After The Storm

Wet. One drop followed another. Another one followed soon. Then another, until he couldn’t keep count. The rain kept hammering down on his face, playfully testing his patience. His eyes were already open, facing directly to the sky above. But Toma doesn’t want to get up. Yet.

Slowing his breathing down to a walk, the hard surface on which he rests feels numb to him as Toma tunes his senses to focus inside.

Scorching. Something’s burning. He could feel his insides writhing in pain, savagely twisting and turning in a constant looping cycle. Trying desperately to adjust to the alien source of heat that suddenly popped up within. Every fibre of blood vessels inside him wrinkled unnaturally, as all the blood within evaporates.  As if he just snatched the sun from its perch, and, not having an appropriate place to hide it, chose to conceal it within his own body.

Sounds of  waves far below at the coast sends a chilling wave into his ear, and for a moment he wanted to just drown in the sea forever, submerging his consciousness into the deep darkness, along with the burning sensation within him. He remembered how he always loved to go to the sea when he was a little kid, how calming the sound of waves was to him, how his father would bring his guitar along, and all day long sounds of steel strings would mix with the chirping of seagulls, while Toma ran along the length of the coastline, splashing his little feet into the salt water.

A big droplet of water crashed hard into his face, his wandering mind dragged instantly back into the physical plane. His brain finally able to interpret the signal transmitted to it by his already open eyes from quite a while ago.

An amazing landscape was what his brain interpreted.

A shower of amber taint had taken over the sky this evening, accompanied by frequent splashes of scarlet, as if some painter had decided to put out all of their red and oranges and yellows, mix them together, and subsequently splash it across the sky canvas.  Or it’s as if the sun itself had melted, drowning within its own heat and evaporates in a cloud of steam and light, becoming one with the atmosphere.

It flashed across his mind again. The thought that kept playing in Toma’s mind these past few days. That maybe he was the sun. A being with too much power in one body, tasked with keeping the wheels of the world working. But power corrupts, they say, and too much power scorches, as he underwent first hand.

For awhile, he thought about laying there forever, forgetting about all matters of the world. For a while, he thought about all that he’d been through, and all that was about to come. He thought about his brother, and then about Genren, and then his comrades in the Troupe. All the people that he had met in his life. He doesn’t know where they are right now, whether they were caught in the riot that followed the Storm’s wake. The scariest thing to him, is that he already knew the consequences his actions would bring long ago, almost simultaneously with the moment his idea came to surface. Yet, he still chose to go with his plan.

He chose his mission, against the safety of his comrades. He chose his own desire, ignoring the people that have been there for him throughout his life. The thought of it made his heart shiver with disgust, and he felt a jutting object inside his own intestine, ulcerating the layers of his abdomen and sending his digested food back upwards. It took all his might preventing it from exiting through his mouth.

In a bid to calm his raging mind, Toma thought about her. About the first time he saw her, and how she reminded him of his mother. How he felt that his world suddenly turned from a  completely different axis whenever she forces herself into it. He thought that she was the one.

Vivid images of “that night” came crashing through the doors of his mind, his usual resilience broken by the chain of events that transpired the last few hours.

His gut gave in, and slushes of food and stomach fluid burst through his mouth, leaving a sour aftertaste in his palate.

‘The world has just changed forever’, pondered Toma, ‘and it’s because of me’. His vomit substances slowly seeping in into the ground beside him. A nagging thought took hold of him, one that has been creeping in slowly towards his attention, the past few weeks.

“That woman. She holds all the answer.” 

Ignoring the flame burning within, Toma gathered all the mental and physical strength that he could muster and forced his back muscles to contract, slowly bringing his body to a sitting position. Taking a few deep and long breaths, his arms trembled as he used them to support the weight of his struggling lower body. Finally, gasping and sweating, Toma stood up with his legs. His eyes scanned the horizon, trying to figure out the direction he’s heading for. And then he sets off, dragging his dead right leg, towards the tavern by the sea. Carrying the Sun along with him,

each and every step. 

 

-To be continued-

 

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