Ambiguities in Black by Peter Baltensperger

June 13, 2013 Comments Off on Ambiguities in Black by Peter Baltensperger

Sometimes a mere glimpse of light was enough to illuminate the insecurities of dark spaces. At other times, not even a wild thunderstorm fraught with lightning bolts hammering the sky could do more than pelt the emptiness with rain. Guinan Fawkes spent his nights groping through his darknesses in search of those rare glimpses into the uncertainties of existence, a desperate miner at the bottom of an endless shaft.

Once he spent an entire night in an ancient graveyard, lying on his back among the silent dead, staring up into the sky until his eyes lost themselves among the blazing stars. A couple of meteorites shifted the balance of the darkness with their flashes, but their trails were too brief to garner even the slightest of assurances.

He drove out into the countryside under a dark sky to leave even the slightest suggestion of light behind, hoping to catch a spark of recognition from the treasure trove of the night. He was letting his eyes adjust to the motionless darkness when the thunderstorm crashed through his contemplation, making thinking impossible.

The night was torn apart by lightning and thunder, but all he could see was the fragmented sky incapable of revelations. All he could hear was the bellowing aftermath of the lightning bolts and the pounding of the rain on the echoing roof of his car. The gushing water was so thick that it completely obscured his windows and he couldn’t see anything anymore at all, not even his thoughts clinging desperately to the uncertainty of the night.

Back in his apartment, he turned on the lights to banish his bewilderments from the corners, but he still couldn’t sleep. For a while, he counted goats leaping over fences with numbers on their backs, only to realize that they weren’t able to function with the lights still on. He wrapped himself back into his darkness and focused his eyes on the black ceiling until they created their own sparks fueled by his despair. The night was relentless in its darkness, unwilling to yield any secrets. Only the rain kept whipping against his window pane, as if mocking him, muttering in a language he couldn’t understand.

When he went to the ocean to watch the full moon rise out of the dark water, he was just barely able to adjust his mind to some latent possibilities of recognition. The moon emerged slowly from its lair, revealing itself gradually, like a lascivious woman, casting a lengthening, broadening duplication of itself across the ceaseless waves.

Guinan immersed himself in the lunar unveiling until he could see himself briefly in the reflection in a way he had never seen himself before. He became a glimpse of his own in the mystery of the night, in the fullness of the moon. He only regretted that he had to travel that far to discover so little, only to return to the silences of his mind.

© 2013 Peter Baltensperger

Peter Baltensperger is a Canadian writer of Swiss origin and the author of ten books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. His work has appeared in print and on-line in several hundred publications around the world over the past several decades. Most recently, he has been published in such publications as The Big Book of New Short Horror, The Big Book of Bizarro, Soul Reflections, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Danse Macabre, Smashed Cat, Leodegraunce, Apocrypha and Abstractions, The Medulla Review, and Black Heart Magazine, among others. He writes, and has been writing all his life, because he has to and loves to do it, and because it constitutes an integral aspect of his personal quest. He makes his home in London, Canada with his wife Viki and their three cats.

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