Escape

Updated on May 6, 2018
Jonathan Sabin profile image

Jonathan has been writing since 1995 about various topics, from movie reviews, works of fiction and media commentaries to Bible sermons.

Brightness.

Stark white light shimmering through some branches, that's what woke me up. I'm pretty sure that's what always woke me up, save for the rainy days. This is how I remembered things, in wide swaths of color and intensity. What day of the week was it? I don't know. Should I even care? I stopped using those things. I instinctively pulled myself up from the ground and stumbled through my daily routine. If my body told me I needed to do something, I did it. If I was hungry, I ate it. If I was tired, I slept there. If I had to go, I went. Life was simple. That might sound like a good thing, but it didn't feel as good as I wanted it to. I was an animal and I knew it. I hated the feeling, but I somehow knew that I needed it. I didn't want to let myself think. Why? I knew, but yet I didn't know. Where did it start and when would it end? My subconscious was mildly curious, but deep down I knew that I didn't want to find the answer. Hopefully it would end naturally sooner rather than later, although at times I considered speeding up the process through my own intervention. But there was something inside that always stopped me. I'm not sure it was a love of life, a fear of death or anything like that. I just felt too stupid to do anything that requires any planning. I didn't want to think, and at this point I honestly think I wasn't capable anymore, left to my own devices. I probably would've stayed that way, wearing out and dying like a beast out in the open with no one to care, had it not been for my lack of food. I usually took what came easy, and when it didn't, what little was left of the logical side of my brain compelled me to start walking. I didn't know where I was going, just anywhere that was new, anywhere I hadn't picked through yet. It sounds deep when you word it that way, but all I knew was that my tummy felt funny and I knew how to fix it.

After an hour of green this and green that, the brown beneath my feet turned to white, and the green above me to blue as I stepped into a large open area. I felt like I was a newborn or something, gazing at what seemed to be new surroundings that at the same time were very familiar. After those dazed few seconds of distraction, my attention was focused to what stretched out in front of me, etched into what would've been my path and weathered almost beyond easy recognition. "SOS". I knew how to read apparently. Or maybe it was just by rote sight reading. In any case I knew that it wasn't me who put it there, I was positive about that. I felt a sliver of unexplainable anxiety and a sickening feeling that passed almost as quickly as it came. Something about this innocuous writing was striking me as disturbing. The blurs of low dynamic color and general impressions sharpened for but a moment, and in that moment, through the fog, I saw an airplane. It was flying low, just low enough to perhaps catch a glimpse of me. A burst of initiative compelled me to jump up and yell, vocalizing for what felt like the first time in years, but for all I know it could've been weeks. It was no use though, as something was wrong with this plane's flight path. It was too low. I watched in disbelief through the fog as it came down hard into the water. Slowly walking backwards, my feet stumbled over a giant yellow life raft. I flinched for just a moment as a subtle ache went through my head. Through my squinted eyes I knew I wasn't alone. I defensively fell into the nearby foliage and peeked out. People were here, then there, then everywhere. During a particular moment of clarity I thought it was only two people, but the echoing, muffled voices and the streaking, muted visuals made it difficult to rationally assess the situation. I closed my eyes again and buried my head in my knees. Looking up again, I saw nothing. But the more I gazed up at the canopy of this new beach side forest I found myself in, the more discomfort washed over me. They were back, and all wasn't well. I looked down to avert my gaze from what distressed me, only to see tracks in the mud surrounding me. From what? I wouldn't know, all that mattered was that they had claws on them. Were they fresh? Hard to tell in this perpetually soft mud. I was surprised at myself for beginning to have an actual thought process, when another streak made me freeze in place. This wasn't one of those people that were running around earlier. It was low and beastly. Every muscle and nerve clenched at attention as I shallow breathed and my wide pupiled eyes darted around from amid the brush. An even bigger headache started to come on but I couldn't let it affect my movement. I eventually succumbed to a wince. As I opened my eyes, the creature was gone. If there was ever a chance, this must be it and I had to take it. I didn't know where or even who I was, yet for some reason I wanted to live. Jumping up from my hiding spot I darted through the dense plant life and ran straight into some man made structure. My eyes quickly took in cut wood, a canopy, tools and other items. My headache turned into a splitting migraine as the people began to come back. Then before I knew it so did the beast. I darted back into the forest as fast as I could in no particular direction. They were everywhere! The people, running and shouting around me and the beast chasing all of us. It all faded as soon as I saw in front of me the beast itself.

I didn't run this time. The beast was sallow and had flies buzzing in and around it. A wooden club lay nearby, apparently what brought about his demise. My heartbeat quickened and a tear squeezed through my eye as I saw down the way a freshly dug mound of earth. "My wife, no . . . You did this!" I screamed as I picked up the club and started beating the carcass. Realizing the futility of what I was doing, I dropped it at my feet. Suddenly everything was clear as far as I could see. No. No! I ran and ran, and as I did the surroundings morphed into a blur. Everything was new, but comfortingly familiar. As I collapsed on my back and saw the crescent moon, I wiped the wet stuff running down my cheeks. Who was I? What was I doing? All I knew was, I didn't want an answer, I didn't want to remember. I closed my eyes.

Darkness.

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