attached to it as only markers of the path I have to take. I find the passage way opens up to a slightly bigger room where there are three doors. I go to the door in the middle and open it. It leads to a small passageway that leads down. I close the door and try door number one, to my left. Inside I see a normal living room with a large table with several glasses on it. I quickly close the door as I have clearly entered a private residential home.

This leaves door number three which turns out to be locked. My only option is continue on down the passage that will lead to the catacombs for all I know, or turn back and get out of this strange, twisted restaurant. I push the moment’s hesitation quickly aside and reopen the door in the middle. With a deep breath to calm my nerves I walk in and close the door behind me.

The passage leads me down underground. The scarcely lit way makes it difficult to see where I am, but because the passage is so small there is literally only one way I can go. I pass deeper and deeper underground and I start to get the feeling the walls are closing in on me, as though the space is becoming smaller and smaller. I feel like the air is stuffy and humid and becomes more difficult to breath. I notice that the walls have now decorations on them there are gauntlets hanging from the wall, together with breastplates and other knightly attire. Several more feet ahead the passage leads up and I find myself in an open space that is better lit. The open space looks very familiar and I am getting a feeling of déjà vu. I walk quickly out of the front door and see the restaurant that I went to eat in across the street. I turn around and look at the restaurant that I entered first, but left because it was so strange. A smile escapes my lips as I congratulate the restaurateurs on a joke well played.

Back at the apartment I decide to call my wife and tell her about my little adventure. However, there is no answer which is slightly strange because she usually calls me at least once a day and she hasn’t called me yet, and at this time of night she is always at home. Even if for some odd reason she left our home, she always takes her phone with her. It worries me that she is not answering but for the moment there is not a lot I can do so instead of worrying about it, I just let it slide for the moment. The evening is still not finished and she will most likely call before going to sleep. I decide to focus on my work and I am quickly so absorbed by it that I the passage of time becomes a inconsequential thing and it is only when I eyes begin to burn that I stop for a moment to rub them. I look at the time and to my surprise see that hours have passed and it is now way past midnight. I am slightly annoyed that my wife hasn’t called but there is not anything I can do at the moment, to call her now would wake her up. I get changed and want to go to bed when there is a knock on the door.

I open the door and stare at the faces of two police officers that stand there looking at me.

‘Excuse me sir, but we were called here because the owners of this place saw a light burning in the window and thought it might be a burglar.’

I stare at the police officer puzzled and slightly perplexed. ‘I don’t understand, the owners?’ I ask.

‘Yes the owners’ replies the officer harshly.

‘I have been renting this place for a while now, so I don’t know what all this talk about owners is. But I assure you I have every right to be here.’ I try to keep my voice as calm as I can make it. I hear slightly breaking and I feel anger rising. How dare these stupid idiots come in here in this pretext?! They are just abusing their power as usual.

‘Well if you have every right to be here, could you please give some proof that you rented this place?’ sais the police officer smiling.

He most likely thinks I don’t have a receipt or something well the joke is on him. ‘sure, I will just have to find it.’ I go back inside the place and search through my papers until I find the one I’m looking for, stuffed into a small pocket of my wallet. ‘Here you go.’ I say and hand over the piece of paper.

The officer glances at it and hands it over to his colleague who looks it over and then stares back at me. ‘This paper does indeed prove that you rented this place.’ The first officer states ‘too bad it’s a little out of date’.

I stare at the officer not understanding. ‘What do you mean it’s out of date?’

‘Well, if you look at the year that you rented this, it was quite a while back.’ The cop is smiling ‘70 years in the past to be precise.’ He adds, the condescending smile never leaving his lips.

My mind is in an uproar, it runs up and down, flips and falls while my face registers nothing but shock. It is as though my mind is going tilt on the one hand and a complete meltdown on the other. I try to speak, to say something to the two cops that are staring at me with the strange smiles glued to their faces like a piece of melon, most likely thinking they caught a burglar. Shocked I can’t speak, words fail me as I stutter and try to wrap my head around what has happened. I let out a nervous laugh and mutter ‘this must be some kind of joke.’

‘Oh, this is no joking matter sir. Now if you will please follow me, we will take you to the station.’

‘To the station?’ I ask surprised.

‘Yes. I can bring you to the station willingly or we can do this the hard way.’

I stare at the ground while the cops put the cuffs on me and read me my rights. I get nudged forward and they lead me to their car. I try to think to make sense of what is going on but my mind is just going haywire and when it doesn’t it is in a state of shock. One thoughts keeps turning in my head, where is my wife, what has happened to her?

We are at the station where I am relieved of the things that are in my pockets, I have to sign a form that I barely glance at and I am put in a holding cell that has white walls, a large white door with a tiny window in it. There is a small bed and a toilet in the small cell. I sit down on the bed, it smells muffed and damp and a small tremor runs through me, from my head down to my toes, a shiver and a shake and the cold feeling fades slightly. But in my heart the cold feeling remains, an unsettling unnerving feeling that no matter what happens my world has changed.

I try not to think about what happened to my wife, friends and relatives, but it is a struggle that is doomed to fail. I lie on the bed awake and watch time crawl by. There is no clock in the room and my wristwatch was removed so to keep my brain occupied I count the seconds that pass. At first I try to count at steady intervals at what are roughly seconds and so reach minutes, but it is quite difficult to continue counting without fail for a longer period of time. I decide to try and count heartbeats instead. I know that my heart beats at roughly 80 beats a minute so each 80 will be about a minute so 160 beats 2 minutes, 320 will be 4 minutes…

When I reach 15 minutes and 1200 heartbeats I give up. I think about my home and how I wish I was there right now, but if the police were right and I rented the place 70 years ago, does that mean I travelled forward in time?! And if so what has happened to everyone? My thoughts turn around like a carousal, incapable of stopping and too afraid to just give up thinking all together.

It is early morning when I am let out of the cell and given all my things back. The owners did not want to press charges and so I was free to go. ‘But’ the officer warned me ‘you best behave, or we will be there to put you back in your cell.’

I don’t indulge the officer with a response and just take my things and leave. Once outside I don’t know what to do. My first reflex was to call my wife and make sure that she was alright. But what if the police are right and so much time has passed, if that is the case than I can call her all I want and she will not answer. This option fills me with so much fear, that it leaves me physically shaken and I find myself hesitating. Maybe not knowing will be a better option than the alternative, finding out that she is gone, whisked away, together with my family and friends leaving me truly alone.

It is morning when the cops come to open the cell, I haven’t slept all night, my mind wouldn’t let me and when they show up to open the door I quickly stand. They take me to the front of the station, to the front desk where a cop is sitting. She gives a bag that contains my belongings and lists them for me.

‘What is happening?’ I ask them slightly confused.

‘You weren’t charged, so we have no reason to keep you here.’ The cop sitting at the front desk tells me courtly.

I walk out of the double doors that lead outside where the light slightly blinds me as I make my way through the parking lot. It is a warm day, I am tired, hungry and the sun burns my eyes. I decide to go get some food first before heading into the city, I know I will have to see my wife eventually but I am reluctant to do so. The fact that she may be gone is a constant weight on my heart and for the moment I chose to not confront it. For now I can act as though everything is alright and she is still here.

After I satisfy my stomach I can wait no longer and go to the city, a quick cab ride takes to my doorstep. I knock on the door and wait impatiently for someone to answer it. It seems like I wait forever but I resist the urge to knock again even louder, instead I rub my hands and try to keep calm. The door eventually opens and in front of me stands a guy I don’t know. He has black hair and large brown eyes. He is wearing a black T-shirt and jeans, he looks unkempt and smells like stale cloths that haven’t been aired for a long time, or perhaps it is the house that smells like this. It sure didn’t smell like this when I lived here.

‘Yes?’ he asks.

‘Hello, I am sorry to disturb you but I am very interested in your house.’ I say smiling. The guy in front of me stares at me waiting for me to continue. ‘You see, I used to live in this house and I was just wondering if you knew where the previous owners might have gone to.’

‘I am sorry, I have no clue.’ He says shrugging his shoulders. ‘Why would you care anyway?’

‘Well, back when I lived in this house I had some belongings that were lost when we moved and I thought maybe they knew where they went. I was hoping they left you a forward address. You know for their mail when it comes.’

‘Don’ know where your stuff is man, but I moved in here like 8 months ago and the people who moved away took all the shit with them. This place was empty like a crypt man.’

‘But did they leave you a forwarding address?’ I ask hopefully.

‘Oh, now that you mention it I think they did leave me a forwarding address. But that was a long time ago.’ The man stops talking and stairs up at nothing in particular, trying to think. ‘I can have a look to see if I can find it.’

‘Oh yes please. That would be really helpful thank you!’ I respond enthusiastically.

The guy shrugs non-comittedly and walks inside the house. I wait outside. The birds are chirping and the neighbourhood seems to be doing alright. There isn’t a lot of evidence to show that 70 years have passed since I was here for the last time. There are no flying cars, people flying around with private rocket launchers and so on. Everything looks just about normal. There are little things that do show the differences. The billboards that decorated everything back in my time have been replaced with these little projections of animated 3D images. Other than that though very little has changed and I can blend in nicely.

It takes the guy a very long time to get back and when he does at least 25 minutes have passed. ‘Here man,’ he says handing me the piece of paper. ‘I found it in the kitchen under a cookbook.’

I regard the little piece of paper as treasure and thank the guy for giving it to me.

‘No prob’ man. It sucks when shit goes missing.’

As I walk away from there I don’t know what strikes me as more surprising the fact that the guy seemed to genuinely care or that he had a cookbook in his kitchen.

The address on the piece of paper is on the other side of the city. I hail a cab and get there within 15 minutes or so. I arrive at an apartment complex, which is quite a step down from the house I was just in. I go to it and take a closer look at the scrap of paper there is a number there but it slightly blurry. Because I can’t actually read the piece of paper I ring every single bell. Most of the people don’t answer and those that do have no idea what I’m talking about it. It turns out that the apartment complex is an old people’s home and many of the old folks have memory loss and are incoherent, I can hear them utter words that might seem to be a sentence but together they make no sense, it is as though random words are put together to construct the sentences without any consideration for their meaning. It seems that I have reached a dead-end in my search. A feeling of despair and tremendous loneliness assails me and I feel like I was struck strongly in the gut. I find it difficult to breathe and slightly dizzy, I have to rest my hands on my knees as I try to get my breathing back under control.

It takes me several minutes to relax enough so that I can take in my surroundings and it is only then that I notice that something is off. At first everything appears as it always is, the sun is shining the sky is blue and there are several white clouds in the sky. But when I try to focus on the sun the strangest thing happens, normally I won’t be able to look at the sun but now I can. Not only can I look at the sun without being blinded but the sun is just like a large lamp and nothing more. Slowly I find other details that are wrong, or slightly off. The green colour of the grass and the blue colour of the sky are too perfect almost as they were created unnaturally. The real world is much messier, it is never this clear cut, the green is never only green the blue never only blue. It is then that I know what is going on and I remove the mask from my face.

I open my eyes for the first time in a while and find that there is something covering my head. It nearly puts me in frenzy until I find that I need to pull it up above my head to get away from me. I pull it off and see that it is a kind of plastic pad with little buds glued to it. The buds were stuck to my head and I rub my head and eyes several times to get the itching feeling away from them. I am lying down in something that resembles a plastic like bed. The ceiling is shining lights from several places concealed in the blue like ceiling that I can’t actually make out. The light gives off a strange hue that resembles the light that the new lamps are creating, the ones that change their colour seamlessly to suit your emotions.

I get up from the bed and notice that it is slightly round and looks almost like it’s been made to keep me in it; it is exactly my size and height, but does not look like a normal bed in any way shape or form. The place around looks like a room made from a similar material the bed is made of. It feels like a smooth plastic like surface that is very sturdy but still light enough to make it easy to work with. I take several steps in the direction of what I assume is the door, but as soon as I do the bed itself disappears into the floor as though it never existed.

A rustle behind me startles me and I quickly turn around to see a large metallic like thing with no clear limbs floating slightly in the air. It starts speaking to me in an incredible array of languages, none of which make any sense to me until it finally reaches English.

‘Hello’ it says. Its voice is surprisingly low and smooth, not anything like its metallic exterior would hint at.

‘Where am I? Who are you?’ I say trying to keep as calm as I can.

‘You are in our ship as our guest. We hope you will find your stay with us as comfortable as possible. I am toyriarklinad’

‘What am I doing here? What is going on? I don’t understand!’ I am losing my cool and I know it, but my mind is simply not fathoming all the changes that have occurred.

‘Please calm down sir, you are here at your own request. You asked to be brought here several years ago.’

‘I don’t understand, I don’t remember any of this.’

‘That is to be expected after being in the fields for so long. Please drink this,’ The robot reaches his hand to the side of one of the walls and a glass appears with some liquid in it. An arm like appendage appears out of his body he takes the glass and hands it to me. ‘it will help your recovery and the temporary memory loss.’

I take the glass obediently and drink its contents quickly in one gulp. I feel slightly dizzy and suddenly the memories flow back as though they were always a part of me. My name, my life, everything, I know now that everything was an illusion, a simulation that would keep me away from remembering. I was 25 years old when I met my wife we had an incredible life back then. We were so very much in love that everything seemed possible, so full of life, so colourful that there was nothing we could not do. It was five years later that disaster struck and the worst of all happened. I lost my wife in a car accident.

Depression soon ensued and I was lost to the world for many years. Suicide was regularly on my mind, but I was too frightened to actually go through with it. I lived life like an empty shell, I was invisible and everything around me just continued on without me. Ten years later I lost my house and was put in psychiatric care. I lived there for 5 more years when another disaster took place. There was some new energy source experiment that had gone horribly wrong, a laboratory in the USA was trying to grow and create a new sort of bacteria that could take the CO and CO2 from the air and use it for their consumption while releasing normal O2 in the process. This at least was the idea to combat global warming; unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. The bacteria was incredibly successful and was used everywhere with incredible success. However, there was one thing the scientists didn’t count on and that was that the bacteria would mutate and prosper. The bacteria grew exponentially and after completely removing the CO2 from the air, which already had an incredible affect on the plant life, it moved on to other plants namely sea plants. The bacteria adapted to absorb nutrients and things it needed from the very oceans. This meant that all plant life was now a thing of the past. Farmers tried to cultivate their crops in fields that were kept in closed sterile environments but that was of no use. The bacteria seemed so adapt to surviving that it literally could live in the air we breathed and after it moved to the oceans our days were numbered. Food became a major problem and wildlife everywhere slowly became extinct. Millions of humans died from starvation in a period that will forever be known as the dark time, humans did the only thing they could do to survive. They moved to space. They moved into a sterile environment where they could control everything. The essence of food was changed from the organic foods to a controlled synthetic derivative that was given intravenously to everyone. It changed human life forever, but at least kept humans alive.

The fall of humankind because of a genetically mutated bacteria, happened when I was still receiving my psychiatric help. I knew nothing of what had happened to the outside world until much later. My life hadn’t actually changed all that much and when it did I was simply told that it was time to move the facility to a new location. The new location turned out to be a space station that was in orbit around a planet, once considered mine. When I eventually found everything out and had enough therapy that I could live again I was surprised to find that I was 50.

Reality is different when your 50, it is somehow darker then when you are younger. There are more limitations in place that keep you in tune, or in line. It is a strange thing to wake up in a body that is 50 when you feel much younger. But years of therapy have prepared me for this eventuality, what it did not prepare me for was how life itself changed. Gone was everything and everyone I knew and instead I got a metallic decor to keep me company and several metallic structures to keep me tamed. I had no options or say in the matter, it was as though I was told that this was life and I better get used to it, only I didn’t. A group of people couldn’t deal with the closed quarters, the tight spaces and the lack of privacy. They tried to revolt against what they saw as a grave injustice and a violation of their most basic of rights. All of them without exception were subdued and kept in stasis for 3 years where they were subjected to psychological stimulations and reprogramming. I was one of those people and my three years just ran out.

Or so I remembered. I have no way of knowing, that what I remembered was indeed real or just a figment of my imagination. Worse yet it could be a figment constructed by ‘Them’. The same goes for my eyes and all of my other senses. How could I be sure that what I see now around me was real? How can I be sure that what is around me is not just my mind playing tricks on me? And if I really were reprogrammed why did they leave all these memories intact? Why not just erase it all? Surely that was easier than going through all of this for each one of us. The costs of such an operation must be enormous or maybe what is happening all around me is something else entirely.

My head spins with the possibilities and I become slightly nauseous. I feel my forehead becoming increasingly wet with perception and my hands slowly start to tremble slightly. I feel as though a rock has lodged itself inside my stomach and that it is struggling to come out I bend over as the heaving starts. At first nothing comes out except some noises but soon enough water and bile and a goo of sorts gush out of my mouth and onto the metallic floor, leaving me gagging and feeling slightly better. It takes me several more seconds to compose myself enough to stand.

‘Don’t worry the feelings of nausea and all other side-effects will be removed from your system momentarily. In the meantime I propose an exchange of information.’

I can’t answer the robot yet, as my head is still slightly spinning and there is a horrid taste left in my dry mouth, interestingly it is almost as if the robot can read my thoughts for a glass appears from the side of one of the metallic panels, filled to the brim with crystal clear water. I have never seen water that looked so enticing. I quickly pick up the glass and drink. I return the glass to the panel in the wall and am happy to see it is refilled almost immediately. I can’t see where the new water has come from, but it looks like one moment the glass was empty and next it was full once more. I drink several more glasses before I feel slightly better.

‘We have found that upon awakening all individuals suffer from nausea, dizziness and depending on the individual uncontrollable laughter, uncontrollable tears, rectal bleeding, nose bleeding, vomiting, mild shaking of the arms and in certain occasions the legs and in one case out of a million fever. All these should pass momentarily.’ Said the robot in its calm and cold voice ‘if you are ready I will continue on to further explain where you are and what has passed since you have been put in storage therapy.’ I nod my head so that the robot can continue. My head is already feeling slightly better and I am no longer gagging. ‘The intended therapy was supposed to be three years with a clean bill intended upon your removal. However, several problems with the ships in orbit have been detected and through attacks sustained when you were receiving your therapy…’ I interrupt the robot’s narrative to ask who it was that attacked the ships. ‘The attacks were the physical manifestation of anger from those who were left on earth. The ship was damaged during these attacks and repairs were underway although not everything could be repaired in time…’

‘Wait’ I call ‘what do you mean those who were left on earth?’

‘A rough estimate of 100,000,000 humans were left on earth, they mounted the attack as they viewed our departure without them as a grave issue of concern.’

‘You left 100,000,000 people on earth?! How could you do that? Why didn’t you bring them instead of us?’

‘The decision was made by the ruling council at the time. I have no information on the decision that was made all information I have gathered is that the station upon departure had place for an estimate of 200,000,000. There was therefore no room for additional individuals to board it. When the ships went into orbit they were set-up into the station you are now a part of. You were considered essential by someone in the council, that is the only reason that is plausible for allowing you unto this ship.’

‘What about all the others? All the other patients?’

‘They were left on earth.’

‘So you left them to DIE!’ I could not contain my anger any longer, my voice became a shrilling scream and I shouted each syllable out at the robot.

‘There was no choice in the matter.’ Answered the robot matter-of-factly.

‘Where are the people who are running this thing?’ I asked my voice dripping with venom. If I could kill someone with my mind at that moment I would have slaughtered everyone without a second thought that is how far my anger had gone.

‘I would be happy to, but that is no longer possible.’ Answered the robot.

‘What do you mean that is no longer possible? Are they going to keep me here forever? Is that their idea?! Well I will show them!’ I was going to storm out and give whoever I thought responsible hell for what they’ve done. But, before I could do so the robot stood in my way and said.

‘You cannot do that because everyone aboard the station has been dead for the last 10 years.’

This gave me some pause and I was stuck in my tracks. My mouth went dry and I thought that it must be some sort of joke. There had to be others on board didn’t the robot just say there were 200 million people on board?! How could they all have died? It was then that something else the robot said registered and another thought came to me. The robot said 10 years ago, so how long was I in the therapy thing? It must have been more than 3 years. When I finally managed to talk I said ‘What do you mean everyone died 10 years ago?’

‘You were supposed to be in therapy for 3 years. However, due to unforeseen complications you were left in stasis for a period of 25 years.’

’25 years?! But that would that I am now 75!’ I cried in surprise.

‘That would be correct.’

‘But I don’t feel like I am 75. I am quick on my feet and everything works just fine.’

‘That is because although linear time has passed in excess of 25 years for you, your physical body was kept in stasis. All bodily functions were kept to a bare minimum, all dividing cells were slowed down and regeneration protocols were put in place.’

‘Regeneration protocols?’

‘Yes, to combat the aging process of the body more efficiently than just slowing it down the telomeres were lengthened, stem cells were isolated from your tissues and differentiated into tissue specific stem cells so that repairs could be made and certain organs regenerate like the heart…’

‘Alright, alright you lost me at the telem something. Just tell me how am I still alive while everyone else has been dead for the last 10 years.’

‘As I stated previously many ships were damaged before they could be adapter into the larger station, this caused some problems but nothing that could not be handled. This did mean that you received a low priority on this ship and were left in stasis. Because of an error to the computer system the therapy procedure you were undergoing was stopped, this was to ensure no brain damage occurred to you. You were removed to an automated health system that kept you in peak physical condition and rendered you more immune to the effects of aging; you have been locked into that system for the last 25 years.

Five years after the station was nearly complete and almost all individuals were relocated to the station disaster struck. The remaining humans on earth were not done with the people who relocated to the station. An unknown number of humans that were still alive harboured a long hatred to the people on the station. The people on the station never thought that the resentment from earth could be so strong and so never counted on the eventuality that they would launch a second attack. No one saw the second attack coming because most of the people on the station thought the means to such an attack were gone and that the remaining individuals would try to find a way to survive rather than fight the station. They were wrong on both counts, the one thing the people on earth had in abundance was rocks and they used those. They spent the last years of their lives building large catapult systems to launch rocks at the station. These rocks impacted the station, ripping it apart, exposing it to the near vacuum that is in space and caused every personal member to die, who was not attached to a health system. You were the only one that was attached to one and the only one that survived the attack. The systems rebooted and you were built a small controlled environment where you could continue to survive. It took a long time to build the station with remains of the broken down station. It took an additional 20 years to do this, at which point you were resuscitated.’

‘But why save me in the first place?’

‘Priority mission one is saving human life.’

‘So I am the only survivor in the world?!’

‘It is unclear if there are no other survivors in the world, although chances are unlikely that anyone survived. Here on the station you are the only living individual.’

Words elude me and I am once again feeling as though I have been punished severely both mentally and physically. I am once again lost and everything I thought I knew is gone in a wisp of smoke. I am gutted and strangely after such a rollercoaster ride of emotions I feel strangely drained and empty. It is as though my feelings were shattered once too many times and I just can’t register them anymore, I am absolutely spent and I just need to rest, to calm down. I feel dizzy again and my body feels weak and fable, I…

…I open my eyes to find I am lying on my back staring at a metallic ceiling. My head hurts. I reach out and find that an area around my left eye and cheek is slightly puffed. I must have fallen and hit my head. I groggily get up from the bed and look around. The robot is gone and there is nothing in the room but the bed and the metallic walls around me. There is a door of sorts that looks like a sheet of metallic paper, in the corner of the room. I walk towards it and it slides open. Outside of the room is a corridor, there are no windows anywhere. I decide to go to the left and walk slowly in that direction for several moments when I come to an abrupt end. The corridor is closed and there is nothing else, it is almost as though it is not finished.

I go to the other side and start walking. Several It is a small corridor with only 100 meters until it also comes to an end.

‘Hey, is there anyone out there?!’ I shout out hoping that the robot at least would come back and talk to me.

The same metallic voice responds from seemingly everywhere around me, echoing through the corridor ‘Yes, what is it?’.

‘Where are you?’ I ask.

‘I am nowhere, the physical robot has been taken apart to use as parts for the station. Is there anything else you require?’

‘I just need to know, what can I do here? I mean I have nothing here anymore. Why continue building this stupid station in the first place if it’s only for me?!’ I ask slightly irritated.

‘That is part of our programming; we need to keep you safe under any circumstances.’

‘But just keeping me protected is foolish. I will die eventually, if not by starvation than by old age. I don’t understand why you would keep me here! I have nothing here! Everyone is dead!’ I can’t fight it anymore and tears run down my face uncontrollably.

‘The programming allows no flexibility in the matter; you are to be kept safe and alive.’

It is not tears anymore I am sobbing uncontrollably ‘but why keep me alive?! What’s the point? Is it to keep me as depressed as possible? Is it to get me to be as miserable as I can?! I don’t understand what is the point? Why keep me here?’

‘I cannot divulge that information.’

I try to think, to calm my nerves enough so that I can figure some things out. If I am the only person alive on this station and I am not crucial in any way to its function or to its maintenance, then why keep me here? What could possibly be the reason? Assuming the computer system is telling me the truth and I am the only person alive why would it struggle so much to keep me alive? There is no way humanity can be repopulated. There is no reason to keep me locked up in a station, is there?

My thoughts circle around and I try to find a way to dig more information out of the robot. There is nothing else here for me, other than asking for answers from the robot. ‘Is there a panel somewhere where I can access your memory banks?’

‘I am not authorized to grant you access to my memory banks.’

‘What?! That makes no sense, if I am the only person alive then there is nothing to prevent you from granting me access to the memory banks.’

‘I am not at liberty to disclose that information.’

‘What are you talking about? What could possibly prevent you?’

‘I am not at liberty to disclose that information.’

‘Is there something else here?’

‘I am not at liberty to disclose that information.’

I’m trying to think, my tears are dry and my despair is slightly lifted as I think about the situation. Everything seems real but what if it isn’t? What if there is something else going on? I try to focus on the things that have happened to me from the beginning of this and it all seems too incredible to be real. I am the last person in the universe. It can’t be true; if it were then the story almost seems too unlikely, the computer too strange and everything around me completely improbable. Why create a room and a corridor for no reason? Why not create only a room? Why if everyone is dead am I supposed to stay alive? I have too many questions and not nearly enough answers. Everything points me to one thing. I’m being played.

‘The trick is up.’ I shout to no one in particular ‘So stop this nonsense and get out here.’

‘I am sorry I do not understand what you mean’ comes the cold voice of the computer.

‘If I am right and I think I am, then you know exactly what I mean.’

‘I apologize; I do not understand what you mean.’

‘You know what I mean alright! This, all of this’ I say pointing at the metal plates surrounding me ‘it’s all fake everything. Nothing here is real!’ I hit the side of the metal bar and it makes a loud thudding sound. A real sound, it feels real and just for a moment my resolution wavers, but instead of letting that moment cloud my judgment, I continue as though the fact that it is real fits in perfectly with what is going on. And after a moment of thought I figure out that it might actually fit in with what I have been experiencing. It is the only way everything around me was so real, that I could feel things and use every single one of my senses perfectly to grasp a reality that is somehow being manipulated.

And the only way it can be manipulated is if it is linked directly to my mind. That is the answer.

I stare around me, at the world I know now to be fake and that is when the world surrounding me shatters like pieces of a broken mirror, tumbling to the floor and splintering off into thousands of shards, each-one reflecting pieces of the made believe world. As the world shatters to the floor it reveals what lies behind it. I find that there is nothing else around me, the light is gone and it is dark and I can feel nothing below my feet. I try to walk forward but there is something that is preventing me, a force of some kind is keeping me stuck in my place. I have no time to be afraid, after the whole ordeal I am merely exhausted and drained.

A voice seemingly coming from everywhere at once, including straight in my head announces a question. It is a deep and dark voice. It has a low timber that under other circumstances I might find interesting but now it sounds hollow to me and ominous. ‘What is fear?’

‘What?’ I ask confused.

‘What is fear?’ asks the voice again.

‘What the hell is this? What are you talking about?’

‘What is fear?’ asks the voice again.

‘You give me some answers right now!’ I shout.

There is a pause before the voice speaks again. ‘I want to know about fear.’ It asks ‘I want to understand fear. What is it that makes you feel fear? Or become afraid?’

I listen to the words that come to me, but I fail to see the relevance. Why does this happen to me? ‘Fine you want to understand fear, but why keep me here? Why me?’

‘You were a randomly selected subject. We are not keeping you here nor anywhere, you are as you have always been in your own bed. We simply communicate with you through means you may not comprehend yet. We have built a link with your mind while you were unconsciousness. This link has allowed us to reconstruct the reality around you as we see fit. To understand fear we have created a template of things we believed will convey fear as efficiently as possible.’

‘I was chosen at random?!’ I call out in anger ‘for a study about fear? Lucky me!’ I shout. ‘Well I refuse to work with you. You can go screw yourself.’ I shout angrily.

There is a small pause when the voice is most likely trying to figure out what to do. Finally after what seems like a very long time the voice says ‘If you decide not to cooperate than we can make your environment very uncomfortable for you.’

‘Great threats, what could be more uncomfortable than what I have already gone through?!’

Instead of answering a light shines into my face and the blackness instantly transforms. To my right and left I can see the sky; a roaring thundering sound is coming from just beneath me. I look down to see what the noise is and am startled to find that I am standing on a large piece of wood that stretches above a large chasm. Way below me there is a large waterfall pouring into the river. From in front of me I can see the tree trunk bridging the two edges of the chasm together. A feeling vertigo assaults me as I see everything around me spinning and I nearly lose my footing. I grab hold of the tree trunk and crawl painstakingly slowly to the edge. Gusts of wind threaten to knock me off the tree trunk several times and my heart doesn’t stop racing until I am finally off the tree trunk. Even then I only manage to crawl away from the edge on all fours, until I am at a safe distance from the ledge and then as though all my energy has left me I just fall to the floor and lie down trying to catch my breath.

‘Is this fear?!’ asks a cold voice suddenly shaking me from my attempt to recompose myself. I was so emerged in the whole ordeal that I completely forgot about the voice, the darkness and the quest for fear.

‘Fuck off.’ I shout at the voice.

‘You could cooperate with us, if you chose once again not to do so the situations you will find yourself in will only be more and more extreme. It is entirely up to you.’

Instead of answering I lift my middle finger up into the air and continue to lie on the grass. The terrain around me slowly dissipates and the dark slowly fades onto the world all around me like a veil. Gone is the grass and the chasm and instead I find that I am now in my bed. My good old familiar room, but although the room looks like my room I know better now. Nothing is real and what is not real cannot harm me. I grab the blanket and pull up to my neck. I am becoming accustomed to the black of night and I can make out the different objects that are in the room, a painting that I put in the room a couple of years ago, my nightstand which has a night lamp on it and the book that I am reading.

Strangely the room looks different at night that it does during the day. There are shadows that come from unknown places and send out their clutches out across the walls. There are noises and creaking boards at night that you never hear during the day. Old pipes, the wind hitting the windows, the rain tapping on the roof, at night each one of these noises has a life of its own and it is not a good life it is an evil sinister life. A life full of anger and hate and evil, it is a life that wants something from me.

I shake my head clear of the thoughts that swirl inside my head and try to remind myself that everything is made up. Nothing here is real…

It changes nothing the noises slowly increase in volume coming at me from all sides of the room, the shadows dance around the room reaching out to me. My heart begins to race and my hands begin to sweat. I try to calm myself by saying that everything is just setup and that nothing here is real, I try to persuade myself that nothing can harm me and that I am perfectly fine and even though my head knows this to be true, there is another part that says that maybe there is something moving out of the corner of my eye. Maybe the things that I think are shadows are something else entirely, or maybe someone is looking at me right now through the window, planning to kill me. I slowly turn my head to look at the window and let out a sigh of relief when I see that there is no one there. Just then a slow moaning sound comes from underneath the bed and I let out a startled scream.

‘Is that fear?’ asks the voice again.

Twice now I have failed to fight fear, twice I knew what I was facing but I was still caught wanting. I know now that the only way to survive this terrible ordeal is by playing into their hand and learning more about the situation instead of what I have been doing. I get up from the bed and ask to the air in general ‘I am willing to help you with everything you need.’ I say ‘but in return I want you to first answer my questions and promise me that when we are done you leave me alone and never come back.’

There is a short pause. ‘That is acceptable.’ announces the voice.

‘Good. First can your turn on a light in this room? Or change the scenery to something a little more soothing?’

My dark room disappears and instead I am whisked away to a tropical beach. There are coconut trees behind and I am standing on a white and sandy beach. The clear blue sea is a few steps from me, the waves playing catch with the sand. It is serene.

‘Does this meet your approval?’ asks the voice.

‘Yes’ I answer smiling ‘yes it does’ I sit down on the sand and for the first time I feel like I can relax slightly. ‘Alright first things first, who are you?’

‘We are travellers.’

‘You travel? To where, by what?’

‘Maybe traveller is the wrong word there is no word for it in your language. We move through space and time freely and without constrictions, so most of our existence is spent by travelling through everything at every possible point in time. We are travellers.’

I don’t know what to make of the answer but decide that it doesn’t really matter. ‘Do you have a certain form?’ I ask

‘A physical manifestation of our presence?’ asks the voice.

‘Yes’

‘No, do you prefer if we had one?’

‘No, that’s alright.’ I answer, thinking that perhaps the form that they would chose would freak me out. Satisfied with the first batch of questions I move on to the more interesting ones. ‘Is this real?’ I ask pointing at the island around me.

‘As real as you want it to be.’ Comes the cryptic response.

‘What do you mean?’

‘We created a space around you, a bubble if you will, that allows us to control the passage of time slightly but more importantly space.’

‘Does that mean that everything around me is real?’

‘As real as we can make it, yes.’

‘But then how did I break it in the first place?’

‘You didn’t break it. We did. We thought we could coax more emotions from you if we did that.’

‘Ok this leads to me to the other questions I had. What is this fascination you have with fear?’

‘We believe fear is a key factor in a species. We have never felt fear and find it very difficult to understand. It is one of the only questions we have not yet answered.’

‘What do you mean fear is a key factor is a species? Fear is nothing special right?’

‘Fear is very special.’ replies the voice ‘without fear your thinking process is severely limited, or so we presume. Because we don’t understand fear we can only assume about it. But there are key physical and mental features that are clearly distinguishable when creatures feel fear. Their heart rate increases, the heart pumps oxygen at an incredible speed, the senses are heightened, you are stronger, react faster and your mind is pulsing its neural network at an incredible rate. All these are physical manifestations we have measured in creatures undergoing a process we think is fear.’

I try to think about it. If I am afraid what happens? Well the heart races that is certainly true but do my senses become more heightened? Hard to know, my imagination certainly does. ‘And you think fear is a key to what exactly?’

‘We think fear is the first step to sentient life.’

I ponder this thought for a moment. Could fear be the first step in the development of sentient life? I am way over my head and I honestly have no idea. ‘Alright. I don’t understand everything you told me, but I am happy to at least have the answers. I’ll honour our deal and give you all the answers you seek.’

‘Very well. Please explain to us how fear works. What are you frightened of, what is it that influences fear and how can it be controlled?’

‘Fear is like a gut wrenching experience. Some people start shaking and crying and just breakdown when they are really afraid, others just become all the more powerful. I guess many things influence fear. It is a little personal. Each person has their own things that they are afraid of; it could be anything from going outside the door to fear of the dark. There are phobias as well where people have uncontrollable fear from certain things like closed spaces, open spaces, spiders, insects and another million things. A lot of these are triggered by a trauma or a bad experience. That’s all I know about fear I think.’

‘But why are you afraid? What causes fear to exist in the first place?’

‘Don’t you feel fear?’

‘No, we are incredibly curious but we do not feel fear as you do. We do not have any predators that could threaten us or even any species we could talk to on our own level. We do not know fear, but it seems as though fear is essential. That means we developed without it, unlike any other species we developed without it. This might mean we have a flaw we were previously unaware of.’

‘Well fear is an essential tool to survive. If I weren’t afraid of certain things I might die. For example I am not an electrician and I don’t really understand it. One time I change a light switch and received an incredible electric shock that sent me flying back. I am now much more careful when dealing with electricity and that is all in response to fear. Fear makes us take an action to a possible threat. Runaway for example.’

‘So how can we control fear in other species?’

‘What do you mean control?’

‘How can we manipulate fear more effectively? Does putting people in certain situations trigger fear better? Or do we need to change tactics?’

‘Wait… Do you want to continue inducing fear in people?’

‘Not necessarily, but we want to control it, to understand it, to be able to manipulate it.’

‘Well I guess a lot of times fear has more to do with what you can’t see than what you can.’

‘We don’t understand. Do you mean a suggestive fear, how is that possible?’

‘If you see something then it is immediately less frightening then when you can’t see it. If you can’t see it then your imagination always makes it much worse than it actually is.’

‘So fear is more effective if it confined to just beyond your vision.’

‘It’s not just that though. If you take a situation and really want to rattle a person the easiest way is to let them do it to themselves, while just providing some extra stimuli. Like a strong wind, darkness, an impression that something moves, a rustling you can’t really explain although you try to and so on.’

A change occurred then, not to the scenery around me that stayed the same, but to the voice itself. Instead of being its normal cold calculating self it now sounded different somehow, smug, full of himself or maybe just content. ‘So to perfect the essence of fear we need to use the subject’s imagination against them. We to constrict ourselves not to the visible but to the invisible, we need to hide, to perhaps lure the subject into a false sense of confidence and then blast him with the perfect blast of terror, by inducing movement of objects and things just outside the field of his vision, rustling things that are close enough for him to hear but not understand, noises that will surround him, winds that will further unsettle him, maybe we can find other factors in time.’

I feel a slow nagging impulse that tells me I have done something wrong, a small pinch in my heart that makes me feel dread, but I discard it. ‘It’s not a question of how many factors you use; it’s more a question of how you built it up and how you basically control the feeling than anything else. If you want to create a real feeling of fright you need to built it up and slowly recreate everything to be more and more frightful while all the time letting the person experiencing it, built his own version of the possible horrors in his head. The more you bomb the person with things at the same time the more annoyed and angry he would be rather than frightened. I am sure he will be afraid at the beginning but it will quickly subside because everything is happening all at once.’

‘Very well… we understand. The most efficient form of fear is manifested when there are things that question your judgment or your sanity, by moving little objects just out of the corner of your eye, breathing into your ear and when you turn there is nothing there. Give you a gradual feeling that everything around you has a sinister and ominous character and that nothing is quite the way it should be. Is that how fear can be accomplished?’

‘Yes that is a very efficient way that will work on just about anyone I think.’

‘This is good. We thank you for your information we shall adapt it to our studies. Now to honour our deal we shall leave you in peace.’

‘Wait’ I say quickly. ‘What do you mean you will adapt it to your studies?’

‘We have slightly misled you. We feed on fear and need it to continue surviving.’

‘You feed off fear?!’

‘Yes, we feed off fear ever since the first animal felt fear. The drained feeling any creature has after a prolonged exposure to fear is usually a result of us relieving you of it.’

‘So does that mean, you have been with humanity for as long as it has been alive?’

‘You misunderstand. We have been with everything and everyone for all of time.’

‘What are you?’ I ask slightly afraid of the answer.

‘We are the monsters of old that send shivers down your spine. We are the evil that lurks in your heart. We are the dark that holds you tight, we are the monsters hiding in your head, we are the beasts that ravish the dead, we are the manifestation of everything you fear and now we are much more. We are the creak beneath your bed at night, we are the reason you hold your breath at night. We now are so much more than we ever were all because you opened up the door.’

I don’t know how to respond but, instead of giving in to the feeling of terror that grows underneath my skin I look straight ahead at the blue oceans in front of me and say ‘if you are everything that we fear, or everything that I have ever feared when I was younger. Then you are also the toilet I had to sit on. You are that strange fear I had a few nights ago when I thought I had no connection, a fear so ridiculous that I actually laughed at you when I woke up.’

‘You little wrench, there is nothing we cannot do. We are omnipotent we can do everything we desire. And right now we desire your fear.’ The voice has changed now, gone is the cold calculated voice of a computer instead it is now a voice that you feel rather hear, it crawls into your head and lays itself there like a spider building a net. Sending a creepy crawly like sensation of little insects that crawl all over you, sending little shivers down your skin and making your hair stand on end.

‘There is one thing you have forgotten.’ I call out to the voice.

‘We forgot nothing!’ announces the voice.

‘Yes there is!’ I shout back ‘You have forgotten that this is my mind and here I am king. You have made the biggest mistake you can by trying to convince me that you control everything. But you don’t you can only use things that are already in my head. That’s why this island is the island of Raratonga. An island where I have been before, and there is one other thing that you have forgotten. I control everything that goes on in my mind!’

With a quick move of my hand I remove the trees from the ground and launch them through the air, far into the sea. I have already tested this little theory of mine when they were answering my questions. I have added several little birds to the island to see if the voice would have noticed and do something. To my surprise they did nothing, this meant they did not control everything that happened and more importantly it meant that I could do something to fight their control over me. Even though I could not see them, they at least could not win.

The voice laughs at my display of power. It is incredibly loud and causes my ears to ring. ‘We have not had a challenge like this in a very long time. But this is a challenge that neither of us can win it seems.’ With that announcement everything around becomes deathly quiet. The sea, the sand, the wind everything is still as it was but it is as though the sound has been removed and everything is muted. I look around to see if I can find the creatures somewhere, but just like before they are nowhere to be seen. I am alone on the island.

Suddenly a bony, sharp and painful hand grips my shoulder from behind and the voice whispers in my ear ‘See you in your dreams.’

***

He jumps up in his bed clutching his shoulder. There is nothing there, but he has the distinct impression that something grabbed hold of him. He is sweating and his heart is racing, he tries to grab hold of the dream he just had but it is already beyond his grasp, flailing just beyond his reach. He tries to clear his head shrugs, for the memory of what made him jump up in his bed is already gone and not even a subconscious memory remains, slowly he turns and it is after only a few moments that he is blissfully asleep once more.

Images of night VIII – Changes

I am walking through the old city, a city carved in stone that stretches over the landscape like a blanket. It is almost as vibrant as I imagine it once was, full of shops and entrepreneurs looking for a new fix. When this old city was first built there was no electricity so the streets were lit by candles or oil lamps, making the already ominous streets all the more ominous, now though it is mostly full of tourists, taking in the sights and going through the shops and boutiques that make as much part of the scenery as the old brick streets are. There are small slits in the walls; those are most likely the only remains of the old oil lanterns. The city is surrounded by an old brick wall that is mostly torn down; it used to have several gates that were the entrance and exit points of the city. Each gate had a designated name, I know that much although I don’t know the names of the different gates. I don’t even know why certain parts were named a certain way. I imagine that most large cities had similar protective walls around them, with these large double door gates, although none of the gates have those doors anymore, just a large hole in the wall.
I continue marching through the city, every street corner and every several feet a salesman tries to sell me something. Sometimes bags, something clothing, jewellery and sometimes things I can’t really recognize. I try to keep my conversation with them to a bare minimum because I really don’t wish to buy anything and they usually are very leach like. They attach themselves unto you and don’t let go until they sold you something, an attitude I tend to dislike.
I continue to march through the city until I reach the coast where the sea greets the remains of a castle. At least so I am told, there is very little to see of the castle itself, most of it was destroyed I think. There are two broken down fortifications still present, but those are very low and resemble a path that leads to what might have been the castle, the only evidence that a castle was ever there. I stare at the blue sea there are seagulls everywhere they flock around in search of fish that they try to grab from unsuspecting fisherman or even tourists that walk around. I turn away from the beautiful sea and head back to the old brick city.
I reach the old city and enter it through the large gate. As I walk through the street there is a sudden shift, almost like a rift that is going through me. It passes through everything and right in front of my eyes the tourists that cluttered the streets change slightly. Their clothing changes into a multicoloured facet mostly with checker like patterns and bright colours. The hair is also something else it is high voluminous and very out there. The jeans that most of the people are wearing are very tight I would almost say these are women jeans. Several more moments pass as I stare at the crowd and they back at me and then without a doubt in my mind I know what this is. It is the 80s, the era where guys wearing extreme colours and crazy hair-dos were ok. It took 10 years of this mess and many people hating it for it to turn into the boy band 90s.
I snicker, and swallow a laugh as several incredible characters shuffle past and decide to make the most of this day. There was one thing I forgot about this era I notice, everyone around me is smoking and it takes mere seconds for the smoke to cling to my cloths and skin. Back in the 80s smokers were not restricted to a handful of places only, and it was common to smoke everywhere, then my ear twitches as I recall something else that is so very commemorative of the 80s. I quickly walk down the street when I hear it, the radio music of the 80s, the single most impressive era in music, because in one little swoop it forced every band to include synthesisers and a generic beat. Although for many it was also the birth of many different styles many of which I enjoy tremendously.
After the first wave of laughter falters and I can stop myself from continued outbursts, I try to figure out what has happened. It seems as though I have gone back in time, or that time somehow changed. It would also mean that my flight back is now cancelled, so I can’t use it anymore. This posed a little problem, but considering it is 1980 or at least somewhere in that time frame I can at least buy a ticket for a much cheaper price. I smile a big smile but it does not last as I don’t have access to my account, because I haven’t even opened it yet. So that means that the cash that I have is all the cash money I have at the moment. That would not last a very long time; I would have to find something to give some much needed cash quickly.
I try not to panic and keep calm. There must be some logical explanation for everything that has happened and if I can’t find it at the moment than I must do something to at least be able to survive in this era. I know the 80s well form the party’s we had and the themes I had played with myself, so there must be some way to make money of it. I know what companies will make money in the future, but of course to invest the little cash money that I have into the stock market won’t work, maybe though I can do something else that will give me some money, something that won’t require stealing money from a bank or living on the streets begging for money.
Winning the lottery would be a good option but I don’t remember the numbers that won back then, but maybe I can make a bet of some kind. I look through the city to see if there is something I know that I can use. First I need to know the exact date, as well as which events are taking place and what bets I can make. This proves to be easier said than done, the date is easy enough. I find a local newspaper stand that shows the date (I am almost positive that I did not see this newsstand on the way here) to be 12th of September 1985. The date means nothing to me, I know there is no soccer game at the time no world cup. The tennis tournaments that I watched are mostly already over, I can think of nothing that I can use to my advantage betting wise. Regrettably I give up on the idea and look for something else that I might be able to do.
I walk through the city for most of the day thinking about what I can do, but nothing comes to me at the end I am just tired and hungry and annoyed. I get some food and count the money that I have, it is enough for a small dinner and that’s it. I decide to go get the dinner and think about the problem later, I might find a better answer on a full stomach.
It is night, there are people walking through the street that are real characters and I still haven’t found a place for the night. The money I have left is not enough for a hotel or anything of the sort and my backpack is filled only with useless things. A change of clothes my camera and a bottle of water. There is also a map of the city but other than that there is nothing in that could help me. I walk onwards through the endless streets and start to feel slightly dispared, the hours pass and still I have nothing. I ask the people for help but I am shut down quickly and efficiently. Perhaps I am doing something wrong, they all speak English as a second language and maybe my needs do not come across. Either way it is difficult to communicate with them and I have no experience in talking to them, I have never found myself in a situation where I have no home, no house or place where I can sleep. I also have no experience in asking people for help or in this case begging. It is a humbling experience that I hope I will not have again.
It is the middle of the night when I finally rest next to a somewhat shady building. My legs hurt and I decide that I had enough, I am too tired and I the place is too inviting and I just sleep there.
A kick from someone wakes me up, and angrily I get up. I get shouted at by some old lady who says something I don’t understand. I try to make myself at least partially understood but she just nods her head in disgust and leaves me. After that rude wakeup call I look back at my surroundings and the hope that it was all a figment of my imagination dissipates together with the smoke from all the cigarettes. I get up and take several steps when suddenly I see a bubble in front of me. It looks like a soap bubble that increases in size until it engulfs the whole path in front of me. I turn to run from it but it increases in size much quicker than I can move and just like that I am sucked in. A flash of light blinds me and I hear the hustle of people walking past me. I stare around and find that I am back. I am in my own time I let out a shout of joy and get several odd looks, but I don’t care. I quickly go to an ATM and take out a large sum of money. It is a reflex that I would have never done if I wasn’t stuck in this situation for fear of getting robbed, but now that is but a small thought. I quickly go to the hotel for the sleep I had last night was a bad one and a nice sleep will do me good.
The hotel is exactly as I have found it and a smile finds its way to my mouth as I think about going inside and getting into my comfortable bed. I go inside immediately to my room, take a shower and crawl into my bed wearing my pyjamas. But before I can fall asleep something strange happens around me. A smoke like substance blinds my vision and in the space of breath that it takes for me to blink, I see that something has changed. The lighting in the room I am in is different, even the bed I am in is different. I look around and see that my things have disappeared, replaced with things that I don’t know, the large television set that was hanging on the wall is gone and there is no television anywhere in the room.
I try to think clearly and come to the conclusion that I have been moved once again. I am in a different time again; therefore this is most likely someone’s home. I move quickly and remove my pyjamas. There are some cloths that resemble old gangster cloths in the wooden closet, old suits that were famous in old movies. I decide to quickly take one of these suits, wear it and get out as quickly as I can before I am caught in a situation I can’t explain. I get out of the front door and find that the hotel is now a residence, I quickly close the door behind me and run out of what used to be the hotel and look at the street that is in front of me. It is different than what it was like previously. Not so much because of the walls of the city, because those look very similar. At first sight they are the same old walls that were there previously, but on closer inspection they are dirtier. There is something else, it is the air, it smells of coal not a lot, but as though there is someone burning coal close by. I continue to walk and try to figure out when I am. There are still some cars around but they look old, classic. I must then still be in the 1900s maybe 1940?
I notice the attire of the people around me, and it is definitely before my time. I have seen it before however in old classic movies. There is one thing I also see everywhere; Soldiers, they speak French and they all carry firearms. I don’t know what is going on but maybe this is an aftershock of the world war, if I could only figure out the exact date I might know a little more. The other thing that strikes me is that there are hardly any coloured people around, when I arrived here there were many Chinese and other Asians walking around the city, but now there are none and except for the Muslims who were part of the population at the beginning, there is not much else other than the French army. I reach a small newsstand and this time it is again slightly different. It is blue and looks like a weird booth, on the papers I see to my surprise that almost everything is in Arabic except one newspaper that shows the date: 12 June 1950. I am further in the past still, just as I thought but if this continues on I will find myself stuck somewhere without a way back. My French is not good enough to understand what is written and I have learned already from previous encounters with the French that you can’t expect them to speak any other language other than French.
Luckily I took out enough money before leaving to eat and perhaps get another place to stay. I walk towards a small diner and ask for food in English. The waiter smiles not really understanding but gives me a menu anyway. The menu is split between Arabic and French and so I try to just say to the waiter that I want something simple with salads. At the end I get a large plate of all sorts of things that look and smell delicious. I eat with vigour and enjoy it immensely. When I am finished I signal the waiter and get the bill. I put more than the amount that is written and give it back to the waiter. The waiter takes the money smiles at me and walks away. I get up to walk out but before I can leave the waiter comes back and shouts something at me pointing at the money. I don’t know what it is and I try to ask what is wrong with the money. He pulls out a different bill and points to it; I stare at it and realize it is completely different from the money that I am holding. There must have been a currency change between 1950 and my time. I try to apologize and motion that the money is very valuable and that they should keep it. But the waiter is having none of it and I get shouted at whole heartedly. Just then two French soldiers enter the diner and the waiter walks towards them explaining the situation. The soldiers look at me and laugh they point to the back and I am pushed by the waiter to the kitchen where I am put to work. I spend the whole day in the kitchen cleaning dishes. It is hard work and very tiring, when I am finally done the day has passed and it is now dark outside. The waiter and whole group of people are standing around me ready to kick me out. I leave them and once again I now need to find a place to stay. But knowing that my money is of no good I reluctantly search at the outskirts of the city.
Before I even reach the outskirts of the city, lamps are suddenly lit everywhere. Not the lamps I saw hanging just seconds ago but rather florescent neon lights I smile in hope that I have perhaps moved back to my time. I run through the streets and notice that there are many people around of all races and colours. I am back in my time and because of the darkness I didn’t even notice. I quickly go to my hotel not caring if I wake up in someone’s personal flat or not. I very rapidly reach my room; take a shower and fall asleep exhausted.
I wake up rested and content; I get up happy to see that I am still in my hotel. I get up, get dressed in a comfortable long-sleeved T, jeans and hiking shoes. I walk out of the hotel after enjoying a hearty breakfast many glasses of fresh water which I gulp down eagerly. I entertain the thought that maybe this ordeal is over with and I can now continue a normal holiday, but just as that thought enters my mind reality wavers and I see it change again. Everything around me wavers and dissipates and this invisible wave changes many little things until it stops. This time the sky takes a dark black colour and I stare at it in confusion. The smell is that of burning or a grill or something. It is hard to pinpoint but it is a strong smell. The bricks around have gotten black stains on them, but other than that it doesn’t seem like any more changes have occurred. That is until I notice the people around me and the ground.
The people around me have changed their appearance again as well. I take note that the women are wearing large dresses, and everyone is wearing hats. There is shit on the ground, it belongs to horses and the wet smell of a manure is everywhere. In front of me I see a horse and carriage pass. It must be a long time ago, much earlier than the 50s at least. Maybe the industrial revolution or something like that, depending on whether I see any large machines maybe or… And then it hits me, the black clouds, the smell, the dark patches, the burnt like smell, it is coal that much is clear. Therefore the time must be the industrial revolution and I have now travelled further backwards in time than previously.
A thought strikes me I have now gone back twice and to two different times now the third time is further back still, maybe I will continue to go back until I am stuck somewhere in time where I can never return… It is a thought I don’t want to contemplate and I try to force it out of my head. Instead I decide to focus on becoming a little less conspicuous as I stand out too much. Specifically because now there is no one that dresses like me and I can’t just say I am from out of town, or perhaps I can, although I doubt that they will believe me.
There are people walking through the streets, there are French again everywhere and Arabic people. Although I stand out the people are not paying much attention to me, I continue to walk through the street trying to find out more about where I am. There are children running around and it smells everywhere. I am not overly thirsty yet but I know it is only a matter of time. I know now that the next time I get back I will prepare food and water, if I don’t I might have other problems. Still until this time the maximum amount of time I was gone was a day therefore I just have to make it one day without food or water which shouldn’t be too hard to do.
Suddenly before I can do anything else a rift appears and everything around me disappears. The stone covered pavement that I was just walking on is gone, and for several moments I am stuck in a place where I can only see ripples, colours and shapes surround me and become visible when a ripple nears me. I can feel no wind, no air, nothing that normally would tell me something. It is as though I am stuck in some sort of limbo between waves of time. One such ripple leaves the others and is coming towards me, it engulfs me and the nothingness I had just been in is changed to a specific place and time. I am in the same place I was only now it is somewhen else again. The stone covered pavement I walked on is a dirty brown with patches of dark matter everywhere. The beautifully decorated shops disappear to reveal a dirty and work like atmosphere. The signs, the fashionable oil lamps, everything is gone almost like in a magic show, to be replaced by wooden signs depicting the sort of shop that is found at the location, little black structures are struck with pins into the walls and it takes me a moment to realize that these are the oil lamps, only much more primitive. The worst thing however, is the smell. I pinch my nose several times to try and overcome the smell but it is like an essence here. It is almost like a gloopy syrup that glues onto your skin and enters your pours and presses all around you like a blanket. The worst of all is the physical feeling the smell leaves on your skin, it is like a layer of invisible clothing almost covering you from head to toe, in mere moments of being in it I feel dirty myself and it serves as a reminder that it is here to stay.
I try not to gag as I rush through the now alien streets and in horror realize I have stepped into something. I look down and see that my sport shoes just entered in a large pile of waste. The once white and clean shoes are now brown and disgusting. The people around me are giving me strange looks; they are wearing sheets of clothing most of them brown with shoes that resemble a cross between a cowboy boot and a farmer’s one. Their faces and skin are equally brown and look dirty; their teeth are yellow and gingivitis it seems has found a place where it can prosper. On closer examination I notice that what I had taken to be the colour of their cloth is actually shit or waste. They all look like peasants to me, or something resembling farmers because they carry large baskets with what I think is food. But there is no way I can eat that, it looks dirty and I am almost sure that if I would eat it I would get a severe case of dysentery or food poisoning.
I try to make sense of when I am again and I know that wherever this is it must be earlier still, the way people are dressed and what the smell of dirt and shit means this must be somewhere around the Middle Ages or maybe earlier or maybe later. I am not an avid learner and history was never one of my strong suits. I suddenly remember something, the castle at the beach or better yet the lack thereof. That could prove as a marker for the time I am in. I remember that when I was walking down to the sea there was a pathway and that was the only thing left of the castle. It was built somewhere in 1500 and destroyed sometime after. So if I see it there I will know roughly when I am. A second thought than reminds me that it doesn’t really matter when it is as long as I can just avoid too much attention.
The language around me is also different, they no longer speak French but rather something that sounds a little like Spanish. I try to walk through the city as though I belong there but still there are many people around that are staring at me. They are pointing at me, most likely commenting at my shoes and cloths, or maybe it is my clean skin. I notice that I am one of the only ones that is clean shaven most of the other people around me have beards or stubs and the smell when they just walk past me is horrible.
A group of somewhat better dressed individuals are riding a carriage across the road from me. The carriage stops and the driver motions for me to approach him. Not wishing to attract attention, I come towards him. He says something in a language I don’t understand and motions to the door. I nod assuming that he wants me to approach it before I open it I can already smell it, the smell of cheap and very strong perfume. A smell so potent and disgusting that for a moment I don’t know what is worse the smell of shit that looms everywhere or the smell of cheap and strong cologne that masks a smell of shit. It is then that I also realize that it isn’t just the smell of shit; there is a smell of sweat, musty and old. The smell is of someone that hasn’t showered for a very long time. The perfume is most likely used to mask the smell of shit and dirt and the fact they have not had a shower for a long time.
I turn around take a deep breath, turn back and open the door. A woman is sitting there looking at me. She is wearing a large dress with a corset and she is looking at me expectantly. Not knowing what to do I smile at her. This was apparently the wrong this to do for she gasps in shock and quickly shuts the door. The driver quickly drives off leaving me somewhat perplexed on the paved road. I shrug and continue my walk to the sea.
I reach it with little difficulty and although every single person that passes me by stares at me (including the many baggers that are sitting or lying on the floor), no one makes an attempt to stop me. I look at the castle and can’t help but smile; there standing in front of me is the foundation of what is supposed to be the castle. This means that it must be early in the year 1500. Even with all the dirt, the work looks good it is not something that people do anymore in my day, but to see it built is a joy.
I sit down at a reasonable clean place and watch the workers go at it. Every now and again I can see what looks to be soldiers pushing people around. They hit people without any regard for anyone but themselves and for a moment I am afraid that will come for me. To my relieve they don’t, they are only interested in the work being conducted on the castles, for from my vintage point I can see another one being built on an island a little further from the coast. Large cannons are strategically placed all around the castle and it looks as though the Spanish are preparing for war, or at least for a contingency plan.
Looking at the castle being constructed I try to understand what is happening to me. I have now been zapped into the past several times, each time further into the past, each time first back to my time before ending up even further. This time though I was in a crossroad of sorts and I didn’t end up back in my time but rather I was immediately whisked back to where I am now. There must be some kind of pattern that I am missing, something that would tell me at least why this is happening and how I can control it.
As these thoughts rummage around through my head I fail to notice the things that happen around me. A group of soldiers have apparently noticed me and have made up their mind are now approaching me. I panic and quickly get up I run quickly down the street in opposite direction from the soldiers. I sprint as fast as I can, not looking back to see if they are following me. It is only when my breathing comes in gulps and I heave with the effort that I take a look back. My chest hurts and I nearly vomit from the effort, but fortunately I have gotten away and no one is behind me. I want to smile and laugh at my brilliance when in front of me is a shift, a tremble that looks like a drop that is hitting the water, it resonates sending pulses of waves through everything and just like that reality dissipates and I find myself in the crossroads once again.
This is the second time that I have ended up here, each time the way to get in is slightly different and each time I move through time there are differences. I am still nowhere nearer to finding out why all of this is happening to me. The ripples are almost tangible, as though I can reach out and grab them. I look at them and notice that there are different ripples all through this room, if I can call it a room. I am standing on something although I can’t see what it is. The first time I was here I was so captivated by seeing nothingness or perhaps just the darkness being interrupted by the mist and ripples that appeared in front of me that I failed to notice anything else. Like the fact that I was breathing, walking and doing everything a normal person does, in a place that look similar to a vacuum. I have a few moments before the ripples start and I try to find a way to get back home, this trip down history lane was fun for a moment, but that moment has now passed and I would like to go home.
I search around me for clues; there must be something that could lead to one way or another, something that will let me regain control of when I am going. Around me though there is nothing but darkness, no sound, no wind, no air to breathe although I am clearly breathing. My lungs are taking in air from somewhere, even though it appears not to be this room. I try as hard as I can to come up with an answer, if there is something that happened to entrap me in this contraption, I can’t recall what that something was, but maybe that is not important. All I need to do is find a way out, but before I can think a little longer about what my options are I can see the ripples of time around me. It feels like looking through a tainted opaque glass that distorts everything that you see. I try to make out what is there, but the image is too distorted and slowly the ripples are coming towards me and I am in a new place once again.
The castle is gone, the old city is gone. I am close to the sea where just moments ago I witnessed the building of the castle, but now there is nothing to even prove there was something there in the first place. I look around and all I see for the most part is landscapes filled with sand and some vegetation. In the distance over the hills there are several small houses made from stone.
I try to grasp when I am now, for it is clear that I am much further in the past. If I was somewhere in the 1500s before I am now significantly before that. I don’t remember when the old brick city was built but it was old. Older than the castle that is now also gone. I walk along the coastal line locked in thought. I have again not moved to my present time, this movement through time to the past must have something to do with the ripples I saw. The ripples must be time itself or at least a moment in time, it is this moment that I keep finding myself sucked into. The ripples also seem to take longer each time to transport me, or get to me almost as if the space within the darkness is growing, or standing still perhaps for longer periods of time. Maybe this is what affects the ripple that I see the longer the distance the further away I am moved through time. But then why was I moved back to the present the first two times?
It takes me some time to figure it out, but the only change was that the first two times I did not see the ripples or the dark place. All I saw was my reality change or disappear around me until everything changed. As soon as I found myself in this in between place I could no longer move forward, or back to the present, I could only further back. But as far as I could tell there was nothing else in the room that I could manipulate or at the very least change.
A tap on my shoulder disrupts my thoughts and I turn to look a 40 year old gentleman standing in front of me. He is wearing a yellow coloured bag-like tunic attached to him with clasps and thongs. I look at my shirt which has one little decoration like button on it and back at this gentleman who has clearly never seen my kind of cloths before. His face is in awe and he keeps touching my shirt and button with a twinkle in his eye. I try to politely leave but the man doesn’t let me, he says something I don’t understand, his hands are rough but strong, he is nearly my height and although I assumed the people further down the past would be weaker than us in the present that is apparently not the case. The man in front of me is definitely not weaker than me, if anything I think he is stronger than me. He pulls at my shirt and shouts something in my ear. I push him back violently and he takes several steps back. This makes him stop and for the first time he looks at me, not at my cloths but at my face. His face is hardened, his mouth tightly shut and he looks like a man that has seen his share of troubles in the world.
Without a word he walks away towards the houses in the distance. I let out a sigh of relief and sit down. Several moments pass as I try to gather my thoughts and reclaim my calm, I look at the cloth of the long-sleeved T that I am wearing, the jeans and the hiking shoes. They do not fit the scenery and naturally I do not fit here, but for the moment there is not a lot I can do and so I leave it alone and just try to relax. My throat is soar and I am thirsty, it has been a while since I drank and the hours are taking their toll on me. Or at least it feels like hours, it is hard to tell. I suddenly remember my phone, with everything that happened I completely forgot about it. I take it out and have a look at it. It is off; I turn it on, but for some reason that doesn’t work. I feel like throwing the piece of garbage on the ground but I refrain from doing so and put it back in my back pocket. Even if I could get it to work there would be no reception here anyway.
A shout shakes me from my thoughts and I turn to see the man approaching me with what looks like a small girl. When they are close to me I look at the girl, who looks like she had suffered though trials worse even than the man. I feel horrible for the poor girl, she can’t be more than 12 years of age and she wears a similar bag-like tunic to the man.
The man looks at me and says several more things in his language, he points at the girl and then points at me shouting something incoherent. At first I don’t understand what he means but after several more motions the father gets angry. He rips takes the girls tunic off, who is not protesting and pushes the naked girl to me. I am so mortified that I avoid her touch and body like I would avoid the plague. I do the only thing I can think of which is turn tail and run. Shouts and what I assume to be pleas follow me, but I don’t stop and continue running along.
I stop when all is quiet and I am out of breath. I am becoming increasingly tired and thirsty. I feel a throbbing in my head and I have to take a moment to sit down. Before I manage to sit down though, the lights of the world suddenly turn off and somewhat startled I find I am back in the dark place. I sit down on the dark floor and reach down with my hand to see if I can touch something. To my surprise my hand is going down through where the floor should be and continues to go down below the level where I sit. In horror I pull my hand up, I try it again with the same result. I look around and decide that I have to change the way I think of this place. It is not a room or chamber, I am not sitting on the floor, I am in fact sitting on nothing. I clasp my hands together and now they do not go through one another, therefore I am at least tangible and real even if everything in the room isn’t.
It is then that I look at the ripples around me, during all this time of experimentation they were slowly moving forward to me, but they are somehow slower than before. Maybe the speed of the ripples is an indication of the time? I decide to try a new experiment but before I can do so the ripples are already surrounding me and with a curse slipping from my lips, I find that it has happened again. I am back in a strange world that is not my own.
I look around trying to get a handle on my surroundings. The brick houses in the hills behind me are gone; in fact all sign of civilization has disappeared. At least those next to the coast I am now sitting at. I look around at the sea and a gasp escapes my lips before I manage to stop it. There sailing the seas I can see ships, not one or a few ships but rather a vast number of ships, stretching all around me and as far as I can see. Interested I walk to a better vintage point to see if I can see who is on the ships and what is going on. I walk up a small mountain that is part of a range that I hadn’t noticed previously with the buildings and the other things that were here, or perhaps it wasn’t here before. The climb is not a long one, but I quickly feel my head turn and again I am reminded that I did not drink anything for a long time. I need to find water quickly but with no signs of civilization there is not much I can do.
I reach the top of the mountain and look down at the ships that are sailing past. They look like a swarm of ants marching for war. It must be an incredible campaign and when I look closely I notice that the ships are full to capacity with people, some are rowing while others are shouting out orders or just sitting looking at the water. There are large metallic shields everywhere on the ship and it is this that lets me know who these invaders are. These are roman soldiers out to conquer lands for their emperor.
One ship breaks formation and stops at the sandy shore not too far from where I have made my climb. Soldiers are getting off the boat and before they can finish their stretching another ship lands on the beach next to the first one. I get down and lie as close to the ground as I can, hoping that I won’t be seen by the soldiers. I have seen enough movies to know that being a Roman slave is never a good idea.
Crawling over the ground, I follow the Romans as they make their journey through the seas and the other smaller party that is now on making their way on land. The smaller party is carefully walking in a structured form down the valley. But before I can wipe the sweat from my brow in relief, I notice that several soldiers are making their way up my vintage point, most likely for the same reason I have.
I try to think of something to do so that I can avoid detection, but my mind is drawing a blank and all I can think about it is the pain I will be in if the Romans catch me and torture me. I try to make myself as small as I can and crawl to the place I think is least likely for the soldiers to come to, close to the other side of the mountain but being so preoccupied with the group climbing I forget to look at the other side of the mountain and there nearly on top of me is another group of Roman soldiers making their way to the top. Their ships landed just on the other side of the mountain.
The Roman soldiers are now so close to me that I am surprised that they have not already seen me, I can hear their heavy breathing their high strung voices, I can smell the strong scent of sweat coming from them. I have no more alternatives they are nearly on top of me and if I want to get out of this I have to act now or I will be gone. I slowly get up and in a dash using all my strength I bash straight into the first Roman that I see using my shoulder as a bettering ram. He flies backwards and tumbles down the mountain in a heap of bungled up tissue, metal and leather. The hit is so powerful that I feel as though I have shattered my bones hitting him, I don’t have time to think about it though for two more soldiers are coming up the same side. I jump kick at the first guy who is still a whole march lower than me and therefore an easy target. The kick unlike the shoulder bash is less successful in causing the guy to fly back. Instead he stumbles a few steps back and then straightens himself and lifts his sword towards me. Acting purely on instinct I jump forward grabbing the arm wielding the sword before the soldier has time to move and with a quick pull and turn I manage to get behind him while still holding his sword and use the soldiers own considerable weight to lift him and through him down the mountain. With a shout of terror the soldier tumbles down until he utters no more words.
Without looking back I run down the mountain and see that the cry from the soldier has altered everyone on the beach. The mountain is now surrounded by soldiers and I am now running down it towards my doom. I stop mid run and look up the mountain. There above me I can see two more faces looking at me. Down below there are now rows of soldiers organizing themselves in battle formations. I know it now to be a lost cause, there is nothing more I can do and as I stare at all the soldiers ready to take me out I feel grief, sadness and fear. I don’t want to die, I didn’t want to be part of this, I didn’t ask for any of thi…
I look around at the darkness and it is the first time I am truly happy to see it. The soldiers and everything else is gone and I can take a much needed rest for at least a moment or two. I sit down and try to catch my breath, the questions I had previously about what it is that I am sitting down and all the other mysteries leave my mind, as I am too tired to think and too thirsty to question foolish things like what happens around me. I lie down and relax and slowly I feel my weary eyes and my sore aching body just detach and flow like the leaves of a tree carried by the winds, my eyes are growing heavy.
Startled I wake up I am no longer in the same place. The temporal shift that has moved me from place to place has moved me again. The ripples of time have moved me when I slept. I look around me trying to figure out where I am, the mountain I was on is gone I am no longer at the coast but rather in a field, not a cultivated one or even a proper field; it looks more like swamp that has many different sorts of vegetation growing in it. At first I thought it was a field because the vegetation is all around me, but on closer examination I can see that the ground is humid, wet and there is all manner of bugs and insects around. I hear strange noises around me, and the plants look strange to me, alien. They are high and look like they haven’t been touched in a thousand years.
Wherever this is, or whenever this is, it seems I have travelled farther than even human life, or maybe civilized human life. For all I know this might be before human life, which means I am now in a very clear danger. I have to find some protection from whatever is out there, be it animals or bugs, plants and all other things alike. I stare down at the rags I am now wearing the journey I have taken, the crawling on the sand, the dirt, shit and the rest of the things I have witnessed have left a mark not just on me but on my cloths as well. My long-sleeved T is incredible dirty there is a small cut on its side, but for the most part it is still ok. My jeans on the other hand are in tatters, it has multiple rips along the knees and it is extremely dirty as well. My shoes fair slightly better as they are still whole.
My situation surmised I go in search of the most important part in all of this fresh water. Because I am in a swamp like area the water that is everywhere in the ground must be coming from somewhere, maybe from an underground source. If that is the case then maybe, finally I’ll be able to quench my thirst. I rummage through the greenery making sure that I don’t touch anything that could be a potential dangerous insect or, animal or, perhaps even a plant. Although the ground is humid I can see no water, so I continue on my search following my instinct, or more accurately put my random guess on where the water could be. When I stand I feel hardly any pain, when I bend though I can feel my ribs aching. I am not sure if they are broken or not but for now I give it no thought. The most important part now is to find fresh water; I am becoming increasingly dehydrated and really need the water.
My search leads me along to a place where the greenery is abundant and most likely there is also water. I go through the large bushes and rough plants to find only more plants and trees, it is becoming increasingly dense to spot anything, but I press on assuming I will get to the water source eventually. From the distance up in front of me I can hear a roaring continuous sound, that raises hope in my heart and I slightly quicken my pace. The greenery is now so dense that I can hardly see in front of me and so I push the large bushes and plants out of the way until suddenly just in front of my feet a chasm opens and I stare at a 65 feet drop into a large lake. On the right a large waterfall smashes into the lake causing an incredible loud roaring sound. The water looks clean and I decide to slowly make my way along the edge until I will find a way to get to the water.
It takes me an hour hike but at the end I arrive at a lower ridge that I can climb down. The way down is painstakingly long and because my head is aching, my ribs are sore and my body feels physically fatigued and I am mentally at my breaking point. When I finally do reach the bottom, the water is not as clean as I had hoped, but at least the water is running and I am too thirsty to care. I crouch next to the lake and scoop the water eagerly into my mouth. I gulp the water down as though I haven’t drunk anything in a very long time and when I finally feel like my thirst has been quenched I take a moment to look around me.
Standing there on the opposite side of the lake looking at me with interest is a human I have never seen before. It some sort of primitive man, wearing hardly any cloth except some kind of contraption made from leaves and some branches that cover the intimate parts. Other than that this primitive for of man is quite hairy and has a much heavier bone set than me, but even with those modifications it is clear that this is one of our distant ancestors. It strikes me that the creature is not afraid, it stares at me with a keen interest waiting to see what I will do next, but it is most assuredly not afraid of me, rather curious.
A noise from behind me makes me turn and there standing on two legs slightly bent over is my ancestor. It stares at me in surprise behind him several more of his group show up. I assume these are all males, they looks strong. Their heavy set bones are impressive and I am slightly apprehensive to which direction this would go. My body is still painful and I do not feel overly assured that I can get away from them.
The creature in front of me says something to me, or at least it seems like it does but there is no way I can be sure. It reaches its hand to me touching my stubbed chin, he then jumps back and shouts something and everyone joins him in his cries. I don’t know what exactly is happening but I have a feeling this is not something dangerous rather intrigue at what exactly I am. It is almost emotional and I am slightly overwhelmed when somebody flicks the light and I find myself in the dark once more.
I sit down in the dark alone once more. It is almost like this place has become my home. At first I think about what could cause all of this, but as I have no idea how all of this started I quickly decide that it is not worth thinking about this matter. I move on to finding a way out of the black place. I take roughly a 100 steps forward without anything happening I do the same to the left, when in front of me I can see the rift slowly moving forward. It is coming for me once more; I decide that this time I will get away from it. I turn to the opposite side of the rift and begin to run. I sprint forward but after only a very short dash I have to stop for here as well I find the rift. I turn again and run to the left but there just like before is the rift, surrounding me like an animal surrounding its prey. I have no way out and just like all the previous times the rift is there to suck me into it and go back through time once again.
The now all too familiar rift bursts around me. The last two times were difficult and if I continue going backwards in time, there will be nothing left. I have already seen the primitive Neanderthal or whatever it was and considering the amount of years that pass by each time it is almost as if it is exponential. This leaves me truly terrified for I don’t know what will be in front of me. The rift fades and I am in an area that looks even more alien then the place I was just in. It looks savage, almost like no human hand has ever touched anything in it. Unperturbed I walk through the large trees and the strange plants. They seem more colourful somehow and I have never seen anything like them. They do not resemble the plants or even trees that I know, they look more menacing. They are of all colours and they have the strangest flowers I have ever seen, some are large some small but all look like they would gulf you up if you would come too close. There are strange noises around me too, they sound like animal cries but it is something that I can’t place. It is not human that is for sure, but it is also not an animal that I know. It does not sound like a tiger or an elephant or something that I could recognize; instead it is more similar to a shriek. A shriek that sends shivers down my spine. It is a shriek that resembles the sound nails that are run down a blackboard, squeaking in protest. Or like metal objects creating a high pitched sound when they are brushed against porcelain. It is enough to give you Goosebumps, and make you curl into a ball and mumble in fear.
An enormous roar shakes the air, and disrupts me from my frozen state, I stare at the direction of the scream that sounds like a cross between a giant elephant and the roar of a lion and there stretching above the highest trees I see something. It takes me several moments before I understand what it is that my eyes are gazing at. Several critical moments where I am entirely defenceless from the danger that this incredible beast represents, it is with shock and almost incredible reluctance that I must face the threat and reality of what is looming high above me. An animal extinct during my time, but here staring at me with its large eyes, it is very much alive, and I am very much out of place. It roars again sending shockwaves that shake the trees and ground around us. I nearly fall to the floor by the force of the cry and it takes some effort and the help of a nearby tree to keep me from flying backwards. Luckily I am able to hold on.
Years ago when I was a child, I knew all about dinosaurs they were some of my favourite playthings. The large reptiles that ruled the earth but were now long gone. I even knew their names, but now those days are long gone and I struggle to remember even the most basic of dinosaur names. All I can I say is that it is incredibly big; it has pointy things on its curved and incredibly large back which look like huge menacing needle like thorns. There is hair everywhere as well, which from what I remember from dinosaurs is not supposed to be there, but it is. It has a large giraffe like head, only slightly shorter, its broad neck is connected to an immense body that resembles an anteater or something of the sort. It has a large tail as well, most likely to balance its massive structure. I look up and I have to stretch my neck as far as it can go to see its eyes, or face. I decide not to focus on it and try and find a place to hide instead. I am too small for the gigantic creature anyway and he quickly walks away to search for prey.
I breathe a sigh of relief and get out from my hiding place which was a giant bush. An itching sensation assails me, and I feel like my skin is on fire, I look at the place where the burning sensation is coming from and see bubbles of red appear just underneath the skin. It quickly spreads to and I look back at the plant with malice. The plant must have infected me with something, or perhaps I am having a reaction to the plant. Maybe an allergic reaction, or maybe even worse, maybe the plant is poisonous. I refrain from touching the red bubbles that are sprouting like a fungus all over my bare skin. For the moment the skin that is behind the rags that I wear is still alright, without any sign of the burning and itching. I run through the forest in search of water, or the sea.
Back several centuries or more, when I was here last in the future I was close to water, there must be some around here too. The burning becomes intolerable and I need something to sooth it. I run and can avoid scratching no longer, the pain is tremendous and the fire that I feel in my skin threatens to stop me in my tracks. I continue to run with no regard to myself, I stumble into branches, bushes and large holes, none of which feel remotely as painful as the red dots that have now spread. The pain is no longer retained only to my bear skin, but is moving towards the skin that hadn’t even touched the plant or plants, it is steadily moving towards my chest as well. I don’t why but I am filled with fear by this notion. However, as long as it is only the skin, there shouldn’t be any problem, I should be able to just continue on and the inflammation of the skin should just resolve itself, just like any other rash. I continue on my way to the ocean, but it appears as though I am further away than I thought I was. Or maybe now the continent changed and I am now somewhere else entirely. The doubts swarm through my head like flies stuck in a jar and there is nothing I can do about them except keep going and hope that I can disregard them.
Finally in the distance I see my salvation, water. I quicken my pace and my heart that was already racing goes just a beat faster in anticipation of the cold water. I reach it and eagerly jump in them, they are not completely clear and have a slightly green hue, but I don’t let it bother me for the water is cool and fresh to the touch. I rinse myself in it and happily jump in it. The burning rash slowly subsides and I allow myself a little smile of victory.
I take several more steps and then turn towards the beach. A sudden sharp pain runs through my foot. I have stepped into something, my first reaction is that it must be glass, but that can’t be, there are no humans yet. I walk out of the water clutching my foot, the pain increases amplifies as though the first shot was nothing but a taste of the pain I would feel after. It quickly becomes an incredible searing pain and I bit down on my lip hard to stop myself from screaming. Blood drips down my chin but I can’t even feel it, the pain from my foot is so bad that I can’t even walk and I fall down on the sand just outside of the water. I feel the pain increasing burning and suddenly just as quickly it disappears and I feel numb. I try to move my leg but I can’t, it feels like a dead weight. Quickly a similar sensation occurs to the rest of my body and as I lay there on the beach my limbs immobile and completely useless, I feel incredible venerable. I want to scream, move my head but just like my limbs and the rest of my body that too is now immobile. My lungs are now slowly burning and I find the air that I am breathing now, comes in small little gulps until that too disappears and I can’t breathe anymore. I fight to draw a breath but there is nothing there, it is like I am breathing an empty bottle of air, there is nothing to suck and I am becoming dizzy. I feel a small pain in my chest and then that too stops…
***
His eyes open slightly taking in their baring and when he knows where he is again he turns in his bed to continue his sleep. He is slightly cold because the blanket that covered him completely at the beginning is now only covering half of him. It was most likely removed when he turned during the night. He lifts it up to his neck and rolls in it, with a sigh and a deep breath of comfort he falls back to sleep…

Images of night X – Goodnight kiss

I am on the sofa reading a comic book. I am at my old house, the house where I grew up in, where I lived most of life with my parents. Right now I am alone though, my parents left town for a week and I am on my own, with the neighbor and friends of the family checking up on me every now and again. I am 18 years old, the prime of my time and I feel a fire in my loins. A fire that doesn’t leave me, but keeps me constant company, sometimes it resigns to the background, and serves only as a cold reminder of certain facts, like when was the last time that I masturbated, or had actual intercourse, at other times it is there to tell me I want a certain girl badly. At other times still it is merely there to toy with me, to play a sick game that I do not understand, to try and push me, play with me and see how far I would play with it. I usually prefer it to be in the background and in most cases that is where it stays but today something is slightly different. Something is off, and it is at the forefront and no matter how much I try to concentrate on my comic book, it does not quit by moving to the back as it usually does, but instead stays at the front. If anything today it burns even stronger and it feels as though at times it will consume me whole, leaving me nothing but a burnt out shell, my mind in taters and unable to form any thoughts other than those that serve my loins, my body a crisp of the shell it was, in servitude of one thing only, the fire in my loins.
Frustratingly I close the comic book and search for something else to do, anything to take my mind of the incessant burning. The desire that does not leave me, that seeks only to control me like an animal. I switch from the comic book to the TV, but that instead of helping me take my mind off of my desires serves as a stimulus instead, as it the TV is full of female bodies that are oozing with desire, wearing nothing but minimalistic cloths that are carefully placed to block only very specific parts of the female body. Girls wearing nothing but bikinis and sometimes not even that decorate the screen, and my loins respond in unison. I quickly turn off the TV before I lose control again, I have the fleeting feeling that it is a control that will not last long and will be thoroughly tested. Something tells me that losing said control will mean that lose of something more. I don’t know how I know this, or what has led me to believe this, but the fact that the fire is burning and no matter how much I fight it, I can’t put it out, is enough to tell me that something is wrong.
From the TV, there is precious little I can look at, there are some books, but if a comic book didn’t work, a novel is not going to work either. My only other choice is the computer but I know that there the temptation will be too big. The computer and specifically the internet is infested with porn and sexual images, films, cartoons and anything else your mind can think off. It is exactly that reason that leads me to stay away from it and search for an alternative.
I decide to leave the house and sit outside in the garden, it is a nice warm day and the sun is shining. Grass grows along the middle section of the garden and it is boarded by two houses, one on the left and one on the right, both have gardens adjacent to mine. The house on the left has a similar garden to us, but it has several large trees as well as a grass pathway, while the house on the right has only a grass field with no plants or trees at all. It has a terrace with a large table and several chairs, it has a large parasol above the table, so that it is always provides shade from the sun. There is a tiny wall that separates our garden and the garden of our left neighbor, a wall that I can easily look above. The other side is separated by several large trees that we planted along side it. Every year we and the neighbor enjoy the fruit that fall from the trees which includes lemons, oranges, grapefruit and bananas, although the bananas are not growing very well this year.
I walk through the garden enjoying the sun on my face. It distracts me at least for a moment from the animal instinct that pursues me, and I relish the suns embrace, as her rays caress my face and arms like a lover. I shake my head as the warmth I feel from the sun becomes literally a physical sensation that resembles an urgent need that I need to fulfill. When my parents originally left me on my own, I thought about all the parties I would have, just like the movies I had seen where girls would walk around half naked, the guys all running around after them and most importantly many nights of sexual intercourse. The reality however was very different, instead of the glamorous orgies and sex parties I had envisioned, I spent the days alone, my friends otherwise occupied (mostly working) and the few girls I knew and whose numbers I actually had quickly turned me down because they were either on holidays or did not want to spend time engaged in a party at my place. The other idea I had, or rather the image I had of myself as this macho who could get any girl he wanted quickly shattered, and changed to something much lower on the scale, when the girls I tried to pick up, on the street, at parties or at any other random place, did not want to come with me, or even be seen with me, suffice it say that they all turned me down with whatever excuse held their fancy and so I was left alone with nothing to occupy my mind but thoughts of carnage and bodily activities.
A soft rustle from my left catches my ear. Left of me, as I explained previously is the house with a similar garden to mine with a small grass field and a terrace. More importantly it has only a very small wall that separates it from my garden; this allows me to very easily look over it and onto the neighbor’s garden. I know that they have a kid slightly younger than me whom I played with quite a few times and whose ball ended up in our garden quite a few times. At the beginning he used to ask us to through the ball back, but now he just jumps over the wall to get it. Saves us the hassle of going into the garden and saving him the hassle of going to our front door and ask for the ball. I take a quick peek to the neighbor’s garden expecting it to be their kid playing with the ball, maybe I can even join in a game or two, what I do not expect is the site that greets me. A woman is lying leisurely on a towel, she is wearing shades and she is clearly enjoying her time in the sun. But all of that I don’t notice at first, the only thing I notice when I first glance at her is her ample and quite bare bosom. Her skin shines in the sun in a brown color and the fire in my loins goes from zero to 8 in seconds. I can’t hold myself in check or even think of any other thoughts, all I can do is stare dumbfounded at the women until the moment that she will undoubtedly see me and say or do something. Until that moment arrives however I am rooted to the spot with the fire in my loins growing ever stronger, that absent mindedly my hand reaches down and grabs hold of my penis, stroking it slightly so that the heat shall descend somewhat.
After the initial staring is done, I am finally able to detach my eyes from her breasts so that I can look at the rest of the woman. She is wearing a black bikini or underpants, I am not entirely sure as it is hard to tell. Other than that I can see a beauty mark on her thigh, but not much else. A movement she makes catches me off guard, as she is adjusting her position and it is sending her body into a little jiggle that is ridiculously erotic to me without actually meaning to be. I am afraid she will notice me staring and so I take a step back from the wall. When I judge that enough time has passed I walk as smoothly and quietly as I can, edging my steps to the wall, my steps hardly make a sound on the grass anyway, but I feel it is better to be cautious. I reach the wall and stare at the woman, she is now turned the curves of her back face me and her face is facing the other direction, her head leaning on her two arms that support it. I stare at the curves and the shape of her backside, overall I find her extremely sexy and stimulating and I don’t if it is because I actually think she is beautiful or it is the fire in my loins that leads me on. A rushing noise from below me throws me off and to my surprise I find that my pants have dropped to the floor. It is with some thought that I try to figure out when I opened the zipper and button, as I don’t recall actually doing it. I bend to pick them up when the sound of the door bell rushes the fantasy I was just in, or the surrealistic experience I just had, to vanish into thin air. I go to the door without giving the neighbor another look.
I stare at my wristwatch to look at the time and figure out who the person ringing the doorbell could be. It is early in the afternoon and most of my friends are at work or not in the area, I realize I have no idea who the person ringing the door bell is. I open the door to find a girl (or is a woman) standing in front of me. I don’t open the door completely because my loins are still burning with desire and I am ashamed it might be showing, so I hide my body behind the door and only show my face to the girl. In front of me stands a person of the opposite sex with an unknown age and very peculiar features. It is not that she is ageless or that I can’t see any of her features, it is that they are almost hidden behind a mist, or a certain veil that I can’t penetrate with my eyes. When I focus on one feature only, her hair for instance I can make out that it is black, if I then look at another feature such as her legs and go back to her hair, it no longer seems black to me but rather red or maybe brown and on closer inspection maybe it is actually blond. I find that the more I stare at her the more difficult it appears to find a specific feature that I can focus on. It is the same with her body, I can’t see it change or morph into something different but it is as though every time my gaze shifts so does every single one of her characteristics. Without realizing it I spend several minutes too long staring at her, something which most likely makes the girl slightly uncomfortable as she clears her throat uncomfortably.
‘Yes… Sorry, can I help you with something?’ I ask trying not to look at her so intently.
‘Yes, I am from the association Give the children a home and I am going from home to home asking for donations. Would you perhaps consider donating to the cause?’ she asks her voice trailing. There is something strange about the tenor of her voice, the timber is off or there maybe it is that I cannot hear it properly. I know she said something and I even think I saw her lips move in unison to form the words, but her voice is a mystery. It is almost as if it appeared mostly in my mind rather than a physical voice. Again I try to focus on the girl and am surprised to see that her features are becoming clearer, her body shapes up to be incredible erotic and sex appeal. I feel a pressure build up again in my loins and am becoming irritated.
‘Sure, I would love to make a donation’ I say ‘please come in.’
I open the door and hide my body behind it, she step into the small narrow corridor. ‘Please continue straight into the living room, to the room on the left.’
She walks forward while I stare at her back. Her formlessness seems to correct itself and more details that were first out of focus or simply interchangeable become apparent. The cloths she wears for example are starting to take shape and I can now see what they are, and even when I shift my gaze and then look back at them they are still the same.
Our living room is split into two rooms where on the right there is a large sofa with a TV in front of it and a small table. Two paintings, one of a large ship sailing the seas and the other of a countryside landscape are decorating the walls. The other room has the kitchen in the back of it close to the window and in the middle a large dining table with several chairs. There are also several cupboards and drawers attached to the walls all around the kitchen.
She walks to the left room and sits down on a chair facing the kitchen.
‘Can I get you something to drink?’ I ask my back facing her as I open the fridge.
‘A glass of orange juice would be nice.’ She answers. Her voice is no longer the one I heard at the beginning; it has now a clear and pleasant ring to it. The voice soothes my ears and sings to me like the birds that chirp to each other. I can’t stop myself from smiling, as her voice fills me with a feeling of bliss. For a second I almost turn to her with my manhood exposed and throbbing, but at the last moment I recall the state that I am in and I quickly focus on pouring two glasses of orange juice (all with my back facing her). From the cupboard above me I take a bag of biscuits which I put into a bowl and place on a tray together with the glasses of orange juice. The tray I place strategically close to my junk so that it offers a very good camouflage while I walk towards the table. I place the tray in front of her and sit down in front of her.
‘Would you like me to tell you more about the association before you decide how much you would like to donate?’ she asks. Her voice is now like honey to me, it sends shivers down my spine and I tremble slightly as though a slight current just passed through me, when I hear it. I feel as though my body temperature rises and maybe even breaks into a sweat. I try to keep calm but just in case my voice cracks I just nod to her to acknowledge that I would like some more information, even though the only thing I would like to do is remove her clothing and ravage her.
‘Our association has had a long tradition and many years of success in finding homeless children new foster homes as well as temporary help.’ She starts speaking and every word she utters fills my heart and loins with desire. It is almost as if she is playing with me, as her voice grows more and more sexual, it is more than that though, it is almost as though she focuses on certain words to try and control my mind, or maybe it is just my imagination. It is getting harder and harder to think clearly. ‘We provide a much needed service that offers a unique opportunity for the children to receive pleasurable emotions for the very first time in their lives. Next to the help we offer the children we also work very hard to find the best balance for them. We understand that it is very difficult for each child to find their way in this world and we try and provide them with the means to release them from our care with the utmost promise so that they are able to succeed and achieve great things.’
My mind is slowly becoming numb as the words the girl, who has now turned into an incredibly gorgeous woman, utters become a slurred blur imprinted into my brain with only a remote cohesion between them. The only words I hear are words that insinuate sexual interactions or sexual innuendo, I know this can’t be true and I try to fight it buy my penis has long since decided to give up and it is now pulsing and throbbing painfully, the only means I have to regain some control is my mind and I am fighting a battle I am not entirely sure I can win.
‘That sounds incredible’ I finally manage to say when another silence has fallen. ‘I am assuming you receive government funding for such a noble cause, so why go door to door?’ I ask. The only way I can hope to keep slightly ahead is by not succumbing and trying as hard as I can to use my head. If that means asking questions so be it.
‘Well, that has mostly to do with funding, the government used to give it to us but they stopped part of the flow, basically we got Fucked we now have only partial funding from the government with the rest coming from private funds through donations. The biggest reason why we are now going from door to door is because after conducting several polls we found that the best way to get to our pervious targets is by getting to as many people as we can, not through commercials, but rather through personal contact. We believe intimacy yields much better results in the long run when compared to general impersonal commercials.’
‘I see.’ I answered, I wanted to question her more but for the life of me I could think of nothing, I had no thoughts, nothing to counter her answer and now I was stuck. Then a thought truck me ‘So how much is a typical donation?’
‘Well it could be anything from 10 dollars to 500 dollars; if you donate a large amount you will get a surprise in the form of a present.’ Her voice now is nothing like what it was when I first saw her; it has changed drastically from what it was. The incoherent pitch and strange timber is now a relic of the past and now a new voice has risen, a voice that could rule countries with its beauty. A single word breathed out from its lips would sent dictators and men and women alike into a state of disarray and war, just so that they could spend more time hearing it, be captivated by it or own it. The voice was so incredible that no one could ever hope to use it, because owning it was much more important than using it.
I try to stop myself from thinking about owning that voice and try instead to focus on her eyes. They are in a color and shape I have never seen before. The color is the color of a thousand suns burning into infinity, looking into those eyes is like staring into an incredible force that swipes you off your feet and leaves you hoping that the owner of the eyes will save you. There is a force in the eyes and with the force a nakedness that that is pure and reaches right to your soul. The shape of her eyes is slightly different they are between a slightly oval and round shape, and not exactly the same. It is like the sides of the eyes are the rafts holding an incredible river at bay. I look away from the eyes as I feel my restrains and bodily constrictions falling, as I try to fight my own urges and barriers from failing me I decide not to look at the woman anymore because everything about her recalls the beast in me. It is the only thing I can do.
‘I don’t know how much I have with me, I will have to check.’ I get up and forget completely about the fire in my loins that have long since taken over and pulse almost uncontrollably, I walk over to the counter reach for my wallet and walk back. I sit down in front of her again and it is only then that I realize that I had forgotten to hide my hard penis. I act as though I did not notice anything and everything is just as it should be, all the while my embarrassment is showing while I take out the money from my wallet. There is 50 dollars in it which I take and hand over to the woman. When I do so my fingers gently touch hers. They are soft to the touch and it sends a chill through me, a chill that grabs tight hold of my loins and squeezes. I nearly let out a groan but manage to hold it in. I let go of the money and lean back into my chair, all the while avoiding looking at the woman.
Suddenly I feel something touching my leg, it is a soft caress that starts at my ankle and goes slowly up towards my thigh. From my outer thigh it goes down towards my ankle again and goes up through the inside towards my inner thigh. Where it rubs me slowly, I look at the woman sitting in front of me and think I see a smile decorating a pair of perfect lips. It is then I realize that the picture I see before me is that of the perfect person. It is everything I find stimulating in a woman, but it is a picture. An image it lacks life, or at least that is what it seems like, it is hard to tell. The foot reaches up and touches my balls softly. I can’t move I’m completely in the woman’s control and in her grasp. She deliberately moves her foot away from me and steps away from the table…

I’m naked in my bed and above me, heaving mightily, is a woman. I don’t know her name and I don’t know who she is, but she is riding me like a bull and I am in heaven. Her breasts are perfect and they jump and roll as though they are works of art. Her body twists and turns as though it is the sea battling with a ship that attempts to cross it. My hands try to hold on to her but they seem to slip away, unable to grab hold to anything. Not her breasts, nor her thighs, nothing allows me anything to grab or in this case latch onto. All I can do is lie there as the body of this mystery woman is on top of me, pressing on to my loins and pushing me in and out of her. But strangely enough instead of feeling some release and some comfort, the fire is burning more intensely the before and I feel a strange pressure building inside me, pressing me. I try to look at the woman to signal to her my distress and am surprised to find that I am not looking at the same woman I had seen previously. The picture is gone; the features I had recognized interchanged and mixed somehow with other features, leaving the whole thing somewhat unbelievable. Before I can act out anything I feel the pressure building and a sharp pain coming from my testacies as I am about to…

I am on the floor. I am fucking someone; I can feel her body under me. Shaking and jiggling as I push myself into and out of her. My hands are not on her body but rather next to her, just below her shoulders. We are stuck almost in an embrace that is rocks us backwards and forwards, it starts out quite calmly, almost casually the rhythm consistent, our bodies a single board. It is then that the rhythm picks up and I feel the gentle consistent rhythm fading into a rough more powerful one. I push and get pulled stronger and stronger into the woman as though her vagina is sucking me into it. I feel the pressure rising in me again and I feel a little needle like pain in my dick. I look down at the woman and see that she has large blond curls and green eyes. Her breasts are large and then suddenly something is different. The size of her breasts that pushed me up is now different and not just that, her hair color, style is changed as well. Instead of the blond curls she had she is now wearing her hair short and to the side with the color no longer blond but rather brown, her breaths now small. But the changes are not done and she is now switching between different skin colors: yellow, black, white, brown. But it isn’t just her skin color that is switching now, her hair color, her length, width, breath size, waist size everything is changing pushing my body back and forth without control. I try to regain some measure of control but the thrusting just intensifies and becomes nearly violent as I am pushed more and more strongly, the pain in my penis is now intense and I feel like I am about to…

I am naked the fire in my loins guides me and points me at a woman’s back. She is clothed. I don’t know where I am or how I got here but little does it matter, all that matters is the pressure in my loins. I jump on the woman that stands with her back turned to me and rip her cloth off. The cloths are ripped in a matter of seconds and if I had a small measure of my mind back I would have thought this to be too easy for normal cloths. Especially if they are newly worn cotton which is what these cloths seem like. The woman is flat on the floor and stark naked, I push my body onto her and push my member strongly into her. The woman lets out a shriek that is unlike anything I have ever heard, a shriek of power, a shriek of hunger a shriek that sends fear into any person who would hear it, but it I cannot stop and I continue to ravage the woman as violently and strongly as I am physically capable of. All this happens as though I am stuck in a loop, my body acting out of its own accord to the whims of someone else. Strangely the fire in my loins does not leave me, as I enter into the woman, if anything it grows stronger still and a constant pain now accompanies the fire. The thrust grow more and more violently as the cycle continues and still I am not able to slow down, I have no thoughts for the woman as she has gone deathly quiet, after the horrible shriek she uttered at the beginning. The power with which the my member is now pushed into her has long gone beyond mere normal and I can feel my hand grabbing hold of her neck and start to squeeze, I stare in horror not able to move anything and a fear grows into my heart as my hands grip the neck strongly and start to squeeze tighter and tighter. A short wheezing can be heard now from the woman but it is as though my body is nowhere near done yet because I feel the urge rising and with it the pain and I am about to…

I am behind a desk, my pants are down but I am still wearing my jacket and shirt. Some unknown woman is performing falasio on me. I can feel her sucking and licking my penis while she is going up and down it. The office I am in is not very big; there is a large door in front of me and a file cabinet to my right. To my left there is a large window, from my desk I can’t actually see what the view from it is.
A knock on the door informs me someone is about to come in. My first response is that of uncomfortable fear while my second is fuck it. A woman enters my office she looks like a secretary. ‘Mr. Johnson is here to see you.’ She says ‘should I send him or should I delay him?’ she asks.
I am trying to figure out if she understands what is going on and am wondering why my head is so far gone that I don’t even realize that the woman who is performing oral sex on me was most likely seen by the secretary. ‘Delay him.’ I reply.
The secretary nods and leaves the office, closing the door behind her.
The sucking is becoming more intense and again as though I am in a movie watching my own action, my hand is moving on its own and holds the woman’s head, which I haven’t even seen firmly in place. With my body I press my dick deeper and deeper into the woman’s throat causing her to gag, but instead of letting her head go I go on utilizing more force, it is then that I feel the pain is now even more intense. So intense in fact that I fear my balls might explode. Little needles stab me everywhere across my balls and cock. This doesn’t stop me from my actions however as I push the woman further and further and I feel that I am about to commit a crime one that is murder, but it is beyond me. I press on and I feel like I am about to…

I am fucking someone again. This time it is doggy style, and for some reason it doesn’t even look like a woman this time. It looks more like a male if anything. The fire in my loins has long since surpassed anything I can put into words and the accompanying pain is the stuff of legend. I am at a point where I would do anything just to make the pain and fire stop or at least fade, even slightly. I am pushing my dig deep into the other person, this time it is into his or hers ass and the thrusting seems to be already at its limit. Just when I think I can do no more I feel someone strange happening as the person I am fucking is suddenly widening to an incredible size and then like a clone splitting into another person that is in the exact position. Bending on all fours his or hers ass facing me, but the ordeal is not over yet. The clone starts to change and slowly the black hair and the white brown back is changing into dark black hair and dark black body, wide hips and large thighs. The woman has a large black tail and a pair of horns on her head. I can’t see her face as she changes position and lies down with her head between my legs, where she immediately to lick my balls. My brain is slowly going crazy as the pain again intensifies and I am about to…

I am holding a woman very close to me, my hands surrounding her back, my head between her small perky breasts. Her skin is dark black, so black that I cannot even see anything in it. It is as though the skin sucks all the light away from the area. Just above her ass there is a large black tail that looks as though it is as sharp as a whip. Above her head there are two thorns that look like they are very sharp indeed. The picture of her that I saw is now different, what I saw first is most likely wrong too, what is left is nothing but a shell. I feel pain everywhere not just in dick now but everywhere as though it has spread. The fire is now residing, but with the residing fire I have the feeling that my soul is diminishing or that my essence is being sucked away.
‘What have you done to me.’ I mutter, using the last bits of strength I have to speak to the demon that is in front of me.
‘What I have done to you?’ She answers cordially ‘I have done exactly as you wanted and then some! You wanted to fuck. You fucked! You wanted to rape someone and you did! You wanted to have two chicks hey you almost did. You wanted to fuck yourself silly well newsflash hero you did. Now comes the small matter of my payment.’ She added.
‘What payment? And what are you talking about? I just had flashes of stuff I didn’t actually fuck anyone.’
‘Why does every guy always try to pull that one?’ she muttered almost more to herself that to me. The most disturbing thing was that while we were talking she was still fucking me. Going up and down and my hands which were still not under my control, held her tightly. ‘How do define fucking.’ She asked.
‘When a guy fucks something.’ I answered lamely.
‘This time try NOT to use the word you are defining in the definition of that word.’
‘Ok. When a person inserts his or hers private part into someone else.’
‘Now that is a much better definition. Now according to your definition, we are now fucking. There is no need anywhere to come. Anyway coming is overrated and very selfish but to put things in perspective, I need all of it. Or better put I need the life essence of you, which is the easiest to extract through sex. By the looks of you and the amount of effort it takes you to talk right now you are very near your limit. It was fun knowing you.’
I try to fight it, the endless cycle of fucking but the fire in my loins is gone I am a shell and the remaining force I have is quickly sapping away from me. I should have fought before, as soon as I saw the strange woman, I should have fought then but I wanted it then and not it’s too late, my body is acting of its own accord and I can do nothing to stop it. I try one last desperate pull to free myself from the woman that is on me, but she has her legs firmly surrounding mine and my penis has nowhere to go but in and out, in and out…

Opinions may differ

I have refrained from ranting about politics, because I sincerely believe that it is not my place to rant about it. There are enough political analysts, journalists, opinion writers etc, that I don’t think I need to add my view to this already very full domain. But lately something has been burning in me, it started as just a small little annoyance but now I need an outlet, and this is it.
I understand politics, hey I even like politics at times, (not the throwing chairs and punches at each other one, but rather the talking to one another) what I don’t like is stupidity and ignorance. Actually I can remove stupidity from there so that it’s just ignorance. Why don’t I like ignorance? Because that breeds hate, resentment and fear, it is without a doubt the worst thing you can have as a politician, but (and this is a big but) in politics being ignorant is just wrong. When you are in politics, you are a bit like a performer, you stand in front of people you tell them things and try and get them to believe in you. So where am I getting at?
What people say to one another matters, if a kid says his dad told him something or other it matters, if grown-ups are fighting about a line in the sand even though it’s arbitrary, it matters. Why? Well, because if you care about people in general, and I am not talking about adults for the moment, but about children who will believe anything you tell them, it is these children who I see as the sufferers of everything, and it is irrelevant what you believe, or even whose side you are on. Children should be protected, period! Still there are people out there who use this to their advantage, or leverage to do acts they believe to be for their greater good. Certain countries (like the us for example, or Russia or so many others) won’t be bullied and will just use a bomb to wipe everything out. Hell the only time the USA was ever attacked they used two atom bombs to make that point come across! All the other times that they bombed countries they weren’t even attacked.
I think it is important to point out, that I don’t have an opinion on the side of things. I am not against the US or for another country, I think that at the moment I prefer the USA running things for the simple fact, that they actually do something and don’t spend weeks and months and sometimes even years discussing a problem. I understand the necessity of certain things, just like I understand that somebody bombing me constantly will make me so angry that I will attack back without looking at the consequence. But it is this that makes it dangerous, even though I understand it and for the moment I don’t see a better solution, you can’t have negotiations while under fire, and you can’t have proper negotiations with terrorists. The biggest reason why you can’t is that terrorists lie, use civilians as pawns, and control the population first by means of terror, than through brainwashing them.
Maybe the most important thing in any situation, is not to hate, something that people do naturally, they chose a side and automatically hate the other side. This happens in football, soccer, in a similar fashion. In war or political stand-offs prior to tension and eventually escalations are all built from one simple founding rule. Hate.
Now I have been leading up to this point, but I guess I will have to endure the hate and continue. The conflict in Israel… First let me say that if you don’t live in Israel or Gaza than you should shut up. I am of the opinion that people who are not part of the conflict can only really understand the sides: by either living in a situation that is it, or through a similar background. You might think you know what it feels like, but you don’t. When someone loses his arms or legs do you say ohh… I know exactly how you feel, and then continue to give him advice on how to proceed? No you wouldn’t, so why does everyone give two bits about the situation in Israel? A plane full of civilians headed from Amsterdam was shut down by god knows who (Americans say it was Russian rebels) over the Ukraine. I don’t see demonstrations, fights or anything much happening to support either side there. Why is that? Why is the whole world silent each time we have a new horror in Africa? Why when in Africa a hundred or so girls are abducted, brain-washed and become slaves of the islam because of some nut, there is hardly any response?
What makes Israel so special? Or for that matter the Palestinians? Do you understand this? Am I missing something? What made a piece of land so big that you can spit the distance, so important that the whole world has an opinion on what should happen with it? How is that even possible? I am against genocide of any people, but every country has a right to protect itself from an enemy. The only problem in this case is how to take out a terrorist cell that runs a country. Interestingly the Palestinians on the other side of the country want exactly the same thing. So let’s wait and see what happens, but for now please refrain from having an opinion on something you do not fully understand. The biggest problem is thinking you understand when you actually don’t. Let me make this perfectly clear yet again, you can’t possibly understand it unless it has happened to you…
I think I should stop this rant now before I become too serious for my own good, or maybe there are things that the natural order of things tells us, we should be ignorant about. Maybe certain things should be left untouched. Or maybe we should blow everything up but ourselves. But then we have to live with ourselves and have you met us? We are not very nice, if leave us alone we will stab you in the back…

Images of night part 7 – Fragments

I am exhausted; both physically and mentally I am at breaking point. The endless hours of work, the unrelenting pressure to succeed in a cut throat business are getting to me. It feels as though I have been a machine for the last months going by with a minimum of sleep and a maximum of work. Today it is finally time for me to go to sleep early and leave the turmoil behind me, knowing that it will wait for me in the morning, but confident that it shall be probably dealt with. I take a long warm shower which soothes my body that is much too tense these days, brush my teeth and go to bed.
The bed feels comfortable and within minutes I feel myself drifting away to the realm of dreams and fantasy, a realm where everything is possible and I can be king. There is nothing I like better than sleep and dream, it is my favourite pass time and at times I indulge myself to an extra long nap just for this sole reason. Today I know will be different when I am too tired to even get anything done properly I know have over exaggerated and gone too long with my normal regiment of sleep. Today the sleep I will have will not be a joy but rather a necessity, a dreamless slumber that will serve to fill my energy reserve somewhat before waking me to a new day of work where I will most likely tire myself again and so the cycle of necessary sleep will recommence. This is the way things go these days it is only the weekend where I can sleep longer and catch up on my beauty sleep.
Before I can even sleep properly, a nagging noise is disrupting me; it is a constant high pitched sound that echoes through the room like an ambulance siren, it is in short intervals where it briefly stops only to start once again. It interrupts my slumber, but I decide to ignore it, I know not what can cause this noise but I do not care and I am very tired, so I just let it be. But the noise is unrelenting and although I am very tired as I have only just gotten to bed and it has been a long day, it does not allow me to fall asleep. Usually when the noise is constant I can just ignore it, living in the city has given me the ability to shut down constant noises, such as music etc. But this noise is different; it comes at intervals and doesn’t stop at all, if anything it gets louder. And so a battle commences between me on one side and the sound on the other, it is a battle to see if I can ignore the sound and eventually fall asleep, or if I will fall victim to the noise and end up awake and disturbed but more importantly not sleeping.
It is roughly 30 minutes later when I notice that I give up, as I can’t take it any longer, the endless repetition as well as the very essence of the noise, has proven too much for me. It is now a shivering cry that pierces my ears and my very heart, it sends electrical shocks right through me, that make me both shiver and long for it to just end, to cease if only for a moment the wailing that it sounds like now. I decide to get up and see where the noise is coming from and more importantly what is causing it. I have the strangest feeling it is caused by someone, rather than something, a baby perhaps. I walk carefully through my apartment searching for the source of the cries. My apartment has two rooms, one bedroom and one spare room, a living room/kitchen and a bathroom/toilet. There is a small corridor that connects the two rooms the toilet/bathroom to the living room/kitchen. I slowly walk through the dark corridor; I don’t turn on the light and leave everything in darkness, I know the small apartment well and quickly cover the ground needed to find the source, I walk it half asleep and my eyes are half closed. It takes me a while to realize that I have entered a room that does not exist in my apartment, it is a room that I have never been in before and I have never seen either. However, it is clear that the sound of the voice is coming from somewhere in this room.
I blink several times, trying to get my eyes used to the darkness that is around me, at first glance there appears to be nothing in the small room. I look behind me, to the place from which I came and to my surprise I see that there is no path there, it is as though I travelled through the wall to reach this closed off room. I try to reach for a light switch, my hand searching for a switch somewhere along the walls, but I can find nothing. The walls are soft and straight to the touch. I decide to live it be and focus on the sound. It is clear that it is coming from this room and after several more moments in the dark my eyes get slightly more adjusted to the dark and I see something in the centre of the room. It is dark and about knee high, I can’t make out its exact shape but it is clear that the noise is coming from there. I carefully walk towards it, my feet hardly making a sound on the wooden floor, which strangely enough is the same floor that is in my apartment.
I stand above the structure and find it to be a wooden baby crib, there is a blanket in it and several pacifiers, as well as a small doll. However, the crib is otherwise empty the baby is nowhere to be found. It is now clear to me what the sound is; it is my child, my baby screaming at me. It must need something, maybe it is hungry or frightened, or maybe something has happened to it. In a flash all scenes run through my mind in horror and frantically I search around the crib and the room itself for my child. But it is nowhere to be found, it is as though its screams are the only living reminiscence of it. I try to locate the baby, somewhere in the room but it is clear that it is coming from the crib and that is not there now. I go through the crib with my hand but there is nothing invisible there only the things that I can see.
The screams grow louder, begging me to help somehow but I cannot, an incredible feeling of helplessness swallows me whole suffocating me, my heart beat accelerates and I find it difficult to breathe. My baby calls for, it needs me and I can do nothing. I have to do something or I will go mad, but there is nothing for me to do, there is nothing but the endless screams that beckon me. I scream in rage fuelled by the helpless that I feel as the pitch of the cries increases and the sound changes to something like a wallow of sorrow echoing into my very soul, a sorrow that saddens me and brings me to despair. Acting solely on pure emotion I punch against the wall with my fists, feeling the pain cut deep into the skin but it is nothing compared to the pain I feel in my heart, in my soul. I cry out in rage, in sorrow, in despair, as the terrible screams are breaking, the voice shattering and my soul is crushed along with it.
***
I am lying in my bed, it was a dream. Ever since my baby was born I have been suffering from the strangest dreams, all involving things that befell him. Either directly to him or through something I witnessed, like a kidnapping of someone else’s baby. I had once a completely irrational fear that someone would come into my apartment for some reason. This manifested itself more clearly in a dream where a woman and a man barged into my unlocked apartment (which was unlocked because it was the middle of the day) and take my baby. I would fight them as much as I could; while they would scream at me that the child wasn’t mine but theirs. I know it’s very irrational and illogical but it still leaves me panicky and the thought of something of the sort occurring don’t leave me, but rather stay there to remind me that there is always the possibility that something similar will occur.
It is funny how in dreams I am usually alone and my wife is either indisposed or not listening, or simply not there. I look over to my right where my wife is peacefully sleeping. She is a deep sleeper, always was, so usually it is me that goes to check our baby when needed or if it needs a bottle. The dream has left me too agitated and I find it difficult to fall back to sleep, just then a very soft moaning comes from the baby room. My apartment has three rooms and I don’t know why my previous dream was so cryptic about the third room and its entrance. I yawn, wipe the cobwebs from my eyes and walk towards the baby room. My eyes are used to the dark and I quietly and quickly make my way to the room. I stop dead in my tracks as I see something moving. It is a dark figure although in the dark unlighted room everything appears dark. The figure is hunched over my baby’s crib that is placed in the centre of the room.
‘Who the hell are you and what the hell do you think you are doing?’ I scream in anger and panic. I don’t wait for an answer though; I run forward my fists raised and my intentions clear. I don’t know who the stranger is and I don’t care, whoever he is, he just broke into my house and has threatened the one thing I hold dearer than life itself, the life of my child.
I aim a punch straight at the figures head, but the figure easily evades and punches me in the stomach. The punch is strong but not nearly strong enough to knock me down, or even slow me. I use my left hand to through a jab to his face while preparing the real punch with my right hand. The move works perfectly and my right punch connects squarely with the figure’s face. Strangely the figure says nothing, no cry of pain, no grunt nothing, nothing to even show that my punch connected at all. I steal a look at my baby and notice there is a pillow on his face, I jump towards it and try to knock the pillow away. I know now that the target was my baby; the figure has come to kill my child. Rage bellows in me, pushing clear all rational thoughts and all I want to do now is feel is blood. But before I can do anything, before I even manage to remove the pillow the figure kicks me in my right leg, just above the knee. The kick stops me from moving, the searing pain sends shivers up to my spine and I grit my teeth not to scream. Instead I try as much as I can to ignore the pain and focus on the figure, even though my head is exploding with pain and little white dots spread across my vision, making it blurry and somewhat unfocused. The figure is about a foot to my right; the crib is almost within reach on my left. I feint a kick towards the figure while the rest of my body moves quickly to the crib. But I am not fast enough the half dead leg I am now carrying is slowing me down and the figure is in front of the crib before I can get to it.
I stare at the figure, I know it won’t let me pass and I know that the anger I feel towards the figure won’t let me just leave either. I stand in front of the figure and this time I don’t flinch, I am not distracted, I am here 100% and I will not stop until you are dead! Just like that my mind is made up and I wait. I know that if I will make the first move it will be the end of me, if however I wait and judge the timing and reaction just right I might still be able to kick this asswipe and punch him so strong that he won’t ever recover.
Finally when I am very close to blinking and nearly miss the movement all together, the figure reaches out and stands with his left leg backwards as though he intends to kick me with his right. After the two quick jabs and my severe handicap I know that this is too obvious a move. He won’t just kick me with his right leg; he will most likely do something else. I wait in anticipation and then just as quickly his right leg shoots forwards towards my head. I lift my hand up to block just to see the kick go down towards my ribs, I know I can’t possibly make it in time and curse my stupidity for falling for one of the most obvious kicks in the world. The kick connects hard and I hear a cracking sound as though my ribs are shattered. I try to take a deep breath but instead only gasps come and an incredible burning sensation comes with every breath I take. The pain that accompanies each and every breathe is pure agony and I know I don’t have a lot more in me. My ordeal doesn’t stop there though, as my momentarily lapse costs me dearly. The figure closes the gap between us and throws a barrage of punches at me; they hit my head, stomach, ribs, arms and face, with deadly precision and incredible force. As each of the punches hits home and I try my best to block them I realize that I had no chance from the very beginning. I feel my consciousness fading as more punches hit home and the pain is almost too much to bear. My last thoughts are with my poor baby, not even a year old, what possible harm could he ever do to anyone…
***
I open my eyes, I am in bed. There is a soft wailing in the background. It was a dream, I wipe the sweat from my brow and as I do so the details of the dream are already fading. I get up from the bed and walk towards my baby’s room. I know its most likely nothing but I always feel better after checking after him. Making sure he has everything he needs and that he is comfortable and breathing properly.
My arm is slightly stiff, I most likely slept on it, I shake it back and forth several times to get the blood pumping again and continue to walk quietly to the room. There just beyond the door I see a figure standing above the crib of my child. Just like that the dream comes back to me, more vivid than ever, I see the figure above the crib. It is trying to kill my child; it is trying to destroy my life. I run forward, this time I won’t scream, I won’t shout, I will let my fists do the talking. The figure doesn’t have time to react and I immediately jump on it. My punches rain on his face and the figure can’t do anything to stop me. I feel an intense sense of pleasure as my punches connect home. I hit the face mostly, but every other punch goes to the ribs. I continue on and on stopping only to catch my breath. Finally when all my energy is expended and my fists are bleeding and broken I stop. I won. I smile a vicious smile and get up. The figure is lying on a heap on the floor, I don’t know if it is still alive or not and I don’t care.
I go to look at the crib where my baby is crying. I pick him up in my arms and softly, cradle him gently back to sleep. When he is finally calm enough and deep sleeps I put him back in his crib and go to turn on the light. My baby is a deep sleeper just like my wife; once he is deep asleep there are not a lot of things that will wake him up. I blink several times before my eyes adjust to the light and I walk to the figure that is lying motionless on the floor. I stare at the bloody mess and realize I have some explaining to do to the police, but still this is self defence so it should be a simple enough case. I stare at the cloth the figure is wearing and notice that they look oddly familiar, a chill runs through me, a fear that I know only too well who the cloth belong to. Reluctantly, I pull the bloodied cloths to the side to reveal who the figure was. To my horror, although in my heart I already know the answer, I see who it is that I have beaten to death with my very own two arms. In a puddle of blood, slime and bodily fluids, like a scene from a gruesome horror film, lies what once was my wife. No recognisable feature remains of her once beautiful, smooth almost opaque like face. Her face which once was her most astonishing feature, easily comparable to the most graceful and elegant marble statue, was now contorted into something resembling a monster. The eyes were puffed up and blue, the eyes themselves unrecognisable anymore, the nose was broken and blood was still streaming down from it like a leaking fosset onto and into her mouth, where her lips had gotten so swollen you could barely tell where they were originally and what had happened to them. Horror movies don’t prepare you though for all the little details that you knew about the person, they don’t prepare you for the true horror that is not just the disfigurement but the fact that what you loved is now gone and no more. But it more than that, I know that the only reason this happened is because of me. I am to blame and so when the police come, I will be taken, I will be judged and I will most likely die in jail.
Tears run down my face, all my wishes and dreams can now only be distant memories or exist as impossible wishes, my love is gone, I will never see her beautiful face again. As that realization hits me, warm tears begin to run uncontrollably across my face; I let them fall down to the floor. The despair of knowing love and losing it hits me as strongly as anything I have ever felt and shock settles in, I begin to frantically push the blood back into my wife’s dead body. I don’t know what else to do, but there must be something that can be done. I break down crying, trying somehow to fix what I have done by blocking the blood from coming out, pushing the blood back in, and even giving my wife mouth to mouth on her broken and swollen lips. My hands become gluey with blood and I try to resuscitate her by interchangeably giving her mouth to mouth and pushing against her chest to get her heart going again like I have seen in countable movies. I have never performed CPR but I have seen it preformed many times in movies so I try to copy the act that I have witnessed and apply it to my wife, all the while knowing that it is too late and that the pile of broken bones and blood can no longer be saved. This does not prevent me from trying and I continue on and on until my hands are painful and my breathing hurts and I can hardly move any longer. I burst into fits of anger and of intense crying. I scream to no one in particular and wake up my sleeping baby as I do so.
I stop my scream shocked with the realization that my son has now lost his mother and that I now his sole provider. Worst than the fact that my life is over; my son will have to endure the harsh life of foster homes and the neverending emotional turmoil that this will entail. I ruined my son’s life…
***
I am in my bed looking at the dark ceiling. My shirt is drenched in sweat, my whole body is covered in cold sweat and I am breathing heavily. The dream was incredibly vivid and I still am slightly shaky and slightly anxious. I wipe the sweat away and try to regain my calm. Several long and deep breathes later I feel slightly better; I turn to my wife who is lying next to me. Her head is facing me, and her eyes are shut. She looks so peaceful, so tranquil that I am slightly jealous that she hasn’t even noticed my distress next to her. But maybe that is for the better, if she was up she would want me to detail my ordeal to her, something that I am not sure I can just do.
I look at my wife’s face a little longer, I long to touch her, to feel the warmth of her body next to mine. Gently I reach out and remove a flock of her hair from her face, while brushing the hair away I notice that her skin feel cold to the touch, I lift the blanket slightly and utter a scream of utter terror. In my bed lies my wife but only a part of her. Her head lies there facing me while her body, her torso is nowhere to be found, the only evidence to show it was ever there in the first place is a large puddle of blood. I jump out of the bed all the way unable to stop my frantic screaming…
***
In bed again, I get out of bed quickly and go to the bathroom. These dreams are becoming more and more intense and I find it difficult to control them or even see what their point is, other than torment me. In the bathroom, I stand above the sink and open the tap to wash my face. These nightmares are taking their toll and the cold water brings me back to reality. I wipe my face with the towel and get out of the bathroom. I am slightly thirsty and head to the fridge to get a much needed glass of water or maybe some juice. I don’t turn on any of the lights in the house and head to the fridge. I open the door and stare at the ingredients that are found there. I notice the fridge is really full, find the bottle of water in the fridge door, take it out and close the fridge. I pour myself a glass of cold natural mineral water and eagerly drink it. The water makes me feel slightly better and I am almost ready to head back to bed. I open the fridge door again and put the bottles back in place. I look inside the fridge for something small to munch on and I notice that the fridge seems to be filled to the brim with meat. I don’t remember buying this much meat, I am not much of a meat eater and my wife is a vegetarian so we never have this much meat at home.
I take out some of the pieces of meat and look at them carefully, they appear strange, I can’t make out what part of cow or pig or other animal they are of, or what kind of meat this is. I know for sure that it isn’t chicken as I see no wings and the meat is red and not white. It resembles more closely pig rather than beef but it is hard to say. I take out all the pieces of meat and try to organize them as I think they should go. The fridge is really full it is almost as if at least a whole animal went in if not two.
After additional examination of the meat I realize there are two different kinds of meat here, a large one and a small one. Most likely an adult and a child like a mutton and a lamb or something of the sort. I put the pieces together but I quickly realize that these pieces of meat or of something altogether more horrific. The bones that are protruding at areas and they resemble human bones. Also at other points the cuts were not done professionally, the cuts of meat are not nice thin slices but rather large chunks of meat. A cold feeling of dread comes over me the more I go through the meat and the more I discover, the more I loath to touch it and the more I fear what I shall find.
After an agonizing game of meat scrabble, I wash my hands clean of the whole affair and go to wash my hands in the bathroom. I turn on the light and wash my hands from the pieces of meat and the blood that glued on to my hands. When I am done washing my hands with water and soap I dry them carefully on the towel that hangs next to sink. I look at the bathtub and strangely the curtain is shut. I never close the curtain because I have watched too many horror movies and a closed curtain can only mean one thing a dead body or something terrible. Maybe a monster or other, it therefore annoys me that my family keep on closing the curtain, even though I tell them to keep it open. I never tell them the real reason though. I just say that keeping the curtain open let’s you see everything better and keeps the bad humid smell away from the plastic curtain. Although that is probably not true, I think keeping the curtain open will keep the smell away rather than closing the curtain.
I haphazardly walk towards the curtain and with one quick movement open it. In the bathtub I find a cascade of blood that runs on the white bathtub and the white tiles. I stare at it in shock not knowing what this is and where it comes from. The blood covers everything and is still slightly wet and slowly draining. The blood on the tiles is dry as is the blood on the rim of the bathtub. I leave the scene of horror in a hurry and try to clear my mind. What is the meaning of this? Where does all the blood come from and what should I do?
Suddenly a thought strikes me; if the fridge was filled with strange pieces of meat what was the freezer filled with? I completely neglected to look at the freezer the previous time I went to the kitchen…
I slowly walk towards the freezer, my head spinning, my feet stumbling and my mind in a daze. I have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I know what I will find in the freezer. Instead of going straight to the freezer I go to my bedroom where unsurprisingly I find it to be empty. My wife is nowhere to be found. I walk as calmly as I can to my child’s room and find it similarly empty. There is now hardly any doubt who the meat belongs to and what it is, but still I can’t stop myself from walking to the freezer and opening the door. It is almost like I am an outsider not in charge of my own body but rather an observer. I stare in pain my eyes squinting as the hand reaches out and opens the freezer door…
Inside two heads stare at me, the eyes are open wide in horror. The heads belong to my wife and son…
***
I sit up in the bed and look over at my sleeping wife. I get up and walk through the apartment, I take several more steps and reach out to turn on the light when I find out that my hand doesn’t respond. It stays at my side irresponsive to me. I test out my other limbs responses and find that similarly to the arm, they are all irresponsive and I can’t move anything.
If I can’t move anything, who is moving my body? This thought runs through my head as I realize that whoever is walking around, is looking at each room and taking stock of everything, as though he wants to take everything or steal. Or maybe he is just trying to find the exit. Suddenlly he stops and enters a room. It is the bathroom; he turns on a light and looks at himself in the mirror. I see myself staring back at me, but somehow I am now no longer in control of my body and am forced to sit here and bare witness to whatever this individual is going to do. My hand goes up to my face and it is rubbing it, it then slaps its cheeks several times until they become pinkish red, utters several grunts and then leaves the room to continue investigating the house. I start a little nervous and I try to use all my force to push, pull, and move or even tug the person away from the body that he and I posses. But it quickly becomes a futile exercise as the person continues to walk around my house unperturbed with me witnessing everything though his very own eyes.
I try to look around me, I seem to be stuck in some kind of dark place on my own, and it might be my very own mind I don’t know. But I am alone in this room there is no one around certainly not the man that has taken over.
The man suddenly stops when he reaches the living room, he looks around clearly searching for something, his eyes fall on the phone and he takes it in his hands. He dials a number I can’t see exactly what it is except that it is a lot of numbers and waits for someone to answer. Several rings pass by until someone picks up. A conversation ensues in a language I have never heard of, but its a very rough language with many throaty sounds.
The person that has taken over my body sounds angry and it takes several moments before the person on the other side of the line reaches some sort of agreement with him. I don’t know if it is an agreement or not, but at least the annoyed, angry voice of the person that has taken over me has calmed down and he is now talking.
‘Come on darling, come to bed. Whoever you are talking to I’m sure it can wait till morning.’
It is my wife who sleepily walks out of our bedroom and into our living room. She can only sleep if I am lying next to her, me not being there must have woken her up.
The person that has taken over my body does not react and continues to talk to the guy on the phone in the foreign language. I wait for my wife to figure out it isn’t me and run away. I try to scream at her that she should run as fast as she can, grab our kid and get out of there. But she does not yet realize it is not me that she is with, but a stranger.
‘Who are you talking to? What is that strange language you’re talking in?’ My wife looks at the person who is supposed to be her husband with suspicion. ‘Are you alright?’ she adds her voice is concerned.
The guy continues to talk on the phone until the conversation is finished. When it is done he looks at my wife, gives her a vicious smile and walks calmly towards her.
‘Please, talk to me. You’re scaring me.’ She begs, but it is of no use. The guy either doesn’t speak English or refuses to. He continues his walk towards her, his face contorted into that strange unfamiliar smile, a smile that although it was created with my body I don’t recognize.
I try again to scream to my wife to run, to get away, anything. But it’s not working, I’m locked out of my body, like a puppet on a string, I’m doomed to be nothing but an observer and no matter how much I struggle to free myself from the chains I cannot. I am trapped.
The person, who has taken over me, is now fearfully close to my wife and both she and I are cowering in fear from whatever may happen. The person stops just in front of her all the while the vicious smile doesn’t leave it’s face. He stares at my wife and then with a quick movement slaps her hard across the face. I scream in anger as my wife is sent flying by the power of the slap, to the ground. She scrambles on the floor and tries to regain her footing. She looks up into the eyes of who she thought was her husband.
‘You are not him, I don’t know what happened but you are not him!’ she says and quickly tries to run to the kitchen. The person runs after her, he is much faster than she is, he grabs her hair and pulls it back strongly. My wife utters a scream of agony as the hair is strung back and pieces of it are pulled out.
The guy laughs a hollow and dark laugh as he removes the hairs that are in his hand. My wife who hasn’t recovered yet is at a disadvantage she is on the floor holding her head. The person does not waste any time and kicks her hard in the head. My wife falls heavily to the floor I can hear the air gasp coming from her mouth, I can feel the kick connect and I scream in agony. This isn’t enough for the person though. It is only the beginning.
He walks to the kitchen and gets a long sharp knife. He drags my wife into the bathroom by the hair. My wife tries to struggle but it is useless she is in pain and is not thinking clearly. Her feeble attempts at escaping are reduced to using her nails on my hand and hardly anything else.
The person arrives at the bathroom and kicks again in the stomach. She folds in double but doesn’t have time to even respond, as the person flings her into the bathtub. She lands there heavily gasping for breaths, a knife flashes in my hand and slashes expertly across her face. My wife screams in pain, she lifts her arms trying to protect herself and receives deep cuts from the knife that travels quickly into them leaving them in tatters. Her fingers are torn and fall useless into the bathtub. I scream continuously as I witness this horror and can do nothing to stop it. I try to avert my eyes but for some reason my eyes even when closed see whatever my body has done. The knife goes up again and this time it cuts through the wrists. My wife’s screams echo through our home, while the blood pours freely from her wrist to the bathtub’s floor.
I stare at the scene in shock my mind has left me, I am no longer sane. The things I see, the things that happen before me cannot be real, I refuse to believe them. The blood runs down like water and I am sure my wife won’t survive much longer. At least the suffering will be done and the world will become normal again and nothing would have happened.
The cries slowly fade into slow mellow weeps that at times gurgle from the blood that drips into my wife’s mouth. The sick bastard takes the knife and starts to cut my wife into pieces, the knife is nowhere sharp enough for the job he uses it for, but what it lacks in sharpness the person makes up for in strength and skill. He first cuts off all the limbs, at this point my wife is dead already and still I cannot look away. I am assailed by all the senses that go through the person at the time he is butchering my wife like a disgusting animal. He is enjoying himself, the sick pervert, he actually enjoys cutting my wife up. He doesn’t regret it at all and he continues to work on her as though he is playing with a new toy.
After the limbs are severed from the torso, he cuts the in the middle and continues on to cut the ribs and neck. The head he leaves intact. He is so focused on his disgusting work that he doesn’t notice the crying, but he does now. He stops his work and puts his knife down by the bathtub. Again I look onto in horror as the person walks in what looks like a twisted version of me, into my baby’s room. He is now bloody, I can see his bloody hands and I know he most likely looks like a horrific version of me.
He enters the room and walks straight to the crib. He looks at the baby whose crying uncontrollably in the crib and lifts him up in his bloody arms. I try again to regain control, to push scream do anything to save my baby, but it isn’t working. The person that has taken over my body takes no notice and just continues on as though nothing has happened.
The baby’s cries grow stronger and stronger, as though he feels that this person is not his father. He carries my child to the bathtub and posses him next to the remains of his mother. The baby’s cries are heartbreaking and I try to advert my gaze from what I know will happen. But even though I close my eyes I see the images that the killer is seeing, nothing helps and I am forced once again to see my loved one die. This time, I know that my mind will snap that I won’t be able to keep sane after witnessing this murder. I scream and shout in horror and in pain, for that is all that I am capable of, but the horror is unrelenting.
The person, he or she or it, is picking up the knife and I can feel a smile forming on the face. The knife descends and cuts at the baby, once again he is tearing the limbs and my brain shuts down. I am at breaking point and can’t see anything anymore…
When I come to, I see my face in the mirror. It isn’t my face anymore though. It is a gruesome bloody face contorted into a twisted image of morbid satisfaction that I have never seen and hope never to see again. I never thought my face would be capable of such an expression, but still here it is. The person to my horror seems to be looking right at me, or rather at him; he looks into his own eyes which are my own and smiles. He winks and then puts his thumb at the throat slowly pulling it over it as though he wished to cut it off. This must be a message for me and I slightly shudder, but with my wife and child dead this is a fitting end for me, but before he can do anything, the door bursts open and police officers scream that I should get down. A harsh laugh barely resembling anything human, echoes through the house and to my astonishment I find it is me.
Suddenly my hand moves, and I buckle to the floor. The control of my body is mine again and the shock and pain force me to the floor. The police officers are on me before I can even move and they hit me repeatedly over the face and body while they try to put their cuffs on me. I try to speak but my voice doesn’t come out, my body is numb and I feel myself slipping away…
***
I sit up in bed amazed at the dream sequence I just had. Almost out of habit I look my right where my wife used to be, but she is not there. She hasn’t been there for the last three years. Just like my son who would have been 5 years old today.
I get out of bed and walk through the house. We bought this house together; we saved up for two full years before we could make the down payment for the house, we were so happy here that we simply knew this was the right place for us. A year later we went to our very first family holiday: Me, my wife and our two year old daughter. We went to Israel, the holy land, a country we wanted to visit for a long time but never got around to for one reason or other. This year was the first time everything fell into place and we went on a well deserved holiday.
The country was beautiful and every bit as incredible as we had hoped. We went to Jerusalem as well as to several other big cities such as Tel-aviv, Haifa and even Eilat. Jerusalem was very beautiful, the sights were incredible and the Yad VaShem museum, commemorating the death of six million Jews during the Second World War, was particularly impressive. This museum had a room in it called the children room, where once inside there were no lights, apart from candles that hung along a pathway that ran snakelike to the exit. Then a voice started reading out names and their corresponding age. Each name was a child that was killed in the holocaust, we stayed there for roughly 20 minutes mesmerized and during those 20 minutes no name had repeated. The place left its mark and gave us chills.
Jerusalem was magnificent but being the religious capital of many different religions, nearly everything was closed on Friday evening and Saturday. The evenings were empty many nights and it was quite calm except for the market which during the day until the early evening was incredibly busy with vendors of every sort. On Saturday morning, the prayers were so loud between the Jews and Muslims that it nearly sounded like a war, run by who shouted the loudest prayer. The sights were very impressive, the olive mountain and the Wailing Wall in particular were truly magnificent.
From Jerusalem we went to Tel-Aviv which was the exact opposite of Jerusalem. It is located at the Mediterranean and has a typical Mediterranean atmosphere. There everything was open 24/7, people partied all the time, there were people in the streets at all hours of the day and the feeling you had was that the city really did not sleep, this in contrary to Jerusalem where at night the streets were mostly empty and completely deserted on Friday evening and Saturday. Right next to Tel-Aviv was the incredibly beautiful and ancient city of Jaffa, apparently the two cities used to be called Jaffa/Tel-Aviv, Jaffa belonging to the Arabs that lived there and Tel-Aviv belonging to the Jews. Jaffa being the bigger city was. Over the years however, the Jewish city prospered so much that it became much bigger than Jaffa and the name changed from Jaffa/Tel-Aviv to Tel-Aviv/Jaffa. I loved Tel-Aviv and found Jerusalem too constraint while my wife loved Jerusalem and disliked the buzz and noise of Tel-Aviv.
Our next stop after Tel-Aviv was Haifa. Haifa was a mixed bag of both beautiful architecture and sights, with the ugliness and mess of a big port city. Boats crowded the docks which were clearly visible from the incredibly picturesque German colony, named because the Germans quite literally build a colony there. From Haifa we went through the Dead Sea to Mitzpe Ramon which has a large crater with amazing views from it, on to Eilat, the southernmost city in Israel. The city is located at the Gulf of Aqaba (named after the Jordanian city of the same name) which is the name of the Gulf created by the Red sea. The same Gulf is called the Gulf of Eilat by the Israelis. This city was the epitome of a tourist attraction with its beautiful beaches and hotels lining the coast and the many party locations. Next to the sea and diving opportunities we also went on several mountain tours which were absolutely amazing, with the red canyon being the best sight of the bunch. It was appropriately named as the when we walked down through it we were surrounded by red chalk walls which on the way back we passed from above.
After our relaxation in Eilat we went back up north to the city of Tel-Aviv which is the city closest to the Airport. We stayed there for two more nights, before embarking on the plane, little did I know at the time that we would miss the plane.
After our arrival back in Tel-Aviv, we went to Shuk Hakarmel which is the biggest market in Tel-Aviv. It has many different vendors selling everything from cloths to food and cosmetics and last time we were in Tel-Aviv we missed it. We walked through the market enjoying the sounds and sights and the many shouts of people haggling over prices. It was fun to watch, when suddenly an incredibly loud bang rocked the market place and I was thrown backwards to one of the people standing behind me. I didn’t know what happened and at first was disoriented because I had hit my head hard on something. People were shouting everywhere around me, I think I heard sobbing as well, but at the time everything seemed to pass slowly like I had stopped time and I was outside of it, watching it happen. It took a while for it to come back to normal and when it did, it did so with another bang.
I got up and looked around searching for my wife. She was somewhere in the mess that was all around the place, all the stands flipped over and I could see feet sticking out from underneath it. There were people everywhere already removing people that were injured from the rubble or worse… dead. I still did not know what happened all I cared about was my wife, and I tried frantically to find her, but everywhere I went to I could find nothing. She was nowhere to be seen, not under the rubble or somewhere in the middle of the passageways. I screamed if someone could help me find my wife and a person I did not know came to tell me in English that he would help me. He called over several others and they all started removing rubble from where I was and started the hard work of finding the people that were lost underneath it.
At that moment I could not phantom anything, I could only think about finding her and when I would that everything would be fine. In the meantime one of the people next to me informed me that there was a bombing that was the noise we had heard. I later learned that the terrorist organization Hamas claimed responsibility, at the time though that was all very far from my mind.
After an hour worse of digging into the piles of metal and brick and going through many different people none of which was my wife, (this may seem cold. But as soon as I recovered a person and found it not to be my wife, I continued on with my search) it took twenty more labour intensive minutes to find her. I recognized her immediately; her feet were sticking out of the rubble. I could recognize her feet from thousands she has a small beauty mark just on the outside of her ankle and when I saw her foot I knew it was her. I anxiously pushed and pulled the rubble away and when I was done I stared, mostly in shock, at the pale dirty body of my wife that lay there motionless. The people that were helping were working hard on resuscitating her and I let them continue. Close by they found my daughter; she was in the same condition. Several minutes later an ambulance relieved them and took them both to the hospital. I was allowed to ride with them to the hospital. I waited in the waiting room for several hours although it felt like minutes when finally a doctor approached me to announce that they had done all they could, They could not save my wife and daughter, they were gone now and I should be thinking about what I wanted to do with the bodies. He added that he was sorry for my loss. I never realized how hollow that sentence sounded, how absolutely absurd and pointless. How could he be sorry for my loss? He didn’t even know me or my wife so what was he sorry for.
I stood there for minutes on end not sure what I should do, not sure what the procedure was. I was in shock, although I have heard of such bombings I never witnessed one and now I had lost my wife and child. I wasn’t crying I, I wasn’t even upset. I was empty, I felt nothing.
Two days later it hit me, I was at home looking at the news and tears started flowing down my face, after that I couldn’t stop crying for about an hour. Everything reminded me of my wife and daughter, I was a wreck. The worst part of it was that my wife was pregnant with our second child, so it almost as if in one hit I had suffered a triple loss… The pictures felt hollow and it took me a very long time to recover. I have the utmost respect for the people who have faced such an ordeal and soldiered on.
I get up from my bed, it has been such a long time now since then and still I am plagued by all these dreams and manifestations that I don’t know how I shall ever fully recover, but they tell me that I should just take one small step at a time.
Suddenly in the dark I see something moving, a form of some kind. I walk closer to have a look and see my wife and daughter standing in front of me as though nothing happened. My wife is pregnant and my daughter is exactly as though nothing had happened.
‘How is this possible?!’ I call out embracing my wife and daughter in a bear hug.
My wife smiles ‘I missed you so much’ she says, and kisses me warmly on the lips.
‘I’m never going to let you go again!’ I say and hold them tightly in my arms.
My daughter is squirming to get out and manages to free herself from my embrace. ‘I don’t want a hug!’ she declares ‘because this is what you did to me!’ her face then changes and it morphs in front of me from the beautiful two year old that she was to the dead body I had seen dug up.
I scream uncontrollably ‘Please no! It wasn’t my fault’
But it is too late my daughter is nothing more than death incarnate. Her body slowly fades until nothing remains but dust.
I stare in horror at my wife who is still normal and whole. She is still smiling but the smile creeps away and she stares at me with cold eyes. ‘I wasn’t supposed to die!’ she says. ‘We were both supposed to be alive! How could you do this to us? How could you just let us die and do nothing to save us?’
‘But I tried, I promise I tried. I tried to find you as quickly as I could but you were already dead when I took you out. I couldn’t have done anything else.’ I sob uncontrollably as I try to explain myself to my dead wife.
My wife’s face starts to fade into a mask of horror as she becomes the dead body I had seen and then continues on to become a skeleton and finally dust, that blows away in the wind. Her clothes are equally gone and I am alone again in the room. My sobs become loud cries of sorrow and as I cry I realize that my daughter could have never spoken so fluently and I…
***
‘Honey? Is everything alright?’ A voice whispers in my ear. It is a soothing voice, a voice I know well.
I open my eyes and look at my girlfriend. ‘Just those nightmares again.’
‘Oh baby. I know it was long time ago, but don’t worry I am always here for you whenever you need me.’
‘Thank you.’ I answer and kiss her gently on her lips.
We are sitting in our favourite place, in the large Perks National Park, under a large Oak tree that has since become our little escapist heaven. We have been going out together for several years and she doesn’t mind my troubled past. In fact she helps me cope and comforts me endlessly. She is amazing and I am very lucky to have her in my life.
‘Do you want to head back home?’ she asks her voice nearly pouring.
I don’t answer and just kiss her hard on her beautiful luscious red lips.
Back at her place she goes to take a shower, I don’t know why but she always feels like she needs to take a shower every time she has been out. It is a habit of hers that I don’t understand, but since she is putting up with my excess baggage I am happy to put up with one little extremity from her side.
I walk around her house waiting for her to finish. She has a nice little flat that has two rooms. One is her bedroom and the other a sort of office. The bedroom is very bare and plain so I walk to the office to look at the paintings that she has on the wall there. There are quite a few from painters I don’t know and there are many different colours to them, mostly though there are reds and something resembling blue and maybe a pinkish hue.
I sit down in the large black office chair and open drawers at random until my hand pulls on a drawer that does not open. I try slightly stronger and I see that it is locked with a key. I am intrigued to what it is and look for the key somewhere on the desk. On the far end I see a little red hearted box, I open it and sure enough find the key in it. I quickly open the drawer and look inside.
I take out all the papers I find in it and go through them. They are mostly insurance papers taken out on different cars, and flats and things. She must have kept it a very long time for I find there papers that date at least 10 years ago. I am about to put the papers back in the drawer when I notice that it is not completely straight. I push the inside a little to straighten it when it comes out and reveals a hidden compartment. I smile at my secret keeping little girl. I look at what I have uncovered. It is newspaper clippings. I take them out and a gasp escapes my lips. All the newspaper clippings are of murders that were committed by a serial killer that was named the trauma killer. He was named that because the killer chose victims who have been through a serious trauma and went on to kill them by cutting open their abdomen and letting them bleed to death.
I stare in horror at the clippings and quickly put them back in when I hear a rustle behind me.
‘I can’t believe you would just go ahead and look through my place like that.’ She says accusingly.
I turn and look. There she stands wearing nothing but a towel, her right hand on her hip and her left behind her. ‘I’m sorry,’ I mumble ‘if it angers you, I will stop.’
‘Oh don’t worry,’ she says smiling ‘I have no secrets from you.’ She runs towards me, her towel falling to floor as she flings herself into my arms. Just before she leaps into my arms I feel something sharp entering into my stomach. My girlfriend smiles tentatively at me and hugs me closely. I feel dizzy and when she lets me go I fall to the floor. Below me a flow of blood runs freely like a water torrent covering the tiled floor.
‘You nearly found me out before I was ready for you, but now luckily you will be in my collection.’ She smiles and in her hand glints the knife…
***
‘Honey, wake up. Everything is alright.’
I open my eyes somewhat reluctantly, my memory of the things I have just dreamt about is slowly receding, but I know that I have had several nightmares in a row and that it was certainly not an enjoyable experience. In front of my field of vision is the face of my wife. She is looking at me with an expression of concern, I am somewhat apprehensive; waiting for something to show up, or happen to me that would yank me from my comfort zone, to some other place where terror breeds and I will face fears again.
‘Don’t worry honey, you can relax now. You are home with me. Hush. Calm down,’
I look at my wife and listen to her words of comfort, but I find it difficult to believe them. It’s almost as if I’ve been through all of this before and I am only waiting for things to go wrong. I try to act calm however and show no sign of this. ‘I had the worst nightmare.’ I say as way of explanation.
‘I know I heard you, you were shouting in your sleep and you kept on tossing and turning so much that I decided to wake you up.’ She replies calmly, while caressing my hair tenderly.
‘Thank you, I don’t know what I would have done if I had another nightmare. It was becoming a little ridiculous.’ I say smiling.
‘Really?’ she asks ‘would you like to talk about it?’ she adds.
‘No, I think reliving the nightmares again would not be a very good thing.’
‘Alright, would you like me to get you a glass of water maybe?’ she asks
‘Oh, yes please. That would be great.’ I smile a big smile and my wife gives me one back. She gets up and walks slowly out of the room towards the other side of the house where the kitchen lies. I use this time to go and check up on my 2 year old daughter who is sleeping in the room right next to us.
The room is dark but the little sounds of breathing from my little angel are like sweet chimes to my ears. I can’t resist giving her a little kiss on her cheek, which I do and whisper to her that I love her. I then quickly head back to bed and under the covers. Seconds later my wife shows up with the glass of water.
‘Here you go honey.’ She says putting the glass of cold water in front of me.
‘Thank you dear’ I say and gulp down the water quickly. My throat is strangely parched and the water feels good.
‘Do you feel better now?’ she asks.
‘Much better, thanks to you.’ I reply smiling. It seems as though I was worried for nothing the nightmares were just nonsense pacifications of my imagination and nothing more.
My eyes feel sleepy and I hear a noise in the background. It’s a voice talking to me, it sounds familiar but I suddenly feel so fatigued that I cannot move.
‘It seems it’s taking affect already.’ The voice says ‘That’s faster than I thought, but it was my only option. Sorry my dear, but you are not very easy to kill, I tried poisoning your coffee for the last 5 months with very limited results. So I moved to rat poison I don’t think they will look at it, there will be no cause.’ The voice stops for a moment before continuing. ‘You see, everyone has been noticing your reactions as of late, you being late, unfriendly, and very nearly abusive and ultimately a very unpleasant guy. I’ve been telling everyone that you are a prick and hey what do you know even your good old friends believe me. Now all I need to do is leave you here call the police when you die and that’s sweet sailing for us. Bye honey thanks for everything. Have a good one.’
The voices fade and everything drifts away, I am in the sea and a breeze is taking me to places unknown…

He turns around in his bed, let’s out a little moan and continues his sleep unperturbed.

Its all over! FIFA world cup 2014

It is the end. After a great struggle, the fall of some and the rise of others, a victor has been declared and all others losers. I am talking about the FIFA world cup 2014, that was held in Brasil. The winner is Germany the team that showed the most stable and overall good game in this world cup. The second was Argentine although their contribution to this world cup is thin to say the least. With the exception of several awe inspiring moves by the world greatest player Messi, Argentine played mostly a boring game. Focusing on defense and leaving the attack on one and on occasion two players only.
Of note is the lack of enthusiasm by which Messi received the best player award. Who according to my personal opinion is not the one that should have been the first player. I rather think one of the german players like Schweinsteiger should have had the honors.
The game for third place between Holland and Brazil proved to be more interesting with a 3-0 win for the Dutch that proved to the world that Brazil really came all this way due to luck and bad refereeing, rather than actual skill. But maybe more imporatnt than anything is the memories we can share.
We saw Brazil crushed by germany and defeated by holland (7-1 and 3-0 respectively) we saw Argentina reach the world final after a long absence. We saw the world record for most goals by one player in the world cup broken by Klose (16 goals in 4 different world cups which is another record). Next to these pleasant results we also saw some less than pleasant things happen. Bad refereeing being one, a biter on the field being two and lastly as a positive note hardly any real fights between players. Although there were many serious injuries, the players kept for the most part a sportive behavior that did not damage the game. Something I hope will continue.
So to end on a high note we saw the rise of a great new player in James, we saw great sportsmanship among the players, even if not with the judges, and overall a great worldcup. See you in four years in Russia (where things not as corrupted as in Qatar… yeah right). Now what am I supposed to do with my time?!

World Cup 2014 the ups and downs and F£$#ING FIFA

Everytime the world cup comes along, I’m reluctant to be happy because, I realize what is behind it. What is behind it you ask, well the good non-profit organization of FIFA that has over a billion dollars in the bank… If that isn’t the most contradictory thing in the world, than I don’t know what is. Despite all of this though I have been an avid viewer since 1994. This mostly because I actually enjoy the rivalry, the matches, the drama and all the things that go with it. 

This has been said before and John Oliver says it much better than I do:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlJEt2KU33I

I am happy to say though, that this year was, until a certain incident, the best world cup I have seen. The teams are fighting to win in all matches and there is none of this lets play for a tie game nonsense. It is a shame that after the biting incident it is now the only thing people are talking about and let me be clear about what I think. Biting someone once bad but ok. Get a punishment and that will the end of it. Twice is wrong on so many levels, but I am willing to give another chance. Three times you should be banned forever, because apparently you don’t understand what it is that you do… It is also strange that a person that has bitten people on three different occasions has not gotten a more severe repercussion. But anyway, that will also blow over and quite quickly people will start talking about all the mistakes made by referees, and as usual the first point, as always will be, why isn’t the video referee ever used?! If it is not a corrupted mess (and I hope it isn’t) there should be someone looking at the screen who will convey what he sees to the main referee through the headset. I understand that the main referee can’t see everything, no one expects him too, but that is exactly why there are multiple referees. Every other sport in the world is using cameras now, as an extra measure to be sure that rules are followed. Every sport except for soccer. Go figure…
One more point I would like to address is the foolish spray can thing. What the heck is that? Are we talking to five year olds here that have no basic comprehension of rules and regulations? Let me explain maybe a little better my problem. The people who play football or soccer are adults and as such they know what they are doing. What is happening now is that they are being treated as children. I want you to stand here on the line and don’t move. Do you understand? Good (referee walks away and quickly runs back) I said not to move! Don’t you listen. I guess I will have to do nothing about it and use a spray can to keep you there. How about punishing all of them? Why isn’t that an option?
Let us hope that we will only have a good cup and no more nonsense. Hey and if it becomes somewhat boring just remember Muller. He won’t be remembered as one of the top goal makers. A player that keeps on running irrelevant of the time of play. But rather as the person who fell when trying to run next to the ball at a free kick. It was one heck of a stumble.

 

Leaves that pass

There are things in life I don’t understand. It is not a criticism, far from it I have settled myself to accept this reality. There will always be things that I will not understand and although I am now quite emotionless about it and rational, it was not always so. There was a time where understanding meant everything to me, there was a specific thing though in my life that changed this. A specific occurrence that made me lose all relation to what I thought was real, and made me realize that I will never understand everything. 

It was a day like any other. It was autumn and leaves were falling off the trees in an endless array of colors. I always find it to be a beautiful sight and today was a perfect day to look upon the leaves, and see them descend from the trees and fall on to the earth. Where days later they would be collected and disposed of, most likely to be used as biological waste. I was watching the leaves fall and forgot all about the plan I had for the day. I am a writer and as such can organize my time as I want. However, I have to deal with deadlines and because I am on my own, most of the time, this means I have to keep myself motivated and never lose sight of the goal. 

The sight of leaves left me lost and my schedule was disrupted, so instead of starting early that morning I ended up starting late that evening and wrote all through the evening and night. It was then that my world view slightly changed. But I am getting ahead of myself, this happens to me on occasion when I am too excited. 

I started writing that evening in my home. It is a cozy home, if somewhat old fashioned. I own many books and the style of my house is filled with rich dark wood, My house is build from wood and almost every furniture in it is different shades of wood, some brighter some darker. The reason I tell you about this is, that the wood expands when the temperature changes. These changes mean that the wood creaks on occasion, it is something I have gotten used to, but many of my guests find it a little unsettling. This because although they find my house quite beautiful, at night when normally the concrete houses are quiet, my house feels as though it is alive, with wood that creaks even though no one is walking on it and other little moans, groans and screeches. 

Sitting behind my desk I wrote the first lines of a new story. Behind me the house started creaking in the wind, it was a loud wind that hit the side of the house with tremendous force. The house moaned in protest but as the wind died off the moaning stayed. It was slightly unsettling and I couldn’t concentrate on my writing. I got up  and went to find what was making the noise. I walked towards the front door where the moaning seemed to becoming from. As I reached the door I turned on the light outside and peeked through the curtains outside. I saw leaves flying upwards, but other than that nothing. I left it at that and returned to my desk and my computer but before I could go on with my work a knocking sound reached my ears. 

I walked towards the door and looked through the window outside, but saw nothing, so I returned to my desk. As soon as I sat down another knock came. I was becoming annoyed, it had to be a prank by some of the neighbors children. I got up again and angrily opened the door. To my expectation no one was there, they were hiding in the bushes most likely. I walked towards the bushes expecting to see the children hiding there, but found no one. A large bang send my heart flying from my chest to my throat. I turned fearing the worst, and breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that it was only the door that banged shut. 

Cursing myself for my foolishness I walked back to my house and got back behind my computer shutting the door and light behind me. But once again I was interrupted, this time by a shattering sound that came from the my bedroom. Maybe someone got into my house when I was outside? I ran upstairs into my bedroom to find my mirror shattered. There was no one there, and the window was closed, I began a search throughout the house which yielded nothing. 

Nothing strange happened after that and I went to bed not getting any work done. In the morning when I woke up the first thing I did was open the curtains down the stairs next to the front door and looked outside. The leaves that should have been on the floor were gone and the trees that were supposed to be without the majority of their leaves, still had them, decorating their branches. I decided to let it be, I didn’t understand what happened in the night just like I don’t know what happened with the leaves. I choose not to dwell on it and just let it fly by. One thing I do know for sure, it was not my imagination playing tricks on me, because the mirror is still broken and I haven’t cleaned the pieces yet. I don’t know why I haven’t cleaned it yet. But I know it is not my imagination, it is not!

Chapter 3 – Scriven

The shadows had disappeared as did the school. They were standing in a green and lush meadow, filled with grass and several different sorts of plants and small flowers, a large forest lay several kilometres in front of them and behind them they could just make out the start of a mountain range. The sky was blue, with a yellow round circle of fire and there were no clouds anywhere. It looked like they were in Switzerland now or at least something similar. Anna had seen lord of the rings several times and this looked slightly like middle earth or maybe New-Zealand. It could have even been Scotland on a good rainless day, although that was harder to believe.
Anna stared at Josh he bore a large foolish grin on his face and looked as though he at least thought everything was back to normal ‘we are home’ he stated.
No we aren’t Anna wanted to answer but for some reason she didn’t. She looked around again and had to admit that it did look like home, they were somewhere else maybe even close by to where they were previously but it could just as well be somewhere further away.
Josh was still grinning; a big happy grin, Anna looked at him and almost absent minded started counting how many teeth he was showing. There were quite a few of them. As Anna stared at him a strange shift was happening to Josh’s grin, it was slowly retracting and morphing into something different in fact his whole face was morphing and contracting in fear, his eyes were not focused on her though they were staring at something in the sky. Anna followed Josh’s gaze and saw a large beast flying past, she stared open mouthed at the creature of legend, of fantasy of her very own imagination. The creature had two wings and a large tail, it had dark red scales and Anna loved them, she even had a poster of several of them in a multitude of colours hanging on one of her walls in her room. It was a dragon. The red dragon was a fire breathing dragon, Anna recalled, there were also blue dragons that breathed out ice and lived in frozen lands and there were also green dragons, although she couldn’t recall what they breathed, poison? She remembered that there were also Chinese dragons but those were very different and she wasn’t completely sure about black dragons.
It was Josh who shook her out of it, not by physically shaking her but by screaming something incoherently, it was the scream that finally made her stop staring in shock and understand that they weren’t home yet. Anna grabbed Josh by the hem of his shirt, covered his mouth to stifle his scream and pulled him down to the ground. Dragons had very good eyes although they could get really bad eyesight depending on their age. Whatever the situation it was a bad idea if a big red dragon saw you or heard you which it most likely now did.
Josh stopped screaming and was now cowering on the grass, they were relatively lucky that the grass was long and so could at least offer some protection, Anna in turn was glancing every now and again at the sky trying to see if the dragon was coming for them or not. It seemed that they were safe for the moment, the dragon flew past very quickly, it almost seemed like he was being chased but what could possibly chase after a dragon?
Flying high above them in the distance was another creature, it was this creature that was giving chase to the dragon, it was still far away and they could not see it clearly, but as it was nearing they noticed that it wasn’t just one creature it was a flock of them. They all looked alike except for the leading creature. The leading creature had the face and body of a woman but it definitely wasn’t a woman for intertwined within the arms, hairs and waist were serpents, their mouths hissing and tongues sticking out. It wore a black robe and had large black wings that carried it very swiftly through the air. The woman’s face had a cruel and ugly twist to it, it was a terrifying sight, one Anna knew she would never forget, the beast was flying very quickly and it looked as though it was catching up with the dragon, which was lucky for them, she had the feeling that if the animal would have seen them they wouldn’t be around for much longer. There were about 12 monsters of a different sort but still quite similar flying behind. They had the body of a large bird and the face of a woman, although the face didn’t really resemble any woman, for if it did it would be the ugliest woman Anna had ever seen. They were all flying in formation chasing the dragon.
It was only when the beasts and monsters were far away in the distance that Anna allowed herself to breathe a sigh of relief and remove her hand from Josh’s mouth and they both got up. ‘What was that?’ she asked Josh.
It took Josh several moments to compose himself enough to actually manage an answer. ‘You mean the dragon or the Erinyes?’ he asked.
‘The Erinyes’ she answered somewhat surprised that Josh knew something that she didn’t. For some reason it annoyed her that Josh knew the name of the second animal they had seen.
‘That’s from Greek mythology’ Josh answered and looked at Anna. She motioned for him to carry on and as he did his eyes shone with excitement ‘they are one of the worst monsters in Greek mythology they are very intelligent and vicious, I think it was responsible for the torture of the dead in Hell or at least it was something like that, I don’t really remember the details. I think they used to punish the wicked but because they were so vicious no one dared speak their name, they are bad news. They have a sort of servant I guess which work for them and those are the Harpies that flew behind them.’
Almost as if the Erinyes heard them a screech echoed through the open space and they both stopped talking and crawled quickly back onto the grass. After several moments of cowering in the grass with nothing coming after them they got back up.
‘Do you think it was chasing the dragon?’ Anna asked.
‘It could be, I don’t really know why it would but I guess a Erinyes and those Harpies could attack a Dragon. I’m not sure if they could win against them, although the Dragon was running away. Erinyes are immortal so maybe that’s why the Dragon flew away.’
‘How do you know so much about Greek mythology?’ she asked.
‘I love Greek mythology’ he answered with a shy little smile ‘Not just Greek mythology though’ he added ‘I love fantasy as well and everything from dragons to dinosaurs and I love the Neverending story…’
‘Book or movie’ Anna cut him quickly.
‘Book, definitely.’
Anna stared at Josh with new found respect, she always assumed he was just a little cry baby it took her by surprise that they shared so many common interests. Strangely it annoyed her slightly as well, that Josh knew all about the Harper or Harpy or whatever that thing was and she knew nothing at all about it. She was always proud of her knowledge on almost any fantastical subject and here was Josh who seemed to know more about it then she did. But she smiled, dragons was her subject he wouldn’t more than her when it came to dragons. ‘What about the dragon we saw?’ she said ‘Did you recognize it?’
Josh looked shyly at the ground. ‘That was an evil fire breathing dragon’
He was good she had to admit that but… ‘How many different kinds of dragons are there?’ she asked confident that she could name more dragon sorts than he could.
Josh stared at the sky in thought and finally said ‘I’m missing a few but there are red, blue, green, white, yellow, grey, purple and black coloured dragons. There are also the metallic dragons that are silver, gold, bronze and all of those and there are other ones that I’m forgetting’ Josh paused for a moment trying to remember which ones he was missing. ‘Ahh’ he cried suddenly remembering ‘There are also rainbow dragons and brown, did I say brown already? That’s all I can remember now’ he resigned.
Anna stared at him in shock he knew more about dragons than she did. She made the list in her head just previously and forgot all about the rainbow dragons, she wasn’t actually even sure they existed and she forgot about the white and black ones which she knew about but simply forgot. The metallic ones were new to her as well; in just two little answers Josh had shaken her belief to the core, from the fantasy queen she thought she was, she had descendent lower than Josh. How many others were there that she didn’t know about? She always felt that she was a loner stuck in her own imagination, much to her own pleasure but maybe she was wrong. She pushed the thought away from her mind; it would do her no good now, the only good thing the questions gave them were a few moments of peace and escape from the harsh reality they were in. It was time now to face reality again and get home. Josh probably still had the ring, so all they needed to do was use it and get out of here. She didn’t have her toy anymore so it was all up to Josh.
‘Let’s get out of here’ she said to Josh ‘do you still have the ring?’ she asked. Josh nodded. ‘Good then use it and let’s get out of here as soon as we can.’
Josh took the ring out of his pocket and put it on his finger, this time Anna grabbed hold of him, she wasn’t going to let him go and disappear on her again. Josh grabbed hold of the ring around his finger as he has done previously with one finger on the rock and one on the other side. He tried rubbing it, turning it, twitching it, but nothing seemed to work. Josh didn’t disappear and they were both still standing in the same place.
‘Let me try’ said Anna. Obediently Josh took off the ring and handed it over to Anna who put it on and tried the ring out as Josh had done. But just like before, it was clearly not working anymore. They were stuck in this alien place, with no way to go back home.
It was the monsters that they had seen that made them stop thinking about home for the moment. They needed to find somewhere safe, that was the first priority then and only ten they could try and find a way to get home. So without a too long pause for sorrow or letting depressing and sadness take root Anna said ‘Let’s get out of here before we become lunch to the next monster that passes us.’
Josh didn’t argue and just nodded his head. He didn’t question her on why she asked him all those questions previously he just followed her. This is why she felt he was spineless, it was the same in class he was always quiet afraid to say anything. This was the first time he had actually talked, or maybe he talked to other people, she never really did pay attention to him before.
Anna marched in the direction opposite to the forest. She decided that the forest would be more dangerous than the opposite although they couldn’t really say anything yet, in the horizon that could see a mountain range with what looked like snow covering the peaks but prior to the mountain range they could see nothing. Anna felt as though it was going to be a long walk indeed.
‘Anna?’ Josh hazards a question.
‘What is it Josh?’
‘Where do you think we are?’
‘Must be someplace where fantastical creatures come alive, or something like that’
‘Do you think it’s only evil creatures or do you think there are also good ones around?’
‘I guess both of them are here, but I can hardly know can I?’ she retorted.
‘Maybe we can cry for help and one of the good ones will come to save us?’ Josh said hopefully.
‘Look Josh, think about it, what did you see flying above us just now? Do you really think that if we call for help it will just arrive?’
Josh didn’t answer her; he stared at the ground slightly embarrassed. She didn’t mean to make him feel bad, but he had to face facts. They were somewhere strange and magical where several creatures from the imagination and mythology just showed up, that meant trouble. Crying out for help would only make things worse, they had to fight for themselves and get through this. If she had to carry Josh with her she would.
Without looking back, Anna started walking along the long green grass towards the mountain range. Josh said nothing and hurried after her. They walked for several miles and the mountain range seemed no closer than when they started. It was still a long way away, and although Anna decided that was the best way to go, she now was not so sure anymore. She looked up at the sky, the sun was in the middle of the sky (she couldn’t tell the difference, if indeed there was a difference, between this sun and the sun of back home), noon, normally she was having a sandwich right about now, although she wasn’t really hungry now in this weird place, it was strange how familiar certain things were and how alien at the same time.
‘Ouch!’ cried an unknown voice from beneath her.
She stopped in her tracks as did Josh. She listened carefully trying to make out another cry, but there was nothing. She looked through the grass looking for the origin or the owner of the voice when suddenly it started laughing uncontrollably.
‘That isn’t even close to the direction I was in’ it said and it was now clear that it came from behind her. Anna turned around and looked at Josh. There was no one else there except from him.
‘Where are you?’ she asked.
‘Right in front of you’ said the voice.
Anna turned to the front, but again she couldn’t see anything.
The voice laughed again ‘Not there look down’.
Anna bent and looked through the grass until she saw a little figure of about 10-30 centimetres in length. At first she thought it must be a dwarf, but it looked nothing like a dwarf. It wore an all white suite and had long green grass where hair should be. He had a large beard and his eyes were really strange too, one was blue and the other was green. Anna stared at the creature suspiciously; she turned to Josh who looked just as astonished at the creature.
‘Do you know what this is?’ she asked him.
Josh shrugged his shoulders, nodding his head. It was clear he hadn’t seen it either.
‘That was very rude!’ said the creature ‘You could have just asked me what I was. But now, I don’t think I shall tell you.’ The creature turned his back to them in contempt.
‘I’m very sorry mister, we only just arrived and we don’t know where we are, or even what this place is and we already saw a dragon and some winged woman thing…’
‘Harpies and a Erinyes’ said Josh quickly.
‘Yea those’ confirmed Anna ‘and all we really want is to go home’
‘Go home?’ asked the creature. ‘Where is home then?’ he asked.
‘Home is earth’ said Anna.
‘Earth?’ ventured the creature.
‘Yes you know, big planet with a lot of sea and cities and buildings and other things like that’ replied Anna.
‘I don’t think I have ever heard of it’ said the creature. ‘And if I have never heard of it then you must have made it up.’ The creature concluded.
‘No I promise we didn’t’ said Josh desperately. ‘We are just really lost, and we need to find a way to go home’
‘But’ said the creature ‘if you only just arrived here and you don’t know anything about this place how do you know about Harpies?!’ asked the creature. ‘If you know about them it means you are from here and you just made up a story, and I will make sure that you will be punished severely for it!’
‘No please’ cried Josh ‘we are not lying, those things are part of our mythology. We made them up a long time ago and somehow here they are real’
The creature listened to this contemplating, rubbing his chin with his small hand, finally he said ‘Tell me, is there a land on this earth of yours, where they call themselves slavic?’
Anna stared at the creature, than she turned to Josh who was staring up into the sky, deep in thought. ‘Is that related to Slovakia, or Poland?’ Josh asked.
The creature thought for a minute and smiled ‘I think it must be Poland’ he said. ‘That’s where I am originally from you know.’ he said tapping the side of his cheek. ‘They had really good fields there’ he said wistfully.
‘How did you get to be here?’ asked Josh.
‘Well the world, just sort of exploded one day.’ The creature said, he wasn’t done though as he seemed to mule this over and added ‘But not like a real explosion, more like a ripping of the world. It was like the world tore itself apart.’
‘That’s not what happened to us’ said Josh. ‘we got sucked into this world, actually it was more like we passed through one place and then found ourselves here’
‘Well if you passed through you must be able to pass back’ said the creature.
‘Yeah we tried that already’ said Anna ‘and it didn’t work.’
‘Maybe somebody made you pass through to here.’ Said the creature.
‘Yea maybe’ conceded Anna, the thought sent shivers down her spine, so she quickly continued ‘now are you going to tell us what and who you are?’
‘Oh, yes sure. I am a Polevik my name is Boris.’ He said smiling.
‘Well I am Anna and this is Josh’ she said pointing at Josh who was still standing behind her. ‘We are both human’ she added not completely sure if that was what Polevik meant. Or did he mean species? ‘Or Homo sapiens. That also works’ she added.
Boris the Polevik simply nodded to her, but Anna wasn’t sure he understood.
Josh who was quiet most of the time suddenly said ‘wait, if your world tore itself apart from ours and we have no record of it anywhere on our world, then that means you must be really really old.’
‘Well not really old’ replied Boris the Polevik ‘rather immortal.’
Both children stared at him open mouthed and gasping. Boris didn’t seem to think too much of it though. ‘Almost everyone here is immortal or very close to it. If they are not immortal than either they are very difficult to kill or they are protected by something.’
‘Protected by what?’ asked Josh when he was able to speak again.
‘Oh the usual: Amulets, rings that sort of thing’ Boris answered casually.
‘Does that mean that I can become immortal?’ asked Josh unable to contain his excitement.
‘Sure, not sure you would like it though. It sounds good at first but then when you realize you will go through every day forever, it is actually tedious. Don’t get me wrong I don’t really want to die either,’ Boris added quickly ‘but it’s just so boring here.’
Both Anna and Josh didn’t really know how to respond and so they just kept quiet. Anna decided it was best to just change the subject altogether. ‘Boris, what species are you?’
‘Species?’ asked Boris.
‘Yes, are there more Polevik or other things like it?’ asked Anna.
‘Well Polewiki are I guess part of the faeries or pixis. We don’t really get along with the others though. Most of them are too rude and quite annoying actually.’
‘Wow, faeries. Like the tooth faerie?’ asked Anna.
‘The tooth faerie?’ asked Boris.
‘Yes, you know she comes to you at night when you lose your milk teeth and if you put them under your pillow, she takes them and leaves you something nice in return. Usually money.’ Explained Anna.
‘What does she do with the teeth then?’ wondered Boris.
Anna stared at him in surprise ‘I don’t know’ she finally replied.
‘Sounds fishy to me, but it could be something faeries do. Most of the ones I know, would terrorize you, or try to manipulate you. They wouldn’t give you anything in return unless it was something cursed. I haven’t really been in contact with other faeries for about a hundred years or so, so it might be different now. But generally they are a bad bunch, can’t be trusted.’
‘That doesn’t sound like the faeries I know about.’ Said Anna.
‘Well…’ said Josh ‘I have read some stories about faeries where they are usually evil creatures that only look after themselves.’
Boris nodded in agreement ‘Now that sounds like faeries.’
‘But you just said you are a faerie.’ Called Anna.
‘I did’ said Boris smiling a big smile. ‘But don’t worry the worst I used to do was send people the wrong way. Or punish some lazy people, but that’s about it. Now I just like sitting in the fields and relax.’
‘Don’t you have a family.’ Asked Josh.
‘Sure I do,’ answered Boris ‘why do you think I’m in the field? Can’t stand being in the house the whole time. Every day the same things, go do this go do that, so instead I just stay here in the fields.’
‘Where do you sleep then?’ asked Josh
‘Here in the field, weren’t you listening?’
‘But then when do you see your family?’
‘Oh once a year.’ Replied Boris nonchalantly.
Anna and Josh both shared a look. To see your family only once a year was an insurmountable amount of time. How could you not miss them, or at least visit them in the holidays like you did your aunts and uncles? It was a difficult idea to grasp, and both had problems with it. But if you were immortal maybe things like that didn’t matter anymore. Actually maybe nothing mattered anymore when you were immortal.
Josh who was still not clear on several issues asked ‘Boris, when the world tore itself to this place, how did that exactly happen?’
Boris thought for a moment and then said ‘The world used to be a big ball, it was then broken into a separate field, there was this really big light when that happened’ Boris seemed deep in thought, going back a long time in his memory. ‘I don’t know if it was the light that split the world or that the light was just the after affect. But what I do know is that after the bright light, we were all shut off from the light. It was as though the whole world. No the universe itself, shut off. There was no light, or stars or anything in the sky, even the bigger gods and more powerful deities could do nothing but stare and wait for something to happen. Eventually something did, when the darkness passed there was another moment of brightness where the stars and the universe came back. Only there were changes, the gods could not move between realms anymore, and the people were gone. People like you, we had no idea where you all went to but you all disappeared. That meant that all the gods and creatures that lived off of souls died. All the other realms collapsed and that is it really we have been living here ever since.’ Finished Boris his history lesson.
‘What do you mean the other realms collapsed? What other realms?’ asked Josh.
‘Well places like Hell or Heaven, and all the equivalent realms that were run by all the different gods and deities, they all disappeared and the gods that ran them ended up here.’
‘Didn’t that cause a lot of problems?’ asked Josh.
‘Oh yes, there were years or centuries, I don’t really remember, either way it was a long time where everyone tried to get the upper hand. Fights broke out everywhere and that quickly escalated to all out wars. At the end the world got split into several different places of which this is one.’
‘Is now everything ok?’ asked Josh.
‘As ok as it can be, I haven’t really been part of any of it. I found it stupid to go to a full all out war between immortals. The most that you can hope to achieve is to destroy the world or trap the others. You could never really erase the others, so I just kept out of it. Luckily no one cared about the fields here, so I just stayed here and skipped the whole war thing.’
‘I have never seen a war.’ Answered Josh gravely.
‘That’s a good thing.’ Said Boris. ‘Although if I am honest about it, now there are even more problems than when there were wars. Now everyone is looking out for themselves, so they do whatever they please. It’s a good thing no one ever bothers me here, well except for you too.’
At this the two of them felt slightly ashamed. But at least now they knew a lot more about the place they arrived in. In shock Josh realized they had forgotten one important question. ‘Can I ask you one last thing?’
Boris shrugged.
‘Could you maybe tell us what the name of this world is?’ he asked.
‘It is called Scriven.’ Answered Boris.