Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Dark Figure: Searching

Nearly a year had passed since my encounter with the dark figure in the alley. I was visiting with my friend Tong from Taiwan and had all but tucked the memory away somewhere between the Stinking Gum (a menacing creature from childhood stories my grandmother had told me) and Bloody Mary; somewhere between fact and fiction. I wasn’t quite sure how I should categorize it; but it was about to become clearer.

Tong had spent his early childhood in Taiwan, before his mother met and married an American Airman. They then came to settle in Texas.

During my visit with Tong, something prompted him to share a childhood memory. He described his school in Taiwan; how it sat in a forest surrounded by trees, and the winding dirt road that led up to it. The school was of simple structure, little more than four walls and a leaky ceiling, with a small wooden outhouse out back. It was from that outhouse that Tong witnessed something he’d never forget.

He had gone there during recess while his classmates played at the front of the schoolhouses. He could faintly hear their laughter in the distance, while he searched for a clean spot on the filthy stool.

The walls of the outhouse were weathered and full of knotholes, a small distraction from the stool’s moistness and smothering scent. He peered out through a perfectly round knothole that set directly in front of him; out into the thick forest that set behind the school.

Something suddenly moved at the edge of the forest, gliding unnaturally, a dark figure that appeared to be looking for something.

“I could hear it thinking inside my head,” Tong’s voice cracked, and my stomach sank. Memories of my encounter in the alley came rushing back… and Tong now had my undivided attention. He used his right hand to demonstrate in the air how the creature glided around the trees, fast and then slow. “It was blacker than anything I had ever seen,” he said, and my eyes began to well.

“Is this really happening?” I thought, not saying a word, “Is he describing the same creature?”

Perhaps the creature has a special interest in children; that with its ability to read minds and project its thoughts, it is also capable of entering dreams and planting thoughts – so that it may observe how the subject acts upon them.

Tong continued... describing how the creature searched. “I don’t know what it was looking for,” he said.

The creature then moved out from the trees… and suddenly halted. Tong could hear the laughter of his classmates moving closer. The creature had also heard it. Tong adjusted his forehead against the weathered wall and refocused his right eye through the knothole. Still in disbelief, he watched as the creature glided back into the forest.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Surging Spirits Restrained

This heat is suffocating; how it wells up from within my soul, silently… and longingly spilling out emotions that cannot be acted upon, quelled nor captured nay by my tongue nor will, only their salty wet footprints that soon evaporate from all but memory. My attempts to decipher them are pointless, for they are primitive and I am compelled by logic. In this crowded room of strangers and artificial surging winds, my passion burns lonely, while logic hushes in all sincerity I long.