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June 10, 2011
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Sorrow changes a man. When one is filled with sadness such as I, he begins to see things that others commonly pass by. Coming out of the funeral parlor, I am contemplating my own untimely demise in the coming hours. My heart aches with loneliness. The beating is irregular, and will only be made right when we are one again. I am to be with her, whether on earth or not. But accepting my fate has changed something in me. I begin to notice. It seems to me that the clouds weren’t held up by shadowless figures before. Made of some sort of luminescent smoke, they stretch far up with spindly fingers, barely touching the cotton balls they are keeping afloat. They tip toe on twig like feet across the road, carrying the clouds with them. Was I so blinded by love that I didn’t notice these creatures before? Or because I’ve accepted my fate, has the world decided to reveal its secrets to me?

The more I look, the more I see. I see pastel spiders floating through the air like dandelion fluff. Wherever they land, they lay an egg that is, on closer inspection, a dewdrop. How could I have not been aware of these amazing animals beforehand? How could the public walk so blindly by as furry beings scuttle around their feet, plucking individual blades of grass from the pavement planting slightly taller ones in their place?

There are wonders to behold that I could have never fathomed before. Oh, how stupid the scientists are! Oh, what an enlightened man I am! If Isabella could see this now. Would it be selfish to leave her and live out the rest of my life among these hidden wonders? I promised her I would follow her anywhere. Does she believe this promise still stands when she crossed from this life to the next? Alas, though, these beings that no one else seems to notice will not love me like she did. No one holds my heart like her. I can feel her grasp, ever tightening, in my chest. She whispers for me to come. She is lonely. I will keep my promise and follow her on the wings of Gabriel.

A man I knew in my life before love comes up to me then, on the street where I watch creatures zoologists could only dream of. I believe he wishes me a good day. But I do not pay attention to him. Why listen to a mortal when the fantastical is so much more intriguing? Why heed a common man destined to live out the rest of his days, when I have been called home by my beloved? There are tiny fish in petticoats on his top hat, chatting amiably about the stars and the theater. It seems it is not my duty to tell him that, though, for once I alert him, he answered in a most peculiar way.

“My god, James!? Have you gone mad?”

What an odd thing to ask me. If anything, I am more sane than anyone else on this earth. They breeze through life blinded from what I can now see so clearly. So I simply walk away from him. The dying leaves glide through the air, whirl around me in the autumn wind, ridden by milky white salamanders. I quicken my pace and close my mourning coat. Just a few more minutes and I will be in my flat. Just a few more minutes and I will be with Isabella, my love.

The cloud carriers are starting to congregate, forcing their puffs together to make darker, more ominous ones. “Freak storm” I hear a man mutter as he hurries by me, but I know. I know these are the creatures coming together to show me just how powerful they are, and how I can not leave the earth without their consent. But the bond between Isabella and I is unbreakable. We are tethered together, and I feel the rope constricting, cutting off the blood flow to my limbs. She needs me now. I must go.

I break into a run, the tails of my coat flying behind me. I am chased. The world is cold and dark. Demons hurl raindrops at my face, trying to force me into submitting. The monsters and beasts start up an otherworldly moan. It permeates my entire being, shaking me to my core. Only my heart stays untouched. But my blood is poison, so my heart does no good now. The only way I will be saved is if I reach Isabella.

I blur past the foyer and shakily unlock my front door. The smaller demons follow me inside. They morph and shift as they scream. My worst nightmares spill out into the hallway. The cloud beasts roar and heave against the windows, demanding to be let in. I pay no attention. However much I want to curl into a ball and weep, I must stay strong. She was strong until the last day, I have to be brave for her. But I cannot block out the wails of the monsters who follow me into my flat. My heart is being ripped out of my chest. The hellish creatures are consuming it, consuming me, bit by bit. The beasts outside my window begin an eerie chant, a sort of beeping Morse code only they can understand. It quickens and the beasts tear away at the valves and vessels that make up my link to Isabella. I feel her grip slackening and I cry out. This was not the way it was supposed to end. I was to be with her in life and in death, sickness and in heath. I then understand that is was she who deserted me. The cloud monsters work them self up into a frenzy and wail their unearthly tone, a continuous noise of pure anger and pain. Winged demons swirl around my head, screaming my name. “James, James, how could you leave us!? You were so young! You had so much potential.” Then, like a church bell in the depths of hell, I hear her voice calling out to me. She says “James, don’t die!”. But it is too late.

The demons are quiet. It is dark. I am gone.





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