By Andy Griesenauer
Their pores reeked of stale misfits. Little mind is paid to how they arrived there or why they stood there. Yet they huddled in masse, leaning into each other’s silences, a give and take of thought and hunger.
One broke away and moved left. It was unannounced and uncelebrated, a movement equally calculated and shadowed. Before One, a long, concrete portal shot straight ahead, inviting a restless corpse to lay its body down and sleep for a while. One had nothing but time.
Simple sleep is always the best sleep. One ducked around inside for a while, searching for a place to hang One’s head. Behind Door #1: Endless blue. Where the ocean ended and the sky began was up to the discretion of the viewer. Splashes of wind tussled greens rocked rhythmically on the sands of time. Behind Door #2: forks, spoons, knives. A doorknob being twisted at 5:10 p.m. The thuds of footsteps from above and around. The sink is claustrophobic. “Honey, did you bring the chicken?”
One walks towards that with color. The door opens and the scene turns to black.
Two witnesses the peril of One and offers advice. One has become Two. Two sits up and moves somewhere new, a place where eyes are blinded and recall nothing being seen. This has also been referred to as heaven.
Sidewalks lead to another door. A sign above:
The Time is Now
Tick-tock. Tock-tick. Tick-tick. Tock-tock. Bong. Back and forth, sideways swaying, the walls are lined with clocks and numbers. Was Two supposed to be somewhere? Some of the big hands move faster than the small hands. That one over there is screaming 4. But his sister over there is chiming 1. Was Two supposed to be somewhere?
It led to a headache. A pounding distortion. An overwhelming annoyance that assaulted the senses and threatened well-being. Two must escape and find shelter.
“Four!” Getaways are all the style.
Four ran toward some place heard about in tales from late nights. Wishing well. Drop a coin in, pull a hope out. Thank you for your transaction. Four to a corner of a circle. Necks craned down into the vast abyss. It has been minutes waiting for a sound, a “clink”, a confirmation.
Four decides to make some noise. “HELLO!” “CAN YOU HEAR?”
S I L E N C E
But the fog began rising, crawling upward, framed by the chute. Four moved its head up, turning away from the smoke, seeking anything but betrayal from the star splattered sky. But no march could beat away the intoxication. Four fell asleep on the ground.
Four awoke to a Thousand. A Thousand met a Million. A Million was frightened to look. They all looked the same. Mirrors. Everywhere. Walls. Ceiling. Floors. “I’m scared!” “Help!”
A cry in unison. A great division. You’ve heard it before, right?
“we are all one”
Their pores reeked of stale misfits.
BIO: Andy Griesenauer is currently a student at the University of Missouri. He can usually be found buried beneath a pile of words. Or at Jack in the Box.