A short story filled with twisted tales and unexpected turns to get to one common end.
I close my eyes as tight as I can. I feel the cool sea breeze blowing the spray of the ocean against my face, the taste of salt rolls over my tongue, sharp and tingling. The sound of the waves crashing against the rocks below me fills my ears like a well-played orchestra.
As I open my eyes, I stare over the clear blue waters that stretches endlessly out in front of me, merging with the crystal clear blue skies. The image like a perfected painting, the colours carefully chosen by an artist and painted on a canvass.
Peace and tranquillity fills my heart, my mind and body in full rest, my soul soaring over the waters with complete satisfaction. I take a deep breath and close my eyes again, hoping this moment lasts for eternity, wishing this was my heaven.
As I re open my eyes, shock fills me, a stabbing pain in my heart, my lungs unable to take in air, my throat closed shut as I look at the same image that has now undergone a metamorphoses.
The water have turned dark navy blue, the sky pitch black with storming clouds and the waves crashing against the rocks beneath me. White horses dancing frantically on top of the waves.
The wind now blowing in strong gusts, pushing me back and forth, throwing me off balance.
Looking down to the waters below I see a growing vortex, spinning around faster and faster, the spiral going deeper and deeper into the black waters, at the eye of the whirlpool, an endless hole of emptiness.
In fear, I instinctively try to turn around to run as far away as possible from this nightmare, but it draws me in closer and closer. The more I try to run, the weaker my legs get and the closer I find myself to it.
Finally exhaustion sets in and my body shuts down, my mind soon loses its grip on instinct and the adrenaline seizes to release in my veins. I let go and feel the vortex taking control over me and swallow me into its abyss.
Round and round I go, deeper and deeper until I feel nothing…
Suddenly I feel myself taking a deep breath, gasping for air. My body cold from within, my heart pounding in my head. My legs numb and my mouth is dry, shock still overwhelming me.
I come to the sudden realization that I find myself behind the steering wheel of my car. It must have been a dream I think to myself. Relief starts to come over me like a warm blanket on a cold winter’s night.
Looking out in front of me I see the road stretch out in front of me, twisting and turning, no end in sight. The sound of the roaring engine and the tyres rolling over the tar sounds like a well coordinated symphony.
I roll down the window and feel the breeze force in and blow into my face. I step on the accelerator pedal and feel the car bolting forward, the power in my control.
Where I am and where I am going makes no difference to me, it is all about the journey. Cruising down the freeway, no troubles, no regrets, no care and no worries, freedom in my heart.
Like an eagle soaring through the sky, I feel the freedom of the open road. My soul at peace and one with the car. No history, no future, just the present, the here and the now.
I step down even further on the accelerator, wanting to feel the power as I speed up and race into oblivion. The gaps is the lines start to fade and disappear and become one solid line as I fly past. The roadside scenery all blurring into what looks like a smeared portrait.
My hands tight around the steering wheel, knuckles white, almost piercing through the skin as I skilfully navigate each twist and turn in the road. My eyes targeted on the road before me, my mind calculating and predicting each scenario. The road is mine, I have conquered and set my presence.
As I drive and intensely manage my victorious drive, I start to feel a slight burn in my eyes, my eyelids getting heavy and my shoulders start to pain. I suddenly realize that fatigue is setting in. My mind now split in two, one side cautioning to stop and rest, the other pushing on, refusing to let go of this wonderful experience.
I decide to push on, for I know, as soon as the wheels stop turning and the engine shuts of, my peace and freedom shuts off with it and creates a void for reality to attack. The moment I stop, my freedom stops, as reality will bond my heart and soul once more with dreadful thoughts.
The miles gets left behind, forgotten and abandoned by me as I roll on forward. As I feel my body and mind fighting me with the tiredness, my mind starts to wonder from the road as a last attempt to conquer the urge to close my eyes that is now burning fiery and tearing up.
My mind takes a trip down memory lane, through some parts I find myself smiling, through some I find myself filled with rage and anger and in other I feel guilt, satisfaction, envy, pride and sorrow all mixed together as the slideshow of my life plays through my mind.
I hear a loud bang, as the tyre bursts, the steering wheel vigorously spinning from one side to another. I feel the car skidding across the road. Suddenly all the power I had just had in my control has been lost in a matter of seconds. Now I am hanging in the balance with only fate to decide what will happen to me.
The feeling of powerlessness and loosing control strikes fear into my soul. Although happening so fast, it feels like time has come to a standstill as I am spinning out of control over the road.
I feel the one side of the car lifting and start rolling. My body flinging around in the spinning torpedo, causing chaos and destruction all around it as it bulldozes over the road. I loose all sense of direction as up and down, left and right can no longer be distinguished.
Finally the car comes to a halt and all I can see is the tar above me and the skies below me. Looking through where the windscreen once was, I see a trail of skidmarks and carparts scattered like confetti all over the road.
A trickle of blood runs over my face, but I feel no pain. I try to get to the door, but can’t move my arms or legs, trying to look at my body to see as to why I cant move, I realize I can’t. The reality sets in, my body has been left paralized and lifeless, unable to respond to my commands.
Stranded, unable to move, alone and scared I find myself waiting for a saviour. Ages pass and from time to time I can feel my eyes close as I lose consciousness.
Red lights start to appear in the faded and blurry distance, followed by the high pitched, yet soothing sound of a siren. The ambulance approaches with speed and I can for the first time feel a bit of relief.
A man approaches me, his face showing a mixture of emotions, none of which plants a seed of hope in me. Fear, doubt, sympathy and sorrow all displayed, as if written on his face for all to read. As he kneels beside me I hear his trembling voice, but it sounds distant and soft, but the clarity of the uncertainty can’t be mistaken.
At this point I realize that he is not my saviour, he is merely a messenger to tell me that there is no hope. Although not told to me straight, I know this by the man’s expressions.
I take one last breath, deeply in and slowly out as I close my eyes, feeling myself let go as the sirens and voices starts to quite down, fading into the distance…
Walking into the hall I hear merry music playing, the feeling of celebration and happiness fills the atmosphere, the scent of alcohol in the air. The hall is filled with people, some I know, some I don’t, but all of them in the festive mood, smiling and satisfied.
I walk through the hall to see the centrepiece that seems to attract all the guests, especially realizing that I have no idea what the festivities are all about.
Passing through the guests all gathered around the centrepiece my heart skips a few beats when I see what they are gathering around. Before me a coffin is displayed, the bottom half closed, the top lid opened.
I lean over and my legs go numb when staring straight into my own face. I stumble a few steps back, barely regaining my balance. My stomach turns and I feel the nausea push up as I approach the coffin again. Looking at myself, the torn clothes still on from the car accident, blood stains, cuts, bruises and scrapes all over my face and arms. The smell of fuel and oil still hovering around my corpse, not even the slightest attempt made to make the body decent for burial.
Looking at what is supposed to be a coffin I find a wooden box, roughly nailed together, no finishing, wood cracked, not even a lining on the inside. Ash trays and empty beer bottles placed by the guests on the bottom lid, cigarette buds thrown inside with the guests using it as a table. Above the coffin is a small banner with the words ‘Happy Funeral’ on it.
I ask the guests what is going on, but they do not see or hear me, I grab their clothing and pull on their arms, but they do not feel my touch. To them I do not exist.
Frantically I scream out at the top of my voice, but to no avail, nobody knows I am here. I sit down next to my remains and ask myself why…
The breeze blows cold through the trees, whistling tunes of the night as it passes by each branch, the leaves rustling a background chorus. The gravestones stand tall and proud, one trying to outperform the other, marking the existence of those who had passed on, leaving a last remembrance that they had also once walked this earth.
The moon shines bright over the green grass of the cemetery and the scent of death hangs in the air, a presence of unknown lurking around each corner.
Sitting on the concrete park bench I look over the graves, trying to imagine not only the great things that have been done by those whose remains are left here, but also the great things that could have been, had these people not meet their timely demise so soon. I think by myself how the world would have been affected should they have still been alive.
Suddenly there is a disturbance in the balance and the atmosphere changes. A sweet smell of perfume starts to appear, faint at first, but stronger as the presence of life grows stronger.
A dark figure appears within the footpath, as the figure comes closer, the image and features become more clear and apparent. I then see a woman, dressed in black, veiled with a black scarf making her way all alone in the middle of the night through the graves. In her hand she hold a red rose, breaking the uniformness of the black, standing out brightly.
She makes her way to an isolated grave with an unmarked tombstone on the far side of the cemetery. Kneeling beside the grave with her knees in the fresh, damp soil I can hear her weeping. I feel her pain, cutting through the atmosphere like a sharp dagger through flesh.
I make my way to her, hoping I can aid her in her time of mourning. As I approach she whispers words of sorrow and I can hear the longing in her voice. She looks up and the moonlight catches her now unveiled face. It is my love, kneeling next to my grave!
I collapse down on my knees next to her and try to take her in my arms, only to realize failure. I whisper her name, but she does not hear, I scream out to her, but still she can’t hear me. I burst out in tears and weep as I plant my hands into the soil, my tears racing down my face, falling towards my grave, but as it hits, it does not wet the soil, but just disappears.
I look at her, I see her eyes red and filled with pain, tears rolling down her face, as it drops, her tears wets the soil of my grave. So close yet so far apart, we both kneel next to each other next to my grave, pathetically hidden in the corner of the cemetery, almost ashamed to mark the existence of my life.
She whispers her last words of love, I stand up and place myself behind her. I put my hand on her shoulder as she places the rose on my grave. She whispers her last farewell and wipes the final tear from her cheek and gets up, veiling her face and starts making her way back the way she came.
I bid her my last farewell as she fades into a dark figure and eventually disappears with the footpath. Sad and filled with sorrow I start wandering on the footpath in the opposite direction.
Strangely, as I walk, a feeling of peace overcomes me. I walk down the footpath into the darkness and feel myself disappear from existence…
Once again I open my eyes, but this time I feel different. I feel heavy and my senses feel dulled. I find myself on a bed, sheets white, the smell of disinfectant burns my nose. A small steel cabinet next to my bed, the top shiny and the rest painted white. A robe hanging from the door is the only other thing present in the room.
As I take a closer look at the cabinet again, I find a plastic cup with water and a small little holder filled with a variety of different tablets of all shapes, sizes and colours. Looking over to the window, trying to determine whether it is day or night, I find the windows barred.
I get up, but sit right back down, as my legs are to weak to carry my weight. I give it a second go and succeed, quickly I make my way to the door with huge effort. At the door I am only to find that it too is barred and locked.
Too weak to stand, I make my way back to the bed and sit down. Screaming voices dance down the seemingly empty corridors mixed with strange laughter and cries for help. Footsteps move up and down.
I sit there for hours, hoping I would once again wake up, but this time nothing happens, no new dream, no new scenario, only the cold, sterile and empty room with myself alone with my thoughts. This was reality, this was no dream, no mercy and no waking up from this. I open the cabinet drawer and find a note inside. On it the handwriting states: ‘I miss you. Will see you soon when you are better.’ A little heart drawn at the bottom of the note. A tear rolls down my face and splashes on the floor. This is my reality, this is my truth, this is who I have become.
I reach out and grab the water and tablets, I through the tablets in my mouth and swallow all of them simultaneously with one big gulp of water.
I lay my head back down on the pillow and cover myself with the blanket. Smilingly I close my eyes and feel myself fall into the next nightmare, for my nightmares are more bearable than the reality I find myself in.
Human beings are vulnerable. One feels less of a person when everyone is making progress whereas you make circles for weeks or months or years. .
In the pursuit of supremacy, there are multiple challenges. Sometimes the best path comes to an end when you are just beginning to celebrate.
The birth of victory is a personal responsibility. Sometimes luck evades you, but what matters most is your next step.