Shadow on the Plain – Pt. 1

Retreat

There’s something hidden here. Insidious, taking root in the erosion of my perception. I feel it, squirming uproariously, undulating with the cacophony of manic thoughts echoing behind heavy lids.

It disrupts my sleep. Calls to me from the fringe of troubled dreams. Such visions it bestows upon me in the refuge of unconscious thought, poisoning the well of sacred vistas unknown to men, seared from memory in the Apollonian light of waking day. Roused from slumber in the midst of dreaming to wander lethargically until the moon steals away the sun once more.

He speaks to me in no language. He speaks of sickness in the hearts of men, tells me to observe them from a careful distance. That something grows beneath their flesh. I can smell it on them, the damp fog of death hanging as morning dew upon a blade of grass. In the fog I see the true face, the dread face of deception and predation.

They will consume me if I am not careful.

I must retreat, find sanctuary in isolation. The only truth I know comes to me in fiction, spoken in the verse of dead men.

Visions of the Dreamscape

I sleep less frequently now, though memory of my nighttime excursions within the dreamscape now persists long beyond rest.

It all seems so real, as if I can feel the placid breeze upon my pallid cheek, perceive the pleasant petrichor emanating from rain doused soil, overhear euphoric melodies of alien birds far off in the distance. This is a realm of serenity, a glade in the forest of chaotic existence.

Mountains rise and fall. Dimensions obscure while time speeds and slows intermittently. Multicolored rain falls in violets and indigos, crashing as glistening gemstones upon a vibrant plane of foreign beauty and life. Illogical creatures of uncertain distinction gallop across the expanse as wild trees bear impossible fruit.

The waters rise. The animals, caught beneath waves, bleat out anguished cries for mercy to no avail. The trees sink beneath cruel water, choked out beneath murky brine. No matter how high those gnarled branches reach they shall never overcome the ocean. Birds, having nowhere to land, fight against their own mortal weakness to remain suspended. Their resolve, ill fated, results in hoarse cries and desperate, slow spirals into the pool.

All life failing and nothing seems to notice.

The sun emerges, blazing cobalt, a sapphire suspended high. It hangs for months, possibly years, burning in a heaven that forsook its dominion. The endless ocean boils and I observe as floating corpses and waterlogged roots turn to putrid soup. The very flesh is scalded from bloated alien carcasses, leaving only distorted skulls smiling fiendishly. The scent of salted meat rises, rendering me queasy.

The waters recede, the endless range transforming to desert, brittle and cracking. Trees, deprived of all moisture, stand as bleached skeletal remains of a fertile period long forgotten to this place.

The ground quakes, splitting, as a towering cyclopean structure emerges from gushing magma and plate tectonics. Dust shrouds the image and it is erected in the open wastes. It juts off in all angles, crystalline, shimmering, and ebony, reflecting no light. Gazing upon the structure leaves one feeling unsettled, bewildered. Any slight alteration in one’s observation disrupts its appearance. It draws me in, yet I cannot move.

The azure flame sits nestled atop the formation, cosmic bust upon a dark pedestal. Compelled, I stare into the blinding light, unblinking, straining against its intensity and solar radiation. The sun becomes agitated, flaring, spitting forth streams of fire. It begins to roll in place, an angry wheel turning, spiraling in savage shades of oranges and reds.

The moon rises from behind the shroud of the stone faced monument, slowly climbing, making its ascent. There’s sorrow in it’s climb, a sincere sense of loneliness. It wishes to meet the sun and kiss it upon its scorched countenance. Desires to be consumed in the oppressive pyre of divine lust. The moon has been deprived so long it suffers the sun’s fury in resignation and relief.

They meet, moon eclipsing sun, obscuring the volatile veneer of the incandescent morning star. The scene grows dark with the exception of a crimson corona which sits atop the obsidian spire like a demoniac eye, over-watching all of existence in all directions possible and not, simultaneously. The moon sinks into the sun, resulting in a violent clash, then explosion. The heavens seem to rattle as the sky appears to tear.

They erupt, splitting to all corners. All directions lie the demon eye. Millions of crimson coronas lining the sky in horrific grandeur.

Their oppressive gaze pervades my essence, slicing to my core. I am but a speck, infinitesimal, a finite consciousness within the palm of boundless aeons. A child in the womb of reality, an insect in a void of things unknown and much greater. Shuddering upon the knowledge of my own feebleness, I observe the cosmic procession of the horrific eyes above.

Flickering as they trace their course through the frontier of incalculable space, these bodies align themselves. A celestial obelisk bearing down in tyrannical majesty. The titanic monolith hovers menacingly above the looming, primeval edifice. These eyes descend in spectacular Hadean hellfire and terrible wrath.

At the center of it all, seated in the lunatic structure, the shadow on the plain emerges, spreading its dark knowledge upon this ravaged land.

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