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Hallucinations

Take a step forward and don’t look back. Travel on, down a forlorn path, to a place of nowhere, shrouded in the ambience cast by a blood red sky. Those deep golden rays trickling over the departed hills in the distance could never be brighter, and yet, the heart is torn asunder. Down the stone steps, lies a stone cottage, wrapped in age-old ivy and surrounded by sunburned grass. One set of footprints imprinted in the dead, muddy earth, lead down and across the lawn, stopping at the chalk colored fence. Hundreds of auburn roses entwine and twist over the fence, circling a small house that roosts, precariously, on a jagged cliff.
She brushes back her russet colored, messy hair. It’s usual glimmer remains faded in the dull, dusky light cast by the curtain of clouds that hang in the sky. She squints her hazel eyes at the pale, broken fence, and memories dance at the edge of her mind. The world is silenced all at once as she halts in front of the gate. She runs her hands across the splintered wood and bites her lip. Cautiously she pushes the gate open. Its latch caches on the worn iron lock for a moment before the door swings open, revealing a landscape devoid of life; all except for those red, red roses which will only gleam red for him. A myriad of snake-like vines creep and climb across the dirt encrusted ground, just nearly covering up that accursed stone.
There is no smile and there is no joy. Almost as though frozen, she continues to stare straight ahead, refusing to let those brimming tears flow. Just beyond that rock is an aged, gray fountain where crystal, clear water used to flow. Now it stands stationary and the water is grey just like its harboring basin. Just like her memories which have faded with time.
She steps over the vines and past the fountain—past remembrances—letting feelings guide her way. Beyond the cliff lay a once cheerful scenery, decked in the rays of yesterday’s sun. Green hills and a bright, azure ocean set the stage for freedom and joy. The wind whistles past and kicks up fallen leaves on the ground. Behind the house, now turned castle, a lively sea beckons; limestone stairs lead down to a white, sandy beach. A populated train whistles past.
And then there is silence.
The air changes and the sound dies away. The color drains from the hills and a heart wrenching gloom arrests the sky. The ocean seethes and foams with drab, miserable despair and the sand sticks and clumps like blackened mud. The sun finally breaks free from its blood red prison of clouds only to be engulfed by the vast, endless ocean. Shadowy graves and echoes of the past break free. She turns around and suddenly the world is very dull. And suddenly the world is very quiet. And suddenly the world can only be lackluster.
The path forwards (or is it backwards?) is marked with a silent homage to memory and life. She bites her tongue, and tastes bitter blood that will never flow again. Years ago (or was it?), standing here on this overlook, tears of joy brimming in her eyes. How the world once seemed so beautiful. And then she sees them. Those jolly mariners in boats, donned with crisp, white sails cascade over cerulean waves. The sun gleams and paints the scene with vivid shades. The green peony trees, the ardent birds as they fly through a cloudless sky; they complete that picturesque landscape. Beams of sunlight, stream down from the sky and dance over her and the grass beneath her springs to life. The sound of blissful seagulls and the crash of vivacious waves reach her ears. A warm breeze swims around her and in the excitement of the moment she believes that he’s there. She smiles as she sees his silhouette out of the corner of her eye and turns to embrace him in joy.
Woosh
A train whistles past and she stumbles, her embrace thrown at her own imagination. She swallows and gazes out at her sad, pitiful world and her eyes fall on that rose covered grave; those red, red roses.
Save her. Placate her. Before it’s too late.
She closes her eyes and lets it fall away and shatter on the floor. There’s a figure standing there, just beyond the gate, or so it seems at first. She blinks and it’s gone—gone to catch a train that’s departed long ago; gone away down a broken track.





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