Copper is dying.
The retched scent of something burning will not leave me. I’d seek it out, but I know it’s just me standing at the gates of my past, trying to peer through the smoke at the ruins. Even the occasional nosebleed can’t overcome that smell. I’m suffocating, drowning, choking as I slip down…down…but even near the earth they cry out to me.
The dead never rest in Hell.
I look to the east and the cliff. A secret graveyard waits for her there, bedside the great fall. I sometimes long for that view. The pull to go is in me, but instead I stand at the window and weep. Oh, I need to go. Still, I remain.
It’s happening again. Maybe I could make a difference this time, as I believe I might have before. Maybe I could save her. Yet, I am as helpless as a small child. Anyway, she’s old now and it might be her time…maybe.
Fear? No, I don’t think so. It’s more than fear--as if the Velociraptors from JURASSIC PARK (the movie) awaited me up there and by the cliff…not just her, her daughters, and the dead. Yes, it feels like those awful dinosaurs are waiting for me, only they won’t kill me outright. I’ll be gutted, eaten on, and left a suffering mess for the rest of my miserable life, if I go. And I’ll deserve it. And I’ll remember.
Sounds stay with me the most as night falls. The Velociraptors have a high-pitched communication, like a scream, in the movie. Horses scream when they are terribly frightened or in tremendous pain. The two sounds almost blend in my memories, the more I try to work up the nerve to go to her. Is she screaming? Or has the final quiet come? Either way, the raptors will be there, waiting.
I’m a coward.
Every day I fight it. Life beat another personality out of me, a stronger person, and left me with this determination…little else. Some people say that by living I’m brave. What a load of sh*t! I live because I love what’s left and they need me to. I live because I have goals. I live because it’s not my time yet. Being brave has nothing to do with it.
I want to fight raptors for Copper, but I ask myself if it’s suicide to do so. Can she be saved? Is she too old and sick? When I return, how long will it be before I am able to write again? And I’m so alone here. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I love my solitude. But if I go there, I may not be able to make it back alone.
The cost of being a reclusive writer is high.
They say writers are solitary creatures. I’ve always been thrilled with this. Everyone thinks I’m full of crap, but I like being a recluse. Only, look at me now. Serves me right, huh? I need help to get a few hundred yards and back again. But I don’t trust a lot of people to let them that close, and the few I do either live too far away or are too busy. So here I am.
I am paying for solitude now. In the years to come, there will be more payments that will weigh heavily on my soul. All of my preparations did little, if nothing, to numb me to the pain. Therefore, I will brace myself and survive. I shudder when I think about what will be left of me.
They say life’s beatings make you stronger. That’s not true. They make you wiser, but they also make you a coward. And being wiser isn’t necessarily a good thing. Like with me, I’m just better at avoiding the blows.
I think the most content person in the world lives in a little house on a meadow in the middle of nowhere, tending a garden, untouched by the world.
Copper is dying. If I can’t save her, at least she will be beyond the reach of this world. One day, I’ll write about leaving her to the raptors. Honestly, I think we are both just outside a few hundred yards of help to make a difference.
Then again, if she still lives when next I wake, I may just go on that suicidal mission after all. Love can give you the insane rush to face raptors. But don’t ever call it bravery.
Any path I choose will be rough.