Usually when the sun went down I would be inside somewhere, rather than passing by the orange line contrasting against the skeletal shadows of trees. The air was bitter and dead enough to come from the sunless version of the world; the world that ritually overtook the mind, throwing the stresses of the day away for the fear of what couldn't be yesterday. That fear was everywhere, marking the decisions and bodies of generations as they cycled from wakefulness and sleep.
I envied no one because I knew their sleep was a part of them. I met my good friend two years ago and learned secrets for prices. The ignorance that surrounded that temporary orange line was a barely visible blackness coming from my good friend. Two years ago from under a veil, the voice commemorated its existence and similarly spoke against the threads which held its life in place, greeting me. When I found that individual I listened out of fear, throwing away despair to agree out of addiction.
Huge saws surrounded me, running counter-clockwise.. only the animals screamed. The woodland grounds worked like a palace floor of ancient machinery with sole intent of soullessness. I struggled to see my good friend with my one last eye, but to sometimes gaze back upon the eye I gave away caused me a trepidation blanketed in paralysis. There was more than night to my good friend's attire, whom attested to an extravagance that great leaders would pronounce divine. The saws gnashing out of my good friend's throne mimicked the cool colors offset against coal black-- as if alive and grinding the air for sustenance.
Each step of mine was slow and deliberate, the blunt of the crutches stabbing into the bottom of my shoulders as I walked. I did not know how many more trips I would make to this place, and this wonderful, desolate catalyst of loneliness and greed. I had consuming pictures in my head of finales in this world and its subsets, the ends of characters who as far as I knew-- did not exist. And yet these endings grew in number and play as I visited my good friend, as each alien step of mine visited the brass and steal of the corrupted forest floor.
The familiar figure in front of me brandished an engraved axe with one leg upon the other like twisted branches, the gender and age unknown. The loud buzzing all around me pronounced nausea that was to be expected and indulged in, as the choice had been made to come here, there was not a choice against the loss of blood. The only smell in the air was one of rot and lovely secrecy. I thought of my heartbeat as my stomach turned, and I added to the ambiance of an underdeveloped foundation from which life stayed as tragedy and left with the most horribly addicting wealth.
I used the arm I had to wipe the puke from my dirty jacket and transferred the excess to my trousers. I am sure I had a glaze of lust for information in my left eye as I met the horrid, dead one I had given away; this dead eye was the only thing of mine I could see anymore as I had long since strayed from the wretchedness of my reflection. I made my final steps knowing deep in the pit of my stomach, that the axe in front of me was not brandished for sport or image, and seeing the weapon's place in old finales I refused to believe in.
"Do you value life?" My good friend had a voice unique and menacing to this world.
"I come here for knowledge," I said.
Since after the first night we met, each conversation was almost entirely the same. I did not dare to stray, guessing the outcomes for it in gross detail.
"The cost will be great." My good friend replied still polishing the battle-axe.