The droplets ran down me, cold as ice, leaving a soft trail behind it sticking to my skin. As it trickled down my arm, over my wrist, down my fingers, I closed my deep brown eyes only to open them when I felt the droplet topple off the edge of my fingertip and hurtle towards the floor with a silent splash.
My chest was heavy as if a pile of stone was being laid upon it, piece by piece, weight after weight until my breath seized in my throat.
I wanted to scream, to pour my heart and soul into my voice but I couldn’t. Not a single sound could form even though I parted to my lips to make it. Even if if did manage to produce even the shrillest of screams, I could not be heard for I was in amongst a thick, dark silence where my thoughts could not be heard either.
From behind me I felt a snake wrap around my wrists then my ankles before slithering up around my neck. I was dragged backwards, my limbs waving around as I tried to rest but the snake persisted. This way, that way, backwards I went, my feet fumbling before I dropped.
It’s Pitt was nothing but black. Normally, I’d welcome the darkness with open arms, always forming a protective barrier around me. It shielded me until the promised dawn brought the light. This time... this time was peculiar.
Bright lights in the corner came flashing in like strikes of lightning in field of metal rods.
I thought I was blind before but I was not so sure anymore.
With every flash, a voice boomed, echoing, bouncing off of my surroundings. I would not say they were walls, for I couldn’t see such a structure but something was there, hiding in the shadows, I could practically feel it taunting me.
I was jerked to the side, close to the harsh lights, yet the lights formed a picture, a rugged canvas with pieces missing, cracks and rips brandishing its very being. All of that was there but the picture was still as recognisably clear like it was freshly painted. It was me, sporting a long black robe and a square hat, a rolled up piece rod paper in my hands, my parents smiling widely next to me. My face was blank, not a feature in sight but I knew it was me.
“University will take you far in life”, the voice boomed just as I was dragged in the opposite direction greeting yet another broken picture.
An office, plainly dressed with only a lone gray pinboard to add some character. Even the desk and chair were white. There I sat, slaving over a computer, cavernous lines rooted on my forehead.
“Nine to five what a way to make a living” A Dolly Parton lyric, but not so joyous instead, rather a gruff grumble rasping in my ear.
It continued, more pictures, a wife and children, grandchildren, travelling in my old age.
A peaceful death in a care home.
What sort of life was that? Leaping to a stepping stone over and over again. Nothing but routine. A straight and narrow road with no crossroads to change course, to add choice.
“This is the life.”
I slowly turned my head to catch a glimpse of the snake’s head, it still firmly wrapped around me. Behind me was empty, extending far beyond what I could imagine, the lights sparking behind me breaking through the dark giving me small glimpse of it.
Like a whisp of fog drifting towards me, a figure began to emerge from the depths of the oblivion. There are times where shadows soften the volume of every rambunctious passing day, muting the bright colours, a passing momento which calms you. Other times, they cloud you with a sinister touch, raising goose bumps on your skin sending a shiver down your spine.
This one in particular, sent shivers down my spin but was a messenger bringing the golden light. The rays poured over me, warming in skin, revoking my blindness.
It was not a snake coiled around me, it was cold, shackles with thick metal chains trailing back to one place. In one corner, mere steps away from me, the only place I was not drawn to stood a wheel, mighty and proud, slowly turning, the chains gently rolling onto it like that on a bike.
Fortuna’s wheel of fortune was there before me and I was a prisoner of it. With no way of escaping my fate was set before me in broken canvas’, pictures painted by the nimble fingers of society, each of my school teachers adding strokes of paint. My parents, buffing lines to blend them together so that everything was one.
This is the life for me.