The Green Desert
I wake up with a throbbing head, looking up where stars would have been on a normal night. Except this was not a normal night. Except this is no night, nor is it normal. I knew he would be up there, like every day of my past in this place. This place...
I know you are burning with questions. Who am I? Where is this mysterious place? And who is it that I look up to, literally and metaphorically every day? I wish I could answer all these questions. You see, I seek the answers to precisely the same questions. I do not know who I am. I do not know how I came to be in this desert land of green grass. Everywhere I look, I see nothing but blades of grass growing with perfect harmony. Once in a while, a breeze graces this land of nothingness, and the blades wave in maddening unison.
Oh yes, I said I can’t answer them all. Here’s one I can.
He watches over me every day, as fiercely as an archer guarding his castle. His blood red body gives way to orange wings that move effervescently in the sky, keeping him afloat with a strange ease. He looks at me with those deep, sad eyes and some unknown force beckons me to follow him, as he starts forward every day. As day turns to dusk, and dusk to night, he perches himself on small rock and closes his eyes. I follow his lead, and catch some sleep.
So that is my routine, and that would be my routine for the foreseeable future. A man stuck in a grassy savannah, following an orange bird to nothingness.
Except, today is different.
As I walk, and as he flies, I notice that the landscape is changing. It was just a single blade of grass at first. A blade of grass, longer than the others. With a drop of blood on it. Soon there are more blades of these abhorrent grass, covered in blood, some with shattered glass. My eyes swim, my head throbs again. I sink to my knees and stare at the orange bird. The bird is less of a bird, and more of a boy. A boy with an orange shirt. The boy with the orange shirt. He no longer flies, but gingerly walks to the horizon. And in the distance, I see a clock. The boy is almost below it now, and I look at the clock. It is ticking, but the hands are gaining pace. Soon, they are furiously rotating away, and I sense my time come to a dwindling end.
The Ending of the Clock
The on-duty nurse was cleaning the room for intensive care when she noticed his vital signs. For a few moments, everything shot to normal to give her a pinprick of hope, only to have it erased in the next moment. Soon every reading, every machine in the room said he was lost to this world, beyond this life.
The mother cried herself to sleep for one more night. Like every day, her dream was of her little boy. His orange shirt and his effervescent smile, as he left the door of their home to bring her groceries. His orange shirt, daubed in crimson and carmine, when they brought her his body. It came as little comfort to her today to know the man who drove the car that took his life was rid of his misery today after a month in coma, shifting from his life in the limbo to his afterlife.