Echoes Through the Cavern of the Iris Black

Author: Hari Navarro

I found a way into tomorrow but when I got there it didn’t care. Though I burrowed deep through caverns cold and waited patiently for the drugs to take hold this newest of days it took no heed, no, for me this day it could care not one bit. For days they shun all those who fail to wake, those who slight the augmented rays of a sun dying but not yet dead and they who fall deaf to the piped chatter of sill birds now long since burnt and gone.

I am the traveler that never moves, laying here beneath pristine sheets so taut and so true, so swaddling tight that I could not stir even if I wanted to. Even if my cleavered spine spontaneously fused, its fleshy gape becoming closed and neat, even if my toes suddenly took it upon themselves to bash out a bed-end rendition of Liszt’s 12 Transcendental Etudes, I could still not shake this the grip of my night nurses most hermetic of wraps.

My eyes are taped shut but look, see the numerals that magically project onto those surfaces that may just require us to remember our place and our time. The shaft of the pen in your hand, the spine of the notebook, the paperwork that stacks; how ingenious and helpful. A calendar, a watch, an inescapable reminder that seconds they snap off and float in the light. Everything shearing away.

I feel the cold but I am not cold. I shiver but know that my skin does not bristle, nor does it quake. Powder it falls as I walk. Perfect red snow beneath a dome so high, securely screwed on and protecting us so. I taste the cola as flakes settle sticking to my lacquered lips, how did they make Christmas this perfect? I hear me behind me and I become a dog. One that walks upright with cane and with hat, one that nods respectfully unless it’s a rat. My fingers retreat and become padded and pawed and I frown and I wonder just how it was this morning that I managed to button this most splendid of vests.

I can hear your voice but I cannot feel your touch, are you touching me? Is my hand cupped into yours? I feel the man’s touch, as he scrubs and he cleans, as he sandpapers at my body with such detached and workmanlike vigor. I ask him to stop, its private you know, I scream but the words they do stick. They haunt as they tingle and dance in my mouth, please wrench open my jaw, break it if you have to and see for yourself.

I wish I could eat. I wish I could slide a pill-feast beneath my tongue and suckle its luscious gravy between teeth clenched just so. Wondrous hints of chicken or is that pork that I try to pick from the gaps, though I know it is true not a scrap can be wedged. The flavors so perfect, so divine as I chew only on air and feel the hit of the carcasses tender juices and crunch. A feast for the mind where not a single calorie need be counted, so slim and so perfect are we.

I found a way into the overmorrow, but yet again it does not care. So, I sit here and wait, and I wait and I wait. And I wait and I hope for my health to become as important perhaps, as the sugar-free flavoring that infuses the falling snow.


  1. Hari Navarro

    Thank you very much Amy and David, I’m happy you enjoyed it. I actually wrote it after reading about a woman who had been in a coma for a very long time. She spoke about hallucinating and imagining herself to be various animals and the frustration of not being able to communicate that she was locked in her own body. I very much appreciate your comments.

  2. xdhz8

    I like this story, too. I interpret it as a surreal-ish description of a creepy afterlife.

  3. Amy

    Well, this story’s a rollercoaster from start to finish. It seems to be entirely abstract or did I miss something?

    I like your writing style and I enjoy stories like this because I get to imagine different meanings and its like a whole bunch of stories rolled into one. Very nice job!

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