Posted by: hopeofanotherworld | June 4, 2008

A dark, enveloping, lonely cell

A man sits alone in a pitch black cell, so dark he no longer knows where his body ends and the darkness begins.  The blackness is of the tangible kind, you can feel it on you, invading you, as well as “see” it.  Sometimes there are flickers of light around him, he imagines they are what a distant candle would look like in the night, were he to be free and in a wide open place.  They sometimes give him hope but other times he thinks they must be an illusion, for surely light cannot be real, surely there is nothing but this place, nothing but the never-ending now of hopelessness and self-absorption (can it really be called self-absorption if there is nothing else, nothing with a purpose, after all “self-absorption” has such a negative connotation, and one should not apply negative characteristics to oneself).  As said before, the darkness feels to be the kind which creeps into one, he sometimes thinks he is melding into the cell, becoming part of it and it is becoming part of him.  Days, seconds, months, and hours, all of them are an eternity and no time at all.  Sometimes the man awakes to himself, to a full consciousness, and realizes he has been reinforcing the walls of his cell, he sometimes half wonders if it is not all his own doing, if it were originally him who put himself here.  Oh well, it doesn’t matter anymore, he is here and there is no there; however he got here, this is where he is staying because he does not know a way out, or if there is a way out, of even if there is an out.  Time, does it really exist at all, even if it didn’t yesterday, if there was a yesterday, time has started to pass, started to happen.  He knows because he has started to see more glimpses of light, there is time in between them but they are close enough together to measure some sort of time, he begins to try to pay attention to them.  A window, there is a window in his cell, did he somehow put it there?  He thinks not, he does not think he has ever, never noticed it.  The flashes of light are sometimes in and sometimes out of his cell, so there is an out.  There is an out!  In and out, the lights are sometimes in and sometimes out.  If they can be, can he?  Can he somehow get out of what he is in?  He tries, when the flashes are gone, to find the window, to tries to get out.  He is reluctant to trust the flickers of light, he does not know their intent, only that they are beautiful and that though he is scared of them because he does not understand them, he also has a love for them.  There is a moment in precious time (it is so pleasant to know it exists, though now that he knows it exists the moments?, the years? seem to all last an eternity), there is a moment when he reaches out his hand from the window of his cell, he reaches out as far as his hand will go and says a prayer (what is a prayer? he doesn’t know, but he knows he is appealing to something outside himself, outside his cell).  A light, a far away, but blazing light.  A ray of it strikes his hand, it hurts, he is surprised and not at all surprised to see that the darkness has, in fact, stuck to his skin, and the light is burning it off, hardening it like glass until it shatters and falls to the floor.  It hurts so bad he wants to scream but also has a pleasure in it, a feeling of getting his skin ripped off only it is not really his own skin so he doesn’t mind the pain.  He hopes (a new feeling), he hopes the light will not go away.  Wishing, longing, a pure longing (what is pure?) that the light will come closer, will venture down the hall towards him.  At the same time he is terrified it will, he does not want whatever could possess such a light to see him, he does not want to see himself.  His arm is still stretched out, his face and shoulder hurt from pressing against the bars so hard, but he wants as much as himself to be in the light as possible.  Its getting brighter, the light appears to be coming closer.  He slowly draws his hand back into his cell, dreading, hoping it will continue to come, hoping it noticed him and hoping it did not, for in the brighter light he saw the shape of his hand and arm.  Though he does not remember anything beautiful, anything away and out of this cursed cell, he knows his arm and hand are not beautiful, they are grotesque.  So the light is really coming, he dares to hope, it is really coming down the hall, maybe even to my cell.  I don’t want it to come, please come!  I have to hide, I have to hide from myself and the light, somewhere I have to hide.  The light is standing outside the door, a creature (he knew it was a beautiful creature) was looking in at him.  A voice (now that he has heard one he remembers sometimes he has heard his own), a voice addresses him.  “Do you want to emerge from the cell you have made for yourself?  Do you want to come into the land of light?  I warn you, it will hurt more than anything you have ever felt, anything you can probably imagine, for in your silliness you have stitched yourself into your cell and have half unknowingly welcomed the darkness into your being until it has become a part of you.”  The man croaks, he is not used to speaking so another being can understand him, after a few moments he masters his tongue, all the while being burned, lovingly burned by the creature of light.  “Is it worth it?  What’s it like out there?  I, I wasn’t even sure there was an out or in or time or even anything.”  “Yes,” the creature says, “it is worth it.  I once dwelt in a cell, though I did not make it with my own hands, instead it was made by your hands and every other sentient being who has ever been.  The cell and darkness invaded me, enveloped me, ate me alive until I died, but I emerge into the light, after I came back to life.  It is worth it, despite all the pain.  I should tell you the pain does not stop when you leave the cell.  There will be more pain because of more light you will see and feel, and confusion because there will be things which look like flickering darkness, like things that should not be allowed to happen in the light, but then the light will twist them into an even more beautiful light.  It will not be easy and yet it will, for I will never leave you alone, to make it on your own.  I will always be by your side, giving you strength and guidance when you need it.  Even that, though mostly it will give you hope and comfort, will sometimes appear to be a burden to you.  There will be times when you wish to begin again to build your cell of darkness, when you will start to cover yourself with blackness, and in those times I will annoy you, hurt you, because I will remind you of what is and what can be.”  “The darkness is insanely comfortable,” the man said, “and I meant for that to have two meanings.  It would be easier to stay, I know, and thank you for telling me that.  And, I suppose, even now I could say no to you and you would go away.  By the next moment, by eternity (because without you there is no time), I would forget you exist, or at least not believe it.  Even so, I am tired of my company, tired of keeping blackness as a guest and lover.  I wish to be burned pure by light, to emerge from myself.”  “As you wish,” the creature says, “ready yourself for the most exquisite, horridness pain you have ever felt.”  With that, light pours forth from the creature, it shatters the walls of the cell, in the process tearing pieces of flesh from the prisoner from where he had joined himself to the prison walls.  Cracks appear, covering every portion of the prisoner’s body and pieces of darkness begin to fall from him as scales from a fish under a knife.  The light burns him and frees him; soaks into and envelops him; washes him and makes him new; causes him to be more like it and more like himself than he ever was before.  The last piece of darkness is frightened away by the incessant brightness and two creatures of light stand under a wonderful sun, the only difference between them is one is brighter than the other.  Make of this what you will, read into it what you will.  There are some parallels to certain things but I am not sure  how much is fully intentional and how much was written just because I felt like writing what I did.  God be our light and may we try to  cast off the night we have woven ourselves into.



  1. Hey RedJar,

    wow! I really enjoyed this. I’ve tried to write similar parallels but I think you give it more vividness than I could.

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