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Sep 2022


Suppose to me for a second that you ignore the cultural barrier between the man standing in front of you and yourself. This man was raised in a far away land, whose people are PECULIAR in many ways, not quite fitting into any group you have heard of. He has, in the past been referred to, sometimes affectionately and sometimes derogatorily, as an alien. He is PONDERING. You can see it on the blank, nearly expressionless face that he posits towards this unblinking world he considers void of redeeming qualities. In his land, there is a PECULIAR saying, that he keeps repeating to himself, as though it was a mantra that could somehow save him from what seems, at this point, impending. He is PONDERING this saying. The way he recites it, sometimes quietly within his mind's eye and sometimes out loud, much to the dismay of those hearing him, is "Acting with the peace of the dead." which is an approximation of the way he heard it once, when his father said it to him as a child. He is unsure what this PECULIAR phrase has been doing in his mind for the last week. He is in a tall building, on the top floor, and he considers jumping out of a window every free moment he allows himself. He has, on occasion, realized his consciousness left him during the day, only to be roused back from his PONDERINGS by the sounds of objects and people that no longer exist. He hears the voice of Him, the man who swam before him, despite not knowing how to swim. He fears that his knowledge of swimming forbids him from joining Him. He does on occasion realize that his fear of not being able to swim with Him is what some would call PECULIAR. Some would explain that he needs to let go of these foolish endeavors and let the 4514 swim along the coast, soundly. His father would have told him about the days he PONDERED the window of his tenth floor apartment as well.
He deems long enough has passed. He opens the window, and manifest before him is a bridge of RAINBOW. He steps onto the bridge and loses control of his conscious mind.

Swallowed by the dread
Swimming with the dead
The station is unmanned
The operator's ******

Let they who art one with the endless ocean
The black and glintingly specked sea of tar
Encroach you and grasp at what you hold

Let them hold you down, down under
Suffocating the life out of you
Holding your throat until you drown

Let ye, fettered traveler, join us
We are a merry lot down here
This void, this black space we inhabit
It really isn't as scary as it sounds
There is love and joy and celebration
There is camaraderie, feasts
There are memories, in many which ways
There are dreams, and no nightmares
Let ye, shackled traveler, join us
For we have sang of your exploits
For we have cried for your sorrows
For we so desire to meet with you (again)
Let ye, battered traveler, join us
We miss you.
Your hugs felt nice.
We miss seeing you grow up by our side.
Even when far apart, we would always think of you.
We love you, and we wish you were here with me.

Suppose to me for a second that you ignore the difference of corporeal worlds between the woman standing in front of you and yourself. She inhabits a world of very little LIGHT. (Though there is some.) It is the middle of the night, which she is able to infer because even though her eyesight is as SHARP as ever, there is still absolutely nothing visible in this world. Though her other senses are, for lack of a better expression, quite attuned to this world, and therefore she can easily sense her way through the room she usually wakes up in. This, however, is not that room. She stumbles immediately, and falls, to a floor that feels much different, courser to the touch. The feeling of her heart welling up the usual anxious thoughts is not as LIGHT as it was a moment ago. She is in a deep state of panic. Of paranoia. Of fright. Of terror. The darkness feels all the more encroaching, all the more terrifying, in this new, unexplored room. White specks begin to cloud her vision as she stumbles around, wounding herself constantly. Bruises, cuts, trauma. She stays down, this time. There is a distinct coldness to the floor where she lay. She gropes around, and yelps in pain. SHARP. It's a knife! She grabs the handle of it. Quite LIGHT. She decides to test out the SHARPness of this knife and stabs at the floor. Nothing happens. Her heightened feelings of panic bring back memories, unpleasant memories, similarly involving darkness, knives and unfamiliarity. She can only see one possible way out, and concurs she'd like to see LIGHT at least one more time. She falls into a deep sleep, clutching her knife at her chest and dreaming of those folks of merriment.
She wakes, still as panicked as before, but sees that specks of brightness now form around the horizon far outside her room. They don't bring any joy to her, she just wanted to see them one last time.
She deems long enough has passed. She cuts into the flesh of her body that, through the darkness, she has never seen before, and manifest before her is blood. It is a stark, crimson color, a shade she has never once beheld. Then, as her senses begin to faulter, she looks again and sees more shades, all those of a RAINBOW. She brought herself joy by managing to create color in a world with none before her. She lets herself lose control of her conscious mind.

The woman and the man meet
A clashing of two different worlds
Two different times, yet at once the same
They both open their mouths to each other
No sound comes, they stand silent


They stand together in the space that the choir mentioned in passing previously. Waves crash against them both, yet they stand unflinching, trying and failing to scream, yell, shout, anything that would make the other one understand. Their duality frightens them both, as though they know something the other doesn't. Finally, a voice booms, it is both of theirs and yet it is not. It asks the question that they both mean to phrase:
"I'm very happy to finally be here, but... where is everyone?"
Written by
Oculi  22/F
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