Resident

There was a block of flats which called themselves apartments because there were long hallways lined with doors and through these doors were dwellings or flats or apartments.

The residents or inmates or people didn’t see any reason to close their doors on this hallway, so as you paced its length you would hear and see all sorts. Most of this was not from the people through the doors but from the people inside the TVs inside the apartments.
You could walk up and down for hours on end, watch through a door for an hour, and no one would notice. I lived in the hallway for over two decades and my presence didn’t seem to be intrusive. Even when I watched on as a teenager tried to slit his own wrists, was calmed down by his mother, given his first drink and asked important questions like ‘would you like another?’ to which he’d respond ‘of course’ because he couldn’t say ‘I don’t care’. There would have been more questions so he didn’t have the heart for apathy.
It was a funny place to live, this hallway. So many voices gave no conversation because answers that mattered didn’t matter here but silence wasn’t tolerated.
I was content for a long time living here but I left to see what conversation was like. People who keep their doors closed can be much more interesting, I’ve found. But some people make me wonder if their doors are just painted paper.

Advertisements

To Walk as Molten Rock

I was walking against what was less than wind but stronger than a breeze. It was warm, but not uncomfortably so, just warm enough to give the air an almost sweet sense.

As I felt the air touch my hair and wave it back, it simultaneously filtered through the fingers at my sides, entwining with them.

Right then I felt utter contentment.

I felt like melting plastic, folding and curling. I felt like molten rock, flowing from the top of the volcano, tumbling languidly down to a watery destination where there, I would solidify and become rock again.

But right then I was magma. I could have flowed through anything within my reach. There was so much in the night and I was a part of everything.

I was undeniably real then.

Electric Woods (Decline and Fall)

 

He thinks he fell asleep at 3:15 and awoke again at 3:45 following the horrible sounds in his dream. It’s always the same dream and never more than an hour of sleep.

                The dream feels like hours but the rest is mere minutes. He is his eight year old self on one of his childhood camping trips, but the family isn’t there. He’s alone in the woods, it’s midday and he’s holding a knife. He begins hacking at a tree, tearing the bark off and thrashing it’s solid flesh, eager to douse his hands in sap; that sweet, fragrant, sticky blood.

                The tree moans as it feels the ridges of the knife tearing through, but he can’t stop yet. Not until he’s covered in that sickly sweet… and the smell! He ravages through the pulp but it’s not enough that the tree is weeping for him. It must bleed, gush, pour!

                He lifts a log and beats the soft exposed flesh; sweet sap flies everywhere and lingers in the air. The tree is howling in pain and her surrounding family cries in hopelessness. The chorus mingles with the intoxicating scent and the boy falls to the ground as his victim withers and shrivels and dies before his eyes.

                The woods are wailing for their loss and the boy awakes, now a man, at 3:45am. He sits on the edge of the bed, takes out a cigarette and with trembling hands raises it to his lips. Spark. Adding more orange to the room, the street lights outside forever permeating the night-drawn curtains. His blood-shot eyes glare at the light stained curtains. His cigarette goes out. Spark. Getting dressed, he knows what he has to do. He will stop the wailing. From the garden shed he takes an old hatchet and goes into the street. He crosses the road to the wooden post connecting the telephone wires and with a resounding thud, sinks the hatchet deep into the wood. The action unfalteringly repeated. People have started to watch and shout at him from their windows and he knows it’s only a matter of time before someone’s dispatched to stop him again and take him away.

                The wooden post falls slowly, the remaining attached splinters groaning then snapping and a crash as the communications hit the ground. The smell of electric in the air.

                He swiftly crosses the road again through the screams of onlookers and stops before the generator that powers this half of the estate. A determined blow takes the lock off in one go. Pulling the door open wide, the screams get louder and frantic.

                He takes a slight step back then swings the hatchet into the core of the generator and a blast is heard in the streets that still have light.