She stepped out of the cave, blinded by her shelter. Sunlight had never occurred to her that beautiful. The World was a beacon, urging her arrival, begging her release.
She took the first step and inhaled the summer air, asthma grazing her lungs which had shown itself for the very first time. She did not remember how she’d gotten out or where she had been, but it felt ludicrous to finally feel. It was an unknown feeling of greed and desire.
As she walked along the concrete path, her feet carried her down to civilization, down that dreaded hill which made her believe in nothing but her own thoughts. Her ears began to capture the soft sounds of the early morning birds chirping happily all around her. She felt welcomed and any sense of fear or discomfort began to fade.
Coup de foudre. Love at first sight was the sea. The waves brushed lightly against the marina, glistening with the sun’s reflective beams. She raced to kneel and touch it, but the cars rushed in front of her, blocking her way. So, she waited for what seemed like years till the evil passed on its way.
The people around her rushed like ants back to their queen, only carrying no goods. The smug, depressed looks on their facades made her mind collapse in sadness. They carried files and mobile phones and weights on their hearts, all alone. No one stopped as she waved her hand ferociously in their faces, no one smiled back at her embrace.
Rusty, worn out boats floated aimlessly in the marina, blocking all the beauty. What was their point? If they could only speak, she bet they would tell her about their miserable, unhappy lives. Being consumed by ghastly sea water, forgotten, eroding and losing colour under the Galaxy’s lamp, they chipped toxic paint into the water day by day. A fish swum by, only to never swim again.
As she knelt to touch the water, her knees bled as shreds of thin glass cut through her delicate flesh. She whimpered low, then commanded her brain to shut out the pain, to not feel for just a moment, for just a second of relief. Her hand sunk slowly into the cool water of the marina and her fingers allowed themselves to swirl around in its midst. Her body eroded with ecstasy as the power of life filled her once again, halting her every impulse to move forward. She felt sudden discomfort and released her hand from the water, the fingers dripped with multi-coloured reflective oil as she lifted them above the surface. “It must be natural”, she thought, “it must be normal”.
She rubbed her hand against the side of her skirt and trotted along the sea-side path.
Dry leaves rustled, crumbled under her feet and she felt power flow through her body as her sneakers smashed each, one by one. She sped up to feel it faster. Two paths emerged before her, the pressed gravel road, filled with unfriendly creatures like herself, and another path, a garden of Eden. She shifted right and let the scent of the flowers fill her nostrils to the brim, inhaling and exhaling the flavorous scents of her paradise. Birds sang here again, and the path was lined with various species of lichens. Fruit bearing trees ran all along the little brick road and her feet danced across the salty puddles which the waves had deposited. The obstacles she overcame gained on her confidence little by little. The image of the dark cavern still blurred in front of her re-adjusted eyes.
The garden opened up into a hell of its own. Vehicles rushed past her left and right like vengeful demons, reckoning. The fumes they emitted killed the sweet smell of the flora inhabiting the paradise which slowly started to grey in her vision. She wished to turn back, return, but the mighty wind pushed her away from what seemed to be perfection.
She stepped off the dangerous road onto a little path beside her love. The wind was now a friend to her, blowing the waves lightly, splashing droplets of seawater onto her pale skin. It grazed lightly through her golden hair, blowing through it, straw flushed apart. She tucked it behind her ears with her dainty fingertips which had been dried by the hot sun.
Her eyes looked up, in the direction of Ra himself and saw a lustrous tower on the hill, or more like a turret, drowning in solitude and reeking of abandonment. She understood it was her goal, her future. She picked up speed, focused like a hawk on its prey, razor sharp. Impassable obstacle in her way, so she forced herself to step back into the world of concrete and machinery. Each vehicle which zoomed past her reminded her of a worry, a problem, the darkness which she was trying to escape. Another one rolled past her, they all seemed alike.
Her subconscious begged the wind for help, help to eliminate distractions, confusion. She suddenly stopped feeling every dent under her feet, her eyes failed to notice every leaf she stumbled upon, every miniscule rock on the edge of the path. The wind became her ally in a time of need, a confidante, fuel.
It propelled her forward and blew away any interferences her mind could not. The turret shone in the distance, an image of hope, of light. The sun vanished behind it, but she didn’t worry, she could see it once she got there, to the top, the summit.
She could feel heat consuming her, droplets of sweat felt her forehead as she rushed forward to her freedom. Her determination allowed her to feel warmth even in the shade. Her mind fought her heart as the wind helped clear it all. “You’ll never succeed.”, whoosh, blown away. “You don’t have it in you.”, materialized into the darkest area of the subconscious. “Find a real job.”, thoughts were nothing to her feet.
She saw the hill, consumed by shade, by the blackest of thoughts, by the darkest of fears. Yet the turret still glowed above it like an oracle of wonder. The wind pushed faster, the sea hummed slowly in her mind, yet the oil still stained her silky clothing, never to come off again.
She ran like the flash, adrenaline pulsating through her veins. The cars still polluting her thoughts, still blocking the sounds of nature she so enjoyed hearing.
Oh! A gate! Not made of shining gold, not made of noble silver. A simple metal gate rusted and aged, wide open for anyone to pass through, she never thought it that easy to step into this glorious place. The jungle of flora nestled above her head, so thick no rays could ever penetrate it. No animals, no insects walked the ground. Quietness finally settled in her head.
She began to approach the final climb, the final stretch of the life-long race to serenity, to fulfilment. Tired and worn out her feet slowly dragged along the overgrown path to the turret. To her hopes, to her dreams, to everything and anything she ever dreamed of.
She saw it, only meters in front of her, barred by a low wire gate, easy to cross but a bother to most. The gust of wind gently tied her hair behind her head to clear her vision. She climbed over the minor fence and stepped onto the narrow staircase. She counted out loud, 15 steps. On the last one she gleamed with hope.
Just as she stepped into the turret the sun decided to fall behind her. Destroying all the magnificence, revealing a scarred interior with foul words scribbled on its walls. She took off her rose- coloured glasses and looked out of the turret’s stone-cold window.
There she saw it. The wrecked world. So, she returned to her dark cavern. And vowed to never leave.
Written by: Amelia Morańska