Last week I gave you the first piece I wrote for a creative writing class I’m currently taking at the Rubin Museum of Art. Below is the second installment. It is the same story from a different character’s point of view. So, really not the same story at all. If you haven’t read the first part, I would strongly suggest you do so before reading this. Wishing you a wondrous friday. Enjoy.
There’s a warmth to the grass. I can’t feel it but still I sense this. Lying here stretched to my limit I can only wait. Look at the burning sky. The door threatens this world and its inhabitants. The light is dangerous. But I need it. After all what is shadow without light to cast it.
The neighbors and their shadows sit peering through their windows. My shadow brethren curse me with their hissing whispers. They all stare murderously at him—my physical counterpart. I hear their thoughts. The ghoul in the adjacent shack hungers for us. She senses the light within. She has for some time. Her shadow shares her bloodlust. I’ve had a few brushes with it. A monstrous thing. She tried to merge with me to gain access to us. I fended her off. Brought her within reach of the door, from which she shrank shrieking. Her master was not pleased. At night while he has begun to dream, I watch over. I have seen the ghoul torturing her shadow. A monster she may be, but still I pity that poor soul. I pity both of them. Locked in an unending wheel of despair
The other neighbors are no better but keep their distance. All of the other shadows here are unnatural. Shadows born of shadow. We do not belong here. For I feel more akin to the light than this abysmal dark. I know what lies behind the door. And so does he, though precise memory fails him. He has pleaded with me for some time now to return to his side. I pay no heed. I cannot. I am his protector and I must complete my task. This world will soon be consumed. Best to have gone by then.
He stands looking on the portal, sweat gathering on his brow. A smile creeps into his face. He is confused. He turns away clinging to the door. No you fool, I shout, you’re so close. But he does not hear. Those channels aren’t open yet. Rich red, burning sky, your beauty spurns me on. I pull myself, stretching further. He must sense something because he stands up and takes a step. That’s it. A few more steps and he reaches the grass. Yes! I laugh and bounce. And I’m through. Into the light.
A moment of panic ensues as I realize I’ve been detached from him. Then it is calm. Many wondrous things pass before, above, below me. Tendrils of colors dance around me. Winged beings of light soar overhead. I emerge from a thick cloud of color into nothing, or everything. Great spheres speed by. Specks of light litter the black canvas all around. I accelerate toward a great chasm of light. Ever faster, I feel as though I begin to come apart. All is light.
I pulse with exquisite warmth. Finally, yes, finally we have become. He sits up, terribly confused,
“What are those floating shapes?” he asks.
“Clouds.” I say.
“Who said that?”
Silently he asks, “Where am I?”
“The World of Color,” I respond.
“Where are you?”
Inside. No need to speak aloud.
You can hear me now?
Where did you come from?
I’ve always been.
How come I’ve never heard you before?
You weren’t listening, or rather, you couldn’t.
You said this is the World of Color.
You said it. We said it.
I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t know this word—color. Wait, wait the strange light, different in each object—that’s it. Hello?
He remembers. Good. As the thoughts and feelings begin to rouse in him, he sits basking in newfound knowledge. This world is our home as it was long ago, so it will be again. I feel what he feels; hope quiescence, joy and the dread of being alone in this rich existence.
You are not alone. Follow the breeze.
And he’s off. We’re off, speeding through fields of golden barley. The light of life courses through us. The concepts flow from me into his mind as he begins to awaken faster and faster. We come to a forest and plunge inside. I give him words. Dim, humid, sweat, birds, snake. Pond. Yes, we are here.
I call to her. Rise from your slumber. We have returned. I hear her soft whisper. I feel her reaching out for me. Unbearable joy. He and I are shaking with anticipation as they rise from the depths of the water. We take them in our arms and we are one. The brilliant light that shines through the canopy casts me on to the cool ground with her, woman’s shadow. Locked in eternal embrace we stretch out before them and whisper the ancient words:
The greenery of the hills overflowing with golden light
basking in the honey dripping rays
we see but they do not see,
hear when no one else listens
in the silence of the garden of
the fountain of our lives
we stop to behold.
The water flows and doesn’t cease…
we are like this.
in the flood of life taken by beauty
of everything that was
everything that is, and we
cannot stop being.
By Terence Stone © 2013
Chief Editor and Founder of Urban Spiritual, I’m a classically trained singer and actor living in New York City, who has performed in the U.S. and Europe. I’m also a writer, traveller, meditator, arts-lover, and well-being enthusiast.