Laid to Rest

by R.T. Allenson


It’s a lie, what they tell you. What they assure you. There is no solace afterwards, no peace nor torture. It’s all a lie. And yet, without these false assurances nothing would be so clear.

When it finally sets in; when the issue of your non-existence is made clear, it is only then when you realize how real everything is, though your senses would tell otherwise. It’s like  a dream or a cold nightmare that is all too familiar and so very material – not at all abstract and not at all vague.

They tell you the peace of death is the sleep of the just, but there is only an eternal waking and realization of how it isn’t really the end just yet. Perhaps there is no true ending but then again, the state itself is akin to an ending that is and just as it is, and ending. But the feeling is so, so moment, so to speak. So present and so now that I would never think of being dead. Had I not happened to see half of my body ravaged in a reflection, as if some wild animal mauled me…then I would think myself still alive. Maybe I was mauled to death. I don’t know, you don’t remember at first. Only after a few hours have passed will that stinking feeling of grim realizations set in and make your mind fluster and then…your whole life flashes before your eyes.

“Get down! Get down you bastard, get down and stay there –“

“Oh my God, they’ve broken through! Run, Emily! Get the hell out of here-ghaaa!”

“Max! Get Emily out of here! Oh lord, they’re…they’re eating him alive. Oh God..you bastards!”

“Dad!!!”

“He’s awake, we have to get out of here!!”

But there’s nothing else after that, or before that. Just silence, unbearable silence. They don’t tell you that either. It’s all quiet, simply put but there’s a ringing in your ear that embraces your senses and your form. It’s so intense and so painful…it makes you so..hungry.

Your body is numb, there is no feeling but your thoughts race everywhere as if the sheer force of my will, or my anger and irritation to that silent sound drives me to move, to walk and shamble around. The noise is what’s blood to me, what makes me. Yet the senses are all to alive with knowing; I see movement with such clarity now and the smells of the world almost blinds me to….to…

Everything is faint, the house is dark. This house is mine, I remember it now. I lived here once, seems like ages. The mementos are still there, testament to my existence and life before. But the familiarity is so easily lost; each second I stop and wonder, my senses fail on me. I cry, for some reason. I cry for the days gone by and the lives and loves lost. I am nothing but the emptiness, a silent murmur of what was once a man shambling about a house that once was his, but no longer is. And then, I see it and I remember. The face of who I loved with all my heart, now lost to time and to the grave. I only realize then why I weep. How long has it been? The happy days and nights we spent together, so very long ago. I was truly alive that long, long time ago..very long yet the pain I feel here makes it seem as if it were only yesterday when we parted ways and lives…Sadness..I, I feel so empty and yet…oh..

…oh, how…solemn. The echoing halls are so familiar. Why am I here again? The house…is it mine? The hall is derelict and littered with glass, blood and..meat. I’m so hungry, I’d eat anything. The meat is still warm, blood still dripping and…how, there is not taste at all. But the silence is broken, there is sound again. And the pain is once more felt. The ravages of my body stings and confounds my senses. It makes me want to claw and bleed and tear myself apart. My fingernails cut deep inside my flesh but there is no blood, only the noise – sudden realizations. I throw my head upwards to scream and at last, I hear my voice once more. It is a guttural voice, frightening even unto me. It rouses me to action, as if I had long been asleep and awake once more to my own call of the morrow…

And then the silence…the unbearable silence! It draws me out, makes me feel nothing once more. What is happening to me? What is going on?

…the silence is unbearable, but it is clear when the darkness unfolds upon you. The light fades, flickering slowly until the very shadows are at play at your senses. Somehow, this does not frighten me though it would have before. There is a chanting, a song being played or sung somewhere and it makes me calm somewhat..

…there are after all, greater evils, so they say. I know the song all too well and…it plays out on my head as if it was made for me.

Vu, qo verim. We stand in circle, most humbly praised.

Vu, terum belthoq. By time, bound in slumber.

Arma, coel-perum. By blood, you are bound.

By time you are swayed.

By the crown above your head,

When once more you rise undead.

In slumber, to be put to rest.

By hallowed emptiness.

And just like that, I fall into membranous slumber. I feel the power I would have used have I not been put to sleep again wane and fade, lost to me once more. Only when I fail do I remember my true providence. It is the irony of being yet, how accustomed I have to this sorry state of mine. It’s a lie, what they tell you. What they assure you. There is no solace afterwards, no peace nor torture. It’s all a lie. And yet, without the false assurance, nothing would be so clear.

And I wonder, if all this is but a dream. Or if the body I wake to is only living a dream, I know not though my providence would grant me such wisdom to know. The claim stupor is powerful and once more, I am laid to rest.

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