One man's fight for redemption and his dark journey to defeat evil and preserve his home.
| The last vestiges of light poured timidly through the uneven gaps of the yellowing blinds. A lonely table sits in the corner and atop its encrusted surface there perched an ashtray with the corpses of a thousand cigarettes, maliciously crammed one on top of the other like so many morning commuters packed into a similarly dingy subway car. The table was fronted by a single chair and it was there that Wayland sat, agonizing over his next move.
He knew that he would eventually relent, and that he would set out on his journey shortly. The indecision that always preceded his travels had turned into a kind of foreplay, and he mused that this must be the way Jen Robertson felt as he coaxed her out of her training bra in the 9th grade, only this time he was the flirtatious prey.
The light from the window finally succumbed to the fall of darkness. The time of departure had come and he took a few slow deep breaths and a slug off his bottle of Jim Beam in a vain attempt to calm his nerves. Ready or not it was time to go. Wayland ventured one deep inhale as if preparing for a plunge into icy waters. Slowly exhaling, the Fear seized him immediately.
With his heart racing, he bolted upright sending the folding metal chair dancing onto its hind legs, where it balanced for a moment of solemnity before toppling to the decaying floor boards with a crash. He clumsily groped along the wall for the key that would free him from his shadowy prison. Finding the switch, he hastily threw it upwards sending a torrent of iridescent light careening to the four corners of the room. “Safe for now” he shakily whispered to himself. “I’d forgotten how tumultuous the Dusk can be”.
Clutching the wall which had been clad in a faded orange and white floral print wallpaper left over from the 70’s, Wayland fought to maintain a grip on this world. From his position of relative safety, he surveyed the scene. “The dominion of light has its perils as well I see,” said Wayland as he eyed the steady cascade of whiskey pouring from the overturned bottle to the growing puddle on the floor. He was aware that his apartment was shabby and at times bordering on the filthy, however, it now seemed to take on a putrid life all its own. He suddenly felt sickened by his surroundings, the spawn of his own pervasive sloth. “How had it come to this” he thought as he wiped his hand on his jeans in a quick phobic motion. He half believed that he saw maggots crawling from the now dampened pile of cigarette butts as he released his hold on the wall and righted the bottle on the table. He began to pace the floor no longer wholly conscious of the world around him, and a smiled pulled at the corners of his mouth as he realized that he never really was, wholly conscious. His stream of thought had succeeded in distracting him from the Fear, and he took one last look around his domain, this time with escape on his mind.
He turned his back to the dank little room and in a trance-like state he ventured out, as if a serendipitous wind was filling his sails, drawing him nigh the borders of the land of Faerie. All at once, an untold myriad of memories flooded into his consciousness. “I remember this place” he murmured to himself, noting that elation and regret were both simultaneously perceived on that still night, as the path began to wind among the looming trees.
Wayland was an Explorer by nature and the grace had been given him to see the deep and beautiful truths of a great many things. This has given him license to tread where others of our realm have not. As a younger man he longed to uncover the infinite inter-connectedness of our existence and be as a Shepherd to those he loved. But, that was long ago.