A Little Adventure
I ran away, you know. Once. Twice. Every night in my dreams I fled. I escaped reality bit by bit. A piecemeal invasion of little microscopic ants working their way into my dreams. Sealing my fate.
Sleeping sister – they call out into the night. Sleeping sister, come with us.
My own little adventure.
And slip out from under the covers; a robe over bare cold shoulders. Pitter patter, our feet flop against cold wood floor.
Scurry along the dark wall. We know the way out. We’ve been this way so often, all of us. A little bird lands on my shoulder, a quiet peep of greeting. The cat rubs on my leg, and down the stairs, one step at a time.
Each step I grip the wall, praying not to fall. Who can blame me, when everything goes down?
Tumble rumble bang dong rong. The sound a person makes when they crash on the first step.
But tonight, my feet are steady. Tonight, I can escape.
The foyer’s windows let the pale foggy light blare through. The door opens, and a man with a fox mask greets me with an exaggerated sweeping bow, ending with an extended paw.
I take hold, delighted that he will accompany me again.
He leads me forward; his feet know the route to escape better than my own.
My escort knows me well, and he guides my wandering step forward.
Who knows what lies ahead of barren time?
She has so many children, and yet not a single one is her own. A tightrope walker wobbles on her threads before flipping in the air and landing on the ground.
The silky waves of light fall between the trees. If we can reach the main road before morning…
Onward! - Someone cries out as if he is leading a brigade.
My fox man pulls me to a halt and quietly looks at me.
Is this what you want?
His mask falls from his face, and he is there.
Whenever did this world first take him from me?
But he is here now. Waiting for me to join him.
If we can make it to the main road, but I don’t know this path anymore.
A myriad of screeches, cries, and bellows sings a mournful song.
This is but the first adventure on the forward road to destiny.
Who can tell where landfall starts and where the darkness ends?
Is this but a kindly spirit, run full of holes?
I am not yet free of feeling, free of weight from that place. A lead anchor ties me down, but his hand holds mine gently, as if waiting for me to slip away and turn back around.
It’s as if he thinks that I’ll betray him again!
But he is the one that I could never betray.
It’s for him that I come down those stairs every day. It’s for him that I grip his hand tightly in my own, and with the other hand point in the direction we were going.
Or is that the direction we were coming from? Which way to go in these dreary dark woods?
He leads me forward and the path grows tight, the trees whisper warnings of misfortune, of the one waiting to boil any who come close.
Should I keep following him?
But we have to make it to the main road…
His hand is too light in my own, it’s barely there, and slowly it seems to be made of air.
No! No! We have to make it to the main road. It’s there where we can run away together.
The flowers tangle in my feet, veins twisting over my legs, and branches cage my arms.
I am a statue stuck in a moment of time growing longer by the second.
Warmth prickles against my belly, and I clutch his hand.
I swear I’ll escape. Tomorrow. Tomorrow we’ll escape together. Tomorrow we’ll make it to the main road.
Each beam of fire pierces his body, tearing it to shreds, his shadowed face looks on, tears streaking downwards.
A spear pierces through his face, and tares it from my eyes.
I can still feel his hand gripped in my own. One hand holding him.
One unable to shade him from the view of the merciless creature.
The hand slips out of my, waving for just a moment before the wrathful fire decimates it, and then turns its gaze on me.
The creatures flee afraid it will notice them.
The children sing and laugh as then run back to hide in their dens for the day.
Time keeps going. Tick tock. The warrior looks down on me, and the trees release me to the shining warrior. Grab my hair, and yanks me along. Pulling me back through the forest where the trees respectfully step back. Back toward the large white house with its red gabled roof glowing with the warrior’s radiance.
Into the door I fall, and then fate wields her chain.
Even if I managed to make it to the main road. Even if we escaped the warrior. I can never break Fate’s chains. I can never stop her from pulling me back.
Thunk, thunk, thunk. She drags me up the stairs, one step at a time.
All the way back, to lie in my bed.
The warrior is gentle now that I cannot fight back. The warrior glances at me with kindness, but I would rather watch the warrior fall into the eternal night than lie here now.
People come, one by one.
Say something. Move. Twitch. You can be more. Who are you to lie in bed all day long?
The warrior stands guard, watching, waiting. The warrior knows my plans.
Tonight, I will escape. Tonight, it will be a story out of a novel come charging down to melt my chains away.
Tonight, we will make it to the main road and be free. He won’t have to cry anymore.
I dream a million times that I escape.
A prisoner of my dreams.
An endless ceaseless cycle.
A prisoner locked away in a cell designed especially for me, my own body.
The warrior looks on, gently smiling. All is right with this world.