A Tale from the Depths of a Madman Pt 1

January 12, 2010
Tales from the depths of a madman.

Since mans first spark of thought, we have made great strides in answering those questions that plague us till we find out an answer. Questions about the human body, behavior, the environment. Man has even made great strides in deciphering the beginning and end, what lies beyond our passing. Some come to the assumption of either a beautiful paradise or a fiery pit of pain and suffering. Others believe that their life will be reborn into a new form, while others believe in a more enlightening path to the beyond. And other believe that when your dead, your dead. All your organs and cells decompose back into the earth and that’s it. But the purpose of my writing this is not to inform you of stuff you already know about, but to educate you in a series of events, that befell me a while back, that proves that of minds, the same ones that conceived all those great accomplishments, are so powerful that they can survive even after death.

About a year ago I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of an older gentleman. I’d done some work for him and gradually I became fond of the man. He was a war scorn veteran who’d seen his, and my, fair share of blood. He walked with a limp in his left leg, the unfortunate cause of a bullet wound I would assume, but none of the less he was a generally healthy man. Until a few months ago, about the first month of winter, I began to notice something different about him. The old man would invite me into his home after I had finished my work, and he would treat me to a glass of fine wine. We would set in his library, in front of his fireplace, and I would listen to the stories that he had. He’d tell stories of the far off lands he’d visited, all the different cities he’d seen, and all the people he’d meet. How he painted the picture in my mind was so vibrant and descriptive that I could picture as if I was there, in those foreign lands. But gradually I began to notice that the man whom I knew was beginning to change. The bright and strong old man was becoming pale and frail. His shirt and trousers began to sag off his body, his fingers became cold and bony, and his face began to sink in, almost that of a skull. He continued to decay before my eyes each day until that final day. The man I knew was gone.

Tears and whimpers filled the cemetery that day. Men and women from across the country came to pay their last respects to this man, I’d assume family members. The men stood tall and strong, while the women sat and mourned, gently dabbing the stream of tears from their check. A representative from the army presented the grave with a flag, neatly folded into a triangle. a final salute and he disappeared back into the crowd. The casket slowly lowered into the vault and finally the lid slammed shut and the dirt began to pack on top. I stayed a little bit longer, at least until everyone else was in their vehicles. I looked up at the sky, it was a perfect day. The sky was blue, cleared of any clouds, the winter song birds chirped in the trees overhead, and a new blanket of snow graced the land.

Still saddened by the day, I kept to myself in my home. As the day rolled on the feeling of sadness hadn’t subsided, so I decided to ease the pain with a little brew from the cabinet in my den. The hall way in which I traveled was cold, cold to the bare touch of flesh. Yet I continued to my den. As I opened the cabinet a warm rush of air hit me with a fine smell of freshly brewed wine. Just the smell of it intoxicated me, and yet I still reached for a bottle. I sat in my armchair and raped my lips greedily around the neck of the bottle. The first drink I took warmed my tongue and continued to warm me as it traveled down my throat. The wine relaxed me, it made me slump into my chair, it made my fingers and my limbs numb and limp. I hadn’t a care in the world, the sadness earlier that day swiftly left me and I found myself in a twilight and finally I slipped into a dream.

Darkness surrounded me in an uncanny way. I waved my hand in front of my face and saw nothing. From the depths of the darkness a wave of sounds hit me. Screams, horrible screams. Screams from human and beast alike. Screams from children, teens, and adults alike. Screams from hounds, feline, beast from the wild and from the dense jungle. I held my hands to my ears trying to break up the sound, but no amount of effort could dispel these terrible sounds.
Faintly I could hear the moaning and whimpering of others, others asked questions,

“Where am I ? Is anyone there? Where is this place?” I heard those question and they to ran through my mind. The screams and moans and whimpers surrounded me, I was frightened to where I was. But what seemed to be a life time the screams and moans gently rolled off into silence. All was quite again, until the frail voice of a person in their latter years of life began to speak up.

“I... I can‘t breathe, someone please help me, I don‘t know where I am, I.. I can‘t move.” the voice cried out. He continued to say this and even though I couldn’t see this person I knew that they were weeping. This was so hurtful that I even began to cry with him, this man seemed so harmless and frail, and what did he do to deserve this, what ever you could call this. Then another sound faintly broke through the cries of help from the person. up above I could hear people crying and sniffling. But as faintly as it came, it also went out that way. The persons voice began to fade away until it was total darkness again and suddenly I opened my eyes.

As I opened my eyes I quickly sat up and surveyed my surroundings. I sighed in relief at the sight of my den, and scattered across the floor were a couple of empty bottles of brew. I chuckled at the thought that those little temptresses were the cause of my nightmare. I looked out side and saw a fresh coat of snow on the ground. I smiled at the sight of children released from their studies were playing in the snow, young couple strolled up and down the side walks deeply in love. So I decided to join them.

The sound of children’s laughter echoed throughout the streets as I went outside. It was bitter cold, but the alluring lust for the snow drew us all outside. I strolled to the park which was bustling with people and took a seat on a bench that didn’t have much snow on it. I sat and watched all the activity around me and I remembered. I remembered how excited I felt when I would hear that school session was closed for the day. I remember playing with my friends, then I remembered the winter love I went through. How deeply in love I was, I remember how we’d just walk the night time streets, listening to the snow pack underneath our feet as we walked. But sadly It ended. How funny it was, I was remember all the good times I had out in the snow. But then the memory of the old man came up. I had almost forgot that he had just been buried the day before.

I left the park after my fill of joy and began to walk home. But gradually my feeling of ecstasy feel into depression. The thought of the old man was all I could think about. I remembered how good the old man treated me, and this was how I respected him, by forgetting that he’d died just the day before. How could I enjoy such merriment, when a man I’d respected, and cared for had just passed away. I was a horrible person, and I thought that to make amends with this I would pay my respects to his grave again.

The trip to the cemetery was long and drawn out, I was beginning to feel the icy sting of winter on my skin. It felt like a thousand knives slicing through me simultaneous. But this endurance I ruled out was divine punishment. As the sun began to draw to a close the sting began to numb and my finger turned red. But finally I made it to the gate of the cemetery. The path around the yard was covered by snow and slick from ice underneath it, but I still traipsed through it till I reach the plot where the old man rested. I pulled my hand from underneath my jacket and whipped away the snow that laid on top of the old mans stone. The ground was still elevated formed in a mound, so I did my best to step over the piled up dirt. Some might find what I did next a little strange, but I thought that if I talked to him, I could get his expectance from my apology. Deep in the snow I knelt on one knee and bowed my head. Under my breathe I uttered a small prayer. Then I continued to talk, I asked the man to forgive me for forgetting him under the ground, but I knew that he was in a better place, or so I thought.

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eyelash~wishes said...
Jan. 21, 2010 at 3:53 am
I loved it!! I like how much the character thinks about the situation, the dream he had was very interesting, and the mood was very suspenseful and intense. I was hooked from the beginning! The end was very very clever. Keeps the reader thinking as to where the old man went to meet his fate. ;)
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