Bending Shadows was a work I created for experimental reasons two years ago. I like to think I have improved since then, and looking this over I believe I have. Vanish was intended to be a young man recovering from some sort of mental ailment. The prologue consisted of a scene which transpired in a mine under the earth. As far as my notes for continuing the text I have forgotten what it was I would have written. So unless I'm struck by sudden remembrance, this all that will be of Bending Shadows. I hope you can enjoy where I've been as a writer, and can appreciate how far I've come.
The tumbling darkness had engulfed the visible world and it's company, the damp tunnel ways lacked everything but the void and uncertainty of the shadowy curtain as thick as lead and twice as heavy, with water and the smell of wet earth gone sour- (a once sweet scent gone bitter, like so many things). Scrambling along the walls and floors, guided no longer by touch (it was much to cold for feelings, and our hands were surely blue if not black, one couldn't know in this sort of void).
It was moments in these fleeting hours that brought about the simplest of the human nature, the machine portion, to perform mindless function in order to survive- without hope, thought or intention- the body somehow attained a mind other than the conscious one we experience in normal life: here, there is no self consciousness, no outward appeal or worry to the thoughts and actions of other human beings- only the rambling of numb hands and the muddy earth- the only sound our breathing and the drip/drop of water from the tunnel walls. The only feel was cold, mind chilling, metallic, cold, that drew the taste of iron to our mouths and a cold dryness to our throat and nose- all muscles tight and tuned- rock hard and cold, so very cold.
The tunnel without intention- the mindless place- nothing lie behind us, we had only been here for as long as we were conscious, and maybe before that. We don't think of origin, the earth must have simply spit us out into the void, the cramped holes of earth- that drown us in mud and other things. We'd once seen fingers, like we once thought our own, reach down at us- thin, from above us: there we felt warmth. A warmth that perished as we moved on- along farther down into the tunnels, then up, left, or right- there was only one path, and we traveled there endlessly. We neither hungered nor longed, for we knew nothing but the tunnels and numbness- knew nothing until one day- the day we tumbled down a swift falling path, (like a shelf or sudden drop from somewhere terribly high.) but the tunnel gradually curved, and we rode it down to it's center-(down it's throat and into it's stomach)- and there, a flailing mess of shape, flesh and limb, stared into something we'd never seen before, and could not understand it: and it blinded us.
If fate is cruel, we answer to it's superior, for fate could not be so cruel.
What was this pain, this touch, this texture- That we reached above us without our hands and perceived an openness. Unreachable to the full extension of our arms, and the full length of our body. That we opened the long forgotten senses of sight and color, we touched the world without touch- that we witnessed beyond blackness, we transpired the void itself, and came to the lack of- the pulled back curtain, and we waited to be swallowed as we had always before. but that uncomfortable comfort never graced our form.
We gathered ourselves and got back into stance to create distance from this place, but this movement was insufficient- for here we were not in coexistence with the earth and its siblings; not dragging our form threw its veins, but reaching ever higher, to grasp and own this openness- albeit the fear came here- to shake us apart.
One step at a time we dragged ourselves through the sheer gravity of the above grounds- our weight and the weight of our saturated rags, withheld us from transpiring our genesis- our onward inclination, our very hearts desire, to move on and exceed the ways of our previous- the ways of out original existence, and of their's- we'd force our way through walls of slate and iron, through nature and other life forms- and then through other humans. We were devoured by self, and not in our unity, but our separation- human rebirth- we abandoned creation and our own creator, turning to our hands, and to our might, and to our goals- we recreated in our own way, and destroyed God's perfect earth- we mutilated our worth. Sapient, the serpent- we muse- we incline we refine, we build and rebuild upon the ruins of our siblings- we walk through walls of family and flesh, and march our paths through blood- but all is fair, in love and war- in that we are justified- for our goal is that of god's, and our goal is that of earths- we claim what isn't owned, and what is, we take and make ours. Ours is the way- ours is our own- beyond that, nothing else matters- I am Vanish- the individual- even I am ours.
"Hmmm, hmm, hm-hm hm- hm, don- don na na na nah."
The simple tune resonated in the silence and stillness of the chilled December night- our drums- our own two feet and the 'tung tung' as they struck the pail roads and sidewalks- under our spot light- our siblings street lamps. We were a troubled child- as all children should. We snuck out into the lurking danger and haunting thrill of the night, only in accompaniment with our tunes, and our deepest thoughts. If we were without other, our grasp reached higher than the high lights above, and farther- as they told us they were. We always took notice of the north star, our guided light- the sparkling inferno children claim as their own- unknowing, that their star would one day burst, and would reach out and claim them as we did it- as children.
Dear Vanish, the youth- the newly realized by no one ever. The scatter brained enigma of common thought- self expression- simply a mating call. In constant need and drive to be in the minds and works of other human beings, weather what we stand for, all is fair in love and war.
"Hmmm- hm hm hm- na da da."
We'd march our beat strait into war, and there we'd discover ourselves- if only a moment in eternal regime and span. Life be liberty, free to proceed- free to fight and weed out the ways of them- muddy and racist- what stands separate is there to be cleared away. Fight to live on another day.
Our strong steps, kindred with power- of order and justice! We'd march on southward, the north star at our backs- god and the universe working through our hands and whispering to our minds- we are justified.
Odd though; the pain is the same- the stab from a splinter is equivalent to that of a sword, only more flesh is obstructed- more feeling brought. Less the life of one than many? Have we all not felt, thrived and floated? Those who are small, equal to the death of the large, of a soldier? Splinters and swords- life be liberty.
Through out our passage through this faze into the next, somewhere down the barrel- we encountered others that drove our hands deeper into our pockets, and slumped our shoulders in on themselves like the withering plants- placed gingerly in their proper place. We, Vanish met those we came to despise- and secretly wished dead- to disappear. We'd wait alone with close friends we didn't know- we'd talk and conspire against one another, and we'd each hate the words of each others mouths, of the others tongues. We'd change one another in company until we reached level plains- but in turn we drew ourselves away.
We slipped away from ourselves and one another- as sand in an hourglass. We spit and thrashed and drowned in it- we broke away to vanish: to once again return to the earth we'd grown so far away from, grown up from, and separated- beyond our touch was nothing, beyond our feeling- returned the tumbling void- that smashed us under its strengths, and grinded us between its weaknesses- and there the tunnel once again came into view, and their we escaped to once again- from the earth we'd ourselves constructed, and back to a world of God's, one we not dare demolish- for ours is under judgment, and ours marches head long into destruction.
Sleep well- those who've shattered- sleep well in mortal's rest. Let free as doves who's souls are justified- others stay asleep, for heaven holds only through reservation- the others sleep on the streets. Heaven's gold is God's selection- Those vanish, coils evaporate, within their inferno, the smoke rises- there, bending shadows burn their own, casting their shapes upon the ground, rocks and walls- sleep well my friend as the devil laughs- dividing its people, those that did, and those who did not- the living and the dead- and they drowned in themselves- they suffer in their own fires there- the false cathedral- the pits of hell- sleep well my friend- sleep very well.
It was one waning moment in endlessness, where the rain taped on my window and mocked me, 'come play' it said, 'like the children'- but I'd never been, and never could, it was to cold and the ground was to slick for the ill on wheels. So I was left to watch my comrades, Eternal, and his visitor watch the ice melt into tear drops- that slides down their cheeks and added waves to their hair… her hair. They laughed and smiled and made muddled the world around them, it was only him and her, not those like me who watch life happen, but never lived it themselves. What else was there but to watch and try to experience? What was the world but another screen into something unreal, intangible and again out of reach.
I was known here as Vanish Dement, the fifth, and last, yet the start of something else. The beginning of a new chain of human beings, round and full of thoughts that were not all their own- ostracized and unreal, readers and mental-radicals, but not in-forceful personalities, but pacifists. We were finches in a world of hawks, and were quickly dieing off and drowning in the oceans we attempted to cross. It was only a matter of time before we all were to fade away, me included. As much as I excluded myself from labels and group punishments, I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that I too was at fault of flesh and would be punished with all the others, even those like me who couldn't swallow their pride and felt they were falsely accused. Right and justified.
I wheeled my chair away from the window panes and managed to avert my eyes away from my obsession, my envious thoughts aimed at Eternal, and his friendship with her. Anna Spring, likely the first, I'd never asked. She was pail like a porcelain doll, with red-gold curls and brilliant green eyes that shun like the stars on mountain-tops. Those eyes were always wet and teary as if on the verge of crying: tears of happiness, never sorrow. Was it wrong to wish those sorts of things? He was my room-mate after all, and a close friend, I'd even spoken with him on occasion, not about Anna surely, but about other things.
Edmond was a seven split personality, Eternal was just what was left over. Yet some how he was more complete than I and many others ever could be, he was content and had company in it. The circumstance that brought him to this place in life and torn state of mind was of no significance to me; not because I didn't care to know but that it wouldn't make a difference with me knowing his reasons. I would treat him the same; as my brother.
At least I was not completely useless, I listened and kept watch over the other boy and protected him from the prying doctors and hypnotists and other chaos's of the visible, tangible world.
He arrived shortly after Anna's departure, soaked clean through from his black hair to his old and tattered socks. Though once caught in the hall he was given a towel and instructed to return to his room and to change into dry clothes; those neatly pressed, bleached and folded into neat piles of bland white uniforms. Those single minded and numbingly simple schedules, patterns and games; all to resolve our conditions. Albeit who can deny questioning their sanity, and if that fact alone proves them sane? It seemed the very repetition and drug aided dementia that droves us here was that much more blunt behind these walls. As though our help might appear on the white walls, tiles and the equivocal white pills left at our bedside each morning. Instead our nervous habits and secret conversations to the smiling elusions of the past became punishable and circumstantial and thus enticing; one loves nothing more than the forbidden fruit.
Think of the dinosaurs. Their very existence is nearly as unlikely and uncalled for as our own. The scattered and shattered bones of ancient days in time, those fleeting moments, that's somehow tumbled into eternity. Those massive mammoths, those raptors then wolves, however improbable, however odd, we're here and among the newest of Earth's dominants (at least we'd like to think so). Albeit we aren't the largest, nor the strongest, nor the most driven. We're withering shells with a brief consciousness and man-made goal. Green paper, those many things, a system of light switches, (one to light the path to the next). I'd much rather stumble in the dark and discover something other than the wall of switches. I wish to discover what the dark veil hides, the fabric of its very mystery. Think of the dinosaurs, were they not once as we? Invincible?
Each night in sleep we lay ourselves at the mercy of everything else. The very fabric of space could be swallowed in one miss breath as we dreamed those dreams of blankness, only to wake up and discover we'd created it, as we lied asleep.
The single bed.