An Afternoon Alone

Stepping outside as any another day, I grab my frosted drink I set for winter to cool for the morning. Everything seems as natural as the day before.

The sun’s apricot body shines upon the cool grounds of dying frost. My hand wraps around my cold beverage as I lift it from the table. With my routine drink in hand, I begin to turn toward the entrance to my home.

As I begin my steps against the chill air, a cool gust of wind swarms about me. Nothing seems unusual for such an early morning. But something feels different about this wind.

As if it was alive, I feel a strange presence about me. As if someone is watching me. As thoughts gather about my morning fogged mind, I start to hear wild whispers.

Whispers that sound as if they are coming from the wind. “What the hell?!” I say beneath my breath as I reach the door to my home.

I grab the door knob but as I do, a strong cold wind pushes me back. I almost lose footing but remain standing as I jolt myself into an alert state. “I must be dreaming?” I think to myself.

I ignore the odd burst of wind or so I try. But it becomes apparent whatever this be it wishes me to remain in its grasp. I try again for the door but am forced from it. This time I stumble back and fall.

My drink leaps from my hands, and falls to the ground. I catch myself as I hit the ground. The grass is quite frigid and the morning air only seems to be getting colder.

I stand up and brush the grass from my clothes. “Damnit, once again laundry was quickly ruined.”

Patting off the last blades of grass I can see, the whispers begin to grow louder. The wind circles about me. I look around and not a single leaf is dancing in the wind.

No birds are chirping, no clouds are moving. But I am surrounded by a central wind. It whirls about me, growing fierce, drawing the air around me to an extreme cold.

I start to shiver, I place my hands on my chest and vigorously rub, trying to keep myself warm. I grow so cold I fall to my knees, the whispers from the wind grow louder.

I cannot make out a single word of these harsh whispers say as they start to feel piercing. I cover my ears but the whispers cannot be muffled. The grass beneath my knees becomes frozen.

The wind pierces the very warmth of my breath, it hurts to breath. “What the hell is going on.” I say with shivering lips.”

The wind, now forming into visible vapors, I start to see a figure hidden within. Much like looking to clouds and seeing what your imagination can conjure.

And what I see in this moment, are wings attached to what I cannot explain. It is shapeless, yet has form.

As I tremble in cold listening to painful pitches of whispers. I crumble to my side and look about, the now visible vapors of wind circling about. I fixate on the figure as it hides within the obscuring vapors.

Trembling from the frigid wind, I call out in an almost dying vocal, “What….wh…what do you want?!”

I call out but the figure seems to bare no interest in my words. It continues to circle about, passing my view like the hands on a clock. Passing without any care of anyone’s being.

Laying helpless I begin to pray as I find myself without any physical strength. It feels as if I am being held down by something beyond my own will. A weight invisible to my eye. “It must be who ever that figure is in the wind? What purpose does it have? Why me? Why any of this?”

Thoughts mingle about this unwarranted moment. “Never have I felt so helpless before. Is this it? Do I pass my last breath on the lawn of my own house frozen to death?”

I start to think about the past, how beautiful it was though many days were painful. I jump about moments of joy and sadness. I think about the deaths of those I loved and how I walk about feeling most days alone.

Wondering about the past I begin to feel myself growing tired, as if I have not slept in days. My eyes draw heavy, but I fight the feeling to rest. “I cannot let this be it, so much is still possible.”

I decompose from the past and focus on the present moment and think, “This is what matters, I can’t let this be all of it. Damn….”

As the thoughts of past fade like a rain drop rippling in a lonely puddle among passerby’s. I compose myself into the now. But as I do, the wind becomes more harsh. The whispers heighten their pitch.

I cry out in pain but do not let it deter me from my breath. As I begin to fight I sense the figure lingering above me. I feel its presence holding me down, an instant fear clasps to my bones.

This is a feeling I have not had in years. Like a dream set in paralyses, I suddenly cannot move. Even my jaw is retained by this unwavering presence of this ghost like figure.

My eyes are all I can move. I look about as I feel the figure creeping from the corner of my eye. Dilated, I start to feel a drip of cold water fall from my brow. “Is that sweat, but it’s so damn cold?” I think to myself.

The sun remains as golden as any other day as it begins to envelope me. But the wind is too cold for its warmth to penetrate. My heart picks up a runners pace, fear tries to coerce me into panic.

But I fight to remain steady, to not let this thing conform me to its ill intentions.

Suddenly, as I begin to see a shadow form from the corner of my eye. I hear a clear voice, a soft uplifting voice. It whispers to me in an almost music like tone.

Is it words I am hearing or music, I cannot say but it is quite comforting? As I listen, my fear dissipates, I can move my head about but the rest of me remains rigid.

I turn toward the shadow and the sounds of the voice. As I do, I come to the view of what has had me enclosed in its grip. But I cannot say what it is, it shimmers like a star but does not blind me.

It has warmth like a summer morning. Its shape, I cannot bring about any detail for it seems to be held not by the physics of what I know or have seen.

But from it body arises a pair of wings. It stands before me as the wind continues to circle and I remain still.

It stands before my eyes, at a height that would consume the tallest man but yet, does not feel the physical.

Oddly, a tear escapes me. I am overcome with uncontrollable joy. A smile takes to me and I ask, with a strange sense of knowing, “Why have you appeared before me? What am I to be of such an honor?”

As joys lightens my heart and mind.

The figure looks upon me saying, “You are tested as any other, you have fallen like any other, broke, like any other. Done wrong in many ways, but not once, did you bring foul tongue of blame upon such existence. No man is without doubt, but few are without a warped tongue.

So may you take this as blessing and rise to such heights. Or take choice and be as wilted as thee be. But heed, that with rising wings, the winds will be cruel.”

The wind now inert, but the air remains cold and I remain in grips of stillness, I reply with a joyous heart, “I ask to be of wings and not of a wilted spirit.”

A silence fills the air, but a sense of fear returns to me. As if I am about to be read my sentence toward death, but find peace in the very same thinking.

Looking to the winged figure, as the sun melts the last edges of the morning frost and my breath becomes welcoming once again.

The winged figure says, “So be such as thee, asking to be not that which corrupt but aim to that which be in heights unattainable, shall be greeted to the coming kingdom given. But thee must be willing in sacrifice, for such wealth bestowed in soul by journey and tribulation does not arise without account. Be willing to leave what binds, be willing in face of fear to not crumble. Be thoughtful in presence of the others, be not ugly in body nor mind, be holy, though this cannot be obtained in such form, you shall strive for it, though a madness may it seem.

It be not now, but in the growing branches there shall be reward.

Respect, love, cherish, learn, ask with kindness, act in kindness, breathe with intent, be moral, though the moral-less be with many pleasures. Lonely such can be. But forever, one shall find themselves.”

To be continued….3/22/21

Just a man that was once lost in the pursuit of understanding himself. I write short stories, poems, and motivational pieces. (Instagram @poemjunkybiffle)

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