Tonight, I silently gazed from my perch on the roof, at the stars...white pinpricks of light bursting through the pitch-black sky. I crouched low into a squat, lifted my head to the universe, and howled to the heavens, howled like the wolf always in my dreams, ready to take me above. Ready to take me to the stairway; my stairway to the stars.
I don’t remember who I am but I want to be free. Free from the common people because I am not like them, free from the attachments I don’t understand. Now all I can do is climb; keep on climbing until I reach the end of this. Maybe I want to be free because I am afraid of what will happen if I stay here forever.
Something for me to think about as I approach the next step, a slab of nothingness I know is there, is that there is nothing here. Nothing for me to see...and seeing...it’s non-existent. The colors I see are things I have to make up in my head, things I remember, like the color black, though I’m not sure if I’m seeing the light or the darkness.
Memories. Now I remember things I’m not sure I’m ready to remember yet. ‘80’s music and pop beats, my best friends and their names...a burger place I ate at once. Hah, I remember hurling after the Crusher. My favorite roller coaster, or rather, her favorite roller coaster. I’m not her anymore, I’m chained to her being. Memories, who I used to be. If only I knew who I am now.
Sickness eats you up inside. I think maybe I was sick, very sick, and knew it. I knew it, knowing sickness causes something worse, something called death. Was it the flu, asthma? I remember being sick, so sick I am feeling pity for myself. No, wait, no. She was sick. I felt pity for her. Then again, I can’t piece together what was and what is. Suddenly, my heart flops...do I have a heart? And I feel sick to my stomach, spinning round and round. Am I dead?
Just keep climbing, just keep climbing, then you will understand what is happening. I tell myself this, now on stair five though I feel like I’ve climbed a mountain, huffing puffing, waiting. They just keep coming at me, step after step, and each step has more stairs to climb up. “Soon.” something told me to keep climbing, just keep climbing, and soon I would reach some sort of destination.
I Am. A. Monster. Inside me, there is a storm, churning, set, ready to let go. There are thunder and lightning, the crackling of fires brewing inside me, Evil plots, criminal activity, rudeness, a whole being of evil. But somewhere in there, I see soft rain falling against the windowpane of an apartment I once owned. The peace it gives me, it’s calming. There are criminals learning to be better, a second chance, extinguishing the fire to find words, maybe “I’m sorry”. After all the thunder and lightning, there is always a rainbow.
The wolves began coming, knocking on the door, clawing at it like savages. They came at midnight, and it was the beginning, I knew it. I, the girl, would not give in, would not answer the door. The wolves scratched and clawed, said I was brave. Their words made my soul, her body weak together.
It was the evening, and fireworks cascaded over my apartment complex. Those were my moments, watching fireworks, and getting out a sheet of paper and a pencil to write. Yes, I breathed heavily, but I was breathing. That night, the wolves rang the doorbell, yes they did, and I had smiled. Smiled, I had. I was not afraid.
A wanderer, my job was assigned. My purpose was to wander amidst flesh and bone, my flesh and bone family. Each step, the cracks in the cement form faces of my family. Some are bushy beards, eyes wide open, but my favorite is the one shaped like tiny hands. How fondly I had cared for that little girl, the one who had tiny hands; raccoon hands. She brought me flowers, a pet cat, all bunched up in her tiny hands. Oh, how I missed Little Jane.
Thinking, or having the will to think, keeps me motivated through my pains, the pains of lifting my feet, setting them down against concrete, not knowing. Feeling is what I am numb to. I cannot feel the concrete I push down on, nor the way my hands swish back and forth, hitting my sides. I cannot feel my body, or if my body is present, but I can feel emotion.
Though I am not present, I hope for small things, the things I desire. Not money, but for someone, perhaps my husband, to open the wooden cabinet in my room. I wish for people to not feel any pain in my passing. It isn’t what I would’ve wanted, what she would’ve wanted to see others suffer. Inside the cabinet, lies a small journal with flowers drawn all over the cover, blue and white beauty. Inside the journal is poetry that helped my mental estate. Kept me calm and sane. Being sane is important, and my husband should find a way to keep himself sane. That is my only wish.
The stairs end, and there is nothing beneath my feet. Climbing for so long, or so less and I am here. My body is separating from me. She passes and fades while I remember to look up. Tiny pinpricks of light, bursting through the sky, pure white dots called stars. Tonight I will no longer dream of the wolf that hunts in the night but of the ones before me. It, the feeling, it takes my hand and hoists me up. I am one of them now. One of the stars.
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Your writing is amazing! The complexity of your descriptions creates very vivid imagery. Your pacing was good, your creativity of the transitions were also very seamless and didn't detract from the story (in fact, they added to the buildup of tension). This was a real pleasure to read ;)
Thank you for commenting! It really means a lot!
IF you ever saw The Incredibles, then you heard the line, "When everyone is special, nobody is." The same applies to italics. If you have a word in italics, that word gains emphasis. If you use italics to signify telepathy between two psychics, something only they can hear, then you have given those words a special status. But when everything is in italics, all you do is make it look different. As a purely metaphorical internal journey, this cannot have much dialogue or motion, which takes is well outside my comfort zone. It was captivat...
Thank you so much! I don't know why everything ended up in italics; I did not plan it to be that way. :)
Nice story with some beautiful descriptions!
I love the count (stairstep one, stairstep two, etc). The imagery is also vivid. Well-written one, Johanna! Would you mind checking my recent story, "A Very, Very Dark Green?" Thank you :)
This was amazing! Just one thing, you should probably only italicize the "Stair step ..." to make it easier in the eyes. :P
Thanks! And yeah... I don't know how it got italicized like that lol :)
This story is dynamite. Right at the end the italics partway through the line surprised, just fyi. I saw fading from one plane/step into another. The transitions are unsettling - beautifully done! I love the complexity of your thought and imagery.