A Chuck Wending – THE RANDOMIZED TITLE REARS ITS HEAD – prompt
Trapped in our nightmares, we let them lead our salvation.
Oh god, there it is. The burn.
Again. In my head.
The pencil runs down at the bottom of the “Happy Lotus” takeout menu. Get out!
This line has been nesting between my ears for month; and now just slipped, wriggled itself from the tip of my tongue. Bad eel. I haven’t been able to exorcise myself from it. I turn it over hundred thousand times. It hurts. It… Hurts.
„Hey! Watch it!“ I bump into someone’s shoulder. Nearly trip over my own legs. „Is that…? You… You need help -“
„- Sorry…“ I’m trapped and maybe, this is where I should seek salvation. It can be my home, if I try really hard. I can duck into darkness. I can make myself small and fit in. I can make myself believe, I know I can. Even if I’m out of luck. And can’t go back. No more yesterdays.
Always. That’s the only thing I can tell you. The only thing you must know. BE HONEST. I’ll tell you the truth. I’m not a good person. I’m a coward. That’s why I run. Even now. I’m done. It burns. The wound in my stomach. Liquid fire from the inside. I’m leaking acidic poison. I’m tainted. One brush of my fingers and everything dies. Have I mentioned? I’m a black cloud to anyone close to me. For everyone I care. You don’t want to stay with me. Not as my fiancee, not as my friend, and not as a colleague.
I’m trouble. A troubled photographer. Never at the right time or the right place. Only today. Ironically. Someone up there is laughing his head off…
Buzzing in the air. Electric owl. The drone is coming closer. Looking for me. Is this where I’m supposed to be? Right here? It’s going to be big, if I survive this. If I get these photos to Allen. If… I – must hide them. Somewhere they’ll never look. Somewhere… Where? The chilly air burns. In my lungs. Numbness moves. Up and down under my skin. So damp. Is it sweat, or blood?
I want to show the world something beautiful.
Dedicated people standing up, having enough. Boiling faces, glowing eyes. Raised fists and shouting voices. Bare teeth. Breath vapor billowing up into the frozen sky. Everybody screaming in rage. Vocals of fear and hate. Ready to set the night on fire. Ready to light the fuse to blow up the stars.
I want to show the world. Strings pulling us, little puppets, making us dance to the rhythm of death, dancing to the melody of lies. Dancing for money. For oil. For …water. Food.
I zig zag the crowd as fast as I can. The engine hum overhead and the burning on my back tells me all that I need to know… I’m being followed. No need to look. They want the photos. My phone has no bars. I can’t even call for help? They jam the signal? My camera bounces off my chest, as I kick into a slight run. It’s low on battery. Keeps blinking. Almost 450 photos, no one will ever see. Nobody. Maybe not even Allen. He’d understand. If only I could tell him. Still got an empty memory card on me. Switch them. Swallow the full… Maybe. Someone will find it. Not when I’m like … this. Still walking. And breathing…
It’s going to snow. I can taste it, smell it. The essence of winter swallows motions, noises, the lights.
It calms the flow of time. The sounds – they all go away. The snow cloaks… Maybe the last peaceful blanket to cover the sting.
What remains, is the rushing of blood through my veins. Repeated tremors, shaking the very core – pressure pulses of my heart. The world before my eyes blur, ears go deaf. Deaf for the environment, for sounds not coming from within… Is this how it should be? The snow buries memories. Memories of who I am, and what I do… It cloaks the details, the definitions, the outlines… You shouldn’t stay with me. I need some rest. Leave me, go for a walk. Just – let me sit down a bit.