Saturday, March 5, 2016

Sequestered Keep - The Gift of Men (2015)

After departing from the chamber of shadows, I immediately proceeded to the door on the right.  I checked the handle, found it to be surprisingly unlocked, and proceeded in.  The room contained nothing visible but myself, in every possible form.  I was in a hall of mirrors, with mirrors on the walls, floor, and ceiling, mirrors in every direction I turned, but instead of a hundred mirrors there were thousands, each split and curved into many others, like the eyes of a fly.  The mirrors were arranged also so that they reflected each other directly, so that in each I saw an infinite continuum of further reflections, and with each further reflection there seemed to be a slight change, so that I felt as if I were surrounded by a massive crowd of different individuals, even though I knew myself to be alone in that cramped corridor. 

I saw myself in every conceivable incarnation, wandering through this hall, versions of myself that were brave, cowardly, beautiful, ugly, exciting, boring, fat, thin, male, female, etc.  I wondered if I could even consider these reflections to be versions of me, or if perhaps I was looking at every person who ever has or will enter into this chamber.  I thought that perhaps every person who could ever exist was in a way a reflection of myself.

I saw myself as a young person, and as I continued to pass through the reflections began to age, hair greying and skin wrinkling with every step.  And then as I continued forward I began to see each reflection as a sort of corpse, rotting away as I walked, until I was surrounded by death.

The light rapidly dimmed as the reflected forms became more skeletal.  And then at the end of the hall I saw not a mirror but a window, and through it a great cosmic vista, a vast field of swirling galaxies.  Many of the pinpoints of light on the firmament flew back and forth through this shimmering gateway like fireflies, as if the stars had wings. 

I stared at it until all the stars flew through, surrounding me, as the window became fully black.  The void seemed to grow larger.  My fear and expectation of the blackness grew as well, but I began to resign myself to it, to an unconscious rest rather than hopeless wandering.  It seemed almost comforting.

And then the black cat appeared again, casting no reflection, and all the luminescent dots of the vista scurried away like prey. 

"What are you are doing?"  the cat asked.

"I was trying to find the sun, but I'm beginning to think I never will," I said.

The cat shook his head.  "The sun?  Which sun?"

I shrugged.  "I don't really remember."

"So why are you here then?  Do you think one of those bugs is your sun?  Did you intend to catch it?"

"I didn't know what was in this room.  But the door was unlocked, so I thought I'd explore," I said.

"There are many unlocked doors in this realm, few which lead to light, and many which might lead to imprisonment."  The cat paused for a moment.  "I might know someone who can help you.  I was headed there anyways, you can follow if you wish," the cat said as he turned to leave.  He seemed to always have somewhere to be.

Despite my desire to escape the darkness, I felt drawn to the window, which moments ago contained millions of tiny fluttering suns.  I decided to follow the cat, glad to now have some guidance.  I worried that one day I'd be forced to return to that fated void, and that the starflies would not be there to greet me.