N othing ever truly ends. Time, with its unrelenting grip clutching the fabric of the cosmic mote, holds the mortal coil within a constant state of bondage; fueling the infinite flame. Birth and death, decay and regeneration nothing more than the migration of energy. In and of itself, all things in the universe were born of the same concentrated singularity, unquantifiably dense and held inside the invisible skin of stasis. Here, there is no ‘where’, there is no ‘now’; only the immeasurable collusion of purest essence, tightly tethered within the place that had yet to be a place. A point of constant perpetuation gleaming in the coldest dark like the eye of God, staring blankly, ceaselessly into the void pit of nothing.
The eye blinked, spilling like a hemorrhage into the cosm; it’s tears draining into the figures of fates, clusters of galaxies, droplets of stars, and ultimately, setting into motion the spiral of time. And from this, all was born; rivulets of energy spattering like blood, trying to find their place inside the nature of things. Each and every molecule, every scintilla of mindless volition struggling to right itself into a form or force best suited for them. For some, it was obvious as to what they should become; for others, the task of appropriating a rightful place more of a conflict. Particles gathered in throngs to bind with those of their own kind, necessitating the creation of individual masses; suns, stars, and the various bodies of heaven, all ever moving up and outward, on a journey which required no destination, no arrival. For the others, the transition had proven to be less immediate. It would take them aeons in which to substantiate, to arrange themselves into a proper semblance of definition, to evolve into the form that the very energies themselves desired to become. And even when they did, the work of adaptation never ceased; and for the things which lacked any sort of permanence, there was decay and rebirth.
All things, held in thrall of the ever-roiling shift of matter, move endlessly forward from one state of being to the next, fumbling to find their niche within the supercontext of eternity. Therefor, matter continually reinvents itself, mixing into myriad combinations, until ultimately the totality of all will be established within its proper order. When the final, solitary block of the aether is put into place, the whole of the universe will cease to exist; the purpose of existence nullified, chaos extinguished.
Every singular action of time beset by the stream of the entropic flow.
What lies between these polarities is, of course, a corporeal punishment.
I am locked behind a recurring series of iron doors, my eyes covered with a metal blindfold, hands tied behind my back. They only open the doors twice a day, to feed me; yet only untie my bindings when they drag my whimpering form to the work yards, where I bake in the blistering sun and breath in dirt. Sleep comes rarely, intervals of no more than two hours, if I am in fact that fortunate. My body is tanned like leather; bloody and lacerated by scars left by their whips, bruises left by their clubs. My cell is only slightly larger than my body, leaving me only enough room to kneel on the hard concrete floor. Here I wait, without light or any sense of space, save that of the reverberations of sound echoing throughout the hollow hallways. I can hear them always, even when they are attempting to be silent, so as not to alert me of their presence. But I can hear the rasping lungs exhausting their foul odors, and louder still, the beating of their hearts.
Aside from the time spent laboring in the yards, I kneel within the walls of my confinement; genuflecting to some unforgiving bastard god who has long since forgotten me. Praying that maybe I will suddenly stop breathing, or that my heart will cease to pound. Yet nothing ever transpires.
I have been alone in this solitary cubicle for so long that I have lost the will, or the ability in fact, to speak. Nary a groan is uttered from my dry, cracking lips. But this is by choice, you see. To mutter in agony is to give them satisfaction, an idea that even a slave such as me cannot be forced to entertain. When they pull me by my chains out to the yard, they beat me with their words as much as their weapons. I cannot decipher the words they speak; their mouths spitting out nothing intelligible or vaguely meaningful, only commands as if I were a filthy cur taken out to be shot.
I do all of the work that is required of me, but still I am punished.
My body bows down before them in subservience, yet still they do not love me.
Still, within me lies the dust of the stars, and the gravity of a thousand black holes.
They work me hard underneath the burning heat of an uncaring sun, until my legs buckle with weakness. Then, they proceed to beat me until I struggle to get on my feet. When I do, they kick them out from under me, to prove a point.
A small army of them tackle me and push me back inside to my cell, laughing at me and congratulating each other in masturbatory glee, like children. Once behind the series of iron doors, my threadbare form collapses to it’s knees and waits for silence.
But it never ever comes. Even when they are stifling their breath or hushing their words, I can hear them. Especially the beating of their hearts.
If I listen close enough; which I always do; I can practically hear the cells of their hearts and of their bodies deteriorating, decomposing gradually and never regenerating quite as pure as they were a moment before. Even though they are unaware of it, I can hear the screams of the molecules in their bodies, all agonizing by slow degrees in an invisible death. They think that they hold some power over me, but it is quite the opposite. I know where they are going.
Because I cannot see, I am unable to properly maintain the passing of time by any conventional methods. By listening to their bodies, closely and patiently, I can hear the sluggish beating of human hearts, counting away the moments like the ticking of clocks.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
is a 30 year old writer residing (at present) in the midwest of the United States.He has been working on compiling and editing a collection of short prose under the working title "Personal Effects", and is at present scripting a graphic novel, among other creative endeavors. This is his second appearance in the pages of 3am.