Instill in Me (The Fear of Silence)
by R.T. Allenson
It wasn’t the way the sun moved in the sky or how the ground felt soft beneath his feet; these things had little bearing with what he felt or what and how he perceived the world right now. It was the little things, the subtle echoes in the misty day that bothered him and dogged his senses.
It was the way the people moved around him when he moved with them or how soundless the walls seem to appear, though in truth the echoes of the day were there and were ringing heavy in his ears.
The calmness of it all, for lack of a better word, was what irked him everyday. The ringing in his ear or the blood that followed was second or third of his worries.
Unlike what his friends said Mars wasn’t so bad, for him it was perfect. Utterly perfect in every way or at least, before everything went the way it went. The breeding of their kind was calamity but in his own haven, he was content with seeing the death-hungry fools have their way with each other. The world, as he thought, the pallid glassy world that consumed their very lives could shatter and be carried by the wind and he wouldn’t care.
For in this sad and lonely world devoid of the real and filled with what nightmares are made of, he had found love. True love. The fantasies in ages past or the little books he read that Venus was the planet of love was what it was, a fantasy. It was here in the heart of the God of War where he found the flame of love, that feeling and the sheer elation that characterized it all. The fickle heart of Aphrodite, in his words, could not bear the commitment of true desire. In chaos written in blood, that is where true love lies. For when once the two lovers – the luster of war and the luster of flesh met, it was in their consummation of each other’s desires when the brazen god knew his lover’s true heart.
And it was cold, he said, cold and devoid of anything but love and that feeling alone. Never caring what would blossom afterwards. I saw it in her eyes – those cold, frigid eyes what love meant for her. What it really meant between us. There was no past or tomorrow, just the now and that’s what bothered me. She never cared for what I was and what I am and for what I would be in the future. She only cares about the now and what I carry below me. In a few seconds, I’d be nothing in her eyes. Nothing at all, as if I was a mortal she just played with.
It was here in the God of War’s heart that he found love as absurd as it sounds. But there was something else, an opposite of what he found. The husk of that hatred the red god left when love tore his heart apart.
And the tearing, yes, the tearing is what he found. The tearing of hearts and souls and the daydreams that filled him with hope. There was love in his heart, true, but it tore at him the moment he felt comfortable with the idea.
(is it supposed to be like this?)
There was something in his heart that wanted to hurt and bleed no matter how hard he tried to stay it. It was like a torrent of emotions coming to wash him in a fulminating deluge, consuming the love he held deep inside of him. And whatever beast that lurked in his mind, it wanted to hurt the one he loved with all his heart. The calm, the stinging calm of what came with that beast was what he feared. It was too cold, too calculating to be a human emotion.
Too calculating. Too cold. Is this still a human emotion?
“I think you should worry less about that now. Come on, you’ve been sulking the whole day! I mean, this is like the only time we get together and you’re sitting here like some a–.”
“My parents suspect something.”
Silence. What passed between them after a few seconds was cold silence, uneasy and controlling. Auburn moments danced in the air as they sat in silence for almost an hour, their eyes twitching and searching but never meeting out of fear for what they came to realize. The leaves of the trees were slow in their descent, dangling in the air for a while until they truly fell on the ground cold and without sound. In happier times they would discuss at length the nature of the air inside their domes and the ground beneath them; how it felt unreal to see it perfectly as if it was taken from a painting on a wall. This was the picture of life on Mars – human life crafted by human hands, a ridiculous charade that was the pinnacle of everything wrong with their uncaring breed of people. A gentle and soothing mockery of the fantasies and lies that wormed their way through the countless generations of uncaring masses all throughout time. A new world and an alien frontier, the last bastion of humanity in its dying age. Everything was like polished glass; perfect but reflected the true, the hate and the darkness instilled in their hearts.
But for now, what was dying was the stability and their function of senses. The longing fear coldly gripped their hearts, callously soothing and yet puncturing it in such a way that the anxiety bled slowly but surely. Each moment that passed was in silence and each moment stretched so far that eternity could unwind itself and the leaves of the trees would still be fluttering in air.
Nine, Nine, Seven we are clear to land. 00798:ACM. We’ve made contact. I repeat, we have made contact. First Contact.
This is not a joke, I repeat we have made First Contact. We are (static)….engaging but we are meeting resistance. There’s no other w-(static). Only 600 of them and a dozen in the hills. Contact.
He opened his mouth to speak but it was droned out by the noise that suddenly filled the whole dome. There was a commotion or somewhat coming from the centre. They rose from their seats and ran towards the gathered crowd but they already knew what was happening; the commotion was all too familiar. A man had escaped from the confines of the dome and walked a few feet away before stopping and staring up into the sky. He was suffocating, holding his chest in pain as the last few breaths escaped him. The crowd gasped in horror as if it they were seeing something new but in truth, all of this was repetitive and had been the same since. The man, Mr. Truman, fell to his knees and reached out with his hand into the direction of the Mons. Pointing into nothingness, into the space above the ground and later into the soil. The crowd grew silent and held their breath, their faces shadowed by the fear coming from the west. The two of them held hands once more, but it was out of fear not love or a comfort of a recurring anxiety.
From the ground they could see clearly: rows of them with gaunt, leathery skin padding softly and with such elegance into the rocky soil of Mars. Tattered and grey, they bore with them the faces of the lost and those who took the long walk before the rest. Their faces were unbearable to behold but as if out of fascination, the crowd could not look away as they descended upon Mr. Truman with such speed and ferocity. In flashes of crimson they tore at him with glass-like nails and jagged teeth and even in their crazed and enraged fury, the darkness from their uncaring faces remained.
And their faces were like polished glass, ebon-fashioned awash with deep crimson. And there was calmness in between the savagery. Calmness and stillness that seemed to last forever.