deepundergroundpoetry.com

Smoke (New Draft)

There's not many things as beautiful as the way smoke brings an image to the movements of the air. It is sensitive to every little movement that is made around, even the smallest wave of a hand can send it into disarray. Moving as if it were life itself. They say a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a tornado hundreds of miles away. It makes you realize just how delicate the air is, and why there are groups in arms about whatever we put into it as a species.
 
I sat on the floor in a wide empty room. Basking in the brilliant blazes that danced below the chimney. Warming myself from the harshness of the winter. I knew I was too close for good health; I didn't care, it felt nice. I just sat there, encompassed by the sounds of the crackle of the fire and the occasional cough that escaped the itch in my throat accompanied by the creak in the wooden floor when I shuffled in order to maintain my comfort. Blending together in a sweet happenstance of rhythm. The smoke felt deceptively cool to the touch. Flowing upward through my outstretched hands, meeting again on top to continue its journey. I felt myself starting to fade, so I laid down a step back further from the fire. I took off my coat and placed it on the ground to keep the cold away from myself. Within a few moments I had fallen fast asleep.
 
A child appeared in front of me, young and plain in appearance. She danced around me inviting me to join. Jumping and spinning around me like the fire at the end of a harvest festival. I politely declined and she continued to dance around, singing a song about the autumn. Her voice soft, with a somber maturity well beyond her years. As her song continued the leaves began to whirl around her dress. The colors of her dress shone brightly in a perfect contrast to the leaves that surrounded her. They began to move together as a single entity, sentient. Trees suddenly came into view. Few leaves left on their barren branches. I felt a crunch beneath my feet as I stepped back.
 
The song's tempo increased as I turned around. I broke free of her circle and began my attempt to escape the enchantment. Running until I could no longer hear footsteps, but the song still rang out clear. My breathing labored as if I had ran for a mile at a full sprint. My heart and lungs screaming for release from their cage, forcing me to feel every bit of their distress. Sweat falling heavily from my brow. Teasing life to the dried leaves in their path to the ground. I mustered the strength to continue forward. I refused to turn around; I refused to face the child. Even as the pain tempted me to reconsider my actions.
 
Escape was my only priority. Escape was now the only word my mind could muster in thought. I started to feel heat behind me as the sound grew louder. The smell of smoke filled my nose. The song slowly accompanied by a crackle of flames. Giving her song a long missing percussion to match my heartbeat. My throat began to burn as the fire turned into a roar. Sweat rolled down my head into my eyes. Making my eyes burn and my vision blur. A jumping red glow in front of me wherever I turned my head to look for a path. Gradually it crept closer, as the song became louder. Rising in a slow crescendo until my senses were dulled to anything else. I started to feel pain in my arms as if my sleeves had caught on fire. 
 
I awoke, rolling and patting my arms against the floor. I had gotten a little too close to the fire as I slept. Nothing could explain the song I heard. It still played silently in the back of my head, burning itself into the mold of my subconscious. I tried to tell myself that it was just another dream. I walked over the window and looked into the sky, the moon had only moved a small distance across the sky. I placed another piece of a now ruined couch from another room into the fire and drifted back to sleep.
 
I awoke in the morning to the sight of the last few embers dying out. I put my coat back on and headed out into the town to hopefully find some work. Cars sped past me, I crossed past a school playground. A children's choir sang in the distance.
 
"The leaves that dry will die in fall, while evergreens will still stand tall."
 
A girls face flashed in front of my eyes. Featureless except for the mouth which carried the tune. Smiling as she sang, floating in circles around me. The the trees on the edge of the playground began to grow and multiply until the buildings around me had become obscured. Wind picked up speed, howling in harmony with the lyrics. Carrying with it leaves and the smell of smoke. I ran. Stumbling over a drop in my panic. Smoke again began to cling to my lungs and cloud my vision.
 
Then the world dissipated. I appeared over an old man that was bloodied and broken, but he felt no pain. He wore the same coat that I had, but much worse for wear. The driver stumbled out of her van, barely able to breathe. The front heavily dented and the windshield cracked like a spider's web. The woman struggled to pull her phone out of her pocket. Trembling as she raised it to her head.
 
"How unfortunate"  
 
I said to myself as I ascended higher over the scene. Smiling as I heard a familiar voice again, singing softly.
 
"The leaves that dry will die in fall, while evergreens will still stand tall."
 
Then like smoke, I was gone.
BenJohnson
Written by BenJohnson (Darth Brooks)
Published
Author's Note
I drafted the story again now that I have enough confidence in my growth that i felt like i could really improve it. The original was written five years ago. If you read both please tell me your...
I drafted the story again now that I have enough confidence in my growth that i felt like i could really improve it. The original was written five years ago. If you read both please tell me your thoughts on the two different versions.

Please give honest critique on the style and other mistakes which i probably haven't caught yet.
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
likes 1 reading list entries 0
comments 1 reads 95
Commenting Preference: 
The author encourages honest critique.

Latest Forum Discussions
SPEAKEASY
Today 12:21pm by Wh1skeySwagger
SPEAKEASY
Today 9:24am by souladareatease
SPEAKEASY
Today 9:21am by souladareatease
COMPETITIONS
Today 8:12am by MalcolmJThePoet
COMPETITIONS
Today 5:41am by EdibleWords
SPEAKEASY
Today 4:46am by EdibleWords