Short Story - Observers Dilemmas
Updated: Aug 16
Ash rains, gently connecting with the face of a man lying stagnant in the valley of vast, colossus, rolling hills. He was centered between two peaks, the spurs jagged, closing in on the human as if he’d been consumed by the beastly victim of Samson. The dew turns to mist, slowly amalgamating with the haze of the air. Systematically, the gaseous blanket cascades into the valley, crashing, causing the man to convulse, waking him abruptly with a gasp of air. He bolts upright and watches the ash fill the silhouette of green, where his body once lay. He looks to the south, he can make out a gate, he cannot see any structure attached, he ponders, is it an illusion? With no fear he begins the journey to where his heart pulls.
The valley begins to narrow, meandering with the base of the hills. The man is walking slowly, his thoughts only of the gate, which is now gaining in size. The gate consumes his thoughts, his heart orders his legs, he begins to jog, faster and faster into a sprint. Like a gazelle in flight, he crashes into the portcullis of the gate. He closes his eyes, bracing for the connection with surface, as he opens them, gate and grate have disappeared, replaced by a dark figure, a shadow of smoke in the form of a woman. He could not see clearly, yet he could feel both love and loathe exuding from her aura. She stood between the pillars that held the vanished gates, shimmers emitting sparks of stars and black of night, and with the voice of an angel she sings,
“My brother, my sister, my matter, dark or light.
You stand before me, as I do you, answers you seek.
Ripples in reality and storms of realms, do not weep.
A choice of choices, in death vibrations never sleep.
What is it you hold so dearly, that constricts and holds so tight?"
The song stops, the man almost falls in love with the entity, the beauty of her voice, consoled the canals of the ear. The figure bellows out suddenly, her tone now the pitch of a banshee,
“You may pass through these gates of oblivion, with the power of all realms, your choice is of a million choices, do not apprehend your greatest desires, do as the mind wishes, do not listen to your heart.”
The shadow expands, doubling in size. She combusts into dust, with a look of the surface of a lake being engulfed by the summer’s rays. Her voice resonates once more, in the tone of the song.
“I have no words of advice, you can dissolve your choices within the heart”
Abruptly the man receives a great force, throwing him through the haunted pillars. Without fear, he drifts into a sleep before falling.
Inception by Choice
Liquid trickles past the spear head penetrating the man’s cheek. One of the men blasts out,
“albino man, albino man, look at me, look at me!”
His eyes open slightly, making out the outline of two men standing over him, the pain increases in his face as the spear goes deeper. His eyes open wide as a drip of blood flows onto his bound wrists. He examines the two men, wearing nothing but grass, covering their skin of ebony, their eyes beautiful, glimmering, encrusted jewels of the soul. The bound man knows nothing, an abundance of feelings start to consume him, the chemical reaction makes him spew. The taller man, who is unarmed, says in a soft tone.
“Silver man, you sneak into our tribe, we are unseen and unheard as deer, from the western world. We stay far away from the poisoned towns and cities, which have been inflicted by a true force, that has spread to fellow tribesmen, consuming their ways. How did you find us?”
The entangled man closes his eyes, in a trance he now resides, images of acts of evil, children starving to death, mass graves, poverty, slavery, rape and torture. Through the ages nothing changing, rows and rows of humans staring into a screen of destruction, methodically they turn away.
He awakes from the daydream, the tall tribesman, looking puzzled,
“You are a strange being my brother, it is time to move along.”
The perpetual awakening of this man, is it ever going to end? His eyes now becoming accustomed to the alternate spectrums of light, entering his mind. Thoughts now conjuring a great sense of being, a shout drags him towards the new scenery he now beholds. The atmosphere of great tension envelopes him as he looks around, powders of snow painted on nostrils. Men and women looking at each other as enemies, yet shaking hands as for a greater purpose. Figurines of gold displayed on every surface, symbols of conquered beliefs. A tribal mask crossed with spears jolts his thoughts back to a past dream, the words of the tall tribesman ricochet within his skull. A man in a suit of ivory silk, with a lock of hair hanging from his pocket, takes out a snuff box of snow and gestures towards the man. Silk suit whispers through the air,
“fellow, we all die in the end so come, be the conductor, don’t be the orchestra. Evil will always prevail”
Silk suit coughs and splutters as his eyes flicker from blue to red. He continues quietly, but as though the world is aware.
“Walk through that door with one of those youngsters waiting, boy or girl, either way, the pinnacle of materialism for life is beyond those doors. Hotel California. More, more and more. You can be a god, take life, give life, cause suffering and pain, while the masses run riot trying to prevent it. They cannot.”
A door opens and out walks a lady wearing a demonic grin. White suit looks towards the open door, with a serpent tongue he hisses,
“excuse me, it’s my turn.”
Blink, the man blinks again, he closes his eyes tight. His once blank canvas turned opaque, images are piling and crushing, he franticly rolls and tumbles, trying to find some morsel of comfort. He’s suddenly roused, this motion of waking to which he’s now becoming acclimatised. The man rotates, consuming the imagery of this new reality. Millions of people now shoulder to shoulder, looking at their palms, which are raining fluid directly into their eyes. The thing of nature would make them squint; this is not the case; their eyes are wider than a hare in headlights. The man looks to the ceiling to find the bottom of a hotel, dripping with the same substance that rains from their palms. A panic sets in deep, he knows he has a choice and feels compelled to transport back to the prior occurrence. The words of the ghostly shadow from the gate, brings forth an urge to shake every last soul and build a great cover to protect them from the down pour. He reaches out and plucks a body from the vast pack of humans, as he does, the fluid from her palms diminishes and her eyes roll and close, the human croaks and squarks like a raven.
“We strive for the hotel, we strive for financial freedom, the wrongs of the world are completely buried, though they are on the surface… System resistant souls… piles of bodies to the north!”
The man looks frantically to the north to watch a pile of bodies emerge from the ground. Generations and generations of forgotten souls, growing into a tower, almost as if they are trying to reach the hotel. As they nearly touch the base, a great flood washes them away, driving them back underground. A squark breaks his view from the show, another squark recentres his attention to the human. The human continues,
“my eyes do not want to open, I see things that I’d rather not see, I’m afraid to join the piles of souls that you witnessed with your own mind. We fuel the powers above with our divides and insecurities”
The human starts to cry, tears flooding down, washing away the emotionless canvas on her face. The human mumbles through the stream.
“They feel the love in your heart… Run!”
A way to escape, many traps to be caught
A familiar feeling washes over the man, he makes his way through a street with closely packed houses, garden to garden. Imagery of all that he has seen, comes and goes, touching his mind like waves hitting the sand and scuttling away. He can now see acts of kindness and love, he watches intently as a young fellow carefully approaches an elderly lady to lend a hand with her shopping bags. The man becomes consumed by love, a rollercoaster of joy which he rides to the top. He follows the two, intrigued by the act. As they approach their destination, the door opens with a gust, emptiness radiates from the dwelling. This kindness will be used by the elderly lady as food for her mind as she sits alone. Bidding his temporary companion farewell, the young fellow approaches the man and says,
“well, that’s my good deed for the day.”
The man looks into the fellow’s eyes and sees great pain buried beneath a beautiful loving soul. The fellow sorrowfully speaks again,
“off under the bridge to shoot up and free myself for a short while, I have no home or anyone for my own.”
The rollercoaster suddenly takes a drastic turn from the smooth ride to a mine cart, violently rocking the man from side to side. Boom, the cart stops, the man exits into a factory of black smog, the smoke pulling into the orifices of the labourer’s faces, blackening their lips. The man is now exhausted, chaos is descending, his opaque sheet, once blank, is now stained. He sits near a huge tank of molten steel, spitting and hissing as the labourers chat, one of the workers leads the conversation.
“Can’t wait for this week to be over, 60 hours I’ve done already, 25 more years and I can retire, finally spend more time with the kids, if they want, and ain’t as busy as me.”
The worker pauses and they all start to roar a magnificent tune, shining light onto the choking factory of cheap labour, the soul hoover force.
“My love, my loves, you are the fuel for my life, this unnatural way consumes us,
My love is our light, and keeps us ticking, why is this a tool used against us,
My love is our love, contained from within, history tells lies, the truth they keep from us,
My love, now my fever, we are trapped, a conundrum, which member of the cattle will they take from us.
The power we need is together, we know but cannot be free, it’s us, it’s us, it’s us.”
The man feels a sense of joy consume his body, he elates at the prospect that these men are aware of the wrongdoings of the world, he feels they know about the humans shoulder to shoulder being drenched by the hotel. The man closes his eyes, he opens them once more, bound looking at the tribesmen, the words of the starry shadow ring in his ears,
“with the power of all realms.”
The man’s head shakes from side to side, he closes his eyes again to reopen in the hotel, a sharp pain shoots through his cranium, bolting to his toes. Demons and beasts unknown crawl the walls and bodies cover the floor. He forces a blink and becomes a part of the earthly world, cars zoom by on a busy road, the fellows walking by one another pondering the ponderous times. Blink. He’s back in the underground factory, the songs have frozen in the labourer’s throats, they continue with the day of days which will end when the hotel says. The man falls back into the melting pot, the hiss of flesh crackling under immense heat, as he looks to the rafters, they open into a great vortex of doors and paths, grinding into the vast universe. His body turns to carbon ash and flutters up as the particles turn to a thousand onyx butterflies to join the sky.
Ash rains down into a pile forming a reformed man, back to the source of his awakening. He kneels and draws the silhouette of himself, clears the way, lies back and inhales deeply, removing instantaneously the memories of the show he played. The dark shadow stands over him and sings angelically into his ear.
“Before you go deep into emptiness, I am grateful for your return,
you are aware of the chaos, you are aware of love,
a warrior shall return to solitude, after one hundred steps,
you are maturing nicely, not many return,
the seed of you has only just been sown,
another story for you shall begin by the new moon.”
By Ellis Unchained
Work of Unchained Wisdom ©2020