Part 10 – Life Moves On

I open my eyes.

The light and the dust. The swirl of colours. My hands lie loosely beside me.

"We were beginning to think you'd never come round."

From a spot in the corner, a chair. Blurred surroundings evaporate. Vision becomes clear. The large gentle hands, elderly. I sit up, am forced back down. The ticking of a clock in a corner behind me.

"Rest. You are not fit to get to your feet."

Later in the day. I imagine stepping out and taking a look out of the window, the glass and the water on the scratched varnish of the sill.

A blackened landscape, red clouds billowing over green pines. Infected fish, their moves thwarted, scales disintegrating...

They opened the box of light. Thrust it into my face. I fell back. I was held down as they fed me unknown objects, edible yet tasteless, cubes, triangles, shapes marinated – in liquid fire. Steam, smoke. The room is burning...The chair now splinters. Carnage ensued. Used for fire. Limbs of their former captives stacked in a third corner. An eye, winks at me...

Head shakes.

The water on the sill...

Then the fourth corner. Turn to my right.

She is there. Whispers to me. Comes forth in the half-darkness.

"You cannot escape, unless you believe..."

I lose consciousness.

I awake and tell them of my desires, to go home. They say they will grant my requests. I get up, climb out from the leaden blankets.

The temptress crushes my skull...collapsed to the floor, the barrels – from the past – chains unleashed. The hands...tendons burst under chains...

We used to come here when we were small, used to play amongst the nameless grey ruins, mess around in the flowing waters.

Stagger to my feet, stumble to the door.

Open it, step out...walk, step out. The trees above. Homesteads surrounding me. Thatch and leaves. The village green and the oak tree. The tree...

I run blind. The leaves fly up at my feet, as I run. The ropes whip at my ankles, ready to pull me in, drag me back to the world of medication.

One hand extended. Rays through the sickening boughs. Hanging down. The wolves in packs patrol the grass. I turn, the skin on the bark, rock hard – hurtful – comforting.

The grass sprouts thorns. My feet begin to prickle unpleasantly. The lights, red lights, cars and petrol...

Walking into the steaming place. Doors and windows, chequered patterns of history, a line of old souls.

Orange and mauve. Where am I?

Ochre slabs of the mundane. A stairway to the higher levels of my mind. One table free in the corner. Where am I? By the window. Is this the heaven or the hell?

The drone. From down the street. A line of motors roar down the tarmac, belted up...Their eyes fixed, set.

They are coming. Get ready! Let your heaven disintegrate behind you. Chaos is coming. Windows cave in at their passing...

Shards stuck in three skulls, cries and writhing on the carpet, I sink downwards. My body melts...

"Stay with us!"

I can't fight it any longer. There is evil in this town. I shudder at the thought. The knives, my mutilated corpse, in the room. They won't keep out of my mind...

"Take him back!"

Movement, and at last, it is real. The stretcher, the pillows, the white softness. Pills locked in the drawer.

Grass surrounding me. A train-ride in the misty wilderness. Age old castles in swamps overgrown. Matches held to my eyes. The doctors checking for signs of life. Wheels move forward. The dark refineries in the water. Were they to cast my body out to sea. Just another rain-drenched assignment. Completed on the orders of the man, the one that... the one that...

I scream. A casket inside my head filled with discord. No-one hears a thing. The huge needle in my face. Do they even care? The sharp pain tripling in cascade.

"Wake him."

In a car, travelling forward. I ask what is occurring. They reply. They tell me I am on my way home. To the town I love so well.

They picked my body off the floor, revived me and kept me locked under guard. Now I am back, on my way back – to home.

Death – rebirth – the journey gone too far.

Darkness begins to creep in. We speed forward, the night awaits.