Musemugger Challenge #100 Part 2

The Unknown
Part Two – based on picture 3
Word Count: 505
betaed by

When the marking of the day is done, and the suns go away, there is nothing to do but lie on my nest of dusty straw and think. If I had known I would have had unlimited time to ponder, I would have studied with philosophers and had something else to think about rather than the strand of my life. The life that no-one believes. How was I to know that they would not believe me?

Am I, as they say, mad? Or are these memories real?

What I remember first is the deep lush light of this world, redder and more full of dust and shadows than I had ever seen before. Before I opened my eyes, I could tell that the colour was wrong, the heat was wrong. Beneath my closed lids, as I lay there, catching my breath, I knew something was different. One moment walking along the wooden boards of my home, the bright white flatness of my land scouring the landscape, and a step into darkness, and the waking in a sumptuous scarlet light.

How does a man react to something like that? How does he cope with opening his eyes and finding, instead of the waving white water meadows of the northern land of his life, that in a heartbeat he has moved to some sultry southern land, where skins are burned black and the birds that fly through the covered markets are marked with colours he has never seen, has no names for.

How does he cope, looking at the sky and seeing the impossible? If the earliest ancestors moved from one moment to our modern world, they would make as little sense of it as I did that first day. I sat up, finding myself wet and in a shallow fountain, my head throbbing, feeling sick and dizzy.

I wasn’t spotted at first and when I was, it was mere curiosity. Children appeared from nowhere, from all corners of the market, as I took it to be then, and they touched me with trembling hands. The brave ones first, the elder boys, poking my fair skin and jumping backwards as if I would jump up and gobble them whole. Then the less adventurous, the younger children and the girls with huge doe eyes, and beautiful earrings, they all wanted to pick up the skeins of my hair and look at it in amazement.

They were all black haired, black eyed and dark skinned, and from the way they reacted, it seemed that they had never seen anyone with near white hair before. They jabbered in a peculiar language, pointing at my head, my face, my eyes, repeating one word, “impeh, impeh,” or that’s what it sounded like, at first.

Finally, the crowd of excitable children attracted the attention of others, suspicious and wary adults. Men as dark as the children, and women swathed in gorgeous fabrics, glittering in that strange dark light with jewellery made of a metal the like of which I’d never seen before.


© Copyright 2005 Erastes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Erastes
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