Midnight Walks

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Midnight walks always seem to clear my head; the fresh, cool air, the absence of a glaring fireball beaming downward, and the solace one can find in the absence of strangers all come to blend into the creation of an ideally comfortable setting. The beautiful woman I have remained married to for the last twenty years has never been fully appreciative of this necessity for solitude, and the freedom perceived during this time of seclusion can be anticipated only once per day. I, therefore, must make proper use of it while these hours of darkness pledge themselves to me. As a writer, the majority of my time is spent locked away in my study, and while the four walls may provide comfort and an ultimate feeling of security, after too long, I begin to feel as trapped as a lab rat awaiting my use within the clutches of a mad scientist.

It is at this hour that I emerge from within my fortress and escape into yet another timeless reality. Though I have made a career out of my written work, which originally began with freelancing articles and film reviews, it is not the central tenant of my life. Besides spending time with my wife and indulging in not only our daily adventures into the flurry of our surrounding world but also into exploits of the more absurd and time-wasting variety, my true passion has always been film.

Film: an escape into an alternate reality in which you play no central part and, therefore, suffer none of the consequences which life may be successful at throwing your way. The universe on film is a place where the possibilities and dreams of possibilities are endless—a place with no cyclical structure and ultimately no end as long as the film is true to its creation and its memories persist with each viewer. Such flights from reality are ever necessary as the burden of life, despite its offered pleasures, truly will conquer any individual without such an escape route.

Tonight's walk felt slightly different than the many others I had embarked upon; recent events had certainly changed. Prior to my last publication, I had been a successful writer, maintaining the accolades and praise that many would associate with a person of greater stature; yet, my last entrance into the world had been reduced to just a mirror of the others—an unexplained and over glorified attempt as many critics would later place it to be. All pride and self-satisfaction had been taken away from me. I was a boat without the aid of a gale wind, lost amongst a sea of uncertainty and obstruction.

This period of ridicule had continued. Public opinion stated that my earlier works had been flukes, that my time was up, and that I had become so over indulgent in my craft that all future works would progress in such a negative manner. I would spend hours upon hours reflecting in my study and trying to gain insight into a new and revolutionary concept that would silence the critics and bring me back into my realm of praise. Despite this desperate wish, I had yet to garner any form of idea that stood out, and as a result, the necessity of these midnight walks had become essential to my creative being.

I focused now upon the path I so carefully treaded upon, as the earth surrounding me was not the most delicate of trails. I could see less of the surrounding city framework and the greater vastness of the soon-to-be apparent forest growing upon me. While the forest may not be the most enticing of spectacles at night, given the understanding of what may occur in their darkened states, I found myself at home in its dank expanse. The solitude, the peace and quiet, and the large quantity of free space all seemed to find me and combine to create an ultimate sensation of freedom. This was a place where the mind could roam without charge, create without borders, and manifest without fees.

Moving further into its mysterious surroundings, the path now long lost, I noticed a slight outline of something resembling the human form. Shining my flashlight in order to reveal the true form of this silhouette, I took a step closer, and with the forest air, I inhaled the smell of what was certainly mould and something much worse. Closer now, the outline was indeed that of a human figure—a man of his mid thirties with jet black hair, a skinny frame, and a terrible laceration running across his throat. Badly bruised, he must have become lost in this wilderness after what I can only imagine was terrifying encounter.

Though hesitant to move any closer for fear he might stir, despite his clearly long-term decomposition, I edged my way forward, wondering what his story was (or rather continued to be) as he lay there in his sodden heap. As I pondered the events that could have possibly transpired in order for this stream of occurrences to take place, a narrative story design began to take shape in my mind. A plot began to envelop me. While hovering above the man, I continued to put the pieces together until I finally realized that this walk, this corpse, and this mystery had presented exactly that which I had long been in need of. At last, I had found my story; at last, I could feel the passion arise and re-enter my state of mind. Feeling whole and delightfully upbeat, I silently agreed to confine this secret to myself, weaving a story from tragic events and misfortune into a successful return for an author into the world of published literature. This one man's suffering would prove to be my greatest asset.

Created: Aug 01, 2012

Tags: walks, fiction, midnight, story, literature, english, short story, prose

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