Kingdom by Rory Fleming
October 15, 2012 Comments Off on Kingdom by Rory Fleming
Your kingdom is shaped like a diamond. The four halls I walk are different because I know I turn left every time I get to a dead-end, and I never turn around. Everything looks plain though. The candles flicker dimly. The walls are unadorned plaster. I am grateful that I have shoes, because the floor is simple slate. I marked the spot I started walking from by getting on my hands and knees and coughing up enough spit and mucus to make a puddle: my version of “You are here.”
A bell rings five times a day. I can either tell it I want to eat or that I do not want to eat. I don’t actually know how much time exists between rings; I only know it is accurately attuned to my stomach. With my footsteps, I can count the amount and the time it takes to get from one end of the hall to the next. However, I forgot my watch, and there are too many seconds that pass for me to dwell on the external.
I can’t imagine what it would be like to be outside the kingdom. If I were outside the kingdom, my spit wouldn’t matter to anyone. I would be too busy for my own footsteps. This kind of ponderous pattern would be discouraged. Besides, I like existing in you. It gives me something to pay allegiance to.
From the last time I decided to count — starting at one left turn arbitrarily picked — I’ve walked twenty-eight lengths. This was before stopping in the middle to kneel. I ask, without belligerence, “Who are you to stuff me in your kingdom? Why have I not seen you, and why do I not remember anything from before I came?”
The bell rings. I get up, turn my head from side to side, but I do not turn around. Then it rings again and again. It keeps ringing. I ask it politely for it to stop, do stop, and I run down the hall, cut a quick turn. It follows me. I feel it behind me. I have forgotten how to turn around.
Covered in your vomit, I wake up in the rain.
© 2012 Rory Fleming
Rory Fleming is a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina who lives in abstraction. While he may be going to law school to feel secure, the maw of eternity is still waiting to gobble him up. He loves little more than having his thoughts read by others.