Rough Draft Snippet

Here is a snippet from my manuscript. Consider it a sample, shield of text, or ramblings of a blow-hard.

                Awake or asleep, that black vast abyss haunts my every state of mind. Reality is blurred into a seamless transition of consciousness and dream. Eyes open or closed the same array of light is seared into my mind and that damnable nothingness plaguing my vision.  Little things are how I can tell where my mind might be. The aching pain of atrophy isn’t molesting my body. It can only mean that I am unconscious again. I’ve slipped into the velvety numbness of insentience. I welcome the break from boredom and hurt.  I wonder what vivid fairy tales and dreams I’ll see in this rabbit hole. What sort of subconscious trickery my brain will afflict me with this time.

I can taste desert air. A gentle gust is caressing my face; specks of dirt caught in its dance make me feel as if I’m being polished. Cool and pleasant the wind doesn’t seem to end, just one continuous breeze. I hear the soft hiss of the air around me as it plunges into hollowed depths. The faint sounds of its echoes follow close behind. I know exactly which dream this is, I fucking hate this one.

A flash of white light and there I am, standing on the edge. Like some rabid beast my heart beats against its cage trying to free itself.  I close my eyes, preparing for the nightmare.

I know what is coming, but can’t help but feel anxious. It is so vivid it frightens me; it feels more real this time. I can feel the cold air touching my naked body now. I can feel my skin turning into goose-flesh. Holding my hands in front of me I can see them shaking. The hot sand sears my feet. I open my eyes, just all-consuming nothingness.

Darkness is everywhere. The gigantic chasm consumes everything I can see. I look in the void hoping that I can pierce the veil. I get the feeling deep in my stomach that the blackness is looking back at me, like it is taking my measure. I focus and move my gaze down into the nether hoping I see some sign of bottom, some form of terra to let me know the blankness isn’t forever.  Sometimes I think I see things moving. Just quick little movements of black against darker black, but my mind might be trying to make monsters out of shadows. I want to turn my head to see behind me but I can’t move my neck or body, I just keep staring into void.

I absorb it. I let my eyes become unfocused. I see movement again and try to follow it but can’t, it’s too fast. As if possessed my legs inch up to the edge, maybe if I get just a little closer I can see clearer. I hear something, faint soft rustling noises followed by more masked movement. My throbbing heart has now migrated to my throat.

The sound and movement stop, I wait a few seconds but nothing else comes. It’s just me and the void again, no motion or bodies to be seen. We just stare deep into each other.

Then I faintly hear something, the ever so soft beating of a drum. It is coming from somewhere in the gaping nothing, a slow rhythmic beat that calls to me. It stirs something deep inside me, something primal and wanting. An overflowing amount of contrary sensations flood my body. It tickles and burns in unison. The drum beat gets a little louder. The pleasure and pain get stronger in sync with the drum.

“Momma, where are you momma? I’m scared, “a voice whines from behind me.

I break my gaze and turn around, whatever invisible hand was holding me let go. I see a large group of people chained in parallel rows. I can only see their backsides. Dirt and grime is peppered all over their pale flesh. They’re wearing white linens that wrap around their body. The left arms and shoulders are left uncovered. Large iron cuffs around their waists and wrists. It looks as if their restraints are so tight they can only face one direction. Before them is a mammoth rock wall. It is dirty and weathered with red, black and white bricks scattered in random patterns. It goes up as far as the eye can see. On both sides of the group is more damned edge. For them the wall or the hollow, nothing else to look at. The people are all silent except for a boy crying.

“Momma! I’m scared, where are you?”

A small boy struggles to stand up. His sobs can be heard echoing. I try to walk towards the group but my legs won’t move. I struggle to buy an inch but my feet hold tight to the ground.

“I’m right here sweetie, I’m right behind you. I can see you. Mommy is right here, I won’t leave you,” said a woman behind the boy.

The boy struggles against his shackles. “Momma! Momma!” he cries. He tries to turn around but can’t, he wails more fervently.

“I know baby, I know. I’m right here. I’m right behind you. Calm down sweetie. Please calm down. Everything is ok.” From the sound of the mother’s voice, she is struggling to stay calm.

The drum gets louder. The sensations inside my body strengthen. The light tickling feeling washes all over my body like a wave. Immediately after a burning aching pain steals the pleasure away like a bad aftertaste, I tighten my muscles reflexively.

“Momma! It hurts Momma!”

“I know it hurts baby, it hurts all of us, but I need you to be a big boy and not cry. Can you do that for me?”

“MOMMA IT HURTS!”

“Shhhh. Calm down sweetie, just calm down.”

The drum gets louder. The tickling becomes a heavenly feeling flooding through my body. It feels as if I’m in a slow gentle free fall. I can’t help but feel relaxed and happy. Then the pain explodes in a crippling white flash of torment. It hurts so much I can’t move. I scream and writhe in pain. No sound leaves my mouth. I collapse to my knees in agony.

I close my eyes and grind my teeth in anguish. When I open them I notice flickering light washing over everything like an ocean hitting rocks. A large pyre above me is floating in the air. It illuminates everything I can see. Orange and yellow hues fill the once hazy vision of everything around me. The people in front of me whine and wail struggling to move around. They react to the light as if it is some avatar of pain. They start to pull on their chains violently. Frantically they start to move around in what little freedom the chains will allow.

I gather my strength and senses I push against the ground and stand up. As I come to my height I notice the pyre casting my shadow on the large rock wall. My shadow dances into sporadically odd and distorted shapes. The people gasp and their bodies become rigid with terror.

Pain still echoing in my body, I stand stretching and flexing my muscles maybe I can ebb the pain away if only for a few moments. My shadow is deeper and darker now. The people are acting more and more frightened. They huddle together as close as allowed by their shackles. Confused I try to open my mouth to tell them not to worry, but nothing comes out. Then the drumming stops and the sensations subside. A terrifying and freakish noise floods the air.

The noise terrorizes me in every dark corner in my head even when awake. The sound of millions of chattering insects boom into the air. That damnable noise echoes emphatically from behind me in the void. I try to scream at the mind scrambling cacophony. A low hiss seeps into the air followed by clicks and more rustling.  I try with every ounce of resolve I have to move away from that maddening sound. Louder and louder it grows until my ears burn in pain. I open my mouth to scream again and recognition slaps my face hard. The sound is coming from my throat. Confused and horrified I fall over dizzy. I catch myself in time and stop myself from falling over the edge. My head hovers over the darkness.

I slither my body away from the cliff and lay on my back abashed at what just happened. Sundered from my understanding at the sound of what monstrous bellowing had come from my throat. I hear a deeper and louder bedlam of the same sound come from the depths. A reply and twin to the very sound I disdain. Again I rise to my feet and notice the large group of prisoners. They are all standing with their cuffs off. Their backs still face me. Again I hear that horrifying hissing click intonation repeated from the black abyss. The people slowly turn towards me. Familiar faces on every person. People I have known throughout my life. Family members, teachers, friends, and enemies they all turn towards me. Their faces placid and empty like the darkness all around me, as if one large body, the group walks towards me in a slow deliberate mindless shuffle. All bar the mother and the boy. To my dismay they have no faces, only a circular mouth with jagged teeth inside. I hear the hisses and clicks ooze from their mouth.

“Jump” they all say together.

Their mouths open and close hungrily, teeth clicking rhythmically.

“Jump!”

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Rough Draft Snippet

  1. Wow. Good stuff, Frank. Thanks for sharing!

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