IS ANYBODY OUT THERE?
Today is a chilly day somewhere in the
year 2009. It might appear strange, but I seem to have lost track of the
date. It must be spring by now. I have been in self-imposed seclusion
for quite some time – I think several months. It was the only way I knew
myself to be out of harm’s way. Some might call my little safe-haven a
pigsty, but that would be very unfair to pigs. It was a disgusting
hovel; a growing monument to all stages of the digestive tract; a place
where what the stomach had rejected, mingled freely with what the
stomach had already accepted and processed.
The rejection part happens more frequently these days, as it is becoming
difficult in keeping the hygiene levels to any acceptable standard. I am
feverish and I itch terribly. I have skin ulcers that smell putrid, but
then - the smell could also be coming from my feet, or my scalp, my
teeth, anywhere. It is very hard to tell. But at least I am safe from
them. They cannot get to me as long as I keep them shut out. And if I
keep them shut out long enough they might forget about me - and just…go
away, back to the hell-hole where they were spawned.
Why am I writing this? Why do I bother to explain? Do I think anyone
will ever read it? Sometimes my instinctive optimism gives rise to
danger. It causes me to follow actions that could very well cost me my
life. To survive, it was best to be utterly cynical. But I will write
this for whomever is still out there, who can view this with human eyes
and comprehend with a human brain. It is a human trait to leave a
legacy, to leave some feeble record of a prickly path led.
This morning was a catastrophe. I was searching for something to read or
maybe some pornography – I can’t remember which – when I stepped into
something wet and extremely smelly. I couldn’t even identify it. All
that enveloped my thoughts at that moment was to get out, to escape this
dank enclosure. I wasn’t thinking clearly and before I realised it, I
was already outside, breathing the fresh air and feeling the glorious
(spring?) sun on my face. I stood there for a while, and felt a
sensation growing inside me, like a parasite. It was hope. Maybe they
were gone! Maybe I can finally be released from my prison!
To my horror I then heard footsteps and noticed one of them ambling past
the house. I involuntarily gasped with fright, which caused it to turn
and stare directly at me with soulless eyes. It cocked its head and
attempted a human smile (quite horrible). I never could figure out why
they tried to mimic us. What was the point? They were useless at it,
anyway. Did they really think that humans would be fooled for one
second? It then started towards me. It made some appalling, throaty
sound as it approached.
I was so solid with fear that the creature was only a few paces away
before I reacted. I picked up a broken pot plant and threw it at the
approaching thing. It clumsily tried to avoid the flying pot but it hit
the creature a glancing blow on the head. It staggered slightly and
howled in surprised anger. I used that moment to flee back inside my
stinking fortress, feverishly bolting the door. The creature proceeded
to pound the door and emit its ghastly sounds for some time. At length
it left, most probably to fetch reinforcements.
I was drained. I slumped down against a filthy wall and started crying
out of desperation. All my hard work was undone in a short, disastrous
turn of events. All the months of enduring the loneliness and filth were
for nothing. I cursed myself. I stomped my feet. I tore at my straggly
hair. I even bit my wrist till it bled. The only certainty that was left
was that they will return.
But I will not go easily into that horrible night. I have sharpened a
broomstick and will have my revenge before they have me. I am writing
this factual account while the silence creeps up to me and starts
devouring my resolve.
I am now lost - but you, dear reader, …dear human, might one day
appreciate what I had endured and have empathy.
© Etienne A. Marais – 22 August