“What brings you here? To end a life? To end a dream? To end your day?” The man’s voice is something akin to a teenager in the cloud. He spoke to me in such a rapid-dash manner that contrasted with everyone else of this world.
The dangling of the whistle on my neck accompanied with the wind made a small clacking sound every time I stepped. It resounded in my ears something rhythmic, like the flow of my being as it went along. It made me relaxed in an otherwise completely desolate roadside, and it made my mind wander.
I took a deep breath, and then plunged. I let my entire body sink towards the ground, as if my entire being was the north, and all of Earth was my south. It drew me in like nothing had ever done before, and all the air rushing against my body, trying to stop me from becoming human slime felt so entrancing.
I felt the breeze touch my face like a happy mother caressing her newborn’s face in the dead of night. The pavement below me rung pulses of cold industrialism like the floor of the hospital to a bare foot. I then opened my mouth and took in a waft of cold air, leaving a stale after taste on my tongue, like the taste of a dozen sick.
I stared at the mirror unable to recognize who was staring back. I tried blinking, but the image didn’t change. I tried closing my eyes, but upon looking at the mirror again, I still could not recognize who was staring back.
I heard myself panting, but I didn’t know whether it was because I was being chased by a pack of wolves, or because I had just shot one. I tried aiming behind me to shoot another bullet but I knew for a fact that the thing in my hand was a poor excuse for a working gun. It jammed every other bullet, and gave me absolute hell.
I awoke someplace in the forest after my closed eyes began seeing streaks of green. I was surrounded in complete darkness and if not for that man who held that light, I would have thought I was still asleep.
I held in my hands the hourglass containing the remainder of my life. As each grain of sand went from the top of the glass to the bottom, I felt more and more relieved. Watching as my life drained in front of me made me serene. It wasn’t as I would have thought watching my life fade would be. It wasn’t scary, or filled with adrenaline.
There was a girl who lived in a mountain just outside the village where I grew up. It was the largest mountain in our area, and it was the most important one as it protected our little village from the rage of nature and the curiosity of men.
Tonight is a beautiful night for my candle. I love my candle, and I always bring it whenever I can find the chance to get out. Otherwise, my candle will be put out, it will be dead and it will be lonely. I cherish the times I get with my candle.
I raised my squalid hand in an attempt to break free from this world. It fell short a few light years away from the stars that shone across the darkened ocean known as space. Those stars would shine brightly in response, blinking in and out of existence, showing me it’s own lifespan.
Watching somebody die on Christmas day was the worst present anyone could have given to me. What made it even worse, was that I couldn’t do anything about it but share a drink with him.
She liked to write to herself and read books in her spare time, and when she wasn’t she simply slept in her bed, staring up into the stars. She thought she would die like this.
I let my arms hang in the air as I stood at the edge of the world looking down into the horizon of clouds and sea that lay below me. A gust of air would climb the hill we stood upon, brush itself up against my body and nearly throw me back.
With my bag over my shoulder I pick up all the garbage I find on my journey. I traverse against walks made from human ingenuity and walks made from human turmoil. I’ve never really understood much of the greater world that still seems to evade my very being, and yet, now upon my journey, I begin to feel tinges of sanctum in this world that I never could before.
I went looking for my sister who hadn’t come back in two days. I knew she was a strong kid, but it didn’t discount the fact that she hadn’t told anyone, or even left a message of her disappearance.
When the sound of that melody would enter my ears, my entire body would spark. I would move my head instinctively towards the direction it came, and my feet would take a step. I would land on the concrete sidewalk, the coldness of it permeating through my shoes, and I would shuffle the hands in my pockets.
Growing up in the country, the Island of Windmills was a place of great myth and wonder for our childish intuitions.
I was an hour late that day. I was already expecting the worst, and I didn’t feel like getting the full brunt of it in person. I knew they were going to chew me out and fire me flat, but I still had some fight in me not to go into work.
When I was a kid, I dreamt that I would one day touch the clouds. I dreamt that I would be among the stars, floating in a sea of air, and wrapping myself in the atmosphere, lost in a world I could hardly imagine. When I was a kid, that was all that mattered, the stars, the skies, the clouds, everything up above that was impossible to reach from the ground.
Toxic fumes began emanating from the home of the Junkyard Doctor as he replaced a heart of flesh with a heart of scrap.
The small of my neck was exposed to the salty ocean breeze when I woke up. I was lying face first into the concrete wall that surrounded the perimeter of the island. I tasted my spit and winced at the taste of creation.
You don’t think so? I mean, I could have been born halfway across the world. We could have been two generations apart, and I could have been serving in a military with two bullets up my ass. But I’m not. And you’re not. In fact, we’re living the most carefree lives of our short youths.
“Half a dollar,” I said to myself in the scorching heat. She had given me half a dollar. In what I could only imagine as my brain melting from heat, I pinched myself, and looked in my hand again. There it was. Half a dollar coin.
I stepped in front of the pole, and peered above to see a road devoid of life. I was about to reach into my pocket, to have one last indulgence into the world above the clouds when I heard a voice from the shelter behind me. My hands were stopped into the body of the needle, and I remained gripping when I turned my head slightly to see if that voice was for me.
When he opened his mouth, I could see through and make a blurry image of the street behind him. He had no tongue, and so when he opened his mouth, it was as if words tumbled out like the rain that tumbled down my roof.
Being a child meant days of innocence and ignorance. It meant being able to not know anything about the world and not get a diatribe with every idiotic decision you make. It meant having an excuse for when you touched the stove.
My steps crunched in the snow, but she stood un-vexed by my presence. She took another match from her box once the one she was holding faded. It was almost like looking at a kid trying to burn an ant in the shade.
“It’s almost too perfect a place for us, isn’t it?” She smiled as she said this, her smile cutting the air around us, a beautifully daunting smile.
Everyone was up in arms about the cafe in the sky. People screamed heresy, that the aliens had finally come to take their due. Some prayed to the cafe, saying it was some kind of religious symbol. Perhaps God was ascending to the moral realm to– No, it wasn’t any of that.
“Are you here alone?” I asked as I walked towards him, breaking from all my relations. And yet, even they did not seem to notice or care that I had walked away, talking to some strange boy in the middle of a strange place where strange things happened. Truly, a strange world.
The day grew short as my mind began wandering into an old time. I smiled as I began seeing images of her and of the tree that was much younger than it was now. I reveled in being able to see her again. And so I did.
I always found it hard not to think about the future. My mind just flutters about, wondering about what the next day could bring.
And for that, I always found myself back in that light, the light that filtered through the cracks of clouds. And the wind blew with that light, swirling our truths, blowing it to a place we would never reach, the place where we would meet face to face.
The speakers whirred to life, “Welcome to the end of the world, you’re now boarding line 99, buckle in and enjoy yourself.” Before I could realize what was going on, the doors closed and the train began shaking to life.
I held my head high, the clouds parting. I thought I was being swallowed up by the sun. It eroded every part of my face, blinding me the more I stared. When I squinted to ease the pain, it became like a flickering flame.