Stepping deeply into the dark. Waving at the lit mask. Pondering if I should dance with her. She starts to maneuver her hands, a light flickers, as I prance, I am intrigued by her, she moves silently and softly, her dancing shoes red as the blood that pumps through the veins. A quick stroke of the hair the dangles like a clock hand, she takes two steps back, I take two steps forward. Her mask, encased in gold, there is some letters upon the plate, it says death, and death is coming. The words startle me like a ghost. I can’t look into her pupils, I can’t see her face, and the mask seems engrained, bolted to her visage like an iron door. I push into her, I grab her hand, and it seems weightless and hungry for a touch of grace. I begin to try a loosen the mask, because I feel there might be beauty behind it, pure white skin, a nose perfect, eyes as bright as the sun. I pull and pull and eventually loosen the mask, then like a touch of magic, the mask crumbles into sand, my hand is full of powder, I look up, and what stares at me is a demon with red eyes, and a pasty face, she starts to talk in riddles, in a language I don’t know. I start to take some steps back, away from a creature I thought would have been a beautiful woman, but no, she is a demon with misery upon her face.
I start to walk away she follows me. She removes her dress, her abdomen swollen, she grabs a knife from nowhere, and cuts open her stomach, little babies with faces like sin, start to chase me, I run like an Olympian, through different stages of this horrific capsule. The little creatures start to pick up the pace, there crawl with lunacy, peppering the ground with blood and gore as they go. I run into a wall, I am stuck, ready to die, ready to give my spirit up for auction. As they near closer, they start to show their teeth, their gruesome tongues, the floor then gives way, and I fall down a shaft, screaming.
The weeds break my fall; I can’t believe I am still alive. The little bird’s chirp at my arrival, I begin to stand up, a look around at the ruins before me chipped brick and broken towers. The clouds begin to erupt; the rain starts to pour, cooling my heated face. I am alone, begging to be somewhere else. I catch a figure at the corner of my eye, could it be another Human? In this forgotten land. It starts to glow, like a candle burning in a room full of broken memories. It starts to come forward, into my proximity, walking slowly but surely, swaying, it has something it its hands that shines that gleams. It is faceless, but it still talks “hordes of them, they will come again, so run and run, until your guts explode’’ I look at this emotionless character before me, with no face, no expression, ‘’Here is the key, choose a door, carefully’’ I look again at the this faceless creature, wishing it had some features. I take the key, my thoughts racing, bombarded by dread, three doors appear in front of me, what one should I choose?
The creature stands still like a comrade being given objectives to save the world, I stand like an emotional wreck, trying to cancel out the thoughts of inevitable doom. The doors stare at me like I am some sort of deformed monster. I look at the key, it has a crest upon it, some sort of emblem, I dismiss the fact it might be important in my decision, I choose door number two. The creature disappears into thin air, leaving nothing at its wake. I walk towards the door, I take a deep breath, and I place the key in the lock, I turn the key I open the door, a flash of light impedes, I might be stuck in a whirlpool of destruction, or I might be given a chance of freedom.
When the light disappears, I find myself outside a house, a house that is identical to my Fathers old place. The surrounding areas are the same, the grass is green, and the steps grey, the curtains old and tarnished, my Father was a old fashioned Man, standing under the hype of technology and substance, not giving a damn about fashionable products. I look at the house, its grey matted exterior, its depressing outlook; the red door offers the only sign of color. I veer closer to the door biting my lip as I walk in. As I close the door, I am met with the radio blaring out some of my Fathers favorite songs, old songs, songs from the 60s. The kitchen is the same as it was when I was young, but there is a chill, my hands start to freeze, my body heat starts to decrease.
Only wearing a shirt and ragged jeans, this ice cold room overwhelms me, the chill bites me, like a thousand midges, I can’t shrug it off. I shout and shout, but receive no reply. I look around, a pot boils on the stove, I move closer, the contents look like blood, thick blood clots, it disgusts me, I move away from the burning cooker. More blood starts to appear, the walls become covered; the floor starts to spew. I begin to scream out, I shout out for my Father, I start to walk through the crimson, dredging, my nose starts to bleed, my hands start to disintegrate, I look at them, I start to see bone. I am turning into a skeleton, a shaking mess, on the borderline of destruction.
I open the door to the living room. My hands begin to heal; the radio starts to tune itself, I begin to hear my Fathers voice. As clear as a crystal vase, he begins to call out my name I embrace his voice. ‘’Mark, I’m sorry, forgive me, forgive me, for all that I’ve done, cancer took me’’ he bellows with emotion in his voice ‘’I am sorry, so sorry’’ my heart begins to sink, my hero begins to talk again ‘’leave this house, its only going to kill you’’ I take small steps, and I reach the radio, I turn it off and I receive an electric shock, a current flows through my body, I feel electrified and gearing to go, it has rejuvenated my senses and my will. I leave the living room, and I enter the hall, a small space, there is a door right in front of me. I am cautious and apprehensive, should I open the door, or should I begin to try and get out of this nightmare? I choose to open the door, I maneuver my hands, and I turn the handle. What lies before me would shock the bones of anyone.
The thing that lies before me looks like a body. It is a packaged like a piece of meat. I rip open the packaging with velocity. What I see is a man wired up to a machine, the man looks like my Father. Gaunt with yellow skin, his expressionless face is bruised, his hands showing the burn marks he picked up years ago. I put my hand to my mouth, and I gasp, what I see is a helpless Human being, suffering. I start to feel a tingling sensation, an orb of light starts to flash before me, and I am pushed into the light.
I find myself in a hospital room, but I am stuck in a capsule looking in. I can’t move, all I see is my Father in a bed surrounded by nurses and doctors, he is stuck to the bed like glue, expressionless and emotionless, his heart must be ticking by, barely, his liver and kidneys strewn with cancer, he doesn’t deserve this, I try to break through the armor, the shell is far to potent for me to break. The doctors start to talk to each other, while I’m battling to get free ‘‘this is Raymond McConville, he came in last night, I have sedated him and have given him morphine, he probably wont last the night’’ I scream out, but they can’t hear me, I scream so hard my guts wretch, this bubble I find myself in wont budge, my Father is lying there, without a grasp of love, without someone at his bedside. I sit and pray for some sort of miracle, God must be on his spring break. Heaven must be closed; so all the spirits may land in hell without admission.
The machine that is attached to my Father finally stops. His heartbeat fails; he is dead, alone and dead. I start to cry, I start to mourn him. I stand up and I push my finger at the bubble, all I does is push back. I am stuck, and alone. The doctors and nurses disappear, like that creature, they fall into thin air. My Father starts to disintegrate, a power overwhelms his body, and nothing is left but the white cotton sheets and a bed. There is no angel to filter out the blackness, there is no priest to give the last rights, and he is gone, into the life stream. I hit the capsule, I kick it, punch it, prod it, but it wont break. I lie down and I look up, I see a shooting star sweep across the ceiling, the ceiling starts to open up the sky starts to emerge. Millions of stars start to break out like a rash; they merge into a picture of my Fathers face. The face disappears and the stars fall back into an uncoordinated mess.
The capsule deflates; I am free in an empty hospital room. I carefully start to walk, like it’s the first ever I have been on my feet, I take baby steps over to the bed, I kiss the sheets and I hug warmth into them, but there is no miracle, my Father is still gone. I look straight and I see a door, I walk over to it, its open. I find myself out in the corridor; the smell of death starts to overwhelm my senses. The door across from me is the morgue, I walk to the door and I look through the pane of glass, all I see Is a big brute with a chainsaw cutting up the dead, his arms as big as tree trunks, his back tattooed with a dragon, cuts and bruises mask his flaky skin.
I feel like I should be doing something, like I should be trying halt his evil ways, I take the plunge and I shout at him, he turns around, his eyes red, his ugly face revolting, scarred and contaminated with a green substance. I have no weapon or plan; I wish my heart were a revolver so I could shoot down this horrible creature. He starts to walk with his chainsaw dragging across the ground, I take two steps back, and then I start to run, the monster starts to run after me. I feel I have no chance of surviving the onslaught.
My guts start to hurt as I run, my mind starts throw up so many memories, the flashbacks, the imprinted faces of the monsters victims begin to swarm my head. While he is running, he is playing mind games with me; he is warping all the goodness I have left in my cognition. Their innocent faces, their innocent bodies slaughtered. I reach a door, and I look back he is still chasing me, this marathon is becoming all so fierce, I close my eyes and I think of a place with serenity and flowers, different kinds of flowers. I think so hard, I fixate on thinking hard, I count to three, and I open my eyes, my wish has been granted.
I find myself in a land of flourishing flowers, a land deeply engrained with a magical aura, I see a sky before me, so blue, so elegant. The river catches the gleam of the sky; the sun burns like an orb full of fire. The tress so colossal, overshadowing the greenest of grass. My heart settles into a normal beat, I felt half alive, now I feel more alive than ever. The lamb’s graze upon the grass, the calm oxygen cleans out my lungs, the warm air heats such cold skin, the t-shirt I am wearing quivers as the wind starts to blow like a beautiful woman blowing bubbles. The wind starts to pick up, it becomes relentless, the hairs in my nose start to shuffle, the land begins to break up like bricks being hit by a large hammer, I begin to become discontented, restless and frustrated. The heart of this land is breaking, a hole starts to emerge, and it begins to pull everything down, the beautiful flowers, the towering tress, even the sun. I feel like I am in a picture of destruction that someone has painted with a paintbrush of venom. I start to get pulled too, a tornado appears, pulling me towards the hole, I close my eyes and start to think of somewhere else, somewhere safe, but it doesn’t work this time, I fall into to the hole, I scream in terror.
As I fall, I see pictures of my Mother and Father stitched into the dirt and brick, I see my Father smile, I see my Mother smoking a cigarette and blowing the smoke from her nose, I see war, men being killed, I see my old dog Rusty, I see my Brother and me being born. I look down and all I see is spikes, as sharp as a butcher’s knife, I close my eyes and I embrace my inevitable doom. I open my eyes, and find myself in a place plastered in blood it looks like a uterus. I start to walk, the sponge like texture of the ground feels uncanny. I walk slowly to the main arena, and I look straight at the two unformed figures. I glance at them, there little hearts beating, the umbilical chord tangled, they are definite life forms, but still not ready to hatch, two little human beings with a life ahead of them. I stare and admire, the complexity and originality of these little machines, their hearts beat, their hands move, their little faces, so defined, so vivid. But I must get out of here, and let them grow naturally.
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