Kidnapped (HOES Entry - Into The Fire)
I barely move across the grass, slowly lowering each foot to let each blade of grass press individually into the sole. In this perfect moment I take joy in small things. Small flowers of periwinkle and citrine dot the sward and dew dapples their delicate petals. I bend to drink and am drawn into a world of sublime flavours.
My taste sated I wander across my perfect garden. The grass bends, folding in myriad patterns, unfolding in unnumbered more, standing straight again.
The sky is ripped by a discordant note. Singing songs of joy I rush to see. Running as fast as I can, I feel the air caress my passing.
A giant metal beast is tearing a trench in the grass, rolling and spitting. My perfect moment lies shattered and torn. I run but the beast is fast and gouges its way inexorably toward me scouring the ground flat with its passing. Flames stream from its body like feathers turning my flowers to ash.
It is almost upon me. I see three terrible eyes staring down at me, twisted in loathing. I feel the weight of their regard like iron chains, unseeing my choices and confining me to this single ashen flight.
Dark tongues eat away at the ground and the chains are biting deep now, pulling me toward the beast. I struggle against them but the ground is soft and shifts beneath my feet. The flames burn high; I strain my eyes but, unlike the flames of home, I see only an ugly finality in their random jerking. With a mighty tug the chains complete their task and I am drawn through the flames, feeling my senses and my flesh scoured.
I am aware.
The ground cuts at my feet. I try to remain motionless but it is a torment of rigid pieces and, as the air tears at my skin, I am forced to shift again and again seeking comfort. Looking around see that I am standing in a tunnel. Darkness masks the ends; as far as I can see the walls are grey and uniform. As my senses reach out further I feel a thundering.
Gusting winds…a rumble…. Is this a tunnel… or a throat? Have I been swallowed? There is nothing special about this place, so I resolve to move, but which way? Thoughts muddle in my head: how do I know that the air will be coming from an exit if it is a tunnel? Should I wait to feel if it changes direction? A sound, different and small, comes from the distance; not music but the beginning of a crude rhythm possibly. Filled with the desire to act I choose that direction.
The sound gets louder. The ground does not shift beneath my feet and my limbs feel heavy but dragging myself through the thick air I force myself toward it.
In the distance I finally perceive two shapes, grey like the tunnel but with a glow like me; the idea that there might be others like me floods me with joy before giving way to a new thought that I slowly realise is not pleasant, a concept of loneliness.
I dance forward and the shapes sing in greeting; they are off-key but make up for it in volume. I chant forth a counterpoint to their melody and they soar higher in response. A symphony of scents breaks forth as they release unguents and pheromones in greeting: sharp yellows and coppery reds overlay earthy browns.
One of them runs off, raising its arms in joy and I see that they lack proper hands. Perhaps it has gone to find (I try the idea again to see if I understand it) others. The second is gazing at me in ecstasy, while a new salty scent cuts the perfume.
They feel ecstasy like me, and they glow like me; we are the same! I ignore the hard echoes and sing; I ignore the razor floor and dance. But the glow is weak and the other does not dance and sing.
The grey must have trapped it. I must make it free again. My strong hands quickly cut away the hard grey shell and the layers beneath. Freed of the muffling blandness the glow flares and I taste its glories. The uniqueness overcomes me and I swallow.
The odd almost music has returned; there are more instruments but still no harmony.
My eyes are strangely dull and it takes an eternity to seek the source of the sound. More of the glowing creatures are advancing slowly along the tunnel towards me. The grey wrapped around them is heavy enough to give their motions a dull uniformity.
A harsh note drowns the music completely, revealing a creature behind them enveloped in grey so flat it is almost black; it waves its arms in sharp jerks, disrupting the traces of grace in the other creatures and they come to a halt. Beneath the barrage of dissonance the glow is forced deeper into the grey.
Pleasure fills me as I realise I can save these creatures as I saved the first one. I arch my spine then slowly pass one leg over my head performing an elegant cartwheel while striking the hard tips of my fingers together in a countermelody to the dissonance. Continuing my graceful process I see the creatures raising straight rods.
They spit straight lines, each a million million spheres, each the same. Each sphere leaves a dull grey mark on my skin, dulling the patterns and turning flesh numb. Finally they strike my eyes and I am spared the sight of uniformity scouring away my beauty. One last moment of clarity holds me, before my senses bleed away and all is still.
I am standing in a field of exquisite salmon grass. In all directions the ground undulates upward before the meeting far above my head in a perfect sphere. I pirouette and the sky moves with me in perfect unity.
I barely move across the grass, slowly lowering each foot to let each blade of grass press individually into the sole. In this perfect moment I take joy in small things.