The night before
A world of ebony swirls about the unconscious spirit, as voices ebb in and out of space. Haunting her is a foreign, warning Whisper. It is scratchy and foreboding, a bearer of tomorrow’s tragedy. “What tragedy?” her yawning heart wonders, feeling impervious to reality. And more so, “What tomorrow?” it laughs. The Whisper shakes its head- wavering- and begins to make leave. Echoing holy words, it hesitates before merging with the mind’s black curtains, they know not what they do.
Eyes snap awake, but the cloak of darkness remains in place. Night is still alive and well. Nowadays sleep is a long lost friend. Dreams have always been her haven, the natural escape from life’s daily doldrums. Yet even dreams, the children of slumber, have briefly betrayed her for their cousin of irritable insomnia. Lately she has been emotionally stirred, or unsettled by the simple things. Her boss’s untimely sighs, what she senses is dissatisfaction. Her love’s denial of a proposed night out. The stumbles she makes on a morning jog. The fact she cannot remember the face of her mother, the smile of her father. And her yearning for control and order over existence. Maybe not simple things at all.
Her cottage creaks slightly with the nautical winds. It is a chilly, damp midnight. Her bed is empty, her rooms too. What else is she to feel, but the pressures of solitude? Questions peppered with innocent doubts and guilty faiths. Like millions of other humans with heads upon their pillows, she tosses and turns to the insecure pounding of her heart. Somewhere, she thought, the world is changing.
Under the same moon, out for hundreds of miles and below manmade limits, the Earth speaks with God under much discomfort. His aged skin is crinkling and tired, broken- and one piece must give way to the fresh cells of his neighbor. Great power spews forth from his pores of pure flaming sweat, as he rearranges his position. God has a favor to ask him, and Earth is afraid. He nestles deeper into the planet’s covers, and hears out the proposition. What must be done, says the Lord, will make them upset at you again. Beyond past proportions. But time is constantly clicking, and still they turn away from me. I love them, but their imperfection is their own doing. The Earth nods his approval, and with slight resignation, commences to rumble God’s will with excessive, unseen passion. He groans and sweeps off the covers, to once again leave dormancy for another roar.
The day- The dream’s tomorrow
She glances at her watch, 16:45. Outside the skies are weary with gray expressions, and she passes by window after window 300 feet in the air. Appointments in one hour, two and three. Six calls to make. 40 calculations to input. The files in her arms dig harshly into her flesh, as reminders of pending duties. No, I cannot do this anymore. Suddenly, her brisk pace is cut off with her breath. The floor has sloped, and for a moment she believes her heart is fainting. Leaning against the wall, she pants and stares at the shivering ground, is this what a panic attack feels like? Breathless gasps erupt around the office floor. She has fallen to her knees, an inner-will crumpling inside of her. Could they be staring at me? That is when she looks up and out the glassy pane, to see the city swaying like the state of her mind.
Sirens ripple across the air, and she makes her way past the bewildered peoples crowding the streets. “Move out! Move away from the buildings,” a man calls in her ear. All eyes are filled with both pain and wonder, fear and disbelief. The town had suddenly become very two-dimensional, and where it was not, it threatened to hold perishing life. Fire has popped around every corner, its smoke choking the passing victims. Others sought out each other, but she continued on alone along the decimated, uprooted road. She needs to reach her cottage. She needs to find her family picture frame. She needs to collapse in bed. She needs to be sleep, to escape from this all. But the people won’t let her. They say, “Higher ground, higher ground! This is not over. Follow follow! It is coming fast!” What is coming? Her brain demanded. They push her up stairs, more and more stairs, upon the hill and above the city plateau. Don’t look back, someone warns. She does. And the ocean has become the dark nightmare, the ebony world of her dreams, swallowing up her cottage, her frame, her bed, her life. It does not recede no matter how often she blinks, its watery voices bombarding the space of her mind. The ocean continues to charge, swarming her town and her soul like a barbaric tribe ravaging a helpless village. In her despair, Sleep is no longer the friend, but the enemy. She will now forever be awake.
The Whisper returns to her mind’s eye, and within the rushing waters murmurs, I told you so.