The Taste of EarthA Story by erikaguest
A future-based short story about a man remembering the beauty of Earth.
There is a sound.
A simple, secluded, and utterly subtle sound it begins with. A rustle. A breeze. The chant of a thousand leaves, all moving together, all alive in unison like the slow breath of a giant grazing creature resting on soft fields. Green fields, a massive everlasting carpet of succulent lawn.
The ear absorbs this image. The eye longs for it.
Alike the first sound, it is simple.
Open your eyes.
The thin sheet of flesh flexibly peels backwards. A slit of red. A peak at that wanted heaven. That longing image.
Now there was no stopping it. The eyelid slid back, leaving the venerable vision naked, unguarded to what lie beyond. The image clears and then the mind screams. This scream lasts forever. It runs back on itself like the visually agonizing image bleeds horridly into deprived eyes. A deprived soul, and it stings the minds core wickedly, searing every thought,
The sound betrays again. You lied! You lied to me!
The vision brings truth.
Take me back!
The vision of fire, of death, of red. The burning, fragile plains of Earth. The swelling inferno stretching over fields, over the trees, over the oceans, and beyond the horizon. A boiling, sickening death turns the crust to a sea of molten stone, darkness flooding the sky.
The vision brings truth. The sound chimes only dreams, and vanishes like an erring torture.
I am its prisoner.
* * *
Otis felt his body take that split-second vortex from a dream world back into reality. His throat burnt from the dry wine, and the alcohol lingering in his breath. I shouldn’t do that. He thought, clearing the thick haze in his head.
He stretched his eyes, blinking and pulling a hand messily over his face. Wake up. Enough sleep.
The bed sheets wrapped disorderly around his legs and body. A grey woolen blanket sat in a heap at the foot of the bed. The room was darkened, the louvers sat low, blocking artificial light seeping in onto the floor at the bottom.
Otis took this moment. This feeling of insignificance, of a private hideaway where the world could not enter or interfere. His own protected space. And then he heard the dream touch deep in the roots of his thoughts, like ice on exposed skin. It was a cold, unpleasant touch. An unwelcome reminder of those recurring nightmares. Forget it. It’s nothing. Nothing different from before.
So Otis let it go. Released the cage of tension, the grisly sweat of dread. He let himself forget it, for now. It could soak amongst his worries later, be prolonged, once again.
He nudged himself up in bed, resting his back on the bare, gritted wall behind and felt for his cigar and lighter. Finding both by the bedside table, Otis perched the cigar between his lips and cupped the lighter in his hand.
He watched the short burst of warm orange radiate onto his palm before seeing a trail of smoke float casually into the air.
Inhaling deeply, he savored the ambience. The sense of total relaxation. At the turning of the hour the leisurely start to the morning ended with an exposure of piercing white light to penetrate his vision. Otis squinted as the series of panels submerged into the concrete wall fared over an illumination of artificial sunlight.
He dragged himself to his feet sluggishly, pacing briefly before moving to those hard white windows that ripped away any inner integrity initially brought down into this boorish hole in the dirt. They were a lie. A fake production of earthly pleasures.
Otis let his eyelids fall over his vision gently. A pallet of black wavered before that wonderful thing called memory came plummeting into the void. The sweet warmth of sunlight. The brisk touch of unsettled air like the cool breeze of a woman’s living breath, and the tough tread over damp soil that smelt of wet earth. It was delicious.
Otis ate up the figment of his imagination and let it run away from him in one luscious, deluded and indulged instant. He let his senses churn up the illusion of eternal peace, even though he knew very well it was his ignorance that had let him weakly subside to it.
Locked up in this basement below the sodden crust of a dying planet he stood,
reminiscing a dream.
© 2010 erikaguest
Abouta word about me? I believe in self expression and keeping it real. "Never desert your own line of talent." - best advice out, and I've taken it. Writing for me; whether its monologues, useless .. more..