Updated on February 17, 2018

He trotted slowly across the damp and cracked concrete of the alley, warm clouds of breath spilling from his mouth. Each new scent, sight, or sound causing a jump of excitement as he lunged toward it. He'd found such amazing things in the last few hours alone.

Mankind never seems to appreciate all of the amazing things around them. Never stop to think about how this seemingly worthless scrap of paper has been passed through the hands of a thousand people, collecting the scent of each of individual, which eventually mixes all together to make a unique and intoxicating cocktail of the world. To look passed the evolutionary reaction of disgust at the sight of human excrement on the ground beside a tattooed dumpster to consider that it had previously been inside of a living, breathing human being. A human being with a heart, their own worries and fears, as well as their own skills, faults, and wasted ambitions. It was not only inside of them, but a part of their metabolic process, the most important function of an organic life form. Aided in this case by an absurd amount of gas station hot dogs and malt liquor. It doesn't look much different from the feces of a man who eats nothing but fruit and steak. But it smells different and it is different.

The night was dark, and quiet. To someone who didn't give a shit, the only sounds that could be heard echoing through this alley were the humming of distant cars, and the splatter of leftover rain, falling from the rooftops in little waterfalls. But to him, it was music. Loud, confusing, and mysterious.
A cacophony of natural and supernatural roars and screams, but invigorating.

The broken glass which littered the landscape cut at his feet, but to him it looked like stars in the sky. Or like the blood of a thousand fairies.

Everything was invigorating, because everything was new. Everything was new, so everything was beautiful. It was all beautiful and it was amazing. And for the first time in his life, he was free to see it, to smell it, hear it and touch it.

So he ran.

He ran like a cyclone down the alley. Jetting onward and onward over every intersecting road that he came to. Throwing waves out behind him as he ignored any potential social or cultural etiquette which may suggest avoiding huge puddles of rainwater in your path. Because he could.

Because he was free.

A chain had always held him in place. A tether that would inhibit him, and block him off from the expansive and beautiful world around him. He could not reach the beautiful and fascinating things that he so eagerly wanted to smell. He couldn't taste the tastes that fill this world. The very ones who put these things here, holding his tether and refusing him the chance to experience them.

But now he was free. He could taste the earth, sky, and light. He could smell the wind, water, and fire.
He had no idea where he was, but he didn't care. Why should he care? He had broken his tethers. He had broken the tether that held him in place, and he was free.

The humming chorus of cars seemed to grow stronger and more steady as he made his way through the city. This city he had seen all his life, but only just then could experience.

As he continued on, and the song grew stronger, so did the light. He was no longer alone in a darkened alley.
He was surrounded by lights, some moving, some strung up above him in the sky. Like angels calmly observing, watching over everyone below.

It was new, and it was beautiful.

The song grew and grew until he was deafened. The light grew and grew until he was blinded. He had run and run until his legs were crushed.

He lay in a pool of blood, on the damp and cracked concrete.

And it was beautiful. Because he was free.


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    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 4 weeks ago from Bangalore

      Very engaging story Yamuna.


    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 5 weeks ago from london

      An exquisite and profound piece, flowing, vibrant, energetic ... like your name ... like a river. A deep and reflective piece.