4: The Corn Eater and the Pulse in the Dark
He has to leave.
He hears the grasshoppers outside his shack; they hiss and chatter drowning out any other sound from the forest morning.
He has to leave and he doesn’t want to.
He lives to serve the Pulse in the Dark. He wandered the ridge and forest for years, feeling the Pulse’s dark power long before he stumbled upon it. It called to him in his dreams, and frayed his sanity while attempting to summon him. He left a family behind to stare at its cosmic colors as it twitched and glowed, just poking out of the dirt. He knew he saw very little of its full shape, its malevolent girth trapped under the wright of the dirt. He marveled at the perfect smoothness and the rainbow of dark neon colors, so strange and alien, shimmering within it. He built the small shack around it, and its colors would reflect off the wooden slats as if it was stainless steel. He lost his sight, for he only sees for it now. He has been rewarded by being able to see through the Pulse, and all that it has seen in its eons of existence.
He feels its power and its hunger. He knows the grasshoppers will feed the Pulse, but he will taste the flesh and taste the blood as well.
He eats only the food that the Pulse forces to grow right around the shack. He is accustomed to the thick thorns and sharp barbs that grow up the length up the stalk. He peels the bright red cob expertly and eats the kernels greedily, so juicy, tangy and bitter-sweet as it runs down his chin into his haggard beard. He has scoured the forest for more of his food and found none. He has skipped through the moonlit fields kept by the other humans, and found none. He knew other humans once, but he doesn’t remember when. He has also sacrificed his sense of time to the Pulse in the Dark.
He doesn’t want to leave and he doesn’t know the words to express his feeling. He slaps his head; his brain once understood the high-points of the English language but the words have faded. He once used his voice, which he has grown to hate so much, to speak and communicate with other humans. He knows that the same way he knows he has survived snows and suns and storms and cuts and bruises and failure and fear. He knows not how he knows anything, other than by the grace of the Pulse in the Dark.
He is human.
He is human and he hates himself for it. He loathes his shape and his skin. He longs to be smooth. He longs to drown in the glow. He hates humans, and hates himself for being human. He sees more than humans, so much more.
He hears the wind blow against the shack, then feels it creep through the slots between planks and dance on his sandpaper skin. He hears the door rattle and his bony fingers cover his eyes and tap his forehead. He hears the grasshoppers’ song rise and fall in volume in rhythm with his taps
He sees through their eyes, all of their eyes. He knows the time has come. He has felt its hunger and He knew it would come to pass. He sees through the malevolent force which birthed the grasshoppers, as it sees through them, and it sees through him and he sees through it.
He taps his forehead with fingers stained blood crimson. He knows more will happen, and the Pulse in the Dark will grow, and He will drown in the neon glow.
He stands slowly and sways in place. He has to leave.
He can’t focus. He can’t balance or think. He knows more humans are about to be devoured. He knows this the same way he knows he has survived snows and suns and storms and cuts and bruises and failure and fear. He knows not how he knows anything, other than by the grace of the Pulse in the Dark.
He hungers. He feels the grasshoppers’ hunger.
He sees through their eyes and He tastes the flesh they devour. He finds it tastes akin to the food outside his shack. He stops tapping and the grasshoppers’ song begins to fade even as screams begin on the ridge.
He puts one hand on the wooden wall for balance and it creaks its complaint loudly. He gathers up his satchel and his walking stick.
He has been shown so much over his decades in the shack serving the Pulse in the Dark. He has seen sinister cities built from stone and metal and inhabited by beings far stranger than he could ever imagine or comprehend. He has seen the birth of the universe and all the violence left in its wake. He has breathed infinity in endless gulfs of freezing nothingness. He has seen the farthest reaches of space and time. He has seen the farthest reaches of soul and mind.
He watches now as the thousands jump towards flesh. He jumps along with each and every one. He hears their song blaspheme at the sky and all the flesh under it. He hears the grasshoppers call the flies to the blood.
He feels the dry summer wind as it blows against the heads of the thousands. He smells the primal fear of the other forest animals as they flee the swarm.
He has felt wind so scorching hot it would turn humans to crackling ash in a blink. He was safe in the shack. He has felt the swirling frozen winds so cold they hold worlds entrapped in ice for eons. He was safe in the shack. He has to leave, but he doesn’t want to.
He pushes the door open and the dozen of black grasshoppers of various mutated sizes waiting on him flutter their legs excitedly. He nods at the brilliant glimmering purple as if he understands each tiny clacking stroke as he plucks cobs of his food and deposits them into his satchel.
He hears a gunshot with his human ears. He hears the same shot through the thousand and it echoes in his skull as such.
He sees the human who fired the shot. He feels flesh tear away. He feels him crushed beneath his awesome weight. He tastes the flesh and he tastes the blood.
He knows one human has died, warm blooded and unbitten. He sees dirt fly and feels the Pulse’s excitement as human corpse and giant grasshopper both sink under flung dirt. He tastes more slaughtered flesh and uses the walking stick to steady himself.
He knows he will soon see through the eyes of humans. He knows this the same way he knows he has survived snows and suns and storms and cuts and bruises and failure and fear. He knows not how he knows anything, other than by the grace of the Pulse in the Dark. He feels his stomach heave and growl at the flesh the grasshoppers are consuming. He digs a cob of food from his satchel and peels away the violet husk with expert swiftness. He bites into the red and black cob, allowing the crimson juices to flow down his chin as his weak human stomach settles.
He sees through the eyes of the thousands.
He hears their song call the flies to the blood.
He is ready to leave.
Next 'episode' will be posted Wednesday March 26 2014.
You can more of my scribblings HERE.