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The sky opened suddenly

and he tumbled to earth

Unable to open his wings

he crashed with great force

Dazed and fractured

he did not move for some time

Feather by feather his wings opened

and he rose slowly

The density of matter

overwhelmed his senses

and he sank to his knees

Lowering his head he prayed

for salvation

from himself

Art: Igor Mitoraj, Angelo Caduto (Fallen Angel)

He closed his eyes and lay still. The room was dark and quiet, his breathing so shallow, he wondered if he was alive. Something was there with him in the expanse of silence. Without fear, he listened. Something was there, close by, within reach. He lay without moving, hands flat by his sides. The darkness continued, stretching endlessly beneath his eyelids, frozen pupils locked in an invisible stare. Something lay beside him, touching and not touching. His fingers twitched and then stopped. If he was breathing, he was not aware of it. He slowly lifted his hands and placed them on his chest. He could feel the slightest of movements, so insignificant as to be a figment of his thought. He tried to will himself to breathe. With a gasp, he stirred and opened his eyes. The darkness was impenetrable. He turned his head and looked. He saw nothing. He closed his eyes and lay still.

©aother

Waterhouse-sleep_and_his_half-brother_death-1874

Art: John William Waterhouse: Sleep and his Half-brother Death

Don’t wake me up

Let me linger some more in the world with no shadows

Don’t call my name

Erasing the sound of my father’s laughter

Don’t shake me free from the embrace of angels

Don’t wake me up

Let me sleep.

©aother

 Image

Art:

Stanisław WyspiańskiŚpiący Staś”

 

It was no surprise then, when on one of his dream treks On found himself accompanied by a large patch of soft moss, that spread itself at this feet wherever he stepped. Silent, it moved imperceptibly, sometimes almost invisible in the darkness, at others glistening with dew as he walked. Above him, he also noticed a pair of condors that often obliterated the sun with their enormous wings. But his favourite companion was a tawny puma that crept along, and sometimes lay by his side as he rested on the carpet of moss. When awake, On searched in vain for his dream companions. The birds that flew above the valley of Tu never seemed to alight, and wild cats hid in the deep forest. As for the thick moss, On would have to climb craggy rocks to reach it, but afraid of heights, he never ventured far enough. And so he would go to sleep more and more frequently, just to be with his dream friends, slowly loosing interest in the goings on in Tu. Tam held an overwhelming allure, and soon the other inhabitants of Tu forgot about him. Except for Ona, who would sometimes peer into his room, seeking his sleeping form. Often, she looked for him in her dreams, but the Tam of her reveries had no inhabitants, only an endless beach with colourful pebbles like sparkling jewels. She collected them in giant urns she found among the seaweed, and they lined the shore like clay sentinels…

(to be continued)

©aother

Sepulchre… can a word taken out of context be an omen? If so, I am bound to die soon.

He opened his eyes. What stupidity is this, he thought. The word kept invading his mind. He let it for a while, with a sense of perverse, masochistic pleasure, chuckling to himself at its persistence. Oh stop it now, will you. Sepulchre, sepulchre.

He got up wearily. Sepulchre, sepulchre. The tap started its racket but not loud enough to smother this pest. It was like a piece of scotch tape stuck to your finger. No matter how hard you shook your hand.

He turned the radio on and relaxed briefly to the sound of a piano piece. He attempted guessing the composer, just to occupy his mind. Beethoven? No, more like Brahms. Sepulchre. Damn.

***

WHAT ARE YOU DOING? They all shouted despite themselves. His arms went limp; her body, all alone now and heavy in its isolation, slowly lowered itself to the floor. Reluctantly. The horror of this reality was difficult to comprehend. He wanted to hear her say something, cough, emit a sound, the sound of the working of a human body, alive. But she wasn’t.

He suddenly became aware of the eyes witnessing the event with him, reflections of his bewilderment at this intrusion of death into what they called “life”.

She died. Without warning, so it seemed. Are we blind to the hints, he couldn’t help the thought from ridiculing his feelings.

He let her fall from his arms at the moment of sensing her acceptance of the inevitable.

***

Weary, he carried his body out of sleep and entered existence. The music had stopped but the memory of the strange thoughts that invaded his sleep lingered on. Sepulchre.

He was so very tired. Think. Don’t think. Stop. Go.

He washed. He shaved. He dressed and walked out of his enclosure. Enclosure. My God, he never thought of his apartment as such. A sense of futility crossed his mind but he was far too unprepared to accept it, to even consider it.

***

His hands went limp. Her body slipped from his grip with the frightening resignation of a dead object. No resistance. No control. Only one’s feelings to hold on to…

You have to learn how to die before you can learn how to live. Who said that?

***

Go away! His brain hurt like a bruise, it cringed before the thought as one would before a blow.

From The Book of Unfinished Stories

©aother

Art by Zdzislaw Beksinski