― J.D. Stroube, Caged in Darkness
My lover, you followed me on lost paths, chasing my longings deeper, before I turned and saw, you’re not there. The pieces I broke off to mark my exit you ate and then flew away, without any words, disappearing in hollows of echoing woods. I know my soul’s alone by the absence of those missing pieces. How can they be gone, slipped into an eternity of forgetfulness, or thoughtlessness, pushed there by denial and an intense effort to pretend you didn’t happen, unless they were born at sometime in the messy afterbirth of a mind gone mad? If I let my thoughts take these updrafts of imagination, to soar above this wilderness of lore, I’ll see you again. The pain’s breathtaking, should I plunge back below to the feigned wellness of peace? Or perhaps, stay on these heated gestures of reaching and slip into the coldness of space losing the oxygen of you, and with tears and a reluctant release, my light will dim and finally extinguish.
I’m hiding in this darkness so long
That I don’t remember light.
I thought I’d open a window and see
What lives outside the night.
But on the glance of what should be hope,
I was blinded by the ray.
I never knew that light could
cause me this much pain.
But its warmth had a touch and
A sight of what could be,
I was still scared by the pain of knowing
That I really wasn’t free.
The prison I was locked in is
A cage of my own design.
Only I could use a key of faith
One had left for me to find.
Breaking the hardened seal
of my sepulchered life,
I blinked back tears at
What’s outside night.
This is no ordinary little house, in a dark wooded lot, with a long curving driveway. Quintessential in time, the smell of rotten leaves, moldy dead trees, and moss create an invitation likely to instill fear. Leaves and draping parasitic vines serve to block out the intrusion of light. Things crawl and slither, poisonous things with teeth naturally sharp to penetrate the hood of protection. A damp chill wraps up the weary and pulls them to the coldness of the nether world. Light mists drift low to the ground, creeping with ethereal madness. Large things, nightmares, snap twigs and disappear with startling proficiency. These all have conspired to hide escape and draw the fearful soul deeper and deeper, sliding down the viscous sides of mortality’s flowers in a one way trip. The house is ancient in design, hundreds of years ago the brick and mortar were set and stony copper gargoyles put here to observe the folly of one gone mad. The door’s misleading, it’s a lure, pulling and tugging to get it’s prey close, crushing hopes with its efficacious skill of holding fast against panicked desperation. Fists pound against it creating unheard echos and with beastly strength the spell is transferred from spirit to flesh. Vibrant greens are subdued to the gray and black of lands beyond. The colors are smudged by an errant creator attempting to dismiss this aberration. Bones of lost hope litter the exposed roots and walkways, little roads to nowhere showing tracks of the worst going in circles. This is the notorious lair of depression, many will enter, none shall escape.
‘That is the only time a man can be brave,’ his father told him.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones