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Red

Red
By Everett A Warren
September 27, 2003



There is darkness, and it is all I can see.

These were his thoughts, his very being. Chaos, is it? Or worse, well ordered, everything like so and this organized like that. How long had he been like this? What had brought him to these ends? A true extension into the feared and fearful, he was, and no mistake. Each step unknowing, each look uncaring.

"Dear god," he said to himself, de-emphasising God in his distance and disbelief. He clenched his teeth, gripped the rail tighter and peered over the gulf into the dark waters below. "How they turn and roil, calling for me..." A foot, upon the lowest brace of the fence. And he could move no further.

"What, then, is in store for me!" Standing back, he clenched his fists by his side, head thrown back, screaming to the stars, as if they would answer. As if.

Cold, soulless, far beyond his reach. Mocking him with their light, a thousand million years of light, piercing him. Tangible. A taste of bitterness. Tears from sightless eyes.

No, it would not be suicide for him. He bore the scars, stayed it out time after time, aborted. A captive of the institutions until they lost interest, then cast him out once more. A man without hope, without love. Without sight.

He had not been this way for all eternity, but certainly, when the moon rose and bathed him in its cool, aromatic light he heard her whisper in his ear that it was always so, and his memories are nothing more than phantasms. Now, not even the false spotting, the flares of colour invented by unseeing eyes, were there to comfort him. He knew what colours were supposed to be, but they were nothing to him.

So he ranted. Calling out names that made one shiver, he screamed and he raged.

A shuffling footstep, unsure, five foot nine, two hundred fifty pounds, male, no cologne, no deodorant. The knife was seven to twelve inches long. Sliding from its scabbard, still hissing its intent. Still now, as he ceased his rant. Anchovies. The man had pizza with anchovies for his last meal.

"How did you..." Poor man, thought he had been silent. Thought he would sneak up on the poor bastard. Slice him, take his wallet. Well dressed blind man in the bad part of town seemed like good odds at the time.

"Fine!" He fumed, held out his hands, arms spread wide. "Fine then, run from the blind man! Leave him to suffer! To his pain!"

The would-be assailant scurried off with the other vermin, gone into a rat hole or somewhere else equally pleasant and suitable for his being.

He was silent, still, arms still outstretched, awaiting his cross, his crucifixion. Awaiting release.

"How then will it happen, damn you!" He thought a moment, realizing his voice need not be used. Yes, he thought, I know I will die. I know I will... end. I know not how.

Yes.

"Yes?" He turned around, looking, as if that would help. He sensed nothing but a rising chill.

Yes, you know how.

"Tell me!" Voice cracking, strained.

You spoke of it the other night.

"Damn you to Hell! Get out of my head!"

Come now, is that any way to speak to him? He is just doing as you asked of him. Begged of him.

"No!" He lay collapsed, folded over, on his knees, hands on his head. He had no strength anymore.

Yes, so it ends. Like his father before him, something had reordered itself in his head, sealed itself off. Stopped what should flow, and grew. Slowly, painfully, removing this or that as it travelled through his mind. The damage, both physical and mental, irreparable.

A small stream of blood, tasting of iron, dripped from his ears to the oily alley floor, echoing as it exploded in an edgertonian burst. As life left him, he saw it, for the first time.

Red. It was red.

Copyright (c) 2003 Everett Ambrose Warren

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