A Story by Zach

This story came to me in the form of a dream and so I wrote it to reflect that.




By Zachary Flota





     There never was a before, never an after, there has only ever been and will only ever be the now, and in the now, I do not find myself in a time of peace and tranquility, rather a time of despair and desperation. 

     I think to myself, “I must be lost,” and then I know that cannot be, because this is where I am meant to be.  I struggle to stay afloat amidst swells that surely seek my demise, though for what reason, I cannot know.  Though I am in great peril and physically exhausted, my mind is not panicked, rather at ease, which is a contradiction to say the least at the present state of this monstrous ocean that tries in earnest to swallow me whole.  I am not sure for what reason I find myself here, only that I must endure until I find myself in the next great “now.” 

     Then I find myself at the base of some great structure which stands high above the ocean swells which surround me and the structure alike, and this marvelous creation spans the vast horizon in front of me.  Just as I attempt to climb this towering structure, a sure feat for any mere mortal, I am pulled under the surface by the jaws of some gargantuan creature.  As I find myself in this new great peril, in this new great “now,” my mind remains at ease for in the “now” there can be absolutely no shock value.  In the “now” there is no premeditation, only precise action.  Without considering the results my actions will produce, I kick mightily at the beast and my foot is met with the most solid of skeletal masses.  I run the risk of drowning momentarily without another action, though the thought cannot penetrate my mind.  My next instinct tells me that only the lightest of all forces will be the nemesis of such a beast. 

     In this moment I place the giant skull of the monster in the palms of my hands and with great effort I reach my thumbs up and pet the bony surface I find in-between its hungry eye’s.  Even though this creature, just like the ocean it dwells in, seeks my demise, I look it in the eyes lovingly and this compassion proves too much for the beast and it cowers in agony, releasing me in the process.  Without the thought of any other fate that may have become me, I kick heroically for the surface.  

     When I breach the surface, I find that I am still at the base of the structure and ascend upon it without fear of the returning monster.  As soon as my body leaves the dark abyss, so does the abyss from my mind. 

     There is no room for a past, no room for a future, when this “now” consumes the entirety of my brain.  Now I find myself hovering great distances above the treacherous ocean, at a height that would surely find me dead, should I happen to fall from it, though this thought cannot penetrate my mind.  This ascent seems to take forever, and I cannot be sure where it will ultimately lead me, only that when the “now” is meant to change, I will find myself at my next destination.  For now, I climb, and I climb like it is all I know, for it is. 

     Then I stumble upon the roof of this creation, this monument of my struggle, though the struggle is not over, and the “now” wishes me to continue to endure.  I find myself facing lanes after parallel of lanes of roaring traffic.  Though I am not sure why, I know I must cross this great divide, and I do not stop to question this reasoning any farther.  I look briefly to my left and see the onslaught of vehicular assassins moving rapidly in my direction.  Now I am compelled to leap forward into this chaos and navigate my way across the traffic to the next great “now.” 

     When my feet touch ground, they do not stop to asses my current position; they push forward, dodging the machines that attain great speeds in attempt to meet my demise.  I make my way to the middle where I stumble, and fall to my knees.  Though this may seem like the most inconvenient place to lose my bearings, I trust the “now,” and know this is where I am meant to be at this time.  Just then a blood thirsty machine drives over my body, but is not successful in quenching its thirst for my demise.  Without a second to loose, I pick myself up from this position and complete my journey across the lanes of traffic. 

     I find myself on the other side of this great structure and it is no longer surrounded by a treacherous ocean, but a dry wasteland of dirt, fences, and buildings that seem to stand for no apparent reason, other than to touch the sky. 

     Just then I meet the gaze of a face that for some reason seems overwhelmingly familiar.  As I process this thought, I am swept off my feet and into the enthralled arms of this acquaintance, an action I cannot object to.  In this “now” that I have never come to know the value of shock; this friend seems to be taken aback at the sight of me.  He looks into my eyes, and though I am only aware of the “now” I get the sense that he sees a history of struggle within me.  Next, he tells me how I have been missed, and after this news, proceeds the news of my funeral, a funeral absent of a body, nonetheless. 

     This moment seems more bizarre to me than any other “now” I have faced, in that it presents the idea that a “before” has preceded me at sometime.  Without another breath I immediately accept this thought, because the “now” tells me to. 

     I am not sure why, but I know I must press on, and that this friend must accompany me.  We take to the bountiful wasteland and there we are joined by three others: one other boy, and two women.  Again the familiarity of the faces are overwhelming, but I accept that I know these people and that I have generated genuine feelings towards them at some point in time that has not necessarily taken place in the “now.”       

     In not such a great time span, we have reached a distance too far to look back upon our previous position, provided that this insight could penetrate a mind consumed by the “now.”  Using this rustic chain-link fence as a guide towards our next destination, I find that we are closing in on a heavily wooded area that borders an eerily still, murky river.  The fence then leads us down into a covered trench, which houses a deserted railroad track, hidden beneath earth and fallen leaves.

     Without hesitation, I follow blindly, putting my trust in the “now,” knowing that nothing can go wrong when I am where I am meant to be, however, the other’s are not so quickly soothed by these assurances and fear that danger lay ahead of these tracks.  As we press on, it becomes apparent that we will not likely be able to turn back should things go wrong.  As we press on, we are plunged into near darkness. 

     Then, after some time, we emerge from the trench and find ourselves in the middle of some hidden nuclear facility.  Unlike before, my mind is not at ease in the face of peril, and I fear that these friends have affected my mental state.  Though the “now” has demanded I be in this place, at this moment, I fear the worst if we do not find our way out, and unseen for that matter.  The problem is that this fence that has led us to this place, has also imprisoned us here as it is lost in a maze of other fences. 

     While I stand here panicked for the first time, and looking for answers, I find that in this frustration, I am alone.  With no other option, I place myself in the hands of the “now” and allow my legs to carry me in an unknown direction.  Frantic, I hear a whisper, and I see that my friends have found an opening in the fence, and are now on the other side.  I rush over to them, and they guide me through the opening.  Just as I make it to the other side of the fence, I spot someone in a hazardous waste suit.  The fence that led us into the hands of danger and then imprisoned us there, now acts as protection from this person, who surely seeks my demise, as it provides me with the means to see without being seen. 

     Once on the other side, I find myself looking back at this place unlike I ever have before.  There is smoke coming from towers that much like the buildings seem to stand for no reason, other than to touch the sky.  A dense, black cloud seems to surround the complex, giving me the feeling that we were never meant to be there in the first place.  Though, why the “now” brought me to it, I cannot be certain.  At the moment I am thankful the “now” swiftly changed its course for me, and took me away from this place which seemed to slowly seek my demise.         

     As we press on, the more time I spend with these friends, the more my brain slips into thoughts that were otherwise blocked.  Never before have I found myself questioning the “now” like I find myself presently doing, and that is just it:  I have never been aware of the events that led me to this place until now.  The “now” is a tricky being, and I cannot hope to diverge from it, its master plan for me, or to find solace in my meandering thoughts.  For now, I must seek the next great “now.”

     With that, I am compelled to follow this murky river which resembles a swamp over the likes of a river.  With these friends at my side, I come to the end of the river, and there I find this iridescent glow coming through a large bush, which carries the blossoms of a very delicate pink flower.  I am drawn to this unknown light source, and I am compelled to search for its bearer. 

     Next I instruct my companions to follow me as I proceed to climb through this bush which shields me from my destination.  As we climb, the petals of these delicate pink flowers fall singularly to the ground.  Once inside the bush, we are momentarily at a loss for any light source,that is until I fall through to the other side and I am draped in the ambient light that I so eagerly sought.

     When I get to my feet I find that the “now” has brought me to this quiet neighborhood, which sits beneath a starlit sky, as I sit beneath a streetlamp.  I briefly look to my left, and then to my right; this street seems to go on for miles in both directions.  The “now” is eagerly instructing me to move to the left, and I have no choice but to accept this reasoning. 

     I look at these friends, with questioning looks upon their familiar faces, and they follow my lead hesitantly as we advance to the left of this street.  As we move down the street, the lamps seem to grow dimmer and dimmer with each passing step.  We then find ourselves at a crossroads, and there in the middle is a chubby girl with black hair to her shoulders.  She giggles and then beckons us to follow her down a street where there are no traces of light anywhere.  The “now” insists that I move in the opposite direction of this demonic child, and so without thought, I proceed with my companions in trail. 

     The child is visibly upset by this action, and she throws her finger in the direction she wishes us to go with great force and a threatening look upon her porcelain face.  We quickly head in the direction the “now” has laid ahead for us, as we hear shouts and curses spilling afoul from her mouth.  I cannot suppress the thought that this child surely would seek my demise, had the “now“ not interfered, and led us away from her.

     As we come to the end of this long, narrow street, we stand before an immensely, large dwelling, which I am sure at some point in time possessed a certain grandeur.  The house, which is several shades greyer than its original white hue, is covered in moss, and the columns which stand guard at the front are plastered in ivy.  Of all the more inviting homes at the end of this street, the house we stand before is the only one with its porch light on, so we proceed to climb the marble steps, and enter through the front door. 

     Once inside, I find myself heavily laden with luggage that seemed to appear out of thin air.   I am not sure what this luggage contains, nor am I sure why I hold onto it, though I do know that the “now” has presented me with it, and that I shall carry it until a time when the “now” should choose to take it from me.  I look around and each friend I have come here with, also firmly hold onto luggage of their own. 

     Next, we find ourselves divided as we disperse through this mansion, each seeking our own purpose here.  I follow one of the women who accompany me, to the back of the house, and out onto a terrace.  The terrace overlooks an empty pool, and beyond that, a very dramatic, though overgrown garden.  My purpose here has never been less clear, and I fear that the “now” has led me into some kind of trap in order to prolong my struggle.

     Just as I process this thought, the woman turns to reenter the house, and feeling no other reason for being here other than following the woman in the first place, I too reenter the house.  Once inside, the woman notions for the others, and we are met by two of them in the hall.  The boy is missing, however, so we advance towards the door in hopes that it will trigger a response in him, however, once at the door we find the boys luggage at the bottom of the staircase.  

     With my own luggage still intact, the “now” urges me to climb the stairs in search of the missing boy.  When I get to the top of the stairs I am faced with a long hallway.  At the end of the hallway I see the chubby little girl with the shoulder length black hair.  Initially, my experience with these friends would have me in shock at this sight, but I revert to my old ways and trust that the “now” has placed me in this situation, as it is meant to be. 

     The girl has her arms folded across her chest and is staring at me ruthlessly.  I look at her questioning her as to the whereabouts of my missing comrade.  Without taking her eyes off of me, she unfolds her arms and turns the knob on a door behind her.  From out of a closet comes the missing boy, tightly bound in some strange material.  Still keeping a firm grip on my precious luggage, I reach for the boy and attempt to release him from his ties. 

Next the girl flies at me, surely seeking my demise, and attempts to drag me through to another room.  The boy is unbound enough to alert the others and they come thundering up the stairs with their luggage in tow.  This startles the girl and she retreats alone into the room. 

     Without hesitation, the “now” urges me to flee down the stairs and again out onto the terrace, this time accompanied by all four of these friends.  After stepping off the terrace, I venture to the edge of the empty pool, and there I find the skeletal remains of some poor creature.  The others look upon the carcass in disgust, and I too do the same, though I am reminded of another skeletal creature I once looked upon lovingly.

     From this backyard, I look up at the house and see the demonic girl looking back at me from a second story window.  Feeling that I narrowly escaped the clutches of a demon that sought my demise, I have no desire to remain in this place, and so I lead the others through a gate at the back of the yard. 

     Once through the gate, I come to an alley.  I follow this alley to where it opens up to another street.  One of the women who accompany me sees a familiar house, and she crosses the street in order to greet the inhabitants.  Feeling no objection from the “now,” I follow her lead.       

     When we get to the concrete steps which lead to the door of this house, we are greeted by a grief-stricken woman.  She opens her arms to the sky and cries out for her missing pet.  My mind cannot help but to wander to that of the skeleton at the bottom of the pool.  I am not sure why, but the “now” tells me that I should offer the woman the contents of my luggage, which has become increasingly heavy since my departure from the broken mansion. 

     The woman eagerly accepts my offer and she takes the luggage from my hands.  She sets the luggage on the banister of her porch, and briefly peeks inside.  What she sees, I cannot be sure, but the look on her face changes drastically.  She then collects the luggage from the others.  When she looks inside their bags, the look on her face is different; it’s almost a disapproving look.  The luggage is not meant for her and she gives it back to the others, requesting their departure simultaneously.

     Indifferent at first, I look to the others and their faces tell me to remain here, and so I follow the woman into the house.  Once in the house, we pass a mirror, and I see that the woman’s reflection is not the image of the woman I see before me, rather it’s that of the chubby little girl with shoulder length, black hair.  The “now” is insisting I turn away from the woman, and I have every intention of doing so, until she offers to show me the contents of my luggage.  I have always put my trust in the “now,” even though I have occasionally questioned its methods, but in this moment something overcomes me, and I shed the advice of the “now,” and I step towards the woman, also stepping towards my luggage. 

     Once I am close to the luggage, I see the woman grin, and though the “now” is pleading with me to abandon this place, I am not deterred.  I reach my hand into the luggage, and it is cold and wet.

      I feel an odd relief without the presence of the “now,” and I can clearly see my past and hopes of the future.  I have always put trust in the “now,” and it is always led me in a course interlaced with struggle.  I fear that I may never come to a place absent of despair and desperation.  With these thoughts I am ready to put my trust in something else.

     I open the luggage all the way, fully exposing myself to the contents, and in that moment, many things happen all at once.  I see the woman change form, first she is the chubby little girl with shoulder length black hair, then she is the man in the hazardous waste suit, then she becomes a blood thirsty vehicle, and finally a gargantuan skeletal creature.  The “now” is telling me that I was almost through this, though what “this” is, I cannot be certain.  Finally I am plunged into darkness and I feel as though I have been sucked into some sort of a vortex.        

     There never was a before, never an after, there has only ever been and will only ever be the now, and in the now, I do not find myself in a time of peace and tranquility, rather a time of despair and desperation. 

     I think to myself, “I must be lost,” and then I know that cannot be, because this is where I am meant to be.  I struggle to stay afloat amidst swells that surely seek my demise, though for what reason, I cannot know.  Though I am in great peril and physically exhausted, my mind is not panicked, rather at ease, which is a contradiction to say the least at the present state of this monstrous ocean that tries in earnest to swallow me whole.  I am not sure for what reason I find myself here, only that I must endure until I find myself in the next great “now.”      



*  “Insanity:  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”-Albert Einstein




© 2013 Zach

Author's Note

I think the concept of the story is interesting, but I'm not quite sure if it is sucessful and entertaining. I'm afraid it meanders and readers may lose interest. Also, I'm curious as to whether or not the end makes since to anyone else.

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Added on October 23, 2010
Last Updated on October 7, 2013
Tags: insanity, now, present, past, future, demise, destruction, journey, path, friends, unknown, luggage



Suffolk, VA

My name is Zach. When the mood strikes me, I like to write, draw, and take photos. Unfortunately, the mood strikes me more often without the aid of antidepressants. Go figure. Anyways please feel f.. more..

Boy So Blue Boy So Blue

A Poem by Zach

Behold Behold

A Poem by Zach