I Am My Sin
06-03-2007, 06:28 AM
I Am My Sin
Here's another short story I wrote not too long ago.
I awoke so suddenly, and in such a state of fright, that my body nearly met the floor after having left the bed by several inches. Upon my brow was such a cool sweat that, with certain obvious confusion, I looked at my fingers after wiping them on my forehead and wondered what had caused said fright. I was immersed in no dream that I can recount, and was not, at the moment, suffering from poor health. I searched the darkened ground for I know not what, and my search yielded no answers. My room, bathed in the moonlight, flooded with shadows of chairs, ottomans, and bookcases, only danced in mockery
Lowering myself back into bed, I attempted to free myself from my thoughts of my fear. The clock, just readable by the moonlight, read that I had no more than three hours before the sun was to rise. With the sun up, I find sleep to be unattainable, and I have yet to sleep past the dawn in near seven years. As my head rested so serenely on my pillow, my body forthwith rose back up in sudden reply to a certain noise I heard from my downstairs library. My eyes, opened very widely by now, ran also very dry. Upon rubbing them, I continued to hear another bang from my library, followed by another and another.
I rose myself to my feet on the side of my bed, taking care not to make too much noise. I slowly approached the door, wincing upon each responsive creak of the floorboards. I tread as lightly as possibly, hoping not to make too much noise as to interrupt the intruder from his doings. As I slowly pulled open my chamber door, wincing here, too, at the unpleasant creaking noise with which I was greeted, and stretched my neck only slightly as to poke my head outside of the door.
My ambitions resolved to nothing but hearing the crashing noise again, slightly louder. Thereupon deciding to discover the source of the commotion, I stepped into my night shoes and advanced carefully to the stairwell. There was a cool chill drafting its way in to my home, rustling up my robe and irritating my legs. The fires had died down by that dreadful hour, and it left my house in a gelid state. There came suddenly a loud crash, much more surprising than the former bangs I had heard, along with yet another bang, a clang, and even a sound for which I can not find the proper onomatopoeia, but it sounded somewhat like a ploomph. Amid all of the crashes, bangs, clangs, and ploomphs, I began to hear what I could only fathom as laughter. It was not a laughter as loud or abhorrent as that of the hyena or the crow, but instead like the gentle call of the macaw. I realize that birds are not what one would think of when comparing laughter, but I am quite certain of what the macaw's and the crow's laughs sound like and I can, without doubt, compare them to the laugh that was presently engaging my thought.
Upon reaching the end of the stairwell, I turned to face my library and was drowned with astonishment at that upon which I gazed. There appeared a visage before me, parading through my library, making a mess of my belongings. It seemed like a specter, pale and white. It was wearing clothes, yes, yet I could not entirely make them out. He seemed to be wearing a p coat, but it was too short for him and came to rest several inches above his waistline. Below that, his clothe was a mystery to me. Everything seemed to fold and fumble into itself and into each other, not making much sense of anything. Atop his head, however quite clearly, he wore a fedora. It bore a feather long and slender, imaginably beautiful had it been any color besides white.
For a specter that seemed to be able to fly, float, or levitate at any height above the ground, this one seemed to be perfectly content with settling less than a foot off of the ground, bouncing up and down a bit as he traveled.
He stayed for a bit with his back to me, moving from one side of my vast library to the other, laughing quietly as he went. After every few feet he would hover, he would reach onto my bookshelf, pull out a book, read the title, and fling it against the wall. Upon doing so, he would laugh his laugh and continue to float another few feet whereupon he would repeat his task.
"My friend," he called, suddenly, "do you recall the line, 'Abandon hope all ye who enter here'?"
I was opening my mouth in response when he, in reply to his own question, retorted in a different voice, "Why, no. I don't believe I do. Please, tell me what it means, and whence it came."
The specter's self-conversing admittedly had me taken aback, but I kept my gums sealed tight, waiting for further words.
"Well, my dear friend," it began, "it comes from a tale called 'One Thousand and One Arabian Nights.'"
"Are you quite sure of that?" he questioned in his second voice.
"Why, yes, I'm sure. Just what do you imply?"
"Well, my friend, that does not sound like the sort of phrase you would hear in a tale about Arabia. In fact, I think I remember it well of another tale."
"And what tale would that be, good sir?"
"I believe it was something called 'The Inferno,' now that I think of it. Yes, I'm almost certain. By a man of the name Dante."
"Are you certain?"
"As certain as the sky is gray."
"But the sky is only gray when it expects to open up its faucets and leak openly."
"Then I guess I'm not certain at all, am I?"
"Let's agree to disagree, then. We'll continue on saying it's neither from the Arabian tale or your tale of Ferns, or what may have you."
"In speaking of the sky's open faucets, what do you suppose should be done of them?" He completed this sentence by tossing another book to the wall, this time a copy of a Shakespearean play.
"What can be done of things we have no control over? We really mustn't concern ourselves, as I venture that it is truly not our business to interfere with the doings of the sky faucets."
Upon the latest installation of the conversation, I choked upon a small bulb of saliva traveling past my tongue, whereupon the specter turned quite abruptly to meet my gaze. It took a look of bewilderment, and glanced for a moment both to its left and to its right, opening its mouth time and again, seemingly thinking of what to say. Presumably having met a decision, he squeezed his lips together, I think, and squinted his eyes.
Here, you see, I am only assuming that these were his lips and that those were his eyes. His face was cloudy, swaying among itself. His facial features would arrange themselves randomly across his face, though always remaining near where they should have been.
His mouth, presently located slightly lower than it should have been, opened slightly as he began to introduce himself. Well hello there, monsieur. Good day to you.
I am still not completely certain as to why the ghost addressed me as monsieur, as we were neither in France nor any other French-dominant nation. He continued.
I gather you are quite surprised to see me here, monsieur. I would even be willing to place money on your lack of expecting to ever see me. Well, my sir, I am indeed here, presently, in front of you. What have you to say to that?
My mouth opened not an inch.
Dumbfounded, what? I can not say I blame you. I myself did not think I would ever be a part of this world again. But alas, here, I stand! And to think, right in front of the estate of the very man responsible for my death! Tell me, monsieur, as you were proficient in the mathematics that I was never able to grasp; tell me, what are the odds of that?
I was still unsure of what to think of this apparition, and I could not grasp not only what he meant of my responsibility of his death, but also of his accusations of my being proficient at mathematics. I was never good at the numbers, and my deficiencies dated back to my days in grammar school. The ghost floated there for several moments, saying neither word nor number until I decided to try to respond, upon which he interrupted me immediately with a cough. I attempted speech again.
I beg you, good sir, who are you? And what do you want with me? And why do you bring chaos to my library and my editions kept inside?
The ghost seemed to be slightly insulted, and replied. You mean to tell me you dont remember me? How can you not? Im right here in front of you, just I was those winters ago!
My apologies, sir, but with all honesty, I can not even begin to understand your face. Your features are neither concrete nor stationary on what I assume to be your face, and I can not make out who you once were.
My visitor offered a shout, turned, and took in his hand my copy of Beowulf, and proceeded to throwing the book with an awful amount of force directly at my head. I bowed my head only an instant before, and managed in pulling myself to the floor. Upon meeting with the ground I turned and tried to crawl out of harms way, as my visitor was now hurling things with such frequency and force that many things all over my library were breaking. I am unsure if it was my luck that allowed me to escape unharmed or if I should attribute that to the lack of velocity of the ghost.
I turned and took flight to my parlor, with the ghost giving chase. I turned and shouted over my shoulder, What do you wish of me, sir? What do you wish of my household?
The specter yelled back, I wish for recognition, first and foremost! Then I wish for a formal apology!
But my friend, I shouted in retort, How can I recognize a being without a solid face? And for whatever it may be worth, I am truly sorry for whatever I may have done to you in your past life that has been recently removed from this earth. Now can you please stop giving chase to my fleeing and please put an end to your hurling of my almanacs?
He only shouted again in reply, and continued to give chase. He was now, however, proceeding to grab things from all over my house and throw them rather ferociously at my head. After realizing that I was unsafe in my own home, I burst forth into the wild from my back door. The air was cool and the sky dark. The moon shone very brightly and very largely and was only partially interrupted by a thin layer of clouds.
My breath was visible with each time I exhaled and remained there in front of me for several moments. I became so temporarily ensconced in my studies of my frozen breath that I had presently forgotten about the specter that had been very violently chasing me through my household. He was approaching me very quickly now, with a candelabra in his hand, its three candles ablaze.
I rushed to gather myself up and make haste into the wood in the rear of my property. If I knew the woods well enough, I would be able to weave in betwixt them and lose my pursuer. Though, blast him! and blast his ability to travel through the trees and my house! As I weaved throughout the trees my pursuer followed me closely, threatening me with the lit candelabra.
The snow had grown verily deep over the night, and it became increasingly difficult to trudge on with haste. I found myself progressively growing exhausted with the task of pulling my legs from the knee-high snow only to place them back down quickly in order to run. I was becoming jealous of my visitor ghost and his ease at floating above the snow and traveling as quickly as he pleased.
I did my best to pull myself behind a tree and rest there, hoping that he did not see where I was hiding. To my dismay, he saw exactly where I had hidden myself, and floated straight toward me. I was surprised with his inability to catch up with me until presently, as it seemed as though he was going much faster than I was. When he reached the tree I had been hiding behind, he tried to fly through it, though had seemed to have forgotten that the candelabra that he was still holding on to was, and still is, quite concrete just as you and I. While he made it through the tree, the candelabra only made it so far as to smash against the trunk with quite an amount of force, vibrating the wood and shaking down layers of snow to fall down on to my own head.
I began to believe I was wrong in my initial impressions and thoughts that the ghost had seen where I had crawled to. I sat there for some time, buried underneath layers of snow, chilled to the soul, unmoved by anything. I imagined that the ghost had flown right past me and off into the cool night to find me, far away from me. I reached up to dig myself out of my snowy grave. I reached and pulled the snow away time and again until I could see straight up. I continued to dig until I could see directly in front of me. And when I did, you can imagine the look on my face when I viewed the specter there, not but five inches from my eyes! He had an odd grin on his cheek and spoke immediately upon my seeing him.
Well? He waited a moment for my response.
Well, indeed, I finally answered. You put up quite a chase.
And you put up quite a run, even in this deep snow.
Yes, I agreed, I did try my best. It is incredibly difficult to keep speed, you know.
Oh, I can only imagine, he mused. That snow looks like it goes all the way up to your knees, it does!
Indeed, it does. You have a keen eye, there, wherever it may be right now.
Funny thing, these eyes. Try as I may, I can not retain any control over them.
I was going to ask, but I did not wish to be rude.
Oh, it is not a problem, I insist.
Well, perhaps we can speak of your features and perhaps our history together back in my estate? It is unreasonably cold out here and I have quite a bit of cleaning up to do now. I suppose Ill never get back to bed, I sighed.
If that is where you wish to leave the world.
What do you mean by that? I asked.
Why, I wish to kill you, he said with a lopsided smile.
With what reason? Oh, I wish you would just tell me already. I am getting so antsy with suspense in wanting to hear of my history with you.
The ghosts mouth closed, along with his cloudy eyes. A sound emitted from him, guttural and gross. My head cocked, filled with confusion toward both this ghosts purpose and his attitude. I was fed up to the hair with this ghost in both his practicality and the enigma of his existence.
I am a haunting for you, sir. Evil, and with pertinence to your past. You have forgotten something very valuable, indeed.
I am afraid of my admittance of my lack of knowledge as to your topic.
It is quite the contrary, sir, he interrupted, sounding angrier. You do know, yet you have suppressed it. You must remember.
I am afraid to reiterate, I do not and can not. Are you quite so sure youve found the right man?
As quite and as sure as possible, he said to me, mournfully.
Please tell me, then, specter, and leave me this place.
I have every intention to remind you in full of what youve done to deserve my visit, but know now that when I have finished you will no longer have any desire to remain here at this estate.
He continued his groaning, low, and forlorn. They proceeded to grow so loud I began to fear my head would begin to grow, filling with the noises, until it eventually burst. I held my hands to my ears, grinding my teeth, trying to drown out the noise. Then all at once, it ceased. His face had straightened out, yet I was still unable to recognize it. The features, though now in their proper places, had grown blurrier, and were entirely indistinguishable.
He emitted a laugh, now, from his belly. His entire visage became much clearer, yet still, the eyes were something I could not comprehend.
Why do you do this, ghost? Why must you make that terrible sound? I asked once he had made it clear he finished.
My throat burns from words of misfortune. The sin scathes my mouth, my tongue, and my voice. I represent what it is youve done, and what youve forgotten. Look at me! Remember what it was!
The ghost moved up near my face and stared into my eyes. There, in his pupils! The image of my sin, reaching, clawing to reach me. I remembered why I was there. I had sinned, and forgotten. But there! I could see it again.
A woman I recognized as once my own was there, with another man. I arrived, snow blowing in my face and in my mouth. Two pairs of footprints were already leading to the front door, imprinted, pressed hard into the snow. The ridges from their soles screamed up at me, shouting no! do not enter! My ears and nose were rose with a cold burn. I reached the front door, finding it already ajar. Flakes were scattered all over the welcoming mat on the inside of the house. I was viewing a mini-landscape, with snow flakes covering the dead grass ground of the mat.
I found myself moaning, still staring into the ghosts eyes. I could no longer notice what world I was part of. I was climbing the stairs to the master bedroom, hearing noises of ecstasy. There, atop the stairs, the open door to the bedroom. Peering in through the crack, I saw them, loving. I knew not what led me there, following those footprints, up the stairs, into the bedroom. I was misplaced, and this was knowledge I was not without. This was not my own home; this was not my own lady. But she had made herself mine, and she had made me hers, wrongfully, sinfully, lustfully. This I knew, yet I had neither the power nor the incentive to care.
A cough, and they heard me. The lady, her man, and I, a stranger in a strange home. The man came out, scared, furious, erect. He wouldve killed me had I not already been turning to run away. He lost his balance and missed a blow to my gut. Right down the stairs, he went. I knew not what to do. The lady was aghast at her misfortune. A simple twist of his neck, and he had gone limp.
I flew back to reality. The ghost was smiling again. What happens now? I asked. I was afraid I already knew the answer. His only reply was a smile as I saw him approach closer and closer, until we were one.
User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)