“Get up!” The voice rang through his ears as his eyes jolted open. He could hear Palomino seemingly gathering various materials but was too stubborn to turn and look. “It’s time for you to walk,” the voice continued, calm and stern. “I can’t walk.” Arsizio blurted out abruptly. “No but you must.” Palomino retorted ever so eloquently. “Only your mind has been defeated so far, not your body. So that is what we need to restore. Listen to your body not your mind and your doubts will clear away.” Arsizio knew that Palomino was right but was too stubborn to admit so he just continued glaring off in the opposite direction at the wood wall. The injury did more than hurt his knee but wounded his self perception as well.
Palomino, moving ever closer toward Arsizio, dropped a walking stick onto the pallet that Arsizio laid. Then without saying a word headed toward the door. Before exiting he took one last glance at Arsizio, making sure to rattle all of the mysterious materials that he’d gathered and made for the outdoors. Arsizio hearing the rattle and door shut was only further reminded of all of his recent disappointments. It was as if his body and mind had shut off entirely, refusing to work at all. Not only had his latest injury set him upon a totally new journey in life but simultaneously the Kestrel Society in which he was sure he was destined was denied to him. The countless hours he’d spent with his bamboo bow throughout his life dreaming of becoming one of the most honored hunters and warriors of his time. It was everything he’d ever hoped for, gone away like a cool summer breeze. All those times where he knocked arrow after arrow in hopes of becoming a master marksman in a display of honor to both his craft and the society for which he wanted to be in. His heart and his mind were crushed. He dreaded his own foolery in the approach to the elk. Then drifting into the all too dangerous thought of his circumstances arising out of his own stupidity. Then the injury might have been as bad as the elk piercing through his heart at the time. All of his defeats he reasoned were of his own accord, making the mental repentance double as hard. He was adrift and overwhelmed by the extenuating circumstances. Once again battling exhaustion he used every bit of energy he had left to try and stay awake but fell back asleep as he heard the singing tune that rang through his ears ever so delightfully. The sweet song of a morning bird.
Palomino began on his daily morning hike without Arsizio as if the whole escapade had never happened and he had no care in the world. He began unconsciously mimicking the tune of the songbirds of which he’d become familiar over the years. And the most recent one was the sweetest serenade the birds had ever blessed upon him in his mind. But then again each time he heard a new bird's song this too became his most recent great blessing. His lips tightened and tongue sang in the best fashion that he could imagine, which after about forty years of practice he’d all but mastered in some strange way.
Arsizio’s mind all the meanwhile faded into deep navy blues and indigos. He was launched across the vastness as if flying above the world only tethered by some restraint thrusting him into the world. To any outside observer the works in his mind have seemed quite majestic but his dream was causing a copious amount of sweat to pour out of his body and squirm around the pallet. Finally his shot across the void came to a close. As if the string his body was tethered to now dangled him before the world and above the vast desert of the ocean.
The dangling around and around was only intensified by the sight of shadows beginning to form below the sea. Long dark shadows that were slender in form but quite long, ever increasing in size. They took the form of some massive bird without feathers that lurked below the water. The silhouettes were spiraling down and up in a whirlwind. Spinning and spinning around and around him as if he were the centerpiece for this unwelcoming party. The sweat began to fall from his face and his stomach was in knots. The tornado of oceanic beasts tormented the depths of his mind. Each of the many shadows then seemed to frantically spew upwards. Flying up and out of the water to engulf his baited body.
All shades of blue and indigo faded away. Everything went dark. No silhouettes appeared. But the waves in water weren’t the same. They were all distorted. Forming shapes that seemed more life-like shapes than waves but moving in a horribly mangled way with no rhythm they began to look like a face. This was a menacingly looked face. Square in structure with stern look and squinted brows. Emerging out of the water it flung at him with a long pointy nose on the attack. A devilish and sinister smile ran all the way up to the right side of the face’s brow. The other half smirking in the joy and humiliation of the man. It turned suddenly into a hand twice the size of Arsizio’s body. Palm opened the hand, snatched him like a shark rising on a seal and crashed with him back into the water.
Arsizio’s eyes flashed open. He awoke to a pool of sweat below, his body was drenched. Eyes now wide open his body began jackknifing. He wanted to get up but felt as if he was stuck in a pool of his own misery. Turning over onto the right side his eyes locked in on a portrait hanging high above the doorway.
It was a portrait of dead roses amongst a brutal storm colored in many different shades of gray. But in the background of the portrait was the life of springtime coming in. A sun that was high in the sky and a single rose appeared beneath the empty sky. In total there was nothing special about the portrait but Arsizio was drawn to it. It carried some sort of loftiness and triumph in its depictions of light and dark all marked by the different perceptions of gray. He found that this portrait on its own had attained some sort of victory for life.
About the Creator
Welcome to my page! I am a writer whose interests are vast and believes in the art of the word. In my writing you will find Non-Fiction, Fiction, and poetry in pursuit of the value of language.