The Fifth Night: A Familiar Place
I was in a body that wasn’t my own, walking through a familiar place from childhood memories—happy memories—memories of better days when life presented no obligations. The sun was bright, kissing the very top of the heavens. Its loving beams shined down upon my soft face—warming me—guiding me. A gentle breeze pushed me from the back. Something called to me. It had no voice, but instead worked through nostalgia to guide me.
The crispness of freshly cut grass tickled my feet. I followed a path I knew well through an open orchard until I reached a corner made of a wall of trees. I never explored beyond this corner as a child, but something was different now. The wall of trees had been chopped down, the dirt unearthed and reshaped into a hillside. And there was now a gravel trail curling around the hill.
I felt an intense anxiousness. This wasn’t right; the trail didn’t belong, but I took it anyway. For I wasn’t in my body, but rather, my mind was trapped within the free spirit of a young woman. A woman who I never met nor knew. She led the way, I was just along for the ride.
She walked along the gravel trail with cautious steps. Cautious not because the terrain, but because of the unknown that may be encountered. On the other side of the hill was a great field. So large the end of it rolled like a wave beneath the horizon where it was replaced by an electric blue sky. The field was comprised of newly planted trees and short grass, nothing else. And something still pulled me—her—to keep walking.
We reached a decaying shed pushed back into the treeline. Its wood, faded red, held loosely together with the vines of gnarled tree limbs keeping the whole thing upright. She pulled the door open and the hot scent of death greeted us. But the shed was empty, yet a second door could be seen through the blackness against the back.
With nervousness the girl took us inside. I felt repulsed and tried pulling back, but I had no control of her actions. It was her body and all I could do was watch and fear. She neared the door and the air grew hotter. A sickening sweetness permeated through the cracks and stung the nostrils. She popped the latch and pulled open the door.
“…the hot scent of death greeted us.”
With a sudden burst the door flung wide open releasing a devil hound of unfathomable size upon us. It spewed rotted flesh from its mouth and hurled globs of thick, red, viscous spit at us. But it didn’t attack. Instead, it rushed out of the shed and took to the top of the great field where it reared on its hind legs like a mighty steed. Then it was gone.
Against every ounce of sense she chased after the beast—tripping over the baby trees and loose rocks along the way. We reached the top but there was no beast. Only that beautiful blue sky—endless like the ocean. We scanned upward as the dark blue of the heavens gradually changed lighter in color until we were staring at the fiery sun. Only, it didn’t hurt our eyes. For some reason the sun appeared as if it were during an eclipse, and we could see black objects circling it. One object came crashing down towards the Earth. As it descended, the black silhouette gave way and was replaced with a metallic sheen. It was a fighter jet.
The jet dipped and curved through the bright sky until it soared right above our head. It skimmed behind the far off treeline and sank out of sight. We were sure a loud boom would accompany its rapid descent, but it never did. We looked back up at the sun but this time it immediately burned our pupils.
As we scanned back down the blue sky to the horizon, the color gave way to an even more intense blue than before. For the field and rolling hills were now gone—replaced with a fierce ocean of violet and black water. I was now stranded in the open waters of an ocean at twilight. The girl was gone and my body alone bobbed up and down with the cold waves. All hope for life had been extinguished in that moment. I didn’t fear drowning because for some reason it wasn’t a possibility. In this place I knew I couldn’t parish, but I was alone—forever, forced to struggle against the unforgiving waves crashing on top of me. And that was worse than any fate death could bring.
If you liked this, don’t forget to check out the other parts in this series.