story teller: ticking bomb

blue bubble calamity clean

Ticking Bomb

falling into a hallucination.

The doomsday has come. I know because my skin’s covered in goosebumps but the tree keeps on talking. “Come. Come closer.” I approach in the foggy air and whisper, “I’m here.” The sudden grasp of my neck takes me by surprise. The branch wraps around me and pulls me to the ground, to the hole of the parted soil, and down beneath the surface. The darkness is overwhelming. The space is tight but I’m still able to nudge my fingers and dig. Dig. Dig. Dig a small space in the grave that swallowed me like dust. So small, an irritant, who lives a small lifeform but keeps on adding to the messy entangled life.

“No judging!” The tree’s roots exclaim and the soil around me submerges me further into the unknown. The depths, that tug at my fears. No more oxygen and this is the end.

“Breathe,” and the roots pump in the air and dig their roots deeper creating a crawling space for me to wiggle into. I follow the roots as they keep on digging because what do I know? That may be my only way out is this path. Faith in this instance exists because chance and trust cannot be earned. Time is of the essence and running out. So I follow as a prisoner without a rope and a map which leads to my angst. The childhood of desperation to be all grown up and free. But freedom comes at a cost, as it turns out. And now underneath the root and their paths, the music begins to play. I’m able to turn around and get to my knees. On the fours, I keep on going to the unknown, to some cherished escape., the convict that I am. The earth begins to tremble and the ground breaks again. As this time  I free fall from the sky. The ground has opened up from the darkness to nothingness. No clouds. No planes above. No ships beneath. Pure space but two hands of the clock. The numbers seem to suspend from their post and float. Six floats where two is supposed to strike. The zero detaches from its one and now negotiates with a five. In the end, the numbers all align in non-sequential order, and laugh as I have been their greatest amusement.

“Catch!” The tree shouts and I rest in its palms made out of branches and leaves cushioning the landing. We all float in this nothingness until a duck with purple feet yawns, flaps its wings, and offers, “Do you need a ride?”

But once again I’m choked by the branch. The tree has its plan to torture the air.

As my bare feet touch the soil, the roots let go of my legs. Everything simply reappears as it was.

“Be careful where you step sir,” the ant pardons my existence. The grass blades grow fast. Soon they are as tall as the length of my arm and I reach for the key. The door locks behind. The sun has gone down. Night shades the room. No control endures. Focus elsewhere.

My cat meows with a greeting. The orange juice still rests where I have left the glass on the countertop near the stove. “I love you,” I whisper to Suzie as I scoop her up and pet her head. She only looks up at me without rationalization. Relevance is what I grasp. My life. The minuscule particle in a large scheme of elements moving, constantly bouncing off of each other. Whether I understand the pattern, maybe it’s too difficult to comprehend and my body is too small to contain all the stars, and sustain the universe. I shine like the sun and burn like a volcano. The detail explodes like a ticking bomb. No matter. I am ash.

© Jacob Greb — 2022

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