Chapter 1:

A walk into untamed roads

I watched Life Spring into my eyes

The leaves in the trees rustled as the gentle yet raspy afternoon breeze swept through the undersized park. A couple of leaves--scarlet-red infused with a dirt-caked-orange--would elegantly bathe me while inevitably plunging before me onto the granite-crusted walkway. The walkway contained varying sizes of decomposed granite; almost betraying one into thinking they were brown sugar granules that had been gently massaged into the earth-- Small horizontal slivers of sunlight would light up the ground before me and give the silt a honey brown hue.

In my unrequited day-to-day life, I walked with a slouch from constant fatigue and pains along my spinal cord; but when I am surrounded by nature, I’m always upright and satisfied, even with the simple sounds of granite particles and leaf corpses swishing beneath my sneakers.

Even with all the vibrant beauty of life surrounding me, death still shackled my eyes.

The succumbing leaves always caught my attention when they fell, and forced me to come to an abrupt stop: their delicate and mesmerizing dances seemed as though they relished their imminent demise, they always seemed to enjoy each other. Even though they danced for less than a fraction of their lives-- My glare intensified as I watched the leaves move: they moved with a spirited beat, an almost artistic stroke. And yet they never once touched. They only watched each other dance as they plunged to the ground.

My intense glare would allow me to catch a glimpse of a deity lingering behind this unearthly sight. Her eyes a soft hazel brown that complimented the strands of glistening honey forming her hair, a strip of rose-red laying horizontally on from her cheeks to her nose, and last but not least her slightly plump lips that had a tender pink hue. I would take a step--now stepping on the fallen lifeless leaves--and inch my way towards her.

My legs would shake a bit as my chest tightened and my lips curled nervously. Her eyes were patiently scanning the pale pages of a book too painful to recall. My palms began to perspire as I was now standing before her; my silhouette lingering and engulfing her frail body. She looked up at me in awe, her eyes glinting in the sunlight. “H-hello,” I said gracelessly. Her permeating stare turned my saliva into a viscous substance that clogged my esophagus, my breathing became heavier and a tremble crept up from my ankles. “Hello, do I know you?” She said with a tone that was as sour and pungent as the acrid taste left behind after a delightful horde of sweets. I shook my head and paused for a moment, taking time to process the culminating events; how I was subconsciously drawn her. She spoke again but the words never reached me, I only saw the slight movements of her precious champagne-pink lips which forced me to nod obediently; they were almost mesmerizing.

...But, like always, darkness rained upon me, just when the world became a bit more beautiful. And my body became a soulless ragdoll as it fell to the floor. I smiled at my hopelessness…

I sat with my frail arms wrapped around my shins, rocking back and forth. All alone in my void. My eyes darting anxiously from left to right, up to down with a daunting and lifeless glare. But all I find is starless-clad darkness. I want to scream and call out for someone to finally save me but all I hear is my own wailing. My screams are muted yet painfully loud. Spittle runs down the corners of my lips as I whisper to myself, hopelessly “”

Before me, a slit of maple sunlight begins to dapple my moistened pupils; hope. I reach for the thin golden light and it begins to shimmer and falter at my touch. I lunge towards it so that the coldness of my world can no longer envelope me. It welcomes me with a warmth so permeating, it rips away my pains and disillusions and fills me again with hope. I clung to my savior Like a frightened child clinging to his mother.

I woke up again some minutes later, but now I was sitting on the bench where she previously sat--her petite silhouette now engulfing my seemingly frail body. She leaned in before me, desperately fanning and wiping the cold sweat from my face. “HELLO...HELLO, CAN YOU HEAR ME!?!?” She screamed anxiously-with a hint of worry lingering in the shadows of her words. Something warm dripped from the left side of my face and trickled down onto my forearm. I couldn’t hear her screams, all I could feel was the trickling of the blood and her gentle palms blotting the cold sweat from my face with a small kerchief.

It came back: the sound that is.

I’m Ok,” I mumbled--I hate that, y’ know? I really do hate that. I always blithely accept the reality of my life. To the new people in my life, I’m just a faulty strange story that frightens them or worries them sick --a story I’ve read infinite times and mourned the inevitable ending... my inevitable ending.

Real Aire
Joe Gold
Takahashi  Eien