There was something I felt that needed to be done, though I could not quite place to what significance, nor precisely what it was. I walked these cold and misty London streets through myriad faces clad in black and shaded by a vast expanse of black umbrellas. I had not one myself, though strangely enough I could not seem to feel the mist as it fell all around me; and I walked, not giving further thought to this when suddenly I realized that the figures of these walking people seemed to bend around me as if refracting in some bent frame or mirror warping their shapes around myself. I stopped dead in my tracks and reached out my arm to touch a passing woman. Her blackened shaped bent outward as if some liquid substance made its surface and I shrieked as each passing person accommodated form as such. Then it was that I realized the voices of the passing throng of people were merged as one dull burring as of many bees inside a barrel, echoing in unarticulated symmetry of sound. And why indeed did all of them wear black?
Presently, I ran for the nightmare of it and all became one solid blur of grey and black for the bending outward of all shapes and I screamed and suddenly found myself in a room with a woman. A candle lit the scenery which consisted of a bed by which she sat weeping, holding the hand of a man, convulsing, tied at the waist by a length of hemp to the bed. A priest stood close at hand screaming in a pale inflection of the unarticulated burring heard on the crowded thoroughfare. I took a closer look at the man. His skin was cracked and bleeding and blood poured from the grimace of his mouth. His eyes were vein-infested and bulging lifeless from their sockets and soon he spat out his teeth in a spattering of pearls coated in blood. The woman wept, the priest intoned and made the sign of the cross, and the man’s tongue began to flop about in the gaping bloody maw that was his mouth. And suddenly I heard his voice, seemingly the voice of an old woman, speaking quietly, yet drowning out all outside sounds, and the reverberation of its tone might have bounced between the surface enclosed within a coffin. A coffin buried deep. I knew not what this man said in his old and haggard woman’s voice as his face bled and his tongue squirmed, only that it bore no significance to any language I had heard before. And then it was that his eyes, dead, or so they seemed with silver pupils, locked upon my own and all else wavered in and out with the thrashing of his body save his face; his cracked and bleeding face as his tongue lolled about and blood poured from his mouth. His face, the only discernable feature of the room, as all else wavered as if beneath the surface of a flowing river. And that voice, old, yet somehow childish in its sense of malefic glee. It seemed this face began to rise before me though I saw its size did stay the same, and I felt my own head pulling downward, as of hands about the back of my head, coaxing of a kiss. And I felt a vertiginous sense of nausea, though not of the stomach but of the mind, if one could dare to fathom such, and the voice then fell into a strange chant which sounded something like, “nishe, nishe, nishe, nishe,” and I felt as of an inward breath pulling me inside, and the face grew nearer; and the eyes. I found that they alone of all the rest now stood clear, and of them only the silver of the pupils, seeming to move as of some silver liquid pulling me inside themselves, and I could see the interplay of different shades and it seemed I heard the cry of many beasts, somehow sorrowing and lost… and most of all hungry.
And then there came a flash of lightning and a gathering of animals, something like wolves, though more ragged and desperate. Jackals, perhaps. I was out beneath the light of the moon, and scurrying amidst the shadows all around me were these many crying beasts, some of which were not wolves nor jackals even, but far more large and seeming to fester furiously about as these wolves or jackals, jackals yes, nipped at each encounter with these blurred and snarling beasts of which I knew not but perhaps as demons from the deepest breeding grounds of Hell.
I looked up at the moon and saw it swimming in a sea of mist as would a diseased and cataract eye in a pool of seething pus. Much as did the eye of the man I’d seen on the bed with the weeping woman and the priest. And I realized then and there something that I had not before thought of, that I knew not who I was. And what was it that needed to be done? Something to remember.
And as I pondered the significance of this suddenly I knew; even as these lost and hungering beasts sought to drive me into the horror of all manner of dementia I knew. I knew what path there was to be chosen. And I arose.