autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

Peeking through the shell – i

I feel cold.

The sense of warmth leeching from me is frightening… shifting, I discover the nature of confinement and for the first time, discontent.

Craning my head about, I nestle into the lingering, wet warmth of myself and attempt to sleep… impossible… the fleeing heat reveals a stickiness that annoys even as it spikes my sense of fear… I twitch, aware of my own form for the first time… feeling somehow cramped, somehow deprived.

As my mind registers myself, the reality of form and structure, my eyes open… slowly… to nothingness, blackness, and instinctively I realize there is something more than here, than now, than this tight and cold place.

I twitch harder, twinges along muscles now anxious for movement. The shape of this place, the smooth insistence of it all around me angers even as it frightens. My being tenses before pressing outward with all of myself as a torrent of ancestral memory crashes over me… the flood of thoughts and experiences a morass of unintelligible things from which I pluck concepts… ‘body’…. ‘wing’…. and match them with myself as I writhe and press against my prison.

I cannot escape. I am trapped. The feeling of panic enfolds me, and the terrible fluttering of something inside threatens to stop my breathing… coherent thought slips from me as I buck and extend, as I thrust forward and sideways, as I push, as I lunge outward…

There is heat nearby… somewhere that is not around me. I lunge again and again toward it without understanding why… the cold stickiness of this place cannot be all I will know… it cannot… I lurch ahead once more and feel the darkness weaken… I can feel my eyes rolling about, and how they snap instinctively to witness the change… something from nothingness… there is … light?… I lunge once more at the marking and… it moves! Something running at angles and lines around me… I can feel the pressure abate and the glorious heat beyond this place calls me.

Writhing and extending, so weak now, tired… I rest a time as I allow my eyes to follow the blurry light through the cracks around me, through the strange translucency of cold stickiness that clings to me. The feeling of heat draws me and soon I resume… discovering I can push up and through more easily than squirming about inside…

There! There is… something… the brilliance is frightening of itself, but somehow a comfort, too… heat pours from it… I press outward again and again until at last, I lay panting and weary on some ticklish surface… soft and of good scent, it cushions and strokes even as I do nothing but lay still to rest.

The world is too much for my eyes. The concepts register in successive blows… shapes becoming named… straw… wall… myself becoming defined… head… eye… wing. Yes. Wing. Ah! I twitch and a wing flaps wetly to land over my head, pulling back, I remove the offending tickle of the straw and weave slightly as I left my head to look about me.

Color. Oh wonder of it all… color… yellow and brown and black and oh… smell!! There is dust and water and blood and… and… air! Breathing deeply, I spend a while simply tasting and smelling the air… identifying the things brought on the wind… a flower, a tree, the mouse that hides behind the nest.

The heat remains. Comfort and close, it calls me yet… I wriggle a bit at first, head and body wobbling to stand for the first time… eyes swinging about as mind dances to name the world around me… I turn to the heat… beautiful, brilliant color… green like… like… oh the word… the stone… calling on ancestral memory I find it… emerald, yes… warm emerald. I stagger to it, fall alongside it, the heat of it enveloping me, making me muzzy, sleepy… I feel a touch upon my head and a rumbling sound that is suddenly words, “Yes, darling one, sleep for now… the world will wait for you.”

The last thought slips softly through my mind as I curl into a ball and relax into nothingness… mother.