Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Short Story: First Sing The Birds

by Sir William Welles

 After much contemplation, I find myself sitting here, on the rooftop of some random building in New York City. I don’t exactly remember how I arrived here…but I do know why. I am in a most unnaturally tranquil state of mind. I am facing east. I am waiting.

 The soothing night air is familiar to me as it slowly races in and out of my nostrils where I can smell sweetness wafting up from the street below. There is a slight, yet distinctive metallic odor that I always smell at night. Some say it’s the ozone in the air, others say that it’s just my imagination. In either case, this fragrance has always made me thirsty and sad at the same time.

 As I waited for the inevitable sunrise, I find myself even more determined to change my existence. I want to put an end to my addiction, once and for all. With the new day only moments away, I will make a most important sacrifice to quench this thirst that haunts me every night. I simply cannot go on drinking the way I do…I have to stop myself…now!

 At this time, just before the dawn, there is always this one bird that awakens earlier than all of the others. It is this tiny, yet loud bird’s duty to alarmingly wake up all of its fellow birds within the area. This is the first piercing sound of a new day that is all too soon to arrive. As each of the other birds slip out of their slumber they join into the avian choir of chirps and shrieks until a blanket of high-pitched vibrations seethes throughout the city like a siren warning of an aerial attack’s impending arrival. My mind aches for me to simply go home and go to bed…but I must resist. I brave past the birds and continue to wait. (Midnight Blue)

 Still quite dark out, I can see from my rooftop perch, the early-risers. These people can be arranged neatly into, what I can tell, four distinct categories:

 First are the drones of the day. These are the people that are forced to start working before every other day-dweller. They make life tolerable for the others that are soon to come. Collecting garbage. Sweeping Streets. Opening Stores. Not surprisingly, they never seem happy while completing their endless chores. Only fake smiles are cracked as a routined familiar face saunters by and acknowledges them and their tasks. Early to rise, early to bed. Miserable existence. (Indigo)

 Next there are the dog-walkers. These are people who have been trained by their canine masters to accompany them on a much-needed promenade throughout the neighborhood before daybreak as to be the first to mark their territorial rights. These canines have their slaves so well trained; the so-called “walkers” will even clean up the feces left by their masters! This is truly a sight to behold! (Denim)

 After them are the runners. These people are most strange indeed. Scores of individuals, male and female, flee their dwellings and run off into a predetermined distance. The queer thing is that they are neither running after, nor running from anything. Why? Are they simply mad? (Navy Blue)

 Lastly come those who make it a mission to seek two most important ingredients to their forthcoming day: daily knowledge and liquid awakening. These are the people I can understand the most as I curiously watch their routine from above. They make their way to the nearest open store to conduct a trade with one of the drones I mentioned earlier. They fetch a copy of the local newspaper to catch a voyeuristic glimpse into the troubled and painful worlds of others, only to provide an opinionated judgment upon everything they’ve just read. And to help them with this task, they drink coffee. I have never enjoyed coffee, however, I understand the deep desire of a mind altering liquid rushing past the throat and into the stomach, only to digestively make its way to the brain to fulfill a basic, selfish need. I understand…but now I am thirsty from this thought. (Cerulean)

 Now that the sky has become significantly brighter, I can feel the growing heat that the new day brings as it creeps westward at about 1000 miles per hour toward me. I still sit facing east. Determined. My new day has not arrived until I get to finally see the Sun penetrate the virginal horizon displayed before me. I am waiting…ever so patiently…as life continues to bloom below me. Pathetic and beautiful all at once. For as long as I can remember I’ve spent every waking moment I had drinking at night. It’s the only thing I know how to do well. Those who know me best would even jokingly say that I was nocturnal. I wonder if someone would ever find me pathetic and beautiful all at once? Maybe only lecherous. Others like myself are not valued as part of society in this city. We are cast off due to our drinking problem. (Pacific Blue)

 Suddenly, the song of the birds is drowned by the mechanized low-pitched hum of cars, trucks, and buses that populate the streets like red blood cells making there way through the clogged arteries and veins of this city to provide the nutritional element of its workforce…thus keeping it alive. I scan the horizon and notice no sign of the Sun yet. Was it toying with me? A sort of cosmic attempt at suspense, I suppose. The heat of the air surrounding me makes it very uncomfortable to sit still. It has been such a long time since I’ve witness a sunrise, and my body isn’t quite sure how to handle this peculiar event. My stomach tightens and an unfamiliar sense of nausea is making its presence felt. My eyes strain at the stinging brightness of the azure that washes all about me. My skin feels suddenly very arid…like what I would imagine a desert would feel like. The toxins within my body are bubbling toward the surface. It must vacate. I must be cleansed of this disease! (Sky Blue)

 Then, as if the entire Universe stopped revolving on my behalf, I saw it! The Sun! (Burnt Orange)

 This was it! This was the moment! The ending of a new beginning…the beginning of an old ending! Whatever it was…it was…simply…beautiful. I’ve heard stories about the sunrise and how it gives struggling souls new hope. I was going to test out this theory. If there were ever a struggling soul, it would be me. The tip of the solar orb rises ever so majestically over the tainted skyline off in the eastern distance. It is so painfully bright, but I cannot help but stare directly into it. I feel the rush of heat and radiation that it feeds this Earth upon my delicate skin. How I wish I could have a drink right now to celebrate this mystical moment! But no…I must sit and watch further…just a bit more…then I will be free and heading toward my chosen fate. (Laser Lemon)

 The first thing I notice is that I feel an intense burning sensation in my eyes. My eyeballs are literally boiling from within. Instinctively, I hold up my hands up before me to block the Sun’s attack. I seek protection, however, this is of my choosing. My hand’s become the Sun’s first victims, as they are closest to it. Slowly, and meticulously, my skin starts to burn without the presence of a flame. The white-hot heat from the nuclear bulb before me simply rids my fingers and hands of any moisture they possess and quickly make ash of my flesh, like paper smoldering away. The pain is like nothing any mortal or immortal has ever felt. It’s a doomed sensation of burning, cutting, exploding, piercing, and heartbreak all at a sudden rush. Scores of my victims have had it easy compared to the torment I was undertaking at this instant. I can almost feel every one of their death throes all at once. A proper revenge. I do not blame them. (Shadow)

 By now my arms are useless defenses as they are simply no longer a part of my body. The Sun’s rays make their next assault on my torso, legs, and head. I can’t help but howl from the agonizing inner burning that quickly singes every putrid fiber of my being. The stench of my own charring flesh boldly fills my nose and gaped mouth. If I had any stomach left, I probably would be vomiting like the mortals so easily do at moments of distress. (Manatee)

 A slight morning breeze starts to delicately wisp away the ashes that were once the essence of my body. At this point the final pain was poignantly localized at my heart…the most resistant and resilient part of me. My face has dryly melted away and the last thing I hear is the chirping of that first awakened bird. That is my last recollection before I drift violently into my nothingness…nothingness I so longed for, so desired, and now have finally found. Peacefully, I no longer suffer my addiction for human blood. I am free… (White)

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