Written for Mark’s latest challenge:
He died. Died. DIED!
Arms outstretched, cage door left open.
So it goes.
And birds soar above in the soot filled sky. The earth crying tears of soil into the atmosphere. The man, who was (if nothing else) a man of earth and grit and dirt and crushed shell thinks yeah, how fitting.
He wonders if this is the beginning of the trip. There is another planet out there waiting for him. He knows it. The soot pushes him upwards towards SOMETHING and seeing as how he doesn’t (never did, never will) believe in an afterlife he assumed this was still just plain old life, albeit without the flesh, or the being late for work, or even that whole gravity thing. This must be the trip, he thinks. But how am I getting there?
He can’t tell if he is one of the birds, part of the soot, or something else all together. The young girl on the shoreline waving up at him. The dog barking at the birds. The fish in the cool slime encrusted water.
He feels eyes looking down at him, and he sees reflected in the pupils the black words on the white page that he realises is him. The body made text. The dream encoded.
And sooner or later, he thinks, I’ll have to give up this charade. This pretence that a disembodied voice is telling my story. Some random, godlike voice. No. I need to take ownership. It is me, sitting here typing this, still bound by my flesh, still trying not to be late for work. That dust comforts me, the idea of swirling around forever, or settling down forever. Being consumed, regurgitated, consumed again. Multiple shots at getting the thing right.
Everything is invention (of differing degrees of acceptability). Everything is disjointed. I have written this too slowly, written without a goal.
The cage door far below, still open. Inside: a fresh, shiny world waits for me, offers to envelope me.
I die, or I am born. Fill in as appropriate.