Underlund

By
Something tossed the child’s body to the ground, and, with a grunt, it turned its face to the side. The boy moved his arms along the ground to feel what lay around him. His hands felt the damp ground other him and inadvertently agitated insects that soundlessly scuttled away. When he felt he could, the child pushed himself up and propped himself up by leaning on his arms placed on his knees. Pitch black. He stood still and hunched over, afraid that something might hit his head if he stood up completely. He felt for a wall and almost immediately found something. The child innocently leaned against the support, but he fell just as he leaned on it. His hand slipped on whatever he pushed against. His face hit a ridged, moist surface, and the bumpy ridges battered and glazed his right cheeks. The cool breeze bit his face harder with the liquid on it. He decided to taste it, so as to know what it was. Salty.
As he ruminated on identifying the mystery substance, whatever he leaned on fell on top of him. Something heavy landed on his lap. The object that landed piqued his interest. The child brashly held what it was in the both of his hands. His heart remained calm as he felt them. The teeth.
He knew what they were. His heart fluttered, but he stayed down and continued to feel. The teeth made the boy feel that the skull was grinning playfully at him. The eye holes were moist. He moved his thumbs along the forehead aggressively as though he was massaging the dead man. He cupped the back of the skull in his hand and felt the entirety of the face. The skull felt horrendously beautiful though dented irregularly. A temporary sense of sublimation bludgeoned and trapped the child.
What happened finally hit him; he gasped and felt smothered as he tried to scream. His mind jumped and exploded inside his head. What? Why? He jerked on the ground and hit the ground uncontrollably. His heart thumped harder and faster. He felt the blood course through the fringes of his ears, and he burned as he sat. After his temper tantrum, he threw the skull away and shot up to run. He tripped over the rest of the body as he ran. His tiny body somehow crushed the eroded remains under him; the bones sounded crunchy like a potato chip when crushed, and no other smell than that of rot hit his nose as they did. But, he did not care. He wanted to escape: that was all he cared about. He ran away, and wherever he wandered lightened up. He could still barely make out where he was, and the child could not see below his neck. The ground haze almost shrouded his tiny frame.
He looked about him. He saw trees, each braided and twisted into odd, nonsensical patterns, that, in its entirety, formed a ribcage into the darkness. Clatter. The boy’s brown eyes darted to the right where he supposed it came from. He heard crows cawing and walked in their direction. He could barely see something in front of him on the tree; he did not know what. He reached forward to touch. He felt the contours of something, a rib cage. He felt comforted by its strength, but how illusory it was he completely knew. The child fell back on the ground. He could not see anything through the fog now. He enjoyed that; he wanted blindness, but it would never come. At least he knew this from discerning the color of the white haze that enveloped him. He stood up again, ready to face the body in front of him. It was crucified upon the trees. Ripped flesh hung from the bones like crystals on a chandelier. He saw vaguely as the muscle swayed peacefully with the breeze. No screaming this time; only fear that had lost all hope in its outward expression. The child dared to run into the fractal tunnel the trees made but soon slowed down to a walk in a mantis-like posture. He knew of his folly. He would never be so brash again; he would be wary. He walked slowly, only because he wanted to make sure he could see things to avoid. He stopped, heart racing and blood coursing through his face; his stomach fell, and the boy felt a hole blown through his chest. Something mischievously crawled about his feet. The child tensed, and his foot kicked whatever it was away from him. He did not know what, and he would not let himself care. He stalked forward and saw vaguely where he was going. He could see the trees, black sticks against the blue-gray spaces of open air in between them.


He broke through the trees and out into an open space, a small circle of open meadow amidst a ring of autumnally decayed trees surrounding it. The space was dotted with stone stumps which were tapered jaggedly to form a seat. He walked closer to them and saw they were in another ring, this time, surrounding a pedestal. The boy saw something on the stone. He bent over and saw his dulled reflection, cut through by the stone’s scars; the stone’s strong monochromatic state rendered his reflection a shadow, but the boy’s preconceived notion of his face’s appearance guided his understanding of what he saw. Succumbing to some sort of childish temptation, he stepped on the pedestal and looked upward at the sky. It was an effeminate shade of grey and was studded with soft stars that appeared to shine only slightly against the somewhat lighted sky. A grayish fog was slight but nevertheless present. The boy span round and round while he was on top of the stone, and, while he span, he looked at the sky which was shaking violently with his helpless meandering as he moved. The boy tried to stop spinning, but he could not anymore. He placed himself on the helpless path downward and beyond. He span, out of control already, but his body began jerking and shaking violently. He felt himself corkscrew into a hopelessly darkened oblivion.

The boy violently shook awoke from his sleep. He sweat profusely in his fleece though his home kept frigid in the dead of winter. He saw traces of red light etching through the shut blinds of his bedroom window. They formed three seductive streaks on the ceiling, and he stared blankly and contently at them. Wondering where they had come from, he got out of bed and teetered over to his window and lifted a slat. He saw the Christmas Day decorations of his neighbor next door.





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