It gazes at me, across the reflective surface, a twin that stares at me. Mirroring the gaze, I have on others when they turn around and walk off. Gaze where it's just ever so subtle they can feel my stare, almost unconsciously they will turn around, but ever so knowingly, my eyes have pre-emptively shifted elsewhere.
The lake lies eerily still, more than it was before at least, that figure wore an expression foreign to my understanding, yet that gaze was eliciting the most alarm. I paralyzed, yet in the imaginary space between me and him, that space seemed to stir, yet my eyes remained oblivious of the movement. But my instincts could feel the pinnacle of the unreal touch me ever so slightly...
The revelation dawns, the expression it holds is familiar now. That abhorrent self-loathing emotion that is confined to the recesses of thought. A disdain flaw born from comparison between the imaginaries, something self-fuelled that exists due to that inherent gap between I and others. The space where mutual understanding falters. Only the known is displayed. Familiarity is but a façade ignorant of the within.
You hate them when you don’t know them, and you're bound to hate someone if you know someone else.
That figure amongst the silent lake, a figure that could no longer be called my own, its face disoriented in the ripples where noise has surrendered to the liminal realm of silence. It hints a deceptive smile, that contradicts the truth reflected in its eyes. As its whole self emerges from the lake unscathed, it’s a figure that embodies an entity sculptured by the depths of thought.
There it stands with an air of pride, this reflection of mine, well maybe just a distorted echo of myself. It stands with a hunger deep within its gaze, hunger that wears a weariness lumbering its form. A certain rage towards me, a rage somehow tinged with regret, surfaces from its frozen stillness, our synchronized breath echo in disparate intervals. It mirrors me in reverse, but unattached from this ground. Devoid of that heartly warmth I have for the little details I missed. It moves forward ever so slightly with a reluctant certainty, drawing me towards the vast gap between the infinite.
Without doubt he pulls me in, into embrace of the lake. As we float. The once serene waters transform, morphing into a pool of crimson blood that seems to pulse with his essence. The air is thickened by the metallic scent of iron, shrouding us in an unsettling stillness that hangs around just long enough to notice.
The red-blood lake reflects the strangled skies above, a haunting metamorphosis occurs. Its surface pounds with an unholy rhythm, where each ripple, the surface seemed to breathe, exhaling the tormented memories of the past. As it weaves itself to existence from both the souls of mine and those who came before. I wonder why only those memories are remembered. The vanquished blend seamlessly with the bloodied current. Occasionally, ghastly figure will rise manifesting in watery blood forms, their twisted shapes casting distressing shadows, shadows without evident owners. The world in the same instance of that embrace becomes an abyss of pitch-black darkness, the heavens surrendering to the obsidian darkness. In an unexplainable void where the attractive yet dimming blood lake blankets the space in its mesmerizing hues. He sits there ever so swiftly on the coagulated waves of time, almost as horrific as scene itself, a wretched outline bleeding freely like the cursed river itself, reflecting the agony of what I can't remember.
As my gaze meets his for another encounter, I witness not myself but a shattered countenance. Even though a mirror of my own, it's a body half full of itself. Where mine bear the weight of countless thought, his flesh etched with the scars of experiences stitched around his being, covered in blood that doesn’t seem to belong to me—at least not yet. He is suspended between the non-existence and the imaginary; everything held true only in thought. And my imaginary is forever limited by the truth of experience.
Here where you will sink into that space, where the truth transforms into an immersive experience. Here the boundaries blur and you find yourself descending into a pool of crimson blood, feels like drowning in the pool of crimson blood. Drowning in the sacrifice that brought you here. As you sink into the rosy velvet lake crafted by all, forever confined.
“How will this end,” I ask him.
“Always trying to find closure.”
“It's all there is.”
“It hasn’t concluded, squint your eyes just a little and remember something”.
“That's not what I want”.
“That is all you will ever have,” he said with a smile, a genuine smile for once. And he turns away never to look back.
Breathe once, a relaxed inhale, and witness the unruly stroke of the river where the water will flow. Pause, just in the moment, watch the waters, transform itself. The once composed stream transforms into a sentient force, now with an entity inside mirroring you, forever waiting to unveil its sinister nature. Submerge just a fraction into the numbness that cloaks the edges of reality and revealed is the imaginary, then you will delve into the emotions that override your innate desires.
Fall just a little more and water once just an accomplice, will erupt in a stridency of liquid chaos. Only in this frenzied aquatic waltz the horrifying truth surfaces -your adrift on a river that was never intended for your navigation. The current was never a tour guide, it tugs you with an insidious plan, urging you towards the final chasm. You succumb to the desperations to yearn for a reality beyond you, yet you persist swimming against the dark undercurrents, oblivious to the forthcoming, doom.
As I struggled against the sentient river, a sudden shift occurs. An elusive moment that births in this unsettling scene. His presence materialises, a phantom forged from my shadows, with hands as cold as the frigid touch of a winter nights. Those icy fingers coil and lock around your throat, an inescapable sin that tightens with malicious precision. His gaze had a horrific thrust that bores the very core of my fears, this endless suffering that wraps around me, like a suffocating shroud.
A surge courses through my veins not just in fear but an exhilarating thrill. My blood now joins this ballet, readies itself. In clasp of his eternity, I fall into the embrace of his malevolence. His touch heartless to the soul, devoid of warmth to become the monstrous dance itself, a grotesque dance of shadows and shivers. In that ominous moment I surrender to the misshapen allure of his fallen grace.
All that could be heard was the sounds of my choking. Drowned by the choking melody of his wicked triumph. My life force dwindles as the finale ends. By the brute of his hands, I hang in the air, like a puppet on the theatre stage conducted by him. Dragged recklessly towards the unfathomable obsidian sky, only to plummet ever so hard into the abyss below. With only his tainted grace to cling onto me, a mark of horror that seeps into my consciousness, my dreams forever slightly haunted, forever handled by his unknown.
As I teetered on the precipice of death, the anticipated reel of a lifetime never eluded for me. Instead, what briefly passed through my mind was a poignant dream. A distant sigh from the recesses of my past, shrouded in a sorrowful, fuzzy haze.
In those warning moments, the final breath beckoned, the dream focused, sharpened itself like a sword. It was a fragile memory that never existed, a memory of a time when warmth cradled my innocence. Tightly tucked in embrace of a now lost security. A heartly warmth that no other could provide, no other could understand, sheltered from cruelty of the outside world, as I lay to rest for beyond eternity. The bitter realization then began to creep in, drifting inside from the gap of the door. It’s a dream so long ago the details, forgone.
Approaching the last breath, that dream lingered just for moment beyond the walls of my life span. It untouched, forever untouched by life callousness. But that safety of grace when faced with the impending void becomes a memory of bitter lament, a cruel tease of the imaginary.
Here in the state where I laid nor awake or asleep.
Here the world assumed itself into a paradoxical hue. It a place where there’s unrelenting brightness that lacked the vibrancy of life. Where the colours seemed either drained or withered into a numb resignation. Existence in this desolate island across the rivers, far, far from home, became a hushed agitated, mournful melody that played against the backdrop of reality. Where the dream persisted to a point you could almost feel that warmth, yet I, the dreamer found myself ensnared to only watch that dream, never to experience. Where the heart weighs heavy loaded by the thought of that dream. Where the world is so bright in its deceptive illusion, concealing a pervasive darkness. Time is unravelled, as I can nearly touch the fringes of that dream. Agonizing. It hovers right in front of me in a tantalizing manner. I want that dream to be fully mine. But the want is all that there is.
Because my shadow is dead, the once companion, laid still. The final witness to my departure, as I the dreamer hovered on the edge, with the only certainty, a rest from reality.
The warmth of the dream slipping way, leaving behand the final echoing ache of a false memory. Left behind the faded residue of a dream that never quite existed.
With a blink, the grip releases and our bodies fall together, fusing into a singular entity. As our forms meld, our bodies that once held tension, surrendered to the pull and we tumbled between that space. Likewise, our bodies merged into one singular radiant beam. The world around us disappeared, we existed as an inseparable unity. Left to be awe and wonder of something that was all so sublime, that it seemed to blind me indefinitely.
I'm eighteen now, somehow, a peculiar weight lingers in the air. As if the passing years have etched lines on my face. A chronicle of what once was.
The air lost, seemed to be replaced by that expression, that I have long ignored. But that gaze of mine died, at best locked away, in its demise stand eyes that squint ever so frequently at the thought of closure.
The space, that gap, has become a nebulous hole, that were no longer observed by the eyes of mine. The choices once promising, once vast, now feel constricted like a narrow alley left with no escape. The journey once of possibilities. Now the ending can ever so be seen, with everything unfolding like a predetermined path, each step heavy with the weight, the burden of an inevitable end.
On the horizon, a figure at very end of all, its posture has a twisted semblance of pride, shoulders hunched as if bearing an unliftable number of faint memories. The malignant grin carved its own invisible print on me. Its hollow face sends an unforgettable shiver down the spin. A distortion between the joy and pain of the inevitable end. In its skeletal grip, clutched tightly by those cold, white bones, the scythe of time gleams with almost bright, black glow. A tool that’s used unequally, yet all that fair, cursing the mere objects that once navigated the coloured world with the smallest amount of hope. In a way, at least, as long as that figure stands, my dream will never truly die.
It will forever stand, that ghastly figure with that sickening grin of its. Celebrating the decay of it all. It is the final stop at the culmination of every journey. It will forever wait for me. And I am only able to walk in front, each step echoing with the relentless ticking of time, till the day I slow down. It’s almost relieving, the chilling acknowledgement of the certain.
And that smile of its, once so sinister, now takes on something of even more disturbing quality. It resembles a cursed, phantom frown. As we eventually, one day, walk side by side into horror of the unknown. Its cloak envelopes me, forever covering my eyes from what there is.
The choices may be clearer, options limited. But the heart is left with a cruel uncertainty. During it all, in all those unfolding chapters… for once in my life there an overwhelming emotion that not of clarity. But for once in my life, I don’t know what to do…