I thought that it might help if I stayed for a while, just completely still, motionless.
I could feel a set of green eyes glowering in the dusk. I could stay still for a long time but something told me this once, when it was most needed, it couldn’t be long enough.
Movement is change. I felt uncomfortable in the status quo of the moment but my every fiber was screaming against change. I didn’t know what would happen if I dared to change one thing, even something as insignificant as the position of my pinky.
Lights grew dimmer, dusk swathed itself in night, becoming its very essence. The green eyes’ presence was persistent. Others had joined them. I could feel my heart tremble as I lay there in the darkness. They gathered about me silently. We were playing a game: They knew that I knew that they knew- but who would break first and admit to this dangerous knowledge? My resolve was strong, rooted in my survival instinct; I could not lose this battle. They forged on. I could hear the muted sound of their step. Soon I knew that I was fully surrounded, there was no escape. They waited. The silence was only broken by the warm noises of their pleasure. They were winning the battle.
“What will you do to me?!” when I could bare the silence no more. A sound akin to an unsatisfied yawn lingered in the darkness. No answer. I had broken the wall of silence only to be faced with an even thicker one. My skin shivered. I could feel the cold sudor forming in my palms. Once a rule is broken it becomes easier to break another. I moved, slowly reaching with my hand to massage my legs back into being, the blood frozen in my limbs. I listened keenly for any noise. There was none. I dared to look around slowly; I couldn’t see them in the dark, all I could see were flickers of green and yellow lights moving in circles around me in the dark hue of night. They were there and they knew I had broken the rules.
What will you do to me? It niggled in the deepest ridges of my brain, where axons meet somas and everything goes firing away, turning the smallest of stimuli into gelid fear. Cold steel enclosed my heart. I lay still. The wall was broken. There would be consequences and really I knew all that was left was to wait. There was no escaping. Like rivers to the ocean, so do a person’s actions lead to that cardinal moment in their life, a critical blink of the eye…something that is so fleeting it can’t be touched, fathomed or even noticed. I could smell their moist breaths, randomly dotting the cooling air around me, making small concentrated clouds of vapor, like muddy smoke.
What would they do to me? Desperation is a disease that festers, beginning in the gray matter inside of your head. Spreading, not like wildfire, over dry fields and crackling forests but rather the way a thick gruesome porridge begins to bubble slowly only to eventually flood over the rims of its container and spread quicker than you’d imagined possible. Are these demons inside your mind? Do they follow your every move? Is reality very simply slipping away? A loud, screeching, unforgiving noise.
Thoughts race so fast it’s impossible to grasp one that can retain form long enough to be recognizable. It’s impossible to tell whether in the silence, the noise that was heard before has become endless, or has it ceased to be so completely that it is as if it never even began? What did it mean anyway? There are always, always consequences.
Maybe this is the ocean. Maybe the river has run its course. Stillness.
Yet maybe not.