17 Feb Night
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Estimated reading time — 5 minutes
At my young tender age, painting was the only psychoanalysis I ever needed to retreat to, or how common people call it therapy. Every hour in the morning until the sun rises, my brush strokes back and forth. It tells a part of a story I wish to tell, but I am only full of fear. The brush strains itself dry with repressed fear as its ink.
What did I paint this time in the morning?
My first night under the new full moon in the summer was an everyday moment. The repeating cycle forced upon the cold shadows of what used to be formal civilization. I tried to close my eyes, entering into a tranquil state, relieving myself from the pain of familiar faces.
Entering the other side of my mind, the visions and experiences to which my emotions created.
A dream. One night I entered.
One night I took in the unexpected.
One night I envisioned a corrupt identity.
Visions blurred around, but at once I reasoned to the fact I was falling into deep space. My eyes closed shut, to let the feeling sink in. Unsteadiness arose when my bare feet felt cool slabs of brick.
This is quite strange, I thought.
There I was on my hands and feet, rising up to wave around, feeling any possible walls in this pitch-dark environment. Only two walls reached my grasp, side by side. If there was a passage, there was a way out. I took a light step forward with one hand on the wall. Light was up ahead, and my hand lost touch at the end. Something rushed by inches from my face. My eyes deceived me, for that was not a train, creature, or being, it was a coach.
A coach? Have I gone mad?
The rush of wind trailing behind caught my legs, forcing them back down on the pavement. Whatever this place was, nothing of modern living was shown. Old street lamps in black lighted each corner. All of the buildings were in a crimson color; to where I stood was an abandoned alley.
My Lungs dropped abruptly, choking and wheezing for a gasp of air. Grey paste retched out of my system, relieving the pain my lungs had.
“Oh! The indecency!” said a woman above me. The paste stained her dress and petticoat. She scrunched her little nose, tossing her head the other way. People treaded across the grey puddle, all mimicking the woman’s disgusted face.
Retreating to the alley was the only choice now. There was a stinging pain across my head and heavy shoulders dragged me down. Rest was inevitable now.
Very little time had passed in my struggle to rest. The night grew darker with nobody around. I had very shallow strength to walk, but it was not time to worry about.
The well-kept perfection of nothing out of place chilled my knees. There stood lit lamps, cool breeze, no quarrelsome ruffians or pestering chats. Everything kept in place.
I stood up at the sound of a slow clacking noise down the pavement. On a corner across the alley, stood a lamp where a shadow grew closer.
It was a woman.
The woman clicked in her heels quickly, clutching both arms in the cold. She lifted her head up to catch a glimpse of the night sky. Such an illuminating beauty she was. However her eyes encountered a different story. They sunk in deeply, losing color in the iris of what should have been hazel. The woman lowered her head on the lamppost, exhibiting weary highlights of indigo and violet in her hair. Outbursts of sobbing were all she did.
“Get the damn girl…Wait! There is no…either that filth…. YOU HEAR ME? DEAD!”
Unknown thoughts stung me various times, burrowing its messages in my head like swarming wasps. I kept bashing at my forehead, believing this was a demented illusion. Every vein retracted inside. Something was pulling strings, since I could not even twitch. The strain held back blood from my beating heart. It would skip for seconds until it ceased to beat at all. Death nearly took me away, but the hidden force released me and I collapsed.
Faint laughter was heard from the entity.
“…Lucky…sense…here…he…here…. He’s here. Fufufu-hahaha………such…queer…you…are…”
At the corner, the woman ceased to stop wailing. What stopped her wails was the sound of another’s footsteps. She flinched at its shadow coming near the lamppost.
The lamppost shined on a tall man in a dark cloak with his fingers in white and sharpened at the tip.
His face is what shook me.
Only a white bird mask covered his face. There was little skin on his right cheek, and red meat dangled on the side. The woman looked at the damage with sad eyes. I listened deeply to the woman’s voice of anguish, hearing not a hint of what I could understand. The man spoke softly to calm her down. She stomped a heel, yelling at him in frustration. He took a hard slap from the woman and yelled in agony of the dangling meat ripping away. His white hand seized her arm. She whimpered at his impatience, hearing the dark tone in his threat. But the man could not bear seeing her forlorn.
He openly embraced the woman, soothing her fear with words.
The entity returned.
I had enough of the message it tried to send.
“This cannot change on what I believe in. Possessive thoughts are for the driven.” I told the invisible being.
What was I saying…?
“Fools? You. Better…even the girl…DAMN LIFE-“
“SHUT UP!” I covered my ears, no to believe the insanity in me.
“Would…you…to be happy?”
There was a moment I had, looking at my right hand.
EVERYTHING HAS AN END.
The wretched bastard fooled me by being apologetic. Every day she visited less and less, until a note was written to me on how she was happy in Lock Haven, with him as her betrothed. Bitter days raised and desolate nights set. That was an end to our friendship. And my madness as an animal opened.
“End…it.” The entity murmured.
I tightened my right hand into its very grasp with crimson trickling down.
There was a blade in my hand.
Not a damn would be given over the pain; I slit the rest of my palm and held the handle in my left hand. The woman had been given the man’s cloak for warm comfort. They walked separated paths after dealing with conflict. I paced forward in her direction. She seemed detached of worries over any possible danger in the night.
I pounced upon the woman’s petite figure, stuffing my fingers in her mouth to block any uttering shriek.
My blade punctured her face numerous times. The absolute rush of releasing my demented rage was everything to me!
Pride. Wrath. Melancholy. Emotions representing harsh cloaked feelings.
Sympathy. Joy. Care. Emotions those are full of untouched beauty.
All the colors splattered around and mixed their contents to make sheer and brilliant crimson! Everywhere! EVERYTHING!
But everything has an end.
The man had dashed to her muffling cries, kicking me right off the woman. He pulled out a sword to finish me, but it turned to ashes. The man and woman disappeared.
And so did the world.
Dark dust rose with fog surrounding me. The dust formed a cloak; under its shadow was a hideous face with deep holes scowling in disgust.
Its neck creaked each inch, raising the head toward me. The being slurred:
“Envy has. …Become… Your master….”
The face outstretched itself, growing long teeth and a slick tongue. It charged right at me.
My lungs peaked at its height in an attempt to breathe. I was alone in bed, looking at the alarm clock.
The sun has not risen yet.
My right hand seemed empty, no cuts, and no blade. Not even a dark thought that stung my head. I let out a deep sigh of solace. There was no need to go back to sleep. I had a conjecture over her happy ending. It was her fault for choosing that man. My only loss of regret was not choosing to see her again. Without a helping hand, she could have been lost. Seeing them both happy was enough to make me repulsed.
The thought made me chuckle a little.
“Five more minutes of sleep would do…”
Misery had always been The Artist’s great friend. Even in the lowest of times, I can’t help but reflect back on those dark times in my paintings.
Look, I even painted the moon, with one side dark and one side light.
Credit To – Atzin