Aug 09 2010

Deeper In…

Published by at 9:19 am under callie,characterization,Writing

You know the feeling you get when you’ve walked into a room, and when you enter it you know exactly what your errand is, and the next moment you find yourself standing aimlessly in the middle, mind blank, with not the first clue as to why you entered in the first place?

Now imagine being stuck there — perhaps for days, perhaps weeks; in that state there’s no measurement of time, no significant changes to show the imprint of time’s passing.

I came back to initial awareness with the feeling that a long time had passed. The scenery around me kept melting and shifting. At first it was too confusing to make sense of, but after staring at it, I realized that it looked more like those time-lapse nature films of roses blooming or a rabbit corpse decaying, sped up to near-incomprehension. Images of places and people burst into being, moved and changed with lightning speed, then broke off or faded away to be replaced by the next series.

Some time after that, I noticed that I wasn’t actually a part of the chaotic landscape, that I stood on unchanging ground and felt independent of my surroundings. I thought that I might want to further examine my immediate area. I wondered why it had taken so long for me to think that, then was distracted by something at my feet.

A single feather lay there, glittering in the reflected light of the moving backdrop. A moment’s reflection reminded me that feathers didn’t usually sparkle, so I bent down and picked it up by the rachis. This proved to be a good decision, as the shaft was a piece of thin, slightly flexible polished steel, smooth itself but ending in a wickedly sharp calamus. The quill wasn’t the only deadly feature of the feather; the rami overlapped in such a way that the ends of the barbs fit together into an edge that could easily slice into flesh. I ran my fingers carefully down the calamus and found my fingertips covered in the crumbly red dust that covered its tip. A sniff gave me the faded tang of dried blood, and I felt calmer.

I think I held the feather for some time before more thoughts arrived. They formed the shape of figuring out this place felt not only weird but dangerous, and leaving might be wise. When I turned around, it looked as if a white hallway with fluorescent lights stretched back into hazy dimness behind me. All around, chaos still spun pretty pictures into horrors at high speed, so I stepped into the hall.

I passed by a room with white-coated people lounging around a table and smoking, a vending machine in one corner with motor cycling erratically which provided an odd harmony to the workplace griping. …the children were talking again today about the boy who found his way out of here…of course I punished them…can’t have those notions getting into these poor unfortunate heads… I felt strange urges tickling at the edges of my mind and hurried further down the hall. I seemed to be garbed in a white coat of my own, and there were now doors lining either side, each with a thick pane of glass set at eye level and a large locked handle.

I decided to ignore the doors and walk until I found something that looked like an exit, but that idea didn’t seem to be in control of my body. I found myself moving toward the nearest viewing window.

That was the first time since regaining consciousness that I realized I was furious.

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