Friday, November 21, 2008

Flash fiction Friday - All Alone

Besides reading, watching T.V., and the occasional stroll about town, this is what I do to entertain myself and keep my "chops" up so to speak. Flash fiction is exactly what it says it is. Short, sweet, without a whole lot of thought behind it.

Enjoy, or whatever...

All Alone

This used to be a place where people gathered to learn things. Now it’s where I live, moving from building to building as if it were my own personal playground.

One of my favorite places to just sit is in what they used to call “The Chapel.” I know this because that’s what’s carved in the stonework above the entrance. A small building once used to make contact with higher powers and perform ritualistic ceremonies. I like it because it’s peaceful in there with its smooth wooden seating and filtered light. In there it’s easy to forget; easy to ignore all the disturbances of the world outside.

At night is when the voices are loudest. Just voices, I know, that can’t harm you physically but play with your mind all the same, make you all the more aware of how alone you are. In that regard they’re just as dangerous. If you let them, they can easily rip your soul in two.

I found something the other day that served to make several days after more tolerable. In one of the buildings there were great paintings depicting what I suspect were typical scenes from the time when others populated this place. Curiously enough, in order to view these paintings I had to push several buttons in the right order and the device that held them captive would hum and light up, releasing them as projections from its tiny screen. I now carry this device with me wherever I go, sometimes pretending that I can make the pictures real if I wanted to. Wouldn’t that be something? Maybe one day I’ll actually figure out if that’s possible or not.

But back to the voices. I’m not sure exactly where they come from. I suspect, though, that they’re trapped because the few words I can make out sound like whoever “they” are would like to be freed. One time I thought I could actually understand one of them saying, “It’s cold in here.” I don't know where “here” is, But I’m glad at least that I don’t have to worry about being cold. Still, I would like the company, and I feel as though I’d like to help whoever they are somehow, not solely because I’m lonely, but also because it seems as though someone ought to, and I’m the only someone around.

Today I decide to cut loose in the building I call the castle. I’m sure that’s what it must have been at one time because it looks a lot like the pictures of castles I’ve found in books.

That's one thing I have plenty of - books.

Only the castles in the books I’ve looked at aren’t usually surrounded by other buildings. Usually they’re up on top of a hill and surrounded by a circle of water. This castle is surrounded by other buildings, all different, yet all fitting together as though the different styles were meant to partner with one another.
Inside the castle is several beds—65 to be exact, not counting the five that I don’t go near because of their smell. I’ve probably slept in each one at least a dozen times but lately I’ve taken to one in particular on the second floor in the room with the best view of the courtyard. In the daytime I can look out and imagine what it used to be like filled with people. In the nighttime I see something totally different, which is why I mostly sleep during the day.

At night I have to keep watch on the shadows.

Sometimes I’m tempted, driven by my aloneness, to see what would happen if I go out at night and let the shadows take me. I’m still working up my nerve for that, the fear of the unknown still one of my primary weaknesses. But I can only play by myself for so long. The games in the big room of the castle would be so much more fun if there were someone to play them with; at least I think that would be the case.

But then again, what if they don’t play games?