This one is a mystery, a mystery to me and a mystery to you. A man is running, but why?
Stupid and Stumbling
Stupid, stumbling and blind, Beckett crashed through the night. As he moved he seemed to gather momentum, gain pace, as if drawn or driven. To or from what he did not know. He needed to stop, slow down, think but something in him said ‘No, keep going!’ He plunged on. Dark objects loomed on either side, growing larger as if to stop him but they simply passed silently on either side.
Where was he going? Where had he come from? The questions raced unanswered while his feet and heart pounded on. Three accelerating beats: head, heart, feet. He needed to regain a sense of himself and his surroundings. Was he being chased or was he chasing? Then an absurd thought ‘I need a drink, or a cigarette.’ He almost laughed out loud - perhaps he would have, if he had the breath to.
Beckett strained to hear above his heart and footsteps; he could make out no other sound. Had he been aware of the significance of the silence he would have been worried. The silence comforted him; he relaxed his pace, changing from top to third gear.
He began to feel something in the pit of his stomach. Why had he not noticed it before? He had a definite sense of being the hunted, not the hunter. Another sense dawned, there was something…no, someone…missing! Next: an image - barely a flash - a trail, of blood, on pure white snow. His pace slowed, he staggered, stopped. He was bent double, vomiting what looked like unchewed noodles onto the ground. His head swam he lost focus, snatched it back, the noodles steaming on the ground seemed to be moving, writhing. He blinked, the noodles still moved. What the hell was going on here?
He left the steaming, writhing pile and ran on. All the time he imagined what else he may be carrying in his very guts. What were those things? Were they alive or were they machinery? Why were they inside him? Were they parasites, tracking devices or…or what? Beckett found the answers disappearing as the questions piled one on top of the other into a massive, swaying tower of menacing unknown and unseen danger.
As he pounded onwards, the landscape gradually changed into something wholly unfamiliar, something alien. If Beckett had looked around he would have noticed that the trees, the sky, the stars even the ground itself were different to anything he had seen before. The air rushing in and out of his lungs also tasted strange. It tasted…purple. Purple was the only way he could describe it.
Beckett’s breath came blasting out in clouds; he could really use that cigarette.
All the while, Beckett could sense the pursuit going on behind him, sometimes distant, sometimes closing in. He felt he was being toyed with, a fish given line before being reeled in. All the time as he ran fresh images surfaced in his mind: faces, more blood - this time on the leaves of trees, flames leaping and dancing like the devil’s children. It all seemed incoherent, distant, detached from his flight and yet, these images spurred him on.
Stumbling, stupid and blind, Beckett rushed on; there was nothing else he could do.