She walked ahead of me, her dress gossamer and flowing as if underwater. In the wall to our left windows no more than slices in the brickwork sent shards of light across the cramped space. Each time the light hit her I saw her dress crisp and crumble like the wings of a butterfly under the harsh heat of a magnifying glass.
“There is only forward.” She said, and a part of me did not believe her.
I could turn away.
We can always turn away.
She led, and in spite of my thoughts I followed anyway.
Isn’t that what we do?
She pauses and I realise we have reached the stairs summit. There is a door ahead of us, I cannot see it in the darkness but I see a sliver of light as it silently opens. The light is brilliant and caught amid it are undulating colours that dance and mingle creating hues I could not name.
We step out onto the rooftop, the city is a carpet of light and destruction and burning craters dot it like holes worn in a well-trod carpet; but it was the sky that drew my eye.
The stars were a cataclysm of quiet decay, pinpricks of light flared brightly before evaporating into pale dust. Planets collided as the bonds that held them in place disappeared and sent them spinning unhindered through space. Meteors pelted moons and stars swallowed planets.
The universe had seen t day and was entering its own eternal night.
“There is only forward.” She said, and I glanced at her.
Her eyes were cast to the night sky and the colours of destruction painted her face in the beauty only destruction knew. Sadness cast her as a lone heroine, a seer of sights that burned her soul and changed her very being.
Entropy is decay, I thought. The spinning of the planets and the burning of the suns is the universes death throes and throughout its existence humankind had fought and loved on one of the universes dying cells. Playing out our psychodramas within the body of the beast that is existence unheedful of its plight around us.
I looked out over the city, between the fires and through the buildings to the road that led out through the mind-barrens out through to the Oblongata Turnpike and the Cerebellum Café beyond it.
I remembered the beginning and I remembered who I was.
A dreamer in a land of the imagination, lost in a nightmare rather than smelling the sweet perfume of dreams. Around me the world burned and the skies fell and I knew the only one at fault was myself.
The world is what we dream it, our actions are just an extension of the thoughts that manage to fight their way to the surface, growing from the smallest of seeds.
“No,” I said and the woman turned to me, the air around her swept her dress into an explosion of silken fabric around her, the fires of the earth and the stars of the sky shining through it.
She looked like a renaissance painting I had once seen of an angel.
“No,” I said again, “forward is not the only way.”
“Oh it is,” she smiled beatifically, “it’s just that forward is nothing more than the way you are facing.”
I understood and turned by back on the destruction below.
posted by Alan Preece
on November, 14