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Friday, August 19, 2011

The dark forest

    I had been sitting here for what seemed like many long hours. My leg which seemed like it was bare just a moment back was covered in a blue colored jean. Rubbing my head gently against my leg, I got up to stretch my aching muscles as I tried to adjust to this new body.

    I wheel myself to the window which faces the road. The total darkness felt so soothing and I felt at home in the pool of darkness that this ageless house offered. Grasping my head with both hands, I jerked the head around forcefully so that it faced the right direction. Ignoring the sound of ripping muscles and bones, I licked the trickle of blood that flowed out of my mouth as a mischievous sparkle lit the eyes.

    Looking down from the window, I saw the dark forest where I roamed, called my home and released my prey so that I could hunt for food. The leaves, trees and the things that crawl underneath always seemed to whisper and sigh as I passed under the dark shades looking for the lost dreams. Taking a deep breath, I strained to break away from the hypnotic malevolent gaze that seemed to reach out with its tentacles and drag me through the window, into the forest and cradle me in its arm to feed me the dark dreams once more.

    The ground shook a bit and I heard a heavy slithering sound on the rough stone floor which seemed to be coming towards me. The sound came closer. The sudden splintering of the door startled me and brought me out of the thoughts I was in. A strong earthy smell permeated the room and the sound of shrieking cries of souls in torment filled my ears. Reddish yellow light spilled into the room as a huge demon snake hissed at me. Coiling itself up till it’s head touch the ceiling, its head swayed back and forth and its tongue flicked in and out as if to find where I was standing. The torch above my head drew its attention and as it drew close, a drop of its venom dripped on me and it started to burn like a hellish fire. Gritting my teeth tight, I grimaced in pain and suppressed a shriek or else even my death would be certain.

    Spinning its head around as if it heard a sound, it slithered out at a lightning speed. The glint slowly appeared back in my eyes as the darkness started to pool around my feet once more. The forest whispered as its leaves rustled. The hunger of the forest grew more pronounced with each moment as the footsteps drew deeper and deeper into the forest. The branches seemed to hook and tear at the clothes or the skin, yet they seemed not to notice. The whispering winds called out their names, startling them, causing them to spin around sharply, look around yet not see a soul. The brooding forest waited and waited as it could wait as its prey entangled more and more in its web while all the paths they used slowly disappeared as if they never existed. The wind as if remembering its child, slowly wound its way to the window where I stood and caressed my hair ever so gentle. It’s hand ran through my hair, caressed my face and teased me with the smell that caused my eyes to fly wide open. The sensory overload was painful as I grabbed my head and moaned. The scent of humans with their blood pumping through their veins was fueling my hunger and I felt like a rabid dog. Pulling the curtain aside to take a morning view, I gritted my teeth to suppress the desires, saw the sun was just peeking over the horizon, the passing landscape was covered in a fine mist and the sun bathed it in an orange light which slowly turned into yellow.

    Squinting my eyes while holding my head tightly between my hands, I stumbeled across the room. Not seeing the edge, I flew down the stairs and landed near the foot of the stairs. A soft hiss and then a cough from one of the kitchen guys who was taking orders for dinner brought me back to my senses. The body ached and it felt like every bone was broken and I let out a loud moan as pain shot through my body. Light spilled onto my face from the high intensity torch as one of the foul smelling creatures who had occupied this timeless eateries stomped impatiently on my chest to hiss at me and asked if I was heading off or not. With a loud curse, I headed off down the hallway to drive away the craving.

    The empty table, broken furniture, rotting curtains and the constant scurrying sounds of the rats hidden behind the walls felt so soothing and I wanted to reach through one of the dark holes to grab whatever was passing through to torment it a little more. A few flies buzzed around and their buzzing was as listless as the place. There were still a few bodies stacked in the corner which had not processed. The kitchen crew was slacking in processing the inward bound items and someone was going to do solitary time for this. A few pockets of mist solidified in the deep dark pools, merged into a one and started to twirl round and round while a banshee like sound was heard and the worked up spirits were pacified once I started to threaten them that if they don’t quiet down, they be sent to the lower levels to roast till eternity.

    The winds moaned as it found its way through the cracks in the wall and whispered dark tiding in my mind urging me to satiate my hunger while sharing the spoils with my siblings. As I stumbled down the hallway looking for the door, I saw two monstrous gargoyles which had been turned to stone by me sat on each side glaring menacing at me as if seeking vengeance. The door opened on its own as I was about to turn the handle. As I left the hellish plane of existence, out of the grassy plain, a footpath appeared.

    Rounding the corner, the group of humans ran head long into what seemed like a stone wall. Bouncing off, one of them looked up from the bloodied footpath to see a shape in the shadows. Stepping into the flickering lamp light, a burly man emerged from the shadows. Pulling a shotgun from the shoulder, I started to insert shells one by one into the twin barrel while grimacing at the man sprawled before me. “Hi. My name is Saint Joe. You forgot to ask my permission before you started to wander around my little playground idiot. I live in that hell hole over there where unfortunate souls are devoured as a snack and then eternally damned to a painful existence for eternity. Let me introduce you to my colleagues, ok?” Was all I said as I snapped the gun and flipped the safety off. With sweat running down his neck and soaking his shirt, the unfortunate man started to run down the forest. Large braches started to swoop down upon the running man while the rest watched in terror. A shotgun rang out behind him and the pellets left their marks on his back and lower legs. Air was knocked out of him as he was tackled to the ground. As he started to lose consciousness, he saw a burly staring down at him. A pair of branches seemed to come alive and started to lower themselves towards the wayward intruders. The shadows seemed to come alive as one shriek after another rent the air. An eternity seemed to have passed and the forest seemed still once more.

    Wandering around a bit after I had my fill, the path eventually led to a familiar old bearded tree which seemed like the grandfather of all the trees, a pair of yellow eyes blinked and one of the thick branches beckoned me towards the chair as if it knew all along that I was coming. Ignoring the chair, I climbed onto one of its thick branches and started to tell how a certain event changed the course of my life forever.

    I always knew that I was different, yet I always tried to hide my difference and tried my hardest to blend in whichever town I was staying in. Life usually moved at a slow pace yet sometimes the hunger got the best of me. I usually ended up changing one town after another when the body of evidence kept piling up and the hunger just too great. The low life, vagabonds, drifters were such an easy prey and hardly anyone ever noticed them missing unless someone kept a tally.

    Life or death. Which one is better for the unfortunate ones, I cannot say. For the survivors many years will pass, yet they shall not forget their haunting ‘vision’ nor what they have lost. They will have nightmares almost every night where they wake up drenched in sweat and clutching the wrinkled bed sheets. They say that time heals all scars yet some memories will refuse to fade away. Many will think that moving out of the old neighborhood to live out the remaining years by the seashore will brings them peace and help them to forget. Yet, sometimes in the dark they will still see the red glint in the darkness or hear the rasping voice before the vicious bite as a shriek rents the air before the dark angel starts to chase them across the barren house from one room to another or through the empty roads. As they lie in their bed, they shall wonder how long these memories will keep on coming back to torment them before the dark angel goes on the final hunt.

    After what seemed many eons, I woke up from my deep slumber on the tree branch fully refreshed. The old age aches and pain gone, I felt the youth surging madly through me and it felt like I would burst any moment. Gentle winds were flowing through the forest swaying the leaves ever so softly. The old grandfather tree had interwoven his branches and was holding me in a cradle like a mother would hold a child while swinging it back and forth gently. The shrill cry of many hawks on the hunt was heard overhead and with a gasp and I realized that it was late in the afternoon the sun was burning away the last remnants of the sleep I was caught in. Sweat was pouring down my face and into my shirt which was soaking wet. The yellow eyes which was gentle and loving a moment ago suddenly turned into an evil glint as my lungs started to burn and the heart was pounding do hard that it felt like it was going to pop out. I felt intense pressure in my back, I shrieked out in pain as I felt my body shaking and my vision began to blur. After a moment, I crawled to my knees and finally stood up. Spreading and stretching the huge wings, I started to flap them till, I started to rise into the sky. Flapping my giant wings, I hung effortlessly hung in the sky. An evil glint appeared in my eye and I started to laugh hysterically and the manic laughter rang through the forest.