Metamorphosis

Today he hungered for a sunset, something violent and dazzling, and the pulped berries between his fingers served the perfect blood red shade that he craved. A mere shuffle later and he was already on the other side of his room; with measured movements he began to fill in the rectangle that had been so painstakingly traced into the liver-patina of his wall. He surveyed his palette with the calculated review of a craftsman; the creativity would be permitted later, for he was architect before artist. The Jailer had provided a panoply of paint sources today- lumpy pea soup which would provide a passable yellow sun, tired beets for a purpled twilight, and the berries he had already utilized as scarlet rays. The food had long ago turned ashen in his mouth, he ate enough to maintain strength to think and to finger-paint, all other rations were to be implemented as the colors that truly sustained him. For hours he agonized over the curve of the horizon, and were the rays too prominent? Was the twilight dark enough? Exhaustion settled into his limbs, his indicator that Darktime was approaching. At last his task was complete, and he nestled into his sleeping corner to gaze out the window.


The yellows and reds had combined to form delicious ochres and oranges. The twilight lapped like a fathomless pond at the window frame as stars whispered through the darkness. For a few precious moments he relished the view, a sight that produced a superficial satisfaction, but hinted at a deeper yearning beneath. The door chirped open, excited to exercise its atrophied hinges. The Jailer entered and sneered at the composition, belittling the Captive for indulging in fantasies of a reality beyond the room’s four corners. A rag was produced, and within a handful of cruel swipes the window was reduced to the former sparsity of a fingernail-thick outline. The Captive was indifferent. His dismay at work destroyed had been watered down by the weight of routine; his fear of an all powerful authority was as omnipresent as air, and rendered just as undetectable. The Captive closed his eyes as the Jailer exited and flipped the outside switch to implement Darktime.

With the familiar door chirp and the clatter of a food-laden tray, the Captive awoke to the tell-tale signs of Brightime. Once again the small room stank with unnatural light, but the Captive only had eyes for the spinach on his plate. He could already savor the emerald tree tops of a jungle. Infinity blinked as once again he rose to begin work on the window; he painted families on picnics, winged horses leaping over flaming seas, coyotes howling in a crystalline desert. The Jailer entered when the undulations of creativity had mellowed enough to be tempered; he erased a tigress wrestling with her cubs, a ship sailing into the warmth of a port, a petal dancing on a glassy puddle. Time halted as Captive and Jailer were locked in the limbo of creation and destruction. Pyramids rose and fell, asteroids shattered moons, babies cried, ravens cackled, and still the earth submitted to her spin as their perverted ritual ground on.

A rosy blush from a crushed peach and the Captive completed the final detail of the window, an iridescent butterfly. The delicate insect looked out of place among the tumultuous scene-a tentacled sea-monster thrashing in a stormy ocean. The Captive stared out the window, the turmoil alluding to the mounting apprehension he felt inside. Promptly, the Jailer entered and began to unleash his usual fare of taunts. With motions so habitual that they nearly ached, the Jailer removed the rag and approached the window. Suddenly a screeching crash resounded, and the lilac suckers of an ivory tentacle crashed through the panes of the window, sending glass flying. The strong appendage wrapped itself around the waist of the stunned Jailer and delivered him to the tempestuous seas he had earlier mocked. Calm and with newly endowed resolution, the Captive approached his freedom. He bid farewell to the Window; the time had come to pass through the Door and create new beginnings in the world beyond. The first stirrings of a breeze began to tease his temple, but it was the beautiful vista that ultimately coaxed him through the doorway. Not even crushed berries could have satisfied the sun-stained splendor he now beheld. The Man sighed, and continued on.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback