Spirits

“Listen to me!” The sound resonates. The room is empty, not a single piece of furniture is present and the walls are a sterile white. Pure, yet sickening, because everyone knows that nothing in this world is perfect and there are flaws even in the untouched elements that exist. A man stands in the corner. He is clothed in a black robe, hanging effortlessly from his broad shoulders down to his ankles, leaving a trail behind him. It is held slightly tighter at his hips by a plain brown leather waist band that holds no visible openings or seams. Pleats are collected where the belt and the robe touch but then resumes its original flow. Naturally he is an absolute contrast to the room in which he stands. The two touch but never meet and this makes it a cold, hard and tense atmosphere. His words jolt off the walls in harsh echoes as one by one they enter his ears, flow through his heart and into his soul. There is nothing soft about the room, or the man. Both are still and sharp with a certain stiffness about them. The walls stand firm as does he, but the stillness is dangerous. A wrong move could result in tragic death but not moving at all could prove likewise. Whilst the words begin to evaporate, a silence crawls in. The sound, that only a moment ago brought the room to life disappears leaving behind its effects of an after storm. The man’s face is square and tough, with wrinkles on his forehead, although he is not aged. Rather, these have formed from the sufferings in his life which he has so desperately tried to forget. He is well built, proportionate to his weight and some would say he is handsome in his stance, but in this room, you wouldn’t be able to tell. He concentrates on a single point in the corner facing him with his jaw tight and eyes wide, but his emotions are pouring out all over, so his shoulders are slack and body tired. A low hum starts between his temples and grows out and loud towards his ears until it becomes piercing like the sound the machines make when someone dies.

“Stop!” He covers his ears in distress and the word fills the room, hitting each blank space on the four walls. The piercing noise is replaced by the word and the man slowly lowers himself as if in pain, clenching his ears, crouching while his robe gathers like a crumpled paper. Then the words evaporate and disappear just as before. The man stays in his position for a while before he trusts that the sounds have gone. He lowers his hands from his ears and lifts himself up slowly and steadily recovering. He remains again in the silence of the white room and realises what he must do. He cannot speak, if he does then his words will only rebound and inflict pain upon him. He must think, think of the reason he is in this room. His face is worry stricken but he holds his composure as he attempts to clear his mind. He closes his eyes and forms images of small clouds in his head. Each cloud, a part of his life that he remembers. The clouds float around over lapping one another, not knowing where to go or what to do, they are misty and undistinguishable. The man almost loses hope at what he sees to be a mess of entwined feelings but before he lets this get the better of him he raises his right hand. Eyes still closed, he motions an invisible being to stop. The clouds disperse immediately. A muscle relaxes in his face and he replaces his hand to his side to continue his objective.

One after another the clouds begin to disappear until only one remains. It enlarges and the man watches as highlights of his childhood flashes within it. Small memories, seconds long, some happy while others unbearably sad. With each emotion the man feels as though he is present in that time, he smiles when he reminisces and frowns when he remorse’s, but this only lasts for a couple of seconds before the cloud drifts away to his left and in comes another. What the man does not realise that with each passing cloud a small ball of a crystal blue light grows from his heart, filling the room gradually until the last cloud has drifted. He opens his eyes gently, but they quickly become wide when he sees the ball of light that occupies the centre of the room. It shines its light on the white walls that are now covered with black inscriptions. The words decorate the walls in different sizes but the man is not shaken, he is merely intrigued. He was unaware of the power he possessed but the room has brought this out in plain black. He takes a step closer to the wall and brushes his fingers on a single letter P that constructs the word pain. This word is larger than the ones that surround it; crave, split, whole, surrender. Many others that are similar. He brushes his hand along the wall as he observes each word that he comes across in detail. Gently and thoroughly as he thinks of what moments in his life he felt such emotions. When he reaches the final wall, a distinct word catches his eye. It is the largest of all the words in the room and his heart skips a beat as he stops in his footsteps. Acceptance, it reads and the man stares for a while before he lowers his head, the ball of light becomes dim and eventually returns back to its original home, the man’s heart. He walks back to the corner in which he stood before and stands once again with his eyes closed.

“I accept.” He says to himself with a deep breath.

A winter breeze blows through the window, the man opens his eyes. He hovers above his blue mat with his legs crossed over and his hands on adjacent legs, palms up and head high with a straight back. He takes a second deep breath before he slowly unwraps his legs and brings his hands to his side. He returns to the ground and stands up to find his wife still in bed. The clock reads 8. He climbs in next to her and wakes her up with a gentle nudge. She growls.

“What is it?”

“I’m ready to tell you about my past.”

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