Author : Ahoten Sulciphur

Finally starting to become clear. Granted, clarity was a fuzzy concept at best after all this time, but the flash was starting to wear thin. Like the man across the room, pushing his way through the milky white smoke that settled in the air like dust on a table: that vacuum that followed, where the offender only existed as ephemeral wisps and contrails. ‘Well dammit, at least it’s something,’ thought Gordon.

Of course there were legends, fables, myths… call them what you will, there is no doubt the denizen has been bellowing the siren’s song since eardrums first tickled on the wind. Ancients fought wars for it, built entire ideologies against it, raised entire generations to abhor it. Yet the populace never tired in their quest to obtain, no matter what the dangers or dire consequences. But to obtain was simply cursory. To indulge: well, therein lies the uncountable, soldiers felled by their own sword.

‘Millennia ago, inconsequential,’ muses Gordon. The myriad of choices of travelers past no longer existed. The intolerable risk to life and limb, the unknowable unknowns: vanquished, by the miracle that is modernity. One was the solution, the panacea. Hurdles aside, what excuse held for no longer partaking?

Muddled thoughts, the path harder to see. Pivotal, must get back. The cycle an old acquaintance: Flash! And then, the world lurches drunkenly forward, sometimes days, sometimes years, yet in the brilliance of an instant lasting eternities. Yet Gordon remains docked, no deck crew to release the moors. Friends – as if the meaning were still truly understood – seem to draw but a single breath before they’re consigned to the æther. A distant memory would be a blessing: existence negated is the norm.

So it’s done, then. Decided. Gordon pushes up, balance an elusive but eventually submissive beast, and shuffles his feet toward the exit. This perpetual port-of-call no more: convinced and confident, his stance straightens, gait quickens. He’ll be outside soon, the assault will lessen. ‘Failure, not this time,’ ponders Gordon. Resolve is strong, it’s all finally clear. He walks past them, one by one, grit building with each dodged glance. Days, weeks, months, but Gordon remains entrenched, time moves as it does for all. Friends come, and grow, and even persist in existence. More piercing stares dodged, they know: he’s not buying anymore, he’s done.

Flash. The milky haze closes in, coherence of mind vanishes, replaced by the brooding smog bearing three sixty. The void-maker vanished, the void with it. Head shakes, grabs for smoky visions of faces never seen. A question haunts the dark recesses of the mind, barely audible: when was it ever right? ‘Did I ever know?’ thinks Gordon. Flash.

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