The Bad Place

In a long-forgotten time of past, a forlorn, indiscernible figure could be seen trekking through what could not be aptly described as a woodland nor a coastline. It just was. It “just was” in many ways because people had tired of speaking of it in whispers while simultaneously not putting a name to it. The air was void, as could have been expected, yet in the most sinister of ways, brimming with tension. It had, objectively, been eras since any novel shadow had darkened the place. I’m talking Kings rising and falling. And eras it remained, as there our figure roamed in the still of the night, unsure of how long ago it was that the sun had set beyond the horizon.

The deafening howl of the wind spiked as it hit what could only have been nearby caves, evincing the illusion, or reality, that this place was an enclosure. A purgatory, a limbo. Yet somehow, the blankness was even more deafening. The darkness was blinding, yes, but the place seemed to teem with vague and undoubtedly terrifying images that vanished as soon as the mind’s eye thought it could make them out. There was perfect stillness, yes, but the aforementioned wind would so often transform into a hurricane that in its wake, should have left nothing standing. Nothing except the figure, who somehow forged on.

The figure, clothed, cloaked, and crummy, seemed to oscillate in movement; seemed to roam aimlessly, but had a perfect goal in mind. To escape it. To find that literal light at the end of the tunnel that would lead them to salvation. Maybe then, they would remember who they were at their core, because somehow, they had lost every aspect of themselves in this place, including their sense of memory and time. Their singular mission was all-consuming, and in their determination, they forged on.

The eerie notions only multiplied with every step, every breath, and every move. This left the figure uncertain of whether they were on the right path or its reverse. Deep down, they had the feeling that more would soon mean less, but also logically knew that more was, simply put, more. A part of their subconscious had melded with the place; they knew it because alien, unspeakable thoughts and images had already began shrouding their psyche. The goal, they presumed, was to keep their being intact. To not let it be consumed to the point of no return. Unaware now of how they were moving, i.e., whether their feet did any work, or whether some force carried and led them arbitrarily, our figure forged on.

Then came a sudden shift in the atmosphere, one rarely beheld before. The wind picked up pace but its noise, ironically, began to waver. Where it had been pitch black, colours never witnessed began to form. Soon, coherent images took shape, and the figure now gained a sense of awareness that what was happening wasn’t just in their mind. Something was truly happening. Something phenomenal. Emotions long numb and lost came rushing and flooding back in, like the violent, spontaneous hurricane of yore. It all came to a head with a blinding light that duly offset the darkness. And the figure transcended.

Daylight, oxygen, street noise, children playing, life. The year was 2021. And the previously imperceptible figure now spread their arms in a stretch and their lips in a smile.

And in THAT place, the BAD PLACE, as it could only be coined, that of untold darkness, stillness and mystery, everything reverted to the same. All was as it had been.

~Wanjihia.

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