In visceral light

His head was face down. The light from the street reflected on the glistening sweat of his torso. His strong back was flexed, haunches up, pressing backward. The muffled sounds of his voice seeped into the air through the pillow. It might have been pleasure, or protest. There was no possible way to tell which it was. Maybe it was both.

Arms gripped his shoulders, shoving him downward. His resistance created a tension that pulled so tightly it felt as if it were going to snap at any moment. Knees locked, arms flexed, and neck bent hard against the bed. From face down in the pillow he had a vision of her, hovering in silver light above him. Her eyes closed, hair floating in all directions as if she were submerged in the sea, golden light shining from somewhere behind her, above her. Her bare breasts and elegant torso were decorated in jewels, and her arms made symbols in the shimmering light. Though her lips parted softly, she did not speak, and her legs disappeared into the darkness.

The sound of sirens lacerated the surreal visions in his head. Flashes of red and yellow. The color of blood on the inside of his closed eyes. The pounding of drums pulsing in his head made the entire world completely evaporate. It was hard to breathe, and it hurt, but it was perfect, it was just right.

Tearing into him, the force slashed into him like a torrent. The stream looked calm from the surface, silent and nothing to make note of. The current quickly overwhelmed him as he struggled to wade across the narrow stream. Slashing up into his mouth and over his nose, the water was inky black. His feet, though wrapped in olive grey boots, quickly sucked into the soft mud of the riverbed. He struggled, and only managed to pull one foot out of a boot, the other hopelessly lost forever.

His fingernails dug into the palms of his hands, he was not in his body, and blood ran in a small rivulet from tightly clenched fists. His hair float upward toward the dim light of the moon. The roar of traffic, a sudden motorcycle roaring around the cars brought him back into the moment, but the moment was lost. The force had stopped, and now no one was touching him.

He lay there catching his breath, sucking air into his open mouth through the wet dacron filling of the pillow. The wounds were glistening in the darnkess. They weren’t any new ones. These wounds were old, and had given under the pressure. He wiped the side of his face, and smeared black blood acros his cheek. He sat up and looked around in the darkness, listening to distant floorboards, and the sound of traffic outside. The door clicked closed, a toilet flushed somewhere in the building. The passing sound of a distorted car stereo played some undefinable beat.

The wounds dried in the darkness, and dissolved. They were gone, but anyone could see them if they looked closely. The scars itched, but were healed and gone. A yellow cat jumped up onto the mattress, carefully stepping around his legs and sitting quietly beside him. He opened his swollen eyes and watched a tail flick once and then softly curl around its haunches.

Sleep came like a violent attack. The anesthesia of exhaustion closed his eyes for him, though he fought against it, swimming upward toward the ceiling, it was useless. He was gone, and it was over.


  1. fiction, dreams, gaping voids of immesurable loss, turned inside out nightly, flayed like marsyas and stretched out to nothingness, aye and more.

    reminded me a lot of Hanif Kureishi’s short stories (see collections ‘The Black Album’, Love in Blue Time’ etc)…

    must get me a proper blog like yours here old chap…

  2. I’d love to read your book of dreams Finn. Lead the way my friend.

  3. stagg:

    made me feel like i was floating. ever read any quiroga or julio cortazar? i felt that same eerie dreaminess in their stories.

  4. I am a huge fan of Julio Cortazar. Second, perhaps, only to Marquez of my favorite Latin writers.

    high praise…

  5. Adele:

    Your writing sounds almost poetic and yet has very strong pictures represented. The imagery is beyond beautiful. There are so many different emotions, like at first its almost violent and so in your face, but then the words carry the reader into a more calm and esthetic feeling/place by the end of the sentence. I think you write very well! cheers to you :)

  6. Thank you Adele. I’m so happy you decided to come and read something of my fiction. I appreciate that so much.
    I sent you an email, wondering if it ended up in your trash bin (on AOL it might have.)