Moisture found its way through the layers that was his skin, forming droplets, dampening the bed where he lay. From where he was the night before, what was dry was now transformed to a sticky clinging embrace of a cool damp blanket. What started as a peaceful sleep, became an awakening to the ills of existence. He lay awake, a breeze blowing through the open window, a balm to his bleeding pores. The blanket had been a gift, he had it for many years, it covered half his body; stifling yet providing still warmth for the morning to come. Multi-colored, blues and red it is, the trim littered with tassels hanging off the side of the bed.The bed he lays on is minimal, apart from the blanket, a sheet and a single pillow, space only for one grown malnourished man. He lays there, on his back staring at the ceiling, searching its emptiness.

The time to rise in the morning had come and gone for him. He did it everyday as he was supposed to, but today he could not. He looks left and right, his head is meant to move with his wandering eyes but it does not. A sense of panic at first begins to grip him. He daren’t speak out for his family, readying themselves for breakfast in the next room.He has but a few moments before they would take notice of his absence, he hopes.

Having breakfast with his kin is a routine which he enjoys. The nourishment of company fed him more than the provisions his mother had nurtured him with as an infant. Moments passed, still movement proved to be beyond what he could foresee himself being able. As he lay there,a loud knock rattled the door. BANG, BANG, BANG!

“Hey, you ready? Times wasting, get to work!” is shouted through the door. His room was in the old part of the house, original but weak with much needed work. Words were difficult to hear through the walls. Gazing still at the ceiling above, he focused his eyes on the open window that cooled the body that was his. The distraction beyond the pane came from what looked like a black dot moving across a blue canvass of sky. It moved in all directions, growing in size at times but never coming close. More black dots joined the first. They moved in tandem and then some would choose another direction and others would seemingly fight, forming a black line drawn across a blue canvass.

The dots stopped moving and were no more than a line across a pale blue canvas. As he continued to gaze they stopped, and he became restless. Blue, black motion, each a reminder of manifested creation, polluted by incessant creative yearning to mask the emptiness that scratches as he lay in the morning light.

He continued to look, they remained still in his gaze. His mind continued to wander deeper into the canvass beyond the pane. Time gave comfort and solace, a sense of peace. The sockets, where his eyes were lodged, seized to move so easily, but that did not trouble him.
There was another thump on the door. BANG, BANG! Then came another louder still and more urgent.The sound made him shudder, for a moment. He was lost. The canvass lost all of its movement.

“Get up lazy bones! You gotta get to work!” The voice bellowed through the door, a gust of putrid words entering his ears. Movement proved to be ever more difficult, his trembling eyes turned to the door. He stared at it nervously, awaiting what was to come through it. Nothing. Silence echoed. Then, as abrupt as the voice was, steps from outside the door began to fade away again. He tried to return to the canvass of dots but it had gone further than he could reach.

From what was an expression of freedom had quickly turned into a prison of self. Colors that were once bright slowly began to fade. He blinked desperately for them to return, the flaps of skin that covered the balls would surely waken what was thought to be his.

“Ok, we’re going to be leaving now. We left you food in the kitchen. Remember to do some shopping on your way home. Are you listening to me?!” The vibrations pierced the door, through crevices unseen. He heard the voice, his eyes darted furiously. He thought about responding but was upset that no one had come through the door.

“Be that way. See you later!” He wanted to respond, his chest raised, a wisp of air filled his lungs but no words came forth.

Footsteps became an echo, the fading feet became a single abyss. Searching for the pane for but a glimmer, fear gripped him with long extended fingers wrapping his slowly beating heart. He turned to the room, the abyss that was his, eyelids touching, touching freedom for the last time.




Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash