The Haunted Man

Submitted into Contest #114 in response to: Write about someone grappling with an insecurity.... view prompt

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Fiction Horror Mystery

A man wanted to know where his creator lied so he could ask him why he would want to hide. The man was mortified because he didn’t know why. He looked for him in the usual spots; behind a boulder, under the rocks. He went inside a cave and even at the believers house they made but couldn’t find the one they call all. He sat to think where to go, where to start, but not for long as the answer metamorphosed easily enough yet dubious to decompose... 

He jumped, reaching as high as he could to the sky, proclaiming, “The answer is everywhere! Nowhere wasn’t possible because anywhere and nowhere are somewhere and somewhere is a starting point to go everywhere. So, if he was somewhere, he was at the start of everywhere, not at the end. I am here and here can be somewhere because somewhere is anywhere and nowhere and you have to start somewhere to get everywhere. At the end of everywhere is where I seek and I have not been everywhere yet just anywhere and nowhere, and just started somewhere.” One thing remained clear, the man needed to walk forward and not back because he was already back there and God was not. Everywhere is where the one they call the holiness dwells so after much meditation and rumination, he grabbed his sickle, starting somewhere to set out to find this being known as God asking him why he hides from his catechize. 

He walked along this path asking everyone and looking everywhere, stopping to eat, sleep and the like. The man checked under every crevice along his way and asked everyone he could and when he could but no one knew why their master hid. Although the sun beat down graying his skin, making it loose and cadaverous, to whom he met, the man was met with smiles so smiles were returned whether they liked the man or not. Some, but not all, thought the man was a lost in the head as well as along his way in the direction he took.  

The sad ones and the mad ones laughed and said “This is this way! This is this way!” smiting the man. Their way and the others way were not the same as the next man’s way and the next man’s way after that. The direction was different from their neighbor’s way and some pointed toward the man’s old way. But it couldn’t have been that way because the man was already there, checked under every crevice and asked all and the one they call All was not there at all. No, the path was to continue on his way and his way was his path to everywhere and everywhere is where the man needed to go so on the man went. 

 The warm and friendly ones shook his hand, wishing him luck and well but still didn’t know the way to go. He explored and examined, greeted and grilled but no one knew where the creator lied or where the man’s utopia stood. Soon they gathered to hear his tales and listened with intent to know him. “In every country, in every land was some thing raised in faith of finding the one I sought,” the man declared. 

 “You haven't seen something or anything with that blindfold on old man! You’re as blind as a bat!” a first man moaned wildly. “Anyway, you told us already where you were so we don’t have to look there to find our maker if you declare your maker is mine! We just have to look to where you were not! That is the answer! And I have been to where you were not and I know the one we are looking for is not there, so he was nowhere all along!” the heckler declared.  

“The blindfold I wear is so that I may see you without judging you. I want to help guide you. I have been almost everywhere my friend and I tell you I’m almost at the end.” They laughed and giggled, cheered and hollered. 

“Why can’t they understand that what I seek is what they seek as well?” The man whispered to himself. 

The second man raised his hand then body mentioning, “This man is right, you are wrong. The one we seek is everywhere, not anywhere or nowhere. And I see your understanding of getting everywhere by starting somewhere.” 

A woman jumps up next, “But I live somewhere and that is not the start of everywhere because I’m at the end of somewhere and the one we call lord, if your lord is my lord as you so declare, isn't there!” 

The crowd that formed from before slowly started to fade. Some hurled insults while walking away, some welcomed the man’s inspiration and started the same journey for themselves. Others just stuck to their own. As they passed the man’s path, the first man, for penance, took the man’s coat as payment for his outrage. The woman kissed his cheek, thanking him instead. The last man was a tall man with a sinister grin. Grim set on the man like a black cloud over his head; always to follow the man. The collective had all but left him yet the tall man remains. The tall man was down that path yet found no thing the man spoke of but he was jealous just the same. So, the tall man planned to sabotaged the way forward.  

The tall man approached him, greeting the man with a cloth in hand replying in a venomous voice, “Take this shroud friend to cloak yourself so others may hear your words first before judging your reflection. Your beauty lies within your words, no longer by sight.” He thanked him, putting on the robe thinking he received a shield from the elements but receiving chicanery instead. The man shook hands and went on his way. His feet and hands grew tired with every step he took and hand he shook. His body, once full of life, is now dry and crumbled until there was nothing but bone.  

 The cloak bestowed was long and covered the man’s shadow so direction was difficult and left him with no one to talk to. The tall man saw the crow's feet on the sides of his eyes so he knew he traveled at great lengths. His skin has a burnt pale hue from the sun. The man’s mind is worn down from debating, everywhere, anywhere and somewhere so he used the cowl to cover his ears from more controversy and his cover his forehead from the sun. His feet left no longer footsteps known to the human's soul and the heavy cloak washed the rest away behind him like an ocean wave on sand. Soon, he was lost not knowing the way forward or back; where he is, was or going. He needed help but as the man traveled to each nation and country, the cold zephyrs devilishly whispered horrid things in his ears. He had covered his discrimination with others controversy with the hood to clear his mind from the howls and cries so no help was given easily to a man without a face. Alone the man went. 

He walked for what seemed ages; from every country, in every land across the plains, through the jungle, on top of the Himalayas, and to the arctic. The wind blew, the rain poured, the mountains trailed to his east and west, north and south. All that remained, he thought, was a stole, sickle, and bones. The path forward to everywhere in search of the one they call All was a costly bounty on his soul. His grin was grim, his stare was blank and the man’s attention was gone. When the path grew thick his sickle coursed through the rough terrain. When a question is asked, an ambiguous answer is given. And if you follow too far, you may get lost. 

He soon came across familiar lands. His gaze glared formidable yet humble. He leaned up and back in confidence. He saw his brother only he was much younger in age and in heart; like he never aged at all! The man, although happy to see him, was defeated understanding he returned to the place where it all began. He didn’t go everywhere; he didn’t meet his maker. The man set down his sickle and set his bones by the fire he started so long ago. The man ignored his brothers query, clapping his hands together that made a hollow flouncing crow. As his brother persisted to inquire, the man breathed a sigh so cold, the fire blew out before them. 

“Where did you go?” The brother trembled. 

“I think I was towards the end of somewhere. Better than nowhere or anywhere, just didn’t get to go everywhere.” he waned. The fire blew up and low and behold, his brother was himself across that fire. One flash of a smirk from himself and he jumped out of the dream and onto the floor. He breathed a breath of relief and went back to bed as it was only a dream. Morning came and he rose bewildered. Almost forgotten, he remembered the dream he dreamed that night and it caused the man grave concerns. He needed to know where his maker lied to ask him why he dreamed the dreams he did. Who would know this, the man thought? The man paced and walked and walked and paced again. He stopped, looked at the mirror and said, “I may be deaf, dumb and blind but my insecurity lies with not knowing All. But, how to know all because I have asked almost all and no one knows where the one they call All lies.” 

October 08, 2021 20:25

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