Thursday, October 13, 2011

Part 11: A Conversation

Am I dead?”


I said that out loud?”

The unfamiliar voice chuckled and said, “I can’t say for sure.”

Am I dreaming?”

Don’t know.”

I let out a heavy sigh and said, “I don’t hurt.”

I opened my eyes to complete darkness; however, I could see myself. I was clothed in white cotton pants and a white cotton shirt. The clothes seemed weightless. I looked around for the myriad of wounds I had sustained in the Welcome Center but nothing was there. I did not have even a single cut. I glanced to my right, and in the void of nothingness was a light pole with a flickering flame and a single moth bouncing around the light. A man was leaning against the pole, and I assumed this was the source of the unfamiliar voice. He wore an olive colored trench coat that covered most of his body, a black shirt with a white tie, and an olive colored brimmed hat.

He lit a cigarette and peered at me. I stood and asked, “Where am I?”

He took a drag and said, “Where do you want to be?”

For some reason I wasn’t becoming annoyed with him answering my question with a question. I said, “Home. I just want to go back where I came from.”

He blew out smoke and said, “Are you sure?”

Confused, I asked, “What do you mean?”

He flicked his cigarette between his pointer and middle finger with his thumb and said, “What makes you think the world you came from is better than the one you’re in now?”

I… I… I don’t know. I honestly don’t remember where I came from.”

He narrowed his eyes and took another drag, “You might want to give it more thought, then.”

What are you not telling me?”

He laughed, “What are you not telling yourself?”

I thought for a moment and said, “Something doesn’t seem right.”


I mean, something about all of this – this whole world – doesn’t seem right. This is not the world I know. Something seems off.”

You mean Watcher?”

Yeah… but not just him. His world. My friends. The people I know…”

Or don’t know.”

Yeah… you’re right. Why don’t I remember the people in my life before I woke up? Why am I just remembering characters?”

The man looked at me and said, “Makes you think, eh? Did you exist before you woke up?”

I looked at him and could see his face from a distance. It was indistinct, but I could tell he raised his eyebrows at me. I walked closer and said, “Are you saying I was created?”

He flicked his cigarette again and said, “Look, I’m not saying anything. I’m just trying to get you to think… to look around… to see things that you didn’t see before.”

Before what?”

He smiled and said, “Before there was a ‘before’.”

I got closer and I strained to see his face. A dark shadow from his hat hid it from view, and as much as I tried to see, I couldn’t. I asked, “Why can’t I see your face?”

You’re not trying.”

I tried harder and harder, but I couldn’t make out any detail. I said, “No, I can’t see it.”

Whose fault is that?”

I rubbed my eyes and said, “I’m dreaming.”

The man said, “Again… maybe.”

I looked up and said, “What does Watcher want from me?”

You should probably ask him.”

I ran my hands through my hair and said, “I did… and… he… he responded just like you.”

That’s interesting.”

Are you Watcher?”

The man shrugged. He spoke from under his hat, “Maybe you should ask yourself that question.”

I opened my mouth to speak but closed it. The man chuckled and said, “Just know, there is no malice behind what he gives you.”

Is there malice behind the intentions of what he gives me?”

The man laughed and said, “You’re getting the hang of this conversation.”

He threw his cigarette on the ground and stamped it out with his foot. He turned his back to me and said, “Time to go.”

I didn’t try to stop him or ask more questions. I watched him walk away and fade into the nothingness that surrounded me. I leaned against the light pole and looked up at the dancing flame. The moth was still bouncing and fluttering around it. I sat down and leaned the back of my head against the pole. I sighed and closed my eyes.

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