Day 1
In the beginning there was darkness. Before the beginning, unfathomable universes could have existed within the four walls. Now, nothing existed within the infinite void.
Phantoms. A conjurer can conjure himself a kingdom, but it is just a wisp of fleeting cloud whose beauty stands out from the rest. Suspended in the void, the boy thought that he could raise the dead from the graveyard of his memory, resurrect the specter of brotherhood. The circle of friends that insulated him from the darkness was a zombie devoid of life, distracting him from the reality. He was alone.
Had there ever been a time when he was not alone? Had there ever been a time when anyone else existed, when anything else existed that he could reach out and touch? Could he possibly hold on to something, cling to a piece of driftwood to keep him from drowning in the tides of darkness?
When he drifted into sleep, he dreams of the land of the living, perhaps he thought he had found salvation. As his eyes opened to assess his situation, he would realize that his piece of driftwood was nothing but a placebo, diverting him from realizing that nothing he could do would change the fact that the ocean would swallow him to feed mother earth’s insatiable appetite.
Man had emerged from the dust, and to the dust he would return. All the skyscrapers that appeared in his memory, the technology, the luxury, would not and could not endure. Against the test of time, against the tearing, ripping, schisms of the void, everything was nothing but dust.
And when the land of nightmares seized control of his mind from his heavenly dreams, the grainy portals of hell would taunt him as he wandered through the valley of the shadow of death. He would drag his feet through the dust of which everything would be made. Every breath he took, riddled with the poison dust, would burn through his throat, choking him. And when he had choked till the vomit dripped off his flaking lips, the flies would come, buzzing....
Day 2
The wilderness would surround him and he would give himself up to the endless circle of living and dying that took place in every atom of everything. He would be part of the circle and it would surround him, whether or not he was hungry or thirsty, or stinking or hurting; he would be alive, and he would be a man. The circle would engulf civilizations of greed, but he would survive as a part of the circle, eternal and immortal.
Immortals populated the stories his mother would tell him, stories of mantles he would take up as a great chief of the race of men. Mother...
To know he had come from the womb of another living thing...that he had once had contact with another living thing...somewhere, he felt emotion, a real emotion in his reality of nothingness, and something that was not supposed to exist in the nothingness was born: a tear.
And with the loss of a tear, he had changed. The void had changed. His eyes snapped open and Pandora’s box snapped open. All the memories, all the life that had once existed but was now taken from him was realized, and he protested the cruel unfairness of it all.
He screamed till his throat bled, but he could not hear himself. He could not feel the pain. He could not taste the blood. He could not smell his own fear. He could not see the walls of his prison cell. He should have kept quiet.
Day 3
He reached out to touch the wall of his cell, but he felt nothing.
He sniffed the air, but his own stink was not detected.
His tongue licked his lips, but tasted nothing.
He could not see in the darkness.
There was nothing to hear.
He accepted his death.
Day 4
The Lord of the Void said let there be light and so there was light. He had been lying on the floor, directly in front of the door. He rose, using his muscles for the first time in three days. He opened the door, savoring the cool touch of the knob on his hand.
The room that greeted him was home to a table, on either side of which was two chairs. One chair was empty and on the other sat a beautiful woman in a white coat that emphasized the paleness of her skin. Her cold eyes had seen much of the world’s cruelty, and they were amused by it.
On the table was a plate, on which rested a juicy, thick lamb chop, simmering and bubbling in the richness of its own juices. There was a jug of fruit punch next to it. The boy felt dizzy after three days of privation.
“Eat.” The woman’s features were birdlike and her small, rosy mouth barely moved, yet somehow generated the husky command.
After several minutes, the plate had nothing on it, save for the blood that had leaked from the meat. The jug was empty, save for a few drops that seemed as though they had come from the plate.
The woman gave a small chuckle, tinkling in the room, mocking the boy.
“If the desensitization pill you were testing had not worn off last night, you would be dead of thirst right now. Being without your senses cannot be healthy. Then again, it’s really your fault for volunteering as a test subject for this drug. Actually, it’s probably the government at fault, for relegating you savages to reservations where you have to depend on the most outrageous things, such as drug tests, for money. Anyhow, from now on, you will have to take a special pill, every single day. This pill will help you maintain your senses. Attempts to exist in independence of it will result in forty days of agony, then death.”
© 2004 The Richmond Hill Public Library Board