When Skia was born, he did not understand emotion. In fact, he didn’t even know what it was. Skia did not have any family so love and anger were unfamiliar concepts to him but, despite his inability to comprehend these complex emotions Skia, through the teachings of his best friend Ponos, had learnt to become a little boy.
From a young age, Ponos loved playing with Skia, especially when his mother was at work and his father was too tired to play. The two beloved played almost everywhere together: in Ponos’ room when he awoke, in the playroom at midday. They explored in the garden during the evenings and snuggled to sleep with their friendly, fat hippo, Jumbo by night. And so this pattern continued for days, weeks and years on end.
Skia, although not fully understanding all the emotions felt by Ponos, was very soon able to duplicate the longstanding, veiled darkness intensifying in Ponos’ eyes for as long as he’d known him. As time advanced, little by little, Skia began to develop his own identity.
When Ponos reached the age of 10 he discovered a budding desire to make new friends- friends that did not copy Ponos as Skia did. Ponos’ hunger for change transformed him into a creature that was unfathomable for Skia. Flickers of light appeared on Ponos’ face, sometimes so strong that it made Ponos’ being glow. The light shone so brightly that it drowned Skia but Skia lingered, a silent mimic looming eerily by. The previous darkness about Ponos, Skia noticed, was now nowhere to be seen.
Skia remained shunned until Ponos’ late teen years. The boy who had long since replaced Skia and had suppressed Ponos’ loneliness began to slowly unwind all formed bonds. The blackness had possessed the boy and his motives took a turn for the worse. His words harnessed a double-edged sword, digging deep into Ponos’ abdomen and, that night, Ponos fell into Skia’s arms, clutching his bleeding wounds and displaying an emotion that Skia could only identify as despair.
Skia caressed Ponos, his touch enticing and propelling Ponos towards pain’s abyss. His heart pumped anguish to his cells only to be respired to form an energy repulsed by his every fibre. Within minutes, Ponos became drunk with frustration and he languished to be, once again, barren of tender feeling. Ponos was inexplicably bound to Skia, clutching to the comfort of feelings that both Ponos and Skia could understand. Skia vowed there would be an end to his pain and dedicated himself to the cause.
From that day on, the darkness never left Ponos and he spent every waking moment with Skia. For every broken relation, every failed exam and every rooted hurt, Skia was Ponos’ drug.
Ponos resided in years of withdrawal and Skia gradually metamorphosed into a disease, slaughtering Ponos’ every opportunity of escape. Ponos had been enslaved. In the attempt to tackle the unwarranted suffocation by Skia, Ponos devoured every tube of pain relief but his efforts were rendered inadequate. Ponos was punished for the abandonment he had inflicted upon himself and for allowing himself to experience such acute emotion that, in the end, threw Ponos into hell’s fire pit. The stainless razor was Ponos’ clarity, using it to form thin fissures on his skin and, amidst the strangling darkness, Ponos relaxed his head closing his in eyes in prayer for any compassionate absolution
Skia was not deficient in the liberation he had vowed to grant Ponos. The boy, now a young man, was unopposed to his amiable fate that would fuse Skia and Ponos into a dark infinity. Ponos knew he had reached the end when the bliss of complete detachment pulsated through his vessels. Skia embraced Ponos, sending Darkness’s fumes to diffuse into his body and poison his lungs. The kindness was in Skia’s throttling arms was harsh, interlinking around his neck the long rope-like snares constricting his trachea.
Ponos’ life, the amalgamation of dejection and despondency, had finally seen its fruit. His body swayed, suspended in a forlorn peace and Skia, his best and only friend, his shadow, cast an onyx pall on the wooden floorboards below.