Short Story: The Mechanical Path

When I close my eyes, I see it. The green painted against the moss landscape. But behind the scene, there is the bright white screen, stealing bits here and there of my perfect moment. The escape so real yet created.

I open my eyes to find still to be tied to the cold steel chair. The TV flashes in front of me, bombarding an endless stream of dramas. My ears are bleeding from the noise I cannot shut out. The words have turned into mush without meaning, but it is the electric hum that I cannot part with. Where is the silence I so yearn? The stillness of life.

I shut my eyes again and disappear to that perfect moment from my past, wishing for death.

Occasionally I hear myself scream, wondering has insanity taken me finally. Still, reality persists. Why can he not kill me already? Why toy with me like this?

I have asked him that when he comes to feed me wrapped and branded food. He is silent. Serious. Like a mechanical man who only does his duty. I wonder if it was not he who kidnapped me. But I can remember his stench. The clean aftershave, the smell of a new car, the leather shoes. And the smooth fabric of his suit pressed against my cheek as he carried me here.

I don’t know what day it is. There are no windows to count the sunsets and sunrises. Only the flicker of the screen.

Past life seems to disappear. I keep forgetting what blackbird sounds like or the leaves rustling in the wind. The babbling of the spring brook is still there. The snow is melting, and the ground beneath it coming alive from the heated sun. I try to hold on to the sound and image for my dear mind. But I cannot hold on to it. All I feel is the cold steel of my chair as I grip the armrests.

I caught myself laughing along with the sitcom. My laugh turns into a screech, and I try to go back to my happy place, but it is no longer there. All wrong. I can feel my thoughts clatter inside me. I suppress them by concentrating more deeply on the screen. The electric hum subsides, and I follow the words. My right hand is free, and I stuff my mouth. My hunger grows, and I push the food in with both of my hands as I laugh and cry along with the drama.

There is the smell of a new car, but the mechanical man is not there. It is me. My body aches. It is saying something; I shook my head. An uncomfortable image of a forest pathway disturbs me. I brush my hands against the wool, silk, and cashmere mix of my suit, and get up from my chair.

It has to be repeated.

Thank you for reading! Follow the fractal pattern of nature, and it will guide you to the happy place.

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