Into The Dark
Updated: Mar 31
The body longs for the life lit up by the dark the endless hunt of the seal the hunger of the shark
Darkness on one side, on the other, there is you… Darkness on one side, on the other, there is you...
The words would not leave him alone. Having been here before, he knew better than to bother with the despair. For now, at least. He rose up from the stump he sat upon and began following the well-worn path beside the river. Every so often, he stopped moving and stared, overcome by the moon rising in the east. As if waiting for some answer to appear, he stared and stared and stared. The silence of the night was soon interrupted by something stirring in the brush ahead. Fox, deer, bear, coyote? No, what rattled him this night was the thought of the cougars known to roam this area. He fought to maintain composure, though his body began to shiver. Fear filled every inch of his existence - thoughts of claws digging deep into his flesh. He began to feel foolish for ever having left home. The earth was dry beneath his feet. The air, too, was dry and the boy could taste the smoke and ash which hung faintly in the air from the fires that burn in these forests every so often. The fires burn off what is no longer needed, leaving the land ready to begin again. The boy could not be sure whether his body shivered more from the cold or the fear, and perhaps, it did not matter. He began to crouch low and listen. He crouched, listened and soon found himself in prayer. “I am but a child,” he thought to himself. “I am but a child full of hopes and dreams.” He could not take his mind from the violent creatures lurking around him. Images of blood spilling from his corpse hung in his mind. “I am but a child!” He cried. “I am but a helpless child!” Thin, distant clouds drifted over the moon’s face like a veil for its naked body. The light remained just strong enough for the boy to see the path in front of him. His head tilted back and this time silence fell upon the boy. He began wondering about the god he had never given time to before. Silence struck him once more. Silence and wind. The wind left his ears stinging. Slowly, he stepped, moving forward from his place in the forest, though the path took him only closer to the brush where he first heard the creature stirring. With each step, he prayed, trying to drown out the words that still would not leave him alone.
“Darkness on one side, on the other, there is you…” “There is nothing I can do,” he thought. “Either I will be eaten, flesh and all, dying a painful, honor-less death, or I will be spared.” Again, he heard something moving in the nearby brush. His entire body shook as he continued to move nearer the footbridge which would be his salvation on this night. The footbridge bringing him to the other side. Back to his village, back to his home, where a bed was made for him. The bridge would bring him to the side of the river where noone had ever seen a cougar, and it was said that an agreement had been reached between the villagers and the wild animals, each being given their own home beside the river. For now, the boy remained on the wrong side. “Please, God, if I make it home safely, I promise to never do anything so foolish again.” He crept slowly, carefully, until finally he reached the bridge. He climbed to the middle, where the river rushed swiftly beneath him. He felt his heart beat slowing down and his breath becoming deeper. He stared down into the river where the moon’s reflection swayed gently, having emerged from behind the clouds. No longer hidden, the moon bathed the dark waters with its light, filling the boy with all that can not spoken. A song moved its way into his body, the words of which came in a language he could not understand. He tried to sing, though immediately he felt foolish in hearing his own voice speak these strange words. Finally, overcome by the cold and deeply tired, he began making his way down the other side of the bridge, back to the village from which he came and the home where he could rest. In the dark streets, the boy was met by a woman with a plate full of food. Another appeared with a blanket in which she wrapped him tightly. Lastly, a third woman emerged at his side with a lantern, taking his hand and leading him to his home and putting him to sleep. When daytime came, the boy found himself remembering little about the wildness of the night before. He could only recall the moon’s mystical song, the memory which, light and gentle, filled the boy with cheer through all his obligations that day. He went about his schooling and chores obligingly, with a sense of cheer, even. He was polite at dinner and gave his sister help with the dishes. Mother and father smiled at their two children working so well together. As darkness fell, the boy grew excited about the long, night of sleep ahead. With his head upon the pillow, he thanked his newfound God for such a wonderful day. But when he closed his eyes and tried to sleep, some words or thing, into his mind, began to creep. Soon, the moon appeared - a little less full and a little later than the night before - and the boy, beside the river, found himself once more. Cold entered his bones as the moon made its climb, and strange words began emerging, once more filling his mind. In the distance something began to move, sending chills up his spine. “I am but a child!" With his head tilted back, the boy began to cry. Out from under his feet, disappeared the days beautiful view. Dar