after coming inside I was blind.
it isn’t to say that I lost my ability to see. my problem was, then, to look at objects and know their purpose or even their names. perhaps a better term for my condition would be aphesia, a lack of ability to label things that i saw. if you asked me what that flat things with legs and a backrest was, i would think and say something like ‘hotdog’, or ‘tamborine’.
so words that i say now regarding what i saw can be very dubious.
I apologize. it is not my intention to sow confusion or hatred, though perhaps it is always the result.
the air was cool. not hot, not cold. it was dry as a jell-o mold. i breathed in and smelled nothing, which is very unusual for me. I tend to be sensitive to that sort of thing.
The kelidoscope was furnished with all kinds of pies. some were shining and bleeping, others were runny and oozing their syrup. i did not dare to touch anything. being in this place is very much like being a baby. you have no way to know what things do here or even how they are called.
the next humidor opened as I approached and the picture frames that I stepped on, lit up and gave a soft, calming sound. I found a clump of comfortable looking chimpanzees there, each facing a small samovar. the samovars had more buttons and i assume these were some kind of workstations. the anemone that stood at the center flailed her tentacles , in rythem.
the sounds turned infrequently between radio stations. i could hear Nirvanna for a moment, then some generic 80′s shcmaltz. the station tuned finally to a classical piece, the brandenburg concerto. i guess the main arachnid was figuring me out, just as much as i was it. it’s only fair.
by the contract, i saw clauses in vertical allignment, each equipped with a helmet , although it was obviously not for a human legal purposes.
my aphesia was becoming stronger. i saw now a massive cyclops in front of me, filled to the brim with water. little teacups were swimming around, but I couldnt make out if they were baroque or neomodern. just too fast for me. to be honest i was starting to get the feeling that this was some Disneyish kind of thing. but I did not retreat, despite my fear of kitch.
moving further in, this time into a tunnel, i was reminded of a visit i had once to a colonial-recreation village. sewing machines roared majestically, while alfalfa sprouts hissed at my approach. clearly i was encouraged to move on, and so I did.
I found myself in the last part, as the walls throbbed moistly. the ground was shaking and I knew the time had come to leave. unfortunstely, the entrance to the chamber was now a tightly closed sphincter. i was worried, to say the least. i cried for help and the thing responded to my cries, with an “ooops...almost got another one..” which was possibly not for my benefit.
darkness enveloped my mind and i found myself on the lush savannah, with the ship and any remains to it ever being there gone. all I had left was a steamed artichoke and a full drinking gourd. hungry predators from both canid and feline sub-families were looking at me suspiciously.
fortunately, I had regained my senses and hurried to find the path home..
The urge to take my shoes off washed over me as the engine roared to life. Some part of my subconscious knew that I wasn't supposed to wear my shoes in the main part of the building. I sat on the cold floor and untied my shoes. Memories were hitting me like tsunamis. A woman's voice gently reminding me to put the laces in the shoes so they didn't get tangled. A man's voice yelling frantically to hurry. They intertwined then faded. The sputtering roar of the engine pulled me from my memories. I stood and slowly walked out into the corridor.
My fingers traced the smooth indentations of the walls. Kid drawings of blue people holding hands still stained them despite the dust that covered them. A kid holding hands with two older blue people, then a long line of other blue children. It nearly stretched to the end of the hallway. As I counted them, it was as if I could hear them all screaming in the background. Twenty-four voices of kids. Forty-eight feet racing through the halls. Sixteen boys and nine girls mashed together under one roof. An older blue person at the end. My heart kicked my sternum at the sight of them. An ornamental headpiece adorned their head and intricate red clothes, even in a small kid's drawing, showed that they were important.
The clamor of bottles startled me from the drawings. Melanin. It'll hide the color. Just, put it on. It takes a few months to take, but you'll be able to go to school like you want, Sal-- I stepped over the bottles into what was once a living room. Three couches surrounding what looked like a flatscreen TV. More drawings were forgotten on the floor. The blue people had turned brown, but it was the same family. Zosime was written on the bottom corner of most of them, though a few more names stood out. Zo... My little Echion. The voice was old yet powerful. The bones of a dog, collapsed on the floor near the drawings, were long dusted and webbed over. Next to it was a dark, long-forgotten trail. Blood.
Mama! The gunshots immediately began to reverberate around the room again. The dog's barking was extinguished quickly, followed by the frantic footsteps. Ten little feet running for their lives. Instinctually, I followed them. Someone older was pulling me along. Nike maybe, or probably Praxiteles. Praxiteles. That name has rung out in my mind for forever and now it had a place. The trail of blood ran past barrack-like bedrooms filled with forgotten toys and handmade clothes. Into a large room. A large bed lay in the middle, covered with dust and decorated with animal bites and cobwebs. As I neared, I heard a growl. My blood froze, and I turned to my left to see a mother black bear asleep with three cubs curled onto her. I looked around the room again before backing out.
As I was nearly out, my foot was caught by something and I fell backward. The ground was darkened with ancient blood and the headpiece from the pictures was lying at my feet. Giapous. The gasp came back into my mind. The youngest kid was standing in the doorway of the bedroom, amidst the bullets, staring in horror. The fallen elder was whispering softly to him to run, but couldn't quite convince him. Then-- My breath was shallowing and my skin was crawling. The men in white had rounded the corner, looked this little kid in the face, and pulled their triggers at once. The forcefield provided protection for long enough for the man to grab the boy and toss him from the window.
I remembered the run the most. My little legs carrying me far and fast. The scraping from tree branches as we climbed as high as we could. The man's voice. The woman's screams. The darkness covering us being disrupted by the evil orange glow of the men in white looking for us. Red stained their sheets and followed them as they walked. They walked the woods for days searching. We sat in the trees, eating dry Wheaties and drinking Cokes that someone, maybe Kyri, had stashed from the kitchen. The coast soon was clear, and we slid down the trees and crept through the woods until we came across the reservation. They asked no questions. We became Comanche that night.
I didn't catch my breath again until I was outside in the sticky Texas air. The engine was still softly running. I sat on the grass across from it and looked at it. An inconspicuous hut sitting on the outskirts of town. It sounded like someone was running the air conditioning. I looked down at the ornamental headpiece in my hands. My fingers traced the bumps that ran over it. The family history, that ancient voice whispered in the wind. This details our whole family lineage that stretches for eons. From fighting black holes to riding comets to leaving Neptune and basically going on a road trip with your eighteen kids like my idiot son. We'll teach you to read it one day, Squirt. Tears were clouding my eyes. I folded it carefully and tucked it in the elastic of my gym shorts. Then, after a few minutes of rest, I got up and retrieved my sketchpad, stashed beneath the familiar-looking tree that led me to this place, and headed back towards home.
ethereal before entropy
breaks the darkness
into the belly
of the awakening beast
greeted by forgotten language
i am enthralled
beginning first contact
proof of another
in this universe
closing the space
between the known
feeds the darkness
closing in on me
one who mistook
an open entrance
as an invitation
a trap for something
with steel stomachs
and kevlar claws
and a glass heart
that has consumed
my fatal curiosity
to feed on