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You are here: Home Writers Corner …hope in the shadow of future

…hope in the shadow of future

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She sat on the edge of the flat surface at the peak of the cliff… on the narrow space between the abyss and the unlikely resting place where some hardy shrubs were attempting to establish an equally unlikely existence. They were neither edible nor good for shelter against the menacing sun… but they sure make a break from the arid, rusty brown coloured soil that looks and probably tests like metal dust…rusty metal dust. The air was dry and smelt of heat… heated rocks must release chemicals… that much was inevitable. In the midst of this emptiness and heat she sat quite calmly… so close yet nowhere near where he sat with his gaze fixed beyond the mountains… beyond the valleys that promise some welcome mist… or was it a mirage?… the greenery in the distance may as well be a figment of his imagination… something that his mind had concocted as a tribute to all that he was promised and worked hard for… was she a figment too?… he wasn’t sure… 

He didn’t want to reach out and touch her…lest he confirmed she too was some throwback from a cruel department in his brain…much like the hunger he feels when it is clear that there is no food to be found…the heat that bothers him when there is no let up from the relentless sun… he didn’t want to talk to her either, for fear she wouldn’t understand his language… who did, these days? He didn’t even want to look her straight in the eyes…too scared she would read into him and uncover the level of his desolation…the extent of which even he was unsure of…instead he focused in the space where her shadow was cast… he could see her outline and her movement without looking at her…but what was he scared of? 

Deep down…he knew what scared him though… 

Beauty, energy, vitality, hope and strength… these were the things that filled him with terror his whole being has lost its link to the source of these things that have become mere concepts to him… no… not concepts they were mere words completely disembodied of any meaning sensation or substance…they were less than words… they were symbols that people used to denote something that he might have known, could have known and would have known… if he weren’t here… if he wasn’t him… but he is him and he is here and now the very shadow of all these things filled him with terror… they reminded his body of all the things that it has been devoid of…he bowed to look at his own shadow… and immediately realised he made a big mistake…  

Now he was comparing… her bold shadow that dances across the mountains with coordinated movement and his floating ghostlike spectre that is barely visible… he tried to move his limbs to see if the movement would register in his shadow… all he could manage was the slightest movement of his fingers that caused him too much anguish without the slightest change in the float of his faint shadow…was he here at all? All here? 

…he no longer knew which one of them was real and which one was imagined… he desperately wanted to make a noise but could only manage a sigh… she turned with a dramatic shift in the position of her shadow… how can her slight move cause such shift…? May be the shift was inside him… he sighed again … twice in the space of moments…perhaps there is still hope… maybe he is still alive…here near the shadow of some vitality and life, he too felt that something in him somewhere might be alive too… 

There was a faint rush of wind from somewhere behind him, he is never sure of directions these days…but instead of carrying a cooling balm the wind carried some assiduous stench of death and dying…the retched skeletons!… the decaying bodies and the untold torment that he thought he left behind was so apparently not that far off… he first smelt it… then he sensed it in his skin, that was riotously crawling  and then he felt it in the very blood that circulates inside his veins…you don’t leave the past behind, you carry it inside you … it makes you… it becomes you…it becomes the blood that circulates inside you… 

…there was nothing slight about the shift in her shadow this time… it moved further away from where he sat … captive…silent…watching…listening…smelling the very whiff that drove him insane… the sun didn’t seem to have moved and wind doesn’t move shadows…what he feared the most happened… she moved and moved her shadow away from him…she moved closer to the abyss…he was heart broken to note that she had moved further away from where he was… in the present… life…vitality…the essence of being… meaning… and sense moved, in one single move, away from him…his future…and hope were even closer to the abyss beyond… Meanwhile the stench carrying wind told him

decisively…unequivocally…unceremoniously… that he is closer to the deathly past than to the verve of the future…the past seeps through his nostrils and the very pores of his skin and circulates with his blood making his skin crawl… while the future has a life of its own… a shadow uncontrollable and possesses movements outside his body…  

…the past was fast catching up with him… the future was closer to an undetermined abyss and he was stuck in a desperate present barely able to make a sound or detectable movement…all the time the wind blew with its inescapable message…     

   

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16.04.2014 المنتدى

ድምጺ መድረኽ - 15.04.2014

ድምጺ መድረኽ - 13 04 2014 (corrected)

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