|Calvin Teo, Wiki.|
Butch was a black figure, sucking up all light, and yet he saw himself from outside…he turned a corner and went up the stairs, but the faded wall-paper did nothing to reflect light back upon him or illuminate who he was.
He was a shadow with a fedora, and he rebelled at the sight. It lasted but a second, and then there they were.
Everyone was watching him, and yet all was darkness. There were a thousand eyes upon him, and he felt them, and he knew them. They were invisible in the darkness. He could not put a face to a feeling, nor a name to a vibration that was each and every one of them. Their existence was undeniable. Invisible hands and feet buffeted him. There was shocking reality in the pain from their hits. There was real joy in the pain which he dealt out in retaliation.
Separate and distinct, and alone among all others, each unique in its strengths and weaknesses, together they were formidable, and he despaired. It was happening so fast, all seemed hopeless, and still his spirit remained. It could not last forever against such an onslaught.
What they fought for no one could say, and he never even asked. There was no time. All were upon him, they who seemed like they must once have been good friends or harmless, friendly strangers from a whole new world.
Even in the struggle, held down by the weight of them, he marveled at their vulnerability, and struck out with force and effect, for they had laid themselves open for it.
He was very strong, Thrown off effortlessly, they swirled about, never quite able to conceal themselves or hide their own true essence from him. They wanted him for some reason. It meant nothing to him, and he looked inside some of them. It was something inside of him that resonated. Something was isolated and he got inside the heart of one of them for one thin slice of time and then he at least knew something about them. No one was touching him now.
They were afraid of him. But then, he was afraid of himself, wasn’t he? He always had been,
They had something in common.
There was a bright light and he stood in the midst of an open plain.
The sun baked the cracked alkaline surface and seared the back of his neck. The silence was profound.
They stood in a ring around him, a stone’s throw away. The plain stretched off into the haze and the horizon no longer existed. It was a blue glass bowl overhead. Two dots floating above the far edge of the distant sky resolved themselves into big black birds, but they didn’t frighten him either. He should have been scared. He felt nothing but contempt for their mystery.
He knew their names now, and a wave of despondence washed over him. Each and every one of them, he had once thought his friend. He had loved them, liked them, looked up to them and respected them. They were all good people. It was why he sought them out in the first place, always knowing that he was unworthy of their confidence…his heart sank. He had wanted so much…
Why were they doing this to him?
“What do you want?”
The words rang out and mocked him in the emptiness.
No one spoke.
They were trying to tell him something.
They stood there in their everyday clothes, with their everyday faces, in their everyday postures, looking at Butch with a tolerant amusement.
They pointed now, and twisting, Butch craned his neck and looked behind.
His jaw dropped.
It was the most beautiful city he had ever seen, looming up over the shimmering waves of naked heat and towering right up into the base of the billowing white clouds that emanated from the city itself. Under its soap bubble dome, the oasis of green verdure and shining blocks of ennobled humanity beckoned in promise of welcome, a tall, soothing drink and a place to stay for the night. He turned, momentarily blinded by the mist across his eyes, but they were gone, as mysteriously as they had come, and he was still there. Whatever had just happened was over.
A promise had been made, one that must be kept on both sides.
His stomach felt very strange and he was sure he would wake up in a minute. It would have been better if all of this wasn’t so real, and so pregnant with obscure meanings.
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