There is little in time or space that quells the valor of a warrior quite like darkness so deep it threatens to swallow his soul. This is all that stares back at me now from strange window panes, a darkness eternal, a darkness born of my own shadow. This place is white and clean and perfect and yet just beyond these walls is inky black that wants to pour inside and lick at the light before it swallows me whole and true. There but for the grace of God would I be lost to the night forever with no light of guidance or purity, no insight to bring me home looking forward only to more infinite black.
I read once a divine comedy that elated Hell as some kind of tower and layers and one was comprised of darkness and silence. It has come back to me now in these silent days, it has returned to my mind in full and vibrant script and I swear I can smell the old pages beneath my fingertips now as the words escape my lips.
I tremble now as I wonder if you are to be my confidant, the wandering lost soul that I confide my secrets to, the one whom upon I spill the shadow of my heart and ask you to keep it away from the light. Would you then be the living among me? Will you listen to my words and hear my words only to later dispel them to those who would come after me?
Perhaps it is then as comforting as it is disturbing.
I have been lost in these dark shores far too long. The others succumb to their shadow and joined the infinite darkness outside these bleak portholes. It first escaped their hearts and swam amok in their minds. The darkness too them long before it took them and made them whisper black in the ears of others still. The darkness crept then quietly among us, madness became the rule of misrule and I for all my black hearted ways was forced to watch, somehow immune to the perverse corruption before me. Perhaps I will infect you with my shadow as well; perhaps you will join the others in the darkness. Perhaps I am already among them and driven mad so as not to let myself know the darkness; perhaps then if that horror would be true, I am already dead, lost in the black and simply unwilling to see the truth, unwilling to see that I am damned regardless of how I have come to know that I was damned long before we were marooned in this Hell.
There is something comforting in the thought of madness. Would it not be an affliction that brought me voices and whispers and sensations? Would the madness not bring me home to the warmth of God’s grace upon my face in the morn? Would giving in to the darkness not drive me mad and give me leave from this maddening silence?
So much white, so clean, awash with nothing. The details of my cage become indistinct and seem to blur into a single chamber broken only by the view of the black outside. The monotone universe begs for color, it begs for red. I am unable to hear it; the silence has deafened me to all but the sound of my own breath to which I have not heard in a spell.
I do not know that I even remember red, remember anything more than the word itself. Perhaps it is the light on your side, perhaps it is the white in this room, the clean and sterile place I lay, perhaps red was a dream that I created as I tired of the black and the white.
This had ought be an adventure. The strange man who came to my home brought news of frontiers never before seen by the eyes of mortal men. The strange man who came to my wife and myself, he told us of things we could scarcely imagine, a place beyond the stars in the sky. We found it as he deemed we would. We left the stars behind and traveled to an infinite horizon and there where we left God’s kingdom behind, there we were swallowed by a never ending darkness; a place without stars, without light, without life and without hope.
It is only then poetic that we took flight in the Icarus is it not?
Should others come for us and survive the black, should they brave the endless night and come to rescue us like angels lifting a wayward and fragile soul from the roadside, should they come here and listen to the secrets I have asked you to keep, then they shall be damned as we are. Should they come, they should know my shame, the shame that I would believe has kept me from the darkness until now.
I let the darkness take her.
I put her suffering to an end with this metal thing. Even after she slipped away into the darkness, her body still poured vile black in my ear and licked at the white. There will be no ears left to listen when I am gone, none but yours. Listen not to the silence in this cage, this prison meant to keep the darkness out and the light inside. It failed as did we.
Listen one last time as this cold metal thing changes my fate; listen to my final words as I slip away into darkness and leave this Hell behind, going deep into it to find her, to go home to her. To those who fell before me and those who would be foolish enough to follow us into nothingness…I am sorry.
A quick prose about madness.